Category Archives: EU-Africa

EU-Africa beyond Cotonou agreement

The Council of EU foreign ministers is expected to discuss the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in February 2020.

Foreign ministers had an initial discussion during January’s Foreign Affairs Council. Development ministers had a discussion on 22 May 2018.

The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention.

It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries, including 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. It is based on three pillars: development cooperation; economic and trade cooperation; political dimension.

The Cotonou agreement will expire in February 2020. Work has begun on the EU side to lay the groundwork for the future partnership with the ACP countries. The current agreement provides for the opening of negotiations by the end of August 2018 at the latest.nIn light of this, the Council is expected to adopt a decision in the first semester of 2018 on the authorisation to open negotiations and the negotiating directives.

EU launches €400 million aid programmes for Africa

African Union and European Union Commissioners adopted concrete measures to address pressing global issues in key areas such as peace and security, migration, job creation and agriculture.

This 9th Commission to Commission meeting of the two organisations was co-chaired by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, with the participation of all African Union Commissioners and 16 European Union Commissioners.

The two sides had agreed on a set of priorities at the November 2017 AU-EU Summit in Abidjan and today the two Commissions took stock of progress made to chart the way forward.

“We met today to translate words into concrete action. We 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, – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.  “The future of the world depends on the good cooperation between Europe and Africa”.

African youth

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” – African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat added.

The two commissions discussed their cooperation to enhance resilience, peace, security and governance, including support to African peace initiatives such as the G5 Sahel joint force. In this regard, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding reinforcing the existing cooperation in the area of peace and security. In addition, they agreed to continue and consolidate the important work made by the AU-EU-UN task force on migration.

The parties committed to invest in economies and people by stepping up existing cooperation on agriculture and agribusinesses and the digital economy, and dedicated themselves to continue the active engagement with youth in the Africa-EU partnership in innovative and meaningful ways.

In the context of the AU-EU partnership, the EU made available an additional €400 million towards continental and regional projects. These include support to institutional capacity building of the African Union Commission and regional integration on the continent, as well as support to young people. The assistance will facilitate the continental mobility of young people, for example through reinforcing exchange programmes among African universities, and enhancing the recognition of qualifications and the harmonisation of higher education in Africa.

The EU and Africa have progressively built a solid strategic and political partnership, whereby they go beyond donor-recipient relations towards reciprocal commitments. The two Commissions of the European Union and African Union are committed to be active players and real engines of this Partnership, which is today more relevant than ever in a fast evolving global environment.

This partnership is based on shared values and interests, enshrined in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES, 2007). At the 5th AU-EU Summit last November African and European leaders have demonstrated their mutual commitment in a stronger relationship adapted to a rapidly changing global landscape, and have identified strategic priorities for 2018-2020.

EU calls for trainee for Lesotho

Are you a young graduate interested in international relations? Are you curious to learn more about work in a diplomatic mission and how an EU Delegation represents EU interests and values in the Kingdom of Lesotho?

What we offer

We are offering a traineeship of 6 months within the political and economic sections of the EU Delegation to Lesotho. Each selected trainee will receive a monthly stipend/grant for basic living expenses for the duration of the traineeship.

Main tasks

  • Information gathering on political, social, and socio-economic developments and assisting in the analysis of political and socio-political dynamics of the Kingdom of Lesotho; assist in the preparation of reports on such developments and dynamics.
  • Assist in the preparations for, and reporting of meetings with economic actors and the business community of Lesotho, in the context of initiatives taken by the Delegation to promote job creation, economic growth, and a better use of the opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and SADC.
  • Assist in the organization of public events of the Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Eligibility

The traineeship is open to nationals of Lesotho and the EU who: have a degree or diploma from an accredited tertiary institution, who do not have more than 1 year’s work experience and have no previous experience working in EU Institutions (longer than 6 weeks).

Before applying you are requested to examine the general eligibility criteria for traineeships (Article 8 of the Decision ADMIN (2017) 28 – Paid traineeship for young graduates).

How to apply

Send a detailed curriculum vitae and a motivational letter by 15 June 2018 to the following email address: delegation-lesotho-hoa@eeas.europa.eu.

Applications from non-eligible candidates will not be considered. After the evaluation of all applications, shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for an interview. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email. In case the selected candidate is not able to present the required documents, his/her candidacy will be rejected.

 

EU pledges €1.45 billion for The Gambia to assist democratic transition

A total of €1.45 billion were mobilised by the International Conference for The Gambia, co-chaired by The Gambia and the European Union.

The reinforced political and financial support by the international community will assist The Gambia in continuing its democratic transition, building on strong democratic institutions, the respect of human rights and the rule of law, and sustainable and shared economic growth.

The Gambia is showing to the world that freedom and democracy are about real people and real lives. After the presidential election in 2016, neighbours and the international community stood with the Gambian people. We stood on the side of freedom and democracy. Two years on, we continue to stand by your side. Today the EU is proud to announce €140 million to invest in opportunities for the Gambian people and further strengthen democracy – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, co-chairing the Conference together with the President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow.

