EU-ACP relations after Cotonou Agreement: Re-set, re-launch or retreat?

Struck in 2000 in Benin, the Cotonou Agreement has shaped relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) for nearly 20 years. The accord expires in 2020 and negotiations between the European Union and the ACP on its successor will begin in the coming weeks.

But while Cotonou Mark I was seen primarily as a trade and development instrument, the priorities for Cotonou 2 for both blocs have evolved. European countries increasingly view their relations with Africa through the prism of migration-control.

African countries are in the process of drawing up their own continent-wide free trade area and will speak as one voice in the talks. Caribbean and Pacific nations, for their part, want to see more investment and enhanced trade with Europe.

Can these competing demands be reconciled?

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