The EU — Africa Strategy must bring a new narrative and build a strong inclusive partnership
The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament welcomes the new EU — Africa Strategy presented by Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, as one of the Commission’s priorities laid down at the beginning of the mandate.
The paper proposes partnerships in a series of fields such as the green transition, digital transformation, sustainable growth and jobs, peace and governance, migration and mobility. These challenges are common for both continents and the strategy should particularly focus on:
- Building a strong alliance with Africa in the field of climate change, in line with the Paris agreement, protecting biodiversity and promoting circular economy,
- Cooperating with Africa in the field of the digital transformation of societies in order to modernise traditional sectors such as agriculture and the delivery of services (e-commerce; e-governance, etc),
- Setting new comprehensive frameworks for the migration dialogue,
- Supporting investments and the creation of jobs and in particular, promoting the economic role of women and youth,
- Strengthening our cooperation in the fields of health, nutrition and education.
The success of this strategy will depend on cooperation with African countries, NGOs, civil society as well as all the EU Member states.
Renew Europe MEP, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (La République en marche, France), EP rapporteur on the EU — Africa Strategy, said:
“Africa does have its place at the heart of the European Union’s external action and 2020 will mark the beginning of a new era in our relationship with it. The document presented this week is a first contribution to the overhaul of our Partnership.
This is a great project, although the most important work remains to be done: we must build a partnership between all the components of our societies. This will go firstly through people, through African and European citizens. This will allow a real approach to our Partnership by the citizens of the two shores of the Mediterranean. The European Parliament, as a representative assembly of all European citizens, has a dual role to play. On the one hand, it will involve working with elected officials from the African continent and, on the other hand, promoting the partnership with European citizens.”
MEP, Charles Goerens (Democratic Party, Luxembourg), Renew Europe Group’s Coordinator in Committee on Development, added:
“I welcome the ambition to have a real partnership in order to search for common answers to global challenges. The new strategy gives interesting incentives, such as a strong focus on the green transition and sustainable growth, as well as an emphasis on peace and governance.
However, while it is ambitious in the area of technical cooperation, the strategy should give a greater priority to cultural cooperation, be it on the level of education or the conservation of cultural goods.”