The European Business Council for Africa

The EU’s relationship with Africa is a key priority for the new Commission, which launched earlier this year the basis for a new strategy with Africa. In his first video blog (“vlog”), HR/VP Josep Borrell elaborates on this and reflects on EU-Africa relations - following the European Council’s recent discussion on this subject.

The vlog focuses on five key topics: 1) The EU-Africa partnership and why it is important, 2) The impact of the coronavirus and how the EU and Africa cooperate on combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, 3) How to manage the partnership in practice, 4) The relationship with view to migration, 5) The implications of the EU Green Deal for EU-African relations.

In answering these questions, HR/VP Borrell underlines that the EU has to be ambitious, but realistic, should be clear about its interests, and that it is crucial to be concrete and visible to achieve results.

In addition to the written blog posts, the HR/VP’s personal Blog A Window on the World will as of now feature regularly vlogs on pertinent EU foreign policy issues presenting his view.

On 26 October 2020, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) and the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) held their 12th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting, virtually, as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of Article 17 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and the AU – EU partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Ambassador Osama Abdelkhalek, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the AU and Chairperson of the AUPSC for October 2020 and H.E. Ambassador Sofie From- Emmesberger, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC.

The discussion during the 12th Joint Consultative Meeting focused on the situations in the Sahel region, Sudan and Somalia. The AU PSC and the EU PSC noted that October 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. While much progress has been made with regards to women’s inclusion in peace processes, further efforts are required to advance implementation. […]

"Last week, together with Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, I travelled to hand-over anti-COVID-19 material to the African Union Centre for Disease Control; to discuss with our African Union counterparts how to strengthen the EU-AU partnership in a post-pandemic world; and to underscore our support for the on-going reforms in Ethiopia, at a difficult moment. Upon arrival, we participated in the hand-over of coronavirus testing kits to the African Union Centre for Disease Control. We delivered 7,5 tons of essential medical and humanitarian equipment and 900,000 coronavirus kits that will be distributed on the entire continent. We met with Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union, Smaïl Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew."

Josep Borell  […] 

Europe must shape its own destiny. The opportunities offered by the green and digital transitions, supported by the exceptional recovery package agreed in July, are formidable tools to help transform our economies. An innovative and resilient EU will make us a strong global player.

To pursue those objectives and to push ahead with
the Strategic Agenda, the President puts forward an ambitious European Council agenda covering the
key challenges confronting the Union. This is a living document that will be updated as circumstances require.

Well-prepared, strategic discussions in the European Council will enable us to deepen our understanding of our shared interests and widen our strategic consensus. This will in turn contribute to the effective and uniform implementation of our collective decisions. Where no immediate conclusions are drawn, the outcome of the debates will be reflected in later conclusions.[…]

Josep Borell s'exprime sur le renforcement des liens avec l'Afrique: "Il nous faut resserrer nos liens avec l’Afrique, un continent jeune et dynamique. D’abord pour faire face à la crise actuelle et ce sera notamment l’objectif de ma mission en Ethiopie cette semaine. Mais aussi plus structurellement pour favoriser ensemble un développement économique qui soit à la fois vert, digital et équitable sur nos deux continents."

"Les relations entre l’Europe et l’Afrique sont à mes yeux l’un des dossiers les plus structurants pour l’avenir de l’Union européenne et je l’ai placé tout en haut de mon agenda. La Commission avait ainsi présenté en mars dernier ses propositions pour une nouvelle stratégie avec l’Afrique. Il nous faut maintenant donner corps à ce partenariat plus ambitieux. En raison du COVID-19, le Sommet prévu dans ce but fin octobre entre l’Union africaine et l’Union européenne a été reporté. Mais nous allons mettre à profit ce délai pour approfondir avec nos partenaires africains la réflexion sur nos priorités communes pour la prochaine décennie."[…]

Within the framework of the German EU Council Presidency, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, will host an informal meeting of EU Development Ministers on 29 September. One important topic will be the EU’s future relations with our neighbouring continent - Africa. The meeting will also serve to prepare the Formal Meeting of EU Development Ministers in November. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will take place virtually.

The EU continues to work with Member States to tackle the coronavirus pandemic on all fronts. Today, 500.000 additional coronavirus testing kits have been provided to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The test kits were delivered by an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight and are part of a €10 million immediate support package to the African Union (AU) by the German Government in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In total, almost 1.4 million tests for the extraction and the detection of the virus will be made available to African Union countries.


The members of the European Council and the Member States of the G5 Sahel, through the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission on the one hand, and the Presidents of the G5 Sahel countries on the other hand, have decided to adopt this declaration in order to reaffirm their joint commitment to the security, stability and development of the Sahel.

This commitment will drive engagement at regional and international level in close cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chair of the African Union Commission and the current Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, who play a crucial role in the efforts of the international community in support of the Sahel.

Read the full joint declaration here.

Le Haut Représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et Vice-président de la Commission, Josep Borrell, a eu un entretien téléphonique avec le Président de la République centrafricaine, Faustin Archange Touadéra, ce mardi 28 avril 2020. 

A cette occasion, le Haut Représentant a réaffirmé le soutien de l’Union européenne à la République centrafricaine, en particulier dans cette phase de lutte contre la pandémie du coronavirus. Le Haut Représentant a confirmé que l'Union européenne organisera prochainement, en collaboration avec la France, un pont aérien humanitaire pour le transport de matériel sanitaire nécessaire à la riposte à la pandémie. Le Haut Représentant a par ailleurs souligné l’importance de lutter contre la désinformation et la stigmatisation liées à la pandémie. L’Union européenne restera également vigilante face à ceux qui seraient tentés de profiter de la situation pour entraver le processus de stabilisation en République centrafricaine.

A cet égard, le Haut représentant a rappelé le soutien de l’Union européenne à l’organisation des prochains scrutins présidentiel et législatif prévus pour la fin de l’année. Ces élections constituent une étape essentielle dans le processus de démocratisation, de réconciliation et de paix du pays. Le soutien financier de l’Union européenne au processus électoral s’élève déjà à € 17,5 millions.

Le Haut Représentant Borrell a rappelé la nécessité d'accélérer la mise en œuvre de l’Accord politique de paix et de réconciliation malgré les circonstances actuelles. Il a appelé à la poursuite du dialogue entre tous les acteurs et au respect des engagements pris par les parties. Le Haut Représentant a réitéré l’engagement résolu de l’Union européenne en soutien à ce processus, en étroite coordination avec ses partenaires, en particulier les Nations Unies et l’Union africaine.

L’entretien a permis de réaffirmer la solidité du partenariat entre l’Union européenne et la République centrafricaine.

Source: European External Action Service

Asia and Europe: Together for effective multilateralism

At the beginning of this week, I had the honour of chairing in my capacity as High Representative the ASEM, the “Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers Meeting”. What might seem to be a rather bureaucratic acronym, actually is a politically highly relevant event for our continents. 

Read the whole article here