3rd Africa-EU Summit: team up for more “Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation”

EU On 29-30 November, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, will attend the Africa-EU Summit in Tripoli (Libya). 80 European and African Heads of State and Government will convene under the overarching theme “Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation” to take cooperation between the two continents to a new, more ambitious level.

Through the Africa-EU Partnership established in 2007 the two continents pursue common interests and strategic objectives as equal partners, beyond the focus of traditional development policy. During the Summit, leaders are expected to push for inclusive and sustainable growth as key drivers for development and the fight against poverty. Stronger involvement and strengthening of the private sector is an essential precondition for succeeding in this, as well as a stronger cooperation on Climate change and Peace and security.

The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said ahead of the meeting: “In a context of increasing globalisation and economic and financial crisis, the Union’s partnership with Africa is of strategic importance. We will address key issues like peace and security, global governance and regional integration. We will also step up our joint efforts to encourage investment, creating jobs and growth.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso said ahead of the meeting: “The European Union is building a strong and increasingly closer partnership with Africa. In 2007, at the Lisbon Summit, we made good progress by adopting a common strategy. We now need to consolidate and deepen our ties, building on the remaining untapped potential of EU-Africa relations. Stronger and more intense cooperation will greatly benefit Africa’s development and will play an important role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This partnership also represents for Europe a true asset and an opportunity not to be missed to foster relations with an ever more important continent in an increasingly interdependent world.”

The 80 Heads of State and Government, who represent over 1.5 billion people, will focus their debates on how the two continents can make progress on the shared priorities of promoting sustainable growth and employment and overcome the repercussions of the economic and financial crisis, particularly by creating a more business and investment-friendly environment.

Since 2007, the Joint Africa EU Strategy has made substantial progress in areas such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), peace and security, regional integration and trade. At the same time, Europe and Africa need to do more to overcome the fragmentation of policies and financial instruments. To reach their common objectives, they also need to involve further all stakeholders – parliaments, civil society and the private sector.

Discussions at the Summit will be grouped around the following themes:

  • Regional integration, infrastructure, ICT, science, and private sector development
  • Energy, climate change
  • MDGs, agriculture and food
  • Peace and security
  • Governance and human rights
  • Migration, mobility and job creation.

In their joint declaration, Heads of State and Government are expected to emphasise the global strategic importance of their Partnership, which is the only existing Strategic Partnership between two continents. The Summit should also reinvigorate efforts to achieve the MDGs, with a focus on countries that are most off-track. A joint Action Plan 2011-2013 will be adopted, including concrete actions to be pursued or launched on the strategic areas and building on accomplishments since 2007.

Prior to his participation in the Summit, President Barroso, Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Piebalgs will take part in the EU Africa Business Forum and CEOs Roundtable organised in marge of the Summit on 28 November. This Forum will notably debate ways of developing a joint strategy to ensure inclusive models for sustainable development and growth in Africa.

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