“When people of a country decide to overturn a two-decades long dictatorship, this is a choice to commend. This is what happened in The Gambia one year and a half ago. When new authorities commit to profoundly reform the country and put it on the path of democracy and development, the international community has to answer their call. This is what happened today in Brussels. Out of the €1.45 billion that were pledged today, the EU has committed additional funding of €140 million until 2020, which adds to the €225 million mobilised since the beginning of the transition in 2017. Because nothing is more important today than showing to the people of The Gambia that democracy brings quick and tangible dividends”  – Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added.

Key outcomes of the conference are:

  • Reinforced political support to The Gambia: A joint communiqué by the co-chairs was issued, reaffirming support and solidarity in assisting the transition from a dictatorship to a fully-fledged democracy.
  • Increased financial assistance for development: The €1.45 billion pledged will help cover needs identified for donor support to The Gambia’s National Development Plan.

The International Conference for The Gambia will be followed by a Business Forum tomorrow, which will bring together interested European, regional and Gambian business representatives for exchanges on sector-specific strategies and projects during panel discussions on Energy & Infrastructure, Agricultural Value Chains, and Tourism.

Following the end of 22 years of authoritarian rule by former President Yahya Jammeh with the change of government in January 2017, the EU and The Gambia have opened a new chapter in their relations. An intense political dialogue is ongoing at all levels, and the EU is actively supporting the democratic transition in co-ordination with other international partners of The Gambia. Areas of co-operation include e.g. security, development for sustainable growth, transitional justice, economic partnership, trade, fisheries and migration.

EU extends G5 training in Mali

The Council extended the mandate of the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) for two years, until 18 May 2020. The Council also amended the mandate of the mission to include in its objectives the provision of advice and training support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, as part of the EU’s ongoing efforts to support the G5 Sahel process.

The Council also agreed to allocate a significantly increased budget of € 59.7 million to the mission for the period from 19 May 2018 to 18 May 2020, compared to € 33.4 for the current two-year period.

This decision means that the efforts carried out over recent months to regionalise the work of both civilian and military CSDP missions (EUTM Mali, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger) in the Sahel will become more operational. The aim is to support regional security cooperation, as set out in the Council conclusions on Mali and the Sahel of 19 June 2017.

EUTM Mali assists in the reconstruction of effective and accountable Malian armed forces capable of ensuring the long-term security of Mali and, under civilian authority, restoring the country’s territorial integrity. To this effect, EUTM Mali delivers training to units of the Malian armed forces and aids the development of an autonomous training capability. The mission also provides advice to the Malian authorities on reforming the army.

The headquarters of the mission are located in Bamako, Mali. The commander of the mission is Brigadier General Enrique Millán Martinez, a Spanish national who took up his duties on 31 January 2018.

The mission is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to security and development in the Sahel. There are two other CSDP missions in the region: EUCAP Sahel Mali, which supports the Malian state’s efforts to ensure constitutional and democratic order, implement the conditions for lasting peace and maintain its authority throughout the entire territory; and EUCAP Sahel Niger, which supports the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Niger.

EU supports Chad inclusive political dialogue

“A new Constitution has been promulgated in Chad. The process leading to its adoption has not been conducted in a sufficiently inclusive manner as required by by such a fundamental issue”, according to the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

However, a call for the revival of the national framework of political dialogue, launched to organize the dialogue within the Chadian society, was addressed by the President Deby during its promulgation, – the EEAS statement continues.

The European Union remains ready to support Chad for a genuine inclusive political dialogue taking place in this context, respecting fundamental freedoms, and offering all Chadians the opportunity to participate fully in the political, economic and social life of the country. It notes in this respect the opportunity created by the announcement of the holding of legislative elections and the recasting of the Electoral Commission, – the EEAS statement concludes.

New Constitution of Chad reinforces the powers of president. The National Assembly voted the draft Constitution by 132 votes in favor, 2 against. A strong police presence was visible around the National Assembly in N’Djamena, with the opposition and several civil society organizations calling for protests.

 

EU condolences to “all Mozambicans” mourning Afonso Dhlakama

Afonso Dhlakama passed away in times of great challenges for Mozambique. He played a historical role in the process that culminated in the Rome Peace Accord of 1992 and was a key actor in the democratic transition of the country. Since 2016 Afonso Dhlakama, again, demonstrated great determination in engaging in peace and reconciliation talks with President Nyusi” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EU extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama, as well as to all Mozambicans who mourn the loss of the leader of Renamo” – the EEAS statement continues. “The EU encourages the Government and Renamo to continue with their firm and sustained commitment towards lasting peace so that a comprehensive agreement can quickly be reached. The European Union continues to stand with and support Mozambique on the country’s path towards peace and prosperity for all its citizens.”

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