The Council of Ministers Meeting is where Ministers from all ACP and EU countries join to discuss issues relating to the areas of co-operation between the two groups. Additionally, from the EU side, Commissioners are present in order to raise issues, or address issues that are raised by the ACP countries.
This engagement is one of the most important engagements between the EU and the ACP as it is the Council of Ministers which enacts the decisions made by the ACP-EU Summit. Furthermore, the ACP Council of Ministers is the body of the ACP which is able to make decisions regarding membership, accession and ratification of treaties, and guides the work with regards to the revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) which occurs once every five years where both the ACP and EU countries sit and negotiate on various areas where revision of the agreement is deemed necessary.
Topics covered in the ACP-EU Council of Ministers consist of climate change, the global economic and financial crisis, trade, crime and justice, migration, health, education, social enhancement and culture, fisheries, agriculture, and the Doha round of WTO negotiations.
Like the JPA meetings, the ACP always has its own sitting of the council prior to the joint sitting in order to address issues collectively, and adopt an agenda and programme for the joint sitting of the Council. Issues raised here are debated, and then put forward to the EU Ministers wherever necessary.