Nigeria is the biggest economy on the African continent and a major EU trade partner, with a particular focus on oil and gas.
The basis for political, trade and development cooperation relations between the EU and Nigeria is the 2000 Cotonou Agreement (also known as the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement). It covers 79 developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It was last revised in 2010.
In 2009, the two parties signed the Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward, which sets out detailed plans for intensified dialogue and cooperation.
This has led to regular political dialogues spanning a broad range of issues such as human rights, security and migration. The last ministerial meeting was held in May 2013.
The priorities for bilateral cooperation are set out in the Country Strategy Paper. The 2009-2013 Country Strategy (executive summary ) is still being implemented. The focal sectors covered are:
Between 2009 and 2013, EU aid to Nigeria – most of it from the 10th European Development Fund – totaled about €700m. Some €200m was allocated to the consolidation of peace and stability, tackling poverty and creating job opportunities for young people (ex-militants) in the Niger Delta.
The 2014-2020 Country Strategy Paper was signed by the two parties on 19 June 2014. Some €512 million from the 11th EDF is available for activities in:
There will also be more of a focus on northern Nigeria to address the poor social conditions.
The EU's humanitarian office – ECHO – is financing food security and nutritional programmes in the North, as well as assisting victims of violence, namely the internally displaced and refugees resulting from the Boko Haram insurgency.
Nigeria mainly exports oil to the EU and imports mostly machinery, equipment and refined petroleum products. The country is one of 16 negotiating the West African Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.
A ‘Common Agenda for Migration and Mobility’ (CAMM) between the EU and Nigeria is being prepared. It will pave the way for enhanced collaboration in the fields of migration and development.
Nigeria plays a leading role in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has its Headquarters in Abuja.