In 2011, the European Union adopted the “Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa", emphasising the link between security and development. As such, it puts in place an "integrated approach" where the EU could combine its various instruments, e.g. development cooperation, military cooperation and diplomacy in a complementary way. In 2015, the EU Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan was adopted putting focus on issues, which had become more pronounced, i.e. regional competition, migration and radicalisation. In June 2018 Council Conclusions were adopted on the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.
The Horn of Africa and East Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda) is an important area for the EU, which has provided massive and diversified support, including security and development cooperation, the appointment of an EU Special Representative in 2013 and civilian and military missions, ie. EUNAVFOR – Operation Atalanta (2008), EUTM Somalia (2010) and EUCAP Somalia (2012). This adds to the numerous bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes of EU Member States.
The Horn of Africa and East Africa - one of the most strategically important regions in Africa - have undergone unprecedented developments over the last years. A geopolitical pivot for global trade, it has increasingly become an area of competition between regional and international players. Popular requests for democratic change have toppled authoritarian regimes, stuck relations between previous opponents have thawed and new alliances have developed. These fragile and reversible transformations are taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the entire region politically, economically and socially and adding to the existing burden of climate change, terrorism and migration, as well as humanitarian challenges.
The EU therefore decided in 2020 to revise the 2011 Strategic Framework. The objective is to take stock of recent developments, as well as to make its integrated approach with the Horn and East Africa more effective, in a spirit of equal partnership and mutual accountability, oriented towards concrete results.
Your opinion matters: Tell us in a few words, and in operational terms, how the EU could improve its engagement in the Horn and East Africa.