Press statement of the second AU-EU Ministerial meeting

Press statement of the second AU-EU Ministerial meeting. It concluded with agreements on four key areas of cooperation.

AU and EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs concluded the 2nd Ministerial Meeting with agreements on four key areas of cooperation.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, on 26 October 2021, took stock of progress regarding the priority areas adopted during the last AU – EU Summit held in 2017, in Abidjan.

The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’ Apala, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Chairperson of the African Union Executive Council, and H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

This meeting focused on the EU-Africa strategic partnership in a constantly evolving geopolitical environment. Representing more than 40% of the UN memberships, Africa and Europe have a shared responsibility to shape the global agenda for the better.

Ministers discussed key priorities, challenges and opportunities of their joint agenda.

Ministers reaffirmed that a people-centred approach is at the core of the AU-EU multi-stakeholder partnership and they committed to ensure the active participation and engagement of civil society, youth, local authorities and parliaments in the partnership dialogue in view of and at the next EU-AU Summit.

Joint COVID-19 Response: Increasing access to vaccines, medicines and technologies

Amid the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, African and European Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in their response to the pandemic. They stressed the importance to further invest in health and social protection systems in Africa and increasing the production and equitable access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies. Acknowledging the EU’s support to the COVAX facility, to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Africa and vaccine sharing, the AU and the EU also announced enhanced cooperation on diagnostics and treatments and strengthening of local manufacturing of vaccines and medicines in Africa, including through investment in developing local manufacturing hubs. They encouraged the development of COVID-19 vaccine certificates which could allow for their reciprocal recognition as a means to resume international exchanges.

Ministers also discussed the economic impact of the pandemic. They encouraged economic stimulus programmes and the mobilisation of private and public investments in sectors with high multiplier effect for economic recovery and job creation. They supported the swift implementation of the G20 Framework on Debt Treatments as a means to address liquidity issues and long term growth in Africa.

Investing in our recovery together: Green and digital transformation

Ministers agreed to facilitate investments in key connectivity sectors such as transport, energy and digitalisation as improving the conditions for public and private investments and employment opportunities in Africa is key. Ministers underlined the potential offered by the just transition to a green, circular and climate-neutral economy, and the importance of a safe, sustainable and inclusive digital transformation. They also underlined the need to strengthen cooperation on ocean governance, including the sustainable development of ‘blue’ economy sectors. They supported the development of a strategic and coordinated approach on energy partnership. Ministers agreed to cooperate for ambitious outcomes at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15). They also reaffirmed the continued need to scale up support for adaptation action and enhance climate resilience, particularly in the most vulnerable countries. This includes enhancing preparedness for response to all natural and human-induced crises. In addition, Ministers acknowledged the key role of education and skills development to secure the creation of decent jobs, as well as research, technology and innovation to drive a sustainable socio-economic recovery and foster more resilient societies on both continents. They highlighted the role of young people as key drivers for change and emphasised the importance of their active participation and inclusion in political, social and economic life

Working together for peace, security, and governance

Reaffirming their commitment to continued cooperation in the areas of peace, security and governance and agreeing to continue to support and empower African solutions, Ministers committed to upholding human rights, enhancing democracy, and strengthening the rule of law and good governance. Through constructive dialogue, Africa and Europe will respond together to the changing nature of common threats, including terrorism and violent extremism; human, wildlife and drug trafficking; piracy and all forms of transnational organised crime and cybercrime.

The AU and EU will further align strategic approaches in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Lake Chad Basin and the Gulf of Guinea. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) as frameworks for cooperation in this area and agreed to work closely in multilateral fora to promote shared values and common interests.

Both sides recalled the need for strengthened AU-EU cooperation on peace and security challenges at all levels and during all phases of the conflict cycle and addressing new threats and their root causes. Ministers also reiterated that the respect for International Humanitarian Law is paramount, as well as the protection of children and the promotion of the women, peace and security agenda.

Working together on migration and mobility

Ministers agreed to deepening cooperation on migration and mobility through the existing migration frameworks and dialogues platforms, and the further development of the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue (C2CMMD). The Ministers further reiterated their commitment to a balanced, coherent, and comprehensive approach, guided by the principles of solidarity, partnership, and shared responsibility, in full respect of international law, including international human rights law.

They underscored the importance of ensuring a harmonised approach in the different dialogue processes. The Minsters reaffirmed commitment to support the operationalization of AU-EU-UN Tripartite Taskforce for Migration and the ongoing development of the Joint Framework to cultivate strong partnership and cooperation, paying particular attention to the migration and mobility policies and frameworks and their development on both continents.

Ministers adopted a joint AU-EU communique and agreed on a joint AU – EU Ministerial Follow Up Committee to monitor the implementation of all commitments from AU- EU Summits and Ministerial Meetings.

Ministers also welcomed the statements of the Chairperson of the AUC, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, His Excellency Josep Borrell, on the situation in Sudan.

Ministers took note of the AU Executive Council Decision on the convening of the 6th EU-AU Summit in the first quarter of 2022 and further took note of the EU’s proposal to convene the Summit in Brussels from 17 to 18 February 2022

AU Contacts

Mrs. Wynne Musabayana
Head of Communication
African Union Commission
Email: musabayanaw@africa-union.org

EU Contacts
Ms. Nabila Massrali
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
European Union Commission
Email: Nabila.massrali@ec.europa.eu

European Council, 28/10/2021