EU to open new negotiations for ACP countries

Friday, June 22, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that the European Commission has received authorisation from the European Council to open negotiations for a new partnership agreement with 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, including Jamaica.

Foreign Affairs Minister and President of the ACP Council of Ministers Kamina Johnson Smith welcomed the adoption by the European Council on 21st June of the EU negotiating mandate for a post-Cotonou Agreement with the ACP Group.

“The adoption of the negotiating mandate by the European Council is a most timely and welcome development. It forms a necessary step in the process towards the launch of the negotiations which is expected to take place in July and will chart a new and dynamic course in the framework for ACP-EU cooperation,” Johnson-Smith said in a release from the ministry today.

The new agreement to be in place after 2020 will seek to strengthen and modernise this partnership with emphasis on sustainable development and enhanced cooperation in multilateral fora.

Johnson Smith said that, “Jamaica remains deeply committed to the ACP-EU relationship and will continue to play an active role in the evolution of the new relationship”.

Jamaica is a core member of the ACP Central Negotiating Group (CNG), which is charged with responsibility for the negotiations on behalf of the ACP Group.

For its part, the ACP Group adopted its own negotiating mandate on 30th May 2018 during the 107th Session of ACP Council held in Lome, Togo.

Johnson Smith in presiding over that meeting guided the discussions to a consensus on the terms of the mandate and the adoption of an all-ACP approach to the negotiations with the EU.

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement was concluded in 2000 and is set to expire in February 2020. The Agreement has fostered the development of a diverse partnership between the EU and the ACP in areas such as economic and trade cooperation, political dialogue and development cooperation.

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