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

  • Burundi blues: the road to violence & back

    In 2015, Burundi witnessed political unrest and bloodshed not seen since the end of its civil war. Although political repression has since suppressed dissent, how can the international community – and especially the EU – prepare for an eventual return to violence?

  • Gulf of Guinea: pirates and other tales

    Threats to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea range from piracy, armed robbery and oil theft to illegal fishing and trafficking in illicit goods. Their impact on economic development, human and food security is not to be taken lightly.

  • SMS – Food insecurity: between past and present

    The fourth edition of the EUISS Security Monthly Stats (SMS) looks at the issue of food security and famines. What countries are most at risk? And how is the international community responding?

  • Jihadism in Mali and the Sahel: evolving dynamics and patterns

    The peace process in Mali has been deteriorating into a situation of sustained instability and protracted conflict. How has this affected the spread of jihadists throughout the Sahel?

  • Africa goes digital: where and how?

    This Alert examines the impact of the ICT on sub-Sharan Africa’s political culture and civil society development. It identifies how various ICT solutions are influencing a number of realms, as well the structural and social limitations to using and spreading ICT tools on the continent.