PALOP-TL and European Union Cooperation Programme

The five Portuguese speaking African countries (PALOP) - namely Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe - began cooperating in the 1970s and continued to work together after independence. In 1985 the PALOP countries joined the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group. The first EU-PALOP regional cooperation programme started in 1992. In 2007, Timor-Leste became the sixth member and the PALOP Group was then renamed PALOP and Timor-Leste (PALOP-TL).

Despite geographical discontinuity and different levels of development, the PALOP-TL group shares a strong identity based on a common language. To date, PALOP-TL cooperation has favoured two-fold integration: into the regions of geographical proximity and within the Portuguese speaking countries' community.

Cohesion and ownership have characterized the PALOP-TL group dynamics over time. This sui generis cooperation between the EU and the PALOP-TL countries aims at promoting ties through exchanges of know-how and best-practices in specific policy areas of mutual interest, where the common language contributes to a special added value. The PALOP-TL and EU partnership demonstrated an innovative form of South-South cooperation, with comparative advantages to its bilateral and regional cooperation.

Today, this longstanding cooperation covers a large spectrum of cultural, economic, social, and political areas. The areas which enjoyed continued support and larger financial resources are: Health (over €16M under the 7th and 9th EDF), Public Administration (€9.1M under 7th and 8th EDF), Judiciary Systems (€8M, 8th and 9th EDF), and Statistics (€7.8 M under the 7th, 8th and 9th EDF). 

Since 1992 a total of 23 projects have been financed:


Programmes funded under specific European   Development Funds (EDF)

Amount M


Regional Programme 1 signed in 1992 / 7th EDF



Regional Programme 2, signed in 1997 / 8th EDF



Transfer of Regional Programme 2 from the 8th to 9th   EDF

(28.7 reported)


Governance Initiative, signed in 2008 / 10th EDF



Multi-annual   Indicative Programme, signed in 2015 / 11th EDF






The on-going 10th EDF PALOP-TL Cooperation programme promotes a "Governance Initiative" with an allocation of €33.1M. It contributes to further reinforce democratic, social and economic governance through the implementation of 7 projects covering various themes including:  electoral assistance, economic governance and private sector, rule of law, public services, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute, as well as the support to the PALOP/TL coordination mechanism and a Technical Cooperation Facility to support the identification and implementation of actions.


Responsible   NAO

Project Title

Committed   Amount €

Starting /   ending years


Rule   of Law




Macroeconomic   and Financial Management Institute



Cape   Verde

Bettering   quality and proximity of Public Services



Cape   Verde

Strengthening   Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), National Parliaments and Civil Society for   the control of public finances in the PALOP-TL



Guinea   Bissau

Support   to Electoral Cycles




Technical   Cooperation Facility III




Support   for the coordination of the PALOP-TL cooperation programme








As regard the governance structure of the programme, before 2007, the EU - PALOP Cooperation was implemented according to a Regional Indicative Programme (RIP). The first PALOP RIP, with an allocation of € 25M (7th EDF) was signed in 1992. The second RIP, with € 30M (8th EDF), was signed in 1997. However, under the 10th EDF (2007-2013) there is no specific RIP and the PALOP-TL programme is financed by 4% from respective National Indicative Programmes. The 10th EDF Country Strategy Paper was signed in Luanda, in May 2008, together with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PALOP-TL countries.

Since January 2006, Mozambique has been successively the "Regional Authorising Officer" (RAO) under the RIP and then "Coordinating Regional Officer" (CAO) under the on-going 10th EDF PALOP-TL Cooperation programme. Currently, each PALOP-TL countries National Authorising Officers (NAO) is appointed as "chef de file", responsible for the project(s) and/or programme(s) implemented and acting as a delegated authorising officer.

The National Authorising Officer (NAO) of Mozambique is in charge of the overall coordination of the Programme. The PALOP-TL and the EU hold regular coordination meetings including ministerial meeting between the PALOP-TL countries National Authorising Officers (NAOs) and the EU once a year, to give orientations to the programme and ensure its efficient implementation.

The last Ministerial meeting, the 11th National Authorising Officers' (NAOs) meeting (referred to as XI RON, for Reunião dos Ordenadores Nacionais),  took place in São Tomé, in São Tomé and Príncipe, in April 2015, where the 11th EDF PALOP-TL Multiannual Indicative Programme (2014-2020) was signed, with an envelope of € 30M. This brought the EU contributions to the PALOP-TL cooperation programme to a total amount of € 118.1 M.

The 11th EDF Multi-annual Indicative Programme for PALOP-TL foresees: 1) a revised governance structure of the programme, with an annual rotating presidency among PALOP-TL countries, ensuring the political oversight of the cooperation; 2) the National Authorising Officer of Mozambique as the single Authorising Officer of the Programme, mandated to manage the implementation and overall coordination of the 11th EDF PALOP-TL Programme; and 3) two priority areas of concentration, namely employment generation and governance capacity development.

In accordance with EU development policy[1], good governance is a crosscutting principle for the 11th EDF PALOP-TL multi-country strategy. The programme will focus on employment generation to enhance human and social development in a sustainable manner, through mobility and social inclusion. The component on governance capacity development will reinforce institutional capacity in policy areas of common interest, mobilizing expertise on demand in specific areas of interest of at least two PALOP-TL countries.

The programme will be implemented through various implementation modalities, mostly indirect management, and will contribute to fostering multilateral cooperation and disseminating best practices.

The PALOP-TL and EU cooperation is politically and economically relevant for EU external relations, promises to be mutually advantageous, and could significantly contribute to the EU's multipolar relations.

[1] The consolidation of the democratic process, the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms are clearly defined as fundamental elements of EU policy in the Commission Communication 615/2003 on Governance and Development.


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