Tag Archives: EU

Mauritania: new EU fisheries agreement

Strasbourg 08.07.2022 The European Parliament gave on Wednesday, June 8, its green light to a new fisheries agreement with Mauritania, which should strengthen environmental, economic, social and scientific cooperation.

With 557 votes to 34 and 31 abstentions, MEPs backed the largest fisheries agreement concluded by the EU with a third country. Valid for six years, it will enable vessels from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain to fish for tuna, small pelagic fish, crustaceans and demersal fish in Mauritanian waters. In return for maximum 290.000 tonnes of fish, Mauritania will receive €57.5 million a year. An additional €3.3 million per year will be used to support the local fishing community.

In the accompanying resolution adopted with 532 votes to 23 and 74 abstentions, MEPs welcome Mauritania’s commitment to make all its fisheries agreements with other countries public, to ensure the EU fleet the same conditions of access to Mauritanian resources as any other fleet.

The European Parliament also urges Mauritania to stop overfishing of small pelagic stock, which has negative consequences on local food security and causes water pollution. Small pelagic fish are processed into fishmeal and fish oil by the food processing industry instead of being used for local consumption, MEPs say. They note that while Mauritania committed in 2017 to gradually phase out fishmeal and fish oil production by 2020, there has been an expansion of fishmeal factories since 2010.

MEPs also support the EU’s fleet in kind contribution to local communities. EU fishers are encouraged to continue distributing 2% of their pelagic catches to people in need by landing it to the National Fish Distribution Company (SNDP). The European Parliament calls on the Mauritanian authorities to ensure that the contribution reaches citizens.

Following the vote, the EP rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (RENEW, ES) said: “The renewal of the fisheries agreement with Mauritania is good news for the sound management of maritime resources and for the fisheries sector. It is the most important agreement in force. It provides opportunities for 86 European vessels to exploit surplus fish stocks under strict conditions of control and transparency. It proves the European sector is willing to operate worldwide with practices that are sustainable for the environment, fair for the people who make their living from the sea and invested in developing the local economy. In this agreement, there is also a firm commitment to empower Mauritanian women and strengthen their role in the value chain. It also underlines the importance of addressing the unsustainable growth in the country’s production of fishmeal and fish oil for aquaculture farms in Asia.”

The first fisheries agreement between the EU and Mauritania dates back to 1987. The new agreement has been provisionally applied since November 2021 and is planned to last until November 2027.

Gabon:EU confident in “resilient nation”

Brussels 25.05.2022 Today the Government of The Gambia took a decisive step on its road towards justice and accountability for human rights violations perpetrated during the regime of Yahya Jammeh (1994-2016), reads the statement by the European External Action serivce spokesperson on the Government response to Truth Commission’s recommendations.

“In response to the final report of the Truth, Reconciliation & Reparations Commission (TRRC), the Government announced a robust, measurable roadmap for the implementation of the near entirety of the Commission’s recommendations. This is unprecedented in the history of truth commissions and welcomed by the EU.

“There can be no impunity for human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The EU stands ready to support The Gambia in implementing the measures announced, including the establishment of a special judicial framework. The EU is confident that The Gambia’s continued political commitment to the process will culminate in a resilient nation, reconciled communities and guarantees of non-recurrence.

EU-AU €600M assistance

Brussels 21.04.2022 The Council adopted today a decision establishing an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility (EPF) in support of the African Union worth €600 million. The EU reaffirms its strong commitment to the EU-AU partnership and to cooperation in the area of peace and security. (Image: illustration).

Covering the period 2022-2024, the three-year Assistance Measure continues the well-established provision of long-term EU support to African-led Peace Support Operations. Within its framework, the African Union will be able to request support for individual Peace Support Operations as needs arise, allowing a quick response to relevant security developments on the African continent.

The adopted support is in line with the EU’s commitment to strengthen multilateralism and in particular the key role of the AU regarding peace and security on the African continent. It forms an important part of the two Union’s renewed and enhanced cooperation for peace and security, as announced in the recent AU-EU Summit Declaration.

