The EU-Africa strategy was adopted in 2007 and has become the main framework for inter-continental relations between Europe and Africa. Its goal is to develop a shared vision of the main global issues whilst simultaneously strengthening cooperation in a broad range of areas such as development, governance, human rights, trade, regional integration, food security and migration.
The next summit of EU-African heads of state and government will be held on 2 and 3 April 2014 in Brussels. It will set the partnership's priorities for the coming years, including the 2014-2017 Action Plan.
In order to ensure that the voices of the social and economic stakeholders are heard, the European Economic and Social Committee, together with the African partners, will organised a meeting bringing together the representatives of the employers, workers and various interests (particularly farmers and consumers) from both continents. This is consistent with the goals of the strategy, which aims to create, inter alia, a "broad-based and wide-ranging people-centred partnership".
The objectives of this meeting were to:
- ensure that the political decision-makers taking part in the summit's discussions listen to the economic and social interest groups;
- lay the foundations for regular and structured cooperation which might evolve between the representatives of European and African economic and social interest groups;
- help to consolidate and strengthen the capacities of economic and social stakeholders;
- exchange knowledge and best practice.
The conclusions of the economic and social stakeholders' meeting were summarised in a document that was sent to political bodies and the main EU and African partners.
In the medium term, it is intended that a meeting of this kind should become a regular event in the calendar of a network of economic and social stakeholders, serving to feed into the joint EU Africa Strategy, and particularly into the follow-up to the 2014-2017 Action Plan, by issuing recommendations on its implementation.
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