Five generations of ACP-EC agreements The new partnership agreement between the 15 Member States of the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries marks five generations of agreements between ACP-EC sovereign states. It is the world`s largest financial and political framework for North-South cooperation. This particular partnership is characterised by its non-reciprocal trade advantages for the ACP countries, including unlimited access to the Community market for 99% of industrial goods and many other products, in particular for the least developed countries (LDCs), which are 39 in the ACP group. In addition, the aid plans for each ACP country and ACP region are regularly updated. A unique feature of the ACP-EC Convention is the dialogue and joint management of its content by the Community and the ACP States. The ACP States are free to submit applications which are negotiated jointly with the EC. The institutions shall ensure an ongoing dialogue; an annual ACP/EU Council of Ministers, regular meetings of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, which receives technical assistance from an ACP PERMANENT Secretariat, based in Brussels. ACP parliamentarians and the European Parliament meet twice a year in a Joint Assembly where partnership issues are discussed. A “National Indicative Programme” (NPA) is negotiated jointly by the European Commission and an ACP State and fixed, for example.

B development objectives in the field of primary education or health, and provides for a five-year expenditure for each country adapted to these needs. The PNIP is financed by the European Development Fund (EDF), the financial protocol of any agreement to which EU Member States contribute. Traditionally, the EDF has also allocated funds to regional cooperation, the remaining EU overseas countries and territories (OCTs), humanitarian and emergency aid, and non-governmental organisations. Additional loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), particularly for infrastructure, have finally become a feature of cooperation. The much-appreciated partnership is based on a body of common objectives and principles, as well as commercial and financial benefits that have extended over time to the Lomé “acquis”. .