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 (APSA).
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 (JAES). The EU is striving to move beyond a donor/recipient relationship and towards cooperation on security and development issues to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes.
The EUISS works to monitor and analyse security trends and risks 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 and other specific countries – such as the Central African Republic and Burundi – 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.