S&D Africa Week programme 13 to 15 October 2020

S&D GROUP AFRICA WEEK 2020
Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 October  

PROGRAMME
Download the English version   NB: All events will follow Central European Time (CET)
Télécharger la version française   NB: Toutes les heures indiquées sont CET
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Eine gestärkte Partnerschaft zwischen Afrika und der EU

Afrika ist und bleibt eine Priorität für die Sozialdemokratische Fraktion im Europäischen Parlament. Für uns ist Afrika ein gleichwertiger Partner in den Bemühungen, Bestrebungen und Träumen zur Bekämpfung der Ungleichheit. Folglich müssen unsere Taten diese Realität widerspiegeln. Die weltweite COVID-19-Pandemie hat das Übel der Ungleichheit innerhalb Afrikas noch vergrößert. Die Ungleichheit – verschärft durch die alten Herausforderungen extreme Armut, Hunger und Arbeitslosigkeit – und ihre Beseitigung sind unser Hauptanliegen.

Wir betonen nach wie vor, dass die Partnerschaft zwischen Afrika und der EU als Teil der Lösung für all diese Herausforderungen weiter gestärkt werden muss. Die neuen Höhen der Afrika-EU-Beziehungen werden auf die Probe gestellt, jetzt mehr als je zuvor. Zusammenarbeit ist eine unbedingte Notwendigkeit, um die globale Pandemie und ihre Auswirkungen zu bewältigen. Die Bedeutung der Neuen Partnerschaft beruht teilweise auf der Fähigkeit, diese Probe zu bestehen.

Die afrikanische Wirtschaft verliert Milliarden Dollar im Tourismus- und Verkehrsbereich aufgrund von Reisebeschränkungen; kleine Unternehmen ersticken, weil es keine verfügbaren Einkommen gibt, bis zu einem Niveau, wo die Mehrheit nicht in der Lage ist, sich selbst zu ernähren; privaten Firmen geht es generell schlecht, und Hunderte Millionen sind arbeitslos geworden. Die Einnahmenerhebung wurde beeinträchtigt, was dazu geführt hat, dass die meisten Regierungen nicht in der Lage sind, öffentliche Güter, Dienstleistungen und Sicherheitsnetze für schutzbedürftige Gruppen bereitzustellen. All dies vor dem Hintergrund einer nachgiebigen Sozialagenda, insbesondere im Gesundheitsbereich im Kampf gegen die Pandemie.

Verschärft wird diese Situation durch die alten unbeantworteten Herausforderungen, unter anderem die Pflicht, die Frage der Bevölkerungszahl Afrikas zu beantworten, die bis zum Jahr 2050 voraussichtlich auf 2,5 Milliarden – überwiegend junge Menschen – anwachsen wird. Diese Schwierigkeiten erhöhen die Komplexität im Zusammenhang mit der Steuerung der Migration, der Bekämpfung der Ungleichheit und der Schaffung von menschenwürdigen Jobs. Die Partnerschaft zwischen Afrika und der EU muss über gemeinsame Verantwortlichkeiten und gemeinsame Verantwortung hinausgehen und die Schwächen angehen, die durch die globale Pandemie aufgedeckt wurden. Sie muss sich mit der Notwendigkeit beschäftigen, alle einzubeziehen, und in erster Linie Afrikas umfassenden Beitrag und uneingeschränkte Teilhabe an den globalen Wertschöpfungsketten sicherstellen.

Wir Sozialdemokratinnen und Sozialdemokraten kämpfen für nachhaltige Entwicklung und integratives Wirtschaftswachstum, das kein Kind, keine Frau und keinen Mann zurücklassen wird. Wir wollen, dass sich Europa – zusammen mit unseren afrikanischen Partnern – zunehmend auf eine politische Zusammenarbeit konzentriert, die am Menschen ausgerichtet ist und Ungleichheiten angeht. Wir glauben, dass dies eine Antwort auf die Herausforderungen der extremen Armut und der Arbeitslosigkeit sein und dazu beitragen wird, Afrika zu einem besseren und nachhaltigeren Ort für seine Einwohner zu machen.

In unserer täglichen Arbeit im Europäischen Parlament kämpfen wir für die Verringerung der sozialen Ungleichheiten, für eine Verbesserung der verantwortungsvollen Regierungsführung und die Förderung der Klimadiplomatie, für nachhaltiges Wirtschaftswachstum und die Achtung der Menschenrechte. Wir glauben, dass der Erfolg dieser erneuerten Partnerschaft zwischen Afrika und der EU entscheidend sein kann, um Lösungen für die gemeinsamen globalen Herausforderungen zu finden. Es gilt, keine Zeit zu verlieren.

