However, some provisions of the Cotonou Agreement on Political Cooperation have never been implemented, such as Article 97, which provides for dialogue and sanctions against corrupt regimes. “This is a weakness of the agreement, ” admits a French diplomatic source. One of the pillars of political cooperation between the two blocs is human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, which both sides have committed to uphold. This cooperation is governed by Article 96 of the agreement, which allows for the suspension of aid in the event of repeated human rights violations. Article 96, which authorizes sanctions if political dialogue fails, has been regularly used by the EU in response to coups or human rights violations in Fiji (2000 and 2007), Zimbadwe (2002), republic (2003), Guinea-Bissau (2004 and 2011), Togo (2004), Madagascar (2020) and Burundi (2015). If no agreement is reached before the end of the consultations, the party that initiated the consultation process can take appropriate action. These measures must be proportionate to the offences in question and target those responsible for violating essential elements of the partnership, while minimizing the stagnation of negative effects on the population. They may include precautionary measures for ongoing cooperation projects and programmes or the suspension of projects, programmes and other forms of assistance. Ultimately, the full implementation of development aid under the agreement may be suspended. Due to the lack of consensus on the issue of migration, Member States are unable to agree on a mandate to begin negotiations on the future partnership agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. EURACTIV.fr reports In practice, the political dialogue planned by Cotonou has been used several times since the agreement came into force. The length of the consultation period depends on the nature and severity of the breach and the evolution of the discussions. It is established by mutual agreement between the parties and may not exceed one hundred and twenty days.

The agreement signed between the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in 2000 expires in 2020. It governs political, trade, cooperation and development relations between the two blocs, whose closer relations began in 1975 with the Lomé Convention. The achievements of the Cotonou agreement are to be discussed from 1 September. But the problem is that nothing is provided if this deadline is not met. The Cotonou Agreement has governed cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) since 2000.

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