Evolution of the negotiation process between the national associations of local and regional authorities and the European Union Commission for the programming period 2021-2027

Since June, UCLG Africa has been providing technical assistance to all national associations of African local and regional authorities in the framework of the dialogue with the central government and the EU delegation at country level for the next EU programming cycle (2021-2027).

Some forty consultants are working with national associations to produce a reference document that will enable local elected officials to conduct national country seminars and produce a road map for programming 2021-2027. These national seminars will bring together all the members of the national association of local and regional authorities to equip them for the major role they must play in the negotiation process.

It should be noted that for the first time, local authorities will participate in this process as a public player alongside the central state, which was previously the only public player involved in defining the priorities of European cooperation.

The reference document prepared by each country consultant will focus on three main points:

– The national development policy and priority sectoral strategies defined and/or implemented by the national government and the level of participation of local authorities in its implementation (including for SDOs and NDCs: National Determined Contributions for the Implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement);

– The implementation of the decentralization policy by indicating the level of involvement of local governments;

– The implementation of EU cooperation in the country, including the National Indicative Programme (NIP) supported by the European Union, the Development Fund under the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement and any information providing an assessment of the involvement of the different actors in the definition, implementation and monitoring of the interventions defined by the NIP.

The month of July enabled the various consultants to present a compendium on the three points mentioned above and an analytical report, documents which will be included in the final reference document. The reference document will also address the strengthening of the participation of local authorities in development and cooperation policy, as well as a roadmap planning the actions of national associations of local authorities.

In addition, national associations of local and regional authorities have already initiated contacts with the ministries, parliament and its committees concerned and involved in the dialogue process and the EU delegations in their respective countries.

October 2020 will mark the end of the negotiation phase of the next EU programming cycle (2021-2027).