Public dialogue event: “Coherence in Europe’s Africa Policies?”

The German government has decided in its new coalition agreement to update its Africa Policy Guidelines from 2014 and to ensure coherence of the German and European approaches. On this occasion, a public dialogue event on the topic of “Coherence in Europe’s Africa Policies? – A view from Brussels” took place in the State Representation Bremen in Berlin on 12 December 2018. The Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) organised the dialogue jointly with the Federal Foreign Office.

Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director for Africa, European External Action Service (EEAS) and Robert Dölger, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel, Federal Foreign Office of Germany joined the discussion as panelists. Dr. Katrin Böttger, Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik chaired the debate.

The event was opened by an introductory speech from Ulrike Hiller, the Plenipotentiary for Europe and Development Cooperation of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Afterwards, the 40 participants discussed practical challenges as well as new (global) developments that are relevant for the renewal of the German and European Africa policies with the two panelists. All parties emphasised the continued importance of the existing guidelines. The exchange focused on the promotion of good governance in African countries, the transfer of research, innovation and technology, as well as the construction of economic relations and an African single market. In order to successfully master these new developments, the significance of combating problems on a regional level was accentuated. Updating the guidelines and future relationships between the European and the African Union, as well as between member states, should be based upon flexible cooperation and mutual sense of responsibility, it was concluded.