Post-Lisbon implications for Africa

Within the framework of “Fridays of the Commission” three representatives from the European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) – an independent foundation aiming at contributing to improve relations and cooperation between the European Union and the ACP and Africa in particular – delivered presentations on the implications the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon at the European Union are likely to have on Africa-EU relations at the headquarter of the African Union Commission last Friday.

The seminar was well attended by African Union Ambassadors, African Union employees, international partners of the African Union and a large group of students.

Geert Laporte asked whether the EU would be a stronger world player with the new Treaty and elaborated on the Treaty’s key objectives and the new institutions and changing roles it entailed. He focused on changes it brought about for the European development agenda and implications for Africa-EU relations and the JAES.

Henrike Klavert’s contribution concentrated on a more political approach to Africa-EU relations in the perspective of the next Summit and beyond. She provided background on Africa’s incentives to care about the Lisbon Treaty and highlighted potential opportunities and risks for Africa’s involvement with Europe’s new institutions. She identified issues of global concern, such as trade or climate change, as topics for continental cooperation.

Jeske van Seters asked whether Africa-EU development cooperation meant integration or marginalization. She elaborated on the changes that the Treaty of Lisbon brought along in terms of a new division of tasks in different steps of programming cycles. She, moreover, informed the audience of the roles of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commissioner for Development before explaining which implication this and the adaptation of EU development policy and financial instruments underway could have for the African continent.

The presentations were followed by a vivid discussion of various themes on Africa-EU relations such as the Joint Africa Europe Strategy (JAES), the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) or challenges to Peace and Security.

The three presentations can be downloaded here:

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