The European Union and the African Union must work ever more closely together as partners to face up to common challenges and make use of the common opportunities ahead, High Representative Federica Mogherini said today.
“In the world of today full of uncertainties and unpredictability, the African Union, the European Union can be a force for good, for our citizens, in Africa and in Europe, investing in sustainable development, peace and security, multilateralism, a certain approach not only to the world but also I would like to say to life – that we share,” she told the media after a meeting with the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. Mogherini and commissioner Neven Mimica were the first non African dignitaries received by Mr Moussa Faki, who took office just a few days ago.
The High Representative underlined the wide range of issues on which the EU works with the AU, ranging from peace and security to economic development, digital, innovation, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, job creation for young people, and access, especially for girls, to education.
The two leaders discussed plans for the EU/AU Summit in Abidjan on 29/30 November.“We have started to work together to prepare this Summit to bring together a lot of heads of state and government and have concrete projects around the main issue of youth that is our main challenge, our main goal, to support the youth of Africa but also of Europe in their common challenge of finding decent education and jobs and a place in society - including in political participation in their own systems,” she said.
“We will work together hand in hand, step by step towards this event that from European side is perceived as really one of the highlights of our political year. In Europe we say, this for us is going to be an Africa year because we want to really get to a different stage of our cooperation, again, not because we want to do something for Africa but because we need to do something together, Europe and Africa, given the challenges we are facing.”
They also discussed some of the ongoing regional crises, and Mogherini welcomed the invitation the EU has received to turn the Troika on Libya involving the African Union, the United Nations and the Arab League, into a Quartet. On Saturday, she will be in Cairo I for the first meeting of this new Quartet.
The High Representative underlined plans to provide a major boost to private investment from Europe to Africa, through the European External Investment Plan that will mobilise up to EUR 88 billion of private investments in Africa in sectors including energy, agriculture, green economy and innovation.