The Socialists and Democrats welcome the communication on the new comprehensive EU-Africa Strategy, as outlined by Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, and High Representative Josep Borrell, earlier today.
Setting up a long-term equal partnership between the EU and African countries and Institutions, based on shared responsibilities and ownership, is crucial to our shared future. We welcome that the Strategy focuses on the United Nations Agenda 2030. Therefore, the strategy must now be implemented through actions and tools in line with the Sustainable Development Goals: appropriate mechanisms to measure its impact on human and ecological development - both ex ante and ex post - must be promptly created.
S&D president, Iratxe García Pérez, commented:
“The future of Europe is linked to the future of Africa. This is why the S&D Group has always been the frontrunner in the European Parliament to provide the EU with an operational and multifocal Strategy towards Africa, but also with Africa. This means establishing a true and equal partnership capable of going far beyond the rhetoric on 'donor-recipient' aid and the strengthening of the security and the management of migration flows.
“We are happy to see that the Strategy, put forward today by the EU Commission, dedicates a major role to fight the root causes of slow economic progress, poverty, undemocratic practices and threats to the rule of law, gender exclusion, unfair trade, unequal access to quality education for youth and indiscriminate exploitation of the land and raw minerals.
"The role of this Parliament in the field of cooperation must, however, be expanded to ensure transparency and accountability.”
S&D spokesperson on development, Udo Bullmann, added:
“The S&D Group has been advocating a stronger focus on EU-Africa relations for years. We are glad that the new Commission is ready to put greater emphasis on opening a new chapter of cooperation with our neighbouring continent.
“Following the presentation of the communication on the new EU-Africa Strategy today, we know which areas and policies the Commission intends to prioritise in its engagement with African counterparts. Yet, fundamental questions remain to be answered in the implementation of the Strategy. As the S&D Group, we will be advocating an approach that leaves room for a partnership of equals. For us, this implies putting the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals front and centre in our actions. Special attention in this regard will have to be paid to the fight against all forms of inequalities and empowering our partner societies in Africa, especially youth and women.
“We will work against an approach that limits our engagement with our partner continent to the pursuit of Europe’s ill-perceived short-term interests. The future partnership between our two continents must have a solid core of development considerations and must not be dominated by Europe’s trade and security interests alone.”