In the framework of this Council Decision, the Political and Security Committee has approved additional support to further enhance the operational effectiveness of the Multi-National Joint Task Force against Boko Haram (MNJTF) in partnership with the African Union and create a safe and secure environment in the areas affected by the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. This is the first action supported under the new Assistance Measure in support of African-led Peace Support Operations.

The EU will add €10 million to the resources already mobilised under the EPF for the MNJTF, increasing its overall support to €20 million and allowing for an extension of the provided support until the end of 2022. Previous support covering the period 1 January – 30 June 2022 was agreed on 16 December 2021.

The support provided covers personnel and operational/logistical costs, including ground and air transportation, communication equipment and medical services, to enable the MNJT to effectively carry out its mandate.

Mozambique: EU allocates €45M

Brussels 21.04.2022 Today the Council adopted a decision amending the assistance measure for support to the Mozambican Armed Forces under the European Peace Facility (EPF) adopted in November 2021, adding a further amount of €45 million. This additional support brings overall EPF support for Mozambique to €89 million in total.

The assistance measure aims to strengthen EU support for capacity building and the deployment of the units of the Mozambican Armed Forces trained by the EU Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). This support consists of the provision of integrated packages of equipment and supplies in conjunction with EU training missions. The aim is to ensure that the training is as efficient and effective as possible, enabling EUTM-trained troops to be fully operational and self-sufficient upon deployment.

Through this assistance measure, the EU will finance equipment to benefit the eleven Mozambican companies to be trained by the EUTM, including individual and collective equipment, ground mobility assets, as well as a field hospital.

The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.

EU on Mogadishu attacks

Brussels 25.03.2022 “The European Union stands in solidarity with the Somali people after the recent bomb attacks in Mogadishu and Beledweyne District. These terror attacks on innocent people included the targeting of the international airport and the main hospital where casualties of a previous attack were being brought” reads the statement by the European External Action Sercie Spokesperson on the attacks in Mogadishu and Beledweyne District.

“The European Union offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. We encourage Somalia’s leaders to increase security and defeat those who use violence against the Somali people”.

“The European Union is a steadfast supporter of Somalia’s state-building process and a partner for peace and security. The European Union recalls its strong support for the imminent and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process to deliver on the aspirations of the Somali people for a stable and prosperous future”.

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”.

France troops withdrawal from Mali

Brussels 17.02.2022 Ahead of the EU-Africa Union Summit President Macron announces French troops are withdrawing from Mali and will be stationed in other parts of the African region.
France and its allies in the long-term anti-jihadist operation in Mali have announced a “coordinated withdrawal” of their forces. A joint statement cited “multiple obstructions” by the country’s ruling “military junta”. (Image above: illustration).

Announcing the move during a Thursday news conference in Paris, Macron accused Mali’s ruling military junta of neglecting the fight against Islamic extremists and said it was logical for France to withdraw since its role is not to replace a sovereign state on the battlefield.

“Victory against terror is not possible if it’s not supported by the state itself,” the French leader said.
France has about 4,300 troops in the Sahel region, including 2,400 in Mali. The Barkhane anti-terrorist force is also involved in Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Macron said the French withdrawal would be done “in an orderly manner” in coordination with the Malian military. France will start by closing military bases in the north of Mali, and the withdrawal will take between four or six months, he said.

Brussels: EU-African Union Summit

Brussels 17.02.2022 The leaders of the EU and the African Union (AU) as well as of their respective member states will meet for the sixth European Union – African Union summit in Brussels on 17 and 18 February 2022.
Ahead of the summit, EU heads of state or government will take part in a one-hour informal meeting of the members of the European Council at 12:30 (BXL time >UTC/GMT +1 hour) on the state of play of latest developments related to Russia and Ukraine.

