Tag Archives: Council

EU-AU Summit in Brussels

Brussels 18.02.2022 “The pandemic is of course one of the reasons that so much time has passed since our last meeting. It further reinforces the exceptional dimension that both parties wish to give to this summit. The aim is nothing less than to jointly lay the foundations of a renewed partnership between our two continents, a fresh start that has been in the making for some time now. Growth, shared prosperity and stability are the main objectives of this partnership. Our summit will be based on two fundamental principles”, reads the Joint article by Macky Sall, President of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

Respect and values
“Our two continents and their peoples share geographic proximity, languages, and human and economic ties. The peace and security of our two continents are interdependent. That is why the first fundamental principle must be respect. The future requires us to accept and respect our differences.

“The second fundamental principle is the rights and values of dignity, freedom and solidarity, exercised within the framework of the rule of law and good governance. On this common ground, we can learn from each other every day.

“Finally, our project is based on common interests. At its heart is a prosperous, stable, secure and sustainable Africa which is fully capable of facing all the challenges of the future.

“A partnership for prosperity
A partnership calls for exchange and sharing. Each of our two continents has enormous potential to contribute to this joint project.

“The EU will provide public and private investment capacity, as well as expertise with the green infrastructure and technologies that are vital to our common fight against climate change and to transforming African economies.

“Africa has vast natural resources, a young and dynamic population just waiting to step up, and an impressive capacity for innovation and invention.

“It also needs better access to resources, including through the reallocation of special drawing rights on a voluntary basis, in order to finance its massive economic and social development requirements.

“In the same vein, a debt relief initiative for poor countries should be put in place to support the resilience and recovery efforts of African countries.

“We also call for a fair and just energy transition which takes Africa’s specific needs into account, in particular industrialisation and universal access to electricity. More than 600 million Africans still do not have access to electricity.

“A partnership for stability
Peace and security will also be key priorities for our strengthened partnership. The threats are becoming increasingly transnational and complex. They are a problem for all of us in whatever form they take, including cyberattacks and hybrid attacks.

“We must continue to address these common threats together, including in Africa, and in particular in the fight against terrorism.

“We must continue working together, under the aegis of the African Union and the European Union, to better coordinate our efforts in this joint fight against a common enemy. Addressing this major challenge means beginning with the root causes, instability and radicalisation, in order to reach a long-term solution to the crises and build a real and lasting peace.

“Tested by the pandemic
The pandemic has highlighted our common vulnerabilities, our interdependence, and therefore the need to act together and in concert to tackle it and to better prepare ourselves for possible future health crises. Defeating COVID-19 remains an immediate priority.

“Europe has been working since the outset to organise and fund international solidarity on vaccines, in particular through the COVAX initiative. The EU and its Member States have so far provided almost 400 million doses worldwide, more than 85 % of them through COVAX.

“Having delivered more than 130 million doses to Africa, the EU is one of the continent’s biggest donors. The EU is also stepping up its support for vaccine administration, since the biggest challenge of increased supply will be to put in place vaccination plans.

“Going beyond solidarity on vaccine donation, a challenge that we must face together is the production of vaccines and other medical and pharmaceutical products in Africa to meet the continent’s basic needs. We welcome and support the projects already under way on the continent.

“The key is to take a practical approach: identifying and addressing obstacles and barriers to delivery, storage and administration of vaccines, and, of course, accelerating the development of local vaccine production capacity in Africa, by Africa and for Africa.

“Finally, we are convinced that international solidarity on pandemics and major health crises must be organised in a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and inclusive manner. We proposed and have actively promoted the idea of an international treaty on pandemics. These joint efforts by Europeans and Africans led to the World Health Assembly’s recent decision to open negotiations on a draft treaty, which is expected to be concluded in March 2024.

“An arc of peace
Our world is seeing a growing threat of conflict between blocs. In the face of this disturbing trend, we are convinced that Africa and Europe can work together to bring about a better and safer world for everyone, through dialogue and cooperation with respect for one another.

“It is in that spirit and with those goals that Africans and Europeans are rolling up our sleeves to work towards an exciting common future”.

EU: Sahel needs more engagement

Brussels 15.11.2021 “The Sahel will also be part of our work today. Last night, there was another attack in Burkina Faso. 20 more people dead, killed. Our security starts in the Sahel and we had to engage more with the region” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, while addressing press at the doorstep of the Europa building in Brussels, where the Council of the Ministers of foreign affairs takes place today, November 15.

An attack by insurgents killed 19 Burkina Faso military police and a civilian on Sunday, November 14, in the tri-border northern region where the West African nation is battling Islamist militants, Burkina Faso Security Minister Maxime Kone said.

