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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
European Union-Africa Ministerial Meeting Final communiqué

Date of release : 11-04-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-Africa (Troika)


In the framework of the EU-Africa dialogue, the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the African and European Troikas met in Luxemburg, on 11 April 2005. The meeting was preceded by a meeting of Senior Officials, held from 8-9 April 2005. The Meeting of Ministers was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, H.E. Oluyemi Adeniji, current Chairperson of the AU Executive Council and by H.E. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Luxemburg, current President of the Council of the European Union (EU).

The AU Troika was also composed of H.E. Alcinda de Abreu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Mozambique and the African Union Commissioners Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Mr. Said Djinnit, Commissioner for Peace and Security and Mrs. Elisabeth Tankeu, Commissioner for Trade and Industry.

The EU Troika was also composed of the Secretary General/High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the Council of the European Union, Mr. Javier Solana, the Minister for Africa of the United Kingdom, Mr. Chris Mullin, and the member of the European Commission, responsible for Development Aid and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Louis Michel.

During the deliberations, Ministers considered the following issues and made  recommendations thereon.

I. Peace and Security

a. Recent developments in conflict situations in Africa: Enhancement of EU-AU   partnership in the settlement of conflicts

Ministers exchanged views on matters relating to peace and security in Africa, including on specific conflict situations, terrorism and the progress made with regards to capacity building in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management, emphasising the objective of consolidating and further developing their partnership in this area.

Regarding Sudan, Ministers welcomed the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A), which should pave the way for the promotion of peace, post conflict reconstruction and development of all parts of Sudan. This is for restoring peace, security and stability in the whole of Sudan. The two sides encouraged the parties to work for the full and swift implementation of the agreement, expressing the hope that the principles set out in the comprehensive peace agreement, in particular those relating to power sharing and distribution of wealth with a view to the integration of marginalized regions, would serve as a basis for restoring peace, security and stability in the whole of Sudan, including Darfur. The two sides reiterated their readiness to provide support for the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement and for the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the EU its readiness to provide material and diplomatic support. They expressed the hope that the Oslo donors’ conference on 11-12 April would result in substantial contributions to the development of Sudan.

Ministers expressed their grave concern at the continuing conflict in Darfur and its consequences for the civilian population. The two sides condemned the violations by all parties of the cease-fire, particularly the assaults on the civilian population, humanitarian workers and on the personnel of the AU. They strongly urged the parties to refrain from the use of force and to seek peaceful channels for resolving their differences, as well as to fulfil the demands expressed in United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 1556, 1564, 1574, 1590 and 1591. The two sides, looking forward to the resumption of the Abuja talks and welcoming the efforts made by the AU in preparation of the next round of negotiations, called on the parties to live up to their commitment to seek a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict in Darfur and to swiftly proceed with the negotiations. In this regard, the EU and the AU agreed on the necessity to coordinate and harmonise their efforts in supporting the negotiation process.

The EU expressed its appreciation for the leadership role of the AU in addressing the Darfur conflict and in particular congratulated the AU in its success and achievements in establishing AMIS and improving the security situation in Darfur. For its part, the AU expressed appreciation for the support and co-operation provided by the EU for AMIS, under the Peace Facility and in terms of expert support. The EU commended the AU for conducting the recent assessment mission, which, in an open and transparent manner, had provided an objective analysis of the current status of AMIS. In this regard, both sides stressed the importance of bringing AMIS up to full operational capability through addressing the organisational and logistical problems identified by the assessment mission. The EU offered its assistance in this regard, on the basis of a list of priority initiatives to be drawn up by the AU. Both parties emphasised the importance of the civilian component of AMIS and of a swift completion of the remaining phases of the deployment of the mission's police component. The EU reiterated its continuing support to AMIS and its readiness to strengthen it.

