As Africa and Europe seek to re-set their partnership, Friends of Europe is engaging with its partners across both continents about the long-term vision, as well as the diverging and converging issues at the heart of this established cooperation. Africa and Europe have a shared interest in accelerating work on the global agenda for sustainable development and facing together a climate emergency. The Covid-19 crisis is exposing the lack of resilience on the fundamentals of life (water, food, health, energy) and the urgency to rethink our common future as Africa and Europe.
Through its “Debating Africa-EU” series, Friends of Europe is focused on engaging its partners and the new EU College of Commissioners around their vision and priorities for EU-Africa cooperation. The series has been timed to take place in the run-up to the EU-Africa Union Summit 2020. The first in this series takes place on 30th June with the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Aya Chebbi, African Union Youth Envoy with a strategic focus on how to “reset Africa-Europe relations”.
Past event recordings
Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.
PHOTO CREDIT: EC
Before the dawn of COVID-19, a new chapter of Africa-Europe cooperation was at the top of the agenda in 2020 with both continents on the cusp of major political and economic shifts marked by the African Continental Free Trade Area, the post-Cotonou Agreement, the EU’s new leadership and multi-annual budget. In March, the EU outlined a long-awaited new Africa strategy with ambition of forging a “partnership of equals” and crafting a new relationship in the face of common challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic and the global climate crisis have made it even more imperative that both continents act urgently to tackle both the common challenges and the shared opportunities that lie ahead.
- Does the current crisis provide an opportunity to rethink our common future to transform this historic relationship into a genuine model of international partnership?
- What are the converging and diverging issues at the heart of an Africa-Europe partnership and what does resetting relations look like in practice?
- How can we open up space to youth and civil society to help shape the future partnership and drive a green and just recovery in the face of an economic crisis on both continents
European Commissioner for International Partnerships
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
EU Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen currently oversees the Commission’s work on international partnerships, in addition to being an outspoken advocate for gender equality, social justice and youth participation. Before joining the Commission, Ms Urpilainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. During that time, she became closely involved in development issues. She served as the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation (2017-19) and chaired the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO (2015-18).
Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.
- Area of Expertise
- Europe's World
- By Jaap Hoeksma
- Frankly Speaking
- By Giles Merritt
- Europe's World
- By Jamie Shea
Next event live
- Area of Expertise
- Peace, Security & Defence