Ahead of the EU-African Union summit on 17-18 February, leading MEPs highlight the need for a strong EU-Africa partnership based on cooperation between equals.

“A week ahead of the long awaited European Union-African Union summit, we call on the Heads of States and Government to lay the foundation for a strategic, win-win and results-oriented partnership of equals.

China and Russia are advancing their geopolitical interests in Africa. Therefore, the EU needs to increase cooperation with the African Union, and its sub-regional and national African partners, to ensure security and development and to achieve long-term peace and stability.

The EU and AU must place at the heart of their cooperation agenda a human rights-based approach to policies on trade, migration, gender equality, corporate responsibility, security and the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The EU-AU Summit should pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, with priority given to accelerating access to vaccines, addressing poverty, putting youth at its heart and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and delivering on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

EU and Africa trade and investment relations must ensure the productive transformation of the African continent, be mutually beneficial, open, fair and sustainable, and contribute to job creation and private investments supporting a green growth trajectory.

We also call on the EU-AU partnership to take full account of the effects of climate change in Africa, and therefore to scale up actions in the area of mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk management, and achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

We condemn the presence in Africa of private military and security companies, in particular the Wagner Group that has committed widespread human rights violations while acting in support of the interests of non-democratic states.”

The statement is co-signed by:

David McAllister (EPP, Germany), Chair of the Foreign Affairs CommitteeBernd Lange (S&D, Germany), Chair of the International Trade CommitteeTomas Tobé (EPP, Sweden), Chair of the Development CommitteeMaria Arena (S&D Belgium), Chair of the Subcommittee on Human RightsNathalie Loiseau (Renew Europe, France), Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and DefenceCarlos Zorrinho (S&D, Portugal), Chair of the delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary AssemblyMaría Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew Europe, Spain), Chair of the delegation for relations with the Pan-African ParliamentMagdalena Adamowicz (EPP, Poland), Chair of the delegation for relations with South Africa.