Broadening participation and intensifying the implementation of the European Union’s (EU) Strategy for Africa

December 19, 2006

by Grace Wakio


The adoption by the European Union of its Strategy for Africa (the strategy) was a timely move. The strategy provides the framework for action and interaction between the EU and its member states and the African Union (AU) and its member states. The review of the implementation of this strategy is an opportunity to examine whether its broad principles and actions under specific
thematic are yielding results. This article aims to propose a new principle that should be incorporated into the EU Strategy for Africa and recommends some actions to be undertaken under specific thematic areas.

Broader participation as a principle in the EU strategy for Africa

The strategy is informed by the principles of equality, partnership and ownership that influence EU-Africa relations. A new principle, of participation, could be considered in addition to these three. This principle would not only enhance the implementation of the strategy but also its legitimization. The principle can be considered at the EU and AU levels and the member state level and the inclusion of non-state actors in the designing and implementation process.

At the EU and AU levels, it is important that all union organs are involved in the designing and implementation of the strategy. There can be an institutional champion for the strategy such as the European Commission and European Council in the case of the EU and the Commission of the AU in the case of the AU. At the AU level, organs including the Pan African Parliament, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the Peace and Security Council can be more involved in the strategy’s implementation. Such involvement will also serve to strengthen the institutional linkages between the different AU organs.

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Source: EU-Africa e-alert – No. 4 / December 2006

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EU-Africa e-alert: EU-AU Relations and Follow-up of the EU Strategy for Africa

November 15, 2006

1. EU – AU dialogue and institutional relations

Brazzaville communiqué and the launch of a joint Strategy
The 7th EU-Africa Ministerial Troika Meeting took place in Brazzaville (Congo) on 8-10 October. Discussions focused on the preparation of the joint EU-Africa strategy and in this context the ministers agreed to expedite work towards the holding of the second Europe-Africa Summit in Lisbon in 2007. A consultation will be launched in all areas relevant to the Joint Strategy. The ministers also had an extensive discussion of conflict situations, in particular in the Sudan and Somalia. The ministers agreed to hold the EU-Africa conference on Migration and Development in Tripoli, Libya, on 22-23 November 2006 and underlined the necessity of thorough preparation of this event.

Final Communique:

2. EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership

In June 2006 – pursuing the agreement reached at the EU-South Africa Joint Cooperation Council in 2005 – the Commission put forward a Communication on a partnership between the EU and South Africa proposing a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated long-term framework for political cooperation, which does justice to South Africa’s and the EU’s unique positions in the new, globalised world. The objectives of this Partnership were planned to be achieved via an Action Plan to be submitted to the Joint EU-South Africa Cooperation Council on 14 November 2006, eventually leading to the adoption of a Joint Declaration by both Parties. The GAERC of 16/17 October had to adopt Council Conclusions providing general orientations on this matter. Delays have however been encountered.

Conclusions of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on South Africa (16-17 October 2006)
The Council welcomed the Commission’s communication and stressed that the strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa shall be complementary to and fully consistent with the EU Strategy for Africa. It is envisaged that the existing cooperation between the EU and South Africa will be enhanced by moving from political dialogue to shared objectives and strategic political cooperation on regional, African and global issues including conflict prevention and resolution in Africa.

Conclusions of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on South Africa (13 November 2006)
The Council reached political agreement on the following draft decisions: a decision authorising the opening of negotiations with South Africa in order to revise the EU-South Africa agreement on trade, development and cooperation; a decision giving guidance to the Commission for the revision of the agreement on trade, development and cooperation. Both decisions will be formally adopted at a forthcoming Council meeting.

European Parliament resolution on an EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership
The Parliament welcomed the Commission’s approach but urged it not to insist on including in the revised TDCA elements which would hamper South African economic development or the struggle for poverty alleviation, not to interfere in South Africa’s decisions regarding the participation of the private sector in the provision of basic services and to draw lessons from the failure of the SACU-US free trade negotiations, in which the USA tried to impose unacceptable conditions on SACU.〈uage=EN

3. EU partnership for the Horn of Africa

New EU partnership for the Horn of Africa
The European Commission adopted on the 20 October an “EU partnership for peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa.” This strategy sets out a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention in the Horn of Africa, tackling the root causes of instability, and provides a political framework for concrete regional initiatives and for structured dialogue between partners.

“New EU strategy targets Horn of Africa instability”
This article describes the new strategy as more of a diagnosis than a cure. It also stresses the importance of the genuine support of all seven countries included in the strategy for it to have any chance of succeeding.

