An agency of the EU

Overview

For many in international relations, Africa is unfortunately still often associated with misery and suffering. True, human development indicators are dismal, and insecurity or open conflict affecting not only countries but entire regions is all too common. Yet Africa is also a continent of sustained growth rates and complex national and transnational economic dynamics, often linked to natural resources. Furthermore, it boasts a history of well-orchestrated mediation and peacebuilding efforts as well as successful examples of peaceful (often cross-border) social coexistence between ethnic groups.

The relationship between the European Union and Africa is driven by both development and security concerns. In addition to being the largest donor and main trade partner for the continent, Europe is also a supporter of United Nations policies for Africa as well as the main contributor to multilateral initiatives such as the African Peace and Security Architecture. Development and security objectives feature throughout the two frameworks that currently govern EU-Africa relations: the development-focused cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and the Joint EU-Africa Strategy that reflects a continental perspective and promotes the achievements of the Peace and Security Partnership. As the EU strives to achieve its goals, it also seeks to improve the effectiveness of its policies, guarantee accountability, and uphold African ownership.

The EUISS works to monitor and analyse security trends and crises in Africa, with special attention paid to the security-development nexus and its potential implications for EU policies. The EUISS recognises that whilst the situations in the Sahel, the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa all merit close examination, developments in the Gulf of Guinea (including Nigeria) and other specific countries — such as the Central African Republic or Madagascar — also need to be monitored. EUISS activities and publications seek to uncover underlying opportunities and ‘hindrances’ in the areas of conflict prevention, multilateralism, and crisis management by participating in broader European brainstorming initiatives, and channelling information and ideas arising from African policy debates. As a valuable interlocutor between the knowledge and policymaking communities, the EUISS also contributes to the growth and preservation of networks between think tanks, policy centres and stakeholders, thus strengthening the Africa-EU partnership.

Publications

  • Why Africa matters

    This Alert examines EU-Africa relations in light of the recent high-level summit held in Brussels. What are the expectations of both partners? And how can a deeper, more comprehensive bilateral relationship be achieved?

  • EU and sub-Saharan Africa: an energy partnership?

    Sub-Saharan Africa is both blessed with immense energy resources and challenged by desperate energy poverty. This Brief explains how, as Europe diversifies its energy suppliers and seeks improved energy security, a focus on better energy governance and improved energy sustainability in Africa can help manage this contradiction.

  • Protéger les civils : mission impossible ?

    Le déploiement prochain d’une mission EUFOR en RCA aura comme objectif la protection des populations civiles. Ce mandat est-il réaliste, et quelles leçons peut-on tirer d’opérations dans le passé ayant eu des mandats similaires ?

  • EUFOR RCA Bangui: 'defence matters'

    With the decision to launch EUFOR RCA Bangui, EU member states appear to be displaying a willingness to inject new momentum into crisis management in sub-Saharan Africa. But how likely is it that the situation in the CAR will be sufficiently stable in six months to allow the EU to declare victory and hand over to AU forces or the UN?

  • Horizon 2014: sub-Saharan Africa

    This alert provides an overview of the key events and potential political crises that are likely to occur in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming year.

  • The EU in Somalia – beyond Atalanta

    This alert explores the EU’s security engagement in Somalia. It highlights the fact that, despite its sizeable financial contribution to the force, the EU does not have leverage on AMISOM’s operational command or its troop architecture. EU tools are not currently being used to their full potential in the country and their eventual effectiveness is ultimately dependent on other partners’ efforts.