Relations between the European Union (EU) and Benin have been built on more than 50 years of diplomatic relations.
Benin and the EU maintain regular political dialogue through ‘article 8’ formal dialogue as per the Cotonou Agreement, fund provider – Benin Government dialogue under the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy and ad hoc dialogue with the country’s different Ministers and institutions. Very regular contact is also maintained with civil servants as part of ongoing operations.
These talks naturally cover the support programmes, but they also aim towards joint views on matters of common interest, such as the fight against terrorism, positions on the international stage, etc. The EU also supports Benin in dealing with certain security challenges, such as maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and cross-border crime.
Through its different programmes, the EU supports human rights and democracy. It promotes an environment where civil society can thrive, and supports civil society’s expert and structured involvement. The reference document is the road map for engagement with civil society, established in consultation with EU countries represented in Benin and Switzerland. Support for democracy includes assistance with running free and open elections at all levels. Through its programmes and political dialogue, the EU also supports an effective process of decentralisation in Benin in order to bring the authorities and citizens closer together.
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