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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 Africa and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agenda after 2020.

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.

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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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    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.

  • 01March 2017

    The first expert workshop of the African Futures project was organised in cooperation with the Egmont Institute on 1 March 2017 in Brussels. The workshop discussed Africa’s international relations: Africa’s evolving relations with external partners and the nature of Africa's influence in the world.

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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.

  • 21November 2016

    On 21 November, the EUISS held the first meeting of the ‘African Futures’ project at its Liaison Office in Brussels.

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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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    17February 2016

    With Africans increasingly taking charge of security governance on their continent, this Brief assess to what extent the African Union’s partnership with the EU is truly strategic. Have the two continents finally managed to overcome the donor-recipient dynamic which long dominated their relationship?

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    12February 2016

    As both China and India scramble for influence in the region, the ocean looks increasingly like the board of Go – the great encircling game. Is there a maritime governance role there for the EU? One which allows it to finally develop its strategic partnership with the South Asian giant?

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    19January 2016

    The growing consumer market for illicit substances in Europe also poses challenges for West Africa. This Alert shows how its optimal geographical location is turning it into a hotbed for smuggling networks operating out of Latin America.

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    17December 2015

    The Malian peace process underway is at risk of derailing once again. In order to avoid the mistakes of the past, further international support is needed to curb jihadist terrorist groups and create a more favourable security environment for the demilitarisation of the volatile north.

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    16October 2015

    Why do so many analysts fall into the trap of simply labelling Africa as either ‘cursed’ or ‘rising’? This Alert looks at how the validity of the empirical assessments on which both interpretations are based has been put into question.

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    26June 2015

    Niger is increasingly becoming a major hub for drugs and arms smuggling in the Sahel region, as well as for clandestine migration across the desert, into Libya, and eventually Europe. Can Niger block these irregular migration and smuggling routes – and if so, will it?

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    12June 2015

    Half-way through a year that many dubbed ‘a milestone for African elections’, a mixed picture emerges. President Buhari’s inauguration in Nigeria celebrated the victory of an opposition party in peaceful, free elections. Yet Sudan’s sham election, Ethiopia’s marginal opening and Burundi’s escalating violence tell another story.

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    12June 2015

    This Chaillot Paper looks at CSDP operations and missions, and explores how they fit into the broader crisis management environment and multilateral efforts towards international peace. It highlights the inherent constraints facing CSDP and how these inevitably limit its overall impact or degree of success. The paper also examines the EU’s added value and the extent to which CSDP is moving forward at various levels.

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    05June 2015

    With the five BRICS countries continuing to expand and institutionalise their cooperation on key international issues in an attempt to further increase their global clout, this Brief takes a look at the EU’s response to their rise. Should the BRICS be treated individually or as a group by the Union?

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    13March 2015

    With the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), EUFOR RCA, coming to an end after a little less than a year, this Alert assesses the outcome of the mission. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of its launch and deployment?

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  • 09December 2010

    Is Sudan ready for its referendum? This EUISS seminar report, ‘The Future of Sudan: challenges ahead’, analyses future scenarios for governance and conflict following the upcoming independence referendum in Southern Sudan on 9 January 2011. The report also proposes various roles the international community, the EU and regional organisations could play in Sudan.

  • 02July 2010

    Somalia has developed into a serious security challenge both regionally and internationally. It is a hotbed of Islamist terror and the origin of an increasing wave of piracy. This seminar provided an update and analysis of the Somali crisis, exploring avenues for sustainable crisis resolution and crisis management approaches.

  • 18March 2010

    The EUFOR Tchad/RCA lessons learned seminar hosted by the Institute on 18 March facilitated a debate on the effectiveness of the EU mission in Chad. The discussions resulted in a number of recommendations for the planning, conduct and execution of subsequent EU operations and generated several ideas for the future of the CSDP.

  • 08June 2009

    On 8 and 9 June 2009, a group of some 40 experts working on Sudan gathered for a workshop which examined various post-referendum scenarios. This workshop report summarises the debates and offers some advice.

  • 23October 2007

    The EUISS co-hosted a high-level conference in Lisbon with the Portuguese Ministry of Defence to debate the role of the EU in African security, the rule of law and political control of the African security sector and the concepts of ownership and responsibility in EU-African co-operation.

  • 09July 2007

    This seminar was convened in order to understand the humanitarian crisis in all its complexity but also to determine how the European Union can act effectively in such circumstances as well as to ascertain what could be done in the future to prevent such humanitarian disasters from happening again.

  • 27June 2007

    This seminar aimed at reviewing standard political and economical formula in implementing peace. As five ESDP operations have taken place in Africa, this seminar also aimed at identifying the international and local contexts in which the EU is developing its crisis management instruments.

  • 08November 2004

    This seminar drew together experts to analyse and debate ‘failing states’ – long a matter of concern to policy-makers in the field of economic development, but now high on the international security agenda.

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