A question of leadership? Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2014


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    Key highlights

    • 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).
    Introduction For many observers of Africa-EU relations, the focus of 2014 might well be the last concerted efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the preparation of a new post-2015 international development framework. But 2014 is also the year of the 4th Africa-EU Summit, a once in three years opportunity for high-level political dialogue that neither continent can really afford to miss. Key purpose of ECDPM study ECDPM’s 2014 Challenges Paper pinpoints challenges for Africa-EU relations in several areas: EU institutions and development cooperation; cooperation on key issues such as food security, peace and security and migration; and economic concerns including regional integration. The paper then looks at the AU-EU partnership of the future and considers the post-2015 development framework. It concludes by suggesting three priority items for the agenda of the 4th Summit. Key findings of ECDPM
    • 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.
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