Public debate: Africa-Europe – A changing relationship?

EARN Heads of State and Government of Europe and Africa will meet in Tripoli, Libya, on 29-30 November in the third EU-Africa to discuss the current state of Europe-Africa relations. Three years after the  Lisbon Summit, time seems to be ripe for a more critical debate and reflection on how the partnership has evolved in the current regional and international context.


The building-up of the African Union, the continued development of the sub-regional African organisations and the subsequent reconfiguration of a pan-African architecture (e.g. in the areas of peace and security, governance, or the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures); the institutional changes in the making in the EU with the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty; and global challenges (e.g. the impact of the international financial crisis, attaining the Millennium Development Goals, the impact of and adaptation to climate change, food security, to name a few) offer new opportunities and are critical challenges to the Africa-Europe partnership.

The emergence of new actors in Africa and greater South-South cooperation also influence and shape the new regional and international environment and trigger a reflection on the added-value of the EU-Africa partnership in such a context, besides the issue of its underlying vision, organization, priorities and achievements.

The Europe Africa Research Network (EARN) has been promoting, ever since it was established in the eve of the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon in December 2007, a cross reflection and exchange of views between Europeans and Africans on these issues with the aim of contributing to the policy-making debate and the political dialogue.

With that in mind, EARN organised, in partnership with the West Africa Institute for international research on regional integration and social transformations, a public debate on October 14 and 15  in Praia, Cape Verde, dedicated to debate the Europe-Africa relations vis a vis other dynamics/actors, with a particular focus on the role of ECOWAS and Cape Verde and the perspectives for the third Summit.

The public debate was followed by a EARN meeting on October 15th among EARN members and with invited European institutes/experts from Africa and Europe to discuss and comment on the papers for the EARN Report on Political Dialogue, to be published prior to the Summit. The Report, entitled “Beyond Development”, aims at discussing global issues of common concern and promoting dialogue between the public and the policy spheres beyond the traditional development area of EU-Africa Relations.

Further documents

Day 1: Public Debate

Day 2: EARN Roundtable

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