Gunmen have killed at least 19 gendarmes and a civilian in northern Burkina Faso, in the tri-border region where the country has for years been battling armed groups.

Security Minister Maxime Kone told state media on Sunday the toll from the attack on a military police outpost near a gold mine in Inata was provisional.

“This morning a detachment of the gendarmerie suffered a cowardly and barbaric attack. They held their position,” Kone said, adding that 22 survivors had been found.

There were fears the death toll could rise.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest against defence and security forces since Burkina Faso was gripped by conflict in 2015.

Towards stronger EU-Africa partnership

The Council today approved conclusions on Africa, restating the paramount importance of a stronger EU-Africa partnership.

The conclusions note that Joint Communication Towards a comprehensive strategy with Africa constitutes an excellent basis on which to initiate a new ambitious partnership with Africa. The next EU-AU Summit will be a pivotal moment for renewing a comprehensive joint strategic approach that delivers on these aspirations.

The conclusions underline that a prosperous, peaceful and resilient Africa is an essential EU foreign policy objective, and that the EU is determined to strengthen its relationship with the African states and the African Union, in a way that is responsive both to European and African aspirations.

Such closer partnership should focus in particular on: multilateralism, peace, security and stability, sustainable and inclusive development, and sustainable economic growth.

The conclusions highlight that the COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the need for a global response and a strong EU-Africa partnership. Recovery is an opportunity to build back better, greener and more resilient societies.

Finally the conclusions highlight that, working towards a joint strategy based on common objectives, the EU looks forward to stepping up an open and inclusive exchange with citizens, civil society, diaspora, young people, the private sector and top-level thinkers and decision-makers from both continents.

Image: archive Europa building, Brussels

EU supports AU leadership in Sudan

“Over the past six months the people of Sudan, with the strong participation of women and youth, have clearly and bravely demanded a new path for their country, one of democracy, political plurality, security and prosperity. This represents a historic opportunity for Sudan. A peaceful, united, democratic and prosperous Sudan remains crucial, including for the peace and stability of the region, and is a priority for the European Union” the statement of the EU Foreign Ministers Council reads.

“The EU firmly condemns the violent attacks in Sudan on 3 June 2019, which resulted in the killing and injuring of many peaceful civilian protesters, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. It is clear that the responsibility lies with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) as the authority in charge of protecting the population. All human rights violations and abuses committed must be investigated in an independent and transparent manner, and perpetrators held accountable for their acts.

The EU calls for an immediate cessation of all violence against the Sudanese people, including extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary killings, beatings and sexual and gender-based violence, arrests and disappearances. It is the duty of the TMC to ensure the safety of all in Sudan. Members of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and other civilians that have been arrested and detained during recent events must be immediately released. Restrictions placed on freedom of assembly, freedom of the media, civic space and access to the internet must also be lifted.

The EU remains deeply concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan, and remains committed to help addressing the needs of the population. Obstacles to the timely delivery of the humanitarian assistance need to be removed immediately, including in Khartoum. Staff and supplies need to be brought in urgently to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 8 million people in need. Attacks against hospitals, medical staff and patients must stop. Respect of international humanitarian law and protection of civilians must be ensured, including safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The EU supports the call of the African Union (AU) for the establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority. To that end, the EU calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations between the TMC and the FFC, based on agreements reached so far. The EU also calls on the TMC to implement the required confidence-building measures, on the FFC to respond accordingly, and on both parties to refrain from unilateral moves.

The EU supports the leadership role of the AU and the mediation efforts led by the AU envoy to help to move the political transition process forward, in cooperation with Ethiopia, IGAD Chair. The EU commends the role of Ethiopia in facilitating the resumption of the talks. The EU also commends the decision of the AU’s Peace and Security Council to suspend Sudan from participation in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transition authority, including the announcement that AU punitive measures would be applied if transition to such an authority is obstructed. The EU further calls on other regional and international actors to play a constructive and coordinated role in support of the leadership of the AU on this basis and stands ready to work with international partners in that regard.

The aspirations of the Sudanese people can only be met through an orderly, peaceful, inclusive and civilian-led transition that establishes the conditions for the return to constitutional order and democratic rule through transparent and credible elections, and full respect of human rights. The EU seizes this opportunity to recall the obligation of Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court pursuant to the UNSC Resolution 1593.A civilian-led transitional authority is the only partner with which EU-Sudan relations can be normalised. When Sudan embarks on a transition to civilian rule, the EU looks forward to supporting the country in tackling the social, economic and political challenges and implementing the necessary reforms, and will provide assistance accordingly.”

The Foreign ministers Council today discussed the situation in Sudan and adopted the  statement above.