Ministers reiterated their support for the process of transition in Somalia, emphasising the importance of inclusiveness and consensus-building in achieving peace and stability in Somalia. They urged all factions and militia leaders in Somalia to cease hostilities and to conclude a comprehensive and verifiable cease-fire agreement leading to full disarmament. The EU commended the AU and IGAD for their efforts to promote security and stabilisation in Somalia and confirmed its willingness to examine requests for assistance in this regard. In addition, the EU stressed the need to sustain consensus within and among the transitional institutions in pursuit of the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia. It also underlined the need for careful planning of any peace support mission. Ministers also recognized the importance, of moving the transitional institutions to Somalia, in the restoration of peace and stability in this country.

On DRC, the two parties welcomed the progress realized in the peace and transition process. They called on the Congolese leaders to relentlessly pursue their engagement, in preparing for the impending elections. The EU welcomed the African Union’s efforts aiming at the operationalisation of the joint verification mechanisms agreed on by Rwanda and the DRC and aiming at the restoration of confidence between the two countries. The EU also welcomed the efforts of the AU to contribute to the disarmament of the Ex-Far/Interahamwe and other armed groups present in Eastern Congo. In this regard, the two parties encouraged the FDLR (Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda) to live up to the commitments made in Rome, Italy, on 30 March 2005, in which the movement undertook to refrain from armed action, condemned the 1994 Rwandan genocide and announced its decision to join the DDRRR process. Moreover, the AU expressed its appreciation for the EU’s efforts in support of the transition in the DRC. The two parties agreed to maintain their ongoing efforts and to reinforce their partnership in order to support the entire regional process.

On Côte d'Ivoire, Ministers expressed appreciation and support for the mediation efforts of the AU under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki and expressed their satisfaction with the Pretoria Agreement. They urged the Ivorian Parties to respect their commitments and to implement all provisions included in the Pretoria Agreement. Both sides reiterated their support to the Neutral Forces and welcomed the decision of the Ivorian parties to request the United Nations to be involved in the organisation of general elections. They recalled that a solution to the crisis has to be found in free, democratic and inclusive elections. The two parties reiterated their engagement to support the efforts underway to implement the Linas – Marcoussis, Accra III and Pretoria agreements.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the important role played by the AU and ECOWAS in ensuring the return to constitutional legality in Togo. The action taken by these two organisations served to underscore the resolve of African organisations to refuse unconstitutional seizure of power and promote good governance. The importance of supporting the electoral process in Togo and the long-term consolidation of democracy in the country was stressed. The AU welcomed the EU’s support to the efforts of the AU and ECOWAS, and both parties underlined the need to further increase their cooperation in this regard.

The EU welcomed the AU’s efforts in Burundi, the Comoros, Liberia, the Central African Republic, and Guinea-Bissau. Both sides stressed the necessity to continue supporting the ongoing peace processes in these countries and reiterated their commitments to work towards achieving permanent and irreversible peace.

b. Terrorism

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment and determination to continue to co-operate in the global fight against terrorism. The AU informed the EU on the status of operationalisation of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, and welcomed the EU’s contribution in this regard. The EU expressed appreciation for the AU counter-terrorism policies, and in particular the AU appeal to its member states to ratify and implement all relevant international instruments to combat terrorism. The AU stressed the need to cooperate in the field of information exchange. The two parties undertook to cooperate in achieving a common position on the UN Convention against Terrorism.

c. Progress report on the capacity building agenda in the field of peace and    security

 Ministers reviewed progress made by the AU and other African organisations regarding the strengthening of capabilities in the area of peace and security, as well as European-African co-operation in this respect. The AU underlined the contribution of the Peace Facility to the substantial progress realised in the area of conflict resolution in Africa, as well as in the strengthening of the AU’s capacity in conflict prevention, management and resolution. The AU presented a progress report on the ongoing programmes aimed at the completion of Peace and Security Council organs, the strengthening of the capacities of the Peace and Security Department, the establishment of the continental peace and security architecture and deployments in the field. The AU called upon the EU to replenish the Peace Facility in view of its numerous activities in the areas of conflict prevention, management and resolution and the need to strengthen the capacity of the Peace and Security Department and Subregional organisations.

