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ACP-EU Joint Institutions

ACP-EU Council of Ministers

The ACP-EU Council of Ministers is composed of a representative from each ACP State and EU country and a representative from the European Commission. The office of the President of the Council of Ministers is held alternately by a member of a EU country and a member of the government of an ACP State. The Council meets once a year on the initiative of the President and whenever it seems necessary. Its mission is to:

  • conduct the political dialogue;

  • adopt the policy guidelines and take the decisions necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Agreement, in particular as regards development strategies in the specific areas provided for by this Agreement or any other area that should prove relevant, and as regards procedures;

  • examine and resolve any issue liable to impede the effective and efficient implementation of this Agreement or present an obstacle to achieving its objectives;

  • ensure the smooth functioning of the consultation mechanisms.

For further information: http://www.acp.int/content/acp-acp-eu-council-m...

ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly was created out of a common desire to bring together the elected representatives of the European Community - the Members of the European Parliament - and the elected representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states ("ACP countries") that have signed the Cotonou Agreement: it is the only institution of its kind in the world.

It is the only international assembly in which the representatives of various countries sit together regularly with the aim of promoting the interdependence of North and South. Since the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union and EU enlargement it has acquired a more prominent role. A substantial part of the work of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly is directed towards promoting human rights and democracy and the common values of humanity, and this has produced joint commitments undertaken within the framework of the UN conferences.

Its role is to:

  • promote democratic processes through dialogue and consultation;

  • facilitate greater understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP States and raise public awareness of development issues;

  • discuss issues pertaining to development and the ACP-EU Partnership;

  • adopt resolutions and make recommendations to the Council of Ministers with a view to achieving the objectives of this Agreement.

Composition and working methods

The representatives of the 78 ACP states, who, under the Cotonou Agreement, must be members of Parliament, meet their 78 European Parliament counterparts in plenary session for one week twice a year. The Joint Parliamentary Assembly meets alternately in an ACP country and an EU country. The institution is governed by common, democratic rules.

Two co-presidents who are elected by the Assembly direct its work. Twenty-four vice-presidents (12 European and 12 ACP) who are also elected by the Assembly constitute the Bureau of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, together with the two co-presidents. The Bureau meets several times a year in order to ensure the continuity of the work of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly and to prepare new initiatives aimed notably at reinforcing and improving cooperation. It also considers topical political questions and adopts positions on all human rights cases.

Three Standing Committees have been established to draw up substantive proposals which are then voted on by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly. These Committees are:

  • Committee on Political Affairs

  • Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade

  • Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment

The Assembly regularly forms exploratory or fact-finding missions. The members of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly are thus in direct contact with the situation on the ground in the various developing countries which are signatories of the Cotonou Agreement. The impact of the work of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly thus goes well beyond economic considerations and embraces the fundamental objectives of the development of mankind and the establishment of peaceful relations between the nations of the world. The ACP-EU Joint Assembly is a democratic, parliamentary institution which aims to promote and defend democratic processes in order to guarantee the right of each people to choose its own development objectives and how to attain them.

For further information: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/10_01...

ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors

The Committee is composed of Heads of Mission of each ACP State to the EU, permanent representative of each Member State to the EU, and a representative of the Commission. The office of Chairman of the Committee is held alternately by a Permanent Representative of a Member State designated by the Community, and a head of mission representing an ACP State, designated by the ACP States.

The Committee’s role is to assist the Council of Ministers in the fulfilment of its tasks and carry out any mandate entrusted to it by the Council. In this context, it meets once a month to:

· Monitor the implementation of cooperation agreements; and

· Participate in meetings of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers.

For further information:


Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE)

The mission assigned to the CDE under the Cotonou Agreement is to contribute to poverty reduction by fostering wealth creation by lending support to the various types of operator that make up the private sector in the ACP countries; in this role it draws extensively on the capabilities of enterprises in EU countries.

The Centre makes its facilities available to operators in the ACP private sector on the basis of:

  • multiannual sectoral and regional programmes,

  • integrated assistance to individual enterprises outside those programmes, applying rigorous selection criteria, helping to set up contacts between entrepreneurs in ACP and EU countries in the same sectors, trades or businesses.

It lends support, in a variety of forms, to:

  • the creation and development of ACP enterprises,

  • intermediary institutions such as trade and/or sector organizations, combining its operations with those of PRO€INVEST and other EU and bilateral programmes,

  • firms of consultants.

It grants SMEs subsidies to meet part of the costs of support and advisory ser-vices (diagnostic analyses of businesses, feasibility studies etc.) before, during and after an investment. It does not finance the investment itself but may help enterprises to find suitable sources of funding and set up financial engineering.

For further information: http://www.cde.int/

Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) was established in 1983 under the Lomé Convention between the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of States and the European Union Member States. Since 2000, CTA has operated within the framework of the ACP-EC Cotonou Agreement.

CTA's tasks are to develop and provide services that improve access to information for agricultural and rural development, and to strengthen the capacity of ACP countries to produce, acquire, exchange and utilise information in this area.

CTA's programmes are organised around three principal activities: providing an increasing range and quantity of information products and services and enhancing awareness of relevant information sources; supporting the integrated use of appropriate communication channels and intensifying contacts and information exchange (particularly intra-ACP); and developing ACP capacity to generate and manage agricultural information and to formulate ICM strategies, including those relevant to science and technology. These activities take account of methodological developments in cross-cutting issues and the findings from impact assessments and evaluations of ongoing programmes.

For further information: http://www.cta.int/