Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Seventh Report


34th REPORT: THE EU AND AFRICA: TOWARDS A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Joint Response

  We welcome the publication of the European Union Committee's 34th Report, Session 2005-06: The EU and Africa: Towards a Strategic Partnership. The Government accepts many of the Committee's conclusions and recommendations. We appreciate the important role the Committee has played in highlighting the continuing need to keep Africa at the top of the European Union's agenda.

STRATEGY

[Paragraph 442]  "We strongly agree that the problems of Africa's lack of development have been fully analysed and the necessary actions to be taken identified. The challenge now is to deliver. It is for the EU, acting under its Strategy for Africa, to make this happen".

  We agree and that is why the UK continues to push for implementation of the commitments in the Strategy. The UK is also playing its part. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (DFID) are leading efforts across Whitehall government departments to implement specific areas of the strategy. The Government's recent White Paper on Making Governance Work for the Poor (Cm 6876) sets out how the UK will work with others to deliver on the development promises made last year on Africa at the Gleneagles summit, the UN World Summit and the European Council.

[Paragraph 443]  "The United Kingdom Government, as promoter of the Strategy, should take the lead in ensuring that the Strategy is fully implemented".

  The leaders of all 25 Member States and the Commission agreed on the need for a Strategy and on the Strategy itself. EU partners have praised the UK's input to the Strategy. The mechanics of the EU are such that the Commission, Council Secretariat and the rotating Presidency will play a particularly important role in monitoring implementation. But the UK remains strongly committed to working closely with all of these to ensure full implementation. We are actively engaged with the current Finnish Presidency and are making appropriate contacts with future Presidencies who will be responsible for ensuring that reviews of the Strategy are undertaken.

[Paragraph 444]  "The EU has to acknowledge the many challenges noted in this Report and work with the Africa that exists, and not the Africa that Europeans would like to see. If this happens, there is a real chance that a genuinely joint strategy for Africa will emerge and be of value to all concerned".

  The Report identifies many challenges to progress on the Strategy for Africa and to African efforts to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. The EU Africa Strategy is founded on the principles of partnership and African ownership to ensure that the EU works with the Africa that exists. As the new joint strategy is negotiated with the African Union we will continue to urge that these principles are respected.

DEVELOPING THE EU-AFRICA PARTNERSHIP

[Paragraph 445]  "We believe that a second EU-Africa Summit is important for enlisting African support at the highest level for the establishment of a strategic partnership, and to ensure that EU policies are in line with African objectives. A second Summit would also considerably enhance prospects for the effective implementation of the Strategy. The should continue to explore avenues to enable the holding of the Summit In the meantime, the EU should vigorously pursue all other mechanisms for dialogue with Africa in particular, but not solely, through the ministerial Troika meetings".

  We look forward to the holding of the next EU-Africa Summit as soon as possible. The Summit must be well prepared in advance, and the issue of Zimbabwean attendance needs to be resolved satisfactorily. Any solution should be consistent with the EU's Common Position on Zimbabwe and the travel ban list. The EU has encouraged African states to propose creative solutions which respect EU policy.

  As set out in the Strategy, and more recently in a written declaration at the June 2006 European Council, we are committed to the EU/Africa dialogue. Regular meetings are held between the European Union and African Union (AU). In our experience, we have found the troika format to be the most effective format. We are nevertheless open to practical solutions for further enhancement of the dialogue. One method could be further meetings between the EU and African ambassadors in Brussels. Our main concern is the necessity for the AU, in keeping with its own decision-making process, to be able to focus on priorities. We would therefore welcome co-ordination being focused in Addis Ababa as well as contact in Brussels.

[Paragraph 446]  "In providing detailed targets the joint implementation matrix agreed in Vienna on 8 May is an important development in the implementation of the EU Strategy. We agree that it also has symbolic value due to its joint formulation by both the EU and the AU. However, it remains essential for realisation of the partnership that a full joint EUAfrica strategy be agreed by heads of state and government, preferably at a second EU-Africa Summit".

  The Finnish Presidency is discussing this with the African Union. We expect to see an outline document in October.

[Paragraph 447]  "The matrix should specify, in relation to each commitment, who exactly within the EU is responsible for its implementation. Where there is joint responsibility between the Commission and the Council, further details should be provided as to what action each institution will take".

  The Commission, Council Secretariat and Member States will continue to use their regular contacts to ensure coherent and coordinated implementation of the different commitments in the Strategy. The Finnish Presidency is discussing the level of detail to be recorded in the matrix, including on identified commitments, with Member States and the Commission.

