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A fresh start for Africa-Europe relations

08 February 2024
Speakers of the event (3 men, 2 women) sitting in front of an audience © LUISS

Relations between Africa and Europe are navigating a complex landscape. The Covid-19 pandemic, differing stances on the Ukraine war, and political upheavals in the Sahel have strained their partnership. Yet, inter-continental dialogue between the African Union and the European Union offers a path towards addressing shared challenges and unlocking economic opportunities.

The 2030 joint vision outlined at the African Union-European Union Summit in 2022 provided a framework for cooperation, but translating theory into practice requires a critical moment of recalibration. This demands addressing existing divergences, leveraging shared agendas, and resetting expectations.

Drawing from our Chaillot Paper "Africa Atlas: Mapping the future of the AU-EU partnership", the Institute, in collaboration with the Luiss School of Government, facilitated a thought-provoking discussion in Rome. This unique event adopted a "couples therapy" approach, posing key questions:

  • What are the entry points for revitalizing the relationship and fostering open dialogue?
  • Can a truly joint vision emerge amidst a fragmented geopolitical landscape?
  • What role can Italy play in forging a new chapter, particularly through the Mattei Plan?

Kenneth Amaeshi and Rossella Marangio, representing the EU and Africa respectively, engaged in a candid exchange, with "therapists" Giovanni Faleg, and Virginie Collombier. The discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities for building a fair and mutually beneficial partnership.

While significant hurdles remain, the event highlighted the shared interests and potential rewards of renewed cooperation. By acknowledging past issues and working towards common goals, Africa and Europe can embark on a new chapter, shaping a more prosperous and secure future for both continents.