Sumario: EU Council Conclusions - EU Strategy for Africa (22 November 2005: Brussels)
Council conclusions on an EU Strategy for Africa, GENERAL AFFAIRS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting, Brussels
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council notes the reports of the UN Millennium Project and the Commission for Africa; the outcome of the Millennium Review Summit including the commitment to address the special needs of Africa; and other recent international commitments to Africa, including those made at the G8 Gleneagles Summit and the African Partnership Forum, Paris High Level Forum and the African Union (AU) Sirte Summit.
2. The Council recalls its conclusions of May 2005 and the European Council conclusions of June 2005 calling for a long-term strategy for Africa. The Council reaffirms its commitment to existing EU agreements with Africa, notably the newly revised Cotonou Agreement, the EU-South Africa Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the European Neighbourhood Policy and associated EC financial instruments.1
3. The Council welcomes the Commission Communication on "An EU Strategy for Africa: Towards a Euro-African pact to accelerate Africa's development", and the paper by the Secretary General/High Representative as central contributions to the Strategy to be considered by the European Council in December 2005. It also welcomes the Report on a Development Strategy for Africa by the European Parliament. The Council agrees that it will focus attention on the areas set out below. The Council notes a number of other proposals not covered in these conclusions and looks forward to more information from and dialogue with the Commission, SG/HR and Parliament on them.
4. The Council calls for a comprehensive strategy, based on shared values and agreed UN principles, encompassing development, security and human rights which; covers all African countries, taking into account country-specific needs as, inter alia, defined in national poverty reduction strategies; entails a prioritised approach aiming at the promotion of peace and security and sustainable economic and social development in Africa through the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Millennium Declaration; takes into account the European Security Strategy; is coherent between policy areas and regional approaches, taking account of development objectives cooperation in all EU policies.
5. The Council further calls for a strategy which; enhances African ownership and mutual accountability including in the area of political and economic governance, working through African institutions and civil society, within the framework of international law, and in particular with full respect for human rights norms and in cooperation with human rights mechanisms; focuses strongly on the AU, NEPAD and effective sub-regional organisations; calls on each country to take primary responsibility for its own development and recognises the role of national policies and development strategies in the achievement of this; engages public opinion in Europe and Africa; involves leadership from and co-ordination within the EU, recognising the value of Member States' individual efforts, including the specific added value of those with recent experience of political and economic transition; strengthens political dialogue with Africa including an EU-Africa Summit meeting in Lisbon as soon as possible; emphasises Africa as a key partner for promoting effective multilateralism; and improves international coordination and aid effectiveness in support of Africa, involving the UN system and International Financial Institutions, other donors and rapidly developing economies.
In support of this we will:
Peace and Security
6. Broaden and invigorate the EU-AU political dialogue and co-operation in the field of peace and security, including crisis management, as well as on multilateral issues such as the UN Peace Building Commission, the Responsibility to Protect, and counter-terrorism. Structure this political dialogue through meetings at the EU or AU, involving EU HOMs. Enhance joint monitoring and reporting on these related subjects by EU HOMs for enhanced EU policy response. Reinforce co-operation with the UN, AU and sub-regional Organisations in the areas of conflict prevention and peace support, including issues of good governance and human rights. Develop the ESDP/Euromed dialogue in this context.
7. Exploit, develop and refine CFSP and ESDP instruments, policies and activities (including training and education of EU experts), building on the ESDP Africa Action Plan including, on a case-by-case basis as appropriate, deploying EU-led civilian, military or joint civilian/military missions (including operations involving EU Battlegroups) in support of UN or AU crisis management objectives. Seek a more comprehensive and coherent approach in order to achieve synergy between CFSP/ESDP, first pillar instruments, policies and activities, and the approaches of individual Member States, including in the area of reinforcing African peace support capabilities. ESDP is one of the key instruments that the EU has at its disposal and, as such, needs to be resourced accordingly.
