Political and economic relations
Liberia and the EU have enjoyed a long-term partnership. The European Commission maintained representation in the country throughout the 14 year civil war, which ended in 2003 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Today, the European Union remains an active and significant supporter of Liberia’s social and economic development, and a partner in political dialogue.
The EU cooperation policy in Liberia is grounded on the Cotonou Agreement, which associates the EU with 79 states in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, i.e the ACP countries.
The Cotonou Agreement reinforces the political dimension of ACP-EU co-operation. It provides for regular political dialogue covering all areas of mutual concern within the scope of the Agreement. It also encompasses regular assessment of developments concerning good governance, respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, all of which are key elements of the Agreement.
The EU-Africa summit, held in December 2007 in Lisbon, cemented a new Africa-EU strategic partnership, marking a qualitative leap in relations between the two continents. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy provides an overarching long-term framework for Africa- EU relations.
One of the main objectives of the EU relations with Africa is to promote the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.
On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, giving Europe a clear voice in its relations with its partners worldwide. It harnesses Europe's economic, humanitarian, political and diplomatic strengths to promote European interests and share our values worldwide.
EU aims to continue to build sustainable and fair trade relations with Liberia and West Africa. Liberia currently enjoys duty-free and quota-free access to the EU markets.
Negotiations with ECOWAS towards a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) have made significant progress.
An EPA would bring Liberia guaranteed access to the EU market and also help to promote regional trade between the countries of ECOWAS, while allowing Liberia to protect domestic production of strategic significance.