In 2007, the EU and Africa adopted a comprehensive strategic partnership to reflect the changing nature of their relationship in the new world era. Since then, the relationship between the two partners has deepened or expanded in a number of significant areas ranging from peace and security, human rights and governance, migrations, energy, development cooperation, infrastructures, trade, climate change, to regional integration. While this new phase in Africa-EU relations faces important challenges due, inter alia, to Africa’s dependency; it also points towards the possibility of a substantive transformation based on a shared vision of interdependencies between Europe and Africa. The panel will seek to assess the significance of Africa-EU strategic partnership against the backdrop of the shortcomings that have historically defined and dominated the relationship between the two partners, and in light of the transformative dynamics affecting world politics today.
The panel will discuss and evaluate the concrete steps that have been taken, over the past four years, to move this historical relationship in a direction that reflects both Africa’s growing strategic importance in world affairs and EU’s role in it. Within this general framework, individual papers addressing specific areas of the partnership will seek to capture the fundamental dynamics, challenges, promises and accomplishments of the new strategic partnership since the 2007 Lisbon Conference.