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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 17 September 2012

5th European Union-South Africa Summit

The 5th European Union-South Africa Summit will take place in Brussels on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The EU will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The Republic of South Africa will be represented by President Jacob Zuma. Commissioners for Trade Karel de Gucht, for Development Andris Piebalgs and for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will also be attending the Summit on the European side. Foreign Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, as well as the ministers for Trade, Finance, Science & Technology, Energy, and Transport will accompany President Zuma on the South African side.

This fifth EU-South Africa Summit will provide an opportunity to strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa and to discuss a number of key issues, in particular the global economic situation, climate change, trade, development cooperation, and peace and security issues in Africa and in the Middle East.

The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy stated ahead of the meeting: "The Summit comes at an important juncture, at a time when bold actions are required to accelerate global economic recovery and to consolidate our partnership to stimulate growth and employment. I also look forward to important discussions with President Zuma on how to provide joint leadership and strengthen our partnership in the area of peace and security. We have a joint responsibility to help Somalia and the Sahel achieve lasting peace and development, and to break the spiral of violence and repression in Syria. And we are interested in reinforcing cooperation against piracy, a scourge that affects both South Africa and the European Union.".

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: "This 5th EU-South Summit will be a new milestone in our relationship with a key EU partner in Africa and on the global stage. Our bilateral cooperation is increasing in breadth and depth. 2012 is the first year of full implementation of our bilateral Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement, which provided increased opportunities for two-way trade and as a result more job opportunities. This Summit will also celebrate 15 years of cooperation in the scientific and technological field, which has become a flagship area of our partnership. But our Strategic Partnership also entails a close collaboration in multilateral fora, be it at the G20 or at the recent Rio+20 Summit. In December last year, South Africa successfully hosted the Durban Climate Change Conference. We will now jointly strive to build on what was achieved in Durban in the run up to the COP-18 in Doha at the end of this year."


South Africa is one of the EU's key partners in Africa and globally, with a Strategic Partnership concluded in 2007. This consolidated and built on the achievements of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) signed in 1999, which provided for the gradual liberalisation of more than 90% of two-way trade by 2012.

The EU is South Africa's main trading partner (28% of total exports), the first foreign investor in the country (77.5% of Foreign Direct Investment) and its most important development partner (70% of all external assistance).

The EU-South Africa political dialogue has been gradually strengthened. Our cooperation covers a broad range of issues and involves all levels of society from heads of states, ministers, members of parliaments and senior officials to experts, non-state actors and business communities.


More on EU-South Africa relations

Website of the EU Delegation to South Africa

For audio video coverage please visit:

Contacts :

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

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