Will the EU’s new Treaty be negative for the ACP?

The ACP-EU Courier website. Fears that the European Union’s new Lisbon Treaty could negatively impact the 78 group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations, was voiced by the ACP’s Secretary General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas at a seminar organised at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECPDM), on the 27th May 2010.

“The EU representatives from time to time have reassured us that this partnership will not be affected. We are told that the Lisbon Treaty will benefit the ACP-EU development partnership since the development agenda will be reinforced rather than diminished,” said the Group’s Secretary General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

“One of the critical questions to be asked about the Lisbon Treaty is how committed the EU still is to the objectives of Cotonou, and indeed to the ACP Group. The biggest threat to world development is global poverty, and I believe that the international trade and financial regime must be structured in a way that tackles the root cause of the marginalisation of developing countries in the international economy,” added Rene Makongo, Gabon’s Ambassador in Brussels who currently chairs the ACP Ambassadors’ Group.

The ACP group fears that the new Treay could diminish the spirit of the ACP-EU patnership sealed by the Cotonou Treaty (2000-2020). “During the past 5 years or so, we have witnessed a gradual re-alignment of the EU’s development cooperation policies with the ACP Group, as seen in the three separate EU regional strategies for Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific Regions, as well as for South Africa,” said Makongo.

“Although I would like to see the build-up of parallel Partnerships as a means of helping countries and regions to better position themselves in the global economic space, I feel that the European Union should be mindful that these new regional development initiatives are not advanced at a great cost of degrading the largest North-South Partnership in the world,” he added.

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