The present recommendation concerns a decision authorising the Commission to engage on behalf of the Union in the negotiations to partially review the International Cocoa Agreement (“ICA”)1that the International Cocoa Council (“ICC”) decided to launch, under the guidance of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Review of the International Cocoa Agreement 2010
The European Union is a party to the ICA 2 .
The ICA aims to ensure enhanced international cooperation in connection with world cocoa matters and related issues, provide a forum for intergovernmental consultations on cocoa and on ways to improve the world cocoa economy, to facilitate trade by collecting and providing information on the world cocoa market and to encourage increased demand for cocoa.
The ICA provisionally entered into force on 1 October 2012 for a period of ten years until 30 September 2022.
According to Article 7 of the ICA, the ICC is the responsible body for the performance of all functions necessary to carry out the provisions of the ICA. Article 12 of the ICA stipulates that all decisions of the ICC shall be taken in principle by consensus unless stipulated otherwise in the ICA. In the absence of consensus, decisions shall be made by a special vote.
According to Article 10 of the ICA, Members to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) hold 2000 votes in total. Each Member to the ICCO holds a specified number of votes, which is annually adjusted following predefined criteria in the ICA. The Agreement and especially the distribution of votes among Members also determine a Member’s contribution. Currently, the Union is the largest contributor to the ICCO budget by far.
The ICC opened negotiations in order to be able to decide on a possible extension of the validity of the ICA before the current deadline. These negotiations will be the right opportunity to review partially the ICA focusing on its modernisation and simplification.
The Commission guidelines to recommended changes are set out in the Annex.
Bringing reform to the ICA to further align it with the practices the Union fosters in other international commodity boards, as well as with developments in the global cocoa market since 2010, is clearly in the interest of the Union. This has been regularly outlined during the last ICC sessions in 2019-2020 where EU Member States also participated.
The overall purpose of the ICA as outlined in Article 1 of the Agreement is not intended to change.
Two main changes are to be proposed in the revised ICA:
- To make sure that Members make all necessary efforts to accomplish a sustainable cocoa economy, taking into account the sustainable development principles contained, inter alia, in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in New York in 2015.
- To agree that the revised ICA shall remain in force until terminated by Council.