Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Fourth Report


The House of Lords European Union Committee, Sub-Committee C (foreign affairs, defence and development policy) has decided to conduct an inquiry into the new European Union Strategy for Africa which was agreed by the European Council on 15 December.

The inquiry will focus on questions of implementation, in particular those relating to co-ordination, coherence, financing and dialogue. We wish to consider the future of the Strategy from different perspectives including the European Union's own action plan, the involvement of the African Union and other regional organisations and the role of international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

The Sub-Committee would be pleased to have your views. The Sub-Committee would, in particular, welcome your views on any or all of the following questions:

The EU's role in Africa

  • What value does the Strategy add to previous initiatives on Africa such as the G8 Action Plan for Africa?
  • How can the EU supplement the work of the United Nations and its associated organisations in working towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa?
  • How will the EU co-ordinate its efforts in Africa with other international and bilateral partners?
  • What should be the role of civil society in designing and implementing EU policy in Africa?

Policy Coherence

  • How can the EU best ensure that its policies in the fields of development, trade, governance, peace-keeping and weapons control complement one another?
  • How should prioritisation be balanced against a comprehensive approach to ensure that development, peace and security, good governance and human rights are pursued along parallel tracks?
  • What more should the Commission Directorates-General be doing to work towards the goal of policy coherence?
  • Is the Strategy well-aligned with other EU initiatives including the new Development Policy Statement, the Barcelona Process, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Cotonou Agreement?
  • Can issues relating to trade and agriculture be isolated from the rest of the Strategy and left solely to the outcome of the Doha round of WTO talks?


  • What should the EU's priorities be in setting out its action plan for the Strategy?


  • The Strategy purports to treat Africa as a whole. How can this be reconciled with the different EU funding regimes for the ACP countries and those of northern Africa?
  • How can the Commission best monitor the commitments made in May 2005 of ODA worth 0.56 per cent of GNI by 2010, with half the additional billion euros going to Africa, and 0.7 per cent GNI by 2015?
  • How best can funding for the Africa Peace Facility be continued? Should funding continue to be taken from the EDF (or its successor)?
  • What level of control will the AU have over the disbursal of the Facility's funds in the future?
  • Following agreement of the financial perspective 2007-2013 at the European Council on 16 December, what further firm financial commitments could the EU make towards implementation of the Strategy?


  • To what extent should support to African countries be conditional upon achieving certain criteria in terms of good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law?
  • How should the EU determine those criteria?
  • What mechanism can, or should exist to determine whether those criteria have been met?
  • How much reliance is being placed on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to promote governance?
  • Should co-operation with the APRM be specifically linked to aid?

Delivery of aid

  • How effective are the current donor co-ordination offices?
  • Should the EU be moving towards greater budget support for those countries which meet the conditions laid down?

Security and peace-keeping capabilities

  • What more needs to be done to implement the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) Africa Action Plan?
  • How likely is the future deployment of Battlegroups and military and civilian crisis management missions in Africa?
  • What is the balance between the EU's military and civilian conflict prevention, management and resolution capacity?
  • How can the EU most effectively support the development of the African Standby Force (ASF), in line with the Roadmap for the Operationalisation of the ASF, at both continental and sub-regional levels?
  • How will the anticipated EU-AU-UN interface in peace operations work out in practice? What will be their various operational roles? Is there an operational role for other bodies, such as NATO?
  • What lessons can be learned from previous EU operational experiences in Africa?
  • How can the EU work with the Peacebuilding Commission to improve conditions in fragile states?
  • Given the post-conflict focus of the Peacebuilding Commission, what initiatives will the EU undertake to support African capacity to prevent conflicts?
  • Should the EU focus its peace-keeping efforts on indirect support such as AU funding and the provision of expertise, or on playing a direct military role in peace-keeping missions?
  • What further support does the AU require in order to play a significant role in peace-keeping in Africa?


  • What is meant by African ownership and responsibility in the context of this Strategy?
  • How can the Strategy be transformed into a joint EU-Africa Strategy as envisaged by the last ministerial Troika on 2 December 2005?
  • Many of the Strategy's initiatives focus on relations with the AU. How can the EU grant ownership of the Strategy to African sub-regional organisations and individual African States?
  • What steps can the EU take to support the AU's and sub-regional organisations' institutional capacity as primary mechanisms through which to achieve progress in Africa?


  • What role do the AU and other regional organisations have to play in the development of an action plan for the Strategy?
  • What are the realistic prospects for a second EU-AU Summit?
  • How important to the process of dialogue have the EU-Africa ministerial meetings proved to be so far?
  • What are the prospects for the "joint implementation matrix" discussed at the last ministerial Troika on 2 December 2005?
  • What further institutional support could the EU provide to the AU to promote and further enhance meaningful dialogue?
  • What more can be done to promote regular (including official-level) dialogue?

Monitoring and review

  • How should the implementation of the Strategy be monitored?
  • What criteria should be used to assess the effectiveness of the Strategy and its implementation?
  • With what frequency ought reviews to take place?

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