Challenges in 2014: Will it be a turning point in Africa-EU relations?

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      +++ Introducing the ECDPM Challenges blog series.  +++

      Over the next seven weeks ECDPM will share its thoughts on the major challenges ahead in 2014 for Africa - EU relations. With a specific thematic approach each week, our programmes will analyse and evaluate the progress that can be made in the coming year, and what obstacles may lay ahead for policy makers as they work towards effective international development cooperation.

      The next few years will be crucial in shaping EU-Africa relations. What will be on the minds of the leaders from across Africa, the EU institutions and its member states as they converge on Brussels in April 2014 for the Africa-EU summit? What are the challenges for Africa and the EU in 2014 as they work toward sustainable growth and development in an era of economic transformation and instability?

      ECDPM’s annual Challenges Paper seeks to identify important debates that can be expected in the coming year and beyond and to sketch the backdrop against which these will unfold. The aim is not to predict outcomes, but to situate debates that concern Africa-EU relations so as to facilitate as wide a stakeholder engagement as possible.

      The Game Has Changed

      The EU’s Agenda for Change has reformulated and rearticulated how it wants to structure its future development cooperation to put greater emphasis on governance, private sector development, mutual benefits and a refocus on growth and result-based strategies.

      Africa’s growth potential comes with the need for better governance to reduce social inequalities, improve social cohesion and to capture the benefits for all its citizens.

      Is the Africa-EU Partnership One of Equals? Are Africa-EU Relations Still Fit for Purpose?

      The next Africa-Europe agreement being discussed at the moment will be a real litmus test of this new global reality. How can future Africa-EU relations be based on a real ownership and genuine partnership and what would the relations be all about?

      Over the coming weeks, as each ECDPM programme reflects on the following topics, and on what our people see as the biggest challenges in 2014, please share your thoughts via TwitterFacebook and Google + and why not add your voice to the Africa-Europe debate.

      Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals

      by James Mackie, Senior Adviser EU Development Policy

      #AfricaEU2014 #post2015 #mdgs

      The challenges ahead for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after the deadline year of 2015 encompass technical issues of working towards specific goals, political dynamics and agreement on a number of key areas where consensus will be hard to reach. What is the post-2015 framework going to look like? And what are the operational challenges for the EU in implementing this after 2015?

      Adapting Aid and Development Cooperation Tools for the Future

      by Andrew Sherriff, Head of Programme Strengthening EU External Action & Florian Krätke, Junior Policy Officer

      #AfricaEU2014 #globaldev #devco

      Will the EU’s Agenda for Change survive a new Commission? What are the specific challenges with implementing the National Indicative Programmes. Are there gaps in the EU development policy agenda that will become more apparent in 2014 and if so why? What cracks in the system will show more clearly in 2014?

      Promoting Economic Transformation Through Domestic Economic Policies

      by Bruce Byiers, Policy Officer Economic Transformation & Trade

      #AfricaEU2014 #globaldev

      How can domestic economic policies work to promote investment, the growth of firms, and ultimately more productive employment? Moreover, how can frameworks for regional integration, as well as the policies of donor countries that try to link their own private sector to development objectives, work to reduce risks and address the needs of development objectives?

      The African Peace and Security Architecture

      by Volker Hauck, Head of Programme Conflict, Security and Resilience

      #AfricaEU2014 #Africapeace

      What are the challenges to a more systematic approach by the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) to promote and ensure human security across Africa? More than just an issue of organisational structure, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is a system of norms, policies and institutions. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy pledged the EU’s support for the specific lead role of the African Union in peace and security matters on the African continent. Yet, progress at a political level is difficult and slow.

      On EU-Africa Relations: When Space is Tight, Focus on the Essentials

      by Faten Aggad-Clerx, Programme Manager Africa’s Change Dynamics


      Building on the European Think Tank Group conference hosted by ECDPM, we will be looking at what stakeholders see as being the ‘essentials’ of EU-Africa relations. Is it in the area of peace and security? Governance? Or is it really a whole shopping list of issues?

      EU Institutional Changes

      by Damien Helly, Policy Officer EU External Action

      #AfricaEU2014 #EUParliament #EU

      The EU will undergo major institutional changes in 2014 as it will have a new Commission, new High Representative of the External Action Service, a new President of the European Council as well as a new Parliament. What are the challenges of these changes and what may be their impact on EU’s external action?

      Food Security

      by Francesco Rampa, Programme Manager Food Security

      #AfricaEU2014 #Foodsecurity #CAADP

      2014 will not only be the African Union Year of Agriculture and Food Security but also the United Nations Year of Family Farming. The Food Security programme at ECDPM will reflect with APRODEV on how to keep smallholders at the centre of agricultural policies while informing the AU's official 2014 CAADP Review. Should there be an alternative to the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme?

      Looking ahead….

      2014 could be a turning point in relations between Africa and Europe. Share with us your views on the challenges in EU-Africa relations in 2014? Add your voice to the Africa-Europe debate #AfricaEU2014

      Read the previous challenges papers on our website

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