Informal meeting of the members of the European Council:
The summit will present a unique opportunity to lay the foundations for a renewed and deeper AU-EU partnership with the highest political involvement and based on trust and a clear understanding of mutual interests. Leaders are expected to discuss how both continents can build greater prosperity. The aim is to launch an ambitious Africa-Europe Investment Package, taking into account global challenges such as climate change and the current health crisis. They should also be talking about tools and solutions to promote stability and security through a renewed peace and security architecture.

A series of thematic roundtables will also be organised. The following topics will be debated:

– growth financing
– health systems and vaccine production
– agriculture and sustainable development
– education, culture and vocational training, migration and mobility
– private sector support and economic integration
– peace, security and governance
– climate change and energy transition, digital and transport [connectivity and infrastructure]

EU and AU heads of state or government will be participating in the roundtables, together with a selected group of external guests who are experts in their respective fields.

A joint declaration on a joint vision for 2030 is expected to be adopted by the participants.

Ursula von der Leyen visits Morocco

“Allow me first of all, as a friend of Morocco, to offer my condolences to the parents of little Rayan and, through you, as Head of Government, to all the people of Morocco. The entire world held its breath at the unfolding of this tragedy, in awe at the extraordinary efforts of the rescuers, in tears at its sad conclusion. We are at your side at this difficult time. And this is all the more true as Morocco is a country with which we have built a strong, close and strategic partnership” said the EU president Ursula von der Leyen at the joint press conference with Moroccan Head of Government Akhannouch.

“There are historic links between us. Morocco is the European Union’s leading partner on the African continent in economic and trade matters. But beyond economic links, there are, in particular, personal links. Europeans living in Morocco. Moroccans living in Europe. Our cultures have been influencing one another, enriching one another for centuries. It is with this in mind, that I would like reaffirm our commitment to further deepening those relations – as neighbours, partners and friends.

“And it was clear from our conversation, Mr Akhannouch, that that commitment is shared. So it is by working together that we can build a common and ambitious vision of our partnership. We were able to discuss the many global challenges facing Morocco and Europe. To rise to those challenges, we need to find solutions together, by working together as partners.

“Let me mention our main topics of common interest. We are working to develop a green partnership between Morocco and the European Union – the first one that we are developing with a partner country. This will also enable us to jointly develop greener energy. Likewise, we are working together to strengthen the connectivity of our societies, including through a broad digital partnership. Much can be done to further integrate and adapt our economies. This will benefit our businesses, their employees and all workers.

“In this context, I would like to emphasise how closely we are considering the role of young people and the crucial contribution they make to advancing our societies and how mindful we are of the efforts we need to make to offer them the best possible future. That is why we place so much importance on education and culture in our bilateral cooperation”.

Mozambique: Borrell cancels visit

Brussels 31.01.2022 The visit to the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell to Mozambique was cancelled due to positive COVID19 test of one of the delegation members. Following medical advice as the head of delegation Borrell decided to return to Brussels.

However Borrell had telephone conversations with the President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi to express his regrets, and also with the Ministers, including the Minister of National Defence Cristóvão Artur Chume, and Foreign Affairs Minister Verónica Macamo Dlhovo the European External Actions Service spokesperson (pictured) confirmed.

However on Sunday, January 30, Charles Fries, Deputy Secretary General in charge of the Common Security and Defence Policy & Crisis Response who has been this weekend in Mozambique met the Minister of Defence General Chume and visited the EU training camp in the Katembe.

On 30-31 January, High Representative Borrell planned to travel to Mozambique to meet with President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and Foreign Minister Verónica Macamo Dlhovo. The EU top diplomat programme included the talks on the EU-Mozambique cooperation, the implementation of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Accord, the work of the EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique) and the EU integrated approach to address security challenges in Cabo Delgado and surrounding provinces.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, visited Kenya on 28-29 January and planned to visit Mozambique on 30-31 January.

This visit to Africa comes ahead of the sixth EU – AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February, attended by the leaders of the European Union and African Union Member States.

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