How it works?

How it works?

The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership is the formal channel through which the European Union and the African Union work together.


The Partnership is driven through formal dialogue, at various levels, between African and European counterparts.

  • EU-Africa Summits of Heads of States and Governments
  • Ministerial meetings
  • Annual College-to-College meetings between the European Commission and the African Union Commission
  • Regular High Level dialogues and expert level meetings
  • EU-Africa Business Forum
  • Africa-EU Civil Society Forum
  • Africa-Europe Youth Forum
  • Inter-Parliamentary Forum
  • Economic and social stakeholders actors Forum

Main stakeholders

  • European Union

On the European side the Africa-EU Partnership is guided by EU Member States. This works at various levels:

  • Heads of State and Government of EU Member States in the European Council
  • Ministers of EU Member States in the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU
  • Specialised working groups, e.g. the Africa working group (COAFR), via the Committee of permanent representatives.

The overall policy coordination and strategic directions on Africa-EU relations are provided by the European External Action Service in association with the European Commission, coordinated by its Directorate for International cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO).
The European Parliament maintains oversight of how the partnership is implemented, especially through dedicated committees.

  •  African Union

On the African side, the Africa-EU Partnership is guided by AU Member States. This works at various levels:

The AU Commission is the main executive arm of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, under the political guidance of AU Member States. In addition, other AU organs, including the NEPAD and the Regional Economic Communities in Africa play a prominent role.

  • Non-State actors

The JAES works towards a people-centred partnership between Africa and the EU by promoting the effective participation of civil society and the private sector, which are crucial partners for the delivery of direct benefits for African and European citizens. The main stakeholders among non-State actors are:

  • Civil society organisations
  • Private sector
  • Youth organisations
  • Economic and social actors
  • Academic institutions