[Paragraph 448]  "The focus on the EDF as the primary source of funding for the Strategy for Africa is understandable but not inevitable, Although certain sources of funding, including from Member States through the CFSP budget and bilateral assistance, cannot be incorporated into plans being drawn up by EU officials, the EDF is not the only budget available to the EU The proposed new financial instruments, once agreed, should also be available for fulfilling the commitments under the Strategy".

  Negotiations continue between the Council, Commission and the European Parliament, but it looks likely that the Commission will be able to draw on six of nine external spending financial instruments to help fulfil the commitments under the Strategy.

[Paragraph 449]  "In making proposals for new initiatives under the Strategy, the Commission should determine which source of funding would be most suitable for each initiative, and justify that decision as part of its proposal".

  This is standard Commission practice.

[Paragraph 450]  "We welcome the EU's commitment to including information on Member State bilateral aid within the joint implementation matrix".

  The Finnish Presidency is discussing the level of detail to be recorded in the matrix, including on identified commitments, with Member States and the Commission.

[Paragraph 451]  "Close monitoring and review by the Council of Ministers of the commitments made in the EU Strategy for Africa are essential for its implementation. The Strategy and its implementation should be reviewed annually, with progress measured against the more specific commitments set in the joint implementation matrix".

  We agree that it will be important for the Council to monitor closely and review implementation of the Strategy. The matrix will provide a valuable tool against which to judge progress. An initial review will be undertaken at the December 2006 European Council. Reviews by Head of Government are envisaged at least every two years thereafter, as agreed at the December 2005 European Council. We see this as a satisfactory way forward. We anticipate, and if necessary will press for, less formal reviews through the EU Council Of Ministers (Foreign and Development Ministers) and through the regular EU-AU dialogues.

EU-AFRICA DIALOGUE

[Paragraph 452]  "In the absence of a second EU-Africa Summit, the dialogue and co-operation which has taken place at all levels between the EU and AU has been a positive development and its continuation will be essential to the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa. Dialogue needs to be pursued more widely outside the level of the two Commissions and the Ministerial Troikas".

  The response above to Paragraph 445 explains the importance of the EU Africa dialogue and steps towards a second EU Africa Summit. The Report suggests greater interaction on a parliamentary and civil society basis. Parliamentary discussions on issues affecting Africa are held through the Joint Parliamentary Assembly. In addition, organisations such as the inter Parliamentary Union or Commonwealth Parliamentary Association work to ensure individual member states' parliamentarians work with their opposite numbers. Relationships between civil society in Africa and in Europe are also important. The UK encourages such links through DFID's Civil Society Fund.

[Paragraph 453]  "Although it is essential that the EU engage with all the various institutions within Africa, the African Union is the organisation which can best promote a pan-African consensus and the EU is accordingly right to focus on the AU as its principal partner in the EU-Africa dialogue".

  The EU's ideal partner is the AU, hence the EU's focus on this relationship. However it is important to remember that not all countries in Africa belong to the African Union. Provision should be made to ensure all African countries are involved in dialogue with the EU. On some issues including trade there is a role for the regional bodies. They may have, on specifics, more latitude than the AU.

[Paragraph 454]  "The EU should continue to make every effort to engage with the sub-regional organisations as well as with the AU".

  Sub regional organisations are invited to discussions with the European Commission regularly, for example on Economic Partnership Agreements and regional European Development Fund (EDF) planning meetings. The EU helps to build the capacity of sub-regional organisations and the AU through the EDF.

  It should be noted that African Heads of State have agreed to rationalise some of Africa's regional economic communities and organisations. The EU supports this decision and we think it is vital.

[Paragraph 455]  "The EU should, working in co-operation with the African Union, find ways to better engage all elements of civil society in African countries in putting forward ideas for implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa".

  Effective consultation with civil society organisations is highlighted in the European Consensus on Development and in EC programming guidelines. We recognise the importance of engaging African civil society organisations in the development of African countries. This is why we encourage African countries to engage with such organisations when consulting on their national plans for poverty reduction.

  The UK supports the African Monitor initiative, led by the Archbishop of Capetown, which aims to establish a civil society network across Africa to monitor implementation of, and the impact of, African and donor commitments to support the continent.

[Paragraph 456]  "The Commission should seek to strengthen its delegations throughout Africa in order to enable full implementation of the Strategy This will require increased numbers of staff in some delegations, and improved levels of training and expertise".

  This is a matter for the Commission, but we agree that delegations should be strengthened whenever appropriate and possible.

[Paragraph 457]  "The EU should create a more unified structure for the different functions performed by the Commission and the Council Secretariat in Addis Ababa. There should be a single overall EU mission which brings together expertise on development, governance and security, and which can be an effective interlocutor with the AU on all these matters".

