The Minister for National Planning & Monitoring Hon. Richard Maru has called for certainty in the financing arrangements under the ACP-EU Post Cotonou Agreement that is being negotiated.
Minister Maru who is attending the 4th Meeting of the ACP Ministerial Central Negotiation Group (CNG-M) in N’Djamena, Chad, Central Africa, submitted on behalf of the Pacific region that the Post Cotonou ACP-EU development cooperation arrangements must have a financing plan as an integral part of the core Agreement in order to ensure certainty in the planning and access to funding.
Minister Maru who is also Papua New Guinea’s National Authorising Officer for project funding under the European Investment Fund (EDF) within the current ACP-EU Cooperation arrangements, informed the Chairman of the CNG-M and ACP Chief Negotiator and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Togo, Professor Robert Dussey that the Post Cotonou arrangements should avoid having a financing plan outside of the Agreement as per the current arrangements.
In the current development cooperation arrangements, the EDF is a standalone financing plan and is outside of the Cotonou Agreement. Under this arrangement, ACP states are at the disadvantage when it comes to moving funds to accommodate the common objectives of the Cotonou Agreement while the EU could do so easily without consulting the ACP member states.
Minister Maru said it is pleasing to note that the ACP is informally engaging in dialogue with the European Union to maintain funding mechanism not dissimilar to the existing EDF arrangement as a desirable approach under the Post Cotonou arrangements.
“Whether the new Agreement stands as a policy or binding direction for the EU and the ACP, there should be a clear set of principles that will guide and govern the financing plan as part of the Post Cotonou Agreement for the ACP regions.
“The current experiences of cooperation with the EU has seen Mid Term Reviews of National Indicative Programmes being altered without proper consultations with recipient countries and implementation modalities also altered without the consent of recipient Governments”, Minister Maru said.
On EU’s proposed Multiannual Annual Financial Framework (MAFF) post-Cotonou, he said the EU’s intention and proposal under this mechanism, may be problematic in terms of implementation when it comes to the ACP regions. Accordingly, the ACP Group should commence conversation on how the proposed structure could best contribute to successfully implementing the common ambitions of the ACP-EU partnership with certainty.
“Clarity is required from the European Union on how best this is approached through their processes to ensure financing is ring-fenced for the Pacific ACP States, and the other ACP regions, to safeguard priority and focus on the successful delivery of development projects under our partnership with the EU”, Minister Maru said.
He said the issue of maintaining the EDF structure with some form of strengthening and certainty in the financing plan under the Post Cotonou Agreement was raised by the Pacific ACP Leaders in their High-Level Political Dialogue with EU in February 2019.
“Therefore, conversation on this matter should commence now among the ACP member states for its inclusion in the agenda for negotiations in Round Three when Part 4 of the Post Cotonou Agreement relating to Development Cooperation and Means of Implementation is discussed.” Minister Maru said.
Source: Media Release