The partnership between Mauritania and the European Union is based on political dialogue, economic and trade relations, and cooperation covering many areas.
Signatory countries to the Cotonou Agreement, on which relations between the EU and Mauritania are based, have pledged to respect certain conditions regarding human rights, governance and the rule of law. In this context, political dialogue meetings were carried out with the Mauritanian government, opposition parties and civil society.
In November 2005, following the coup, progress made regarding democracy and the rule of law resulted in the decision to finance projects to support the transition process. It was also in this context that the 2006-2007 elections, observed by the EU, took place.
In 2008, another coup saw the suspension part of most of EU-Mauritania cooperation and related projects. This freeze on cooperation ended when the Dakar Agreement was signed in July 2009. This agreement established the basis for resolving the political crisis and returning to constitutional rule.
From the Dakar Agreement, the Mauritanian government undertook a series of commitments to good governance regarding human rights, the participation of civil society, dialogue with the opposition and the opening up of audio-visual media. The full resumption of cooperation was effective from 2010.