“We need to build a win-win partnership that strengthens trade and economic links between Africa and Europe to create jobs for Africa’s rapidly growing population and provide European businesses with access to new investment opportunities on the African continent”, said Tomas Tobé MEP, Chairman of Parliament’s Development Committee.
His remarks come after the EPP Group adopted a Position Paper on Africa today, outlining the Group’s vision for future EU-Africa relations ahead of the EU-African Union Summit scheduled for 17-18 February.
At the Summit, the future relations of the two neighbouring continents will be discussed, as both the EU and Africa face a growing number of challenges that require a coordinated response. The EPP Group is pushing for a closer and more effective EU-Africa partnership based on mutual interest, strategic priorities, structured cooperation, effective coordination and clear long-term goals.
"Africans and Europeans are united in pursuing the same goals. We want sustainable economies and future-proof jobs. We need to bring European and African business better together and provide better frameworks for investments and for the development and deployment of new technologies. The EU's international partnerships should be fully supportive of this goal. The political dialogue between the EU and Africa should also reflect this new and higher ambition", said Hildegard Bentele MEP, Deputy Spokeswoman in the Development Committee.
For the EPP Group, it is also of fundamental importance that lasting peace and security is achieved and maintained in Africa. Peace and security are essential to achieve long-term sustainable development in Africa, which enables cross-regional and intra-African trade, investment and large-scale job creation, ensures food security and provides education. They are also essential to ensure Europe’s security and prevent irregular migration.
Michael Gahler MEP, EPP Group Spokesman for Foreign Affairs, stresses that “achieving peace and security remains one of the biggest key challenges for EU-Africa cooperation. We want to help our African partners to take responsibility for their own security.”
“EU cooperation must support partner countries to give the possibility to young people to improve life opportunities locally, in their communities, instead of choosing migration. Education and vocational training are the effective tools for that. We need a stronger connection between vocational training and the labour market in Africa”, stressed György Hölvényi MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the Development Committee.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States