Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

The Africa-EU strategic partnership: A joint Africa-EU strategy
African Union (AU), European Union (EU)

Context, shared vision and principles

  1. Context

    1. Africa and Europe are bound together by history, culture, geography, a common future, as well as by a community of values: the respect for human rights, freedom, equality, solidarity, justice, the rule of law and democracy as enshrined in the relevant international agreements and in the constitutive texts of our respective Unions.

    2. Since the historic first Africa-EU Summit in Cairo in 2000, where our partnership was strengthened through the institutionalisation of our dialogue, considerable change has taken place on both continents. Democratisation and reform processes have been launched and are being deepened in both Africa and Europe and efforts have continued on both continents to address conflict and crisis situations. At the same time, integration processes on both continents have accelerated – on the one hand, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has been transformed into the African Union (AU) with its socio-economic programme, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); on the other hand, the European Union (EU) has nearly doubled in size and is in the process of deepening the Union. The world has also changed: new international and global challenges have emerged, globalisation has accelerated and the world has become increasingly interdependent.

    3. In response to these changes, cooperation between Africa and the EU has rapidly developed and diversified. Both sides have developed political strategies and policy documents to guide their cooperation, including the AU Constitutive Act and Strategic Framework 2004-2007 and the EU Africa Strategy of 2005. However, it is now time for these two neighbours, with their rich and complex history, to forge a new and stronger partnership that builds on their new identities and renewed institutions, capitalises on the lessons of the past and provides a solid framework for long-term, systematic and well integrated cooperation. There is now a need for a new phase in the Africa-EU relationship, a new strategic partnership and a Joint Africa-EU Strategy as a political vision and roadmap for the future cooperation between the two continents in existing and new areas and arenas.

  2. Shared Vision

    1. The purpose of this Joint Strategy is to take the Africa-EU relationship to a new, strategic level with a strengthened political partnership and enhanced cooperation at all levels. The partnership will be based on a Euro-African consensus on values, common interests and common strategic objectives. This partnership should strive to bridge the development divide between Africa and Europe through the strengthening of economic cooperation and the promotion of sustainable development in both continents, living side by side in peace, security, prosperity, solidarity and human dignity.

    2. This Joint Strategy, which will provide an overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations, will be implemented through successive short-term Action Plans and enhanced political dialogue at all levels, resulting in concrete and measurable outcomes in all areas of the partnership.

  3. Principles

    1. This partnership and its further development will be guided by the fundamental principles of the unity of Africa, the interdependence between Africa and Europe, ownership and joint responsibility, and respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, as well as the right to development. In the light of this new partnership, both sides also commit themselves to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of existing agreements, policies and instruments.

    2. The partnership will furthermore be governed by strengthened political dialogue, co-management and co-responsibility in our bilateral cooperation and towards global issues, burden-sharing and mutual accountability, solidarity and mutual confidence, equality and justice, common and human security, respect for international law and agreements, gender equality and non-discrimination and, not least, a long-term approach.

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