The EU’s prominence as Africa’s principal commercial partner and aid donor – as well as key contributor to regional security through the African Peace Facility (AFP) – has laid the ground for closer cooperation, in particular with regional economic communities. Yet the recent spike in migratory flows, for instance, has highlighted the pressing need to consolidate strategies beyond crisis response measures.
EU-Africa relations are governed by two major frameworks encompassing security and development cooperation. Through the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, both partners have agreed on a roadmap to drive their relations for 2014-2017, with peace and security being one of the key priorities for joint action. In the run-up to the 2020 termination of the Cotonou agreement, the EU and its African counterparts are working to revamp their partnership and deepen the scope of cooperation – most notably on food security, mobility schemes and private sector investment.
In light of the impetus to adapt the partnership to the evolving realities of the security-development nexus, EU-Africa strategies to counter terrorist activities, manage population displacements or support peacekeeping and military training operations will have to be increasingly aligned with longer-term commitment in building state and societal resilience through stronger channels of engagement with African partners – within as well as beyond governmental organisations.
As part of the expert outreach and consultation process leading to the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy, this event was organised by ECDPM, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) on Europe-Africa relations.
The event, which will be attended by regional experts and officials, aims to conduct a strategic reflection on EU external action priorities in the continent.
Read all of ECDPM’s work on the #EUGlobalStrategy.
Pictures of the meeting are available here.
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