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Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a macro-region in transformation. It is affected by traditional and emerging threats, growing violent extremism and radicalisation, new forms of intra-state violence, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, social grievances, and migratory pressures. At the same time, the continent is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic, and technological progress, which is profoundly changing its societies and institutions, and triggering a new prominence of African countries in the global arena. 

The relationship between the European Union and Africa is evolving accordingly, going beyond development, humanitarian and security concerns, to include a broader and diversified engagement on migration and mobility, education and skills development, strengthened resilience and governance, inclusive growth and job creation. The EU Global Strategy calls for a change in mindset and a change in policy, seeing the African Union and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agreement and EU support to the Agenda 2063.

The EUISS provides innovative research, analysis and advice to support Africa-related policy planning and implementation. The EUISS uses its convening power to facilitate knowledge sharing, brainstorming, consensus building, dialogues with stakeholders and local partners, to break new ground on matters affecting Africa-EU relations. The Institute looks at instability hotspots, such as the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa, assessing interventions and formulating recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU’s integrated approach. The EUISS also monitors political, economic, security trends in countries at risk of falling or relapsing into conflict, to make the case for prevention when EU action can be impactful. Finally, the EUISS studies the role of new geopolitical actors expanding their influence in Africa, and emerging threats, such as cyber risks triggered by the digital revolution.

African Futures 2030 Task Force

From November 2019 to the end of 2020, the EUISS is running an African Futures 2030 Task Force.

The main objective of this Task Force is to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. For more information, please click here.

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    19April 2017

    What impact have migration routes out of and within Africa had on EU migration policy? This Brief examines some of the Union’s efforts (and challenges) regarding the continent.

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    19April 2017

    After tensions between the government and citizens reached a boiling point in November 2015, a vicious cycle of protests and repression subsequently took hold for over a year. What, if anything, has the ruling party learned?

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    22March 2017

    Little effort has been made so far to acquire a comprehensive understanding of transnational organised crime, its political economy and its ambivalent, non-linear relationship with political violence and system stability. This Brief takes a theoretical approach to explain the phenomenon in Africa.

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    02December 2016

    The recent decisions by Burundi, the Gambia and South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) have prompted worries that more countries may leave the Hague-based tribunal which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. But while it is clear that the ICC is facing important challenges to its credibility and legitimacy, the recent exits might not trigger a domino effect.

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    02December 2016

    The number of popular protests in Africa has increased significantly since the mid-2000s, reaching its peak in recent years. To what extent can this surge challenge sitting governments or even be the harbinger of broader social and political change on the continent?

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    24November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

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    29July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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    16June 2016

    Presidential attempts to extend term limits in the Great Lakes region have resuscitated a debate over their impact on security. But beyond these presidential predicaments, questions have been raised over the erosion of democratic accountability across the region.

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    16June 2016

    The restoration of a democratically-elected political authority in the Central African Republic (CAR) three years after the outbreak of its latest conflict episode is a positive breakthrough, but no panacea. Unable to shoulder the burden of conflict on its own, it will require sustained international support for years to come.

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    16June 2016

    Although the comprehensiveness of the EU’s approach to addressing the South Sudanese crisis has set a positive precedent, the costly disbursement of over €414m in crisis-response financing is a stark reminder of the need to re-invest in peace.

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  • 26February 2016

    As part of the outreach and consultation process for the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS), the EUISS and the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the EU organised a conference on 26 February 2016 to assess the current multilateral approaches to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the Horn of Africa in Brussels.

  • 17February 2016

    Part of the expert outreach and consultation process for the preparation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, this joint conference was held on 17-18 February 2016 at the Maison de la recherche in Paris.

  • 11September 2015

    The European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) organised this conference on the Sahel as part of the activities held under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

  • 30June 2015

    In association with DG DEVCO of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, the EUISS held a conference on Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea on 30 June 2015 in Brussels.

  • 25June 2014

    On 24-25 June, the EUISS organised the final activity of its Sahel Task Force. The conference convened experts from Europe and West Africa as well as leaders from the Sahel, the EU and the UN, notably H.E. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, UNSG Special Envoy for the Sahel.

  • 24June 2014

    On 24 June 2014, the EUISS co-hosted a transatlantic workshop on EU-US approaches to Africa with the German Marshall Fund of the United States at the Institut's Paris Headquarters.

  • 28January 2014

    On 28 January 2014, the EUISS organised and hosted the Strategy Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) as part of its overall support to the EU Chairmanship of the CGPCS in 2014.

  • 23April 2013

    This workshop organised jointly by the EU Institute for Security Studies and the European External Action Service examined the challenges of piracy and crime at sea as well as the broader challenges to security, governance and development within the region.

  • 13March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

  • 11June 2012

    The EUISS, in the framework of the Observatoire de l’Afrique, organised a briefing in partnership with Open Society Foundations to analyse to what extent Nigeria's planned constitutional reform can change to the country’s political and socio-economic system.

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