EU Relations with Ethiopia
The relations between the EU and Ethiopia are founded on the Cotonou Agreement, its Articles 8 to 13 define the bilateral political dialogue between the two parties, as well as in a set of other conventions and political commitments. The EU and Ethiopia look back on 42 years of constructive bilateral relations in areas as diverse as development cooperation, trade and economic development, consolidation of democratic institutions, regional peace and security and migration. Ethiopia is one of the EU's most important partners on the African continent, active in regional peace and security as well as on thematic international debates such as climate change. Against this background, in a Joint Declaration published on 20 October 2015 on the occasion of her visit to Addis Ababa, the High Representative / Vice President (HRVP) Federica Mogherini and Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Tedros Adhanom, stated the intention to "start a regular dialogue at foreign minister level, steering political dialogues that will include new areas of common interest and more regular meetings at ministerial level" under the title "Strategic Engagement". There are six strands to this Strategic Engagement: Governance and Human Rights, Regional Peace and Security, Countering Terrorism and Violent Radicalisation, Migration, Social and Economic Development, Investment and trade, and Climate Change and Environmental Cooperation.
In this engagement the two sides also affirm their commitment to the fundamental principles of sustainable development, democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law; regional cooperation and integration. Moreover, the two sides intend to enhance their cooperation to maintain the dynamic economic growth and the ambition of Ethiopia to join middle income countries on the basis of green and inclusive economic growth.
There are presently 21 EU Member States represented in Ethiopia, in addition to the EU and like-minded partners, such as Norway and Switzerland, constituting the EU+ group. In recent years, the EU+ group disbursed annually around € 1 billion of ODA, equivalent to roughly a quarter of total external aid to Ethiopia and can reach up to 10% of the country's annual federal budget in certain years. In this context, joint programming is not only about aid effectiveness, but most importantly, has a strong political and EU dimension: EU+ joint programming in Ethiopia could be considered as a deliverable and, at the same time, one of the instruments in support to the implementation of the wider EU-Ethiopia strategic engagement.
Ethiopia has been, since 2010, a pilot country for the fast-track initiative on division of labour and one of the aid effectiveness pilot countries since 2011. The EU institutions along with the 20 EU Member States then represented in Ethiopia and Norway (EU+) jointly analyzed the national development plan of Ethiopia for the 2011-2015 period (GTP) and signed in 2013, a EU+ Joint Cooperation Strategy for Ethiopia, one of the first joint documents in the ACP world. A 3-year roadmap 2013-2015 was implemented with the aim to complete the missing elements for a full joint programme, including identification of several pilots in the areas of resilience, nutrition, health, migration, gender and green sector, where joint strategic analyses, mappings and eventually operations were prepared. Further alignment of national strategies with the Ethiopian programming cycle and increase the use of the Government aid information system, as well as publications of a EU-Ethiopia cooperation blue book and a joint calendar featuring EU+ cooperation with Ethiopia were also carried out. Eventually, the delegation of EDF funds to EU Member States was considered for the first time ever in Ethiopia among the NIP implementation modalities, with a view to facilitating increased division of labour. External consultants are assisting the process since 2015. An update of the mapping of EU Member States cooperation positions in Ethiopia, their willingness and ability to forward the process, has been recently carried out; priority sectors of cooperation were identified and agreed in 2016, as well as three strategic areas (jobs creation, governance and natural resources) for enhanced joint monitoring and assessment of results. A draft EU+ joint programming document covering the period 2017 to 2020 is in circulation, expected to be concluded and signed in 2017.