Draft of JAES Action Plan: Cross-Cutting Issues

AU and EU The draft of the JAES Action Plan 2011-2013 on Cross-Cutting Issues as communicated in the report of the 11th meeting of the Joint AUC-EC Task Force (JTF) reads “Both sides agree on the following options on cross-cutting issues to enhance the effectiveness of the Action Plan and to improve its working methods.

The Action Plan 2011-2013 provides a framework to implement JAES priorities collectively agreed upon and adopted at the Summit in November 2010 by the African and European Heads of State and Government. The EU and AU Commissions will continue to play an active role in the implementation, but cannot deliver alone on the Action Plan’s ambitious commitments. Therefore, priority will be given to better define how activities implemented at the national, regional and continental levels by European and African Member States, RECs and other key stakeholders including the private sector will contribute to deliver on the collective commitments and improve the impact and visibility of the Action Plan 2011-2013.

I. JAES: enhanced political dialogue and coordination

Political and policy dialogue:
Currently, African and European Heads of State and Government meet every three years at Summit level to take decisions concerning relations between the two continents, embedded within the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. In between Summits, six-monthly Ministerial meetings carry the political dialogue forward, review the implementation of the Joint Strategy / Action Plans, and provide political guidance as necessary. Recently, these dialogues of Foreign Ministers have started to be complemented by sector-specific Ministerial or Senior Officials meetings and which were prepared by experts, taking into account inputs from JEGs and the Joint Task Force.

1. Political dialogue at the level of Heads of State and Government and Foreign Ministers: Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the EU side, the representation of the EU in Political Dialogue meetings at Summit and Foreign Ministers level has changed. On the African side, no changes are currently foreseen for the AU Troika format. Both sides agree to seize the opportunities offered by the EU’s new institutional arrangements to further intensify the formal and informal contacts between European and African Leaders and their respective services on regular and ad hoc basis.

2. Sectoral political / policy dialogue: Africa and EU have agreed to enhance the frequency, scope and effectiveness of their thematic policy dialogue in key priority areas. Joint Experts Groups and other competent African and EU bodies will assess

3.    Dialogue at national and at regional level: The Joint Strategy and the implementation of the Action Plan 2011-2013 will be systematically included in political dialogue meetings between the EU and African regions and countries.

4. Cooperation in the UN, in international financial institutions and in other intl.fora: Dialogue and cooperation between European and African Heads of Missions (HoMs) and experts in New York, Geneva and elsewhere will be systematically strengthened, notably with a view to better understand respective positions, to define and defend common approaches, and to follow-up initiatives in the various partnerships. EU Delegations and the AU representations and other African counterparts will engage on a more systematic basis, including through the setting up of appropriate flexible EU- Africa dialogue- and coordination arrangements.

5. EU and AU Commissions: The two Commissions will further strengthen their respective internal coordination mechanisms for the implementation of the Joint Strategy.

6.    Coordination of European partners:
a. EU Coordination in Brussels: Efforts will be made to strengthen the coordination between capitals and Council working groups in Brussels to ensure coherence and complementarity between bilateral initiatives and collective EU commitments, and to ensure stronger coordination and collaboration between the different geographical working groups dealing with Africa, in line with the principle of treating Africa as one.
b. EU Delegations: With the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the role of EU Delegations in African capitals has been strengthened. All EU Delegations in Africa, but more particularly the EU Delegations to the AU and in RECs capitals, will play an important role in ensuring effective EU coordination and in promoting awareness and ownership among Member States.
c. EU coordination in Addis: The coordination between the EU Delegation and Member States’ representations will be strengthened with a view to enhancing coherence and visibility of EU positions, including within the AU PG.

7.    Coordination of African partners:
a. AU coordination in Addis Ababa: steps will be taken to strengthen the coordination between the AU-PRC and its relevant sub-Committees on the one
b. Coordination with RECs: efforts will be made to systematically address all JAES-related issues within the framework of the 6-monthly AU-RECs coordination meetings;
c.    AU Delegation to the EU: The AU Permanent Mission to the EU and the ACP Group follow the Africa-EU cooperation, the coordination of the group of African ambassadors in Brussels and the implementation of the Cotonou ACP- EU partnership agreement, and represents the AU in the 27 EU Member States. The role of the AU Mission in the implementation of the Strategy and the Action Plan will be enhanced. If need be, its capacity will be further strengthened to enable it better perform this role.

8. Synergies and coordination between the Joint Strategy / Action Plan and other EU- Africa cooperation frameworks: Both sides agree to strive for more synergies and better coordination between the Joint Strategy and other existing cooperation frameworks and –instruments between the EU and African Partners (Cotonou- Agreement for sub-Saharan countries, ENP/Union for the Mediterranean for Northern Africa, TDCA/DCI for South Africa), notably through coordination meetings in the margins of the meetings of the respective joint cooperation meetings and institutions.

II. JAES institutional architecture and working arrangements
9. Joint Expert Groups (JEGs): Guidelines defining the mandate, composition and working methods for JEGs have been endorsed by the 11th Africa-EU Ministerial Troika7 as a living document to steer the Joint Experts Groups in their work. The Ministerial Meeting on 26.04.2010 endorsed a joint paper with options to improve the implementation of the Joint Strategy. JEGs will actively re-examine these options and implement the necessary arrangements to improve their functioning. Such arrangements could include an agreement of internal working guidelines or on handing over responsibilities for coordinating the implementation of specific aspects of the partnerships to other existing bodies such as the African Peace Facility JCC or the Steering Committee of the Infrastructure Partnership.

