Ready for a common Africa-Europe future? Our reflections beyond the 6th EU-AU summit

The 6th EU-AU summit, held in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022, marked an important milestone
in the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU). After almost a
year and a half of delay, the summit provided leaders of both European and African countries
an opportunity to negotiate on a series of key topics that will shape the future of their relations.
Additionally, the summit provided a further opening for the regional bodies and their member
states to move away from an asymmetrical top-down relationship to a more vertical partnership
in which both sides negotiate deals based on sound analysis, trust and mutual respect.

Laying the foundation for a solid AU–EU partnership 

European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined forces to analyse divergences and seek consensus between the AU and the EU on key issues in the partnership. Drawing on roundtable discussions with experts from Africa and Europe, the group produced a series of policy briefs with proposals to strengthen the partnership between Africa and the EU on green transformation and climate change; economic development and trade; and participatory governance, peace and security. The briefs draw on contributions from more than 70 leading African and European independent experts, knowledge centres and think tanks that contributed reflections and suggested concrete policy recommendations. 

Strengthening the AU-EU partnership on the economic development and trade agenda

This brief identifies some of the shared priorities between Africa and the European Union (EU) as well as challenges in their partnership as it currently stands. It also suggests concrete ways forward to strengthen the economic development and trade agenda of the AU-EU cooperation and gives policy recommendations towards a more effective partnership.

Towards a renewed Africa-Europe Partnership for Investment

The COVID-19 crisis has created a dire need for the active facilitation of sustainable investment to promote an inclusive, gender-sensitive and green recovery. The partnership between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), and their respective member states, can provide a strategic and institutional framework for stimulating sustainable investment in a collective manner.

The Imperative of Digital Infrastructure for Africa’s Future

Africa’s digital infrastructure gap is worrying, and there are few good models around the world of well-integrated, multi-country approaches to reach full and equitable connectivity.  The best model may be the European Union (EU), and there is much Africa can learn from it, but accelerated investment is a fundamental need.