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The Implementation of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy: Rebuilding Confidence and Commitments

March 2014

Helly, D., Bekele, E. A., El Fassi, S., Galeazzi, G. 2014. The implementation of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy: Rebuilding confidence and commitments. (Study realised for the Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union). Brussels: European Parliament.

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This ECDPM study was commissioned by the European Parliament.

EU’s relations with Africa still need to be guided by high level political ambitions expressed in a revitalised political statement — the Joint Africa Europe Strategy (JAES) — agreed by heads of state and government and EU and AU leadership in 2007. The JAES is also a multi-dimensional cooperation partnership. Despite its bureaucratic shortfalls, politically aware and motivated stakeholders actually managed to use it effectively in conducive environments. Yet, the partnership has lost its political traction because of serious divergences on trade, international justice, governance and cultural cooperation. Refreshing the partnership is now necessary to rebuild trust and commitment. This will only be effective if the following conditions are met: clearly identified and sustainable political leadership and steering from both sides; alignment on African and European long-term continental and global strategies; clarification of the relevant and appropriate level of intervention (continental, regional, national) of JAES implementation according to the subsidiarity principle; available funds (including the Pan-African Programme) programmed according to the mindset of the joint strategy; functional and direct linkages with existing international, African and European decision making structures; available space for informal multi-stakeholder dialogue paving the ground for mutual understanding and coalitions of the willing; stronger monitoring and oversight mechanisms on JAES implementation by parliaments, civil society and other relevant bodies.

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Africa’s Change DynamicsStrengthening European External ActionAfrica-EU RelationsResearch reportsResearchJoint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES)