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Wednesday, 15 December 2010 - Strasbourg
The future of the EU-Africa strategic partnership following the 3rd EU-Africa Summit

European Parliament resolution of 15 December 2010 on the future of the EU-Africa strategic partnership following the 3rd EU-Africa Summit

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Tripoli Declaration issued by Heads of State or Government on 30 November 2010,

–  having regard to the Pre-Summit Declaration of the European and Pan-African Parliaments of 27 November 2010,

–  having regard to Articles 177 to 181 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the partnership between Africa and the EU is based on the mutual interest in exploiting their combined potentials,

B.  whereas the Tripoli Declaration embodies the will of the different leaders to consolidate the strategic partnership established three years ago between the two continents to meet common challenges together and promote sustainable economic growth to the advantage of all those in Africa,

C.  whereas the EU is responsible for more than half of development aid and remains Africa's most important trading partner,

D.  whereas Africa is diversifying its partnerships, particularly with major countries in Asia and Latin America,

1.  Welcomes the adoption of the Strategic Action Plan 2010-2013 and of its partnerships, and hopes that it will contribute added value in relation to the Cotonou Agreement and the Union for the Mediterranean and that it is an expression of an ambitious approach to intercontinental relations;

2.  Stresses that the Africa-EU joint strategy's founding principles should be designed to support developing countries' sustainable needs in order to fight poverty, guarantee a decent income and livelihood as well as the fulfilment of basic human rights, including social, economic and environmental rights;

3.  Hopes that the lessons will be learned from the difficulties which arose during the implementation of the first ‘Action Plan’, for 2008-2010 and hopes that the intentions expressed in principle in the Final Declaration by Heads of State and of Government will be acted on;

4.  Notes with interest that both the private sector and civil society, particularly from Africa, could be allowed to make a far more effective contribution to the strategy than has been the case to date;

Partnership 1. Peace and security

5.  Recognises also the important dimension of regional integration for growth and development and stresses in particular the commitment of the Tripoli Declaration to make the African Peace and Security Architecture fully operational in close collaboration with regional organisations;

6.  Welcomes the progress achieved in the implementation of an African Peace and Security Architecture in order to address peace and security challenges on the African continent; stresses in this respect the importance of providing predictable and sustainable funding for African peace-support operations, the necessity of building local resilience capacities, and the determination to protect civilians in armed conflicts;

7.  Takes the view that conflict prevention policy is an essential precondition for lasting peace and that the structural causes of conflicts should be addressed by putting in place a sustainable development policy in order to meet the basic needs of the African population and fight unemployment, social and economic injustices;

8.  Considers that the adoption of the new US ‘Conflict Minerals’ law is a huge step forward in combating illegal exploitation of minerals in Africa, which fuel civil wars and conflicts; is of the view that the Commission and the Council should come out with similar proposals to ensure tractability of imported minerals in the EU market while taking into account the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI);

Partnership 2. Democratic governance and human rights

9.  Calls on the EU and the African Union (AU) to jointly address key issues of common concern such as responses to political crisis and support for economic governance with a view to formulating shared governance agendas via the newly established Platform for Dialogue on Governance and Human Rights;

10.  Welcomes the Africa-EU joint commitment to founding principles which include respect for human rights, democratic principles, rule of law and the condemnation of all forms of terrorism;

11.  Notes that, in their Declaration, the Heads of State or Government indicate that they are ‘united in (…) the protection of human rights on both continents’; stresses the principle of universality of these rights, which must particularly be observed in the actions planned as part of the ‘Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights’;

12.  Strongly regrets, given our repeated commitments to democratic governance and human rights, the fact that Robert Mugabe was invited to and actively participated in the 3rd Africa EU-Summit; calls for all actors to take a stronger political stance in future in order to send a clear message of our firm belief in the rule of law and democracy;

13.  Urges that all actions conducted under the terms of the various partnerships be pursued without any discrimination on grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or conviction, disability, age or sexual orientation or against people living with HIV/AIDS;

14.  Endorses the call by the Pan-African Parliament on all Member States of the African Union to ratify the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

15.  Stresses European Council President Herman Van Rompuy's call to African leaders to support the ICC and ‘fully subscribe to the principle of the fight against impunity’;

16.  Urges the EU and the AU to commit themselves to working together in order to ensure better African and European cooperation in relevant international bodies, including the UN;

Partnership 3. Trade, regional integration and infrastructure

17.  Welcomes the agreement between the EU and the AU to engage in political dialogue in order to find solutions to common concerns on Economic Partnership Agreements; recognises that regional integration, trade and investments are crucial for economic stability and sustainable growth;

18.  Urges the EU and the AU to cooperate on sustainable exploitation of raw materials, especially by focusing on capacity building, governance, infrastructure development, investments, geological knowledge and skills, and transparency of mining contracts; calls in this respect for the introduction of environmentally sound and socially sustainable policies on raw materials which also benefit the local population;

