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Monday, 31 March 2014

Upcoming summit for more strategic relationship between the EU and Africa

European Union and African leaders will gather in Brussels next week (2-3 April) for their first summit in four years. This summit aims to strengthen their strategic relationship on economic and political matters.
The summit is likely to adress four main topics: climate change, agriculture, migration, and the international agenda on development. However,  some hope that it will provide a political steer on issues of  ‘peace, prosperity, and people'.
The principal thread between the categories is economic. The EU and Africa are trying  to promote a more traditional trade-based form of economic development. This evolution is the result of lack of growth and Africa's contrastingly fast expansion. The continuing shift in focus away from the development-aid co-operation has been fastened primarily by African calls for the relationship to be put on a new footing policy. This was accelerated by institutional and financial changes on Europe's side and by China's emergence as the leading foreign power in Africa.
The summit will not revise the joint Africa-European strategy adopted in 2007. However, an EU official said that “we have a different Europe and a different Africa”, and the summit will have to be followed through in the coming years with a review of the 2007 strategy ahead of the expiry, in 2020, of the Cotonou Agreement.
More than 40 African and 20 European leaders have confirmed their attendance.
Source: European Voice