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How effectively does Europe manage engagements with the regions and continents of the world and how does it reconcile its values and interests within these relationships to promote development outcomes?  

A major element of European external action is the strategic geographical focus of its policies and practices. Europe is increasingly moving to a differentiated regional approach in how it engages with the rest of the world.

ACP-Europe Relations

The EU’s oldest and only legally binding development relationship is with the ACP and is governed through the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the most comprehensive North-South partnership currently in existence. It is set to expire in 2020. Today’s rapidly changing global context on both sides of the partnership require a fundamental rethinking of the narrative, tools and channels of ACP’s relations with Europe, and vice versa.

Africa-Europe Relations

Relations between Africa and Europe as neighbours with a history are complex. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) is a major partnership between both continents, and the 2014 EU-Africa Summit will be a real stress test of its strength. ECDPM looks at Europe-Africa relations beyond JAES also to the EU’s new regional strategies for Sahel, Horn of Africa and Gulf of Guinea.

ECDPM’s analysis aims to be useful primarily to Europe’s development partners in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group of state and Africa, but also stakeholders within Europe.  We continue to broker knowledge and facilitate dialogue primarily on these long-standing and important relationships while also analysing experiences of European external action from other regions of the world such as the Eastern Neighbourhood or within Asia and Latin America.

The Strengthening European external action programme works to:

  • Provide facilitation and analytical input to the ongoing reflection process on ACP-EU cooperation post-2020 and in the run up to potential the mid-term review in 2015
  • Stimulate 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
  • Analyse and facilitate the implementation of the EU’s bilateral regional strategies and current and emerging strategic partnerships within Africa
  • Analyse the implications of the EU’s comprehensive external engagement beyond development policy on Africa and the ACP


    Read our blog on the Africa-EU Relations