  EU representation in Addis Ababa should be made as effective as possible. Current EU representatives from both the Commission and the Council are doing excellent work, but their impact could be increased by a more coherent approach. The UK strongly supports increased co-ordination between Council secretariat and Commission officials in Addis, but care must be taken not to "combine" their distinct roles.

[Paragraph 458]  "All EU and Member State missions based in Africa, especially to the African Union, should share their expertise and co-ordinate their structures in order to ensure a harmonised approach to relations with each African state and regional organisation".

  We agree with the recommendation that EU Member States and the European Commission can work better together. And this is already happening. The UK and other Member States participate in a staff exchange programme to help share expertise. A joint donor office has been set up in southern Sudan, including representatives from UK, Netherlands and Sweden, and joint strategies are being agreed between the Commission, Member States and other donors in several countries (eg in South Africa), supporting African countries' own priorities. The UK is involved.

  The priority is to get all bilateral and multilateral donors in a country to work together behind a nationally agreed and nationally owned poverty reduction strategy or plan. Different donors will be best placed to play a coordinating role in different countries. We will encourage the European Commission to take on this responsibility where appropriate.

[Paragraph 459]  "There should be close co-ordination and regular meetings held between the Special Representatives based in Africa and the relevant Commission delegations".

  The EU's and Presidency's Special Representatives and the Commission work closely together, both in Brussels and on the ground. The UK is supportive of such co-ordination. We are content with the way each Special Representative (Mano River Union, the Sudan and the Great Lakes) interacts with the Commission, Council Secretariat and Member States.

THE EU AND AU INSTITUTIONS

[Paragraph 460]  "Some rationalisation of both European and African institutional structures will be necessary to avoid duplication and turf fighting. The EU should consider how best it can rationalise its own institutions and instruments and the way they work".

  The African Union, the European Commission and EU and AU Member States have made clear that African regional organisations need to be rationalised and that AU and NEPAD need to work well together. The UK welcomes the decisions made at the July 2006 Banjul AU summit not to recognise more Regional Economic Communities and to integrate NEPAD into AU. We look forward to full implementation of these important decisions. We are however concerned that the effectiveness of NEPAD and the RECs should not be impaired during this period of uncertainty.

  The UK strongly supports of joined-up working between EU institutions working on Africa. It is important that the distinctions between pillar one and two activities are clearly maintained and competences respected. Provided there is adequate communication, coordination and cooperation, duplication and turf-fighting can be avoided within existing European institutional structures. The EU is currently in the process of rationalising its external actions instruments. The Fundamental Review of the Budget in 2008-09 and continuing discussion on the Constitutional Treaty will provide further opportunities to review the EU Budget and structures.

[Paragraph 461]  "We endorse the principle of strengthened co-ordination between the Member States and institutions of the European Union and urge the United Kingdom Government to engage fully with the Commission and other Member States in the implementation of the Strategy for Africa".

  See Paragraph 458

[Paragraph 462]  "Zimbabwe underscores the problems relating to the political weakness of the AU; the failure of the AU to respond robustly to the situation in Zimbabwe presents a major challenge".

  The African Union has made attempts to grapple with the Zimbabwe crisis. In 2005, following "Operation Murambatsvina" (the mass housing demolitions by the Zimbabwe government), the AU sent a Special Envoy, Tom Nyanduga, to Harare. The AU Chairman, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, nominated former Mozambican President Chissano to facilitate a dialogue of national unity in Zimbabwe. Sadly, the Zimbabwe government rebuffed both initiatives, but the AU's willingness to engage on the issue is something that can and should be built upon.

  It is also encouraging that the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) issued a resolution in December 2005 which condemned the human rights violations currently being perpetrated in Zimbabwe. At its July 2006 Banjul Summit, the AU asked the Zimbabwe government to respond to this resolution.

  The EU regularly raises Zimbabwe with the AU, with SADC and with individual African states, urging African action. UK Ministers meet African leaders in their frequent travels to Africa, at international meetings and in the UK. Zimbabwe is regularly among the topics discussed.

[Paragraph 463]  "EU engagement with the AU should recognise the progress in Africa that the AU represents, as well as the scale of the challenges which it faces".

  Agreed. Africa's move from the Organisation of African Unity with its policy of non-interference to the African Union and its policy of non-indifference, is significant progress. The AU is growing in competence in the area of peace and security and is increasingly doing so in other areas. It is important that we continue to support capacity building of the African Union at a pace and level that the AU Commission can utilise effectively. The EU recognises that progress in Africa is challenging but has committed through the Strategic Partnership to work with and to support African countries and the African Union in this task.

[Paragraph 464]  "The EU must support the AU's efforts to rationalise both its internal functions and its interaction with other African institutions".

