The European Business Council for Africa

Today the Council extended the mandate of the EU mission EUCAP Sahel Mali until 14 January 2021 and allocated it a budget of almost €67 million for this period.

The EUCAP Sahel Mali civilian mission assists and advises Mali's internal security forces as they implement the reform in the security sector laid down by the government. It provides training and strategic advice to the Malian police, gendarmerie and national guard, and to relevant ministries.

As part of the regionalisation of CSDP missions in the Sahel, the EUCAP Sahel Mali mission will now be able to deliver specific, targeted strategic advice and training in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, as set out in its revised operational plan (18 December 2018).

EUCAP Sahel Mali was launched on 15 April 2014. Since 1 October 2017 the head of mission has been Philippe Rio, a high-ranking officer in the French gendarmerie. The headquarters of the mission are located in Bamako, Mali, and from 1 March 2019 it will have up to 144 international agents and 65 local agents.

There are two other CSDP missions under way in the region: EUTM Mali, which contributes to the restructuring and reorganisation of the Malian armed forces through training and advice, and EUCAP Sahel Niger, which supports the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Niger.

The decision was adopted by written procedure.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, the EU has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the presidential election that will take place on 24 February 2019.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, has appointed Elena Valenciano, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.

On the occasion, High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini said: "The European Union is committed to supporting Senegal in consolidating its democratic institutions. I am confident that the assessment by our European Election Observation Mission under the leadership of Elena Valenciano will make an important contribution not only to the upcoming elections but also to future elections in the framework of our close and continued dialogue and partnership with Senegal."

Elena Valenciano added, "Deploying this Election Observation Mission demonstrates the strength of the EU-Senegal partnership and the importance of our common work in consolidating democracy and good governance. It also represents the continuity of our contribution to the observation of the previous Senegalese presidential electoral process held in 2012."

A core team of nine electoral analysts has arrived in Dakar on 15 January 2019. A total of 56 long-term observers will be deployed in the country. On the day of the vote, the EOM will have a total of more than 100 observers from various EU Members States, Switzerland and Norway. The Mission will analyse all stages of the electoral process.

The EU EOM operates in a fully independent and neutral manner.

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Bonjour et merci tout d'abord pour votre présence ici.

Un an après notre Sommet [Union africaine-Union européenne] d’Abidjan, nous nous retrouvons encore tous ensemble et démontrons à nouveau l’importance que nous accordons à notre partenariat et notre détermination à rapprocher nos deux continents.

Comme l’a dit Moussa Faki devant le Parlement européen, pendant sa visite à Strasbourg, je cite: « Nos cultures et nos civilisations (sont) différentes dans leurs spiritualités et dogmes structurants, mais (ils sont) complémentaires dans leur humanisme et leur essentielle et impérissable inclination à la liberté ».

Dans le monde compliqué d'aujourd'hui, l'Europe et l'Afrique sont plus proches que jamais.

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The Council exchanged views on the Africa - Europe alliance for sustainable investment and jobs. The discussion took place less than a month before the high-level Africa-Europe forum (Vienna, 17-18 December) and the EU-AU ministerial meeting (21-22 January 2019).

Ministers expressed their support for the initiative and its four strands of action: improving the investment climate, de-risking, strengthening support for skills and education, and supporting economic integration and market-building. They discussed ways in which member states can be actively involved in this new Africa - Europe alliance and the importance of securing coordination and coherence on the ground.

As the EU remains Africa's main partner, ministers highlighted the need to ensure that both African and European stakeholders are more aware of the close relationship between the two continents.

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The Council has given the go-ahead to increased lending by the European Investment Bank to projects outside the EU that address migration issues.

It adopted the decision and regulation on 27 February 2018, following an agreement with the European Parliament on a mid-term review of the EIB's mandate for 'external' lending.

In total, the financing limit under an EU guarantee is increased by €5.3 billion. Of this, €3.7 billion are earmarked for projects in the public and private sectors providing a strategic response to the root causes of migration.

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EU kick-starts its new EU External Investment Plan

Following the adoption by the European Parliament and the Council, the European Commission immediately starts the implementation of its ambitious External Investment Plan to boost investments in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood.

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On September 2016, the European Commission drafted a proposal on the European Fund for Sustainable Developement (EFSD).

This proposal is currently discussed by the European Parliament and the Plenary Session will be on September 12th.

What is the External Investment Plan ? 





On May 15th, the Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in Africa but also the future of the EU-ACP relations.

The discussion will feed the preparation of the EU-Africa Summit in November.