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Friday, 11 June 2010

Africa-EU relations get boost at Addis Ababa meeting

Commission president José Manuel Barroso is accompanied by 8 of his colleagues as he sits down to talks with the African Union (AU) Commission on 8 June in Addis Ababa.The College-to-College meetings are an annual event, but this is the first time that those European Commissioners who took office this year will meet their African counterparts.The commissioners are reviewing progress in the wide range of areas covered by the Joint Africa-EU strategy, launched in 2007. The first action plan has already produced concrete results, including:
•         EU money and expertise for African-led peace operations
•         Cooperation on electoral observation
•         Training for food inspectors across Africa to strengthen control systems and increase opportunities for Africa-Europe trade
•         EU support for agricultural and health research in Africa
•         Progress towards the integration of energy markets
•         Collaboration on fighting climate change
•         A new centre for migration management and information in Mali, partially funded by the EU
By the time the next Africa-EU summit takes place in Libya, in November, both sides are hoping for even more substantial progress, principally in the areas selected for close partnership: peace and security; democratic governance and human rights; trade, regional integration and infrastructure; the Millennium Development Goals; energy; climate change; migration, mobility and employment; science, information society and space. Preparations for the summit are already underway, and are continuing in Addis Ababa.
The creation of an EU delegation to the AU in Addis Ababa in 2008 set the stage for even closer dialogue between the two Unions. The delegation is something of a trailblazer in EU diplomacy, representing both the Commission and the Council to the AU. It is also staffed by officials from the Commission and the EU Member States, making it a precursor for the future EU delegations foreseen under the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Source: EUropean Commission