Delegation of the European Union to Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde and the EU

11/05/2016 - 15:34
EU relations with Country

Cabo Verde and the EU have seek to create a very constructive relationship for more than 35 years, based on significant and continuing development and cooperation. Today, Cabo Verde and the EU share the same values, such as democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, while promoting and defending these values worldwide. The very successful evolution of the relationship in these areas led to the creation of the EU-Cabo Verde Special Partnership in 2007.

Besides ministerial annual meetings, an intense political dialogue has taken place in recent years through high-level meetings between the EU and Cabo Verdean political counterparts. During the last years, Cabo Verde was visited by the former President of teh European Commission, EU Commissioners and EU Deputies. On the other side, the Cabo Verdean authorities also visited the EU and its Member-States, such as the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, the Prime-Minister and other Ministers. During these high-level meetings relevant topics were discussed, like for example, the Special Partnership EU-CV (2007).

The  EU-Cabo Verde Special partnership implemented since 2007, is a relationship based in a constant political dialogue that aims to raise the donor-beneficiary relationship to a partnership covering many other common interests. This Special Partnership is unique in teh African continent, the only one that the EU has with an African country and it is based in following six pillars:

  •     Good governance
  •     Security/stability
  •     Regional integration
  •     Technical and Regulatory Convergence
  •     Knowledge-based Society
  •     The fight against poverty, and development.

In 2017, the EU and Cabo Verde agreed on three new cooperation areas in the context of the Special Partnership: 1. Investment, Jobs and Growth; 2. Blue Economy; 3. Public Administration Reform.

In the framework of this partnership, an Action Plan for Security and Stability pursued in 2014, and adopted at the Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg in 2015.

In 2008 the EU and Cabo Verde signed a Mobility Partnership, that provides a political framework for political diaologue and cooperation concerning Migartion. This partnership includes two concrete agreeements: 1. Visa Facilitation and 2. Readmission, which facilitates the obtention of visas for the Cabo Verdeans to acess the Schengen Area.

Centro Comum de Vistos, managed by one of the EU MS, Portugal, a project that is part of this partnership, receives visa requests to travel to arouns 17 EU Countries.

The EU remains the main trading partner of Cabo Verde.

Europe remains the main export destination (92.9 %) with Spain being the top destination for primarily fishery products. Imports reduced 8.9% (EU share is 75.5 %, primarily consumption products) and re-exportations declined with 63.9% (including fuel bunkering activities).

International trade is essential for the economic development of Cabo Verde. Through the General System of Preferences (GSP+), the EU facilitates the entrances of the products from 9 countries in its markets, among them, Cabo Verde, with exemption from customs duty. This exemption is granted because these countries comply with the international law conventions regarding Human Rights, Labour Rights, Good Governance and Environment Protection. Cabo Verde is the only African country benefiting from this program.

European Development Fund is the main source of cooperation between the EU and Cabo Verde. The EDF includes contributions from EU Member States towards financing cooperation projects and activities in ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific), previously identified during the design of the relevant National Indicative Programmes (NIP) and Regional Indicative Programmes (IPM).

Budget Support is a EU cooperation instrument that aims to contribute to Public Aid for Development. It consists in financial transfers made directly to Cabo Verde's National Treasury, that on its side compromises with a good management of public finances. Cabo Verde benefits from the EU Budget Support modality since 1998 and it is currently the main EU financial contribution to the archipelago, around 95%. In the last 4 years, since 2016, the EU's contribution for the Budget Support has been more than EUR 55 Million, being EUR 14 Million an emergency contribution for Drought and Floods (climate change consequences).

Civil Society

In Cabo Verde, the European Union has been supporting various civil society projects through the thematic programme "Civil society organizations and local authorities", the latter in the area of cultural heritage and sustainable tourism following calls for proposals 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Five new projects that aims to support and strengthen civil society, as an actor of sustainable development, in the promotion of rights, in the active participation of women and young people and in the protection of children in vulnerable situations has been implemented since February 2020.

This year it was published the Mapping for Civil Society, funded by the EU.

Gender Equality

The main objectives of the European Union between 2020-2025 in terms of Gender Equality are the following:

  • end gender-based violence;
  • to challenge gender stereotypes;
  • eliminate gender gaps in the labour market;
  • achieving equal participation in different sectors of the economy;
  • tackling the pay and pension gap;
  • eliminating gender gaps and achieving gender balance in decision-making and policy.

The EU Strategy is based on a dual approach of gender mainstreaming combined with targeted actions, and intersection is the horizontal principle for its implementation. This strategy focuses on actions within the EU, but also guides EU external policy towards gender equality and women's empowerment in partner countries such as Cabo Verde.

The EU is stepping up its support for gender equality in the country by promoting: sustainable legal and structural changes in national social practices and policies through a variety of local measures, events and campaigns. Gender indicators have been introduced in the EU budget support programme, such as the creation of a support fund for GBV victims, and support to the national budget to address gender issues. In 2019, a budget support indicator of 1 MEUR was decided for the approval and implementation of the Parity Law, effectively adopted by Parliament on 28 October 2019.