The EU informed the AU of the adoption of the Action Plan in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in support of African peace-keeping capabilities and expressed its readiness to assist in this regard.

Both parties recognised the importance of post-conflict reconstruction in the consolidation of peace and stability. They underlined the need to draw lessons from the past and to enhance coherence between peace and security and economic reconstruction and development. In this context, both sides noted with interest the UNSG’s proposal on the creation of a Peace-building Commission.

II. Governance

a. Progress report on the governance agenda of the AU and the support provided   by the EU

The two sides exchanged views on the current state of play in the field of governance in Africa based on the AU’s priority activities in the area of enhancing more transparent, participatory and democratic practice in public life. The two sides welcomed the progress made in operationalising the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and looked forward to the first APRM review. The EU offered to support the APRM, including through the APRM Trust Fund, as well as through the implementation of APRM recommendations in the future.

The two sides welcomed the contribution of the Pan African Parliament to improving good governance in Africa. The two sides also noted the efforts of the AU with assistance from the international community, including the EU, to set up a Governance Unit at the AU Commission to strengthen the capabilities of African states in dealing with governance issues. The two sides stressed their shared responsibility in fighting corruption, including through the return of illegally acquired assets to their countries of origin, capacity building to address corruption, public service reforms, improving budget and fiscal transparency, improving public procurement policy and administration, and increasing transparency in extractive industries.

The two sides agreed to report on progress made in these areas to a forthcoming EU-Africa Ministerial troika meeting.

This would include addressing legal obstacles to the return of illegally acquired assets to Africa. 

The two sides agreed to work together to encourage member states to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption.  

b. Election observation

The two sides welcomed efforts by the AU at sending regular electoral observer missions to Member States, at the invitation of such States in accordance with the AU Durban Declaration on the Conduct of Democratic Elections, and to establish an AU Election Monitoring/Observation Unit. The African side expressed its gratitude for the EU contribution of Euro 2 million to support the AU governance agenda including electoral observation. The two sides welcomed the AU’s efforts to ensure systematic election observation, through, inter alia, the setting up of an electoral assistance unit and an electoral assistance fund and looked forward to the publication in 2005 of AU guidelines on election monitoring and observation. The two sides agreed to cooperate in carrying out their respective mandates when observing elections.

Both sides exchanged views on electoral processes in Africa. The EU expressed its position on the electoral process in Zimbabwe. The AU restated its position on the matter.

c. Human rights

The two sides welcomed the entry into force of the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights and noted the decision of the AU Heads of State and Government on the merger of the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights with the African Court of Justice for reasons of efficiency and effectiveness. They also agreed to work together to strengthen the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in supervising the implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Ministers reiterated the importance of the International Criminal Court in the global fight against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The African side stressed the importance of providing adequate support to facilitate voluntary repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons and to ensure the sustainability of democracy and good governance through their full participation in elections and socio-economic development.

III. Regional integration and trade

Joint EU-AU mechanism on the supervision of the EPA negotiations

a. Regional Integration

The EU reiterated its readiness to assist Africa in accelerating its integration process. In this respect, the EU stressed the need to use the EPAs to enhance Africa’s efforts in the areas of regional integration. The AU welcomed this commitment, and highlighted the measures it has taken to accelerate the integration process which included the review of the new protocol on relations between the AU Commission and the RECs, evaluation of the implementation schedule under the Abuja treaty, and the rationalisation of the RECs.

Furthermore, the AU Commission drew the attention of the EU to the importance of supporting the capacity building of the RECs and the AU Commission.

The AU appealed to the EU to prioritise the provision of economic assistance targeted at addressing the root causes of poverty linked to conflict. The EU took note of this appeal and welcomed the convergence of actions between the two Commissions in addressing this issue.

b. Trade

In recognising the EPAs as a development instrument, the AU emphasised the need to contribute to the improvement of Africa’s capacity in international negotiations and to  enhance the access of African products into European markets. Furthermore, the AU Commission launched an appeal to the EU side to call upon the private sector to increase  its investment in Africa.

