Brussels, 10 June 2009
10906/09 (Presse 171)
NIGERIA-EU Ministerial Troika Meeting
A ministerial troika meeting between Nigeria and the European Union (EU) was held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 9 June 2009, under the Co-chairs of His Excellency Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic on Nigeria, and His Excellency Mr Jan Kohout, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, representing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The EU Troika included Mr. Manuel Lopez Blanco, Director for Western and Central Africa, Caribbean and OCTs of the European Commission and Mr. José Costa Pereira, Head of Africa Unit, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and Mr. Gunnar Wieslander, State Secretary to the Minister for Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
The meeting took place in continuation of the dialogue undertaken in recognition of the importance the Parties attach to their cooperation. The outline of this relationship is as contained in the document entitled „Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward“, which was endorsed at the meeting as per attached annex. The document gives an overview of the guidelines on principles, modalities and subjects for the enhanced political dialogue and technical cooperation between the Parties.
In accordance with the Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward, the Parties discussed the following issues.
Peace and Security in Africa
Coups d´état in Mauritania, Guinea and Madagascar and events in Guinea Bissau
The Parties noted the Statement by the President of the UN Security Council of May 5, 2009, in which concerns over the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in a few African countries were raised. They expressed grave concern with the coups d'état in Mauritania, Guinea and Madagascar. They emphasized the need to work together to gain results on the return to constitutional order in these countries. They noted in that context the results achieved in Guinea through the work of the international contact groups chaired by the AU and ECOWAS. They welcomed the agreement signed in Dakar between Mauritanian stakeholders, at the initiative of Senegal and with the support of the international contact group. The EU welcomed the efforts of Nigeria holding the current Presidency of ECOWAS which the Parties regarded as an important tool in their common diplomatic efforts. The Parties also welcomed the setting up of an international contact group by the AU for Madagascar.
The Parties expressed utmost concern about the increasing climate of violence in Guinea Bissau and strongly condemned the brutal killings of the President and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and the more recent killings of two politicians, one of them a candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Chad / Sudan
The Parties reaffirmed the strategic importance of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which holds the perspective of a peaceful political and democratic transformation of the whole of Sudan. Ministers stated their willingness to assist Sudan in the preparations for nationwide elections, scheduled for February 2010.
The Parties welcomed recent efforts of the international community to re-launch the Darfur peace process. They in particular expressed their appreciation for the central role of the joint AU/UN mediator Djibrill Bassolé. They also expressed support for regional and international initiatives in this process. The Parties stressed the need to ensure the continuity of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people of Sudan, especially women and children, and called on all stakeholders to respect the humanitarian rules, including the Joint Communiqué on the facilitation of humanitarian assistance in Darfur. In the context of the situation in Sudan, the Parties reiterated the importance of fighting impunity in accordance with established principles and international law.
The Parties expressed concern on the deterioration of relations between Sudan and Chad. The spill-over effects with ongoing rebel groups´ activities on both sides of the border remain a serious threat to the stability in the region. The Parties called on both countries to implement the various agreements, including the latest one signed on May 3, 2009 in Doha. The EU expressed its appreciation for the important work done by UNAMID in Darfur and the essential contribution in military and police personnel by Nigeria
Gulf of Guinea/Niger Delta
The Parties reaffirmed their commitment to the peace and security of the Gulf of Guinea and jointly condemned illegal activities such as piracy, arms trafficking, oil bunkering and unauthorized exploitation of the mineral and marine resources of the area.
The EU confirmed its readiness to discuss the security and development challenges faced by the Gulf of Guinea countries with a view to identify possible ways and means to support the efforts of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, notably to stem illegal activities in the region and to guarantee maritime security of the area. The Parties agreed on the importance to address piracy as a matter of global concern.
The Parties also agreed to discuss, within the framework of the political dialogue, the situation in the Niger Delta and to identify possible areas of cooperation in order to address the many challenges facing the region.
Nigeria and the EU agreed that the situation in the Niger Delta is complex and that a range of issues need to be taken into consideration in its resolution. The EU took note of the efforts of the Nigerian Government to establish a Ministry for the Niger Delta as part of efforts aimed at addressing these issues; and further welcomed the general amnesty offered by the Nigerian Government, including the rehabilitation process for those who will lay down their arms.
They particularly agreed on the importance of addressing the issues of youth unemployment, infrastructure development, environment, demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration, and good governance in general, for the development and peace of the region. To this end, the EU reiterated its willingness to contribute to this process, and continue to collaborate with the Nigerian authorities to build relations with States and Local Governments of the area.
