Strasbourg,3 December 2014/ ACP: A month into his appointment, new European Development Commissioner Mr. Neven Mimica is hoping to leverage the EU’s long-time partnership with the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, in order to make a “transformative” post-2015 development agenda a reality.

In his first address to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg this week, Mr. Mimica presented a strategy for EU development policy based on the post-2015 agenda, the post-Cotonou partnership with the ACP states, and policy coherence for development.

“The post-2015 development agenda presents the governments and peoples of the world with a tremendous and unique opportunity to agree a transformative agenda to eradicate poverty and give the world a sustainable future,” he told the assembly of EU and ACP legislators.

“We can play a key role together, building on our special partnership. This is why the Joint ACP-EU Declaration on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which we adopted last June, is so valuable.”

The joint declaration, adopted in Nairobi, Kenya in June 2014, marked a historic collaboration by the two groups of countries in highlighting key areas to be addressed in the post-2015 global discussions, such as climate change and the need for structural economic transformation.

Mr. Mimica urged continued ACP-EU collaboration leading up to the Post-2015 Summit in New York in September 2015, and before that, the 3rd Financing Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July.

Enhanced ACP-EU cooperation framework

“We should not be asking whether our cooperation and partnership is still important. Because it is – more so than ever. Instead, we should be asking how we can best equip our cooperation for the future, so that it delivers maximum benefits,” said the Commissioner.

The ACP Group and European Union had signed a partnership agreement in 2000 outlining three pillars of cooperation – trade, development cooperation, and political dialogue – and committing billions of Euro in development assistance. Anticipating the expiry of the Cotonou agreement in 2020, Mr. Mimica urged timely launch of negotiations for a new partnership that reflects the post-2015 process.

Members of Parliament at the meeting supported the call for a joint approach.

Mr Jean Luc Schaffhauser (NI, France) remarked that the state of global development has worsened over the years, and urged more assistance in democratic transitions and governance. Mr. Weidou of Chad pointed to “priority areas” such as hunger and “production processes” of raw materials, while a delegate from Kenya insisted that trade “road blocks” should be streamlined for African states.

Meanwhile, Mr. Louis Michel (ALDE, Belgium) and Mr. Norbert Neuser (S&D, Germany) called for a study on the possible effects of the Transatlantic Trade Pact on ACP countries.

The debate with the Commissioner was part of the regular sessions of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which brings together Members of Parliament from up to 78 ACP countries as well as Members of the European Parliament to address issues of common concern within the ACP-EU Partnership Framework.

– ACP Press