The S&D Group welcomes the publication yesterday by the Council of the recently adopted negotiating directives for the future partnership agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). The new EU-ACP agreement is to replace the current Cotonou Agreement that will expire in 2020.
S&D spokesperson for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Maria Arena MEP, said:
"The S&D Group has long called for increased transparency in EU negotiations with third countries, including the publication of the EU mandates, so we welcome this step by the Council. We expect this to now be the norm with EU negotiating directives.
"MEPs recently adopted our priorities for the post-Cotonou agreement and we particularly emphasised the importance of maintaining the ACP-EU framework. Both the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have recognised the strength of this unique partnership in having a joint forum through which to address our common challenges. We are glad to see that the Parliament, Commission and Council share this objective along with our ACP partners.
"We will closely monitor the negotiations to ensure the final agreement contains a strong parliamentary dimension, enhanced monitoring and accountability on human rights, and a strengthened role for civil society. It is essential that the new agreement ensures increased cohesion at regional level, within the ACP Group of States and through its partnership with the EU."