Author: European Council and Council of the European Union
Site of publication: European Council
Type of publication: Meeting brief
Date of publication: February 19th, 2022
The heads of state or government of the member states of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) met for the sixth European Union – African Union summit in Brussels on 17 and 18 February 2022.
Two Unions, a joint vision
The aims of the partnership are solidarity, security, peace and sustainable and sustained economic development and prosperity for the citizens of the two Unions today and in the future, bringing together people, regions and organisations.
This includes the protection of human rights for all, gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres of life, the rule of law, actions to preserve the climate, environment and biodiversity, but also sustainable and inclusive economic growth and the fight against inequalities.
A prosperous and sustainable Africa and Europe
The leaders announced an Africa-Europe Investment Package of EUR 150 billion that will support a common ambition for 2030 and AU Agenda 2063. The investment package will help build more diversified, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies.
To implement the package, the EU and the AU will leverage public funds to stimulate private investments by mobilising innovative financing instruments. They also aim to improve the business and investment climate by reforming governance, supporting African entrepreneurship.
EU an AU leaders will also boost regional and continental economic integration, particularly through the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Vaccines and COVID-19 pandemic
The immediate challenge for the agreed partnership is to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines. The EU reaffirmed its commitment to provide at least 450 million vaccine doses to Africa, in coordination with the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) platform, by mid-2022.
In response to the macroeconomic effects of the Covid crisis on African economies, EU and AU leaders supported the common framework for debt treatments that goes beyond the debt service suspension initiative.
At the summit, the leaders agreed to strengthen ties by:
- boosting cooperation between researchers, including through a joint AU-EU Innovation Agenda
- promoting exchanges for young citizens, volunteers and students, through the expanded Erasmus+ programme
- developing partnerships between universities
- facilitating cultural exchanges and the movement of artists and artworks
A renewed and enhanced cooperation and security
EU and AU leaders expressed their commitment to
- foster cooperation through support for adequate training, capacity building and equipment
- strengthen and scale up autonomous peace operations of African defence and security forces, including through EU missions and assistance measures
- support law-enforcement capacity-building.
An enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility
The EU and the AU will deepen their cooperation in finding durable solutions for asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants in need of international protection. EU and AU leaders also agreed to revitalise the work of the joint AU-EU-UN Tripartite Task Force.
Asylum systems will be further strengthened to provide adequate reception and protection for those eligible, as well as work on their integration. The leaders also agreed to keep working to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, and enhance cooperation on tackling all migration-related issues.
They committed to addressing the challenges posed by the brain drain, and investing in youth and women to support their empowerment, skills, education and employment prospects, notably through increased support for technical and vocational education and training.
A commitment to multilateralism
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to promote effective multilateralism within the rules-based international order, with the UN at its core.
The leaders also recommitted to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and the outcomes of the COPs. They recognised that Africa’s energy transition is vital for its industrialisation and to bridge the energy gap. The EU will support Africa in its transition to foster just and sustainable pathways towards climate neutrality.
The leaders supported Africa’s hosting of COP 27 in Egypt in 2022, as well as an ambitious global biodiversity framework.
In the margins of the summit, the World Health Organization announced the first six countries that will receive the technology needed for the production of mRNA vaccines on the African continent: Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
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