Ubi maior minor cessat: is it time for a new EU strategy in Tunisia and the Global South?
EBCAM's research assistant, Sara Lolli, has written an analysis on EU-Tunisia relationships in light of the recent developments in the Mediterranean for Eyes On Europe, the magazine of the Institut d'Etudes Européennes of the ULB.
Quality education in Africa: EU launches €100 million Regional Teachers' Initiative
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launched today a Regional Teachers' Initiative in Africa and for Africa, a €100 million investment from the EU budget in empowering the world's fastest growing youth population through quality education. This flagship initiative under the EU–Africa Global Gateway Investment Package aims to accelerate the training of teachers for Sub-Saharan Africa, responding to the need for 15 million new qualified teachers for Africa by 2030. The initiative will contribute to regional and national objectives by supporting and complementing national education and teacher reforms, offer opportunities for cross-country collaboration, partnerships, and peer learning in the region and with Europe.
At the launch of the initiative in Pretoria, South Africa, in the presence of the Minister of Basic Education from South Africa, the African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministers of Education from South Africa, Senegal and Botswana and representatives of EU Member States, UNESCO, teachers, and young activists, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “I am proud to launch today the Regional Teachers' Initiative, a €100 million Global Gateway investment in quality education in Africa. We want to support our partners to have in every classroom a qualified teacher, a valued professional who can empower children and young people to thrive and develop skills for a future professional life. Together we can improve learning outcomes and accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education for all. Education is the most powerful investment in our future, and teachers are key to it. We need more teachers and quality teaching.”
Qualified teachers in greater numbers
The initiative aims to increase the number of qualified teachers by making teaching both an attractive job prospect for promising young professionals and a life-long learning experience. It puts an emphasis on teachers in basic education acquiring and transmitting digital and green skills – skills that will enable students in tomorrow's world to plug into the opportunities of the digital transformation, and engage them in the preservation of our planet. The initiative will also cover teaching in crisis contexts.
9 months after Summit: European Union and African Union Commissions take stock of the implementation of the February Summit commitments
- On 28 November 2022, African Union and European Union Commissions engaged on their strategic partnership and reviewed progress in the implementation of the joint commitments taken at the 6th EU-AU Summit in February 2022: renewed and enhanced cooperation for development, peace and security, enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility and multilateralism and the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package in support of our common ambition for 2030 and the Africa Union's Agenda 2063.
- The 11th Commission-to-Commission meeting between the European Union and the African Union was co-chaired by President Ursula von der Leyen and Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. 20 EU Commissioners, the AU Commission Deputy Chairperson and 5 AU Commissioners participated, which is another demonstration of the strength of our partnership.
- The Commissions noted that this year the war in Ukraine further adversely impacted the economies of Europe and Africa. They referred to national positions as expressed in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The European Commission condemns in the strongest possible terms the war of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which is illegal, unjustified and unprovoked and causing immense human suffering, and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.
- The two Commissions expressed deep concern with the challenges to global food and energy security exacerbated by current conflicts and tensions.
- In a series of working sessions, the two Commissions discussed the urgent issues facing both continents, and took stock of progress made in implementing the February Summit commitments in four key areas:
Global Gateway: EU, Cameroon and Nigeria inaugurate international Cross River Bridge to boost connectivity and socio-economic integration
On 3 November 2022, the European Union, the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria and the African Development Bank, inaugurated the new Cross River bridge at the Mfum-Ekok border crossing between Cameroon and Nigeria. This critical infrastructure also includes a new joint border post at Mfum (Nigeria) and is part of the EU-supported Bamenda-Enugu corridor between both countries.
The new bridge and border crossing are a tangible demonstration of the EU's enhanced support to African partners. They will further develop the agro-pastoral potential of the area and boost the income of the population. They will also enhance connectivity between Nigeria and Cameroon and increase integration, commercial exchanges and themovement of goods and people between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). As a result, the bridge will contribute to the facilitation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
COP27: European Union concludes a strategic partnership with Namibia on sustainable raw materials and renewable hydrogen
On 8 November 2022, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of Namibia Hage Geingob signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a strategic partnership between the EU and Namibia at the COP27 in Egypt.
