Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Civil Society: One year of Africa-EU Partnership

A year after the Africa- Europe Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed with great expectations, actors in development take stock.

The Joint Strategy was launched in December 2007 during the Lisbon Summit of the Portuguese EU-Presidency. Its aim was multifaceted cooperation between equal partners. A 3-year Action Plan was adopted as well including objectives to carry out until the next summit which is planned for 2010.

A report (pdf-file) by Coordination Sud, Terre des Hommes and Secours Catholique looks at the role of Civil Society within the implementation of the partnership Action Plan. It shows that participation of Civil Society actors in Europe made some progress, although the level of involvement differs significantly within different activity areas.

Additionally the authors look at the implementation within the different policy areas which range from Peace and Security, Governance or Migration to Science or Energy. Hereby the report criticizes among other aspects the use of EDF funds for non-development related issues like security and migration. Furthermore the authors lament that the whole working programme is strongly driven by European interests.

Regarding this, there is the expectation that the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement which is due for a revision this year might also be influenced by the new 'spirit' of the EU-Africa Partnership.

See also a recent summary of the European Parliament's Draft Report: 'One year after Lisbon: The Africa-EU partnership at work' (pdf-file), on ECDPM's

Here, you also find additional information and documents on the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership.

by Martin Behrens

See also the Euforic newsfeed and dossier on EU-Africa cooperation.