During the 11th EU-Africa Ministerial Troika in Addis Ababa the role of the JEGs was finally defined and the first guidelines for the Joint Expert Groups were published, though some issues still remain to be resolved.
The JEGs are informal, open-ended bodies that do not take new policy decisions or initiatives as had initially been suggested. On the contrary, the JEGs are intended to provide a forum in which experts can discuss the implementation and financing of the priority actions. Consisting of African, European, international actors and CSOs, each of the groups decides on its own working arrangements, and thus on the frequency of these joint meetings, their venue and composition. The JEGs have been mandated to coordinate the members’ roles, set a timeline and road map for implementation by defining priority actions, foster debate and report regularly to the other actors.
The first JEG meetings for all eight partnerships took place in October and November 2008. It concentrated on the institutional structure and modalities and resulted in joint agreements on the priorities and activities for 2009. The second JEG meeting was held in March April 2009.