Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) met on 17–18 February 2022 under the Co-Chairpersonship of H.E. Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council and H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union.
Ahead of the summit, EU leaders took part in an informal meeting of the members of the European Council on the latest developments related to Russia and Ukraine.
Two Unions, a joint vision
EU and AU leaders agreed on a joint vision for a renewed partnership.
According to the final declaration, the aims of the partnership are solidarity, security, peace and sustainable and sustained economic development and prosperity for the citizens of the two Unions today and in the future, bringing together people, regions and organisations.
The EU and AU seek to promote common priorities, shared values, and international law, and preserve interests and common public goods. This includes the protection of human rights for all, gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres of life, the rule of law, actions to preserve the climate, environment and biodiversity, but also sustainable and inclusive economic growth and the fight against inequalities.
Prosperous and sustainable Africa and Europe in view
The leaders announced an Africa-Europe Investment Package of EUR 150 billion that will support a common ambition for 2030 and AU Agenda 2063. The investment package will help build more diversified, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies.
Both continents aim to demonstrate and share with the rest of the world the success of an agenda of prosperity respectful of their people and the planet.
Sixth European Union – African Union Summit joint declaration
The investment package aims to boost public and private investment in a number of areas:
Energy, transport and digital infrastructure
Energy transition that is fair, just and equitable, taking into account the specific and diverse orientations of the African countries with regards to access to electricity green transition, including supporting the implementation of the national plans of African countries under the Paris Agreement.
Digital transformation that supports connectivity and affordable and better access to the digital and data economy sustainable growth and decent job creation, including by investing in the creation of businesses owned by young people in Africa transport facilitation and efficiency of connected transport networks mobility and employability of students, young graduates and skilled workers.
In addition, the package will be complemented with specific instruments supporting:
The health sector: support for initiatives related to pandemic preparedness, health security and equitable access to essential health services.
The education system: investment in inclusive and equitable quality education, including by promoting vocational education and training, also at regional level.
To implement the package, the EU and the AU will leverage public funds to stimulate private investments by mobilising innovative financing instruments. They also aim to improve the business and investment climate by reforming governance, supporting African entrepreneurship.
To achieve this, international and national financial institutions, such as the European Investment Bank, and the African Development Bank as well as public/private partnerships will also be mobilised.
The EU and the AU will also work to leverage and facilitate transparent remittances, notably by reducing the transaction costs.
EU an AU leaders will also boost regional and continental economic integration, particularly through the African Continental Free Trade Area. The existing trade agreements between the EU and some African countries have contributed to the strengthening and deepening of trade and economic development between the two continents.
Vaccines and COVID-19 pandemic
The immediate challenge for the agreed partnership is to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines. The leaders agreed to support local and regional mechanisms for procurement, as well as the allocation and deployment of medical products.
At the summit, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to provide at least 450 million vaccine doses to Africa, in coordination with the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) platform, by mid-2022. Contributing to this and complementing the actions of the AVATT, Team Europe has provided more than USD 3 billion (i.e. the equivalent of 400 million vaccine doses) to the Covax Facility and to vaccination on the African continent.
Team Europe will mobilise EUR 425 million to ramp up the pace of vaccination and to support the efficient distribution of doses as well as the training of medical teams, and analysis and sequencing.
Learning from the current health crisis, we are committed to supporting the full-fledged African health sovereignty, in order for the continent to respond to future public health emergencies.
Sixth European Union – African Union Summit joint declaration
The African Union and the European Union underlined the urgency of the WTOs contribution to the fight against the pandemic and to the recovery of the global economy, and committed to engage constructively towards an agreement on a comprehensive WTO response to the pandemic, which includes trade related, as well as intellectual property related aspects.
In response to the macroeconomic effects of the Covid crisis on African economies, EU and AU leaders supported the common framework for debt treatments that goes beyond the debt service suspension initiative.
They also called for voluntary contributions in order to achieve the total global ambition of at least USD 100 billion liquidity support to the countries most in need, of which a major part should benefit Africa.
EU and AU leaders welcomed the USD 55 billion that have been pledged already from the new allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs), including USD 13 billion from EU countries. They also encouraged more EU member states to contribute to this global effort.
EU and AU leaders agreed to fight against illegal movements of capital and money and to work on addressing the issue of domestic tax base erosion and profit shifting. They also agreed to cooperate on tax transparency.
At the summit, the leaders agreed to strengthen ties by:
Boosting cooperation between researchers, including through a joint AU-EU
Promoting exchanges for young citizens, volunteers and students, through the expanded Erasmus+ programme
Developing partnerships between universities
Facilitating cultural exchanges and the movement of artists and artworks.
A renewed and enhanced cooperation for peace and security.
EU and AU leaders agreed to boost peace and security cooperation.
They expressed their commitment to:
foster cooperation through support for adequate training, capacity building and equipment
strengthen and scale up autonomous peace operations of African defence and security forces, including through EU missions and assistance measures
support law-enforcement capacity-building.
Together, the EU and the AU will also continue to support African-led peace support operations as well as the ongoing discussions on the use of UN-assessed contributions for operations authorised by the UN Security Council, and the implementation of the AU human rights compliance framework in that context. They will intensify their cooperation on security, including cybersecurity.
The EU and the AU will join efforts to further promote the rule of law and compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law.
An enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility
The EU and the AU will continue to address all aspects of migration and mobility, in line with national competences, in an integrated, comprehensive and balanced manner.
We will work in a spirit of joint responsibility and commitment, in full respect of international law and fundamental human rights
Through joint action and capacity-building, including with dedicated African migration institutions, the two Unions will aim at:
preventing irregular migration
enhancing cooperation against smuggling and trafficking in human beings
supporting strengthened border management and achieving effective improvements on return, readmission and reintegration
enhancing migration dialogues between the two continents.
The EU and the AU will deepen their cooperation in finding durable solutions for asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants in need of international protection. EU and AU leaders also agreed to revitalise the work of the joint AU-EU-UN Tripartite Task Force.
Asylum systems will be further strengthened to provide adequate reception and protection for those eligible, as well as work on their integration. The leaders also agreed to keep working to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, and enhance cooperation on tackling all migration-related issues.
They committed to addressing the challenges posed by the brain drain, and investing in youth and women to support their empowerment, skills, education and employment prospects, notably through increased support for technical and vocational education and training.
A commitment to multilateralism
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to promote effective multilateralism within the rules-based international order, with the UN at its core.
They pledged to work more closely together in multilateral fora to:
reduce global inequalities
promote international cooperation
fight and mitigate climate change
improve delivery on ‘global public goods’, in line with the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development and AU Agenda 2063.
They committed to providing political support to achieve the necessary reform of the WTO and to improve its functioning in order to strengthen the multilateral trading system.
The leaders also recommitted to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and the outcomes of the COPs. They recognised that Africa’s energy transition is vital for its industrialisation and to bridge the energy gap. The EU will support Africa in its transition to foster just and sustainable pathways towards climate neutrality.
The leaders supported Africa’s hosting of COP 27 in Egypt in 2022, as well as an ambitious global biodiversity framework.
Format of the summit
The summit was held in an innovative format, where EU and AU leaders participated in a series of thematic roundtables, which allowed for dynamic and frank exchanges on the challenges but also possible solutions and joint actions.
The leaders committed to follow up on the implementation of the engagements undertaken during the summit.