According to a EU Press Release, Leaders of South Africa (SA) and the European Union (EU) have met on the 11th of September 2009 in Kleinmond, reaffirm their commitment to the strategic partnership based on shared values and interests, including the promotion of peace and security, human rights, democracy, the rule of law and sustainable development regionally and globally.
The 1999 Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) was a landmark in SA-EU relations and constitutes an important basis for their bilateral relations. On the 10th anniversary they are pleased to have signed the first Revision Agreement, which together with the Joint Action Plan for the SA-EU Strategic Partnership lay the ground for an enhanced and deepened relationship in diverse existing and new areas of cooperation. In this regard they are pleased to note that, since the last Summit, dialogue fora on Migration, Health, Space, Energy, ICT and Maritime Transport have been added to the existing dialogues on Science and Technology, Trade, Development, Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as Political and Security and Interparliamentary Meetings.
Both partners will continue to strengthen our bilateral relationship through the implementation of the Revised TDCA and the Joint Action Plan for the SA-EU Strategic Partnership. In this regard, both welcome the launch of the employment creation fund of € 120 million, equivalent to R 1.3 billion. Furthermore we recognise the importance of education and skills development for economic growth and poverty reduction and look forward to the establishment of a sectoral policy dialogue forum on education and training, as well as the important planned European Commission’s support for the education sector in 2009. Science and technology represents another highly relevant area, with South Africa being one of the most successful participants from outside Europe in the EU’s Framework Programmes for Research. Under the current 7th Framework Programme alone, € 13 million have so far been awarded through competitive calls for proposals to South African organisations. On the role of Science and Technology for poverty alleviation, South Africa and the EU are currently implementing a € 30 million sector budget support programme. They agreed to increase their joint efforts and shoulder their responsibilities to address the multiple challenges facing the world. Only through the involvement of both developed and developing countries in a partnership of cooperation and mutual respect can they successfully tackle the global economic and financial crisis, climate change, food insecurity and energy scarcity reports the EU press release.
They also discussed the global economic crisis, especially its negative impact on Africa. Both Partners share a commitment to the implementation of the decisions of the London G20 Meeting. Looking ahead to the Pittsburgh G20 Meeting, they share the view that the G20 economies should pursue macroeconomic and structural policy choices consistent with more balanced and sustainable global growth and equitable development that is less prone to crisis and volatility.
Moreover, it was emphasized that it is essential that developing countries have a greater voice and representation. International financial institutions need to have the resources and instruments to continue to support developing countries with financing gaps.
Both partners seem to be deeply concerned with climate change. EU and SA agreed that scaled-up funding for adaptation in developing countries is needed, especially for the most vulnerable countries and underlined
that ambitious commitments to cut emissions in the short term will reduce the need for adaptation in the medium to long term. They recognise each other’s efforts to tackle climate change, including South Africa’s National Climate Change Programme and the EU’s Energy and Climate Package. Mitigation, adaptation and development can and must go hand-in-hand. Both partners have underlined their future work to reform the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and promote its wider geographical access. As part of the international agreement under the UNFCCC, scheduled to be concluded in Copenhagen in December 2009 they will develop nationally appropriate mitigation frameworks with a view to move towards a low carbon growth path and undertake transparent nationally appropriate mitigation actions, which should be subject to appropriate measurement, reporting and verification, in the context of developed countries providing measurable, reportable and verifiable finance and technology to South Africa.
With regard to the Joint Africa-Eu Strategy, EU and SA welcome progress made in the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its first Action Plan (2008-2010), and call upon all actors to accelerate efforts to achieve tangible results. Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Non State Actors, Parliaments and the Private Sector are essential for the effective implementation of this intercontinental partnership. They agree to pursue efforts to identify sources of funding to ensure the effective implementation of the First Action Plan. We look forward to a successful Africa- EU Summit in 2010.
Read the whole EU Press Release – pdf