8. In this context, provide and review support for the AU, sub-regional organisations and national governments in strengthening their early warning, mediation, analytical and operational capacity; and in undertaking peacekeeping and peace support operations, thus implementing the UN high-level meeting decision on a long-term (10 year) plan for African capacity building. In particular, this will include:
• agreement to secure long-term funding for the Africa Peace Facility; and ensure that its impact on the ground is maximised and sustained;
• advisory, technical, planning, and logistical support and working with the AU and sub-regional organisations on a broad training agenda covering civilian and military aspects, including through support for training centres in Africa (taking into account ideas on "Europeanising" the RECAMP project);
• support regional dialogue and reconciliation in the context of conflict resolution and peace-building;
• support the development of the African Standby Force, initially through the AU-organised workshops; and
• support Responsibility to Protect to ensure the protection of people against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
9. Further address the illicit flow of weapons, and their financing. In particular, in line with the EU-Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and ammunition, the EU will: encourage third States to associate themselves with the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; support effective border management controls; develop mechanisms to exploit the information it has on illegal trafficking; consider the possibility of restrictive measures to discourage transfers; support the incorporation of minimum common standards of transfer controls into a strengthened UN Programme of Action; support regional initiatives to combat the illicit trade in SALW; and support the early establishment of an international treaty to establish common standards for the global trade in conventional arms.
10. Further address conflict resources, to help ensure that Africa's timber, water, diamonds, oil and other minerals foster peace and prosperity, not war and suffering; sustain and enhance our support for the Kimberley Process.
11. Enhance conflict prevention efforts, to help prevent African conflicts from starting, through the development of a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention, which seeks to integrate policies and action in the field of security, development and democratic governance, in order to address the root causes of conflict and instability (e.g. poverty, exclusion and discrimination of ethnic or religious minorities) in a timely and effective manner, and facilitate the transition from conflict to peace and development and to prevent countries from relapsing into violent conflict. Conflict prevention should also address those security threats that are likely to result in significant movements of people away from areas of conflict.
12. Improve its engagement in post conflict reconstruction, so wars do not restart after they end, in particular through support to an effective UN Peace Building Commission; and post-conflict reconstruction efforts through long term political and practical support. Increased attention will be given to a more coherent transition from short- to long-term strategies and support. Continue to support efforts for the reconstruction and consolidation of institutions in former failed States and contribute to preventing the collapse of States.
13. Support coherent regional and national strategies for Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) and further implementation, in partnership with the AU, sub-regional organisations and national governments, of Security Sector Reform (SSR), building on the EU's experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given the increasing involvement of the EU in SSR activities, develop plans for integrated military and civilian SSR teams. Support UNHCR's 4R strategy (Repatriation, Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction). Support the implementation of the EU's Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) policies.
14. Encourage the application of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, through ensuring that a gender perspective informs planning, implementing and evaluating the impact of conflict, the needs of different actors in conflict and the level and nature of participation in decision-making in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, including peace processes and negotiations, taking account of the EU action plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
15. Building on past and ongoing activities, address the short, medium and long term impact of armed conflict on children in an effective and comprehensive manner, making use of the variety of tools at the EU's disposal, in accordance with UNSCRs 1460 and 1539 on Children and Armed Conflict and the EU Guidelines on Children in Armed Conflict.
16. Support African efforts to fight terrorism through the provision of technical assistance and enhanced information sharing; and assist African countries in meeting their international counter-terrorism obligations while calling on them actively to co-operate in international counter-terrorism efforts, in particular with the UN. Enhance the EU-Africa and intra-African cooperation in the fights against organised crime, all forms of exploitative and forced labour and drugs.
17. Address the issue of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Support African partners' full compliance with, and national implementation of, existing international obligations; promote their accession to, and implementation of, other relevant international instruments and exports control regimes; and co-operate in their development of effective systems of national export controls.
18. Reinforce the EU's support for the promotion and protection of human rights, inter alia, as a basic requisite for the establishment of democracy, good governance and the rule of law by: strengthening EU-African cooperation within the human rights system, including addressing urgent issues in international human rights fora, encouraging adhesion to UN human rights instruments and compliance with their mechanisms, supporting the development and reinforcement of national judicial systems and national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in cooperation with existing national, regional and UN mechanisms, supporting civil society organisations and engaging in dialogue with them on human rights; monitoring in line with inter alia: EU guidelines on: human rights; the use of the death penalty; torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and human rights defenders.
19. Reinforce the EU's support to strengthening the capacity of the African Union, sub-regional organisations and countries.
20. Promote governance through support of African efforts and in co-ordination with other donor efforts, including backing for the AU and NEPAD governance agenda and for the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), through (i) support for the APRM structures to facilitate country level 'self assessments' and learning across countries (ii) development of an EU Governance Initiative to support the implementation of reforms triggered by the APRM process and (iii) continue to implement a governance facility under the future European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument.
21. Support the building of effective and credible central institutions, including the police and judiciary systems and national parliaments, and launch a dialogue with national governments and local authorities on support to the decentralisation processes.
