African Preparatory Meeting on the JAES: ECDPM Inputs

On the request of the Economic Affairs Department, ECDPM has prepared 4 papers on the Financing of the Joint Africa- EU Strategy.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), adopted at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007, is the new political framework between Africa and Europe. Aiming at establishing a political “continent-to-continent” partnership, the Strategy seeks to create a new framework to jointly address global challenges and to support pan-African integration processes, promoted by the AU. On the request of the African Union Commission at the EU-Africa Ministerial Troika in Brussels in April 2009, it was agreed to hold a joint seminar on financing and resources to foster the implementation of the 8 partnerships of the Action Plan.

The Financing/Resources Seminar on the JAES on 6th and 7th of October should address possible solutions to the lack of engagement of some stakeholders, but more importantly it should find solutions to the lack of financial and human resources. In order to prepare for this joint seminar, the AUC took the initiative to organise a Coordination Meeting of African actors on the 1st of October in Addis Ababa.

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), an independent foundation specialised on EU-Africa relations, was asked by the Economic Affairs Department in the African Union Commission to help organising this Coordination meeting by elaborating 4 short background notes on key issues related to funding the JAES.

In this context, the following papers have been prepared: (click on the title to read the paper)

Paper I – ‘Treating Africa-as-one’: Why is it important & how can it be done?

Paper II – An EU Pan-African Budget Envelope: Reflections on a possible future financing instrument

Paper III – General state of play on EU financing of the JAES

Paper IV – Understanding the linkages between the JAES and Cotonou

These four papers are linked to the agenda proposed by the AUC for the Coordination meeting on October 1, 2009.

The first session ‘The One Africa principle: More towards a pan-African envelope’ seeks to understand the nature of the partnership before the JAES; analyse the progress achieved with dealing Africa as one since the signing of the JAES; and explore ways and means to accelerate the move towards a coherent “continental” EU approach in its relation with Africa (see paper I). One option for translating the EU’s political commitment to “treat Africa-as-one” will be discussed in greater detail. It concerns the creation of a dedicated financial instrument to support the pan-African integration agenda. The AU has been asking for such a pan-African envelope since 2005, but without success so far (paper II)

The second session ‘An overview of EU financing instruments: Funding the Joint Strategy’ aims at exploring the various EC funding instruments that are relevant for the JAES -as a political project aimed at building a new partnership between two continents (paper III). Building on this examination of current funding instruments for the JAES, participants will also be invited to reflect on the future of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement with regard to the JAES and its potential role as the key framework to organise EU-Africa relations (paper IV).

While the Financing/Resources seminar seeks to explore ways of funding on both sides, EC and AUC and also their respective Member States, the 4 notes concentrate on the financial instruments of the European Commission and do not consider possible funding opportunities from EU and African States. However, this does not mean that such other possibilities should not be explored at the Financing/Resources Seminar on the 6th and 7th of October 2009 itself.

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