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European Union and African Union Foreign Ministers take stock of their strong partnership

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As part of the EU's strengthened partnership with the African Union, Ministers of Foreign Affairs from EU and African Union (AU) countries met from 21-22 January in Brussels to discuss common action on issues such as peace, security and governance; trade and investment and continental economic integration, as well as their commitment to multilateralism.

Chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda Richard Sezibera, the meeting brought together participants from the 28 EU Member States and from the 55 Members of the AU.

This ministerial meeting was the first annual inter-Summit EU-AU ministerial meeting. It was an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the outcome of the 5th AU – EU Summit (Abidjan, 29-30 November 2017).

Foreign ministers of the European Union and the African Union discussed three main themes:

  • political aspects: peace, security and governance
  • economic aspects: trade, investment, and economic integration
  • multilateralism: strengthening cooperation in support of a rules-based global order

They adopted a joint communiqué.

On peace, security and governance, Ministers agreed that cooperation in the field of peace and security during all phases of the conflict cycle is a central pillar of the AU-EU partnership. They highlighted the AU-EU Memorandum of Understanding on Peace, Security and Governance signed in May 2018 as a solid and structured basis, taking into account the complexity of the emerging threats and the need to address their root causes.

Trade, investment and continental economic integration is the area where the countries decided to step up their engagement. Both sides will engage in further consultations to ensure that implementation of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs responds to the priorities of both continents. The European Union will contribute to strengthen the business climate by supporting and de-risking investment concretely through the External Investment Plan.

The ministers also agreed to work to promote cooperation among the EU and the African Union on the global scene. Ministers shared the conviction that multilateralism is the most effective mode of international cooperation to address global issues, level the international playing field and contribute to common, sustainable and ambitious solutions to today's challenges