At the latest sixth AU-EU summit, the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) unveiled 5 partnerships highlighting their Joint Vision until 2030.
The 5 partnerships are: inexperienced transition and vitality entry, digital transformation, sustainable development and jobs, peace and governance and migration and mobility.
The genesis of their partnership on migration and mobility goes again to the Joint-Valletta Action Plan that was signed in November 2015 within the wake of the refugee disaster. That autumn tons of of 1000’s of Syrian, Afghan and Eritrean asylum seekers crossed into Greece from Turkey, and into Italy from Libya. The EU known as an emergency assembly with African international locations to attempt to discover an enduring resolution.
The assembly was attended by numerous heads of presidency, NGOs, worldwide organisations, AU and EU officers.
My colleague Eileen Lamptey and I, analysed the content material of the Joint Valletta Action Plan and evaluated its implementation till 2021.
We discovered that the phrase that emerged from the assembly was “shared duty”. This highlighted the events´ recognition of their interdependence. While every celebration held onto its pursuits (territorial integrity for the Europeans and financial improvement for the Africans), there was a brand new sense, particularly on the a part of the extra highly effective Europeans, that each events wanted one another’s assist and co-operation to advance these pursuits.
This coverage shift was evident within the 5 domains of motion that have been agreed round migration.
We discovered solely a restricted hole in coverage implementation. The insurance policies on the paper have been put in place and their outcomes thus far have been largely optimistic. We concluded that they constituted a break with the previous and progress within the EU-AU migration dialogue.
The implementation rating card
The six domains of motion round migration have been:
migration and improvement
authorized migration and mobility
safety and asylum
prevention of and struggle in opposition to irregular migration
migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings and
return, readmission, and reintegration.
The first two domains have been “African domains” whereas the final two have been “European domains.” The third area was of equal significance to each events however advantageous for the Africans.
A funding instrument value Euro 3,6 billion was created – the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Stability and Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration and Displaced Persons in Africa.
Africa’s main area – migration and improvement – benefited from ample funding from the fund. The 2019 Annual Report of the Trust Fund disclosed that its implementation had been “swift and efficient” , and fewer than 2% of the sums disbursed have been ineligible.
The fundamental European area – the prevention of and struggle in opposition to irregular migration – noticed the disruption of unlawful immigration networks and a pointy decline in clandestine immigration. According to the UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee company, the numbers dropped from 153,842 in 2016 to 10,565 in 2019 earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the area of safety and asylum, greater than greater than 48 000 asylum seekers have been repatriated. This was completed underneath the AU–EU–UN Tripartite Taskforce on the Situation of Stranded Migrant and Refugees in Libya which was launched in 2017.
Some areas fell wanting expectations. These included common migration and mobility – an African area. And the return, readmission and integration – a European area.
This reveals that bolder motion is required.
A broader paradigm shift?
In my view the deliberations on the sixth AU-EU summit appeared very very like these of the 2015 Valletta summit. EU leaders laid the identical emphasis on interdependence, concrete fast actions and a reset of their relationship with the AU.
The tone of the summit means that Europeans wish to cooperate with Africans with a brand new mindset primarily based on pragmatism and never pompous bulletins. They additionally need settlement on concrete motion primarily based on Africans inputs.
At the opening ceremony of the AU-EU summit, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France and the EU rotating presidency spoke of forging “a brand new alliance”.
Charles Michel, the EU council president, declared that the summit was not “enterprise as regular” however “the step that cements the renewal of [EU-AU] strategic relation. The instance he used was the use, for the primary time, of roundtable periods on the summit. These have been designed to foster frank dialogue in addition to quick and concrete choices.
And speaking concerning the partnership on peace and governance he stated:
safety in Africa and in Europe are interdependent.
The EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen introduced an funding finances value 150 billion till 2021 drawn from the Global Gateway initiative, EU’s response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In his reply, Macky Sall, Senegal president and the present AU chairman requested, as a concrete measure, using the European Peace Facility, an off-budget instrument that enables the EU to swiftly help army initiatives in favour of world peace.
Moussa Faki, the AU Commission chairman underscored the necessity for brand new monitoring and analysis procedures, arguing that “the partnership wants seen and tangible outcomes” for Africa can’t content material itself anymore with the trendy label of “being the continent of the longer term”.
On this level too, the Joint-Valletta Action Plan launched an modern system of analysis primarily based on the brand new EU Evaluation Framework and consisting of standard monitoring on the bottom, quarterly or yearly evaluations at regional stage (Sahel and Lake Chad, Horn of Africa and North Africa) and well timed analysis of the Trust Fund as an entire.
If the implementation of the opposite 4 partnerships follows the identical playbook as that of the Joint-Valletta Action Plan, by the point they meet once more, AU and EU member states might be speaking of the primary fruits of their renewed partnership. The EU and AU would do effectively to make use of the plan as a template for all of the agreements they’ve struck.
Mahama Tawat doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or group that will profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.