International Cooperation and Development

'Resetting Africa-Europe relations' - Debate with Jutta Urpilainen kicks off debate series

News 30 June 2020 Brussels

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As Africa and Europe seek to re-set their partnership in the face of an unprecedented health and economic crisis, Commissioner Urpilainen met with young people, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to discuss EU-Africa cooperation

This first online event took place today (30th June), hosted by the think tank ‘Friends of Europe’. The debate is the first of a series of youth and citizen-led virtual discussions on the vision and priorities of both Africa and Europe in line with the core themes of the EU’s Joint Communication ‘Towards a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa’.

The idea is to have an open dialogue with citizens, governments, youth and civil society from Africa and Europe on the renewed Africa-EU partnership. As we wage a battle against a virus and recover from the economic and social shock of months of lockdown, now more than ever, we need each other. We need solid international partnerships.”, Jutta Urpilainen said.

Africa and Europe have a shared interest in accelerating work on the global agenda for sustainable development and tackling the climate emergency together. The Covid-19 crisis is exposing the lack of resilience on the fundamentals of life (water, food, health, energy) and the urgent need to rethink a common future.

We need Africa and Europe working together, and “building back better”. I am excited to have started our online stakeholder consultation on our Africa strategy, which I believe will also open a new era of reaching out to the youth and their readiness to interact and reflect virtually”, Commissioner Urpilainen noted.

A series of dialogues will follow this kick-off event, focusing on different aspects of the Africa-EU Partnership and to which a range of EU Commissioners will be invited. These dialogues and reflections will feed into the process leading up to the EU-African Union Summit in Autumn 2020 and help to refine the formulation of joint priorities.

The Next Generation of Africa-Europe Relations - The ‘Debating Africa-EU’ series with Jutta Urpilain