Category Archives: EU

Africa-Europe Forum in Vienna

Vienna, Austria. At Africa-Europe Forum, hosted jointly by the Austrian Presidency of the EU, notably by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and the Chairman of the African Union for 2018, President Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated Europe’s ambition for a true and fair partnership among equals between Africa and Europe. President Juncker presented the first results of the Africa–Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, just three months after its launch. The Alliance aims to deepen the economic and trade relations between the two continents, in order to create sustainable jobs and growth.

“Europe and Africa share a long history and a bright future. This is why I proposed a new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, to help attract both European and African investment and create 10 million jobs in Africa over the next five years. Translating words into action, we have already taken a series of measures to bring our ambitions to life”  European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

The president is accompanied to the high-level Forum by vice-president Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and Commissioner for Digital Economy Mariya Gabriel.

The Africa-Europe Alliance, announced by president Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union Address, focuses on four key areas. Three months on, work is already well underway in each.

The EU External Investment Plan aims to raise significant sustainable investments in Africa and European neighbourhood countries by 2020. From the €44 billion announced, programmes already in the pipeline will mobilise €37.1 billion of investments.

New projects were announced today:

  • An EU guarantee (NASIRA Risk-Sharing Facility), the first of its kind under the EU External Investment Plan, will use worth €75 million of EU funds to leverage up to €750 million of investments for entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU’s southern neighbourhood. Alone this is expected to create 800,000 jobs and benefit those who usually struggle to access affordable loans, such as small and medium sized enterprises, internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, women and young people.
  • A new Agri-Business Capital fund worth €45 million will support smallholder agriculture by increasing access to finance for individual smallholder farmers. It is expected to attract more than €200 million in investments and benefit as many as 700,000 households in rural areas.
  • To support the EU’s southern neighbourhood, a programme worth €61.1 million will supportsolar power plants in Morocco and €46.8 million will be invested in depolluting the Kitchener Drain in the Nile Delta region in Egypt.

ACP meeting in Brussels

Members of Parliaments from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific gathered in Brussels this week for the 47th session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, and a joint intersessional meetings with Members of the European Parliament.
With a limited time before the start of the negotiations for a new partnership framework between the 79 members of the ACP Group of States and the European Union.
One of the key issues of concern for the ACP is the state of preparations, including the shared principles and rationales that would guide the process.
“Negotiations for [a new ACP-EU partnership] are so important that all voices of the ACP Group need to be heard, including parliamentarians, civil society, etc. The ACP we want, must be people-driven… because the issues touch on the ordinary lives of all ACP citizens,” emphasised the President of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Rassin Bundu, MP of Sierra Leone.
During an exchange of views with Brussels-based Ambassadors, the Secretary-General H.E. Dr. Patrick I. Gomes noted the call from representatives for a “radical departure” from the traditional relationship, marked by an “imbalance” between the two blocs of countries in terms of economic might and levels of technology and capacity.
Members urged consolidated efforts to achieve a level of sustainable development whereby ACP developing countries are able to progress from being dependent exporters of raw materials, to being able to add value to their own products.
“The underpinnings of the entire process for a post-Cotonou Agreement rests on the fundamental aim of achieving the structural transformation of ACP economies,” said Dr. Gomes, referring to the current ACP-EU partnership framework known as the “Cotonou Agreement” – a comprehensive and legally binding treaty that governs trade, development cooperation and political dialogue between EU and ACP countries. The agreement was signed in 2000 in Cotonou, Benin, for a period of 20 years.

EU determined to support to Sahel

“On the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, all the Member States, all ministers expressed strong support to an increased work of the European Union in both regions, as both of them are strategically important for the security of the European citizens. In the Sahel, the European Union has few weeks ago provided the first €50 million to the Joint Force of the G5 countries of the Sahel [Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad] to prevent and fight terrorist networks and trafficking organisations in the territory,” –  from remarks by High Representative Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Defence in Tallinn, Estonia.

“I have seen large support from all Member States on more presence, and a more coordinated presence, of the European Union on the security and defence aspects in the Sahel, as well as on the Horn of Africa. As you know, there our main work is focussing on Somalia and also with the Operation Atlanta that has been fighting very effectively piracy of the coast of the Horn of Africa” – Mogherini concluded.

 

L’UE à propos de la trêve au Mali

 

La signature hier d’un trêve, après deux mois de violents affrontements entre la Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) et la Plateforme, constitue une avancée importante pour rétablir la confiance mutuelle entre les parties signataires de l’Accord pour la Paix et la Réconciliation au Mali.

Dans ce contexte, le retour hier du gouverneur de Kidal est un pas en avant vers le retour de l’Etat à Kidal. L’Union Européenne  salue le rôle joué par la MINUSMA,  l’Algérie et le gouvernement malien pour arriver à cet accord.

Les engagements pris par la CMA et la Plateforme doivent se traduire au plus vite dans une cessation définitive des hostilités permettant un accès humanitaire soutenu et la relance des services sociaux de base par le pouvoirs publics dans les régions du nord.

L’Union européenne réaffirme sa ferme volonté de soutenir le processus de paix afin que le Mali et l’ensemble de la sous-région puissent bénéficier d’une paix durable.  Le respect intégral des engagements pris dans le cadre de l’Accord d’Alger reste le seul moyen de garantir la paix, la réconciliation nationale et un développement durable et inclusif au Mali.

 

Les violations graves des droits de l’homme dans le Kasai 

Federica Mogherini, Haute représentante de l’Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et Vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, a rencontré cet après-midi Léonard She Okitundu, Vice-premier ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères de la République Démocratique du Congo, afin de discuter de la situation dans le pays et des relations avec l’UE.

Au cours de la discussion, la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente a tenu à exprimer l’importance attachée au partenariat entre l’UE et la RDC.  Elle a insisté sur le fait que la tenue d’élections transparentes et démocratiques dans les plus brefs délais représente le moyen de sortir d’une impasse politique aux graves retombées sécuritaires, économiques et humanitaires. Mme Mogherini a rappelé également l’ouverture de l’UE à discuter des options pour appuyer le processus électoral, à partir de la définition du calendrier électoral.

Mme Mogherini a souligné la nécessité pour la RDC de coopérer pleinement avec  les experts des Nations Unies pour enquêter sur les violations graves des droits de l’homme dans le Kasai.

Elle a enfin confirmé que l’UE continuera à apporter un soutien concret aux besoins des populations.

Faki Mahamat au Parlement européen

La migration, le développement durable, la diplomatie économique ainsi que la jeunesse et les questions de coopération en matière de paix et de sécurité sur le continent devraient être parmi les points soulevés par l’ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères du Tchad, M. Faki Mahamat (illustration).

Plus tôt ce mois-ci, l’UE a proposé un partenariat renforcé avec l’Afrique en matière de paix et de sécurité ainsi que de création d’emplois pour les jeunes sur les deux continents. Le cinquième sommet UE-Afrique aura lieu à Abidjan, en Côte d’Ivoire, en novembre 2017, avec la jeunesse pour thème clé. Le sommet sera une opportunité unique pour les dirigeants africains et européens de remodeler et d’approfondir leurs relations.

Moussa Faki Mahamat at EU Council

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The Council will examine EU-Africa relations based on a joint communication by the High Representative and the Commission for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership. The discussion will feed into the preparation of the EU-Africa Summit in November.

Foreign Affairs ministers will have a lunch discussion with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission who took office on 14 March 2017.

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