Eine ausgereiftere und zeitgemäßere Afrika-EU-Partnerschaft kann uns dabei helfen, die globalen Herausforderungen zu bewältigen, mit denen wir im Rahmen der Coronavirus-Pandemie konfrontiert sind. Gemeinsam können wir die Demokratie und die Menschenrechte stärken und eine nachhaltige wirtschaftliche und menschliche Entwicklung in unseren Gesellschaften fördern.

Eine gute Koordinierung der außenpolitischen Maßnahmen der Europäischen Union ist von entscheidender Bedeutung, wenn wir die globalen Chancen, die sich uns bieten, optimal nutzen und ein verantwortungsvoller Akteur auf der internationalen Bühne sein möchten.

Empowering women and young people

Empowering women

Women’s rights are first and foremost human rights, but societies where women can expect justice and equal opportunities are also more successful. We believe therefore that empowering women is not only a matter of justice, but also essential for building successful societies.

We are working together with other international partners to empower African women, defend their rights and prevent violence and discrimination. We strive to ensure that the rights of women are respected, that access to education is available for all and that violence against women is eliminated – in law and in practice. The S&Ds also want to see the empowerment of women lead to greater participation in the political life of their communities.  

Young people

Empowering young people means investing in people by creating an environment where they can achieve their potential. Empowered and educated young people are vital for the future of their communities – and for the entire world. We believe that with co-ordinated action between African and European partners, young Africans can make the difference in tackling global, regional and local challenges. We are convinced that creating opportunities for young Africans is crucial: they have an enormous potential to shape their societies, foster democracy and the rule of law, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as finding innovative solutions to the issues they face. We call for free high-quality education, investment in skills and improving employment opportunities.

Education

Education is vital for building better futures and we have launched an initiative focused on supporting proper education for young generations missing out on schooling through conflicts and humanitarian crises. We are working together with the United Nations, other EU institutions, and civil-society organisations at a European and global level to create political support and solid financial backing for international projects in this field. Through our #Educa initiative, we want to offer future generations access to appropriate education in order to help them build more peaceful and responsible societies.
Find out more about #Educa and how we have raised the level of aid funding for education.

Sustainable Development Goals and climate action

Sustainable Development Goals and eradicating poverty

We believe that sustainable development and eradicating poverty must be global priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals agreed at the UN Summit in September 2015 set out an ambitious agenda, but there is still much to do.

We must work towards stronger development policies to build effective social protection systems and to provide universal access to all levels of education and health for the most vulnerable, creating more inclusive societies. This also means we need a sustainable approach to agriculture and resources promoting responsible energy use, universal access to drinking water and sanitation, and tackling climate change and unsustainable production and consumption. We are fighting for more international environmental co-operation, technological innovations and incentives for governments implementing progressive environmental policies.

The S&Ds are also committed to taking action on gender equality, especially when it comes to education and health.  Women can play a crucial role in fighting against discrimination and for development, for example on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates. The current humanitarian crisis at Europe's borders has also highlighted the need for a new global approach, combining the fight against forced migration and the promotion of regular migration as a development engine, for both countries of origin and destination.
Read our 10 pledges for solidarity and development.


Environment
The Paris agreement reached in December 2015 was a milestone in the international efforts to combat climate change. Yet, much more work is needed to help those who are already feeling the effects of these changes. Some African countries are particularly vulnerable and face the threat of famine, forced migration and even new conflicts.
The S&D Group is committed to improving the resilience of local populations and helping them prevent and reduce disaster risks – and to ensuring adequate resources are allocated. In the same vein, we wish to see Africa fulfilling its potential and becoming a world leader in the production and use of renewable and efficient energy that respects environmental standards.

Democracy and good governance

The S&Ds play a leading role in the European Parliament in supporting the people of Africa, addressing humanitarian and development needs, and promoting the values of democracy and good governance. At the beginning of the new millennium, the EU launched a new dialogue with Africa which aimed to build a strategic partnership with the continent. In recent years, the EU has also been active in responding to the Arab Spring in North Africa and to serious challenges in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa regions. Actions intended to address instability in these regions must form part of a broader strategy involving good governance, development, humanitarian action and, above all, restoring the rule of law. 

