Commissioner for International Partnerships and EU chief negotiator, Jutta Urpilainen, said: "This
new and comprehensive partnership with the largest group of partner countries is a major political
achievement and marks a turning point. In tune with the new international realities and challenges,
the Agreement is expected to be game-changing in strengthening the EU's bilateral relations with
each individual OACP State and their respective regions, positioning the OACPS-EU partnership as an
international force to advance common ambitions on the global stage."
Professor Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese
Abroad, Chairman of the Central Negotiating Group and Chief Negotiator of the OACPS, said at the
end of the formal conclusion of the negotiations: "The new agreement embodies the ambitions of
both Parties to renew the terms of their cooperation and to reposition their partnership around new
objectives in a world that has changed profoundly and is constant transformation. The negotiation
process was by no means a process without challenges, but I welcome the final outcome and
congratulate all the actors whose work has led to an agreement that includes a common core and
three regional protocols. By taking into account the concerns and expectations of the OACPS states,
the new agreement constitutes a solid basis for further reinforcing the already strong relationship
with the EU. Together we will work to address global challenges and we will do this in close
cooperation with other partners on the world stage."
Enhanced political cooperation at international level
The Agreement, that will succeed the Cotonou Agreement once both sides complete their internal
procedures for signature and conclusion, sets the scene for alliance-building and more coordinated
actions on the world stage where the group's impact can be significant to tackle some of the most
acute global challenges. Together, the EU and the members of the OACPS represent over 1.5 billion
people and more than half of the seats at the United Nations.
The new Agreement substantially modernises the cooperation and extends the scope and scale of the
EU and OACPS' ambitions to better address current and future challenges. Partners have raised their
commitments in priority areas such as: human rights, democracy and governance, peace and
security, human development which encompasses health, education and gender equality, as well as
environmental sustainability, climate change, sustainable development and growth, and migration
and mobility. The Agreement also includes a strong new regional focus and governance structure,
tailored to each region's needs, a first in over forty years of collaboration.
The signature, provisional application, and conclusion of the Agreement will require the approval by
the Council of the European Union, based on proposals from the European Commission. These
proposals, together with the negotiated text translated into all EU languages, will be transmitted to
the Council in the coming weeks.
The Council will decide on the conclusion only after having received the European Parliament's
consent, as indicated in Article 218 (6) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
The signature of the Agreement is expected in the second half of 2021. For its entry into force, the
parties will have to complete their respective internal procedures.
The post-Cotonou negotiations started in September 2018 in the margins of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York. The aim was to agree on a new agreement to succeed the Cotonou
Agreement and adapt the EU-OACPS relations to the new realities.
The Cotonou Agreement was initially due to expire in 2020, but its application was prolonged until
30 November 2021, unless the new Agreement enters into force or is provisionally applied before
The draft text that was agreed after over two-and-a-half years of negotiations, presents an ambitious
and strengthened political partnership between the EU and the members of the OACPS with the
objective of generating mutually beneficial outcomes on common interests.
Concretely, the Agreement is composed of a “common foundation”, which sets out the values and
principles that bring partners together and indicates the strategic priority areas that both sides
intend to work on. These are: (i) Human Rights, Democracy, and Governance in People-Centred and
Rights-Based Societies (ii) Peace and security, (iii) Human and social development, (iv)
Environmental sustainability and climate change, (v) Inclusive sustainable economic growth and
development, and (vi) Migration and mobility.
The Agreement combines this foundation part with three specific, action-oriented regional protocols
(Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) which focus on each region's needs. The regional protocols will have their
own specific governance to manage and steer the relations with the EU and different regions
involved, including through regional parliamentary assemblies. There will also be an overarching joint
OACPS-EU framework with a strong parliamentary dimension.
In April 2020, the ACP Group of States became the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific
States (OACPS), an international organisation with 79 members, following the entry into force of the
revised Georgetown Agreement.
For more information
Questions & Answers: Concluding the post-Cotonou negotiations on a new Partnership Agreement
with the members of the OACPS