African actors involved in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy

After the Lisbon Summit the AU Commission has taken some active steps to ensure that an effective implementation and monitoring framework is in place.

African Union Commission
African Member States
The AU Permanent Representation in Brussels
Pan-African Parliament
Civil Society
RECs

The work of the African Union Commission (AUC)
The Commission of the African Union conducted a series of consultations aimed at building consensus on the way forward. In this regard, two regional consultations of Member States were held. The first, held on 19-20 March 2008 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), brought together Member States from the Western, Northern and Central Regions of the continent. The second, held in Maseru (Lesotho) on 14-15 April 2008, brought together Member States from the Eastern and Southern Regions of the continent. The EU side participated as observer in these two meetings. The meetings came up with a series of recommendations covering a wide range of issues.

The following has been agreed:
1) The AU Commission will play the key role of coordinating the implementation process of the Joint Strategy and the first Action Plan as mandated by the AU Executive Council at the Sharm-el-Sheikh Summit. In order to effectively carry out this mandate and inter-departmental Task Force has been formed within the AU Commission: Every department which has an area covered in the Action Plan is represented in the Task Force. The members of this Task Force will also participate in the African Experts Groups. This is to ensure that actions to be implemented within the framework of the eight partnerships of the first Action Plan adequately reflect policies/commitments/decisions taken by the African Union.

2) African Experts Groups: Eight such groups are being formed. These will comprise interested African countries, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and representatives of the AU Commission and specialized institutions. The Experts Groups will conduct an assessment of ongoing projects/programmes as well as existing facilities/tools that can be utilised in the implementation of the various partnerships. They will work together with EU counterparts in the Informal Joint (Africa-EU) Experts Groups to be formed later.

Get an overview of the AU Commissioner working on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy – pdf

The work of the African Member States
The AU MS are involved on a regular basis through regional consultation meetings (Maseru, Lesotho, April 2008 and Ouagadougo, Burkina Faso, March 2008), and on a regular basis through the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREP) in Addis. So far, these meetings have been organised in a format of Chef de file. The African Member States will be part of the Africa Expert Groups that have been established to conduct an assessment of ongoing projects/programmes as well as existing facilities/tools that can be utilised in the implementation of the various partnerships. They will work together with EU counterparts in the Informal Joint (Africa-EU) Experts Groups to be formed later.

A number of African Member States have expressed interest in the various partnerships or pledging experts for participation in the African Working Group.

The AU Permanent Representation in Brussels
The AU Permanent Representation in Brussels will continue to be actively involved in the monitoring and implementation process. The Office will play a key role in enhancing communication between the African Union and the European Union. It has been assigned to include the follow up processes as part of its mandate and the AU Permanent Representative in Brussels is fully engaged. Hence, the requisite effort is being exerted with a view to enhancing the Mission’s capacity to enable it better fulfil this very important role.

PAP
The Pan-African Parliament works closely together with the European Parliament trough inter-parliamentary delegation. The first between these two actors has taken place in South Africa at the 9th ordinary session of the Pan-African Parliament. The PAP expressed its intention to support the AUC at the level of national parliaments, particularly regarding issues that require action by national executives. The PAP undertook to work closely with the Executive, where necessary, to ensure action on matters relating to the implementation of the Action Plan as well as play an active part in informing African populations regarding developments in the implementation of the Action Plan.

On 23 March 2009, at Strasbourg, the PAP as the EP is to participate at an adequate level in the meetings of the corresponding Joint Expert Groups (JEGs). Both parliaments have indicated that they feel that they ought to be represented in the Joint Task Force. Pan-African Parliament (and European Parliament) also proposed that they be also represented at an adequate level in these preparatory teams for the partnerships which are of particular interest to each Parliament. The President of the Pan-African Parliament (and European Parliament) will be invited to attend the EU-Africa Summits and to present to the participants in the Summit their Parliaments’ conclusions on the implementation of the Action Plan and their suggestions for the future orientations of the Strategy.


Civil Society
Read more about African Civil Society


RECs
The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) will be fully involved in the monitoring and implementation process of the eight partnerships. Therefore the AU Commission will ensure that the eight RECs recognised by the African Union2 are engaged with a view to discussing their possible roles in the process. For example, at the last RECs Coordination Meeting held in Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt) on 28 June 2008, the RECs agreed that they be fully involved in the implementation process of the partnerships.

free web site hit counterView presentation on RECs

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