A question of leadership? Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2014
2014 offers significant milestones for EU-Africa relations with the last push on achieving some of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the post-2015 framework debate and the 4th Africa-EU Summit
If 2014 is to be a year to reap fruitful and sustainable EU-Africa relations, it is reliant on strong leadership in both continents
- The 4th EU-Africa Summit should focus on collaboration on global challenges, moving beyond a donor-beneficiary relationship and the resolution of long standing issues such as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the International Critical Court (ICC).
- This 4th Summit should ideally look beyond development cooperation to address how the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) can better manage their relations and collaborate on global challenges.
- 2014 offers an opportunity to finally realise the stated purpose of the 2007 Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) and move away from an aid-centric donor-beneficiary relationship and take it to a strategic level with strengthened political partnership and enhanced cooperation.
- Preparations for the 4th Summit have been dogged by arguments that have developed between the two continental partners, particularly over the lack of progress on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations and differences over the International Critical Court (ICC). These issues cannot be avoided but must be resolved in time if they are not to overshadow the Summit.