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The five Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PALOP) - Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe - began cooperating in the 1970s and continued to work together after their independence. In 1985, the PALOP countries joined the ACP Group (Africa Caribbean Pacific) and the first EU-PALOP regional cooperation programme began in 1992.
In 2007, East Timor became the sixth member of the Portuguese-speaking African Countries and therefore the group was renamed PALOP and Timor-Leste (PALOP-TL).

Despite the geographical discontinuity and different levels of development, the PALOP-TL group of countries shares a strong identity based on a common language. Up to now, PALOP-TL / EU cooperation has been among regions of geographical proximity and within the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community.

This sui generis cooperation between the PALOP-TL countries and the EU aims to promote ties through the exchange of know-how and best practices in specific policy areas of mutual interest in which the common language contributes to a special added value.

The partnership PALOP-TL/EU has proven to be an innovative form of South-South cooperation and has demonstrated comparative advantages for its bilateral and regional cooperation. Over time, cohesion and ownership have characterized the dynamics of the PALOP-TL group and this partnership covers a wide range of cultural, economic, social and political areas.

Since 1992, the areas that have enjoyed larger financial resources are Health, Public Services, Judiciary Systems, and the Statistics in which the following programmes have been financed:

Period Programmes financed under specific European Development Fund (EDF) Amount (M€)
1990 - 1995 Regional Programme 1, signed in 1992 / 7th EDF 25
1995 - 2000 Regional Programme 2, signed in 1997 / 8th EDF 30
2000 - 2007 Transfer of Regional Programme 2, from the 8th to 9th EDF 28,7
2008 - 2013 Governance Initiative, signed in 2008 / 10th EDF 33,1
2014 - 2020 Multiannual Indicative Programme, signed in 2015 / 11th EDF 30
  Total 118,1

Until 2007, PALOP-EU cooperation was implemented accordingly to a Regional Indicative Programme (RIP). For the 10th EDF (European Development Fund – 2007/2013) there was no specific RIP and 4% of the PALOP-TL programme was financed from the respective National Indicative Programmes. The Strategy Paper was signed in Luanda in May 2008, together with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PALOP-TL countries.

The ongoing projects of the 10th EDF PALOP-TL Cooperation Programme promote a democratic, social and economic governance. They cover a wide range of issues such as Electoral Assistance, Economic Governance, the Rule of Law, and Public Services as well as the support to the coordination of the Programme and to a technical cooperation mechanism to support the identification and implementation of specific actions. The following table identifies these projects:

Responsible   NAO Project Amount (M €)
Angola Support to the consolidation of the Rule of Law 7
Angola Support to the Training Institute for Financial and Economic Management 3
Cabo Verde Support to Improvement in Quality and Proximity of Public Services 5
Cabo Verde Strengthening Technical and Functional Skills of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) 6,5
Guinea Bissau Support to the Electoral Cycles 6,1
Mozambique Technical Cooperation Facility III 2,7
Mozambique Support to the Coordination of the PALOP-TL Cooperation Programme 2,8
  Total 33,1


The Multiannual Indicative Programme of the 11th EDF for the period 2014-2020 was signed in São Tomé and Príncipe in April 2015 and the projects are being identified and formulated with two priority areas of concentration: Employment Generation in the culture sector and Governance Capacity Development.

Regarding the governance structure of PALOP-TL/EU Cooperation Programme, since January 2006 Mozambique has been successively designated as the "National Authorizing Officer (NAO)” during the implementation of the RIP, and then the "Programme Authorising Officer" under the 10th EDF. Each National Authorizing Officer of the PALOP-TL countries is nominated as the “lead partner” responsible for the project(s) and/or programme(s) implemented and they are the Authorizing Officer by delegation.

The revised governance structure of the 11th EDF Multiannual Indicative Programme foresees annual meetings with a system of rotating political Presidency among the PALOP-TL countries in order to ensure the political oversight of the cooperation. The National Authorizing Officer of Mozambique was designated as the single Programme Authorising Officer, mandated to manage the implementation and overall coordination of the 11th EDF PALOP-TL Programme.

Annually, ministerial meetings between the PALOP-TL National Authorizing Officers (NAOs) and EU representatives, in particular the EEAS (European External Action Service) and DG DEVCO (Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development), are held to provide the overall steering of the programme and ensure its efficient implementation. The XII RON (12th Meeting of PALOP-TL NAOs and the EU), is scheduled to be held in 9 December 2016 at Praia, Cabo Verde.

PALOP-TL / UE Cooperation
Project Management
Technical Supervision
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