In March 2020, the European Commission and the High Representative presented a draft for “Comprehensive strategy with Africa”, deeming the continent a top priority for the EU. The document proposed a renewed Euro-African “political alliance” built around five pillars: green transition and access to energy; digital transformation; sustainable growth and employment; peace, security and governance; migration and mobility.
The New Strategy draft was meant to be discussed with Africans and to be finalized at a long-awaited European Union-African Union summit in October, which, however, had to be postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. This gives both sides time to reflect further on the actual shape of the new partnership.
How does the proposed partnership innovate the current frameworks of relations between the two continents? How does it relate to the interests and policies of individual European countries? Is the proposed EU strategy in line with African states’ own priorities? And what could be Africa’s possible responses?