The Joint Strategy

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy was adopted at the EU-Africa Lisbon Summit in 2007.

  • Official Africa-EU negotiations towards a Joint Strategy in 2007
  • What is the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and where was it adopted?
  • Who are the actors and how is the Joint Strategy monitored?
  • What are the 8 Partnerships?
  • What is the timeframe of implementation?
  • Financing
  • Future Events

The Official Africa-EU negotiations towards the Africa-EU Joint Strategy in 2007

The European Union and the African Union have decided to further strengthen the ties linking both continents by developing a ‘co-owned joint strategy’ which reflects the needs and aspirations of the peoples of Africa and Europe. The purpose of this Joint Strategy is to develop a political vision and practical approaches for the future partnership between the EU and Africa, based on mutual respect, common interests and the principle of ownership. The negotiations on the Joint Strategy have been ongoing since February 2007, and a first draft was approved in May 2007. The final Strategy was therefore adopted at the EU-Africa Summit which was held in Lisbon in December 2007.

What is the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and where was it adopted?

Two years after the adoption of the EU Strategy for Africa, Africa and EU have redefined their partnership in light of the profound transformations they experienced over the last few years. The Joint Strategy, adopted during the second Africa-EU Summit in Lisbon in December 2007, outlines a long term shared vision of the future of Africa-EU relations in a globalized world.

The Joint Strategy strengthens the Africa-EU political dialogue and is going

(1) beyond development cooperation by opening up the EU-Africa dialogue to issues of joint political concern and interest;
(2) beyond Africa by moving away from a focus on Africa matters only and openly address European and issues of global concern and to act accordingly in the relevant fora to make globalisation work for all;
(3) beyond fragmentation in supporting Africa’s aspirations to find regional and continental responses to some of the most important challenges;
(4) beyond institutions in ensuring a better participation of African and European citizens, as part of an overall strengthening of civil society in the two continents.

It consists of a Joint Strategy and a first Action Plan (2008-2010) embedded in 8 Partnerships

What are the actors that play a role in the Joint Strategy and how is it monitored?

The Action Plan with its partnerships will be implemented jointly by the European and African sides, with political steering and strategic coordination taking place both at the level of the overall strategic partnership and at the level of each of the eight sectoral partnerships. The progress on the implementation of the Joint Strategy and the eight partnerships will be reviewed though a Communication scheduled in the Commission’s Work Programme for October 2008 as a key contribution to the broader EU annual progress report due by the end of 2008. A three years progress report will be presented at the next Africa-EU Summit in Sirte, Libya in 2010.

The are many actors involved in the implementation and monitoring process of the Africa-EU Joint Strategy. The implementation of the Joint Strategy and its Action Plan is an integral part of the process where both, EU and Africa, have to coordinate each other internally and externally.

What are the 8 Partnerships?

The First Action Plan (2008-2010) adopted together with the Joint Strategy has a continental and wide outreach and multi-sector approach. It consists of 8 separate Africa-EU thematic Partnerships such as

  1. Peace and Security
  2. Democratic Governance and Human Rights
  3. Trade, Regional Integration and Infrastructure
  4. Millennium Development Goals
  5. Energy
  6. Climate Change
  7. Migration, Mobility and Employment
  8. Science, Information Society and Space

Thus, the Africa-EU Joint Strategy is a long-term framework for EU-Africa Relation that will be implemented through successive short-term Action Plans and enhanced political dialogue at all levels, resulting in concrete and measurable outcomes in all areas of the partnership.

o Lisbon Declaration: 9 December 2007
o Joint Strategy and Action Plan: 9 December 2007

What is the time-frame of Implementation?

The first Action Plan of the Africa-EU Joint Strategy has a timeframe of 3 years (2008-2010) with a review process at the next Africa-EU Summit in 2010 most probably taking place in Libya. The implementation of the Joint Strategy and its Action Plan will be reviewed every six month in the Ministerial Troikas. The last Ministerial Troika took place on the 28th of April 2009. The next mid-term review of the Joint Strategy and the Action Plan will be presented at the next Troika on the 14th of October 2009 in Addis.


The Joint Africa-EU Strategy is financed through different angles. Existing financial Instruments in accordance with their respective scope and their relevance to the objective and activities concerned such European Development Fund (EDF), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI), and the Instrument for Stability (IFS) as well as the various thematic Programme. This will be a certainly a challenge for the EU, as the current instruments have not been initially established with reference to the Joint Strategy. Thus, the EU might face synergy problems in the future. An instrument for the implementation of the Joint Strategy has not been yet established. Current instruments will be probably graduallyb adapted to the needs of the Joint Strategy. At current resources level, projections show that Community assistance to Africa will increase to an amount in the order of approximately €5 billion a year from 2008 to 2013.
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