16 European Commissioners have met with their counterparts from the African Union (AU) Commission to discuss progress towards enhancing peace, security and governance.
At a summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in November 2017, the two commissions agreed a set of joint priorities for co-operation, and have now met again to measure progress towards enhancing peace, security, agriculture, job creation and other key sectors.
Led by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and African Union chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, the meeting sought to reinforce pledges to collaboration between the two commissions, as part of the EU’s ongoing commitment to aid, development and peace throughout Africa.
What was agreed at the meeting?
The EU-AU meeting resulted in a new memorandum of understanding, which aims to reinforce co-operation in the area of peace and security, with the EU pledging support to African initiatives such as the G5 Sahel joint force.
The two parties will also consolidate the work undertaken by the AU-EU-UN task force on migration, and the EU will additionally support economic investment in Africa by helping to develop digital technology and agriculture, as well as pursuing more active engagement with young people.
To continue to pursue these ambitions, the EU has mobilised €400m in funding for projects to improve the institutional capacity-building of the African Union Commission, as well as efforts to facilitate the mobility of young people across the continent, by pursuing schemes such as mutual recognition of qualifications.
How have the leaders responded to the meeting?
Juncker welcomed that much progress towards enhancing peace and security has been made through collaboration between the EU and the AU, and hailed the opportunity to translate the commitments made last year into a series of concrete actions.
He said: “We [have] launched programmes worth €400 million to support, amongst others, African youth – which is all the more important, as 60% of Africa’s population is under 25 years old. The future of the world depends on the good cooperation between Europe and Africa.”
Faki also stressed the value of co-operation in addressing ever-evolving challenges. He stated: “Multilateralism is the only response to today’s global challenges in an increasingly polarised world. The AU-EU partnership is based on shared values and shared responsibilities and offers a unique platform to address common challenges linked to peace, security and sustainable development on both our continents.”