The European Business Council for Africa

Ahead of a meeting to conclude negotiations on the new EU partnership agreement (Post-Cotonou) with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), the Chair of the Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE) and Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT), Chair of Parliament’s ACP Delegation, told the Commission that the current negotiation draft is not acceptable. The two Chairs warned that Parliament would not give its consent to the new Post-Cotonou agreement if greater parliamentary scrutiny and democratic control were not included.

Quotes:

“We are sending a clear message to the Commission: a parliamentary dimension with a real consultative role for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) as well as at a regional level is a non-negotiable condition for the European Parliament in order to give its consent to a new Agreement”, said (Tomas Tobé (EPP, Sweden), Chair of the Committee on Development.

On this page you will soon find all the information related to this meeting:

  • agenda highlights (a week before the meeting date)
  • main results (after the meeting)
  • press material
  • photos, videos and live streaming
  • related documentation

Updated content will be added in the run-up to as well as during and after the meeting.

During Monday’s Foreign Affairs Council with Development Ministers, we focused on the growing levels of debt that emerging and developing countries are facing due to the economic impact of the pandemic. We must tackle this problem in the coming months to avoid a serious rise in global poverty and inequality.

The growing indebtedness of many poor and middle-income countries is worrying. Developed countries have been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the developing and emerging world have much less fiscal space to deal with its consequences and a much more difficult access to funding. Some of them have already defaulted on their external debt. If we are not able to deal rapidly with this debt issue, poverty and global instability are likely to increase. It could even fuel a new global financial crisis.

The EU is committed to furthering international debt relief efforts for African countries.

The Council today approved a set of conclusions in response to a call from the European Council of 15-16 October 2020 to prepare a common approach in this respect.

The conclusions highlight the increasing debt vulnerability in low income countries, particularly in Africa, and underscore the EU's support for a coordinated international approach on debt relief efforts for African countries.

The Council welcomes the G20 – Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which offers a temporary debt moratorium to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its extension until 30 June 2021 with the possibility of a further extension by 6 months. It commits to a full and transparent implementation of this initiative.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, represented the EU at the 15th G20 Leaders' summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on 21-22 November 2020.

G20 leaders met in virtual format to address the way forward how to tackle together the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, finance the development and deployment of a vaccine as well as continue the support to citizens and businesses struggling to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic.

President von der Leyen said: “I am glad that G20 leaders agreed to make Covid-19 vaccines available and affordable for all. But more funding is needed. This is why I called G20 Leaders to commit to fund 4.5 billion US dollars for the ACT-Accelerator by the end of the year. G20 leaders also agreed to maintain economic measures until the recovery is firmly on the way. As a lesson from the crisis we need to step up global preparedness. We will discuss this again in May 2021 at the joint G20 Global Health Summit in Italy. To build back a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world we also need to step up actions to fight climate change. The EU leads the way to climate neutrality by 2050 and many G20 partners now have taken the same commitments.”

The German presidency of the Council today reached a political agreement with the European Parliament’s negotiators in talks aimed at securing the Parliament's consent to the next multiannual financial framework, the EU’s long-term budget.

The agreement has been reached following intensive consultations with the Parliament and the Commission that have been underway since the end of August. It complements the comprehensive financial package of €1 824.3 billion negotiated by EU leaders in July, which combines the next multiannual financial framework – €1 074.3 billion – and a €750 billion temporary recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (in 2018 prices).

On 12 November, President Charles Michel sent out the fourth issue of his newsletter, in which he informs citizens about the activities of the European Council. This time the President focuses on promoting our values and fighting terrorism.

There are two battles that must be fought. A battle of values, to defend and promote our freedoms... and a merciless operational battle against violent extremism, whether Islamist or otherwise.

President Charles Michel

The newsletter is issued on a regular basis in English and French. It is available to all users subscribed to European Council alerts. Every issue contains a summary of President Michel's latest activities.

  • Promoting a fisheries policy that fosters sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the region 

  • Ensuring EU vessels can continue to access Senegalese waters

MEPs gave their consent to concluding a renewed protocol offering opportunities to French, Spanish and Portuguese fishermen.

The text was approved with 524 votes in favour, 47 against and 115 abstentions.

Negotiations for a new five-year protocol began on 19 July 2019, and the agreed Sustainable Fisheries Partnership has applied provisionally since it was signed on 18 November 2019.

The past year has taught us how crucially important health is for each and every one of us.

It has shown us how fragile our societies are and how fast everything can be turned upside down by something so small that it is invisible to the naked eye.

It has taught us that health is a precondition for our societies and economies to function.

And it has reminded us of the value of solidarity and cooperation, and being united in diversity to overcome the biggest health crisis in modern times.

The health situation in one Member State is contingent on that of others. To minimise the negative impacts on people and business, we have to work together to address health threats.

The Tanzanian National Electoral Commission and Zanzibar Electoral Commission have declared the results of the elections.  

Election day was well organised and peaceful in many parts of the country. Nonetheless, the European Union (EU) notes with regret the disruption of social media  before, on and after election day, claims of opposition candidates that they did not benefit from a level playing field during the electoral process, as well as the limited possibilities for electoral observation. Reports of irregularities in some districts are also raising concern. These serious allegations have an impact on the transparency and overall credibility of the process. They should be processed through legal means of redress.

In Zanzibar, tensions were reported, with deadly violence, including allegations of excessive use of force by State organs. The EU hopes that it will be possible to lay the foundation for a sustainable reconciliation between all stakeholders, in order to contribute to long-lasting peace and stability in the archipelago.

The EU encourages an open, constructive and inclusive dialogue between the Government of Tanzania, opposition political parties and civil society, and recognises peaceful expressions of opinions as essential to multi-party democracy and civic freedoms.