This gave rise to the Yaounde Agreements of 1963 and 1969, which served as the basis for cooperation between the new independent African states and the EEC. The Yaounde agreements were based on the final objective of the Treaty of Rome to expand trade and gave the EEC better access to AASM resources and markets. In comparison, many MSA countries remained too dependent on EU markets and continued to focus on exports of raw materials and raw materials. The Yaounde Accords have also been criticized for allowing France`s political and economic domination in French-speaking Africa, which continues to this day. However, the agreements have allowed both access to aid and trade in the EU market on the basis of reciprocity. (Source: European Parliament Briefing – Overview of the EU-ACP Partnership Agreements by Ionel Zamfir) The Treaty of Rome, signed in 1957, created the European Economic Community (ECE). As a precondition for the signing of the treaty, France requested that the EEC establish reciprocal trade agreements with the associated African and Malagasy states (AASM, all former French colonies) and support their development efforts. (i) Regional agreements meant that EPAs would contribute to greater regional integration, facilitate the entry of ACP economies into the global economy and stimulate trade and investment. From the EU`s point of view, the EU remains the main (and in some cases) largest trading partner of the ACP regional economic communities (see Chart 1 below). The implementation of the Cotonou agreement has been extended until December 2020. The agreement was originally due to expire in February 2020, but as negotiations on the future agreement are still ongoing, this has been delayed until the end of the year. One of the pillars of political cooperation between the two blocs is human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, which both sides have committed to uphold.

This cooperation is governed by Article 96 of the agreement, which allows for the suspension of aid in the event of repeated human rights violations. The Cotonou Agreement has governed cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) since 2000. Given the start of negotiations on the successor, the results so far appear to be mixed. EURACTIV France. Several countries, such as Nigeria, still refuse to sign the EPA, believing that these agreements come at the expense of national markets open to European competition.