The Africa-EU partnership at work
The Africa-EU strategic partnership is based on long-term objectives and offers a comprehensive framework to deepen political relationships and to adopt a joint approach to development issues. The partners present an annual progress report concerning strategy and the Action Plan.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 17 October 2008 entitled “One year after Lisbon: the Africa-EU partnership at work" [COM(2008) 617 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission notes progress accomplished in the first year of implementation of the strategic partnership between the European Union (EU) and Africa. This evaluation should allow the partners’ action to be targeted and to produce early and concrete deliverables.
THE AFRICA-EU PARTNERSHIP ACTION PLAN
The Africa-EU Action Plan consists of 8 sectorial partnerships (pdf ). It will be revised in 2010 at the next summit of Heads of State and Government from the EU and African states.
Partnership on Peace and Security
Cooperation supports the role of the African Union (AU) in the area of peace and security. First deliverables will focus on planning, control, management and funding of peacekeeping operations. The African Standby Force should be rendered completely operational by the AU, and its capacity for early warning and to combat terrorism and the trafficking of firearms should be consolidated.
The second Peace Facility for Africa, with a budget of EUR 300 million for the period 2008-2010, funds peacekeeping, preventative and post-crisis operations. Its impact will be reinforced by a rapid response scheme for emergency operations.
Africa-EU Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights
Projects within this framework should enhance the existing pan-African set-up, support local governance, electoral and post-electoral processes, the pluralism of the media and cultural cooperation.
A platform for dialogue on democratic governance and human rights should be established in 2009 to promote the involvement of civil society and all stakeholders.
Partnership on Trade and Regional Integration
Within the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the partnership encourages the development of trade and services offered at regional level. It supports the harmonisation of laws, regulations, norms and standards in order to remove customs barriers in Africa.
The partners should increase the funding which is allocated to the Africa-EU partnership for infrastructures (FR) with the aim of developing regional interconnections.
Partnership on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The partners have identified the areas of food security, health and education as being priorities for the achievement of the MDGs. This is in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), and to ensure the coherence of national, regional and multilateral action.
EU Member States have committed to increase official development assistance (ODA) for 2010 and 2015.
Partnership on Energy
In 2008, the partners adopted a Joint Statement on the Implementation of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. This sectorial agreement aims in particular at modernising regional infrastructures and interconnections, supporting public and private investment, and improving access to energy services and energy efficiency.
Partnership on Climate Change
Political dialogue on climate change is on a multilateral level, mainly within the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) (FR). The use of climate forecasts for development is one of the priorities of the GCCA through the ClimDev Africa programme.
The partners have strengthened their cooperation and this will come to fruition in an international post-Kyoto agreement at the Copenhagen summit in late 2009.
Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment
The Partnership will provide holistic responses with the objective of creating more and better jobs in Africa, advancing the Decent Work agenda and better managing migration flows. This Partnership builds upon the Tripoli Declaration, the Africa-EU Plan of Action on the trafficking of human beings and the Ouagadougou Declaration and Action Plan on Employment and Poverty Alleviation.
Amongst these priorities, the Commission supports the creation of an African Remittances Institute and a network of observatories in Sub-Saharan Africa to collect more reliable data on migration. It intends to establish a structured dialogue with representatives of the African Diaspora in Europe.
Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space
Science, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Space applications are factors for growth and socio-economic development. Africa-EU cooperation takes place in particular within the framework of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative (GMES). Satellite surveillance must be developed as an instrument for disaster prevention and the sustainable management of natural and food resources.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE AFRICA-EU STRATEGY
Following discussions between the AU and the Commission, this Communication states priorities for the implementation of the Africa-EU strategy and its Action Plan. It invites partners to:
- renew their political and financial commitment;
- to adopt a roadmap, and to complete mappings of cooperation initiatives and available resources;
- consult civil society;
- encourage continent-wide projects, policies and legal frameworks;
- identify existing synergies between strategy and financial and technical programmes;
- enhance coordination of partners within international organisations and in multilateral negotiations;
- have regular and structured dialogue between the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament.