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Africa-Europe relations


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Although the sixth AU-EU Summit has been postponed to 2021 because of COVID-19, the changing global dynamics and common challenges – from the climate crisis to the recovery from the Corona pandemic – make the partnership between Europe and Africa more important than ever.

We have been looking at this relationship for more than 30 years from a variety of different and equally relevant perspectives – be it trade, finance, migration or peace and security. We will continue to cover Africa-Europe relations and share insights and analyses before, during and after the next summit.

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Get in touch

If you would like to know about our work on Africa-Europe relations, give us feedback or share your thoughts on specific issues, you can get in touch with our experts via our people page. For enquiries related to outreach and media, please contact Virginia Mucchi or Nina Thijssen.


Analysis and opinion


The AU-EU Summit didn’t prove immune to COVID-19 – but that may be a blessing in disguise
Geert Laporte, ECDPM commentary, 14 September 2020

Adaptation in the Africa-Europe context: A point of divergence?
Hanne Knaepen and Doug Parsons from Cimpatico Studios, video interview, 30 July 2020

How to avoid the aid trap in the AU-EU strategic relationship
Fernando Jorge Cardoso, ECDPM guest blog, 15 June 2020

EU und Afrika: Corona macht den Weg noch steiniger
Deutsche Welle, 24 May 2020, ECDPM’s Geert Laporte is quoted
The article is also available in Portuguese

Was bedeuten die neuen EU-Visaregeln für Afrika?
Deutsche Welle, 22 May 2020, ECDPM’s Amanda Bisong is quoted
The article was also featured in the Indo New York, AllAfrica and in the Liberia Netherlands Business & Culture Council’s newsletter

Africa and Europe after COVID-19
Think Global Health, 13 May 2020, article by Geert Laporte, Sara Pantuliano and Vera Mazzara

Towards a new Africa-Europe partnership after the Corona crisis
Op-ed by the directors of the European Think Tanks Group institutes, EURACTIV, 30 April 2020
This article has also been published by EURACTIV.de, HuffingtonPost Italia and Rwanda Podium

Europe-Africa relations after Corona
Geert Laporte, European Think Tanks Group blog, 6 April 2020

There’s significant build-up towards more equal EU-Africa cooperation
African Newspage, 26 March 2020, interview with ECDPM’s Luckystar Miyandazi

Turning the tables: African and European narratives in the time of Corona
Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw and Virginia Mucchi, ECDPM blog, 23 March 2020

The EU and Africa: Should, would, could… but how?
Bruce Byiers, ECDPM blog, 16 March 2020

Afrikanska unionen vill inte att EU dikterar villkor för nytt avtal
OmVärlden, 9 March 2020, ECDPM’s Chloe Teevan was interviewed for this article

Beyond good intentions: The new EU-Africa partnership
Alfonso Medinilla and Chloe Teevan, ECDPM paper, March 2020

EU’s von der Leyen set to pay second Africa visit
Deutsche Welle, 27 February 2020, features interview with ECDPM’s Geert Laporte

Deutsche Welle News Africa
Deutsche Welle, 26 February 2020, the programme features ECDPM’s Luckystar Miyandazi

In search of allies, EU turns to Africa
POLITICO, 26 February 2020, ECDPM’s Chloe Teevan is quoted

New year, new aspirations for Europe-Africa relations?
Luckystar Miyandazi, ECDPM blog, 13 January 2020

Africa and EU-Africa partnership insights: Input for Estonia’s new Africa strategy
Nadia Ashraf and Jeske van Seters, ECDPM paper, January 2020

Von der Leyen in Addis Ababa: Seven ingredients for a successful first date
Op-ed by Amanda Bisong and Chloe Teevan for Euractiv, 6 December 2019

Mission possible? The Geopolitical Commission and the partnership with Africa
Chloe Teevan and Andrew Sherriff, ECDPM brief, October 2019

Governance in Africa-Europe relations: Modesty, realism and working politically
Geert Laporte, ECDPM brief, October 2019

Crafting the African response to European external migration policies
Amanda Bisong, ECDPM blog, 30 September 2019

Refresh and reload: EU and Africa working together on research and innovation
Mariella Di Ciommo and Sanne Thijssen, ECDPM paper, June 2019

An AU-EU alliance to defend multilateralism
James Mackie, ECDPM blog, 8 April 2019

