1. The 11th Political Dialogue meeting at ministerial level between the European Union and the Republic of Cabo Verde in the framework of the EU-Cabo Verde Special Partnership was held in Lisbon on 29 June 2021. The meeting was co-chaired by His Excellency Augusto Santos Silva, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal on behalf of His Excellency Mr Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and by His Excellency, Rui Alberto de Figueiredo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of the Republic of Cabo Verde.
2. The European Union and Cabo Verde reiterated their strong commitment to an enhanced political dialogue within the Special Partnership, of particular relevance in this period marked by the pandemic and the need for a swift recovery. The partners reaffirmed their attachment to the shared values and principles underpinning the relationship: respect for human rights, democracy, good governance and rule of law, and commitment to multilateralism, international peace and security.
3. The partners exchanged on political and socio-economic situation. The EU congratulated Cabo Verde for the comprehensive social and sanitary response to the pandemic, and the successful organisation of municipal and parliamentary elections in this difficult context. The parties recognised the deep impact of the pandemic crisis on Cabo Verde’s economy leading to the worst recession of the last three decades. Both noted the strong interconnection of their economies and, in the framework of the EU’s Global Response to COVID-19 pandemic, committed to reinforce cooperation towards recovery, namely through the promotion of sustainable green inclusive socio-economic growth.
4. International and regional issues were discussed, such as EU-AU relations, peace and security in the West Africa region and Cabo Verde´s regional integration strategy. The partners also exchanged views about the increasing regional cross-borders challenges and the detrimental implications to peace and security situation in the Sahel region.
5. Underlining the strategic importance of the Gulf of Guinea and the need to address the maritime security’s challenges, the partners highlighted the necessity to explore avenues for further joint-cooperation in the framework of the EU coordinated maritime presences concept initiative.
6. Both parties committed to increase mutual coordination in multilateral fora. In this context, they agreed on working closely on the preparation of the WTO reform as well as on the UN climate change conference (COP26) and reiterated their determination to ensure an effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
7. The Ministerial Meeting allowed for an exchange on the implementation of the Special Partnership, noting the good progress made overall. Both sides stressed the importance of fiscal transparency, and the EU welcomed Cabo Verde's accession to the Global Forum on Transparency (in 2019). Good progress was also achieved on Cabo Verde’s national and regional security engagements including in the fight against drug trafficking along the South American drugs highway. Both sides noted the progress in the implementation of Cabo Verde’s National Action Plan for Security and Stability, notably in the border security domain, with the establishment of E-Gates and the pre-registration of all citizens entering the territory of Cabo Verde.
8. Both sides exchanged views on the successful implementation of the 2014-2020 bilateral cooperation programme. Cabo Verde appreciated the prompt EU support and solidarity in addressing the ongoing pandemic, including through extraordinary budget support disbursements in 2020 and swift adaptation of ongoing projects.
9. The EU shared the main priorities and perspectives of the next bilateral multi-annual programme 2021-2027. The parties agreed on the importance of their evolving Special Partnership in the shaping of the future cooperation. Partners agreed that the focus should be on supporting socio-economic recovery based on a green and inclusive growth model taking into account Cabo Verde’s Small Island Developing State (SIDS) specificities and the recent EU Council Conclusions on EU Partnerships with Middle-Income Countries. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its sustainable development achievements, Cabo Verde expressed interest in this new initiative.
10. The EU commended Cabo Verde on its commitment to reach 50% of renewable energy by 2030, as well as the national goal of eradicating extreme poverty, as translated in the national strategy Ambition 2030. Both parties agreed to continue joining efforts in support of these goals.
11. The partners highlighted the cooperation on digital and information and communication technology (ICT), namely on regulatory framework and infrastructure. This was enhanced by the inauguration of the EllaLink fibre optic connection between Europe and Latin America, passing through Cabo Verde, and opening significant avenues to boost digital businesses, scientific and cultural sharing.
12. Partners agreed to continue reinforcing cooperation on blue economy and sustainable fisheries.
13. The partners welcomed the signature of the Amendment to the Visa Facilitation Agreement, reducing the cost and simplifying the requirements for short-term Schengen visas for Cabo Verdean citizens.
The Partners agreed that the next Ministerial Meeting will take place in 2022 in Cabo Verde.