Thanks to the flexibility of the Cotonou agreement, the 10th EDF allows the EU to transfer more aid (“incentive amounts”) to countries that improve their governance, including financial, fiscal and legal systems.  While some 10th EDF funds have been allocated to unforeseen needs (for example. B, humanitarian aid and emergency aid or FLEX compensation), most are scheduled in the multi-year framework 2008-2013.  The 11th EDF`s programming began in the first half of 2012, which will be attended for the first time by the European External Action Service and the European Commission for Geographical Programmes. At the beginning of 2012, most of the details of the programming process were contained in internal documents addressed to the European institutions, but an independent analysis and description of the process was provided by the Independent Foundation, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).  Each EDF is closed for a period of several years. Since the conclusion of the first partnership agreement in 1964, EDF cycles have generally complied with partnership/convention cycles. The Stabex and Sysmin instruments to support the agricultural and mining sector were abolished by the new partnership agreement signed in Cotonou in June 2000. The agreement also streamlined the EDF and introduced a continuous programming system that would allow for greater flexibility and accountability for ACP countries. Member States have their own bilateral agreements and implement their own initiatives with developing countries that are not funded by the EDF or other EU funds. Perhaps the most radical amendment introduced by the Cotonou Agreement concerns trade cooperation. Since the first Lomé Convention in 1975, the EU has not granted reciprocal trade preferences to ACP countries. However, under the Cotonou Agreement, this system has been replaced by the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a new regime that came into force in 2008.
The new regime provides for reciprocal trade agreements, which means that not only does the EU grant duty-free access to its ACP export markets, but also that ACP countries grant duty-free access to their own markets for EU exports.