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1: Coordination and coherence in the application of Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnerships Agreement 1: Coordination and coherence in the application of Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnerships Agreement


This study focuses on the junction between foreign policy and development policy, with a particular focus on article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.This article provides the legal basis for the suspension of cooperation in cases where one of the parties feels the agreement’s essentialelements are not being respected. The study will focus on how coordination and coherence were handled in the preparation and conduct of a number of article 96 consultation processes.


Lead agency: The Netherlands

Partners: Belgium, France, United Kingdom

The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the extent to which it is possible to follow the precepts of coordination and coherence in one key area of EU external policy:  that is the junction of foreign policy and development policy (Coherence II; par 10). The focus is particularly on the use of Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement where the choices to be made in the prioritisation between development objectives and political foreign policy objectives are usually at their most stark.  At the same time this is an area where the need for good coordination between the Member States and with the EC is acute and rendered more complex by the fact that competences vary between the two policy fields: foreign policy being an area of MS prerogative while development is a shared competence. 

The overall focus of this study will therefore be on a comparison of how coordination and coherence II were handled in the preparation and conduct of a number of these consultation processes, not on the rights and wrongs of the issues covered by each case of Article 96 consultation.

The outcomes of the study should contribute to and allow for a joint learning process among the EC, member states and stakeholders in the South. They should incorporate the various constituencies’ perspectives on the 3Cs and inform a joint learning process between stakeholders in the EU MS, the EU institutions and partner countries.