British Parliamentarian delegation Calls on International Community to Pay Attention to Peace, Stability in the Horn of Africa

4. The EU Strategy for Africa and the drafting of a joint EU/Africa Strategy

Conclusions of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on the EU Strategy for Africa, 16-17 October 2006
The Council held an exchange of views on implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa, on the basis of a report by high representative Javier Solana and commissioner Louis Michel. It requested member states to provide input for a comprehensive report to be made, so as to enable the European Council to review the strategy’s implementation at its meeting on 14 and 15 December.

Review of the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa by the European Council in December 2006
A comprehensive report prepared by the European Commission and General Secretariat of the Council on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa will be discussed during the Council. It will take stock of the progress made and summarise the main actions taken at Community and Common Foreign and Security Policy level to implement the Strategy as well as include the activities of individual Member States.

A first Progress Report on Community Action has been prepared by the EC and the Council Secretariat and presented to the October GAERC. It includes the progresses made at the Community level to implement the EU Strategy towards Africa.
Progress Report on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa: EU Factsheet

5. Other Relevant Information

First EU-Africa business forum (Brussels, 16-17 November 2006)

The forum, aimed at laying a more prolonged and open dialogue between the private sector in Africa and the EU, is foreseen in the EU Strategy for Africa. The Forum may become an annual event, like the similar Forums that exist already for cooperation between the private sectors in Europe and Asia and Latin America, for instance.

EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions on the EU Africa Partnership on Infrastructure
The Council emphasised the importance of infrastructure, the related services and the regulatory framework for sustainable economic growth, trade, employment creation, continental and regional integration, food security and poverty reduction and recalled the contribution that improved infrastructure can make to the achievement of the MDGs.

Paper on The EU’s New Strategy for Africa: Real and Effective Multilateralism? by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Brussels ’ Working Group on European Integration
This paper analyses if the EU Strategy for Africa is able to meet the criticism and how better efficiency of employed means, more efficient efforts and thus a quicker accomplishment of set goals can be achieved.
The paper should be soon available on FES website:

Source: EU-Africa e-alert – No. 3 / November 2006

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EU-Africa e-alert: EDF 10, Development Cooperation Instrument and EU Development Policy

November 15, 2006

1. The 10th European Development Fund implementation

For the 10th EDF to enter into force, the Council has to adopt both an implementing regulation and a financial regulation according to different procedures. A financial regulation for the 10th EDF is now being prepared by the European Commission services which will seek to harmonize it as much as possible with the EC budget financial regulation. It will be discussed and negotiated next year to enter into force at the beginning of 2008 and has to be jointly approved by ACP countries. The financial regulation as well as its translation into practice will have key repercussions on the implementation of the 10th EDF and its effectiveness. ACP countries should thus carefully follow these negotiations and involve practioners. Different documents also need to be ratified for the 10th EDF to enter into force and 10th EDF funds to become available for ACP partners.

EC budget financial regulation

EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 7 November approved a draft regulation aimed at amending regulation on the financial regulation applicable to the EU’s general budget. The draft will be forwarded to the European Parliament with a view to a conciliation on the text before its adoption by the Council. The Council suggests that the conciliation meeting be held in the margins of the Ecofin Council ‘s meeting on 21 November.

EC Proposal for a revised EC budget financial regulation. COM (2006) 213

10th EDF implementing regulation

Proposal for a council regulation on the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund
This proposal covers the programming and decision-making procedures. It reflects the principles adopted by the Council and the Parliament through the new Development Cooperation Instrument. Major changes compared to the 9th EDF include: an enhanced focus by the EDF management committee on strategic issues, the establishment of a framework for co-financing that will be further elaborated in the financial regulation, special management procedures for the Peace Facility, increased possibilities for regional co-operation including between the ACPs and outermost regions, the introduction of a programming of the intra-ACP envelope and the emphasis of the principle of coordination between the Member States and other donors.

10th EDF ratification process

Note of the European Commission to the Council on the 10th EDF ratification process.

This note highlights the ratification procedure that has to be respected for the 10th EDF to enter into force. Because of its intra-governmental nature, the revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the revision of the internal agreement and the financial protocol have to be ratified by all EU Member States and two thirds of ACP countries. For the 9th EDF, it took two years and half. If it were to be the case again, 10th EDF funds could only start to be committed at the beginning of 2009. As explained in the note, 9th EDF funds are expected to be fully committed by the end of 2007, which is the date of the sunset clause by which 9th EDF funds can no longer be committed. The ratification process of the 10th EDF is thus key for ACP countries: if it is not ratified by the end of next year, they would risk to have a “funding gap”.