19.  Urges all member states of the African Union to facilitate the establishment of a legal and fiscal framework which is conducive to stimulating economic growth and attracting FDI on the one hand, and to stamping out corruption and cutting down red tape and maladministration on the other;

20.  Urges African and EU leaders to honour the Tripoli commitment and to use the strategy as a tool to boost intra-continental African trade, including upgraded support packages for the regional economic communities and for improving infrastructures across the African continent;

Partnership 4. Millennium Development Goals

21.  Notes the renewal of the commitment of the European Union countries to allocate 0.7% of their GDP by 2015, which is vital if the MDGs are to be achieved by 2015;

22.  Will seek to ensure, in particular, that the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals is central to the pursuit of all the Partnerships;

23.  Recalls that specific activities on maternal, newborn and child health, gender, education, land policy and sustainable development, access to water and sanitation, and on people with disabilities are crucial for attaining the MDGs; encourages the continuance of programmes in the field of education and health;

24.  Stresses the importance of guaranteeing food security throughout Africa and underlines the need to reinforce the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Africa, in a sustainable way, especially as regards smallholder farmers and fishermen;

25.  Recalls the dominant role that agriculture plays in African national economies; stresses therefore the central role of harmonisation of sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, as well as capacity building for the African agricultural sector;

26.  Regrets that the current acquisition of farmland in Africa by some government-backed foreign investors, which, if not handled properly, threatens to undermine local food security and lead to serious and far-reaching consequences, was not addressed by the Summit;

27.  Believes that African and EU leaders should demonstrate their real commitment to putting in place a mechanism to circumvent the illicit flight of capital for tax evasion, to promote full transparency on country-by-country reporting and to stand up to international pressure on juridical that might allow tax avoidance or evasion in Africa;

Partnership 5. Energy

28.  Believes that renewable energy is vital for the economic and social development of Africa and stresses President Barroso's call for an energetic green revolution in Africa;

29.  Welcomes the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme and the political targets agreed at the Vienna High Level Meeting on Energy in September 2010, to be reached by 2020, including bringing access to modern and sustainable energy services to an additional 100 million Africans, doubling the capacity of cross-border electricity connections within Africa and doubling the use of natural gas in Africa, and increasing the use of renewable energy in Africa and improving energy efficiency in Africa in all sectors;

Partnership 6. Climate change

30.  Invites the EU and the AU to unite their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation;

31.  Recalls the EU commitment of EUR 7.2 bn in 2010-2012 for fast-start climate change projects and initiatives, a significant part of which will be available for Africa;

32.  Stresses that world's poorest people are hit first and hardest by climate change and calls on all actors to support developing countries in adapting to the impact of climate change and growing in a low carbon way in order to eradicate poverty;

33.  Notes that achieving progress on a global climate deal is crucial to tackling poverty and, in this context, stresses the immense potential for natural resources – sun, wind, rivers and tides – that African countries often possess in abundance;

Partnership 7. Migration, mobility and employment

34.  Observes that migration does have positive effects and insists on the need for a common strategy complete with a timetable and targeted projects to reduce the negative effects of illegal migration;

35.  Recalls the commitment of all partners to creating more and better jobs through the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth;

36.  Welcomes the reinforcement of existing programmes with respect to the mobility of students and academics, together with initiatives such as the Pan-African University and Tuning Educational Structures and Programmes;

37.  Considers that brain drain is a major problem for Africa and that professional people who have left the country should be given strong incentives to return and apply the benefit of their training in their countries of origin;

Partnership 8. Science, information society and space partnership

38.  Welcomes the launching of a high-level science and technology policy dialogue at senior official and ministerial level in order to strengthen the science and technology cooperation framework in order to leverage faster inclusive economic growth and social development in Africa;

General comments

39.  Notes that Sudan is not represented, the authorities of this country not considering themselves bound by the Tripoli Declaration of Heads of State and Government, and wishes to see all elements of the 2005 Peace Agreement implemented, as stated in said Declaration, including therefore the referendum scheduled for January 2011which must allow the people of southern Sudan to choose their own destiny;

40.  Regrets that certain Heads of State or Government from the EU's larger Member States were not able to attend the EU-Africa Summit;

41.  Regrets that there is no financing plan to accompany the Africa-EU joint strategy and calls once again for the EDF to come under the EU budget so that there may be parliamentary oversight of the implementation of the various EU financial instruments employed in the creation of the different partnerships;

42.  Hopes for greater involvement by ministerial bodies in the Strategy's implementation;

43.  Calls for the Pan-African and European Parliaments to be able to exercise their supervisory role in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan;

44.  Calls on the national parliaments of all the African and EU countries to examine and debate the Strategic Plan;

o   o

45.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EU and AU Councils and Commissions, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the PAN-African Parliament (PAP).

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