Delegation of the European Union to South Africa

About the EU Delegation to South Africa

10/05/2016 - 14:58
About us - structure and organisation

Partnership of Equals

Since the European Union Delegation was established in the country after the first democratic elections in 1994, the EU and South Africa saw rapidly expanded cooperation, culminating in 2007 with the establishment of the Strategic Partnership, a forward looking platform that facilitates wide ranging cooperation between our two parties.

A range of dialogues between the EU and South Africa allow us to share experiences in areas of common interest, or where we face common challenges. Areas covered by these dialogues include education, health, energy, the environment, macro-economic policies, human rights and peace and security including maritime security. Our partnership is broad and comprehensive and covers political, trade and development interests.

Except for consular tasks, the Delegation in Pretoria functions like an embassy; it is a diplomatic mission representing the European Union to South Africa together with the Member States of the European Union. The delegation performs a variety of tasks aimed at enhancing relations between the EU and South Africa.



Dear Visitor,

Welcome to the website of the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa.

It casts the spotlight firmly on our partnership that dates back to the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994.

While EU relations with South Africa were first established with the Special Programme for the Victims of Apartheid in 1986, the EU and South Africa today enjoy a wide ranging Strategic Partnership - one of only ten that the EU has with countries around the globe. Our partnership is centred on enhanced political dialogue on issues of shared interest including effective multilateralism, global governance, peace and security, climate change, the global economy as well as bilateral trade.

Our relations with South Africa are regulated under a binding and comprehensive agreement between our two parties, the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). Notably, the TDCA has established a free trade area that covers 90% of bilateral trade between the EU and South Africa. Since 2016 the EU is party to a regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini.

On this site you will have access to extensive information on our cooperation: we not only provide a summary of our activities as South Africa's largest trading partner and source of foreign direct investment, but also as its leading development partner. South Africa can continue to count on the EU remaining its number one transformation partner.       

In addition, the EU Delegation, as part of the European External Action Service's (EEAS's) 130 diplomatic missions and offices in third countries, acts as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the EU in South Africa.

I trust that you will find this website a useful window to the EU and its relationship with South Africa. For up-to-date news, views and features as well as events information, I also invite you to follow our activities on social media. 

In conclusion, please feel free to send us comments, suggestions or requests you might have concerning the EU and our activities in South Africa. Our e-mail address is

Ambassador Riina Kionka

Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of South Africa


Read More about Riina Kionka

Twitter: @RKionka


The EU Delegation to South Africa is structured as follows:


Office of the Head of Delegation

Headed by Ambassador Riina Kionka - all Delegation activities are coordinated and overseen from this office.

Political, Press and Information Section 

This office maintains a wide range of contacts including in Government, business and civil society. It is responsible for political analysis and reporting and liaises with the South African government on multilateral and bilateral issues. In addition the press office manages relations with the media and the public. It maintains a website, Twitter and Facebook presence and is responsible for replying to general requests for information about the EU, its institutions and this Delegation.

Economic and Trade Section

This section maintains regular contact with a wide range of South African interlocutors and coordinates a number of dialogues, including exchanges on environment and climate change. It is responsible for trade analysis and monitoring. This section also liaises with the South African government on trade and economic issues of mutual interest.

Operations Section

This section coordinates and oversees all aspects of development cooperation with South Africa. The section focuses on poverty alleviation/eradication through programmes in the economic development, social development and governance sectors.

Finance and Contracts Section

The section's main task is to manage and coordinate the procurement and financing of activities of EU external assistance actions in South Africa. It is also responsible for ensuring that the procedures implemented for financial and contractual management respect the Financial Regulation applicable to the EU General Budget.

Administration Section

The section provides the support required for the smooth functioning of the EU's diplomatic mission. It is responsible for administrative matters, including personnel, infrastructure and an administrative budget.


Editorial Sections: