ACP-EU Treaty Timeline


Official OACPS document outlining part of the timeline




November 15 – The ACP-EU Agreement (now known as the Samoa Agreement) signed in Apia, Samoa following the 46th session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers.




June 30 – Cotonou Partnership Agreement set to expire unless new ACP-EU Agreement enters into force or initiates provisional application sooner.


April 3 – The Joint Parliamentary Assembly completed its session in Strasbourg on Sunday, 3 April 2022.


February 17-18 AU-EU Summit scheduled to be convened in Brussels from 17 to 18 February 2022.




­­November – Planned signing of treaty by Heads of State in Samoa deferred indefinitely.


October 28 European Union decides to propose to ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors to extend the Cotonou Partnership Agreement “until 30 June 2022, or until the entry into force or provisional application of the new Partnership Agreement between the Union and the ACP States, whichever comes first.”


October 25-26 – AU-EU Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda. Significantly, much to the dismay of the Europeans, the negotiated joint communique makes no reference to “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” due to resistance from African ministers. Joint communiqué of the second African Union – European Union Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting Kigali, Rwanda, 25 – 26 October 2021.


August 18 – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) sends a communique to the European Commission stating its concerns that 1) Neighborhood Development International Cooperation Agreement (NDICI) will weaken the ACP, 2) ACP-EU Agreement and NDICI will weaken economic communities, and will 3) shift powers from Member States to other parties.


June 21European Parliament defines SRHR in the EU to encompass abortion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and comprehensive sexuality education. This is significant in light of the fact that SRHR is in the ACP-EU treaty directly in the context of ICPD but also indirectly in several other documents mandated for implementation in the treaty.


June 11 – European Commission transmitted the negotiated agreement translated into all EU languages to the Council.


June 9 – European Parliament adopts its funding mechanism for the ACP-EU agreement and all of their foreign aid to ACP countries called  “the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – ‘Global Europe’” for the period 2021-2027.  Notice this was adopted after the ACP-EU agreement text was finalized and it requires that all EU foreign funding support EU values related to  “sexuality,” “sexual and reproductive health and rights” and “comprehensive sexuality education.”


April 15 New ACP-EU Partnership Agreement initialed: Chief negotiators from EU and ACP initial the agreement in a public ceremony and text is made public. The initialing ceremony supposedly marked the formal conclusion of the negotiations establishing the framework for cooperation for at least 20 years with the definition of the EU Party finalized at a future date.


– The European Commission (EC) proposed to the EU Council to sign the agreement as an EU-only agreement. However, EU Member States proposed to turn the agreement into a mixed agreement, namely between the EU and its Member States, of the one part, and the Members of the OACPS of the other part.


Changes made to the agreement subsequent to its being initialized:


– The EU Council proposed amendments to the initialed text by changing the nature of the agreement. These were transmitted to the OACPS side by the EC, which underlined its unchanged position on the EU-only nature of the Agreement.


The OACPS Council subsequently approved the EU’s amendments, which included:  


– provisions allowing for accession to the new Agreement should a country join the EU,

– text on quorum introduced to cater for the participation of EU Member States in joint OACPS-EU meetings,

– a revision on the Article on provisional application to operationalize the agreement as soon as possible after signature,

 – further amendments of a legal/linguistic nature.




December 4 – Cotonou Agreement extended by parties until 30 November 2021.


December 3 – A political agreement is reached on treaty text and negotiations were supposed to have concluded.




May 22 – The ACP Council of Ministers at its 109th Session held in Brussels unanimously approved Samoa’s bid to host the signing ceremony for the next ACP-EU Treaty.




September 28 – ACP-EU treaty negotiations begun in Brussels