Towards a joint EU-Africa Strategy
Politiek, 27 Feb 2007 - ECDPM

For the first time, the African Union and the European Union have decided to develop a ‘joint strategy’ which reflects the needs and aspirations of the peoples of both Africa and Europe.
The purpose of this joint strategy is to develop a common political vision for the future partnership between the EU and Africa, based on mutual respect, common interests and the principle of ownership.
The joint Strategy should be adopted at the planned EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon, in late 2007. A first outline of the Strategy will be presented at the joint EU-Africa Ministerial Troika meeting in May 2007.

Launch of the public consultation
In the year ahead, leading up to the Summit in Lisbon, AU and EU institutions are organizing a broad-based public debate that will generate ideas and suggestions from a large diversity of state and non-state actors. The joint strategy that emerges from this process should therefore not just be a strategy for and by officials, but also one to which civil society on both continents can relate, contribute and support in their own work. This consultation is an opportunity for all stakeholders to influence the debate on the future of EU-Africa relations.

The public consultation will take place throughout the process both through the Internet consultation and various events organized on both continents. The first report from the Internet consultation will be submitted to the two Commissions at the end of March. For more information on the timeline, please see the calendar at EuropAfrica.

For this consultation process the African Union and the European Union have invited the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) as an independent facilitator. Our job will be to encourage participation, liaise with all the interested parties, feed in ideas and information and help take forward the discussion by summarising ideas brought forward, stimulating debate and feeding in new angles and issues. We are aware of the pitfalls of this kind of consultation and we will do everything to ensure that your contribution is properly used. In particular we will ensure that there is a strong and dynamic link between the public debate and the official process and the negotiators are kept fully appraised. Any suggestions to improve the facilitation of the debate are always welcome.

We would like to focus the debate on raising the key issues to be put on the agenda until the end of February. We will launch more detailed rounds of discussion in a few weeks on the basis of your suggestions. Details on the basis for discussion and the structure of the official negotiation can be found on the website

You are invited to participate!
In order for the strategy to become a valuable tool, input from the broad public on both continents is of great importance. There are several actions which you can take at this stage of the consultation:
- Share contributions, publications and ideas by posting them on the website or send them to:
- Spread this invitation through your networks and partner organisations, both in Africa and Europe
- Send us information about any related events that your organisation might organise so that we can include them in the calendar
- Organise events on the topic using the material presented on the website
- Contribute to the website by feeding back results and discussions
- Link to from your organisation’s website
- Subscribe to regular information by sending an e-mail to:
The ECDPM facilitation will be led by Marie-Laure de Bergh, Sara Erlandsson and James Mackie, with contributions by other staff members on specific topics. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at:

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