Global Arab Network Africa and the European Union will hold their 3rd Summit in Libya on 29-30 November 2010 , reports Global Arab Network. Under the overarching theme of “Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation”, Heads of States and Governments will address key issues, like peace and security, climate change, regional integration and private sector development, infrastructure and energy, agriculture and food security, migration.
The overarching theme ties together several topics and underlines different facets of the partnership, which will allow fostering joint positions in the upcoming key international negotiations.
The political commitments of the Heads of State and Government will be translated in the Action Plan (2011-13) to be adopted at the Summit. This action plan will include concrete actions to strengthen cooperation in the 8 partnerships and will also move into new promising areas.
High level participation of Summit observers from EIB, UNIDO, IF Is, etc., and direct interaction with CEOs of the private sector in the margins of the Summit is confirmed.
The 3rd Summit is a unique opportunity for Africa and Europe to demonstrate their ability to pool their efforts and to reaffirm their ambitious Lisbon commitments. The progress made in the eight thematic partnerships will be assessed three years after the Joint Strategy was launched. African and European Partners will also define the priorities of their cooperation in the years to come and will translate their ambitions into tangible actions to be contained in the second action plan.
The Heads of State and Government Summit is the most important political event within the EU-Africa relations framework. Taking place amongst an intense political agenda – two months after the UN MDG High level meeting in New York and a few days before the Cancun Conference on Climate Change- the Summit is a unique opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen the strategic relationship between Africa and Europe.
Heads of State and Government will focus their discussions on key thematic issues of interest for both continents. They should agree on concrete deliverables and flagship initiatives. The overarching theme of the summit is “Growth, Investments and Job creation”: the aim is to discuss concrete ways to create more and inclusive growth.
Action Plan 2011 – 2013
The third Africa-EU Summit is also expected to adopt the Second Action Plan (2011-13) of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. This action plan should be endorsed by the next ministerial meeting to be held in Malawi in November 2010.
In the run-up of the Summit, both sides decided to conjugate ambition with pragmatism.. The new Action Plan will build on existing partnership roadmaps and take into account the experience and results of the past years. The initiatives comprised will have a clear regional, continental, or global added-value and will contribute to the innovative approaches of the Joint Strategy – to move the Partnership “beyond development, beyond Africa and beyond institutions”. Some new initiatives into promising areas such as energy or public/private partnerships are also expected.
All partners are expected to make suggestions on the working arrangements of the eight thematic partnerships. While drafting the next Action Plan 2011 – 2013, both sides also aim at improving the operational efficiency of the partnership.
A people-centered Partnership: all stakeholders are concerned
Given their role as building blocks of the African Integration, substantial engagement of African regional and sub-regional economic communities (RECs) is crucial for the Africa-EU Partnership.
Other actors, such as parliaments, civil society, or the private sector, have also been associated to the Strategy and are encouraged to pool their efforts for its implementation.
This inclusive approach beyond institutions will in fact materialise during the Summit itself. Similarly to 2007, a series of side-events will take place in the margins of the summit, and will bring together representatives from all African and European stakeholders involved in the Joint Strategy (civil society, youth, private sector, trade unions, researchers and scientists, etc.). This will provide further impetus to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy as a “people-centred partnership”.
The political momentum created by the Summit should be used by relevant actors involved in the process to further mobilise all other interested players.
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