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The Africa-EU Partnership's main stakeholders

The partnership is driven through formal dialogue at various levels between African and European counterparts. It is a multilevel and multi-actor partnership guided by EU and AU Member States along with several non-state actors from, for example, civil society organisations, youth bodies, economic and social actors and the private sector.



European Union


African Union


Non-state Actors

  • Heads of State and Government of EU Member States in the European Council;
  • Ministers of EU Member States in the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU;
  • Specialized working groups, e.g. the Africa working group (COAFR), via the Committee of permanent representatives.


The European External Action Service (EEAS) in association with the European Commission, coordinated by its Directorate for International cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) provide the overall policy coordination and strategic directions on Africa-EU relations .

The European Parliament maintains oversight of how the partnership is implemented through dedicated committees.


The AU Commission is the main executive arm of the Africa-EU Partnership, under the political guidance of AU Member States.
AU organs, for example the NEPAD, as well as the Regional Economic Communities in Africa play a prominent role.


The JAES works towards a people-centred partnership between Africa and the EU by promoting the effective participation of civil society and the private sector, which are crucial partners for the delivery of direct benefits for African and European citizens. The main stakeholders among non-State actors are:

  • Civil society organisations
  • Private and business sectors
  • Youth organisations
  • Economic and social actors
  • Academic institutions.




Dialogue and institutional architecture of the Africa-EU Partnership

The Partnership is driven through formal dialogue and meetings, at various levels, between African and European counterparts, and culminates with the AU-EU Summits.  


Institutional meetings

The Heads of States and Governments of Africa and the EU traditionally meet every three years, at summits that alternate between Africa and Europe, to provide political guidance on the cooperation. Joint mechanisms and structures to highlight the progress being made between summits include annual meetings between the commissions of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), as well as ad-hoc meetings at ministerial, parliamentary or committee level.

  • The AU-EU summits
  • The AU's Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) – EU's Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) annual joint consultative meetings
  • The AU-EU commission-to-commission meetings
  • The AU-EU ministerial meetings
  • The European Parliament - Pan-African Parliament Summit.


Stakeholder dialogue

Stakeholder dialogue events take place on an ad hoc or regular basis between each AU-EU Summit, and aim to bring the views and recommendations of key African and European actors in different sectors to the partnership.


Specific thematic dialogues or expert meetings make an important contribution to the Partnership and include: the AU-EU Human Rights Dialogue; the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI); the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP); and the Africa-EU Reference Group on Infrastructure (RGI).

Learn more about our events and their outcomes