On the EU side, almost all EU institutions will bring some input into the implementation and monitoring of the Joint Strategy together with its Member States. A number of organisational adaptations are required both for the Commission and the Council to improve the coherence of the EU action and to facilitate the efficient implementation and monitoring of the Joint Africa-EU- Strategy and its Action Plan.
The work of the Commission
The implementation of the 8 Partnerships outlined in the Action Plan is a collective responsibility of the Commission. It does not only concern the DG Development(DG DEV) and other parts of the “Relex family” but also other DGs such as AGRI, EAC, ECFIN, EMPL, ENT, ENV, FISH, INFSO, JLS, JRC, REGIO, RTD, SANCO, SCIC, TAXUD and TREN.
At service level, DG DEV, RELEX and AIDCO, acting in synergy and according to their respective mandates, will ensure coherence and overall coordination of the Action Plan implementation process. Moreover, the Commission has agreed on three points of internal coordination and successful implementation:
1) the existing Commission intra-Africa-service task force will be strengthened
2) within DG DEV a group of 8 focal points (one per partnership) has been set up to follow-up and coordinate the implementation of the partnerships and draft Commission inputs into the annual Joint Africa-EU implementation reports.
3) every Commission delegation (including the African ENP Region) has one contact point to report and follow up on the Joint Strategy. Those delegations are also the links between the EU and Africa
The Commission proposes to make the agenda of the annual College-to-College meetings between the European and AU Commissions more political and operational. Future meetings will focus on political matters and act as a key building block in the Africa-EU political dialogue.
The work of the Council
The Council, representing all 27 EU Member States and other EU Institutions, has an important role in the monitoring process. In June 2007, an ad-hoc group was established to follow the drafting and adoption of the Joint Strategy and its Action Plan. After the Lisbon Summit, its mandate was extended until April 2008 to monitor the implementation phase.
Thus, the EU has considered to revise the mandate and working modalities of the existing Africa Working Group (COAFR) and establishing a Brussels-based cross-pillar working group with a mandate covering Pan-African Issues for both Sub-Saharan and Northern Africa to keep the implementation process on-going.
The new mandate clearly reflects the new vision of treating Africa as one.
The work of the EU Member States
With regard to the involvement of the MS, for each Africa-EU Partnership, EU ‘implementation teams’ have been created. These teams guarantee the joint engagement of Member States, the Commission and the EU Council Secretariat. Yet, it is clear that only those MS who are interested in the Joint Strategy will participate. There is one MS per partnership that is coordinating the partnership, together with the EU-Presidency and the other MS that are interested.
The EU Delegation to the AU
The EU Delegation to the AU in Addis plays a major role in supporting the EU’s comprehensive approach to the new strategic partnership with Africa.Additional staff will support the delegation in the progress of the Joint Africa EU Strategy. In addition to its political role in strengthening the relationship between EU and AU institutions, and to enhance coordination with other international and multilateral partners, the EU Delegation also plays a crucial role in providing direct support to the AU, in particular by backing the AU’s institutional development through the programming and implementation of capacity building programs, including the existing 55m Support Programme for the AU and the substantial other initiatives that this Delegation manages in a de-centralized manner.
The work of the European Parliament
As part of the institutional architecture of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, the European Parliament is involved in the implementation and monitoring of the Action Plans established under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament are working closely together through the inter-parliamentary delegation.
The specific role of the European Parliament (as well as Pan-African) is laid down in Paragraphs 116 and 117 of the Joint Strategy. On an annual basis, the EP (and African Parliament) will coordinate the preparation of a joint report on the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy, focusing on the policies and actions outlined in the Action Plans and using clear indicators and concrete benchmarks and timetables to ensure that implementation is on track. These reports will be presented to the Africa-EU Ministerial Troika meetings and every third year to Heads of State and Government, meeting at Summit level, alternately in the EU and in Africa.
As well, they participated at an adequate level in the informal meetings of the corresponding Joint Expert Groups (JEGs) and the Africa-EU Joint task Force (JTF).
The European Parliament works on all the partnerships.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
It will soon adopt an exploratory opinion on the EU-Africa Strategy, with a specific focus on job creation in Africa, and has expressed the willingness to share it with ECOSOCC, their AU counterpart.
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