The European Business Council for Africa

While the EU Parliament, member states and the media have been jumping up and down about the reduction of funds for cohesion policy and agriculture, few - and we are among them - commented on the fact that, when it comes to financing the EU’s engagement with the rest of the world, the next budget proposal envisages a substantial increase. The reasons for the rise, its distribution and purposeful omissions have been carefully analysed in a new blog by our Andrew Sherriff and Mariella Di Ciommo.

The EU budget proposal for external action: How much, what for, and what we still don’t know

Last week, the European Commission put forth its proposal for the next EU budget after 2020. But how much will be spent on what? Here is a list of the important elements to watch out for in the proposal, in particular those related to EU external action. Read the blog

The Week of 27 April – 4 May 2018

CrisisWatch: April/May 2018
Report: Iran
Commentary: Russia, Armenia, Korean Peninsula, Israel/Iran, Central America, Venezuela, Iran
Interviews: Korean Peninsula, Horn of Africa
Quotes: Iran, Israel/Palestine, China/Korean Peninsula, African Union, Iran/Israel, Somalia, Korean Peninsula, Zimbabwe
Careers: Asia, Mexico

Read the article

Today Commission President Juncker and Budget Commissioner Oettinger will be unveiling their proposal for the next seven-year budget (2021-2027).

Focus on the EU budget

Increasing the impact of EU external spending is high on the agenda. The proposal of a single external instrument, coherent yet flexible, might respond to the call for greater consistency, when dealing with migration, for example. Whether the proposal will survive depends on its initial credibility and subsequent political sponsorship. Sufficient foresight on broad political dynamics as well as seemingly more technical issues will be decisive here.


Analysis and News Worth Knowing on Africa from Monday to Friday. Provided by our Partner

The site is updated weekdays at 10:00 am GMT. Depending on news flow stories are occasionally updated during the day.

30. April 2018 - Angola’s turnaround almost feels too good to be true

27. April 2018 - Africa’s North – South divide makes no sense

26. April 2018 - Can Africa be trusted with its debt?

The Week of 20 – 27 April 2018

Briefing: Cameroon 
Commentary: Armenia, Western Sahara, Iran, Syria, Venezuela
Interviews: Iran, Colombia, Israel/Palestine, Zimbabwe, Armenia
Video: Cameroon
Crisis Group in the News: Korean Peninsula, Iran, U.S./Niger, U.S./France, Egypt, U.S./Iran, Yemen, Russia/Syria
Careers: Asia, Europe & Central Asia, Central Asia, Mexico, West Bank

Read the article

How come the EU is still so off-track when it comes to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This is what the new brief from the European Think Tanks Group is all about. The time for a proper EU2030 strategy is now, precisely when we are entering the next EU budget discussions.

Steering the EU towards a sustainability transformation

Europe pushed for transformative and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, almost three years after they have been adopted, the EU still lacks a proper strategy for implementation. This paper identifies five ways in which the EU could use the SDGs and lead the way in terms of implementation.​

Read the paper

The European External Investment Plan: Challenges and next steps for a game changer

To live up to the vast expectations of fostering sustainable, inclusive growth and the creation of more decent jobs, a number of implementation challenges of the European Investment Plan have to be addressed. Our analysis highlights what we should prioritise and how to avoid ‘business-as-usual’. 

Read the brief

The Week of 13 – 20 April 2018

Interviews: Syria, U.S./Russia/Syria, Iran/Israel/Russia
Event: Joint Event with NIMD on 2018 Elections in Latin America
Crisis Group in the News: U.S./Syria, Russia/Syria, Central African Republic, United Arab Emirates/Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, Korean Peninsula, Israel/Syria, United Arab Emirates
Careers: Asia, Europe & Central Asia, Central Asia, West Bank, New York

Read the article

The focus this week is on peace and security. In full ‘what-is-our-next-budget-going-to-look-like’ frenzy that is so palpable in and around the EU institutions, we look specifically at how to finance peace and security operations in Africa.

Can the 0.2% levy fund peace and security in Africa? A stronger AU-UN partnership in accordance with WTO rules
Part of the African Union’s 0.2% import levy is meant to finance peace support operations on the continent. Although there was no legal challenge, the question among some members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is whether the levy breaches WTO regulations. Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the UN Charter might be key in offering a legal justification for the levy. Read the brief

What lessons from the African Peace Facility for supporting African peace?

One of the ideas for the next EU budget is to create an off-budget European Peace Facility that would include the current African Peace Facility (APF). But what should support to African peace and security look like in the future? The recent evaluation of the APF might give some important pointers. Read the blog

The Week of 6–13 April 2018

Report: Iran 
Briefing: Nigeria
Iran-U.S. Trigger List: Syria
Commentary: Sudan/South Sudan, Syria, U.S., El Salvador, China/Venezuela, Mexico
Interviews: Syria, Israel/Palestine
Quotes: Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, U.S., Colombia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Israel/Palestine
Careers: Asia, Europe & Central Asia, Central Asia, West Bank, New York

Read the article

The first Compass of April examines the complex relationship between the European Union and different categories of countries in Africa, each with their own features and interests.

Sailing new waters in international cooperation: On the way to framing future EU engagement with more advanced developing countries
More advanced developing countries are important partners for the European Union. But the future of the Union's engagement with the multiple actors in these countries needs to be guided by clearer objectives and stronger policy guidance. A partnership approach requires these countries’ demands to be taken into account. The next EU budget offers a golden opportunity to rethink future relationships. Read the paper 

What is the European External Investment Plan really about?

Extensive private investment is required to meet development challenges. By providing a new guarantee mechanism and technical assistance in the European External Investment Plan (EIP), the EU aims to attract investors, particularly in least developed and more fragile countries. This paper offers a comprehensive overview of the EIP and reveals its weaknesses. Read the paper 

Breaking the silence on North Africa: A new EU-Africa partnership after 2020

This op-ed for EURACTIV underlines that clarifying North Africa’s involvement in the post-Cotonou negotiations from the start is key for the future of the EU-Africa partnership after 2020. Read the op-ed