In April 2019, the EU in Cabo Verde funded and organised a Workshop on "Gender and Development in International Cooperation" for the staff of the Delegation and Embassies of the Member States present in the country. Based on the final report, this activity had a very positive impact in improving the technical capacities of the participants. This activity was part of a commitment by EU Delegations to change the institutional culture of the Commission services and the EEAS in order to fulfil more effectively the EU's gender commitments as set out in the GAP. This year another workshop was given to Cabo Verdean civil society organizations.

EU Green Deal

The EU's ne Green Deal is "a new growth strategy to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, so that there will be no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and where economic growth is significant. "The environmental ambition of the Green Deal will not be achieved by the EU alone", but in cooperation with its partners.
In addition to the new pillar of the special partnership (Oceans and Blue Economy), the EU in Cabo Verde has been developing other projects in the area of climate, energy transition and ecosystems, such as:

  • Reflor Project: "Capacity Building and Resilience of the Forest Sector in Cabo Verde" (Climate);
  • Project "Strengthening the Regional Anchorage of the Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance Centre of Cabo Verde (CERMI) (Energy);
  • Farfish project - results-based management and capacity building for EU Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and international waters (Ecosystems) - Horizon 2020.

Blue Economy

The EU has actively contributed to the development of the Blue Economy in CaboVerde.
International Ocean Governance is concerned with managing and using the oceans and their resources in a way that keeps them healthy, productive, safe and resilient. Today, 60% of the oceans are outside national areas of jurisdiction. This implies a shared international responsibility. The European Union's action in International Ocean Governance aims to build a structure and, together with other partners, improve the state of this crucial resource open to all States.
International Ocean Governance, as well as the Blue Economy and Maritime Spatial Planning are increasingly a priority for EU External Action. Due to its unique geographical position, Cabo Verde is a valuable EU partner with great potential in these areas. Based on the Fisheries Agreement between the EU and CV there are several activities and projects developed in these areas, especially in the Blue Economy. The development in this area will allow for a sustainable economic growth of Cabo Verde .
The Blue Economy in Cabo Verde contributes to the following areas: trade, job creation, scientific knowledge, consolidation of the value chain, environmental protection and biodiversity and maritime safety.

  • Fisheries Partnership Agreement

The Fisheries Agreement in place between the EU and Cabo Verde benefits both parts and aims to promote a responsible and sustainable fishing in Cabo Verdean waters, as well as reduce illegal fishing and overfishing. More information about the Fisheries Agreement here.

A new complementary protocol of to the Fisheries Agreement was signed in May 2019. Under the new protocol for the period of five years,  69 EU vessels can fish for tuna and similar species in Cabo‑ Verdean waters. In return, the EU will pay Cabo  Verde a contribution of EUR 750,000 per year .Of this annual contribution, EUR 350,000 are reserved for promoting sustainable fisheries management in Cabo  Verde, including capacity building for reinforced control and supervision and development of fish stocks, development of the blue economy to generate growth and jobs, and support to local fishing with a view to sustainable exploration, supply and development in the sector.In addition, EU fishing vetoes will pay an estimated amount of EUR 600,000 per year. Cabo  Verde will allow approximately 7 million euro for the period 2019-2024.

EU sectoral support to the fishing sector for claims in particular to:

  • provide evidence of scientific knowledge underlying fishing rights granted under the agreements and provide more information on the global fishing effort carried out in the waters of partner countries;
  • strengthen the good governance of the agreements and including a class protecting human rights, as well as gradually increasing the contribution from EU Shipowners to the costs of access;
  • promoting sustainable fishing in the waters of partner countries, better defining the objectives of the concessional of the EU and ensuring regular supervision.


Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC-FEDER) cooperation programme 2014-2020

Cooperation between Cabo Verde and the outermost regions of Macaronesia has been promoted through the European territorial cooperation programme, particularly through the different phases of the MAC-FEDER programme.

The current MAC-FEDER programme 2014-2020 includes a significant budget of EUR 112 Million. Cabo Verde participates in 42 projects, most of the most significant partnership with third countries in the MAC region.


The EU supports several Cultural projects, namely in the areas of promotion and dissemination of musical groups, gastronomy, museology, local handicraft, among others.

The Programme PALOP-TL is inserted in this thematic, and implemente by Instituto Camoes, I.P.

The PALOP and TL - EU co-operation is intended to strengthen the relationship between the Portuguese speaking African countries and East Timor and the EU Member States. It has been active since 1992, having been extended to East Timor in 2007. Cabo Verde benefits from several projects and activities.

More infomation about the PALOP-TL program here.

One of the Special Partnership Pillars is the Knowledge-based Society. Therefore, students and Cabo Verdean Institutions benefit from European Programmes in these areas, namely HORIZON 2020 and ERASMUS+.

Is the biggest Research and Innovation EU Programme. EUR 80 Million were availabre between 2014 and 2020.

Is a Programme financed by the EU that aims to promote academic exchanges between EU MS and EU international partners. Cabo Verdean Academic Institutions benefit from this Programme. Scholarships are awarded every year to Cabo Verdean students and professors that want to study in the EU Member-States.


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