Nigeria briefed the EU on the situation in the Niger Delta and stressed that the government was committed to address any possible humanitarian concerns that may have arisen as a result of the operations to consolidate law and order in the area.
The Parties welcomed the positive developments in the DRC, in particular the laying down of arms by armed groups in the country. The Parties commended the regional dynamics resulting from the rapprochement of the DRC and Rwanda governments and the spirit of compromise that prevails at present, which has a positive impact on the overall regional security climate. They acknowledged the mediatory role of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the DRC, former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the AU Special Envoy to the DRC, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and the EU Special Representative for the Great Lakes, Roeland van de Geer. The Parties also stressed the importance of a timely and full implementation of all peace agreements.
However, the Parties remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in the region, in particular the fate of the over a million internally displaced people in the North-East DRC. The Parties condemned those rebels or rebel movements which are responsible for brutal killings of innocent civilians and who refuse to lay down their arms. The EU and Nigeria are committed to remain engaged in the peace processes in the region and to urgently address the issue of demobilisation of former combatants.
African Standby Force, including peace keeping operations
The Parties expressed satisfaction that ECOWAS is proceeding according to the roadmap with regard to operationalization of ECOWAS Standby Force by mid 2010 and the way logistic support is being given to the headquarter and planning element of ECOWAS located in Abuja. They noted that a major logistic exercise planned for June 2009, would constitute one of the last steps in achieving this overall objective. The EU welcomed the continuous efforts of the National Defence College of Nigeria and the associated African Centre for Strategic Research and Studies to provide training at strategic level within ECOWAS for all components (civilian, police and military), thus being considered as a training Centre of Excellence for the sub region.
The Parties noted that the African Standby Force is one component of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and agreed to cooperate in order to fully operationalize also the other components of the Architecture.
The Parties noted the adoption in January 2008 of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework. They underlined the importance of elaborating Plans of Action to underpin the critical components of the Framework with a view to its implementation.
The EU offered its support both to ECOWAS Standby Force, conflict prevention efforts, and to the civilian and police components of Nigerian Peace Keeping Operations, in the context of this cooperative partnership.
The Parties also exchanged views over the participation of Nigeria in other peacekeeping operations in Africa beyond UNAMID Darfur. In this regard, Nigeria reiterated her decision to participate in AMISOM.
Security threats in Western Africa
The Parties expressed concern about the West African sub region being challenged by growing networks of illicit trafficking of drugs, arms, persons and illegal migrants. They noted that these had been compounded by the region's vast spaces, long and hard to control borders alongside weak state structures. The presence in the region of the AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) has also heightened concerns for both the EU and Nigeria. The increase in volume of small arms and light weapons flowing into Nigeria also from Europe was discussed.
The Parties pledged to increase their attention and cooperation in tackling the various issues at regional and European levels. They also encouraged the countries in the sub region to continue efforts and cooperation, and expressed confidence that the conference on security and development to be organised by Mali in due course would be an excellent opportunity to start this important work. They expressed full support to the ECOWAS Plan of Action against drug trafficking adopted in Praia (Cape Verde) in October 2008. They also expressed full support to ECOWAS Intergovernmental Antimoney Laundering Group (GIABA) efforts.
Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward
Nigeria and the EU have decided to intensify their political dialogue and cooperation by developing a more appropriate, broader political framework, named the „Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward“. The purpose is to establish the principles, objectives, modalities, guidelines and priority subjects for enhanced political dialogue and cooperation between the Parties.
The Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward is framed within the joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and is guided by the fundamental principles of ownership and joint responsibility, respect for human rights, good governance, democratic principles and the rule of law. Both Parties are committed to advancing these principles and values globally.
Nigeria and the EU share common ideals, both believing in peace and security, equality, democracy and tolerance as ways of developing prosperous and generous societies. The Joint Way Forward is an evolutionary process that will develop at all levels, both public and private.
Economic development and diversification
The economic crisis has raised concerns on the high economic concentration and excessive commodity dependence, which exposes Nigerian economy to external or exogenous shocks like price changes in the dominant commodity, and leads to economic volatility. The Parties agreed that diversification of production and of sources of exports revenue should play a key role in ensuring long-term sustainable development of Nigeria. Therefore Nigeria should be encouraged to take advantage of the regional integration and the Economic Partnership Agreement to improve economic governance and attract investment to non-oil industries.
