European Union – African Union Summit Offers New Opportunities to Deepen the Continents’ Partnership
European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) leaders will meet for the 6th EU-AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022.
The summit convenes 55 AU and 27 EU heads of state and their delegations to discuss a renewed and deepened AU-EU partnership for the coming years. The Summit was originally planned for October 2020 but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the run-up to the Summit, the first edition of the Africa-Europe week will bring together youth, civil society and the private sector from Africa and Europe to discuss what matters most in the Africa-EU Partnership. One of the highlights will be the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF22), on 14-18 February 2022, where the AEEP will also host a side event.
Climate change and the global pandemic on the agenda
Discussions during the Summit will include how to build greater prosperity on both continents and which tools and solutions can promote a renewed peace and security architecture.
The Global Gateway Strategy, presented by the European Commission (EC) on December 1, 2021, will be a central part of the discussions during the Summit. The Global Gateway Strategy aims to mobilise up to EUR 340 billion in investments for five key sectors, including the digital, transport, health, education, and energy sector. As a key phase in the Strategy, the deployment of the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative will contribute to the development and integration of regional energy markets and the implementation of a strong continental African Single Electricity Market.
In a series of roundtables during the EU-AU Summit, the following topics will be addressed:
– growth financing
– health systems and vaccine production
– agriculture and sustainable development
– education, culture and vocational training, migration and mobility
– private sector support and economic integration
– peace, security and governance
– climate change and energy transition, digital and transport (connectivity and infrastructure)
The Summit participants are expected to adopt a declaration on a joint vision for 2030.
Two decades of strategic partnership
The joint summits have been organised since the EU and the former Organisation of African Unity first met in Cairo in 2001. The meeting led to the adopting of the Cairo Declaration, which developed the strategic partnership between Africa and Europe along the core values of alliance, cooperation, equality and respect. The Africa-EU Partnership was established as the political channel through which the two continents work together.
During the second summit, in Lisbon in 2007, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was adopted. It confirmed the objectives of the partnership and mapped out a political vision for future cooperation. The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) was also launched by African and European Heads of State in Lisbon as the key political platform through which both continents work together on energy.
The most recent, 5th African Union – EU Summit, 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, was held under the theme “Investing in youth for a sustainable future”. The outcome of the summit was the adoption of a joint declaration that focused on economic opportunities for youth, peace and security, mobility and migration, and cooperation on governance.