Sumario: 24 July 2012, Brussels - The European Union and Angola signed yesterday a new cooperation agreement, entitled "Joint Way Forward Angola - European Union".
This agreement aims to raise to a new level the relationship betweenAngolaand the EU, by deepening the political dialogue and bilateral cooperation in areas of common interest, recognizing Angola's growing regional and international role and the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship.
The intensified dialogue and cooperation between Angola and the European Union will cover several areas, including peace and security, economic growth and sustainable development, good governance and human rights, energy, transport, environment, science and technology, and education.
The "Joint Way Forward" was signed by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, George Chicoti, and the Minister of Planning, Ana Dias Lourenço, in a ceremony in Brussels presided by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durão Barroso.
The European Union is the largest donor in Angola. Under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013), more that €250 million have been allocated to a multi-year cooperation program with Angola, with projects being developed in the areas of good governance, justice and institutional support, health and education, water and sanitation, rural development, demining, human rights and support for non-state actors.
The European Union is also an important economic and political partner of Angola. According to the latest available data, EU exports to Angola have doubled since 2005 and the EU is now the largest exporter to Angola and its third largest trading partner overall. Imports fromAngola also increased significantly during the same period. The bilateral relationship has also assumed increasing relevance in terms of investment flows.
At the political level, dialogue between Angola and the EU has been strengthened over the last decade, benefiting recently from Angola's Presidency of SADC and CPLP. A recent visit to Angola of the President of European Commission, Jose Manuel Durão Barroso, signaled this strengthening of bilateral relations and paved the way for achievement of this new agreement.