This commentary provides an overview of key takeaways and the aspects to keep in mind for the way forward after the first European Humanitarian Forum which took place in March 2022.
Summits are an inevitable part of the international relations game. But each and every time they end up in disappointments because expectations were too high or longstanding frustrations and irritants on both sides were not openly addressed. To break with this pattern, the partnership should move from an asymmetrical top-down relationship to a more horizontal partnership where both parties negotiate deals on the basis of trust and mutual respect.
This synthesis note presents one-page overviews of the main findings and recommendations in relation to the five themes, which are discussed in greater detail in the policy briefs that have been published during the past months. A link to the full policy brief is included at the end of each one-pager. These thematic overviews are preceded by a short analysis of the relationship between Africa and Europe and five proposals for strengthening the continent-to-continent dialogue on sustainable development.
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.
Europe and Africa should make joint efforts to invest in projects that would support digital sovereignty on both continents, including joint industrial projects – in the area of ethical AI and open-source technologies for instance. This would respond to some of the gaps in terms of local digital industries on both continents as well as to local needs, and would demonstrate that the EU-AU digital partnership is not simply about trying to export European technologies or about aid, but about reinforcing a free and open internet.
A joint press release about the recent cooperation with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and our Network on a series of high-level, closed doors virtual expert seminars for the AU-EU partnership.
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.
This case study report contributes to the evidence base on how young people across the African continent have adapted their situations and enterprises in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this guest contribution for ECDPM, Dr Jide Martyns Okeke argues that collective African leadership and deliberate investments in boosting intra-African trade and digital transformation could accelerate the quest for silencing the guns on the continent.
The European Commission DG NEAR and the office of the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy released a new policy statement (‘Communication’) ‘Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood: A New Agenda for the Mediterranean’ on 9 February 2021. The Communication was accompanied by a staff working document ‘Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours’. The priorities outlined in the Communication and the investment Plan are to be concretised during 2021 as the new ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which will finance the EU’s international cooperation, is programmed during 2021.