On the EU side, almost all EU institutions will bring some input into the implementation and monitoring of the Joint Strategy together with its Member States. A number of organisational adaptations are required both for the Commission and the Council to improve the coherence of the EU action and to facilitate the efficient implementation and monitoring of the Joint Africa-EU- Strategy and its Action Plan.
EU Member States
The EU Delegation to the AU
The work of the Commission
The implementation of the 8 Partnerships outlined in the Action Plan is a collective responsibility of the Commission. It does not only concern the DG Development(DG DEV) and other parts of the “Relex family” but also other DGs such as AGRI, EAC, ECFIN, EMPL, ENT, ENV, FISH, INFSO, JLS, JRC, REGIO, RTD, SANCO, SCIC, TAXUD and TREN.
At service level, DG DEV, RELEX and AIDCO, acting in synergy and according to their respective mandates, will ensure coherence and overall coordination of the Action Plan implementation process.
Moreover, the Commission has agreed on three points of internal coordination and successful implementation:
1) the existing Commission Africa-service task force will be strengthened
2) within DG DEV a group of 8 focal points (one per partnership) has been set up to follow-up and coordinate the implementation of the partnerships and draft Commission inputs into the annual Joint Africa-EU implementation reports.
3) every Commission delegation (including the African ENP Region) has one contact point to report and follow up on the Joint Strategy. Those delegations are also the links between the EU and Africa
The Commission proposes to make the agenda of the annual College-to-College meetings between the European and AU Commissions more political and operational. Future meetings will focus on political matters and act as a key building block in the Africa-EU political dialogue. The last College-to-College meeting has taken place on the 1st of October 2008 in Brussels.
The work of the Council
The Council, representing all 27 EU Member States and other EU Institutions, has an important role in the monitoring process. In June 2007, an ad-hoc group was established to follow the drafting and adoption of the Joint Strategy and its Action Plan. After the Lisbon Summit, its mandate was extended until April 2008 to monitor the implementation phase. But what will happen after April 2008? The EU hasconsidered two new possibilities to keep the implementation process ongoing. The current settings do not allow the continuity of the implementation of the Joint Strategy.
1) Create a new Brussels-based, cross-pillar working group with a mandate covering both Sub-Saharan (ACP) and North African countries, Pan-African issues, the implementation of the Joint Strategy and the preparation of Africa-EU Ministerial Meetings and Summits
2) Or Revising the mandate and working modalities of the existing Africa Working Group (COAFR) and establishing a Brussels-based cross-pillar working group with a mandate covering Pan-African Issues for both Sub-Saharan and Northern Africa
It has now been decided to revise the mandate and working modalities of the existing Africa Working Group (COAFR) and establish a Brussels-based cross pillar working group with a mandate covering Pan-African issues for both Sub-Saharan and Northern Africa. Thus, the new mandate clearly relfects the new vision of treating Africa as one.
The work of the EU Member States
With regard to the involvement of the MS, for each Africa-EU Partnership, EU ‘implementation teams’ have been created. These teams guarantee the joint engagement of Member States, the Commission and the EU Council Secretariat. Yet, it is clear that only those MS who are interested in the Joint Strategy will participate. There is one MS per partnership that is coordinating the partnership, together with the EU-Presidency and the other MS that are interested.
The EU Delegation to the AU
The EU Delegation to the AU in Addis plays a major role in supporting the EU’s comprehensive approach to the new strategic partnership with Africa.Additional staff will support the delegation in the progress of the Joint Africa EU Strategy. In addition to its political role in strengthening the relationship between EU and AU institutions, and to enhance coordination with other international and multilateral partners, the EU Delegation also plays a crucial role in providing direct support to the AU, in particular by backing the AU’s institutional development through the programming and implementation of capacity building programs, including the existing 55m Support Programme for the AU and the substantial other initiatives that this Delegation manages in a de-centralized manner.
The work of the European Parliament
The role of the Development Committee has to be still developed. However, the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament are working closely together through the inter-parliamentary delegation.
The first dicussion on the Joint Strategy between the two parties has taken place in Sout Africa at the 9th ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament. The ad-hoc delegation of the European Parliament for relations with the Pan- African Parliament and the ad-hoc committee of the Pan-African Parliament for relations with the European Parliament alson met in Midrand (South Africa) in May and in Brussels in September 2008. Through a joint letter addressed to Commissioners Michel and Joiner, both Parliaments confirmed their willingness to be more actively involved in the implementation and follow-up of the Joint Strategy.
The European Parliament has decided to work in 4 priority areas.
-Peace and Security Partnership
-Democratic Governance Partnership
-Trade and Regional Partnership
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
It will soon adopt an exploratory opinion on the EU-Africa Strategy, with a specific focus on job creation in Africa, and has expressed the willingness to share it with ECOSOCC, their AU counterpart.
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