“Fridays of the Commission”: The Lisbon Treaty of the EU

AU The Second Session of the Fridays of the Commission for 2010 will be organised on Friday 22 October 2010 from 2:30pm to 6:00pm at the Headquarters of the Commission of the African Union in Addis Abeba and focus on the Lisbon Treaty of the EU.

It is an important and capital theme as Africa and Europe are linked by political cultural, language and economic affinities which date far back. These relations have been revitalized through successive frameworks: Yaounde Conventions, Lome Conventions, the Cotonou Agreement, then the Mediterranean Economic Development Area MEDA, remplaced since 2007 by the ENP (European Neighberhood and Partnership Instrument and the treaty of TDCA, (Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement).

Closer to us, Africa and Europe expressed the joint will to rehabilitate their relations by exploring the new areas based on shared responsibilities, mutual respect, the treatment of Africa as one entity and on in-depth cooperation in the management of issues related to world governance and the one linked to the management of international public affairs (environment, health, climate change, etc.).

This new will to change the direction of cooperation was strongly expressed in 2002 in Cairo with the establishment of the Africa -Europe Dialogue which will hold its Third Summit on 29 and 30 November 2010, in Tripoli, Libya. In the dynamics of this new momentum Africa and the European Union adopted in 2007 in Lisbon, a Joint Strategy to be implemented through different Plans of Action for a duration of three years each. But in truth, this common will to cooperate on new bases does not manifest itself as initially planned.

In truth, a few months after the adoption of the Joint Strategy, one of whose major sacrosanct elements is to treat Africa as one, the European Union established the Union for the Mediterranean aimed at strengthening further its relations with North Africa. This act, therefore, is far removed from the will to treat Africa as one by adjusting gradually the former instruments of action of the European Union to the principles and modalities of the Joint Strategy.

Furthermore, the European Union in the process of completing its economic and political integration adopted the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009. This Treaty by restructuring the organs of the European Union produced indubitably an impact on the Africa-Europe relations, marked by the Joint Strategy and its different Plans of Action. In other words, the Lisbon Treaty aiming at boosting the process of the integration of Europe will leave marks on the Africa – Europe relations.

What is this impact? What is its scope? How does it manifest itself? And how the EU tries to integrate this factor into its relations with Africa?

It is to bring clear and precise replies to these many questions that the team of «Fridays of the Commission » invited the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).

The Presenters at this important Conference are the following:

i. Geert Laporte, The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM): The EU: A stronger world role.

ii. Henrike Klavert, The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM): A more political approach to the Africa –EU relations in the perspective of the next summit and beyond?.

iii. Jeske van Seters, The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM): Africa-EU from cooperation to development: integration or marginalisation?

Staff Members of the Commission, African and Non-African diplomats at post in Addis Ababa, Researchers, and Academics in Addis Ababa, University and College Students of Ethiopia, you are all invited to participate in this Session so as to contribute and shed light on this important problem.

To attend the conference, you can come to the AUC headquarters on the date of the conference and register at the gate.

Organized by
Department of Economic Affairs
In collaboration with
Communication and Information Division (press release)

Contact Address:
Ms Fetun Getahun
E-mail: fetunG@africa-union.org
Tel.: (251 11) 5 51 92 87
Fax: (251 11) 5 51 02 49

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