Post-Cotonou negotiations resume at ministerial level
The EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have resumed talks at the highest political level, a first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with the objective to advance talks towards the finishing line on the new Post Cotonou agreement (EC Press release, 12 June). The meeting has provided an important opportunity for the chief negotiators, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and Professor Robert Dussey, to build on the work, which has continued at technical level over the past weeks.
Welcoming this step forward in the negotiation talks, Commissioner for International Partnerships and chief EU negotiator, Jutta Urpilainen, said today: “The ongoing negotiations with OACPS countries remain a priority. Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the negotiations are progressing in the same cordial spirit that has guided our talks until now. I am pleased to see that we are getting closer and closer to the finishing line.”
Professor Robert Dussey, Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, the OACPS’ Chief Negotiator and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, said: “The negotiations for renewed and revamped relations with our European partners have moved forward satisfactorily, despite COVID-19, thanks to modern technology. I am happy to say that the Members of the OACPS remain committed and are on course to conclude a partnership agreement that will also take into account the unprecedented challenges that now confront us at national, regional and global levels due to COVID-19.”
In the coming weeks the EU and OACPS negotiating teams will step up their efforts with the aim of reaching an agreement
as soon as possible. Negotiations will continue virtually.