Fair trade and the fight against conflict minerals

Fair trade

Trade can support our development and humanitarian goals. We believe it can and should create economic growth to reduce poverty; help combat discrimination and improve the situation of women and children; strengthen respect for the environment and for social and safety standards; reinforce the rule of law, labour standards and human rights; involve trade unions and civil society; and boost regional integration.

Conflict minerals

The S&Ds continue to lead the battle for the traceability of the raw materials used in many everyday products, which are sometimes sourced in conflict zones, fuelling armed conflicts, slave labour and human-rights abuses. This has to change and we want to see mining become a source of economic development and benefits for local communities, rather than a dangerous activity responsible for driving people off their land, drawing innocent children into armed conflict and undermining development as a whole.

After a long campaign by the S&Ds, the European Parliament reached an agreement with the EU Council on 15 June 2016 for a new regulation. Despite strong Conservative opposition, the Socialists and Democrats secured a legally binding scheme to ensure traceability. The goal of the S&D Group is to ensure that regulating the use of conflict minerals is not some optional add on, but is mandatory.

This has struck a harsh blow to the criminal militias that, in many regions of the world – especially in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – massacre, abuse and rape women and children in order to exploit the mining of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. European citizens must be able to have confidence that their tablet, mobile phone or PC is not made of minerals stained with innocent blood. We are fighting to end the trade in conflict minerals.

Field visits

Africa is a top priority for the S&Ds. This is why our MEPs have been on a series of fact-finding missions over recent years to meet with locals, experts and politicians on the ground.

Our MEPs have visited many different countries and regions, including Sierra Leone (February 2017), Kenya (February & December 2016), Ghana (December 2016), Gambia (September 2016), DRC (September 2016), Gabon (August 2016), Mali (July & September 2016), Namibia (June 2016), Ethiopia (April 2016), Botswana (April 2016) Uganda (February 2016) and Tanzania (October 2015). Aside from these S&D visits, our MEPs have also taken part in numerous European Parliament missions to act as international observers, helping to ensure elections are free and fair.

A key visit for us was in April 2015, when a delegation of S&D MEPs, led by President Gianni Pittella, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with the government and officials, the Sakharov Prize Laureate Dr Mukwege and civil-society and business representatives working on human rights, democracy and the fight against conflict minerals. The S&D Group has made violence against women and the banning of conflict minerals a top priority of its political action in the European Parliament. The aim of the mission was to better understand the reality on the ground and how the European Union can help local communities overcome 20 years of civil war.

In May 2017, S&D president Gianni Pittella led an S&D delegation to Nigeria and Guinea to get an overview of the political, security, social and economic situation in both countries – especially to better understand the causes of irregular migration and the solutions to stem the flow of young people leaving Africa illegally. The mission also fed into the S&D Group’s long-term strategy for Africa, addressing the biggest challenges facing both Africa and Europe: migration; the threat of terrorism and radicalisation; climate change; infectious diseases (post-Ebola) and epidemics; managing Africa's demographic boom; the need to consolidate democracy and build effective institutions; and making the best use of the continent's natural resources. The delegation held meetings with parliamentarians, governments, universities, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders, and also visited the Malkohi official and unofficial refugee camps in Yola, in north-east Nigeria, which hosts thousands of internally displaced people fleeing Boko Haram and famine.

Related publications

Publication

Towards a new system of relations based on partnership: WITH AFRICA

Position paper

S&D GROUP POSITION PAPER FOR A RENEWED AFRICA-EU PARTNERSHIP

Position paper

Sustainable development agenda post-2015

Position paper

DEVE (Development) policy paper for development and humanitarian aid priorities 2014-2019

Videos

Als nächstes auf unserer Wiedergabeliste

Press releases

Pressemitteilung

Bekämpfung von COVID19: Die G20 sollten der bemerkenswerten Entscheidung des Internationalen Währungsfonds folgen und den ärmsten Ländern Schulden erlassen

Pressemitteilung

S&D Fraktion: Die EU zeigt Solidarität gegenüber Partnerländern, die COVID-19 ausgesetzt sind

Pressemitteilung

S&D Fraktion: Die Zukunft Europas ist verknüpft mit der Zukunft Afrikas. Die neue EU-Afrika-Strategie muss für beide Seiten gerecht und nachhaltig sein