Brussels, 25 January 2013
African Union Summit: Commissioner Piebalgs reaffirms strong ties between the two continents
Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs, will represent the European Union at the African Union Summit, which takes place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on 27-28 January under the main theme of "Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance".
The Summit will provide a rare opportunity for a series of meetings with attending Heads of States and ministers to discuss EU-Africa cooperation and major crises affecting the continent, from Mali and the Sahel, to Somalia, the Republic of Central Africa (RCA), Sudan or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Commissioner Piebalgs will attend the signing ceremony of the Peace and Security Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region, with Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN).
On this occasion, Commissioner Piebalgs will also discuss with the recently-elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dlamini-Zuma the state of play of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) as well as the new African Union Commission priorities in key areas such as peace and security, as well as the empowerment of women.
Ahead of his departure Andris Piebalgs stated: "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Africa Union, which, like the European Union, works relentlessly on strengthening economic and political integration in Africa and cooperation with external partners, first and foremost the EU. Today's numerous challenges in Africa and Europe call, more than ever, for coordinated responses both at the continental, trans-continental and global level."
He added: "The EU is firmly committed to continue working closely with the African Union under our overarching partnership, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) which we launched in 2007. Through the African Peace Facility, we also strongly support the AU's role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, in partnership with the UN."
European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will then also attend the international donors conference on Mali to take place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on the 29th of January.
Tentative Programme of Commissioner Piebalgs mission to Ethiopia
For more information
Memo on EU-Africa relations : MEMO/13/35
Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG
Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs
Website of the Joint Africa-EU Partnership