This article provides an analysis of the recent negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) for the signature of a new agreement, following the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement of 2000 (CPA).
In particular, we focus on the outcome of the last 20 years of cooperation under the Cotonou Convention, highlighting the positive aspects of the Agreement, but also and above all its criticalities and failures. Taking into consideration such results and the interaction between the two organisations, we analyse the main issues to be solved during the recently concluded negotiating process. The different proposals on the table to revitalise the partnership are particularly important in this paper: whilst the EU is in principle favourable to a so-called ‘umbrella agreement’, consisting of a single agreement applicable to the EU and all ACP countries and regional protocols, the ACP States look more in favour of maintaining the status quo. Moreover, the financing, the legal basis, the model of implementation and the main players of the partnership are key points that will be discussed in the essay.