Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

TRIGGER measures perception of EU actions in Africa

on Tuesday, February 15th 2022 à 10:54 | Read 527 times

Gathered for a webinar organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists’ Association (EMEA) at the end of July 2021, several experts questioned whether the EU remained a relevant contributor to supporting development policy on the continent. Their deliberations will provide input for the TRIGGER (Trends in Global Governance and Europe's Role) project led by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), of which the EMEA is a partner. The aim of this project is to provide EU institutions with knowledge and tools to enhance their ability to act, their effectiveness and their influence in world governance.
It is important to understand how the EU is perceived, what could be done to boost its action and effectiveness, as well as the global added value of the EU-Africa partnership, given its very strategic scope,” says Andrea Renda, Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy (GRID) at the CEPS.
Domenico Rosa, Head of Africa Partnerships at the European Commission’s Directorate-General of International Partnerships, underlines the continent’s lack of homogeneity, with huge disparities between North Africa and its sub-Saharan regions, pointing out that, “These have to be taken into account. Also the importance of identifying specific sectors for assessing the EU’s work and its perception by African nations.”

"More in-depth dialogue is needed"

A partnership on equal terms requires a strengthening of capacities and priorities,” stresses Rym Ayadi, President of the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Economic Studies (EMNES – renamed EMNAES, with Africa now included in its scope of study).
Sometimes, the EU is seen as lacking credibility, since it says one thing and then does a U-turn and does the opposite on the ground,” admonishes Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to Belgium and the Duchy of Luxemburg and its Permanent Representative to the European Union, adding, “More in-depth dialogue is needed is this partnership is to be seen in a better light.” For Moubarak Lô, President of Senegal’s Emergence Institute and member of the EMEA’s consultative committee, “Each time the EU intervenes (…) its programmes and actions must be in line with the country’s needs.
The EU provides financial aid to most African states during crises, whether food or economic, as it did recently to help counter the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects. “It is hard to evaluate the effect of financial aid. The EU and Africa are committed to going beyond the donor-beneficiary relationship and setting up a genuine partnership,” explains Domenico Rosa. “Africa remains the EU’s largest partner. The next generation will be able to share the future in a better way,” he maintains.
The sixth EU-African Union summit is being held In Brussels on 17th and 18th February 2022 and could mark a turning point in the two continents’ relations, which have been earmarked as a priority by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union during its tenure.

See the report on the webinar “EU-Africa Partnership: Is the EU still a relevant actor for development policy in the continent?"

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