EU/Afrika — 17th EU-ECOWAS Political Dialogue at Ministerial Level

41. The Par­ties empha­sised the impor­tance of region­al eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion for the con­sol­i­da­tion of peace and secu­ri­ty, the erad­i­ca­tion of pover­ty, and the devel­op­ment of all eco­nom­ic sec­tors in West Africa. In this con­text, the Par­ties reit­er­at­ed the com­mit­ment of both sides to demon­strate the nec­es­sary flex­i­bil­i­ty in order to resolve the out­stand­ing areas of diver­gence and swift­ly con­clude the nego­ti­a­tions for the estab­lish­ment of a region­al EPA cov­er­ing trade in goods, EPA-relat­ed coop­er­a­tion and oth­er trade-relat­ed issues by the end of 2010. Both Par­ties agreed that the EPA should pro­mote region­al inte­gra­tion and the inte­gra­tion of West Africa into the glob­al mar­ket, boost­ing growth and com­pet­i­tive­ness while allow­ing for pro­tec­tion of West African coun­tries’ sen­si­tive sec­tors, and con­tain­ing mech­a­nisms to help the region to address adap­ta­tion and adjust­ment needs.

42. The Par­ties reit­er­at­ed that the EPA Devel­op­ment Pro­gram (EPADP/PAPED) should play an impor­tant role in enabling the West African region to take full advan­tage of the oppor­tu­ni­ties offered by the EPA whilst min­imis­ing the adjust­ment costs that might result from the imple­men­ta­tion of the Agree­ment. In that con­text, they also wel­comed the Con­clu­sions of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union regard­ing the EPADP adopt­ed on 10 May 2010, and in par­tic­u­lar the EU’s engage­ment to con­tribute to the EPADP imple­men­ta­tion through EU devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion instru­ments. The Par­ties wel­comed the announce­ment that EU funds avail­able for EPADP-relat­ed activ­i­ties over the next five years are esti­mat­ed to amount to at least 6.5 bil­lion Euros. The EU and ECOWAS com­mit­ted them­selves to co-oper­ate to pave the way for inter­ven­tion by oth­er donors in sup­port of the EPADP, cur­rent­ly esti­mat­ed by ECOWAS at 9.525 bil­lion euros. Both Par­ties agreed on the need to ensure the avail­abil­i­ty of the EU and oth­er par­ties financ­ing in the short­est pos­si­ble time. Both Par­ties stressed the need for a suc­cess­ful out­come on the sec­ond review of the Coto­nou Part­ner­ship Agree­ment and the forth­com­ing min­is­te­r­i­al con­fer­ence in Oua­gadougou 17–23 June 2010.

Prospects for MDGs achievement

43. The Par­ties expressed their con­cern about the very lim­it­ed progress achieved by the region towards the MDGs and encour­aged all Gov­ern­ments and rel­e­vant author­i­ties and stake­hold­ers to step up their efforts to meet the MDG tar­gets. They stressed in par­tic­u­lar the impor­tance of work­ing hard­er towards pover­ty reduc­tion and to increase actions towards sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. They agreed that there is a clear link between MDGs achieve­ment, peace and sta­bil­i­ty, and also that con­sol­i­da­tion of good gov­er­nance was both a con­di­tion and a con­se­quence of progress towards the MDGs. The Par­ties there­fore called on ECOWAS Mem­ber States to strength­en their focus on those issues and tar­get them specif­i­cal­ly as a mat­ter of pri­or­i­ty in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and design of their future devel­op­ment pro­grams and projects, so that the EU and oth­er inter­na­tion­al part­ners sup­port can be more targeted. 

44. In this regard, the Par­ties under­scored the urgency of renewed col­lec­tive efforts to redress the sit­u­a­tion and put the ECOWAS region back on track to meet the MDG tar­gets. They called for the review of nation­al pover­ty reduc­tion strate­gies by repo­si­tion­ing them with­in the broad­er devel­op­ment strate­gies aimed at accel­er­at­ing socio-eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, and for the ECOWAS Pover­ty Reduc­tion Strat­e­gy to serve as an impor­tant mech­a­nism to dri­ve this process. While wel­com­ing the EU 12-point action plan on the MDGs, the ECOWAS side invit­ed devel­op­ment part­ners to hon­our their ODA com­mit­ments and abide by the Paris and Accra prin­ci­ples on aid effec­tive­ness in order to accel­er­ate the devel­op­ment financ­ing of ECOWAS Mem­ber States.


45. The Par­ties stressed the impor­tance of the upcom­ing 3rd Africa-EU Sum­mit. The EU expressed sat­is­fac­tion with the pres­ence of the RECs in the Col­lege-to- Col­lege meet­ing in Addis Aba­ba on 8 June. Both sides empha­sised the indis­pens­able coor­di­na­tion between the AU, the RECs and the EU in the prepa­ra­tion of the Sum­mit. The EU encour­aged active ECOWAS involve­ment in the prepa­ra­tions and in par­tic­u­lar the design of the Action Plan 2011–2013 to be adopt­ed by the Sum­mit. AOB

46. The EU and ECOWAS agreed that the next Polit­i­cal Dia­logue at Min­is­te­r­i­al lev­el will take place in West Africa at a date to be deter­mined by the Parties. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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