Delegation of the European Union to the African Union

African Diaspora meets the European Union at Café Congo

19/10/2020 - 08:55
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In 2021, the European Union and the African Union will hold their next Summit to discuss the renewal of the Europe - Africa partnership. This political, economic and development partnership is built on human relations involving civil society and citizens. To feed into the reflection in the run-up to the Summit, over 20 representatives coming from different segments of the African diaspora (business, academia, students, art scene, etc.), met with diplomats from EU Member States and EU institutions at the Café Congo in Brussels on the 9th October 2020.

Exchanges around governance and adaption to climate change

Exchanges were rich and innovative, focusing on governance and exploring common ground to adapt to climate change and protecting the environment. African History, visual arts and music animated the event, reminding how culture is at the core of the African and European dialogue.

On governance, the need to deconstruct agreed principles and political models was raised, as they seemed to be challenged in Europe itself and might not fit the diversity of countries and populations. The lack of treatment of history was also raised, weighing upon Europe’s legitimacy to support governance, democracy and Human rights.

On green transition, some believed that reviewing EU – Africa trade arrangements and engaging in a dialogue with EU investors on environmental standards would be helpful for strengthening the overall EU – Africa partnership on climate change.

A successful and friendly event

Both parties – diasporas and Member States delegates – were very pleased with the event, its informal setting and convivial atmosphere, despite the applied COVID sanitary measures. The diaspora representatives expressed their strong interest to become more actively involved in the advancement of EU – Africa partnership, including by taking part in political dialogues and programming.