COTONOU AGREEMENT: A Great Opportunity for Economic Operators
On December 3, 2020, the EU and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States reached a political agreement on a new partnership agreement to succeed the Cotonou Agreement. At the conclusion of the negotiations, the post-Cotonou agreement was signed on April 15, 2021.
The new partnership agreement will serve as the new legal framework for the EU’s relations with the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The agreement aims to strengthen the capacity of the EU and ACP countries to jointly address global challenges.
It establishes common principles and covers the following priority areas:
The Cotonou Agreement is a close partnership based on a number of principles:
Specifically, apart from the central government, which is the main partner, the partnership is open to other actors of various types, in order to encourage the inclusion of all sectors of society, including the private sector and civil society organizations, in political, economic and social life;
The real innovation consists in the fact that the actors of cooperation, therefore, are no longer only Central Governments but also so-called non-state actors such as the private sector, economic and social partners, including trade union organizations, and civil society in all its forms. They are recognized insofar as they respond to the needs of the population, demonstrate specific competencies and are organized and managed in a democratic and transparent manner.
In this way, companies also acquire their centrality to the extent that they become the direct recipients of financial contributions from the European Fund for the development projects they wish to carry out in the countries participating in the Agreement, without the funds necessarily having to “pass through” the central governments of those countries.
To better understand, it could be hypothesized that the contractor has to carry out a construction project commissioned by the central government of an African country but receives its payment DIRECTLY from the European Fund.
Our organization promotes “accompanying” companies and all economic operators who intend to build infrastructures, agricultural projects, etc. in these countries, and thus use the opportunities arising from the Cotonou Agreement, through its international relations, interposing itself between the company, the central government and the European funding body.
Our activity could be to share with the Central Government representatives the need to realize a work, and to propose the companies that have the appropriate credentials, in compliance with the regulations in force.
In case of awarding of the contract, where, for example, it is a building work, our organization will follow all the institutional and administrative stages of the process to ensure both the central government and the company the realization of the development project identified.
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