22. Support the rule of law and the combating of impunity, inter alia, through the International Criminal Court.
23. Encourage the use of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Performance Measurement Framework and the implementation of the Strengthened Approach to supporting PFM reforms; continue poverty reduction budget support where appropriate; and increase the accountability and responsiveness of governments, parliaments, local authorities and public bodies, including support to civil society.
24. Ensure early ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption and full implementation of relevant OECD agreements, especially concerning the combating of bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions; and provide political and financial support to African governments, regional bodies and civil society organisations tackling corruption.
25. Help enhance governance in the exploitation of natural resources. This will include the further development of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and support for countries and companies implementing it; and implementation of the EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
26. Encourage the further development of transparent and participatory democracy, including through support to national Parliaments and a more coherent approach to political dialogue and Election Observation Missions.
Economic Growth and Regional Integration and Trade
27. Support national and regional strategies for growth and poverty reduction that enhance macro-economic stability, encourage private investment and promote economic growth for all, ensuring the direct participation of the poor; continue to help mitigate the effects of exogenous shocks, notably sharp swings in commodity prices, through the implementation of EU programmes such as the EU Action Plan on Agricultural Commodities and the EU-Africa Cotton Partnership.
28. Support African initiatives to improve the investment climate and business opportunities that help create wealth and employment for the poor; promote investment in Africa, including measures related to the rural economy and to provide a market for agricultural products; promote the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in Africa, as well as other relevant instruments and initiatives that aim to encourage corporate social responsibility and support for public-private partnerships and Small and medium-sized enterprises through local institutions.
29. Facilitate a better-connected Africa, through the development of an EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership in coordination with other donors, complementary to the new Infrastructure Consortium for Africa. The Partnership should encompass existing EU and African initiatives in the fields of water and sanitation, energy and ICT, including addressing the digital divide and ensure people's access to services.
30. Press for an ambitious and balanced outcome to the Doha Development Agenda which combines progressive trade liberalisation with stronger multilateral rules, ensure special differential treatment, in particular for LDCs, and address the issue of preference erosion, in ways that maximise development gains and Africa's integration into the multilateral trading system and thus contribute to the MDGs.
31. Support the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as development instruments that will improve access to European markets, help ACP countries integrate into world markets, foster their regional integration, help establish transparent and predictable rules to spur investment and growth and liberalise services that are key to their development interest and support the progressive building-up of the EUROMED Free Trade Area (between North African countries and the EU and between North African countries themselves) in the framework of the Barcelona Process. Promote the participation of Ultra Periferic Regions (UPRs) in the process of regional integration in Africa, as proposed in the Commission's Communication of May 2004.
32. Provide financial support for building trade capacity and implementing supply side reforms linked to EPAs and WTO implementation; Support countries facing adjustment needs arising from EPA implementation or regional and multilateral liberalisation efforts through adequately tailored EU instruments. Establish and implement an improved monitoring mechanism against development objectives within the EPA process.
33. Commit to an ambitious negotiating outcome of the EPAs with a perspective of substantial improvements in access for ACP products to EU markets; and in respect of liberalisation steps to be undertaken by African countries, support the objectives of asymmetry and flexibility, particularly as regards transition periods and safeguard measures, in line with development needs and WTO requirements; assist African countries to comply with rules and standards and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade; and aim to simplify rules of origin and render them more development-friendly.
34. Continue to implement and help African LDCs take advantage of the Everything But Arms initiative; encourage, in the context of the Doha negotiations or more generally, other developed and major developing countries to follow this example.
35. Encourage sustainable development by integrating environmental priorities into development strategies, in order to achieve internationally agreed goals and targets on environmental sustainability; pay special attention to integrated water resources management (including through implementation of the Johannesburg plan of action, the EU Water Initiative and the ACP-EC Water Facility and support for the African network of Basin Organizations); energy for sustainable development and the ACP-EC Energy Facility; forestry management and deforestation; fisheries protection and development; biodiversity conservation; sound management of chemicals; and disaster preparedness.
36. Counter the effects of climate change, including through assisting African efforts to implement the relevant UN agreements in accordance with the EU Action Plan on Climate Change and Development. Combat desertification and land degradation by promoting the use of national action plans, including local capacity building, under the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
37. Monitor, through existing mechanisms, implementation of the aid volume targets agreed by the Council in May 2005, including specific commitments for Africa, and agreed debt relief initiatives.
38. Take into account evolving EU development policies.
39. Ensure early implementation for Africa of the recommendations of the EU Working Group on Harmonisation and the Paris commitments; make EU action in Africa more harmonised and transparent based on ownership and alignment; focus EU aid on results; support the principles of complementarity and mutual accountability; accelerate the simplification of rules and procedures, setting up common EU arrangements where feasible and appropriate.
