EU to sign a cooperation agreement with Afghanistan

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On 13 February 2017, the Council of the European Union decided to sign a cooperation agreement on partnership and development between the EU and Afghanistan.

The agreement will be signed on Friday in Munich by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, in presence of President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.

The cooperation agreement on partnership and development will constitute a new framework for EU-Afghan relation. It formalises the EU’s commitment to Afghanistan’s development under the “decade of transformation” (2014-2024), building on the undertakings given at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on 4-5 October 2016.

The agreement reflects the principles and conditions on which the future partnership will be based. It places an emphasis on regular political dialogue, including on human rights issues, in particular the rights of women and children. The agreement provides for the development of a mutually beneficial relationship across an increasingly wide range of economic and political areas such as the rule of law, health, rural development, education, science and technology, as well as actions to combat corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, organised crime and narcotics.

It also foresees cooperation on migration, based on the Joint Way Forward on migration issues adopted in early October 2016. The cooperation agreement will also enable the EU and Afghanistan to work together to jointly address global challenges, such as nuclear security, non-proliferation and climate change.

The agreement will be signed and concluded as a “mixed” agreement. This means that on the EU side it must be signed by both the EU and the member states, and ratified by all relevant national and regional parliaments. The agreement will be applied on a provisional basis, pending ratification by all of the member states. Provisional application will concern issues falling within EU competence, including political dialogue, human rights, gender equality, development cooperation, cooperation on trade and investment matters, cooperation on migration, and regional cooperation.