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S&Ds: Good news for multilateralism – Au revoir Cotonou Agreement, welcome Samoa Agreement.

Date

15 Nov 2023

Sections

Global Europe
Finally, good news on the international horizon. After two years of debates, halts and restarts, vetoes, and hard negotiations, the new Post-Cotonou Agreement has officially been signed in Samoa today between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). This new multilateral instrument will constitute the new legal framework for the European Union’s relations with 47 countries in Africa, 16 in the Caribbean, and 15 in the Pacific, as well as the Republic of Maldives. The new Samoa Agreement has been reinforced, establishing a genuine partnership among equals whose aim is to go far beyond aid and trade. 
 
Institutionally, along with the annual Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), three new permanent Regional Parliamentary Assemblies (RPAs), one for each concerned continent, have been added. 
 
The Samoa Agreement is based on six key priority areas to address the main challenges throughout the next decades: human rights, democracy and governance; peace and security; human and social development; environmental sustainability and climate change; inclusive sustainable economic growth and development; and migration and mobility. 
 
The new Agreement contains key priorities for the S&Ds, namely the Sustainable Development Goals; the protection of human rights; poverty eradication; fighting inequalities and promoting gender equality; decent work; legal and circular migration; and recognition of displacement due to climate. The European Parliament is due to give its final consent during the Strasbourg session in early 2024.
 
S&D MEP and co-chair of the EU-ACP JPA, Carlos Zorrinho, said:
 
“As EU-ACP co-chair, representative of the European Parliament, and member of the S&D Group, I’m happy and proud to have achieved the entry into force of the new multilateral cooperation Samoa Agreement. It is extremely good news for multilateralism and equal partnership, as this new framework will have a positive impact on more than one hundred countries from four different continents. As Progressives, we can be particularly proud of having ensured a reinforced parliamentary dimension increasing the participation of people and civil societies, which represent the only way forward to face the great challenges ahead of us, from sustainable development, to peace and security.”
 
S&D coordinator in the EU-ACP JPA, Hannes Heide, commented:
 
“Au revoir Cotonou agreement, welcome Samoa Agreement. This is a new beginning in the relationship between the EU and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It’s a landmark agreement for our joint commitment to multilateralism and partnership on an equal footing. With rising global geopolitical tensions, this stands in stark contrast to those countries which act against the principles of international law and the international framework. This agreement will be crucial to ensure that the younger generation has a brighter future and more prospects, and therefore priority will be dedicated to education as it is the key to employment, stability, and sustainable prospects for people’s lives in their home countries.”