The Socialists and Democrats Group welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of the ‘New EU-Africa Strategy’ report. This own-initiative report is a response to the Commission’s joint communication on the EU-Africa strategy, which highlights some new elements for a renewed partnership in view of the upcoming EU-Africa Summit that, hopefully, will take place this year.
We are confident that the European Parliament’s proposals and recommendations will be reflected in the final Strategy and, along with the future Post-Cotonou Agreement, will contribute to the review of the EU’s approach to developing countries in Africa, in line with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the external aspects of the Green Deal.
Real change can only be fully realised through a sustainable partnership of equals, respect for democracy and human rights, education for all and a holistic fight against inequalities, poverty, food insecurity, gender disparities, and natural resources exploitations.
S&D shadow rapporteur, Carlos Zorrinho, stated:
“We welcome the adoption of this report, whose aim is to forge the EU-Africa Strategy. The new Strategy will need to strengthen the multilateral relationship between the two continents, starting from a partnership of equals, in which the donor-beneficiary relationship is replaced by a commitment to political, economic, social and environmental cooperation.
“Thanks to the overwhelming vote in favour of this report, the European Parliament is positioning itself as a key player in shaping and defending the new paradigm that should inspire our partnership with African countries. Our compass cannot be separated from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), nor from the mutual respect of democracy, rule of law and human rights.
“Our focus will be necessarily concentrated on people and on empowering communities and territories towards a real and concrete sustainable development.”
S&D coordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann, added:
“Again and again, the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to develop a new mutually beneficial sustainable partnership between the EU and Africa. In order to achieve this, we ensured that human development has become an essential guiding principle of the new EU-Africa Strategy.
“The first step now, however, must be a fair and globally functioning vaccination effort that ensures all people in Africa can get vaccinated against this deadly virus. Only then, a better future for all is possible. In addition to the vaccination efforts, we must guide a way towards socio-economic recovery along the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“S&Ds made sure that the fight against inequalities is front and foremost in the new EU-Africa Strategy. The aim must be to uplift the bottom 40% of income earners who are primarily in rural areas, working in farms and mines, as well as manufacturing sectors with limited education or professional skills. Only if we ensure good governance, social inclusion, healthcare for all, quality education, human rights and equal opportunities for young people, we can improve the living conditions of millions of people, empower them and lift them up.
“We therefore remain committed to the promotion of quality education and universal healthcare and other human development indices in our partner countries in Africa. We will leave no one behind!”