The Parties confirmed that energy is a vital sector for the overall development of Nigeria, as a vehicle for further regional integration within the ECOWAS sub region. They also welcomed Nigeria's increasing role as energy supplier to the EU.
The Parties noted that the energy sector could contribute significantly to deepen the Nigeria-EU bilateral cooperation. To promote best practices in energy efficiency, the EU welcomed the interest expressed by Nigeria in wider international efforts in this field. The EU would also assist in the development of energy from renewable sources (biomass, wind or solar) and low-carbon technologies. The Parties recalled that these topics are also central for joint actions in the context of the Africa – EU Partnership on Energy.
The Parties agreed that they should intensify their joint efforts to put energy firmly on a sustainable development path, be it from an economic point of view with the contribution of energy revenues to the development of other sectors or from an environmental point of view with further reduction of gas flaring, through regulatory action by the Government, as well as dedicated investments by oil companies, and greater contribution of renewable sources. The Parties acknowledged that there is no contradiction between the further use of hydrocarbons and the development of an adequate response to climate change, through access to low-carbon technologies.
Further development of the oil and gas sector will contribute to energy security in both Nigeria and the EU, if the right balance is struck between the production for export and for the domestic market. In this respect, the EU encouraged Nigeria to make progress in the preparations for the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP), and reconfirmed its interest in discussing the project.
In light of the ambitious expansion of electricity generation capacity foreseen in Nigeria's National Integrated Power Project and the role of foreign investors in this respect, both Parties highlighted the importance of establishing an open and business-friendly investment climate. Regarding energy access, the EU welcomed the target set by Nigeria to achieve the production of 10,000 MW by 2011. The Parties noted that besides the need to develop a more extensive distribution network (notably for gas), energy from renewable sources should provide a significant contribution to achieve these objectives. The EU stands ready to share its know-how and experience in this field.
Disruption and theft of crude oil (oil bunkering) account for a substantial loss in production of about 650,000 barrels per day. These criminal practices have a severe negative impact on national economy as well as grave socio-economic and environmental consequences in the affected region of the Niger Delta. The Parties discussed the necessity to further develop a paper trail for crude oil similar to or better than that established for rough diamonds under the Kimberley Process.
The Parties agreed that gas flaring is a matter of common concern, as Nigeria flares one of the world's largest volumes of gas. The EU encouraged Nigeria to act, both through regulatory actions and investments, to reduce such a practice which has severe harmful impact, locally and globally, both in environmental and economic terms.
Nigeria and the EU agreed to explore ways to establish a structured dialogue on energy whose aim would be to enhance cooperation on energy security, energy sustainability and gas trade and flaring.
Good governance, migration and human rights
The Parties exchanged views on the various efforts undertaken by the Nigerian Government on reforms of vital sectors.
The EU encouraged Nigeria to pursue determinedly the fight against corruption, which is one of the main impediments to the development of a country. The Parties recognised the importance of the ongoing electoral reform, and the emphasis placed by the Federal Government to the rule of law, in order to ensure that the 2011 general elections would be free and fair. In this respect the EU welcomed the steps taken by the Federal Government to carry out reform of the electoral system.
Nigeria and the EU agreed to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms and to join efforts at regional and global levels, particularly in the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The Parties furthermore agreed on the need to contribute constructively to the promotion of human rights through the existing international framework, for example the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The Parties further welcomed the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights of Nigeria and agreed to cooperate on the implementation of its conclusions. The Parties furthermore underscored that women's rights and the rights of the child require particular attention. Thus, the Parties agreed to continue cooperation in these areas on the basis of an intensified political dialogue.
On migration, the Parties noted the effort by the ECOWAS sub region to combat illegal migration and human trafficking. At national level, the Parties confirmed their commitment to holding dialogue on migration and mobility. In particular, during a follow up meeting on migration, held in Abuja on 1st June 2009 in the context of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement, the Parties agreed to establish a more systematic and regular dialogue in order to exchange information, policy advice and identify practical areas for cooperation on migration and development issues.
The EU welcomed the introduction of electronic passport and useful electronic equipment at Nigeria's international airports and some major land border control ports which contributes significantly to a more effective control of persons entering and leaving Nigeria. Both Parties noted that exchange of information, logistics and capacity building measures would contribute in addressing the issue of illegal migration.
