2. Democratic governance and human rights

EU This partnership promotes democracy, rule of law and human rights in Africa, Europe and globally, by establishing an open and comprehensive dialogue on governance and human rights. Through their dialogue, Africa and Europe try to better define the issues at stake, agree on issues of common concern, improve their influence at the global level and jointly undertake specific initiatives and actions. Cultural cooperation is also part of this partnership, focusing on the protection of cultural goods, including the fight against the trafficking of cultural goods.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

The partnership is beneficial to both the EU and Africa. A democratic environment, where the voice of the people can be heard and the rule of law and human rights are respected benefits all citizens, including the most vulnerable.. Democratic electoral processes give legitimacy to governments and contribute to stability, peace and security.

The African Union (AU) is currently formulating a new Governance Architecture for Africa, with the support of the EU. Together, the two partners are also working on a Human Rights Strategy, to be adopted in early 2011. The aim is to move towards implementing a number of existing international and African legal instruments. One example is the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which promotes democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

As they develop joint positions, the EU and African States will be able to mutually strengthen each other and make their voice heard in international fora on issues such as non-discrimination, the right to life, the fight against torture, freedom of association, liberty and security, to name just a few.

What has been achieved so far?

Achievements include:

On 12 November 2010, the EU-Africa “Platform for dialogue” on governance was launched in Brussels. By creating an open space for key stakeholders, institutions governments and civil society it will contribute to enhancing democratic governance policies and respect for human rights on both continents.

The EU is supporting the AU’s Electoral Assistance Fund with €1 million.

Better coordination between EU and AU election observation missions in the countries in which they are deployed. Participation of AU observers during elections within the EU (in Germany for the federal elections, in Belgium for the European parliamentary elections, and in Sweden)

Two Civil Society Seminars on Human Rights were organised in 2009 and 2010

A biannual EU-AU human rights dialogue allows both parties to exchange views and envisage possible cooperation on matters of common interest

Joint event on women and conflict organised in the margins of the ministerial week of the UN General Assembly in 2009

The European Commission is contributing €2 million to the UNDP-managed Trust Fund to support the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat and has provided support to national APRM Structures and the implementation of APRM recommendations. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an instrument to which AU Member States voluntarily accede (currently 33 countries). Its objective is to ensure that policies and practices conform to agreed governance values, codes and standards, with a view to improving political stability, high economic growth etc.

EU Commission-sponsored colloquium on culture and creativity as vectors for development in April 2009, with 38 African ministers participating

A travelling exhibition of African art will be launched at the Summit in November 2010

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