The EU’s plans to strike a ‘strategic partnership’ with Africa were one the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Portuguese government, which holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, is anxious to conclude the agenda by the summer.
As policy-makers in Brussels and Addis Ababa plough ahead with plans for what is billed as an ambitious ‘strategic partnership’ between the EU and Africa, civil society groups complain that they have been repeatedly shut out from having any influence over EU-African relations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of strong EU-African relations, Iratxe García, the leader of the Socialist and Democrat group in the European Parliament, told EURACTIV as her political group launched its Africa week (13-15 October).
If there was any doubt about the importance of a strong relationship between Africa and the European Union they have been dispelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Samuel Outlule, Botswana’s ambassador to the EU and Belgium.