Interview with Ambasador Renier Nijskens Director for Africa on behalf of the Belgian EU Presidency
Following Europafrica’s interview with representatives from the African Union and the European Commission. Europafrica posed questions about the JAES after the Summit to a representative of the Belgian Presidency: Renier Nijskens, Director of the Africa Desk at Federal Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Belgian Presidency has been involved with the JAES in cooperation with other European institutions.
Renier Nijskens explained the Belgian Presidency’s involvement with the JAES in cooperation with other European institutions:
First of all, it should be noted that following the Lisbon Treaty coming into force, the third Africa–EU Summit was co-chaired by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. In the context of preparing the summit, Belgium acted under the authority and at the service of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton. Nevertheless, Belgium, as one of the twenty-seven Member States, has always been committed to making its contribution to monitoring the Africa–EU Strategy and to the success of the summit. It is on the basis of this shared workload that I have agreed to answer your questions.
Europafrica: In your view what is the main added value of the Joint Africa–EU Strategy in comparison with Africa’s other strategic partnerships, such as with China for example?