EU-African Union summit will not take place until 2021, Costa said
Prime Minister António Costa today took it for granted that the summit between the European Union and the African Union will only take place in 2021, putting an end to the uncertainty surrounding the date of the meeting.
“We are certain that the EU-Africa summit in full format will only be held in 2021”, said the Prime Minister in the Assembly of the Republic, in the preparatory debate of the European Council of 15 and 16 October.
“We hope that the evolution of the pandemic will no longer delay the full realization of this summit,” added the prime minister.
Before that, on December 9, a “restricted format meeting” was held with the different African countries.
The VI EU-AU summit never reached a set date, but it was always the intention of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who called for the organization of the meeting, to hold it in Brussels in 2020, probably in a limited format, only to institutional leaders (not heads of state and government), preceded by a meeting of foreign ministers.
Charles Michel reaffirmed, still last September, to expect it to take place in 2020, at a time when the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrel, already said that it would be postponed “probably to 2021” due to the constraints caused by the pandemic of Covid-19.
António Costa, who presented Parliament with the agenda for the next European Council, stressed that the debate on relations with Africa is “of the greatest strategic importance for the future of Europe”.
“The African continent is not only the neighboring continent, it is also the continent with which we have a more intense relationship and that we have to deepen throughout this century,” said Costa, citing “the creation of the continental free trade area in Africa “, a project to which the EU can provide” political and technical support “based on” its experience of several years in a free trade area in Europe “.
The prime minister considered it “the moment for strengthening the institutional architecture of the partnership”, pointing out, in addition to the creation of the free trade area, Portugal’s agreement with “the European Union’s decision to support a Nigerian candidacy for the General Directorate World Trade Organization (WTO) ”.
“The relationship between Europe and Africa should not be a relationship based on border management, but, on the contrary, in a common program for shared prosperity that must exist and must dominate both on this side and on the other side of the Mediterranean. “, He said, defending that” it is time to build a bridge that contributes to the joint development of the two continents “.
This article is available in: Português