The fourth EU-Africa summit that just finished in Brussels brought together the leaders of the EU and the African countries, and their respective Institutions, with the objective of further deepening the relations of both continents.

EU President Van Rompuy
EU President Van Rompuy

Under the theme “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace” the two days event closed with the commitment to deepen and widen the cooperation. The first EU-Africa summit took place in Cairo in 2000. Since then the two continents have profoundly changed, economically and politically. Africa has risen, but instabilities have not disappeared.

Europe has increased its integration, but is just beginning to recover from a profound economic and financial crisis. New challenges have emerged that can only be faced together.

Mrs Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Mrs Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

Seeking to establish a partnership of equals that puts people at the center of the EU-Africa relations, the summit confirmed the joint vision for shared prosperity and peace and the determination to tackle together issues of common concern. Underlining the interdependence and the need to work together, President Van Rompuy was clear: “There are things on which Europe needs Africa’s help, from climate change to migration”.

Promoting peace and security has been confirmed as the fundamental priority of the EU-Africa partnership. Cooperation in this area between the two continents has shown some results so far in a number of regions, in particular in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions.

The summit looked at ways of enhancing EU’s presence and support in crisis areas and improving the African capacities to manage its security. Precisely, with that aim, the day before yesterday the EU launched its ninth African operation, EUFOR CAR, to consolidate the very fragile situation of the Central African Republic.

On prosperity, a common concern of the two continents, the leaders agreed to enhance sustainable and inclusive growth, to ensure their socio-economic development and to consolidate the recovery from the economic and financial crisis.

They also discussed how to create additional incentives for investment and how to find ways of stimulating growth that conduces to create jobs, in particular for young people, unlocking their productive and entrepreneurial potential. The promotion of agricultural development was also part of the discussions. 2015 is the year of agricultural development in Africa.

Means and ways to foster human capital through education and training, with special reference to women and youth and providing them with skills and knowledge to better qualify for the labour market, were also agreed. In this context, the issue of mobility and the fight against human trafficking was addressed. To help tackle the severe challenges posed by migrations a five-point action plan was endorsed. Special reference was given to the continued promotion of the human rights.

“Together we can have two great continents, in particular if we can build a future for our young people”, concluded Mrs Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Documents of the summit:

– Declaration:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/142096.pdf

– Roadmap 2014-2017:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/142094.pdf

– Declaration on migration and mobility:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/142097.pdf

– Opening speech by President Herman van Rompuy:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/fr/ec/142079.pdf

– Remarks by President Herman van Rompuy following the EU-Africa summit:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/fr/ec/142095.pdf

and for more information please consult the website of the UE-Africa summit:

http://www.european-council.europa.eu/eu-africa-summit-2014

 

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