10. While avoiding a “one size fits all approach, JEGs will also address, in addition to the specific proposals to enhance the effectiveness of their individual work, the following cross-cutting issues:
a.    Co-chairs and the two Commissions will consult their respective constituencies ahead of JEG meetings, by convening coordination meetings.
b. JEGs will seek a better connection of their work with the political decision making process, and will examine possibilities to provide inputs to and to
receive the necessary guidance from sectoral Senior Officials or Ministerial meetings (cf. para.2 above).

11. Both sides will seek to involve the European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank (ADB) and national or regional development finance institutions more actively in the implementation of the Partnerships.

12. Africa-EU Joint Task Force (JTF): The participation in the JTF has been enhanced to allow stakeholders to contribute more actively to the implementation of the Joint Strategy. The JTF will improve coordination between the key actors for the Action Plan’s implementation, namely the two Commissions, the EU External Action Service, the two Parliaments, African and EU JEG co-chairs, RECs, private sector and civil society representatives (for the African side through AU-ECOSOCC). The JTF will address the cross-cutting issues and difficulties, and identify synergies across partnerships. The JTF will also contribute to preparing the JAES-related decisions, which will continue to be taken at the political level in Ministerial meetings

III. JAES financing

13. The Strategy’s success is a joint Euro-African responsibility and requires significant political and operational resources to deliver on the ambitious agendas. The implementation, including financing of the JAES, is a joint task for all stakeholders: European and AU Commissions, Member States, Financing Institutions, RECs, as well as private sector and civil society on both sides. It is essential that European and African actors engage at continental, regional, national levels to provide the necessary inputs. This will require in particular the continuing mainstreaming of the JAES in existing instruments. The EU and Africa will therefore cooperate closely to secure the appropriate funding to implement the Action Plan 2011-2013. To this end, the JAES will be mainstreamed in all available instruments, be they managed by the EU institutions (EDF, ENPI, DCI, IfS, EIDHR, EIB instruments…), EU Member States’ bilateral instruments, or African contributions. In the same vein, both sides agree to further engage in the discussions on the African proposals to jointly establish an African Integration Facility to support the implementation of the Joint Strategy and its Action Plan.

14. As a Joint political framework, the JAES shall steer policy choices and improve the coherence and complementarity of the EU’s and Africa’s action. The Joint Strategy will be used to orient the programming of existing instruments, and the priorities of this Action Plan shall be consistently integrated in relevant (African) Strategic Plans and (joint) programming processes of relevant instruments, according to their respective scope and general objectives. Both sides will make further progress to make the relevant financial instruments supportive of the Action Plan. Existing joint programming mechanisms (such as the dialogue between the EU and African National and Regional Authorising Officers and the ACP Secretariat) will be more efficiently used by both sides to ensure JAES priorities are adequately reflected.

15. Both sides will also pursue efforts to translate the Lisbon commitments to treat Africa as one into a reality. All involved actors will work to reinforce synergies between them.

16. Efficiently use capacity building programmes to enhance AU capacities to implement the JAES: Through the EDF’s Institutional Support Programme for the AU and similar bilateral initiatives, the EU will continue to provide an integrated and comprehensive support to strengthen the financial, administrative management and the policy making capacity of AU institutions, and to enable the AU Commission to play an effective role in the implementation of the Strategy and the Action Plan, notably through the support of its institutional transformation process. Under the 10th EDF Intra-ACP envelope, the future capacity building programme will ensure continuity with the current initiatives under the 9th EDF. Both sides agree to use this programme to support the capacities of the African Union and its organs to implement the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the 8 thematic partnerships of the Action Plan 2011-2013, in particular through a strengthening of the necessary competencies in the field of policy- making, programme design and implementation, monitoring and follow-up (but excluding the possibility of supporting operational costs of specific projects). This will include in particular a better integration and streamlining the 8 thematic JAES partnerships in the AUC’s structures and work programmes.

17. Set-up the complementary support mechanisms for specific needs / technical support: Based on the experience of the JAES Action Plan 2008-10, both sides will examine the possibility of establishing a small, flexible and demand-driven assistance mechanism to address implementation difficulties and to provide the necessary technical, administrative and secretarial support for the implementation of the JAES Action Plan 2011-2013. Such a mechanism should support, on a demand-driven basis, the functioning of the thematic partnerships (notably the expert groups and their co- chairs in preparing and following-up their meetings, and in facilitating communication and continued work between meetings), and facilitate the engagement of Non-State Actors. The support mechanism should also assist the preparation of bankable projects, for example through the preparation of feasibility studies and other project- preparation activities, provided that the necessary resources are being made available. Finally, the mechanism should support communication and outreach activities, including the joint JAES website (www.africa-eu-partnership.org, on-line since 1st October 2008.

18. Explore innovative financing options: Both sides agree to explore innovative financing mechanisms such as “Auction Floors” and Public Private Partnerships to reach out actively to the private sector as an essential stakeholder of this Action Plan, and to put in place the conditions to foster more effective participation of the private sector, particularly in the areas of transport, energy and infrastructure. Innovative approaches should be developed to better engage with the private sector and leverage funding, skills and competences, which can contribute to more sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

IV. A people-centred partnership

19. Last, but certainly not least, both sides agree to support the active involvement of the European and Pan-African Parliaments (EP, PAP) in the implementation and the monitoring of this Action Plan, in line with the principles agreed in Lisbon and the arrangements endorsed by the Ministerial Troika of 28 April 2009.

20. Both sides also agree to support the active involvement of the Civil Society to facilitate and promote a broad-based and wide-ranging people-centred partnership, notably through the participation as members of JEGs.”

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