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How to take the Africa-Europe debate forward? 

The aim of ECDPM is to facilitate efforts to revitalise and deepen relations between Europe and Africa in close cooperation between policy makers, policy analysts, experts and a diversity of non-state actors. To do so, we facilitate a sound process of policy dialogue and policy analysis combined with information, communication, awareness raising and capacity development.

Through informal discussions involving key actors on both sides of the partnership, we hope to foster an open and constructive debate on key areas of controversy between the continents. This should contribute to a better common understanding of the frustrations, expectations and ambitions for the future.

ECDPM and its partners in Europe and Africa focus on the following thematic areas of work in the Africa-European Union (EU) partnership in 2014:

  • Stimulating reflection on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) and strengthen its complementarity and coherence with EU regional strategies and the Africa strategies of EU Member States
  • Supporting analysis and dialogue between Africa and Europe on peace, security, resilience and development in Africa, with a particular emphasis on the Sahel and the Horn of Africa
  • Providing political economy analyses on EU support to governance and democratic reforms in Africa, with a particular focus on North Africa
  • Reviewing the role of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels and in the EU Delegations/Embassies in Africa
  • Providing comparative analysis on domestic resource mobilisation and innovative sources of financing for African development
  • Using the potential of the extractive sectors for a more inclusive development
  • Boosting Europe-Africa trade
  • Strengthening the role of new actors in the Africa-Europe partnership including youth, the private sector and a broad range of civil society actors
  • Analysing the impact of the emerging economies on Africa-Europe relations
  • Promoting cooperation between Africa and Europe in the area of food security and agriculture

Our contribution to the debate

ECDPM is an independent and non-partisan organisation, with a longstanding track record and experience of working on Africa-Europe relations for over 25 years. ECDPM combines different roles and methods – organising and facilitating policy dialogues and providing tailor-made research, information, policy analysis and advice – to effectively link development policy and practice.

ECDPM is a trusted partner of both the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) and is respected by both parties as a non-partisan “bridge builder” and a facilitator of dialogue between both continents.

In Africa, ECDPM has a close working relationship of trust with key African institutions and networks – such as the African Union Commission, the Pan-African Parliament, Regional Economic Communities, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, civil society organisations, local governments, private sector, policy research organisations and other multi-stakeholder networks in Africa – with a view to enhance their capacity to define and advocate their own agendas.

In Europe, ECDPM works closely with the European Commission, European External Action Service, the European Parliament and successive EU Presidencies. Since 2006, ECDPM has been a facilitator in the preparatory process of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy under the Finnish, German and Portuguese EU Presidencies and in close cooperation with both the European and African Commissions in the run up to the second Africa-Europe Summit in Lisbon 2007.

The Europe-Africa Research Network

ECDPM participates in the Europe-Africa Research Network (EARN), a network of African and European Policy Research Institutes, aiming to contribute to the EU-Africa Policy Dialogue. EARN intends to bring added value on pooling and fostering policy research capacities, dialogue, information and partnership between European and African non-governmental research institutions on issues relating to EU-Africa relations. The EARN website provides more information about its objectives and activities.