European Commission and African Union agree deal to further administrative cooperation, staff exchanges (01/02/2016)

The European Commission and the African Union Commission on Sunday signed an agreement that will renew cooperation between the two bodies, intensifying staff exchanges and cooperation in a number of priority areas. Under the arrangement, the European Commission staff will be able to work, for a limited period of time, in the administration of the African Union Commission and vice-versa.

The agreement also foresees exchanges of expertise and best practices, mainly in the areas of administration, learning and development and financial management, via, for example, trainings, exchange of materials, sharing of experience.

The Administrative Arrangement was signed at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva and Mr. Erastus J.O. Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The agreement takes effect immediately and runs for five years.

Vice-President Georgieva said: "In today's connected world, our fortune and misfortunes are shared. We have to work together. Thanks to this agreement, the European Commission and the African Union Commission will be able to learn from each other's experience, and make common cause in tackling issues such as migration and climate change."

The Arrangement succeeds two previous Memoranda of Understanding on staff exchanges, signed in 2006 and 2010 respectively. They intensified administrative cooperation between the two institutions, via, for example, regular exchanges of best practices, staff exchanges – over 50 officials took advantage of this programme – and organisation of bilateral and trilateral events.

This is the 26th Summit of the African Union, this year under the theme "African Year of Human Rights with a particular Focus on the Rights of Women". Vice-President Georgieva attended the Summit together with Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.