Europe and Africa have close historical, cultural and geographical ties.

EU-Africa relations are based on:

  • the 2000 Cotonou Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, which grew out of the 1975 Lomé Convention; 
  • the 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy , decided by 80 African and European heads of state. The Strategy encompasses the Africa-EU Partnership, the overarching political framework defining bilateral relations. Its goal is a partnership between equals that will jointly tackle issues of mutual concern


April 2015 : 7th meeting between the European Commission and the African Union Commission

This meeting boosted relations under the 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy. Its aims were to:

  1. strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and Africa - a priority for the European Commission
  2. take stock of current cooperation and discuss the 2 Commissions' priorities
  3. discuss future cooperation. Discussions in plenary covered the 5 priorities on the current road map for the Joint Africa-EU Strategy

April 2014 : 4th EU-Africa Summit (Brussels)

  • Participants - African and EU leaders, leading representatives of EU and African Union institutions.
  • Theme -'Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace' (opportunities for cooperation and expanding political, economic, investment and trade ties).

This summit confirmed both sides' commitment to the objectives set out in the 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy. Leaders agreed to improve implementation through a roadmap for EU-Africa relations (2014-2017) covering 5 areas for joint action:

  1. Peace & security
  2. Democracy, good governance & human rights
  3. Human development
  4. Sustainable & inclusive development & growth, continental integration
  5. Global & emerging issues

Since the EU-Africa Summit, the EU has been able to reflect the new priorities in its programming process.

2013 : The Pan-African Programme was set up

  • Financed by - Development Cooperation Instrument
  • Budget - €845m (2014-2020)

The European Commission has approved its Multiannual Indicative Programme for 2014-2017 and the first 12 projects to be implemented (with total funding of €107m). These include:

  • migration
  • higher education & research
  • public finance management
  • developing essential statistics

Peace & security

The EU works together closely with the African Union in this area. One illustration is the joint visit to Mali in February 2015 by the African Union's Peace and Security Council and the EU's Political and Security Committee.

The EU's African Peace Facility, which has a budget of €750m for 2014 – 2016, has provided much of the funding for African-led peacekeeping operations, as well for the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), helping to enhance the African capacities and mechanisms to prevent and manage conflicts and crises.

Main beneficiaries - peace support operations, e.g. the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA).


The April 2015 meeting between the European Commission and the African Union Commission broached the issue of migration against the backdrop of the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean. Participants in the plenary session called for comprehensive measures to tackle illegal immigration and human trafficking. The European Commission has now presented an action plan on migration.

Development & mitigating climate change

Other key cross-cutting topics discussed at the April 2015 meeting included the post-2015 agenda (and finance for development). Particular emphasis was placed on the need for joint efforts to achieve a good outcome, global pandemics and climate change.

A Joint Declaration and 3 stand-alone documents dealing with (i) infrastructure, (ii) space, and (iii) agriculture were adopted.

To read the documents setting out the meeting's outcomes, see the Africa-EU Partnership website.

Recent EU-African events - links