Joint Africa-EU Strategy faces key test in coming year

The most substantial goals of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), adopted in December 2007, are enhanced political dialogue on peace and security issues and the realisation of a professional, African-led military infrastructure by June 2010.

Progress towards this so–called Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is critical to the overall success of the entire Africa-EU partnership, given the threat that continuing conflict poses to achieving fundamental political, economic and social development goals. In order to explore what has been achieved so far and assess remaining challenges for meeting the 2010 APSA deadline, the Europe-Africa Research Network (EARN) organised a conference in Lisbon on 26 November. A unique feature of the meeting, which also discussed the partnership’s broader role in conflict prevention, management and resolution, was the involvement of senior military personnel from Portugal. Central to the discussions were lingering questions about the “value-added¨of the partnership, and ownership, power and capacity asymmetries inherent in what is supposed to be one of the more developed JAES partnerships. This, it was noted, raises serious concerns about the viability of an “equal” partnership that is almost entirely dependent on EU aid resources. ECDPM presented a paper on “APSA – the Nature and Consequences of EU Support” at the meeting.

Click here to download ECDPM’s informal summary of the discussions and the presentations to the meeting.

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