Cotonou 2000 ACP-EU Agreement

Sectors : International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade, Regional cooperation and integration, Regional trade, ICT, Sustainable development, Employment and Training
Organisation : EU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Development partnerships - Regional cooperation and integration




General approach

Cooperation shall provide effective assistance to achieve the objectives and priorities which the ACP States have set themselves in the context of regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration, including inter-regional and intra-ACP cooperation. Regional Cooperation can also involve Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and outermost regions. In this context, cooperation support shall aim to:

(a) foster the gradual integration of the ACP States into the world economy;
(b) accelerate economic cooperation and development both within and between the regions of the ACP States;
(c) promote the free movement of persons, goods, services, capital, labour and technology among ACP countries;
(d) accelerate diversification of the economies of the ACP States; and coordination and harmonisation of regional and sub-regional cooperation policies; and
(e) promote and expand inter and intra-ACP trade and with third countries.


Regional economic integration

Cooperation shall, in the area of regional economic integration, support:

(a) developing and strengthening the capacities of:
(i) regional integration institutions and organisations set up by the ACP States to promote regional cooperation and integration, and
(ii) national governments and parliaments in matters of regional integration;
(b) fostering participation of Least Developed Countries (LDC) ACP States in the establishment of regional markets and sharing the benefits therefrom;
(c) implementation of sectoral reform policies at regional level;
(d) liberalisation of trade and payments;
(e) promoting cross-border investments both foreign and domestic, and other regional or sub-regional economic integration initiatives; and
(f) taking account of the effects of net transitional costs of regional integration on budget revenue and balance of payments.


Regional Cooperation

1. Cooperation shall, in the area of regional cooperation, support a wide variety of functional and thematic fields which specifically address common problems and take advantage of scale of economies, including:

(a) infrastructure particularly transport and communications and safety thereof and services, including the development of regional opportunities in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
(b) the environment; water resource management and energy;
(c) health, education and training;
(d) research and technological development;
(e) regional initiatives for disaster preparedness and mitigation; and
(f) other areas, including arms control, action against drugs, organised crimes, money laundering, bribery and corruption.

2. Cooperation shall also support inter and intra-ACP cooperation schemes and initiatives...”


Commitments in: Infrastructure - ICT


Information and Communication Technologies, and Information Society...

...2. They therefore reconfirm their respective commitments under existing multilateral agreements, in particular the protocol on Basic Telecommunications attached to the GATS, and invite those ACP countries, which are not yet members of these agreements, to accede to them...

...4. The Parties will therefore take measures that will enable inhabitants of ACP countries easy access to information and communication technologies, through, amongst other, the following measures:

– the development and encouragement of the use of affordable renewable energy resources;

– the development and deployment of more extensive low-cost wireless networks.”


Commitments in: Trade - International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade





1.In view of the objectives and principles set out above, the Parties agree to conclude new World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatible trading arrangements, removing progressively barriers to trade between them and enhancing cooperation in all areas relevant to trade...




General Provisions

2. They reaffirm their respective commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and underline the need for special and differential treatment to ACP suppliers of services;

5. The Community shall support the ACP States’ efforts to strengthen their capacity in the supply of services. Particular attention shall be paid to services related to labour, business, distribution, finance, tourism, culture and construction and related engineering services with a view to enhancing their competitiveness and thereby increasing the value and the volume of their trade in goods and services.”



General Provisions

1. The Parties acknowledge the growing importance of new areas related to trade in facilitating progressive integration of the ACP States into the world economy. They therefore agree to strengthen their cooperation in these areas by establishing full and coordinated participation in the relevant international fora and agreements.

2. The Community shall support the ACP States’ efforts, in accordance with the provisions set out in this Agreement and the development strategies agreed between the Parties to strengthen their capacity to handle all areas related to trade, including, where necessary, improving and supporting the institutional framework...


Standardisation and Certification

1. The Parties agree to cooperate more closely in the field of standardisation, certification and quality assurance to remove unnecessary technical barriers and to reduce differences between them in those areas, so as to facilitate trade. In this context, they reaffirm their commitment under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to trade, annexed to the WTO Agreement (TBT Agreement)...


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

1. The Parties recognise the right of each Party to adopt or to enforce sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, subject to the requirement that these measures do not constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction to trade, generally. To this end, they reaffirm their commitments under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, annexed to the WTO Agreement (SPS-Agreement), taking account of their respective level of development...

2. They further undertake to reinforce coordination, consultation and information as regards notification and application of proposed sanitary and phytosanitary measures, in accordance with the SPS-Agreement whenever these measures might affect the interests of either Party. They also agree on prior consultation and coordination within the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, the International Office of Epizootics and the International Plant Protection Convention, with a view to furthering their common interests.

3. The Parties agree to strengthen their cooperation with a view to reinforcing the capacity of the public and the private sector of the ACP countries in this field.”



Trade and Environment

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to promoting the development of international trade in such a way as to ensure sustainable and sound management of the environment, in accordance with the international conventions and undertakings in this area and with due regard to their respective level of development. They agree that the special needs and requirements of ACP States should be taken into account in the design and implementation of environment measures...”



Trade and Labour Standards

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to the internationally recognised core labour standards, as defined by the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions, and in particular the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labour, the elimination of worst forms of child labour and non-discrimination in respect to employment.

2. They agree to enhance cooperation in this area, in particular in the following fields:
– exchange of information on the respective legislation and work regulation;
– the formulation of national labour legislation and strengthening of existing legislation;
– educational and awareness-raising programmes;
– enforcement of adherence to national legislation and work regulation...”