African Union The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) agreed upon during the Lisbon Summit (2007), reflects a commitment to establish a “strengthened political partnership” between both continents. It is meant to provide an “overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations” to be implemented through eight thematic partnerships, successive Action Plans (APs) and a multi-layered institutional architecture.
Governance and human rights occupy a central position in the new policy framework. The related ‘Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights’ (PDGHR) is expected to “enable a comprehensive continent-to-continent dialogue and cooperation” on a wide range of governance issues. The first Action Plan 2008-2010 includes priority actions geared at enhancing dialogue at various levels as well as supporting the pan-African governance architecture. The governance partnership has two peculiarities, not to be found in the other 8 partnerships of the JAES. First, both parties agreed to put in place a “platform for dialogue on all governance issues of mutual interest”. Second, the EU committed itself to set-up “an instrument” to support the pan-African governance architecture (taking into account the positive experience with the African Peace Facility).
Over the last two years, both parties have tabled their own ideas on the proposed Platform, respectively in a European ‘Concept Paper’ and in an African Position Paper. However, so far there has been no in-depth, structured dialogue aimed at forging a full-fledged consensus on how the Platform should concretely operate. The joint workshop in Addis Ababa (13-14 September) sought to address this gap. Its purpose was “to refine respective African and European positions on the content, format and modalities of the Platform, in view of developing a consolidated joint Africa/EU approach”.
The following documents illustrate the process:
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