The Socialists and Democrats welcome the adoption of the Africa Strategy in the development committee. This strategy, along with the future Post-Cotonou Agreement, will contribute to the review of the EU’s approach to developing countries in Africa, in line with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the external aspects of the Green Deal.
In the spirit of the United Nations Agenda 2030, our focus must be on strengthening a sustainable partnership of equals, based on dialogue and respect for democracy, human rights and good governance.
Actual change can only be fully realised through a holistic fight against inequalities and the implementation of a programme for sustainable development that eradicates poverty, food insecurity, gender disparities and the exploitation of natural resources.
The S&D shadow rapporteur, Carlos Zorrinho MEP, stated:
“We welcome the adoption of the EU-Africa strategy in the development committee. This important report takes a holistic approach, which will be able to create the conditions for an equal partnership fostering progress and sustainable development on both continents.
“To this end, and in order to consider African countries as equal and true partners, we must invest in an open dialogue with the main local, national, regional and continental stakeholders, both in Africa and EU.
“Therefore, following the priorities of the S&D Group closely (as we saw in the recent S&D Africa Week) it is worth underlining the multilateral vision of international relations embodied in this strategy, aiming to encourage peace, tolerance and co-operation between people.”
The S&D co-ordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann MEP, added:
“The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically highlights the urgent need to develop a new mutually beneficial sustainable partnership between the EU and Africa. In light of the upcoming EU-Africa Union summit, the committee's approval of the Africa Strategy marks an important step forward in this direction.
“Thanks to the S&Ds’ commitment, human development has become an essential guiding principle of the strategy. Fighting inequalities is core in our approach. Only if we ensure good governance, social inclusion, healthcare for all, quality education, human rights and equal opportunities for young people can we improve the living conditions of millions of people. Our common goals are the creation of decent jobs and sustainable development, in compliance with climate objectives. No one must be left behind in this challenge.”