Africa and the EU: Past, Present, Future

Convener: Dr. Olga S. Kulkova (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia);

A wide range of problems of political and economic relations between the African continent and the European Union will be discussed on the panel, and the African view on these issues will be welcomed, not only Eurocentric. The relevance of the proposed topic is determined by the fact that for most sub-Saharan African countries the EU is the major international partner, and will remain so at least in the short and medium term. The EU is a major trading partner for sub- Saharan Africa, accounting for about 85% of agricultural exports of these countries, and for about 75% of total trade turnover. In the conditions of globalization, with the development of new kinds of social and political interaction the format of the EU - Africa cooperation is being revised and updated, which raises many new problems and creates alternative perspectives.
The panel will cover the following topics:
- Political dialogue between the EU and Africa: EU relations with individual African countries (e.g. Nigeria, South Africa et al.), and with the continent's integration organizations (ECOWAS, SADC, a number of Central African associations, COMESA, IGAD, etc.);
- Interaction between Africa and the EU in the framework of strategic partnership (including through the establishment of regular summits "EU - Africa" since 2007, the EU delegation to the African Union, the dialogue between the European and Pan-African Parliaments) as a realization of EU's "continental approach" to cooperation with Africa;
- Interaction of Africa and the EU within the framework of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, including 48 African countries south of the Sahara), which began in 1975 and is now being implemented on the basis of the Cotonou Agreement, valid till 2020; the prospects of cooperation after 2020;
- Problems and prospects of EU cooperation with individual African countries within the

framework of economic partnership agreements (EPAs), contracted in accordance with the
Cotonou agreement;
- Historical aspects of the implementation of cooperation agreements between the EU and Africa
(Yaoundé, Lomé, Cotonou);
- EU peacekeeping initiatives in Africa (including joint ones with African actors such as African
Peace Facility etc.);
- Cooperation between the EU and Africa in the field of development assistance, realization of the Millennium Development Goals; gradual transformation of the "donor - recipient" paradigm; problems of European aid to Africa and how Africans view them;
- EU's interaction with other external actors on the continent, including the new ones, (such as individual countries - Turkey, Russia, etc., and with their associations, such as the BRICS).
- The prospects of strengthening the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the possible impact of this process on the implementation of EU initiatives on the African continent.
- Interaction of Africa and the EU in the areas of trade, infrastructure, climate change, energy, agriculture and land use, migration, science, education, technology (including ICT) and media. Participants are encouraged to speak on topics of the EU overall policy towards Africa and on African policies of individual EU member states.