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EU & Africa Aim For Transformation Of Relationship

Published: Fri 7 Dec 2007 08:05 AM
EU and Africa aim for deep transformation of their relationship at 2nd EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon
The EU and Africa will forge a strategic partnership aimed at facing common challenges together, ranging from climate change to development, energy, migration, peace and security, trade and regional integration, and good governance human rights.
Actions taken under the Joint EU-Africa Strategy to be launched at the 2nd EU-Africa Summit that will take place on 8 and 9 December in Lisbon will be decided jointly following negotiations between the EU and the African Union (AU).
Based on a deeper and broader political dialogue, Europe and Africa intend to leave the archaic and narrow minded "donor-beneficiary relationship" behind and create a partnership between equals.
The Joint EU-Africa Strategy to be adopted at the second EU-Africa summit will enable both partners to work increasingly together on global issues. It will also involve civil society as well as institutions.
President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: "Africa must be a priority of our external relations. It is time to leave paternalism and go beyond the mere donor-recipient approach, breaking stereotypes about Africa in Europe, and about Europe in Africa. We need each other. This joint partnership is the best political strategy to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in Africa and to address the global challenges we both have to face."
Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, added: "We need to consider this Summit as a launch-pad for a new era in the relationship between Europe and Africa. This Summit must mark the end of a relationship rooted in conservatism and sometimes in prejudice on both sides and mark the start of a recognition of the real opportunities that are at hand for both sides. For this to be achieved we must work hand-in-hand with our African partners to ensure a partnership of equals not just in rights but also in duties, and not just in words but also in concrete deeds."
A concrete Action Plan for the period 2008-2010 will also be adopted at the Summit to progress in eight Africa-EU Partnerships:
* Peace and security
* Democratic governance and Human Rights
* Trade and regional integration (including the implementation of the EU-Africa Partnership for Infrastructure, launched in 2006)
* Millennium Development Goals
* Energy
* Climate change
* Migration, mobility and employment
* Science, information society & space
ENDS
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