The partnership aims to ensure the development of a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials, refined materials and renewable hydrogen to support the green and digital transformation of the partners' economies. It deepens the cooperation in areas with mutual benefits for both parties. The partnership will promote local value addition in Namibia by supporting the development of the mining and renewable hydrogen value chains. It will support sustainable raw materials value chains and facilitate investment and funding opportunities to modernise the Namibian industries and drive economic and social development.
Developing And Strenghtening Key Regional Value Chains At Continental Scale In Africa
DEVELOPING AND STRENGHTENING KEY REGIONAL VALUE CHAINS AT CONTINENTAL SCALE IN AFRICA
A Validation Workshop Hosted By The African Union Commission, Department For Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry And Minerals (ETTIM) And The European Commission, Directorate-General For International Partnerships
Niamey (location TBC) / 22nd and 23rd November 2022
The African Union Commission and European Commission are jointly organising a workshop on regional value chains at continental scale.
It will be held in Niamey in the margin of the African Union Summit at the end of November, and will be articulated around different sector-specific sessions following the results of the International Trade Center Diagnostic on Regional value Chains, that the African Union Commission and the European Commission have commanded.
Global Gateway: EU and US boost cooperation on green energy in Africa
The European Union and United States of America agreed today to increase their collaboration to boost sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, by unlocking more of the continent's abundant renewable power generation potential and improving local access to affordable green energy. Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power signed in Washington a renewed Memorandum of Understanding on closer EU–US cooperation that will allow joint promotion of projects such as the African Continental Power System Masterplan.
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Under Global Gateway, we are boosting our cooperation with the US administration to build the strategic autonomy of our African partners, including by unlocking more opportunities to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. Together, we can electrify even more schools and health centres, and fight even more efficiently the inequalities linked to energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Europe’s Energy Balancing Act
Europe is facing a perfect storm: energy prices are up, economic growth is down and winter is coming. The Kremlin is using energy as a political weapon. We must prepare ourselves for a possible gas cut-off, principally through savings, diversification and solidarity among us. At the same time, we must accelerate investments in renewables and wage a global campaign for energy efficiency and savings to ensure sustainable energy access to all while staying within planetary boundaries.
When it comes to energy, Europe faces a dilemma: it needs to balance its short-term goals – to wean itself off Russian oil and gas while getting through the winter – with its long-term net-zero targets under the Green Deal. And it must ensure that its internal choices are compatible with its external commitments. There is no point pretending that doing so is easy, cheap or without trade-offs. But it is possible, if we invest seriously in energy savings, renewables and solidarity, both at home and around the world.
EU budget for 2023: Council agrees its position
Today, ambassadors of member states to the EU agreed the Council's position on the 2023 EU draft budget. In total, the Council's position for next year's budget amounts to € 183.95 billion in commitments and € 165.74 billion in payments. Compared to the budget agreed by the Council and the European Parliament for 2022, this is an increase of +8.29% in commitments and a decrease of -3.02% in payments.
"The Council decided to pursue a prudent approach to the annual budgetary process. We will make sure that EU financial resources are focused on our current priorities. This means that we have adjusted several of the figures proposed by the Commission. I am pleased that we now have a solid basis for our negotiations with the European Parliament."
- Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister for Finance of Czechia
EU, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and the cocoa sector endorse an Alliance on Sustainable Cocoa
The EU, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the cocoa sector have today agreed to step up work on making cocoa more sustainable. At today’s high-level event of the sustainable cocoa initiative, “Cocoa Talks”, they jointly endorsed an “Alliance on Sustainable Cocoa”, an ambitious roadmap to improve the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa production and trade.
Following two years of discussions, all sides have committed to a set of concrete time-bound actions to improve the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain in West Africa. These actions aim to halt deforestation and child labour, and improve the living income for farmers. These commitments were endorsed by all and will be closely monitored.