In accordance with Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the Republic of Uganda and the European Union reaffirmed their close partnership in a Political Dialogue meeting held on 15 November, 2019, hosted by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni at State House in Entebbe. The previous Article 8 Dialogue took place in May.
The EU Delegation was led by the European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Attilio Pacifici, who was joined by the Heads of Mission of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Austria. Also in attendance were the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Minister of Works and Transport, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, the Minister of State for Cooperatives as well as senior government officials.
The dialogue took place in an open, cordial and constructive atmosphere. The agenda covered a broad range of topics ranging from business and investment climate to human rights and democracy, including electoral reform and freedom of assembly and freedom of expression as well as the National Dialogue. Topical regional questions of interest to both parties were also discussed.
The EU congratulated the President for his successful convening of the Tripartite Summit on South Sudan and encouraged him to continue to play a strong and central role to ensure the successful implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
The EU underlined the importance it places on Uganda as a partner not just politically, as enshrined in the Cotonou agreement, but also in terms of economic relations which are already strong but could be further enhanced through increased trade and investment. The meeting underscored the need to continue to give priority to climate change adaptation and mitigation measures to protect the environment as well as create new sustainable business opportunities and decent jobs. It was further elaborated during the discussions that the EU has been a longstanding close partner in supporting the development of critical infrastructure in Uganda, extending UGX 3 trillion (EUR 750 million) in grants to improve Uganda's transport sector in the last 15 years.
The EU concluded the meeting by thanking H.E. President Museveni and his Government for being regularly available for a high-level political dialogue.