Continental Parliaments launch preparations for the AU-EU Summit

The Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the European Parliament (EP) Delegation for Relations with the PAP held a virtual meeting on Wednesday, 10 June 2020. The two delegations engaged on the upcoming EP-PAP Parliamentary Summit, which will take place ahead of the 6th African Union– European Union Summit in October 2020 in Brussels (Belgium).

The last EP-PAP summit was held in Côte d'Ivoire from 27 to 28 November 2017, in the run up for the 5th AU-EU Summit. This meeting resulted in the adoption of the Abidjan Appeal, and covered eleven priority topics for Africa-EU relations.

The event allows Parliamentarians from both continents to discuss the most pressing topics facing the relationship between the EU and Africa, which include Covid-19, peace and stability, Trade and economic development, migration, job creation, agriculture as well as how to improve the future implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The next high-level Parliament engagement has been scheduled for 26 and 27 October 2020.

Further to the significance of this Parliamentary forum that serves to boost the historical ties between Africa and Europe,  Hon. Bouras DJAMEL, Acting President of the PAP is hopeful that it will reinforce a sense of common destiny between the  peoples of the two parties ahead of the engagement between the respective leaders.

“The EP-PAP Summit has become a critical platform that informs the work of Heads of state and Government as they make decisions that have an impact on the lives of the peoples that we represent as continental Parliaments. It is therefore reassuring that we have started consultations well ahead of time so that we can prepare a solid case for the needs of Africans and Europeans to be put on the table of our leaders,” says Hon. Djamel.

PAP’s Vice President, Hon. Chief Fortune CHARUMBIRA says that the EP-PAP summit gives both Parliaments an opportunity to use their supervisory and scrutinising role to review the progress achieved and stages completed in the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy since the last summit held in Abidjan in 2017.

“As representatives of our people, it is time to assess the level of achievement in implementation of the decisions taken by our respective governments since the Abidjan Summit, in the framework of the Africa-EU Strategy. We welcome these consultations as these will result in a purposeful programme that considers the priorities of both institutions. As far as PAP is concerned, we will also look to emphasise on the AU theme for 2020 when we meet later this year,” says Hon. Charumbira.

Hon. Maria Soraya RODRIGUEZ RAMOS, Chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament indicated that the relationship with Africa is a priority for the European Union. She underscored the importance of a robust engagement among Parliamentarians prior to the political phase of the encounter by Heads of State and Government.

“I welcome the degree of cooperation between our two Parliaments which will eventually strengthen our role further, to enhance democracy and transparency in the field of Africa-EU relations. We will hold further consultations ahead of the Summit to ensure that no stone is left unturned that we have all the necessary tools to partake in a fruitful meeting in Brussels in October,” says Hon. Ramos.

The Summit of the European Union and the African Union Heads of State and Government traditionally takes place every three years and alternates between Africa and Europe. This Summit take stock of the progress being made in implementing commitments and provide political guidance for further work.