Cotonou Partnership Agreement
 ACP-EU Relations in a Changing World


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cotonou Partnership Agreement: dialogue comes first

Maastricht, 19 December. At the ECDPM Seminar on The Cotonou Partnership Agreement: What role in a changing world?, Carl Greenidge, former ACP Secretary General and former Director of CTA pointed out that "the Cotonou Agreement is unique in its very nature: first, it provides the 'South' with a permanent platform for dialogue, to discuss the principles of cooperation; second, its implementation mechanisms are joint; third, and this is the most important element, it adds the dimension of non-state actors participation."

According to Greenidge, their role is "crucial, especially because in most ACP states, the capacities of Governments are limited . . . Only if you bring other actors into the process will you achieve better results, using the same amount of resources."

However, he added: "the ACP Group as a whole has still to learn how to effectively manage a multi-stakeholders platform of this kind."

Reflecting on the ECDPM Seminar, Greenidge valued it as a "success, both in terms of quality of the debates and final results. A lively discussion was in fact needed, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, as well as the challenges lying ahead. This leaves room for optimism, based on the recognised importance of the Agreement and the fact that problems can be tackled."

"Once again, ECDPM demonstrated its effectiveness as a platform for discussion, not only by launching the debate and providing a space for it, but also, and that's the most important thing, by identifying the key people that can contribute to a thorough and forward-looking discussion".

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Unfortunately, I did not attend to the seminar. However the 19 November I have issued a critical paper on EPAs that you can download from http://solidarite.asso.fr/home/textes2000.htm,
It is available in English and French, in pdf and word formats.
Thanks for your comments.
Jacques Berthelot
Hi, Glad to see that ECDPM is reconciling advocacy with blogging. Keep up the good work!
--emmanuel.k.bensah, Third World Network-Africa, accra, Ghana
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