Cotonou Partnership Agreement
 ACP-EU Relations in a Changing World


Monday, December 18, 2006

An effective partnership

Maastricht, 18 December. According to Sinikka Antila, Head of the Development Policy and Planning at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the ACP and EU countries is a unique instrument. Speaking at the ECDPM Seminar on "The Cotonou Partnership Agreement: What role in a changing world?", she suggested that its uniqueness is embedded in the CPA's broad scope - from political dialogue to trade as well as aid, holistic approach, and multi-actor involvement. Bringing together different perspectives, it is also a very good example and tool for policy coherence for development. The value of the CPA lies in its broad agenda and jointly agreed values and principles within which all kinds of region and
country specific activities can take place.

With increasing aid volumes, the most important development challenge for the EU and ACP is to "make aid effective." Through the CPA, the EU has an opportunity to act as a "role model" for other donors by providing its aid effectively while also bearing in mind issues of local ownership. It's not just an issue for the EU, it is a joint
responsibility of the ACP and the EU.

Ranging over some other current issues on the agenda, she argued that "making EPAs development friendly" is not just about providing more support – the development agenda needs to be incorporated in the EPAs.

On a more bureaucratic note, she noted that much has been done to improve the management of EU aid, but that we need to address the issues that make "disbursement slow and cumbersome, without sacrificing fiscal control."

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