Bringing continents together

Re-launching The Courier: The magazine we want

For over 30 years (1970–2003) The Courier, formerly The ACP-EU Courier, was an important source of information on cooperation between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union. After a four-year break, the magazine has been relaunched with a fresh, contemporary layout.

Hegel Goutier, Editor-in-chief:

The reasons for the return of The Courier magazine are many and varied and everybody will have his or her own for welcoming it, whether sentimental or intellectual. However, if there has to be just one reason, it is that since the last issue of the magazine was published three years ago, the world has seen significant changes.

We aim at a publication which is balanced in editorial content, independent and self-critical, a tool for information, education and debate.

Our main aims:

  • Providing in-depth information about the main objective of ACP-EU Cooperation, namely eradicating poverty in ACP countries, and the main tool for achieving this objective, the Cotonou Agreement. Our special attention goes to new cooperation actors: civil society and the private sector, both in the ACP countries and Europe.
  • Providing better information about ACP countries, paying attention to the balance of viewpoints.
  • Inspiring debate about the effectiveness of public development aid.
  • Reaching an ever-wider public, especially women and youth.
  • Give more space to artists coming from the ACP countries: we believe they can provide an extraordinary contribution to the understanding of reality, through artworks that capture the richness and complexity of the world.

History of The Courier

The decision by the European Community and African countries to create a joint publication on development dates back to the Yaoundé Convention I of 1963, linking the six countries of the recently formed European Community (Treaty of Rome, 1960) with 18 countries of the African Associated States and Madagascar, which foresaw boosting the capacity of African states in the field of information.

The first issue of the magazine was published in 1970, but it was with the 1st Lomé Convention and the creation of the ACP Group in 1975 that the review would start to develop a personality of its own. The Lomé Convention mentioned the publication’s title (the ACP-EU Courier) in many places. First of all, it was a request by the ACP Group, which believed that cooperation with the European Community required such a tool both for visibility and as a tool for informing and educating the population about development. Believing that the know-how of DG Development’s Information and Communications Unit would be advantageous, the ACP states asked the Commission to take charge of implementing this project financed by the European Development Fund. The Commission was both upstream and downstream at the same time, as sponsor and consultant advisor.

In the global political context following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the European Union decided to give a more important role in its international cooperation to political dialogue, promoting values judged to be vital for true development (such as democracy, human rights, good governance and gender balance) and more decentralised cooperation with a role for civil society and the private sector. This encouraged the ACP-EU Courier to move towards a more journalistic editorial style, while retaining its characteristics as a research and information publication.

What you can find in this website

The Courier’s website aims at being more than just a reproduction of the magazine.

The key features:

  • Access to the present and past issues of The Courier. You can download a PDF version of the magazine or look for articles and special features searching them by theme.
  • Updated news you can read online.
  • Possibility to subscribe online.
  • Online forum to spark discussion.
  • Links to our selection of online resources dealing with ACP and EU countries, divided by theme (institutions, culture, media, civil society).