Joint Communication: "Elements for an EU strategy on Afghanistan"

On 24 July 2017 the European Commission published a Joint Communication, addressed to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, titled "Elements for an EU strategy on Afghanistan".

The strategy outlines a series of "mutually reinforcing objectives in areas where [the EU] can add most value, namely":
  1. Promoting peace, stability and regional security;
  2. Strengthening democracy, the rule of law and human rights and promoting good governance and women empowerment;
  3. Supporting economic and human development; and
  4. Addressing challenges related to migration.

Each of these areas is detailed in the document.

In its conclusions, the Communication notes,

"The new strategy will enable the EU and its Member States to better align their actions. In this context, the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 12 May 2016 confirmed the value of joint programming for increased strategic analysis, coordination on the resources pledged at the Brussels Conference and potential for joint implementation. At the same time the new strategy is sufficiently flexible to both influence and respond appropriately to the range of potential scenarios in Afghanistan".

EU-Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development

The "Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, of the other part" was signed in February 2017 by the EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Eklil Hakimi.

The Agreement establishes a legal framework for EU-Afghanistan cooperation. It confirms the EU's commitment to Afghanistan's future development during the "Decade of Transformation" (2015-2024). It will provide a basis for the EU's ongoing support to Afghanistan in the implementation of its comprehensive and detailed reform programme.

The Agreement reflects the principles and conditions for the EU-Afghanistan partnership, with an emphasis on holding regular dialogue on political issues, including human rights, in particular the rights of women and children, which are essential elements of this agreement.