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.

Africa’s transition from a provider to a key actor of the global energy transition

Africa’s transition from a provider to a key actor of the global energy transition

Innovation for the energy transition is given a prominent role in the green recovery action plan for Africa and the European Union’s Green Deal, with both continents seeking the transformation of their economies to tackle both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic impacts while improving wellbeing of the population. There are many points of overlap between the two continents’ official agendas. But there are also many open questions and potential tensions especially around: access to energy for sustainable and inclusive industrial development; maintaining competitive value chain; addressing trade barriers; promoting knowledge transfer while protecting intellectual property rights; using gas, and promoting hydrogen. If well-managed, innovation for the energy transition can act as catalyst for a shared prosperity for the two continents. This blogpost was written by the members of the Ukama Platform’s steering committee ahead of the European Union-Africa Union Summit.

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. 

The sixth EU-AU Summit: Partners in therapy?

The sixth EU-AU Summit: Partners in therapy?

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.

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.

Towards a policy consensus: New partnership to focus on the future of Africa-Europe relations

Towards a policy consensus: New partnership to focus on the future of Africa-Europe relations

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.

ETTG paper DIE/ECDPM/ACET - Green Transitions in Africa–Europe relations: What role for the European Green Deal?

Green Transitions in Africa–Europe relations: What role for the European Green Deal?

Europe–Africa relations are facing a double challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic puts social and economic systems under strain at a point when the consequences of the climate crisis are being increasingly felt on both continents. Within Africa and Europe, debates have started about recovery measures to address the pandemic’s short and medium-term socio-economic consequences. A key question in these debates is how to “build back better” and use the crisis to promote green transitions and move towards more sustainable development pathways.