European Parliament President promotes African Week at the European Parliament. On Wednesday he will open the high-level conference on ‘A new partnership with Africa’
European Parliament’s African week, an initiative promoted by President Tajani ahead of the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan, has begun. Many Parliament committees and delegations will be involved in colloquia, meetings and debates with the aim of setting the terms of a new partnership with Africa.
The week’s main event is the high-level conference which will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, 22 November in the Chamber and which President Tajani will open at 14.00. The speakers will include Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan-African Parliament, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the Commission, Abdoulaye Diop, Foreign Minister of Mali, European Commissioners Günther Oettinger, Karmenu Vella, Neven Mimica and Mariya Gabriel and African Union Commissioners Amani Abou-Zeid, Albert Muchanga and Josefa Leonel Correa Sacko.
Looking ahead to the conference, the President of the European Parliament said:
“In recent years we have lost sight of the fact that Africa’s problems are Europe’s problems too. We are not linked only by geography, but also by shared strategic interests, by major challenges and opportunities which we must address together. The time has come to put Africa at the top of the EU’s agenda.
“Ahead of the Abidjan Summit, Africa Week highlights the central role which the European Parliament intends to play in setting the terms of a new EU-Africa partnership. We must look towards Africa’s young people. We must involve them in a project which uses effective tools to offer them real prospects and the hope of a stable, secure and prosperous future in their own countries. If we fail, in the coming years not tens of thousands but millions of them will spare no sacrifice to seek a better future in Europe.
“We must act now, before it’s too late, through a Union which speaks with one voice. We must secure the political consensus needed to bring about a radical overhaul of our policies in Africa, starting with a properly funded multiannual budget. I am thinking of a Marshall Plan for Africa which can attract hundreds of billions of euros in investment and support Africa’s transition to a future founded on a sustainable manufacturing base, modern farming and network infrastructure. We can use that investment, channelled through a partnership between equals which involves the private sector and civil society, to promote real economic diplomacy, transfer technology, industrial know-how and professional skills and so help to create a climate conducive to entrepreneurship.”
The conference is one of a series promoted by President Tajani with a view to bringing Europe closer to its citizens, ahead of the 2019 European elections, through debates on topics of particular importance.
A press conference with EP President Antonio Tajani and other leaders is scheduled for 15.30 on Wednesday, 22 November in the Anna Politkovskaya Room. The event can be followed live here.
The detailed programme for the conference at the EP can be found here.
In July, Parliament gave the go-ahead for an EU investment plan intended to address the root causes of migration in Africa.