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The EU and Africa [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

Relations between Africa and the European Union are governed by partially overlapping policy frameworks. The most important ones are the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement from 2000 and the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) agreed in 2007. These agreements include political, economic and development dimensions. Relations with Northern African countries are governed by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED) launched in 2008.

The EU aims to promote peace and security in Africa and engages with the African Union (AU) in various policy dialogues, including on democracy and human rights. The EU is the biggest aid donor to Africa. Its development cooperation with Africa is channelled through different financial instruments, of which the European Development Fund is the most important. The EU has also concluded negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements with several African regions. The EU has also been engaged in peace-keeping operations on the continent.

This note offers links to a series of recent studies on Africa-EU relations and related issues from major international think tanks and research institutes. It focuses mostly on sub-Saharan Africa, as EU relations with Northern Africa and EU development policy were covered in previous editions ‘What think tanks are thinking’, published in July and September respectively.


The EU as a security actor in Africa
Clingendael, January 2016

A bond or a knot between Europe and Africa?
European Centre for Development Policy Management, November 2015

Making migration beneficial to Europe and Africa
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, November 2015

The EU and Africa: Valletta and Beyond
European Political Strategy Centre, November 2015

The EU and Africa: Regionalism and inter-regionalism beyond Institutions
Istituto Affari Internazionali, November 2015

Europe, Africa, and the Transatlantic: The North–South challenge for development-friendly trade policy
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, October 2015

The European Union’s regionalism diplomacy in Africa: An English school approach
College of Europe, UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, October 2015

Monitoring de la stabilité régionale dans le bassin sahélien et en Afrique de l’Ouest
Groupe de Recherche et d’Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité, October 2015

Getting Africa right
European Union Institute for Security Studies, October 2015

The future of ACP-EU relations: Progress report on a political economy analysis
European Centre for Development Policy Management, October 2015

L’aide au développement de l’UE en Afrique
Nouvelle Europe, July 2015

Europe’s Return to UN Peacekeeping in Africa? Lessons from Mali
International Peace Institute, July 2015

Blood timber: How Europe played a significant role in funding war in the Central African Republic
Global Witness, July 2015

The status of electoral integrity in Africa
Hanns Seidel Stiftung, June 2015

EUFOR RCA: tough start, smooth end
European Union Institute for Security Studies, March 2015

À l’aube de l’ère de l’après-OMD ?
European Centre for Development Policy Management, January 2015

First strategic and technical meeting on the operationalization of the Africa-EU roadmap’s 2014-2017 governance priority
European Centre for Development Policy Management, Africa Governance Institute, January 2015

EU-Africa relations after the fourth summit: Finding common ground
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, January 2015

Riding or reaping the whirlwind? An account of the EU’s engagement with insecurity in Northern Nigeria
College of Europe, November 2015

Negotiating mega-agreements : Lessons from the EU
European University Institute, December 2014

How does Africa speak with one voice?
European Centre for Development Policy Management, November 2014

La politique africaine de la France sous François Hollande, renouvellement et impensé stratégique
Institut français des relations internationales, November 2014

The EU and South Africa: Towards a new partnership for development
FRIDE, Egmont, July 2014

EU and sub-Saharan Africa: An energy partnership?
European Union Institute for Security Studies May 2014

The EU-Africa Partnership: Defining the vision
Chatham House, March 2014

Moving beyond a donor-recipient relationship? Assessing partnership in the joint Africa-EU strategy
Freie Universität Berlin, February 2014

Return to the future: France’s new flirtation with afro-realism
Polish Institute of International Affairs, January 2014

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