Europe and Africa have historical, cultural and geographical ties. As Africa’s main trading partner, the EU continues to promote local economic integration by African countries as a means of boosting growth, attracting investment in different sectors and improving services for the African continent’s population. Ten years after the adoption of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy in Lisbon, the dynamics have changed. Because relations between the two continents are very complex, the political and policy dialogue is critical to strengthening the partnership.
POLITICO’s EU-AFRICA series seeks to explore mutually beneficial solutions to current EU-Africa migration and security challenges; to assess the implementation of the EU financial plans for Africa; to examine the role of European companies in digitalizing the African continent; and to host conversations that will enable both continents to advance a low carbon economy, strengthen the cooperation on care and food security. The premiere event ‘EU-AFRICA: Strengthening a Sustainable Partnership’ will kick off POLITICO’s EU-Africa series and explore mutually beneficial solutions to current EU-Africa migration and security challenges. It will also address the implementation of the new financial plans for Africa. Full article…
The purpose of the meeting is to debrief civil society organisations on the status of the EU-Indonesia trade negotiations and to exchange views on the topic.
The EU and Chile formally launched in Brussels the negotiations to modernise the existing EU-Chile Association Agreement.
There will be a presentation by the Commission Services and an exchange of views on the Communication on Aid for Trade.
The EU is currently reshaping its relationship with Armenia and Azerbaijan through new agreements for which the negotiations ended (Armenia) or started (Azerbaijan) in February 2017. After Yerevan’s decision to join the EAEU (thereby renouncing to sign an AA/DCFTA), the initialling of the CEPA provides a new impetus to EU-Armenia relations. It highlights Armenia’s lingering interest in developing closer ties with the EU and provides a vivid illustration of the EU’s readiness to respond to EaP countries’ specific needs and circumstances. The CEPA is also a clear indication that the EU has not engaged in a zero-sum game with Russia and is willing to exploit any opportunity to further its links with EaP countries. The launch of negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement – in spite of serious political and human rights problems in the country – results from several intertwined factors, including the EU’s energy security needs and Baku’s increasing bargaining power. At this stage, Azerbaijan is interested only in forms of cooperation that are not challenging the political status quo. However, the decline in both world oil prices and domestic oil production in this country is creating bargaining opportunities for the EU in what promises to be a difficult negotiation.
The EU’s trade and development policy is outlined in the January 2012 Communication on ‘Trade, growth and development’. It focuses on countries most in need. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences has been maintained for LDCs, as has the Everything But Arms regime, while preferential treatment for non-LDC ACP countries has been replaced by Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) including a development component. A new EU Aid for Trade strategy, which aims to help developing countries build trade capacities, is being prepared and will be based on a new communication from the Commission. The EU supports the WTO Development Round and ratified the trade facilitation agreement in October 2015.
The fifth negotiating round between the European Union and Mercosur since the resumption of formal talks in October last year was held from 6 to 10 November in Brasilia. This round follows on from the round from 2 to 6 October, also held in Brasilia. Mercosur is the trade grouping which in these negotiations includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
A first round of negotiations between the EU and Chile for a modernised Association Agreement will take place on 16 November, in Brussels. This follows the decision taken today by EU Member States to approve the mandate for the European Union to conduct these negotiations.
On 13 November, the Council approved a mandate to negotiate the modernisation of the existing association agreement with Chile.
The 2nd meeting of the EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) supported the proposal to negotiate the modernisation of the EU-Chile Association Agreement, noting the importance of consulting civil society.