RELATIONS WITH THE EU
The European Union and Côte d’Ivoire
Political and economic relations between the European Union and Côte d'Ivoire are based on shared values and common interests. The European Union, originally represented in Côte d’Ivoire by a technical office, has now a Delegation, equivalent to an embassy, which better reflects the reality of its partnership with the country.
Since 2020, for a more coherent and effective action on the international scene, the European Union, its Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have been working together as "Team Europe”.
A constant commitment with Côte d’Ivoire
Since 1961, the European Union's commitment to Côte d'Ivoire has been constant, regardless of crisis and government changes. This long-term partnership is based on respect for shared fundamental values and interests. The EU has thus made a strong commitment to peace and democracy, particularly during the crisis following the 2010 presidential election, when the EU took steps to ensure respect for the democratic choice of the Ivorian people.
The EU is working closely with the Ivorian government to support Côte d'Ivoire towards its goal – becoming an emerging economy. The EU maintains a regular dialogue with the Ivoirian government and civil society on all issues of common interest and supports their efforts to promote stability, the strengthening of rule of law and good governance, as well as the economic recovery of the country in a post-Covid context.
Economic, Trade and Investment Relations
The European union is the largest trading partner and the largest private investor in Côte d'Ivoire
The European Union and Côte d’Ivoire have signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which entered into force in 2016.
Thanks to this EPA, all exports from Côte d'Ivoire to the EU enter the European market duty-free and quota-free. In return, Côte d'Ivoire is gradually liberalising 80% of imports from the EU over a period until 2029.
Côte d'Ivoire was the first country in West Africa to apply reciprocity, with a gradual liberalisation of custom duties on products from the European Union. Between 2010 and 2020, Ivorian exports to the EU increased from €3 billion to €4.2 billion. Côte d'Ivoire's imports from the EU increased from €1.6 billion to €2.8 billion.
Dialogue with Civil Society
Civil society is a key actor for a sustainable and participatory democracy
A strong, rich and diverse civil society is an essential tool for social cohesion and defence of rights and freedoms. The action of the European Union and its member states in Côte d'Ivoire regarding civil society is guided by a regularly updated roadmap.
The European Union supports civil society organisations (CSOs) especially through the Leadership and Initiatives of Non-State Actors project (LIANE 1 and LIANE 2). This project aims to strengthen CSOs’ capacities for action and their participation in dialogue and in the country's political, economic, social and environmental development. The LIANE 2 project supports, for example, micro-initiatives promoting social cohesion and the common values of the European Union and Côte d'Ivoire.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Côte d’Ivoire in March 2020, the European Union has supported its partner in its fight against COVID-19
The support of the European Union, its Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB), acting together as "Team Europe", resulted in several actions.
At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, in March 2020, emergency support was put in place thanks to a "solidarity caravan" organized with the Magic System Foundation and the Didier Drogba Foundation as well as other partners, including European companies. This “solidarity caravan” helped vulnerable families in Abidjan and its suburbs to cope with the consequences of the curfew and the closure of some businesses.
Then, "Team Europe" mobilized 150 billion FCFA to support, among other things, the fund set up by the government to help SMEs and large companies. Project funds from the EU and its Member States also have been redirected to the fight against COVID-19. Finally, thanks to the Covax mechanism, to which they contribute 2.47 billion euros, the European Union and its Member States have enabled Côte d'Ivoire to receive more than 750,000 vaccine doses against Covid-19.
The European Union maintains a strong partnership with Côte d'Ivoire
Since 1961, the EU has supported the development of modern Côte d'Ivoire. In 60 years, we have moved from a relationship based essentially on development aid to a partnership of equals with a political dimension.
With the end in 2020 of the Cotonou Agreement and the new Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formally launched on 15 April 2021, cooperation between the European Union and Côte d'Ivoire will be more focused on common ambitions and interests, at local, national, regional and international levels, such as: human rights, democracy and governance, peace and security, human and social development, environmental sustainability and climate change, economic growth and sustainable and inclusive development, and migration and mobility.
In addition, for the coming years, to increase the coherence of their action, the European Union, its Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB), acting together as "Team Europe", will lead joint initiatives to support Côte d'Ivoire towards sustainable cocoa production, a transition to low carbon and to maintain peace and stability in the country.