Beyond the 2014 Summit: Which Way Forward for EU-Africa Relations?

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    The 2014 4th Africa-EU summit was marked by moderate optimism on both sides of the partnership.

    The summit emphasised the strategic and interest-driven nature of the partnership by focussing primarily on the peace and security and economic components of the partnership contributing to the perception of a constructive and more open summit.

    The roadmap and general summit declaration “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace” will now guide the implementation of the partnership until 2017 when the next summit will be organised in Africa. 

    On 9 May 2014, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) convened an Informal High-Level Seminar to assess the results of the 4th EU-Africa summit in Brussels (2-3 April 2014) and to discuss the implications for the future of the partnership. The seminar brought together senior African and EU officials, ECDPM institutional partners, members of the ECDPM Board of Governors and ECDPM Staff.

    ECDPM invited five speakers to share their re- flections on the summit:

    • Mr. Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director general DEVCO, European Commission

    • H.E. Ambassador Jagdish Dharam chand Koonjul, Ambassador of Mauritius to the European Union

    • H.E. Ambassador Maria Mascarenhas, Ambassador of Cape Verde to the European Union

    • H.E. Ambassador Mxolisi Sizo Nkosi, Ambassador of South-Africa to the European Union

    • Mr. Hans-Peter Schadek, EU-Africa Summit Envoy, Pan-African Affairs Division, European External Action Service (EEAS)

      The ensuing discussion was structured around three broad sets of questions:

    1. How can we assess the process and the outcomes of the summit? What was the quality of the dialogue? What concrete results have been achieved? 

    2. What are the key challenges for the future of the EU-Africa Partnership from the 2014 summit up to the next summit in 2017? How can we ensure effective implementation of the roadmap? What should be done now to build a “partner- ship of equals” based on real common interests between both continents?

    3. How did the EU and AU institutions manage the preparatory process and the summit itself? Who assumed leadership of the process during the summit and who will do so afterwards?
    How did the new EU institutional setup with the European External Action Service perform its role?

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