THE inclusion of a differentiated approach towards aid in the European Commission's Agenda for Change has concerned the African, Caribbean and Pacific states.
A statement from the ACP secretariat said the proposed policy sought to deliver EU development assistance more efficiently by focusing on key priority areas and targeting resources towards Least Developed Countries, while cutting national allocations to high income and upper middle income countries.
"The inclusion of the element of graduation, linked to a differentiated approach with respect to access to resources, in our view is not within the spirit of the Second Revision of Cotonou," ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas said.
Dr Chambas made the statement while addressing the Pacific ACP leaders in Rarotonga, Cook Islands this week.
"We believe that ACP countries that have achieved favourable economic performance should be supported to transition into a more stable and sustainable growth path.
"Countries should not be unduly punished because they have been able to ensure growth and prosperity through discipline, sound governance and prudent economic policies."
The statement said countries have argued that specific vulnerabilities faced by Small Island Developing States were not reflected in the economic classification of countries.
Countries that were likely to be excluded from EU bilateral aid under the new policy were the Caribbean countries as well as several countries from Africa and the Pacific.
The ACP Group called on the European Union to refrain from taking any unilateral measures that would modify the legal framework of the 2010 revised Cotonou Agreement.
"The dialogue on this issue is continuing in Brussels and we hope that a mutually acceptable solution can be found soon," Dr Chambas said.