– UPDATED VERSION (09 December 2020) –
Update: “The surprising – and very last-minute – postponement of the AU-EU informal meeting is a worrying signal. The global challenges we are facing today require our concerted efforts and strengthened cooperation, not postponement and delay. Leaders need to agree urgently on longer term measures to mitigate the health, social, economic and financial challenges exacerbated by Covid-19. We urge AU and EU leaders to get together as soon as possible to agree on a process and a common set of priorities that should lead to the renewal of the Africa-EU Partnership. People who are struggling with the impact of the crisis are looking for concrete responses.” (Statement by Tanya Cox, CONCORD Director)
Tomorrow (09 December 2020), African and European leaders will hold an informal meeting to address pressing issues that both continents must confront together. They will also pave the way for the adoption of an Africa-EU Strategy during the AU-EU Summit 2021.
As part of the current civil society trio of the EU Council Presidencies, CONCORD Europe, Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD, SLOGA, and VENRO, alongside civil society organisations in Europe and Africa, are calling on the AU and EU to agree on immediate measures to jointly cope with the global pandemic and organise meaningful and timely consultations with civil society from both continents as key actors in the future partnership.
Following the cancellation of the AU-EU Summit, originally planned for October 2020, no specific joint actions between AU and EU have been implemented. The establishment of a clear and shared roadmap to mitigate the health, social, financial and economic challenges exacerbated by Covid-19 is critical. The creation of an impactful roadmap can only be achieved by including the voices of civil society actors from both continents.
Especially for African least developed countries (LDCs), those most at risk of being left behind, permanent debt relief and financial support are essential for economic reconstruction and the reduction of humanitarian emergencies. The EU must go beyond the results of the G20 summit and establish a binding debt relief mechanism involving the private sector.
The informal AU-EU meeting must also be used to draw-up a detailed roadmap for the preparation of an inclusive AU-EU Summit in 2021 and the planned completion of the joint Africa-EU Strategy. CONCORD Europe, Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD, SLOGA, VENRO and their partners repeat their urgent demand to AU and EU leaders to ensure a participatory and transparent process, which adequately includes the diverse contributions of African and European civil societies to the AU-EU Partnership.
Together, partners suggest to AU and EU leaders a possible thematic for the summit: “How to ensure sustainable livelihoods for all”. This would allow the summit to focus on both jobs and sustainable development to tackle the issue of rising inequalities and the co-creation of a balanced partnership with the African continent.
Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon and Ljubljana
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ian Mengel | VENRO
+ German version of the joint press release on the VENRO website
Rita Leote | Portuguese NDGO Platform
+ Portuguese version of the joint press release on the website of the Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD
Albin Keuc | SLOGA
+ Slovenian version of the joint press release on the SLOGA website