With populism and nationalism on the rise – and following Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States (US) – the EU and its international partners may need to rethink collective security and global trade structures, noted Giles Merritt, Secretary General of Friends of Europe.
Friends of Europe’s meeting, “Europe, China, and Africa: New thinking for a secure century,” brought together policymakers and experts to discuss the way forward for China-EU cooperation on the African continent.
“If we consider Africa’s vast development needs, it is clear that international collaboration is essential and compelling,” said moderator Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe. “We need to work together to bring peace and security to the continent.”
Africa’s population of over 1.2 billion is projected to double by 2050. This growth suggests increasing security problems on the continent. “The immediate effect of a Trump presidency is that the EU and China will have to take greater responsibility for international peace,” Merritt said, “and security and stability in Africa is high on the agenda. Moving forward, we must have a more responsible China and a more proactive EU acting together in Africa.”
“In the current globalised world, the EU is an actor that cannot act in isolation,” stressed José Fernando Costa Pereira, Policy Adviser, European External Action Service (EEAS), Directorate for Africa. “We have an interest in working with China on the objectives and targets that we have in common.”
Read our report from the official launch of the discussion paper ‘Europe, China and Africa: new thinking for a secure century’ below. If it fails to load, or if you would prefer to read it offline, you can also download a PDF version of the report.