Eurostep seminar on the programming of the 10th EDF: echos of the programming process
EC Officials, some ACP ambassadors and various European and ACP NSAs representatives participated in the seminar on the 8 of November 2006. Issues such as the insufficient involvement on Non State Actors, the speedy process, the insufficient transparency of programming process on certain aspects (such as what was the exact involvement of Non State Actors in the programming process in each country) and the insufficient allocation of resources to social sectors were raised by NSAs. ACP ambassadors were quite concerned with the issue of the predictability of the EC cooperation with ACP countries, with the delays required to ratify EDF 10 financial protocol and the indicators that have been chosen to assess the progress of ACP countries in their fight against poverty as well as on governance. The EC officials have reiterated the principles of the programming process and the political objectives it should serve (Paris Declaration, European consensus, etc…) and has confirmed that CSPs are expected to be examined by the EDF Committee during the first semester 2007. Four case studies on 10th EDF programming in Cameroon, Burundi, Zambia and Benin were presented as well as an overall paper drawing lessons on the programming of the 10th EDF.
For more information on the seminar, please contact Eurostep:

2. Negotiation of Instruments of EC External Aid: Agreement over the Development Cooperation Instrument

The overall amount for the External Assistance ‘Heading 4’ of the European Commission Budget is € 48.46 billion of which just over € 6 billion would be spent in the first year, 2007, and then gradually rising over the 7 years to € 8 billion by 2013. The EC Budget and the EDF are the two sources of Community funding for developing countries.

The main outlines of the new budget are relatively simple. There are 4 geographic budget lines or instruments: corresponding to the developing countries (the DCI or Development Cooperation Instrument), a second for the potential future members of the EU (the IPA or Instrument for Pre-Accession), a third for neighbouring countries not expected to become EU members (the ENPI or European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument) and finally a fourth for cooperation with industrialised countries. There are then 4 other budget instruments dubbed ‘horizontal’ and dealing with four major areas of EU external assistance on a global basis: these are Macroeconomic Assistance, the EIDHR (European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights), the Stability Instrument and the Humanitarian Aid Instrument of which the first and the last already existed in the previous budget. One final feature is the continuation of 5 development programmes which will now be part of the two geographic instruments that include developing countries, the DCI and the ENPI, and will also be available for the large group of developing countries for which funds are still been kept outside the EU Budget, that is the ACP Group that are funded out of the separate EDF. These 5 programmes cover: Non-State Actors; Food Security, Human & Social Development, Environment and Asylum & Migration. The one other important instrument that is not included in the above description because it is not spent by the EC but by the Council Secretariat is the Common and Foreign Security Policy which covers EU expenditure on foreign policy and security – aside from the African Peace Facility – initiatives.

Council (GAERC) agreement on Development Cooperation Instrument
A political agreement was reached at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on the Development Cooperation Instrument.

Draft recommendation for second reading on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation

Council (GAERC) agreement on Stability Instrument
EU Council approves EUR 2 billion financing instrument for the promotion of stability under the EU’s external relations policy

Council (GAERC) agreement on European neighbourhood and partnership instrument〈uage=EN&guiLanguage=en

World Economy and Development: “The EU’s New Financial Instrument for Development: Real improvements but some dilutions”
This article discusses the establishment of the DCI and encourages civil society to continue to monitor the implementation of European aid to ensure that its promises are realised.

3. EU Development cooperation policy

EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions on the effectiveness of development aid and on Policy Coherence for development
The October 2006 GAERC has focused on the increase of aid effectiveness, defining a series of principles guiding the development action of the European Union, focusing especially on translating complementarity into practice. It has also defined a series of measures allowing development concerns to be better taken into consideration in the Council decision-making process.

EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions on the annual report 2006 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2005
The Council notices results especially in a strengthened partnership approach. The council further makes suggestions on how to improve the 2007 annual report, and specifically calls for greater focus on coherence.

Joint Evaluation on Coordination and Complementarity of Country Strategy Papers with National Development Priorities.

This study examines the role which the Country Strategy Papers and similar policy documents of the EC and the equivalent of EU Member States play in improving coordination and complementarity between EC and MS. The study also assesses country ownership of development policies and cooperation strategies. It shows that while the Country Strategy Papers have proved to be useful instruments in the process of decentralisation, they have, in general, not contributed substantially to improved alignment, coordination or complementarity. Whereas the majority of the Country Strategy Papers can still be characterised as relatively inflexible and dominated by headquarters, this study reports that some donors are moving towards more flexible and strategic joint planning arrangements.

Germany to focus G8 on Africa investment
When it takes on the presidency of the G8 next year Germany proposes to build ‘reforming partnerships’ with well-governed African states. The agenda differs from that of Britain’s in focusing not on increased funding but rather on encouraging good governance.

Source: EU-Africa e-alert – No. 3 / November 2006

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