Cotonou 2000 ACP-EU Agreement

Sectors : Employment and Training, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Investment, Political governance, Peace-building and peacekeeping, Institutional development, Economic governance and public finance management, Human Rights
Organisation : EU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Employment and Training


The Approach

The objectives of ACP-EC development cooperation shall be pursued through integrated strategies that incorporate economic, social, cultural, environmental and institutional elements that must be locally owned. Cooperation shall thus provide a coherent enabling framework of support to the ACP’s own development strategies, ensuring complementarity and interaction between the various elements. In this context and within the framework of development policies and reforms pursued by the ACP States, ACP-EC cooperation strategies shall aim at:

(a) achieving rapid and sustained job-creating economic growth, developing the private sector, increasing employment, improving access to productive economic activities and resource, and fostering regional cooperation and integration;
(b) promoting human and social development helping to ensure that the fruits of growth are widely and equitably shared and promoting gender equality;
(c) promoting cultural values of communities and specific interactions with economic, political and social elements;
(d) promoting institutional reforms and development, strengthening the institutions necessary for the consolidation of democracy, good governance and for efficient and competitive market economies; and building capacity for development and partnership; and
(e) promoting environmental sustainability, regeneration and best practices, and the preservation of natural resource base.”


Commitments in: Peace and security - Peace-building and peacekeeping

Political dialogue

3. The dialogue shall cover all the aims and objectives laid down in this Agreement as well as all questions of common, general, regional or sub-regional interest. Through dialogue, the Parties shall contribute to peace, security and stability and promote a stable and democratic political environment. It shall encompass cooperation strategies as well as global and sectoral policies, including environment, gender, migration and questions related to the cultural heritage...

...5. ...Broadly based policies to promote peace and to prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts shall play a prominent role in this dialogue, as shall the need to take full account of the objective of peace and democratic stability in the definition of priority areas of cooperation.”


Commitments in: Governance - Institutional development


Macroeconomic and structural reforms and policies

1. Cooperation shall support ACP efforts to implement:

(a) macroeconomic growth and stabilisation through disciplined fiscal and monetary policies that result in the reduction of inflation, and improve external and fiscal balances, by strengthening fiscal discipline, enhancing budgetary transparency and efficiency, improving the quality, the equity and composition of fiscal policy; and
(b) structural policies designed to reinforce the role of the different actors, especially the private sector and improve the environment for increases in business, investment and employment, as well as:
(i) liberalise trade and foreign exchange regimes and current account convertibility, having regard to the particular circumstances of each country;
(ii) strengthen labour and product-market reforms;
(iii) encourage financial systems reforms which help to develop viable banking and nonbanking systems, capital markets and financial services, including micro-finance;
(iv) improve the quality of private and public services; and
(v) encourage regional cooperation and progressive integration of macroeconomic and monetary policies...”



Institutional development and capacity building

1.Cooperation shall pay systematic attention to institutional aspects and in this context, shall support the efforts of the ACP States to develop and strengthen structures, institutions and procedures...

2. The Parties shall work together in the fight against bribery and corruption in all their societies.

3. Cooperation shall support ACP States’ efforts to develop their public institutions into a positive force for growth and development and to achieve major improvements in the efficiency of government services as they affect the lives of ordinary people. In this context, cooperation shall assist the reform, rationalisation and the modernisation of the public sector. Specifically, cooperation support shall focus on:

(a) the reform and modernisation of the civil service;
(b) legal and judicial reforms and modernisation of justice systems;
(c) improvement and strengthening of public finance management;
(d) accelerating reforms of the banking and financial sector;
(e) improvement of the management of public assets and reform of public procurement procedures; and
(f) political, administrative, economic and financial decentralisation.

4. Cooperation shall also assist to restore and/or enhance critical public sector capacity and to support institutions needed to underpin a market economy, especially support for:

(a) developing legal and regulatory capabilities needed to cope with the operation of a market economy, including competition policy and consumer policy;
(b) improving capacity to analyse, plan, formulate and implement policies, in particular in the economic, social, environmental, research, science and technology and innovation fields;
(c) modernising, strengthening and reforming financial and monetary institutions and improving procedures;
(d) building the capacity at the local and municipal levels which is required to implement decentralisation policy and to increase the participation of the population in the development process; and
(e) developing capacity in other critical areas such as:
(i) international negotiations; and
(ii) management and coordination of external aid.”


Commitments in: Governance - Human Rights


Essential Elements and Fundamental Element

1. Cooperation shall be directed towards sustainable development centred on the human person, who is the main protagonist and beneficiary of development; this entails respect for and promotion of all human rights...

...2. The Parties refer to their international obligations and commitments concerning respect for human rights. They reiterate their deep attachment to human dignity and human rights, which are legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples. Human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-related. The Parties undertake to promote and protect all fundamental freedoms and human rights, be they civil and political, or economic, social and cultural. In this context, the Parties reaffirm the equality of men and women.

The Parties reaffirm that democratisation, development and the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. Democratic principles are universally recognised principles underpinning the organisation of the State to ensure the legitimacy of its authority, the legality of its actions reflected in its constitutional, legislative and regulatory system, and the existence of participatory mechanisms. On the basis of universally recognised principles, each country develops its democratic culture...

...4. The Partnership shall actively support the promotion of human rights, processes of democratisation, consolidation of the rule of law, and good governance...

..These areas will also be a focus of support for development strategies. The Community shall provide support for political, institutional and legal reforms and for building the capacity of public and private actors and civil society in the framework of strategies agreed jointly between the State concerned and the Community.”