Community and bilateral cooperation
The European Commission and Nigeria noted the progress made in the programming of the 10th EDF Country Strategy Paper. The content of the Country Strategy Paper has been developed on the basis of the priority areas identified in the Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward as following: peace and security, good governance and human rights, regional integration and trade, and other areas of mutual interest for cooperation, like energy, environment sustainability and climate change. The Country Strategy Paper supports the Nigeria-EU cooperative partnership in general and in particular will endeavour to support efforts being made by Nigeria to address the problems and challenges of the Niger Delta.
The EC and Nigeria intend to sign the Country Strategy Paper before the end of 2009.
Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the role of Nigeria
The Parties welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its first Action Plan (2008-2010) and commended the Joint Experts Groups for the work done so far. The Parties called on all parties to expedite efforts with a view to attaining tangible results within the timeframe of the first Action Plan, particularly
to refine and complete the roadmaps in the 8 partnerships so as to better identify their priorities, projects, actors, resources, timelines and results,
to tackle shortfalls in terms of resources, implementation mechanisms or support arrangements,
to proactively reach out to stakeholders and international partners who have not been sufficiently involved, and
to undertake a mid-term assessment in the respective partnerships.
The EU welcomed Nigeria's involvement in the implementation of the First Action Plan of the Joint Strategy and encouraged Nigeria to play a key role in all joint partnerships. The Parties moreover underlined the necessity to see to a greater involvement of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Private Sector, Parliaments and other non-State actors as defined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (as revised in 2005) in Article 6 in the implementation of the partnerships.
Global financial crisis
The Parties stressed the importance of collective and coordinated action to combat the global financial crisis and expressed their support for the declaration of G 20 leaders on 2 April 2009. The Parties confirmed their commitment to further strengthen the IMF and multilateral development banks and to reform their mandates in order to give emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, greater voice and representation.
The Parties looked forward to the next meeting of G 20 leaders and welcomed the coordinated efforts of the African Union to present the views of its member states at future G 20 meetings, as well as the ongoing EU discussions on a package of measures to support developing countries in coping with the crisis.
Regional integration and EPAs
The EU commended Nigeria for the role that she is playing as ECOWAS Presidency, both in the political and economic regional integration agenda. The Parties reaffirmed their commitment to urgently conclude the negotiations for a comprehensive regional Economic Partnership Agreement that would foster economic governance, regional integration, contributing to the eradication of poverty and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Parties agreed that the conclusion of this Economic Partnership Agreement will further reinforce the regional integration processes in West Africa.
The Parties underlined that this year was crucial in order to devise a global and comprehensive response to the climate change challenge. They agreed to cooperate closely in order to reach an ambitious climate agreement at the end of this year in Copenhagen.
The Parties stressed that developed countries should continue to take the lead by committing to deep emission reduction cuts in the medium and longer term. In addition, they underlined that developed countries should provide capacity building, financing and technology to put developing countries on a low-carbon development path and to help them adapt to the already occurring impacts of climate change, in particular in Africa. Developing countries should prepare low-carbon development strategies in order to indicate the actions to be taken and the level of support they require. Both the actions and the support should be subject to measurement, reporting and verification.
The Parties agreed that climate change is a matter of concern to Nigeria firstly bearing in mind the strain put on the environment through the practice of gas flaring, and secondly, taking into account the adverse effects of climate change in Nigeria in terms of desertification and rising sea level. Within this context, they agreed that urgent action is necessary and that they need to enhance their dialogue and cooperation to ensure capping, ultimately ending, gas flaring in Nigeria in line with provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
The Parties also agreed that when addressing the global climate change other aspects such as the sustainable utilisation of traditional energy sources; the development of alternative energy sources and deforestation, including illegal logging, must be taken into consideration. They agreed to cooperate also in this respect.
The Parties had an exchange of views on cultural and public media cooperation to promote understanding between EU-Nigeria peoples and to disseminate the messages of EU-Nigeria common values.
NIGERIA-EU JOINT WAY FORWARD
The political dialogue between Nigeria and the EU followed the 2004 initiative of the Irish Presidency of the EU. Since then, the successive EU Presidencies, through the Heads of Mission, have continued to conduct high level contacts and discussions with the Nigerian Authorities. Under the administration of President Obasanjo and now President Yar´Adua, the parties have continued to exchange information on issues of common interest and for mutual benefit in national and international terms, taking into account the roles of Nigeria and the EU in Africa in general and in the West Africa sub region in particular.
