COVID-19 In-depth Analysis: Continuity and Change in European Union-Africa Relations on Peace and Security

Continuity and Change in European Union-Africa Relations on Peace and Security

The European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) maintain a long-standing partnership on peace and security which can be qualified as constructive. It is largely based on joint interests and objectives and is less contentious compared to other more challenging topics, such as migration and trade. The EU’s new seven-year budget for 2021 – 2027 introduces new ways of working which impact on how the EU will engage on peace and security in Africa. Most notable in this regard is the establishment of the European Peace Facility (EPF) which can potentially undermine the AU’s role in leading and coordinating peace and security measures on the continent. Moreover, these new developments take place against the backdrop of an overall troubled EU-AU relationship which suffers not only from the divergences in interests in key areas such as migration, trade and climate but also from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and global geopolitics.

A new multilateralism for the post-COVID world: What role for the EU-Africa partnership?

Multilateralism has been in trouble for a while, particularly​ ​at the global level. Yet, the European Union (EU) and its​ ​member states have remained among its staunchest​ ​supporters.​I​n their June 2019 Council Conclusions, EU​ ​leaders drew the outlines of a common European vision to​ ​uphold, extend and reform the multilateral system. Against​ ​an increasingly complex and contested geopolitical​ ​backdrop, these goals were further developed in the​ ​recent EU Communication on Multilateralism, published in​ ​February 2021.

The AU-EU Summit didn’t prove immune to COVID-19 – but that may be a blessing in disguise

The AU-EU Summit didn’t prove immune to COVID-19 – but that may be a blessing in disguise

This year was supposed to be crucial for Africa-Europe relations, culminating in the sixth AU-EU Summit, scheduled for 28 and 29 October in Brussels. But then COVID-19 happened. After a long palaver, a decision was finally taken: the summit will be postponed to 2021, although a date still needs to be fixed. Geert Laporte explains why postponing may not be such a bad thing.

"Pray in Your Homes": Religion and the State in North Africa in Times of COVID-19

“Pray in Your Homes”: Religion and the State in North Africa in Times of COVID-19

COVID-19 has led governments across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to take a number of measures to battle the pandemic. Many of these actions directly related to religious practices such as the cancelation of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, closing down mosques and amending the call to prayer from the usual “hayya alas-salah” or “come to prayer” to “salu fi buyutikum” or “pray in your homes”.

The impact of Covid-19 on Africa’s banking system

The impact of Covid-19 on Africa’s banking system

The Covid-19 virus has caused a convulsive shock to the global economy. There remains considerable uncertainty around the pathway of the pandemic, the means and speed of any economic recovery and what structural changes – particularly to the globalisation of trade and capital – it will bring in the longer-term.

African regional responses to COVID-19

African regional responses to COVID-19

This note summarises and reflects on the different roles played by the African Union and a sample of the continent’s regional organisations in shaping collective, coordinated regional responses. It finds that the AU has played an effective role in communicating about and shaping African responses, with technical legitimacy provided through the Africa CDC. The AU has also been able to inspire collective action in a unified call for international solidarity.