In 2020, the nature of the cooperation between the European Union and Africa is being negotiated and might profoundly change: a new EU-Sahel Strategy, a new EU-Africa Strategy, the EU-AU summit in autumn, the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, the development of new finance instruments – all against the background of a shaky multilateralism an the challenges posed by the corona crisis. An opportunity to raise the partnership to »a new level«? An opportunity to address not only issues such as security, migration, hunger and poverty but also sustainability, the empowerment of women and youth and fair trade?
Political factors such as democracy and human rights seem to have become secondary in the current discussion on the new partnership between the two continents. Besides the fact that democracy is advocated as closely interrelated with economic development and peace, in times of crisis, the support of democratic structures is as relevant as ever. Worldwide, democracy is under pressure and challenged by other systems. The current pandemic poses even more challenges to democratic freedoms. However, EU democracy promotion is often criticized as being quite technocratic and inflexible. The current programming of the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) may offer the opportunity to change this. The idea of NDICI is to increase coherence between the different external funding instruments by taking a more holistic approach. This online discussion hence tried to find answers to the question of what’s the offer in the context of this new instrument and what does it imply for the new partnership between the two continents in terms of democracy (promotion)?
Short introduction to NDICI:
Nathan Vandeputte, Researcher at the Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University
12 May, 2pm – 3.30pm #1 | Kick-Off | What’s the offer? Expectation on the EU-Africa Year
19 May, 3.30pm – 5pm #2 | New Finance Instruments | NDICI and Democracy Promotion
26 May, 2pm – 3.30pm #3 | New Finance Instruments | The EU External Investment Plan
2 June, 2pm – 3.30pm #4 | New Finance Instruments | The European Peace Facility
9 June, 2pm – 3.30pm #5 | Wrap up and way ahead | Targeted Policy Advice