Future EU-ACP relations after 2020

The application of the Cotonou Agreement has been extended until December 2020. This agreement was originally scheduled to expire in February 2020, but as negotiations on the future agreement are still ongoing, this expiration has been extended until the end of the year.

Negotiations on a new ACP-EU Partnership were launched in September 2018, in New York, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The initial rounds of talks focused mainly on the “common basis”, which sets out the values and principles that unite the EU and ACP countries and indicates the strategic priority areas in which the two sides intend to work together.

The future ACP-EU Partnership will serve to further consolidate the close political ties between the EU and ACP countries on the world stage. Together, the ACP countries and the EU represent more than 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats in the United Nations.

Both sides have agreed on key chapters on regional partnerships within the future ACP-EU agreement. In the coming weeks, the EU and ACP teams will continue negotiations, merging proposals and fine-tuning the text of the agreement. These include the general provisions, the means of cooperation, the institutional framework and the final provisions.

The EU will work towards an in-depth revised agreement, which will consist of a common basis for the ACP as a whole and three regional partnerships tailored for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific respectively.

It is envisaged that the future agreement will cover three keys priority areas such as:

– Migration and asylum

– Sexual and reproductive health and rights

– Sustainable development goals and multilateralism

These multi-level negotiations, the coronavirus crisis and difficulties in reaching agreement on sensitive issues, such as migration management and sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevented the new agreement from being finalized by the initial expiration date set in the Cotonou Agreement. Thus, to avoid a legal vacuum in relations, the provisions of this agreement were extended until the end of 2021.

After two years of negotiations, a political agreement was reached in December 2020, even on the most complex issues.

The European Parliament insisted on maintaining the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly and succeeded in this endeavor; in addition, three regional parliamentary assemblies will be created in the future institutional set-up of the partnerships.


The digitalisation of cross-border cases

The 23rd November, the European Parliament adopted two proposals aimed at reducing delays, increasing legal certainty and making access to justice cheaper and easier. 

All this through cross-border videoconferencing and exchange of documents in a secure and fast way (to hear a person in a cross-border procedure, videoconferencing can be used instead of requiring a physical presence).

The new rules will implement various digital solutions for the taking of evidence and the service of documents across borders to make cooperation between national courts in different EU countries more effective.

A decentralised information technology system will be set up to bring together national systems so that documents can be exchanged electronically more quickly and securely. The new rules include additional provisions to protect data and privacy when documents are transmitted and evidence taken.

The rules help simplify procedures and provide legal certainty for individuals and businesses, encouraging them to participate in international transactions, thus strengthening not only democracy but also the EU’s internal market.

The COVID-19 crisis has created many problems for the judicial system: there have been delays of in-person hearings and of cross-border serving of judicial documents; inabilities to obtain in-person legal aid; and the expiry of deadlines due to delays. At the same time, the rising number of insolvency cases and layoffs due to the pandemic make the courts’ work even more critical.

The proposals will enter into force 20 days following their publication in the EU’s official journal.

Source: European Parliament

Cours d’été de EURADA : édition 2020

À l’approche du mois de juillet, EURADA finalise la mise en place de son cours d’été annuel sur le thème de la gestion des projets de l’UE. Cet événement estival incontournable se déroulera désormais en ligne, de 10h00 à 11h30 les 1, 2 et 3 juillet.

Pendant ces trois jours, les praticiens du développement économique et les jeunes professionnels auront l’occasion d’acquérir des conseils et des astuces pratiques et utiles pour préparer des propositions de projets de haute qualité pour les agences de développement régional (ADR). Les participants pourront également élargir leur réseau de contacts grâce à la participation d’experts des RDA, de consultants de projets européens et de représentants de la Commission européenne. Ce cours d’été est une excellente occasion pour les participants d’obtenir un retour d’information direct et d’acquérir des connaissances auprès de gestionnaires de projets et de professionnels du développement économique expérimentés.

Au cours de ce cours d’été, plusieurs appels intéressants pour des agences de développement régional et des projets réussis dans le cadre de ces appels seront présentés. Au cours de chaque session, des explications détaillées seront données sur les différents aspects à prendre en compte lors de la préparation d’une proposition et de la mise en œuvre d’un projet : plan d’activités, partenariat du consortium, droits de propriété intellectuelle, communication, budget, etc. Vous pouvez consulter l’expérience de l’année dernière.

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