EU-Africa Pre-Summit Meeting

EARN Ahead of the 3rd Africa-EU Summit this EARN event provided a timely opportunity: (i) to discuss the Joint Africa-EU Strategy’s (JAES) main achievements, as well as the difficulties encountered in strengthening the political partnership and in enhancing cooperation between the two continents; and (ii) to gather views of African and European officials and other actors on what they see as the main priorities and expectations for the upcoming Summit, and main challenges to the future of their relations.

African and European officials present in the meeting engaged in a frank discussion about the challenges to the partnership. There is wide recognition that changes need to be brought into the relationship for building a new type of political partnership based on common interests and respect for each other priorities.

For this discussion, the organisers invited: Mr. Rudi Brieven, Chairman of the Africa Working Group in the EU Council; Mr. Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General of the ACP Group; Ms. Eva Joly, Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of its Development Committee; Mr. Philippe Darmuzey, Head of Pan-African Unit at the European Commission; Mr. Fernando Jorge Cardoso, Chair of the Europe-Africa Policy Research Network (EARN); and Mr. Ramón García Gallardo of SJ Berwin and host of the meeting. Ambassador Anil Sooklal of the South Africa Embassy to the EU, kindly accepted to join the panellists and express his views in the absence of the representative of the AU delegation to the EU. The event was chaired by Mr. Geert Laporte, Head of Institutional Relations of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM, Maastricht).

The event also provided EARN with an opportunity to present the network to the audience, and to launch and disseminate its first political dialogue report on EU-Africa relations – Beyond Development Aid: Political Dialogue on Global Issues of Common Concernand its policy proposal to effectively build a ‘new strategic political partnership’ – Agenda for Action. An EARN Proposal on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the Future of Africa-EU Relations.

Access the meeting’s report here.

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