The EU provided information on the state of play of the negotiations in the six regional groupings. Both sides agreed on possible dates for meetings of the joint EU-AU mechanisms in May/June 2005. Configuration of the negotiating groups in Africa was mentioned as a possible agenda item.

IV. Key development issues

Environment including desertification, drought, natural calamities and locusts

Ministers noted the need to strengthen the cooperation between Africa and the EU on critical environmental issues facing Africa, such as land degradation, desertification and drought, poor water supply, the deterioration of the coastal and marine environment and the loss of biodiversity. They also noted the need to collaborate in fighting the locust plague. While underlining their own efforts in this area, the African side also recognised the EU’s contribution during the recent outbreak by locusts by providing funds through the FAO. It also expressed appreciation for the creation of EU-ACP Water Facility. Both sides expressed the hope that an agreement would be reached on operational principles in the framework of the 13th session of the UN Committee on Sustainable Development (11-22 April 2005), allowing for progress on the objectives the international community set itself, notably in the framework of the Johannesburg summit of 2002.

V. Preparation of the UN Summit to be held in September 2005

Ministers had an exchange of views on the UN Secretary General’s proposals for a UN reform. While recalling that these proposals were still under examination, the EU expressed its determination that the process of reform should result in devising common responses to the main development, security and human rights problems.

The EU side noted the common African position on the proposed reform of the UN as set out in the "Ezulwini Consensus", and undertook to share its positions with the AU in advance of the Summit.

The Ministers considered that a parallel reading of the common position of Africa and the priorities of the EU shows that it is possible to continue and step up the dialogue in order to foster convergence of positions.

The EU agreed to share, in advance of the Summit, its proposals for acceleration of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular with regard to coherence, financing, effectiveness of aid and with a specific focus on Africa.

VI. EU-Africa dialogue

a. Follow-up to the EU-AU Ministerial troika meeting in Addis Ababa in December 2004 including date and venue of the second EU-Africa summit

Key development issues 

Ministers recalled their decision taken at the ministerial troika meeting in Addis in December 2004 on the key development issues, namely: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases; food security; Africa’s external debt; migration and Plan of Action on human trafficking; Information and Communication Technology; and gender mainstreaming. The took note of the progress report made by senior officials on these issues and encouraged them to pursue their activities through appropriate expert mechanisms and present regular technical reports.

The two sides reiterated the need to submit the understanding already reached on Africa’s external debt for endorsement at the highest political level as soon as possible.

EU-Africa strategic partnership

The EU side presented a non-paper on a strategic partnership between the EU and Africa. The non-paper makes a number of recommendations on the format and linkages of the EU-Africa dialogue as well as its content. Both sides agreed to examine the recommendations at the next ministerial meeting.

Second Summit 

Ministers reaffirmed the need to convene an EU-Africa summit  in the spirit and letter of the Cairo declaration. In this regard, the EU reiterated its position that there are political circumstances that are currently impeding the holding of the summit. The AU on the other hand, reiterated the need to hold the summit as soon as possible, noting that there are no political impediments to holding a summit.

Accreditation of EU Ambassadors to the AU

The European side noted with satisfaction the measure taken by the AU to accredit European Union Ambassadors.

b. Date and venue of the next EU-Africa troika meeting

The African side extended an invitation to hold the next EU-Africa Ministerial troika meeting in November 2005 in a venue to be communicated later, on the basis of the working procedures agreed at the Rome Ministerial troika meeting in November 2003.


The EU took note of the concerns raised by the African side on the issue of the potential negative impact on African exports of the draft EU legislation on the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemical substances.

Information was provided by the incoming EU presidency on the outcome of the work of the Commission for Africa and the ongoing efforts to raise support for the Commission for Africa’s recommendations.

Done in Luxembourg, on 11 April 2005

For the African side          For the EU side

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This page was last modified on : 26-04-2005

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