40. Secure more effective and predictable EU financial assistance to Africa, including reaching agreement on a successor to the 9th EDF as soon as possible, on the basis of the commitments made at the Joint ACP-EC Council of February 2005 and ensure adequate resources for North Africa, in future EC budgets.
41. Ensure EU assistance takes into account, inter alia, the specific needs of fragile States and those emerging from conflict.
42. Note the plans of some Member States, in the context of the Millennium Review Summit, to develop and implement innovative financing mechanisms, including implementing a contribution on airline tickets to enable financing development projects, in particular in the health sector.
Investing in People
43. Strengthen national education systems including: contributing to the Education Fast Track Initiative to help ensure that all girls as well as boys have access to free and compulsory quality primary education; and support for education as a lifelong learning process.
44. Promote development of Euro-Africa networks of universities and centres of excellence, in tandem with AU higher education and science and technology flagship programmes, including support for the Nyerere programme for students across Africa.
45. Strengthen health systems in Africa, including addressing human resource shortages in health, to help ensure all Africans have access to essential health care which is free or affordable for poor people.
46. Continue contributions to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), thereby maintaining the EU's share of global contributions and its leadership role on communicable diseases; continue to support the distribution of insecticide treated bed-nets and associated commodities; encourage research and development of vaccines and increase immunisation coverage, development of microbicides and drugs for HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other communicable diseases by 2010; and support countries to enhance sexual and reproductive health and rights, including delivery of universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care services by 2010, as set out in the Cairo Agenda of the International Conference on Population and Development. Consider HIV/AIDS as an issue which should be mainstreamed in all policy areas.
47. Strengthen country-led safety nets for chronically food insecure populations that rely on humanitarian programmes and support effective food security policies. In particular, seek to engage fragile States and those emerging from conflict. In this context, a multilateral approach under UN leadership should be explored.
48. Ensure mainstreaming of gender issues across all policies towards Africa, recognising the important role women play in economic growth and development, the relevance of gender equality in education, and the disproportionate effects on women of conflict (see paragraph 14 above), poverty-related diseases and lack of maternal health care.
49. Promote the rights of children and other vulnerable groups in society, including disabled persons, in line with relevant UN agreements.
50. Reinforce EU disaster response capability through ECHO, as well as through continued bilateral channels and in accordance with the central UN coordination role; and consider EU support for the UN Humanitarian Central Emergency Revolving Fund.
51. Agree approaches on migration to optimise the benefits of migration for all partners in a spirit of joint partnership, including:
• engaging in a balanced dialogue on the broad range of migration issues, in partnership with the African Union, regional organisations and African states;
• building capacity for better management of migration, including providing technical and financial assistance;
• addressing the root causes of migration, such as poverty and insecurity;
• fostering the linkages with development and co-development to promote safer, easier and cheaper remittance transfers also in an effort to enhance their development impact, facilitate the role of diasporas as agents of development in their home countries, recognising the importance of early actions to promote integration in this regard, explore options for temporary or circular migration, including within Africa and mitigate the impact of skills losses in vulnerable sectors;
• and combating smuggling and trafficking in human beings and illegal immigration, including implementing readmission obligations, as provided for, inter alia, in Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement.
And agree to strengthen protection for displaced persons and refugees and their access to durable solutions, in accordance with the relevant international instruments.
The EU will promote cooperation in this field through its policies, reflecting the central importance of these issues for the EU and its Member States.
52. Our commitment to supporting sustainable development in Africa is long-term and comprehensive. The Council looks forward to the adoption of an integrated EU Strategy for Africa at the December European Council, taking into account the contributions of the Commission and the Secretary General/High Representative. The Council will build on existing mechanisms to monitor and review progress on the EU Strategy, in consultation with African partners. The EU-Africa dialogue needs to be broadened and invigorated. In this context, the organisation of a second EU-Africa Summit should remain a priority for the EU. The Commission and the SG/HR are invited to report on progress within their fields of competence, including assessment against agreed indicators of progress consistent with international action on Africa, and welcoming the contribution of EU Heads of Mission in this area. They should also feed into annual EU reporting mechanisms and the orientation debate. The Council instructs its Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) to maintain a regular overview of progress overall.
1 All potential new commitments of EC funds from 2007 are subject to ongoing discussions on the Financial Perspectives and without prejudice to financing and implementing decisions.