The political dimension of the relations between Nigeria and the EU is articulated in Articles 8 to 13 - of the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement. Article 8 in particular spells out the objectives and the key topics of the political dialogue.
A number of other political, declaratory documents form the foundation of the political dialogue and cooperation of Nigeria and the EU, namely the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness endorsed on 2nd March 2005, the Africa-EU strategic Partnership agreed at the Summit of Heads of State and Government from EU and Africa held in Lisbon on 8th and 9th December 2007 and Nigeria’s development and strategy papers, in particular the first National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS I) issued in 2004, the second one (NEEDS II) about to be issued, 7-point agenda and Vision 2020, an economic business plan intended to make Nigeria a fully developed economy by the year 2020 about to be issued.
At the Ministerial Troika meeting held in Ljubljana on 20th May 2008, Nigeria and the EU decided to take their relationships to a new level through intensified dialogue and enhanced cooperation. In the Joint Communiqué issued in Ljubljana the parties drew the main lines for a way forward to intensify their relations.
Nigeria and the EU reaffirm their commitment to these agreements and to the vision of their relations presented in the Ljubljana Joint Communiqué and have now decided to develop a political framework, the "Nigeria-EU Joint way Forward", to spell out the terms and the modalities to intensify their political dialogue and cooperation.
1. PRINCIPLES AND VISIONS
The purpose of the Joint Way Forward is to take the Nigeria-EU political dialogue and cooperation to a new level.
The Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward will be guided by the fundamental principles of ownership and joint responsibility, respect for human rights, good governance, democratic principles and the rule of law. Both parties are committed to advancing these values globally.
Nigeria and the EU consider each other as natural and strong partners. Nigeria and the EU share common values and ideals, both believing in peace and security, equality, democracy and tolerance as ways of developing prosperous and generous societies.
It is important to strengthen economic cooperation between the parties and stimulate the development of bonds between private industrial, commercial and financial actors. A strong private sector economy acting in partnership with a sound public administration is essential to achieve sustainable development.
The Parties during this process will take into due account their common concern for the environment and in particular, climate change as phenomena with an overall impact on security and development issues. Energy security is linked to these concerns. The impact of climate change in Europe and Africa and the role of technology innovation to reduce the adverse effects are of highest importance to Nigeria and the EU.
The Parties, in line with their common values, recognise the importance of promoting democracy and rule of law and of developing a human rights dimension in their dialogue touching upon a number of issues of mutual concern.
A key element of the Joint Way Forward is the common commitment to regional cooperation and integration. The EU fully supports Nigeria’s commitment to working with ECOWAS and the AU. Both Parties agree that the Joint Way Forward shall be supportive of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy by including several of the strategic priority areas and developing over time the remaining areas after common agreement.
The framework for pursuing this dialogue, oriented by the experiences gained since 2004 and taking into account the present political developments in the Nigerian, regional, European and international context, is proposed in the present paper.
Both Parties agree to the necessity of enhancing the existing agreements, policies and instruments. The Joint Way Forward is an evolutionary process that will develop at all levels, both public and private.
The purpose of this paper is to provide tentative guidelines on objectives, components and priorities for the "Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward".
2. NIGERIA-EU JOINT WAY FORWARD
The Joint Way Forward includes three elements:
A) Modalities for the Joint Way Forward
B) Guidelines for an intensified political dialogue
C) Priorities for an enhanced cooperation
A. MODALITIES FOR THE JOINT WAY FORWARD
The Parties agreed in May 2008 to adopt some general guidelines identifying the main issues of mutual interest and concern. The guidelines follow the principles and objectives enunciated in the revised "Cotonou Partnership Agreement" and recalled in the Lisbon "Joint Africa-EU Strategy".
Nigeria and the EU agree to continue their regular political dialogue by meeting once a year in troika Format at ministerial level. The meetings may take place alternately in Nigeria and the EU.
Senior officials meetings will be organised once or twice a year to exchange views on issues discussed at ministerial level and/or bring issues of interest to the attention of the other party. The meetings may take place alternately in Nigeria and the EU and will be open to observers from all interested EU Members States.
Meetings at the level of Heads of Mission will be held at least once during each EU Presidency with representatives of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other line Ministries to maintain and strengthen regular dialogue.
The Parties consider that it is necessary to intensify the dialogue at all levels for an enhanced relationship. Therefore ad hoc meetings on issues of common interest, e.g. regional, continental and global issues can take place when agreed between the Parties.