Assertive, appreciative and aloof: South Africa, Cabo Verde and Ghana reflect on EU research and innovation collaboration
Mariella Di Ciommo, Emmanuel De Groof and Sanne Thijssen, ECDPM paper, March 2019

Africa-EU relations and post-Cotonou: African collective action or further fragmentation of partnerships?
Alfonso Medinilla and Jean Bossuyt, ECDPM brief, March 2019

A crucial week for Africa and Europe beyond 2040
Emmanuel De Groof, Dalil Djinnit and Alfonso Medinilla, ECDPM brief, September 2018

Breaking the silence on North Africa: A new EU-Africa partnership after 2020
Alfonso Medinilla, ECDPM op-ed for EURACTIV, 30 March 2018


Our work on Africa-Europe relations around past EU-AU summits


2017 summit

The AU-EU Abidjan Summit: Is there life beyond migration?
Geert Laporte, ECDPM, 4 December 2017

Can Africa and Europe jointly walk the talk on investment mobilisation?
San Bilal, ECDPM, 27 November 2017  (Voilà la version française)

How North Africa’s look towards the south can shake up AU-EU relations
Faten Aggad and Tasnim Abderrahim, ECDPM, 20 November 2017

Can EU-Africa relations be deepened? A political economy perspective on power relations, interests and incentives
Jean Bossuyt, ECDPM, 20 November 2017

Africa-Europe relations: Time to reboot
ECDPM Great Insights magazine, ECDPM, November/December 2017

Can the EU prioritise both the African Union and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group?
Alfonso Medinilla and Niels Keijzer, European Think Tanks Group, 20 November 2017

Time to strengthen strategic partnerships for peace and security in Africa
Volker Hauck, ECDPM blog, 13 November 2017

A message to African and European leaders: ‘More of the same is not good enough’
Geert Laporte, ECDPM blog, 23 October 2017

Time to move to an interest-driven Africa-EU political partnership (part two)
Geert Laporte, ECDPM blog, 26 June 2017

Time to move to an interest-driven Africa-EU political partnership (part one)
Geert Laporte, ECDPM blog, 19 June 2017

Do values still matter in the Europe-Africa partnership?
Geert Laporte, ECDPM blog, 24 February 2017

Matching means to priorities: Challenges for EU-Africa relations in 2017
James Mackie, Matthias Deneckere and Greta Galeazzi, ECDPM challenges paper, 8 January 2017 

Youth: a shared priority for Europe and Africa
Greta Galeazzi, ECDPM blog, 23 February 2017

2014 summit

The Bulletin of Fridays of the Commission – Making EU-Africa relations future-proof
ECDPM and the African Union Commission, 20 June 2014

Beyond the 2014 Summit: Which way forward for EU-Africa relations? Report of the informal high-level seminar hosted by ECDPM
ECDPM, 6 June 2014

The global game has changed: What role for Europe-Africa relations?
Europe-Africa Policy Research Network, April 2014

Are Africa and Europe turning a new page in their relationship?
James Mackie and Faten Aggad-Clerx, 11 April 2014

Don’t ignore the elephants in the room – Will the Africa-EU Summit revitalise the partnership?
Geert Laporte, 28 March 2014

The implementation of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy: Rebuilding confidence and commitments
Damien Helly, Essete Abebe Bekele, Sahra El Fassi and Greta Galeazzi, March 2014

A question of leadership? Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2014
James Mackie, Sahra El Fassi, Camilla Rocca and Sebastian Grosse-Puppendahl, December 2013

Challenges for Africa-EU relations (video playlist)
ECDPM, March 2014

Five challenges in Africa-EU relations (infographic)
ECDPM, March 2014

Africa-Europe relations #post2015 (blog series)
ECDPM, May 2013 to November 2015


Our work on the ACP-EU partnership


If you liked this dossier, you might also be interested in our dossier on the future of ACP-EU relations.

The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States have governed their relationship since 1975 through a sequence of partnership agreements. The most recent of these is the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which expires in 2020. Although official negotiations for a new partnership will not start until 2018, the future of the ACP-EU partnership has already been hotly debated for a number of years.

ECDPM, with more than 30 years of involvement in ACP-EU relations, helps guide this debate towards realistic and workable scenarios for the future that benefit all parties concerned. This dossier collects our past work on ACP-EU relations as well as our recent analyses of a future partnership.