A public consultation was launched by the African Union Commission and the European Commission at the beginning of February in order to gather civil society recommendations on the joint EU-Africa Strategy to be approved at the planned second EU-Africa Summit in December 2007. The first phase of this consultation lasted until the end of April, with the approval of an outline of the future joint Strategy on 15 May by the joint EU-Africa Ministerial Troika.
The first phase of the consultation was facilitated by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) as an independent foundation. The public consultation was mainly carried out through an Internet consultation open to all European and Africa contributors as well as initial seminars in Africa and Europe. The second phase of the consultation will be based on events and seminars organised independently by various actors in Africa and Europe. ECDPM will continue to run the website and share information about the process up until the Lisbon Summit. Please continue to send us documents and information that you would like to share: email@example.com
This is the fifth issue of the Europafrica bulletin (click here for the previous issues), which will give you an up-date on the public consultation for a joint EU-Africa Strategy. This edition focuses especially on the outline of the strategy, and how issues raised in the public consultation have been taken into consideration.
We will continue to share information through the bulletin. Subscribe by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
First outline of strategy made public
The outline of the joint strategy has been prepared by EU and AU officials that have participated in negotiations since February. It was approved at the joint Ministerial Troika Meeting on 15 May. The outline has been made available, and you can download it here. For further information on the Ministerial Meeting, download the final communiqué here.
CONCORD General Assembly
As a part of their General Assembly, CONCORD held a debate on: ‘The future of relations between the European Union and Africa’. The debate was introduced through a panel of experts, followed by discussions in smaller working groups. The experts explained that an Action Plan will be drafted to be endorsed together with the Joint Strategy in December and they encouraged further contributions by civil society. Read a report from the meeting by ECDPM here.
The public consultation on the joint EU-Africa Strategy: What is the state of the debate and to what extent are civil society recommendations reflected in the outline?
Recommendations have been given by civil society in Europe and Africa mainly through two seminars (in Accra, Ghana and in Bad Honnef, Germany) and the Internet consultation. This ECDPM paper summarizes issues raised and provides an analysis of to what extent these have or have not been integrated in the outline approved on 15 May. On the basis of this, suggestions are made of points that could be the basis of the public consultation until the Summit at the end of the year. View the paper here.
Council working group on Joint Strategy
Within the Council of the European Union, an ad hoc working group has been set up to coordinate EU member states’ positions on the wide range of issues covered by the Joint Strategy. The establishment of this group could facilitate a more systematic interaction with EU non-institutional actors. The group consists of experts from interested member states and will meet regularly, probably before each EU-Africa expert troika meeting. The first meeting of this ad hoc working group took place on 6 June.
Executive Council of the African Union
The 11th session of the Executive Council will be held on 25-26 June in Accra, Ghana, and includes on its agenda the EU-Africa joint Strategy. A civil society forum will take place before the summit including discussions on the way forward on the Joint EU-Africa Strategy. Read more here.
Parliamentary input on Joint Strategy
The European Parliament is preparing a report on the Joint Strategy which will be ready in July. It will be endorsed by the EP development committee in September and further in the Plenary in October. A declaration will be drafted together with the Pan-African Parliament and presented at the Lisbon Summit in December.
Contributions to the public consultation
We will continue to publish contributions and related articles on the website. Please send papers you would like to share to: email@example.com
- Oxfam International has submitted a contribution calling for a strategy built on Africa’s needs, political priorities and expectations. Read more here.
- A civil society workshop in Cameroon took place in Yaoundé on 31 May 2007 where the participants formulated proposals on the various thematic clusters of the Strategy. Read more here.
- International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) held a conference on the 18-20 May 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa on the Euro-African Dialogue. It was held in preparation for the EU-African Youth Summit. Read more here.
- Tralac discusses the trade relevance of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy in a note on their website.
19-21/6: Pre-AU Summit civil society meeting in Accra, Ghana, where the future joint EU-Africa Strategy should be discussed.
25/6-3/7: African Union Summit in Accra, Ghana including:
- meeting of the COREP
- meeting of the Executive Council: includes on its agenda the EU-Africa joint Strategy and provide guidance on this topic
- meeting of Heads of States focusing on a ‘grand debate on the Union government’
August: Second African Civil society seminar organised by CIDO on the joint EU-Africa Strategy (to be confirmed)
October: Parliamentary conference for members of Parliament from Europe and Africa. (Lisbon) Organised by the North-South Centre
29-31/10: Civil Society Forum on Euro-African Dialogue (Lisbon)
Beginning of December: EU-Africa Summit of Heads of States and Governments (to be confirmed)
Beginning of December: EU-Africa Youth Summit (Lisbon)
Please let us know of any events that you are planning, so we can put them in the calendar.
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