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The Treaty of Rome,1957, which established the European Economic Community expressed solidarity with the colonies and overseas countries and territories and a commitment to contribute to their prosperity.
From 1963 onwards, development cooperation between the European Union and the ACP States has been governed by framework agreements; Yaoundé I (1963-69), Yaoundé II (1969-1975), Lomé I (1975-1980), Lomé II (1980-1985), Lomé III (1985-1990) and Lomé IV (1990-2000).
In 2000 the Cotonou Partnership Agreement was signed and ratified between the, at the time, 15 Member States of the European Union and 79 ACP States. The Agreement covers a period of 20 years and foresees revision of the Agreement every five years.
For each five-year cycle, a Country Strategy Paper (CSP) and a National Indicative Programme (NIP) is negotiated by the European Union and each ACP State. The CSP and NIP sets the development targets and establishes a budget plan. The funds stem from the European Development Fund (EDF). On a regional level, there is a Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) and a Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) also funded from the EDF.