Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on the 3rd Africa-EU Summit

European Parliament On the occasion of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso‘s  “State of the Union address” to the European Parliament the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, made the following comment on the 3rd Africa-EU Summit in November:

“The political issues to be addressed at the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit are being prepared in close cooperation with the other institutional EU actors involved, in line with the new institutional set-up under the Lisbon Treaty. The Commission, as one of the motors of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, will play a key role in defining the agenda of that summit.

The European Commission expects that the Third EU-Africa Summit, to be held in Libya at the end of November 2010, will define in more concrete terms the scope and ambition of political and technical cooperation between the European Union and Africa in the coming years. In particular, the summit should agree on the substance and working methods of the new Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the Action Plan for 2011-2013.

It is important to remember that the Lisbon Summit in 2007 was essentially about upgrading Africa-EU relations, building on a partnership of equals. The 2010 Summit should be oriented towards action and achieving very concrete results.

As regards the substance in detail, the Commission would like to see the following issues addressed at the summit:

– an over-arching theme of growth, job creation and investment, which is crucial for both the EU and Africa. This theme will allow leaders to discuss enablers for economic growth in areas like energy efficiency, private sector development and trade, agriculture and food security;

– environmental protection, particularly focusing on climate change and biodiversity protection;

– peace and security, which is an important issue, including addressing crisis situations, the combating of terrorism, piracy and transnational crime, and the links to governance and human rights.

The Commission expects a number of leaders from both continents to attend this meeting and to agree upon concrete deliverables, reaching out to all African and European stakeholders, media and citizens. In the margins of the Summit, Heads of State and Government will be able to share their views with representatives of the two parliaments, the private sector and civil society.

In addition, the Commission plans to engage other representatives of African stakeholders, universities and researchers, youth organizations and local authorities. As with previous summits, these side events will culminate in the adoption of political declarations and/or joint statements by the Heads of State and Government.”

See a video of Commissioner Piebalgs’ statements during the debate here.

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