The Parties will associate, on an "ad-hoc" basis whenever appropriate, with private sector, professional associations, parliamentarians, the judiciary, organised civil society and other non-State actors as defined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (as revised in 2005) in Article 6.
The Federal Government of Nigeria and the EU affirm the importance, as well as their resolve, to enhance their dialogue and cooperation with other tiers of the Nigerian Government (State and Local Governments) in accordance with the competences attributed to them under the Constitution and to seek participation, whenever relevant and appropriate, from civil society, private sector and other non-State actors as defined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (as revised in 2005) in Article 6.
The Federal Government and the EU agree to develop the modalities and a suitable calendar for a dialogue open to the other tiers of the Nigerian Government.
B. GUIDELINES FOR AN INTENSIFIED POLITICAL DIALOGUE
Topics in the agenda of the Nigeria-EU dialogue include the agreed areas of priority actions: peace and security, good governance and human rights, trade and regional integration and key development issues including but not limited to energy, environmental sustainability and climate change. In addition, in the Ljubljana meeting it was decided to address issues such as migration, combating crime, knowledge-based society issues such as ICT; science, technology and innovation; HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other pandemics; reform of the United Nations and of other key international institutions; terrorism; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons; drugs, human trafficking; cultural cooperation and exchanges. It is agreed to focus the political dialogue on the following issues.
peace and security
Nigeria and the EU agree to discuss about peace and security issues at global, continental, regional and local levels as part of their political dialogue. The issues will include global security threats, the security situation in neighbouring countries and the maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea which is linked, inter alia, to the Niger Delta. In connection to maritime security, it is appropriate to take into account relevant IMO recommendations. Cooperation between Nigeria and the EU and support to ECOWAS to combat organised crime, including drugs and human trafficking, in the region will also be discussed.
good governance and human rights
Nigeria and the EU consider the promotion of good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms at global and regional levels a common concern. The parties will work together to address some vital areas of governance and human rights agenda at all levels of the Nigerian government among which are the strengthening of rule of law, the fight against corruption and human rights. The human rights issues would include death penalty, children’s rights, gender equality and ethnic, religious and civil discrimination.
The Parties also agree to promote the implementation of ratified human rights conventions at Federal and State levels.
economic development including trade and regional integration
These issues cover a number of items such as sustainable economic development including industrialisation, impact of the global economic and financial crisis, economy and export diversification, achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), regional and continental integration in Africa, in particular via ECOWAS, trade development and EPAs, food security, migration, etc. Nigeria plays a leading role in the economic development of the region and therefore the EU and Nigeria consider these issues a priority for their dialogue.
The Parties agree to identify specific economic sectors for which their dialogue can contribute to improve the cooperation between Nigerian and EU public and private actors and the transfer of know how as well as maximise the positive impact of the economic agreements signed with the region.
Both Parties consider energy to be a vital issue. The political dialogue will identify the main issues and key players in this field. Among other issues, the insufficient energy infrastructure, reform of the Nigerian energy sector, policy and planning issues in general and sharing of best practices, will be addressed. The energy issue as a major component of regional integration in ECOWAS and the role of Nigeria as energy supplier to the EU will also be discussed.
environmental sustainability and climate change
The Parties agree that these questions are essential also in connection to the development of the energy sector. Issues of mutual concern include: sustainable utilisation of traditional energy sources; development of alternative, affordable and renewable energy sources; deforestation (including illegal logging) and desertification; gas flaring; indoor and outdoor air pollution; etc. The political dialogue will identify the ways in which the parties will cooperate. However, the exchange of knowledge between Nigerian and EU scientific institutions on the symptoms and effects of climate change as well as on the methodologies to address the problems will be a key feature of their cooperation in this field. The cooperation may be extended to governmental and non governmental organisations and include regional and international aspects of the issues. In this respect, a stronger EU-Nigeria cooperation in view of the forthcoming UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Copenhagen in December 2009) negotiations would be very relevant.
Besides the above-mentioned areas the Parties agree to include in the dialogue the following horizontal issues.
In national terms:
The Parties recognise that in some areas implementation of laws and regulations is insufficient at State level compared to the legal requirements at the Federal level. Nigeria and the EU have decided to address this challenge.
The Parties also recognise that the issues of good governance, economic and social development, energy and environmental sustainability are also pertinent in a broader approach to discussing Nigeria-EU cooperation in the Niger Delta.
