50th anniversary of the African Union: Joint Statement by President Barroso and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs
50 years ago on this day, representatives from 32 African countries came together in Addis Ababa to form the Organisation of the African Unity. Their aim was to promote unity and solidarity among African States and to accelerate the process of integration in the continent to enable it to play its rightful role in global affairs.
Half a century later, the Organisation of the African Unity has become the African Union (AU) and has no less than 54 members. Today we would like to congratulate the African Union on its 50th anniversary.
Over the last five decades a lot has been achieved and the AU has played a central role in African regional integration; ensuring peace and security, democratic governance and human rights and economic development.
The EU also started with the philosophy that regional integration and a common market would lead to peace, stability and prosperity. Although we are in different stages and face challenges of a very different nature, we can say that we have both come a long way in achieving this goal.
Read the full statement: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-456_en.htm