Summary: July 11, 2003 : President Prodi travels to Maputo on 11 July (Brussels)
The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, will travel to Maputo on 11 July to attend the African Union Summit on invitation of the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano. President Prodi will address the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
The presence of Romano Prodi at the AU Summit in Maputo is proof of the importance the European Commission gives to the process of African integration, which has been inspired in a certain way, by the process of European integration itself. The European Commission has been supporting various initiatives of the AU, especially the development of capacities in the areas of conflict resolution and peacekeeping.
The AU and NEPAD (the New Partnership for African Development launched by African heads of State) must be supported because these initiatives signal Africa's determination to take its destiny in its own hands. The major industrialised regions must now join in efforts to support the Africans' own agenda.
In the European opinion, if the Africans want to further develop their own capacities, the European Commission is willing to propose to EU Member States and their African partners that a proportion of the EU development funds could be used to develop the tools to support African peace-keeping operations.
The challenge for us Europeans is to step up this effort, while continuing to increase the effectiveness, flexibility and speed of execution of our aid. With our African partners the European Commission intends tackling the reform of our procedures for implementing our aid to restore the flexibility it has lost over the years.
The visit to Mozambique by Romano Prodi on this occasion has also the objective to pay tribute to the Mozambican people for their success in the peace process, democratisation, reconstruction and socio-economic development since the 1992 Rome Peace Treaty.