The established cooperation with certain States will be deepened while the specific needs of these and of other States will be identified and evaluated consistently with the areas covered by the political dialogue. In this way the political dialogue will have both Federal and State level impact.
In regional terms:
The regional synergies and connections, especially with neighbouring countries, member states of ECOWAS, and ECOWAS and AU institutions pertinent to the topics identified above to be jointly assessed in order to make the cooperation more efficient.
In international terms:
The political dialogue can review and follow jointly the implications for Nigeria and the EU of the outcomes of high level meetings held abroad and/or of international Conventions, Summits and meetings, namely those of UN, G8, World Bank, WHO, ILO, etc. Through dialogue Nigeria and the EU will also seek to establish common positions in respect of responses to social, political and economic crisis in countries and regions of interest to both parties. An area of mutual interest will be to discuss how to profit from Nigeria’s vast experience and expertise to contribute to inter-religious dialogue.
C. PRIORITIES FOR AN ENHANCED COOPERATION
The central objectives of the partnership remain those enunciated in the first and second paragraphs of Article 1, of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement: „ to promote and expedite the economic, cultural and social development of the ACP States, with a view to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable and democratic political environment [ … ] The partnership shall be centred on the objective of reducing and eventually eradicating poverty consistent with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy“.
Therefore, the Parties recognised in the Ljubljana Joint Communiqué that financial resources allocated to Nigeria under the 10th EDF and bilateral aid from EU Member States should be concentrated in addressing jointly priority areas mentioned below.
(a) Peace and security
In terms of conflict management and prevention, the EU will assist Nigeria – which remains the largest African contributor of peacekeepers – in playing an even more active and effective role in conflict mediation and in the peace keeping efforts at ECOWAS and AU levels. This could include building on the multidimensional (police, civilian, military) training at all levels of Nigerian troops for peace support operations in the framework of the EU´s wider support to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
In the area of responsibility and traceability of SALW exports, the government of Nigeria agrees with the EU that support and logistics are needed to combat the illegal arms flow into Nigeria and in particular, the Niger Delta. This could take the form of law enforcement and institutional capacity building and judicial cooperation.
The EU will continue to work closely with the Nigerian authorities in addressing the problems of the Niger Delta and continue the ongoing projects as well as be ready to contribute to and support a peace process.
(b) Good governance and human rights
The EU will continue to support Nigeria’s legislative and judicial institutions (both at the Federal and State levels) and the electoral reform process. The EU will also act as an independent observer in future elections at the invitation of the Nigerian Government. The EU will also work with civil society to encourage reciprocal accountability and to improve dialogue with the Government.
Cooperation between the Parties needs to be strengthened in a number of human rights areas of concern. This can be done by joint projects to improve the judicial and prison systems. The EU will also be ready to support Nigeria’s efforts to reform the police to strengthen the fight against criminality and impunity.
The fight against corruption is an area of common concern. The EU will provide support to improve the implementation of transparency mechanisms at State and local levels of the administration. The EU will also look into the possibility of continuing, as appropriate, its support to the Nigerian institutions responsible for combating corruption and promote exchanges/sharing of information between these institutions and EU national police services. The dialogue with Nigeria on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative will continue and will be deepened.
(c) Trade and regional integration
Sustainable economic development including industrialisation and regional economic integration are vital to Nigeria. The EU can share its rich experience in these areas. Cooperation, at national and regional levels, will focus on EPA related issues, facilitate and promote the diversification of the Nigerian economy, the reinforcement of the competitiveness of non oil sector, the exchanges between commercial actors in the areas of industry, energy, ICT, between professional organisations and control of quality, etc.
(d) Key development issues, including energy, environmental sustainability and climate change.
The EU and its institutions are ready to support and advice the Government of Nigeria in the implementation of its reform programme in the energy sector according to terms and modalities to be identified and agreed in the course of this political dialogue.
3. REVIEW OF THE PROGRESS OF THE NIGERIA-EU JOINT WAY FORWARD
The performance of Nigeria-EU political dialogue will be subject to a joint review by the Parties during the Ministerial Troika meetings. Benchmarks could be introduced, thus contributing to the respective progress assessment.
The performance of the cooperation initiatives financed by the 10th EDF and by bilateral contributions from EU Member States will be discussed and revised based on the mechanisms foreseen under the respective cooperation agreements.
Following such assessments, the Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward could be revised upon a request of either Party.