What is the partnership?

The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership is the formal channel through which the European Union and the African continent work together. It is based on the Joint Africa-Europe Strategy adopted by Heads of State and Government at the second EU-Africa Summit in 2007. The current Roadmap 2014-2017 sets out concrete targets within 5 priority areas of cooperation agreed at the 4th EU-Africa Summit in 2014.

In an ever changing world, one thing is sure: Africa and Europe will remain each other’s closest neighbours. Africa’s 55 countries and the European Union’s 28 Member States have a shared neighbourhood, history and future.

Africa has been pursuing its political and economic integration at the continental level. From the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 50 years ago and even more so since the creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002, Africa has built continental institutions and established ambitious policies and initiatives in many key areas that are both important for the development of the continent and of direct interest to the EU. In this context, developing the relationship between the two partners has become a priority for both sides.  

It was in this spirit that African and European leaders as well as the presidents of the continental institutions came together at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007 to put their relations on a new footing and to establish a Strategic Partnership, based upon a strong political relationship and close cooperation in key areas.

The Africa-EU Partnership is based on shared values and aims at promoting common interests and achieving shared strategic objectives. It strives to bring Africa and Europe closer together through the strengthening of economic cooperation and the promotion of sustainable development, with both continents living side by side in peace, security, democracy, prosperity, solidarity and human dignity.

In this set up, both sides are determined to overcome the traditional donor-recipient relationship, and to develop a shared long-term vision for EU-Africa relations in a globalised world, where they have many common interests on issues such as climate change, global security and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy, which was adopted at the Lisbon Summit in 2007, constitutes the overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations. It is implemented through jointly identified priorities, which are of common interest to both the EU and Africa and significantly impact on the daily lives of citizens on both continents.

Mission statement

The Africa-EU Partnership reflects the commitment of both sides to work together on a strategic, equal, and long-term footing.

 The Partnership aims to:

  • Reinforce political relations between Africa and the EU and jointly address global common challenges such as climate change, the protection of the environment, or peace and security. Through joint positions Africa and Europe have more weight in global fora;
  • Expand Africa-EU cooperation into promising new areas of common interest such as governance and human rights, trade and regional integration, energy, climate change, migration, mobility and employment, or science, Information and Communication Technologies and space applications;
  • Facilitate and promote a broad-based and wide-ranging people-centered partnership by ensuring the effective participation of civil society and the private sector and by delivering direct benefits for African and European citizens.