After a week of intense, constructive and fruitful debates, the fifth edition of ‘Africa Week’, organised by the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, has come to an end. True to tradition, we hosted a fully-fledged event on EU-Africa relations with European and African personalities, politicians, young people and representatives of civil society.
Equal partnership, democracy, respect for human rights and due diligence risk being empty words if Europe does not commit to a real partnership. The EU must put aside its lazy approach where democracy means the status quo, due diligence means business as usual, and equal partnership means some partners are more equal than others.
This is the message we want to deliver to the crucial upcoming EU-Africa Summit to be held in Brussels from 17 to 19 February. The fifth ‘Africa Week’ was a success and it confirms our relentless and passionate fight for Africa and with African people against the breach of the rule of law, violence, inequalities and educational gaps. Together, we will make it.
S&D coordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann, said:
“*Primum vivere deinde philosophari, as the Latin saying goes. We must follow this concrete approach if we want to eradicate this pandemic and leave no country, no economy, no person, or family behind. This is true for Europe, but it is especially true for our sister continent, Africa. The message we want to deliver to next week’s EU-Africa Summit, stemming from the deep debates during our Africa week, is clear: we must reach the WHO target of 40% fully vaccinated worldwide by scaling up vaccination in Africa to prevent more deaths, more mutations and more social and economic crises.
“Europe must help deliver the 900 million vaccine doses necessary and increase funding for a critical vaccination infrastructure in Africa. We must also support African partners by helping them recover from the crisis; invest in their communities; ensure strong support for education; secure a more sustainable economy; and effectuate decent jobs. Over 40 million people have fallen into extreme poverty in Africa due to Covid-19, and over 30 million children are still not back in school. These are only some of the dreadful consequences of the pandemic that add up to the long lasting problems in Africa; such as corruption, instability, under development, breach of the rule of law and human rights. It’s high time the EU invests concretely in an equal partnership if we really want to seize opportunities and face our common challenges together.
S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs, Pedro Marques, added:
“The conclusion drawn from ‘Africa Week’ is clear: strengthening the EU-Africa partnership is in our mutual interest.
Africa is the continent of the future, where many of our hopes and expectations lie.
“The EU is ready for the reinforcement of a stronger partnership, grounded in respect for human rights and fostering peace, security and economic and social development.”
“In the attached document we outline our ten priorities drawn from the discussions we had during Africa week. Ten key political messages and calls we want to send to the European and African leaders before the crucial Summit next week to forge a real and equal partnership with Africa.” Read the ‘S&D Africa Week 2022 – 10 Key Priority Points’
*First live, then talk about philosophy