Delegation for relations with South Africa : EU texts

SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement 

The "Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the SADC EPA States, of the other part" was signed on 10 June 2016.

The EPA takes into account the different levels of development of each partner. It guarantees Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland duty-free, quota-free access to the European market. South Africa will also benefit from enhanced market access, going beyond the existing bilateral arrangement.

All participants commit themselves to work towards sustainable development, including by upholding social and environmental standards. The EPA establishes a consultation procedure for environmental or labour issues and defines a comprehensive list of areas in which the partners will cooperate to foster sustainable development. Civil society will have a role in monitoring the impact of the agreement. A detailed chapter on development cooperation identifies trade-related areas that could benefit from EU financial support.

The EPA creates joint institutions. The EU and the SADC partners will work with regional and national development cooperation bodies to ensure the agreement is implemented smoothly.

Joint Action Plan for the South Africa-European Union Strategic Partnership 

In 2007, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was adopted at the Africa-EU Lisbon Summit, which brought together the Leaders of 27 European and 54 African States as well as the Presidents of the continental Institutions.

The purpose of the Joint Strategy is to take strengthen the political dialogue and cooperation of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership on all levels. The JAES reflects the Euro-African consensus on values, joint interests and common strategic objectives.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy is implemented through jointly identified priorities, and carries a significantly impact on the daily lives of citizens on both continents. Within each area of cooperation, the focus is on actions at the global, continental or cross regional levels and in which participating actors have a collective capacity to deliver.

EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership 

The Partnership between South Africa and the EU was described in a "communication" from the European Commission to the to the European Council and the European Parliament called, "Towards an EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership". The document is dated 28 June 2006.

The partnership covers a number of areas, all described in the communication:
  • political dialogue
  • trade
  • development cooperation
  • cooperation in other areas.
South Africa is described as a "regional anchor" and "a key player on the Continent". The partnership therefore extends to international issues on global issues.

In its conclusions, the text states:
"South Africa and the EU share much common ground as bridge-builders between North and South, between West and East, between civilisations, peoples and religions. Europe believes it can perform this function better in a partnership with South Africa. However, such a strategic partnership is not built overnight; it is the result of a dynamic development. The EU is ready to engage in this dynamic process, primarily through in-depth and uninhibited political dialogue and cooperation with South Africa at all levels."

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement with South Africa 

The "Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part" was signed on 11 October 1999 in Pretoria, and entered fully into force on 1 May 2004. Some provisions have been applied since 1 January 2000.

The Agreement reinforces the dialogue between the EU and South Africa, supports South Africa's economic and social transition, promotes regional cooperation and the country's economic integration in southern Africa and in the global economy, and expands and liberalises the trade in goods, services and capital between the two partners.

Based on respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, the Agreement establishes a regular political dialogue on topics of common interest. The dialogue may be bilateral or regional level - part of the EU's dialogue with the countries of southern Africa and with the group of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The Agreement contains a provision for revising the document within five years of the date of its entry into force in order to consider possible amendments.

Covering a number of areas, the Agreement includes a future developments clause making it possible to widen the field of cooperation.