With the waking of the new century, a new era of co-operation between the European Union and the ACP countries is beginning. The next Lomé Convention, drawing from the lessons on the strengths and weaknesses of the previous Conventions, should give birth to

a new dynamics measuring up to the world's changes

and constitute, in the present context of globalisation, a reference for future relationships among different regions of the world with unequal degrees of development. The Commission, in its report to the European Council and to the European Parliament, underscored that this new dynamics should involve

an in-depth review of the actual forms of partnership.

To simplify the mechanisms, to facilitate a process of co-operation and integration at the regional scale among the ACP countries and to support the development of local capacities and of governance, it is indispensable to review the very foundations of the ways in which financial and technical co-operation is managed and practised.

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