The international context and EU-Africa relations are constantly evolving, presenting new challenges and opportunities. Since the historic first Africa-EU Summit in Cairo in 2000, where the Africa-EU partnership framework was established, considerable change has taken place on both continents, which challenge the way Africa and Europe perceive each other.
The Africa-EU Partnership is adapting to these changing realities through constant formal dialogue between African and European counterparts at different levels:
- EU-Africa Summits of Heads of States and Governments take place every three years alternatively in Africa and Europe. These Summits take stock of the progress made in the implementation of commitments made and provide political guidance for further work.
- The 5th African Union - European Union (AU-EU) summit took place on 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The summit was the opportunity to strengthen relations in a broad range of areas between the two continents, with a focus on investing in youth. This was the first edition of the summit being in Sub-Saharan Africa. Official Summit website
- Ministerial meetings take place on an ad hoc basis to monitor the progress achieved between Summits. The last meeting took place at the margins of the AU-EU Summit, in July 2017 on sustainable agriculture and youth.
- Commission-to-Commission meetings between the European Commission and the African Union Commission take place on an annual basis alternatively in Brussels and Addis Ababa to provide political and operational impetus to Africa-EU relations. The last meeting took place in 2018 in Brussels.
- Regular High Level dialogues and expert level meetings ensure the implementation of the Road Map, such as the reference group on Infrastructure, or the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) expert group on science, technology and innovation.
In addition, continuous dialogue is maintained by other stakeholders of the Africa-EU Partnership, such as:
- EU-Africa Business Forums bring together African and European business leader representing multi-nationals, large corporations, small and medium-scale enterprises and confederations, multilateral and regional institutions to discuss ways of improving the business and investment climate between Africa and the EU.
- Africa-EU Civil Society Forums gather together representatives from African and European civil society organisations to develop ideas to review the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, to ensure full participation of civil society in the EU-Africa Partnership, to evaluate past experiences and discuss the future of the partnership.
- Africa-Europe Youth leaders’ Summits ensure the continuous dialogue between African and European youth organisations. They provide the opportunity to formulate concrete recommendations to EU-Africa Summits regarding the future JAES youth initiatives and engagement of the youth in the future political dialogue. In 2012, the Africa-Europe Youth Platform was established to coordinate, monitor and follow-up the Africa-Europe Youth cooperation on an annual basis.
- Meetings between the European Parliament and Pan-African Parliament
- Meetings of EU and Africa economic and social stakeholders network
Meetings of African and Europen Local and Regional Governments.