During a breakfast briefing held this morning in Brussels, some members of the ACP Eminent Persons Group (EPG) – among whom H.E Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former president of the Republic of Nigeria – discussed the ACP Group’s role, challenges and perspectives in the modern global arena, in view of the end of the current cooperation agreement with the EU in 2020.
The intergovernmental association, which gathers 79 member states – and 40 of the 49 least developed countries in the world – signed the Cotonou Agreement in 1975 which gives the ACP group a privileged relationship with the European Community, based on the principles of development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation, political dialogue.
In an ever-changing political, social, and economic scenario, the ACP needs to revalue the historical connections and relations, international investment opportunity and address global challenges, by reinventing the association structure and enhancing the effectiveness of its action on the territory.
Financial sustainability and quality of results will be the main goals of ACP’s reforms – and the reduction of mandates should the useful to that purpose. ACP is also willing to focus on issues such as the informal sector, the private sector and the empowerment of women, in a transnational perspective that would have a broader impact on life quality of the poorest people in the member states.
Actually, the EU finances most of the group’s activities, while contributions by the member states are often poor or duties not respected. Despite of this, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo stressed the reciprocal importance of UE-ACP partnership, politically, financially and strategically, but also stressed that ACP Group will need to go beyond EU, not being able to rely on Europe forever and opening up to the emerging actors of the global economic arena.