The European Union (EU) continues to strengthen its relationship with the African Union (AU) through mutual cooperation. The EU Council has just issued a unanimous decision in response to assistance under the European Peace Facility (EFF). The EU will donate 600 million euros to the AU; the two parties will commit to further cooperation on security and peace on the African continent.
This is a fund that will be spread over a three-year period between 2022 and 2024. In addition, there is an established provision for long-term support in case of any setbacks. This will continue to support peace operations in Africa.
For its part, the AU will be able to request support for other types of peace-enforcement operations as needed. These include individual manoeuvres to continue peacekeeping on the continent. Thanks to this assistance, the countries that make up the African organisation will be able to respond quickly to threats to the peace that has been achieved over the years.
The decision to inject this amount of money into the African Union represents a strengthening of relations between the two institutions. For years, the two sides have been strongly committed to stopping violence by various terrorist groups on the African continent.
The EU also reaffirms its support and commitment to its role in establishing peace and security in Africa. Thanks to the AU's role in this relationship, cooperation is framed in a new, updated and renewed dynamism in favour of Africa's tranquillity.
The latest summit between the two institutions took place a few months ago. This was the sixth meeting between the two institutions, where the objectives of the joint partnership were recalled. The EU and the AU stressed that they want to ensure solidarity, security, peace, prosperity and development for the citizens of both continents. It is worth noting that, thanks to the holding of this forum, it has been possible to donate 600 million euros to maintain peace in Africa's most troubled territories.
"A new, ambitious and forward-looking spirit has emerged, which should be the basis of this preferential partnership between Europe and Africa," said Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during the summit.
The two unions have also agreed on other objectives, including the promotion of common priorities, shared values between the two territories and the defence of international law. This includes the protection of any human right, such as gender equality and the empowerment of women, children's rights, etc. It is also highlighted that another of the actions for which they fight most is the preservation of the climate, the environment and biodiversity with the creation of projects that improve the status of the planet.
The sixth EU-African Union Summit concluded with the creation of an Africa-Europe investment package. This is worth around €150 billion and will mainly go towards the common aspirations to be met by 2030 and for the AU's Agenda 2063. This money will seek to boost public and private investment through green energy projects, digital transformation, job creation and adequate transport, as well as support for the health and education sector to alleviate Africa's internal crises.
"Our two continents aspire to demonstrate and share with the rest of the world the success of a prosperity agenda that respects our people and our planet," the two sides concluded in a joint statement.
Another of the issues addressed during the meeting was vaccination against COVID-19. Africa is one of the regions that has the most difficulty in accessing full inoculation of its population. Europe will mobilise 425 million euros to accelerate the pace and to distribute the doses correctly, as well as to train qualified medical teams for the mission.
"Having learned lessons from the current health crisis, we pledge to support Africa's full health sovereignty, so that the continent can respond to future public health emergencies," the declaration states.