On December 7th, CONCORD and the Slovak Presidency will host an open dialogue on the future of the Cotonou Agreement. The event, titled “Stand up for a better future for all” will bring together authorities and Civil Society Organisations from both the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, to discuss the future of the EU’s partnership with 79 ACP states after 2020.



The Cotonou Agreement is a Partnership Agreement signed between the EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in 2000. It builds on three pillars of cooperation: political dialogue, development cooperation, and trade/economic development.

Formal negotiations between the ACP and the EU must start by mid-2018 at the latest. This means that 2017 is a pivotal year for EU Member States to influence the EU’s mandate to negotiate a new agreement with the ACP Group (89 countries). A draft negotiating mandate will be released by the European Commission next year, for approval by Member States. The draft mandate will build on the recent communication of the European Commission launched a few days ago. 

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement recognises civil society as a key actor. It is therefore crucial that Civil Society is heard in the negotiation process and the coming months offer plenty of opportunities for us to do so. Our event offers a unique opportunity to gather CSOS and authorities from both the EU and ACP states.

For more background information about the Cotonou Agreement, we invite you to visit this page.



The objective of the event is to provide a platform for ACP and EU authorities and CSOs to exchange views on the ACP-EU framework beyond 2020. Joint messages developed by ACP and EU CSOs will be presented and we hope leaders from both groupings will commit to further dialogue with civil society during the negotiation process.

Location: Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU – Avenue de Cortenbergh 107, 1000 Brussels

Time: 7 December, from 2.30pm to 5.00pm

Confirmed speakers:

  • E. Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes, ACP Secretary General
  • Linda McAvan, Chair of the DEVE Committee, European Parliament
  • Kristin de Peyron, Directorate of Pan-African Affairs, European External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Koen Doens, Director for Development Coordination for East and Southern Africa, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), European Commission

Contact person: Ella Masle-Farquhar

Please note that an English/French interpretation will be available. CONCORD would like to thank all ACP partners, its members, the IFP and the Slovak Presidency for organising this event.


We look forward to welcoming you on December 7th!


If you cannot the event, we warmly invite you to watch the live streaming of the session from 2.30 to 5.00pm.

Available on the D-day below and on our YouTube channel.



The event is co-organised in partnership with the Slovak Presidency.