Commissioner Urpilainen launches the first Africa-Europe Week
In the margins of the 6th European Union - African Union summit on 17 and 18 February 2022, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launches the first Africa-Europe Week including the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF). This new forum’s objective is to strengthen cross-continent people-to-people relations.
The Africa-Europe week aims at bringing together young people, civil society organisations, local authorities, cultural actors and the private sector from both continents to discuss the aspects of the Africa-Europe political partnership that matter most to them.
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen looks forward to receiving participants for these exchanges, online and in person, in the coming weeks:
“Strengthening people to people contacts is central to the new Global Gateway strategy and our Africa-Europe renewed partnership, building on a number of joint priorities and enhanced focus on human development. As a new platform of exchange, the Africa-Europe Week will push forward the essential views of young people, civil society, local authorities, cultural actors and the private sector of both continents."
European Commission launches Africa Knowledge Platform
The European Commission has launched their Africa Knowledge Platform allowing users to browse their collection of geospatial datasets, discover interactive stories and interact with analytical tools:
A gateway to data and information on Africa's social, economic, territorial and environmental development, developed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
EU pledges €2.5 billion to combat malnutrition with partner countries
At today's Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo, the Commission announced a new pledge of €2.5 billion for 2021-2024 to reduce all forms of malnutrition. This contribution covers humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs as well as support to tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition, including a longer-term food systems transformation in EU partner countries.
Speaking at the Summit, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the global nutrition crisis. The need for more equitable, resilient, and sustainable food and health systems has never been as urgent. Today's pledge will contribute to addressing malnutrition in a comprehensive manner, by supporting sustainable and resilient food systems. We want to create a healthy future, free from hunger and malnutrition, for all”.
Remarks by President Charles Michel at the G20 Compact with Africa Conference
Thank you Chancellor; first of all I would like to join in the praise and pay tribute to your tenacity and wisdom, which are sorely needed in today’s world. In direct reference to Moussa Faki’s remarks, I would also like to pay tribute to your lasting commitment not only to breaking down walls, but above all to building bridges.
This meeting is effective proof of our ambition to build bridges, to join together for this Compact with Africa, as has been highlighted by several speakers.
EU new Ambassadors to African countries
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell also announced
the appointments of new Heads of Delegations of the European Union, who will take up their duties as of 1 September :
European Council conclusions on external relations, 24 June 2021
14. The European Council reverted to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the European Union’s relations with Turkey, and recalled the EU’s strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey. It welcomes the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which needs to be sustained in line with the statement by the Members of the European Council of 25 March 2021.
15. The European Council reiterates the EU’s readiness to engage with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest, subject to the established conditionalities set out in March and in previous European Council conclusions.
16. In line with this framework, it takes note of the start of work at technical level towards a mandate for the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and recalls the need to address current difficulties in the implementation of the Customs Union, ensuring its effective application to all Member States. Such a mandate may be adopted by the Council subject to additional guidance by the European Council.
Joint statement to the press by the Republic of Kenya and the European Union
The Strategic Dialogue between the Republic of Kenya and the European Union was launched on the occasion of the meeting between H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H., President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, held on 21 June 2021 in Brussels. This upgrade of the Kenya - European Union relations builds on the meeting between the two counterparts on 9 March 2021 at State House, Nairobi, and the renewed European Union Strategy for the Horn of Africa, adopted in May 2021, in which the European Union confirmed its readiness to step up its relationship with Kenya.
Joint Communiqué on EU-Tunisia relations: ‘For a renewed partnership'
Visiting Brussels on 4 June 2021, His Excellency Mr Kais Saied, the President of the Republic of Tunisia, held talks with His Excellency Mr Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, Her Excellency Ms Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission and His Excellency Mr David Maria Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament. These meetings provided an opportunity to underline the depth of historical ties between the European Union and Tunisia dating back almost half a century in a spirit of constantly evolving strategic partnership.
This new phase of bilateral relations is based on shared values and a mutual commitment to strengthening political, economic and cultural ties between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
The talks, which took place in a very cordial atmosphere, focused on young people, education, culture and economic relations, which have been some of the key areas of cooperation between Tunisia and Europe in the last few years. Delivering on the priorities announced in the European Communication on the renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and confirmed by the Council conclusions of April 2021 was also at the heart of these discussions. The two sides invoked the socio-economic impact of the crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic and social reforms needed to revive economic activity and growth.
Post-Cotonou negotiations on new EU/Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Partnership Agreement concluded
Today's initialling of the new Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS, formerly known as the ACP Group of States) by the chief negotiators, International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen, and Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey, marks the formal conclusion of the negotiations of the Post Cotonou Agreement, setting the political, economic and sectorial cooperation framework for the next twenty years.
Commissioner for International Partnerships and EU chief negotiator, Jutta Urpilainen, said: "This new and comprehensive partnership with the largest group of partner countries is a major political achievement and marks a turning point. In tune with the new international realities and challenges, the Agreement is expected to be game-changing in strengthening the EU's bilateral relations with each individual OACP State and their respective regions, positioning the OACPS-EU partnership as an international force to advance common ambitions on the global stage."
Global Recovery: The EU disburses SDR 141 Million to the IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today received the European Union (EU)'s contribution of SDR 141 million (equivalent to €170 million or US$199 million) to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which provides grants for debt service relief to countries hit by catastrophic events, including public health disasters such as COVID-19.
Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “Through this contribution to the CCRT, Team Europe continues to stand in solidarity with its most vulnerable partners. In this difficult period, the resources freed up can provide social services for the most vulnerable people, such as access to essential healthcare and education for young people, including girls. Team Europe's Global Recovery Initiative is working to provide debt relief and sustainable investment for the SDGs.”
“The EU's generous contribution of €183 million is critical to help the world's most vulnerable countries cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and continue providing health care, economic and social support for their people. I am grateful to the EU and its member states for their support and strong partnership. I urge other countries to contribute to the CCRT so we can in turn support our most vulnerable member countries,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva noted.