  The European Commission has set aside a possible €55 million to be committed by 2007, to support African Union institutional capacity building and a separate proportion of the Africa Peace Facility to support capacity building under the peace and security architecture. The UK is willing to contribute to joint funding once the African Union is able to demonstrate that adequate public financial management procedures and functioning systems are in place.

[Paragraph 465]  "EU budgetary assistance to the AU should take account of the level of support provided by the African Union countries themselves, Over time, the EU should oversee a process whereby the AU's financial requirements are fully met by its own member states".

  Agreed. It is important that African countries continue to take responsibility for their international institutions and pay their dues to the African Union and contribute more robustly to the voluntary element of the budget.

WORKING WITH OTHER STATES AND MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS

[Paragraph 466]  "The EU should use its dialogue with China to encourage the Chinese to participate in encouraging reform in African states in the areas of governance, democracy and human rights".

  Increased trade and investment is essential to Africa's progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. China, as a global economic power with a significant and growing economic relationship with Africa, has a key role. We welcome China's publication in January 2006 of a China-Africa Strategy as an indication of her growing engagement and we encourage China to play a full and active role in multilateral fora relating to Africa and in country level donor groups. The EU hopes to agree a structured ongoing dialogue with China on Africa, including with a view to developing practical cooperation on the ground. All of Africa's partners need to work in Africa in a way that reinforces the principles outlined in Africa's own New Partnership for Africa's Development agenda—improved peace and security, democracy, transparency, economic competitiveness and sustainable development. We welcome Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's comments in South Africa in June that China "encourages African countries to improve democracy and the rule of law and to maintain social justice and equality".

[Paragraph 467]  "The EU should continue to seek international backing for its work in Africa through the United Nations in order to gain the approval and assistance of third countries for that works".

  Paragraph 3 of the Report notes that achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as agreed by the international community in the UN, is at the heart of the Strategy. Therefore the EU's work in Africa has the broad backing of the UN. But the UK agrees the EU should look for opportunities to reinforce and consolidate that support in relevant UN fora.

[Paragraph 468]  "The EU and its Member States must work with all relevant UN agencies in both policy formation and programme delivery in a genuine spirit of co-operation".

  Paragraph 34 of the 2005 European Consensus on Development states that the EU will work in close cooperation with multilateral players such as the United Nations to prevent duplication of efforts and to maximise the impact and effectiveness of global aid.

[Paragraph 469]  "It is essential that the EU, through its Member States, encourages the international finance institutions and the OECD to take into account the development and security needs of Africa in formulating and implementing their policies".

  International institutions such as the World Bank and African Development Bank are required to take into account the development needs of Africa when formulating and implementing their policies. The OECD ensures this is the case through its partnership dialogue with UN Economic Commission for Africa. The UK consistently raises the needs of developing countries in meetings with these institutions. In ensuring the needs of Africa are taken into account in international institutions' policy making it is also important that there is greater African voice. The EU has committed in paragraph 54 of the 2005 European Consensus on Development to promote the enhancement of the voice of developing countries in international institutions. For example, the UK has provided support to the Least Developed Country Group within the World Trade Organisation.

[Paragraph 470]  "The EU Commission's participation in the Africa Partnership Forum should be used to ensure that unnecessary duplication of efforts by its members and the EU is avoided".

  In order to help the Africa Partnership Forum carry out its role of monitoring implementation of international commitments made to and by Africa, an Africa Partnership Forum Support Unit has been set up. It is based in, but independent from, the OECD in Paris. The UK was instrumental in setting up this Support Unit and we are providing 20% of its funds. This Support Unit is due to issue its first report at the next meeting of the Forum on 26-27 October 2006 in Moscow (not in the UK as suggested in box 5 on page 20). This first report will focus on delivery by Forum members of commitments made on the themes discussed at the last meeting in Maputo in May: HIV and AIDS, infrastructure and agriculture. The Support Unit will draw on a range of sources to compile its monitoring reports, including the EU-Africa matrix.

  The monitoring reports of the Africa Partnership Forum Support Unit and the sharing of information in these meetings will give members a better overview of each others' work. The European Commission and 13 EU Member States are members of the Forum. This Forum should help avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts, including between the EU and other partners.

[Paragraph 471]  "Through its member states, the Forum should work with the EU, particularly in seeking to formulate complementary policies and ensure that their activities are carried out in a co-ordinated fashion avoiding unnecessary duplication".

  As outlined above, the monitoring reports of APF Support Unit and the sharing of information in APF meetings should give members a better overview of each others' work. This should help encourage individual APF members to formulate complementary policies, coordinate activities and avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts. The APF is of course not a policy-making or implementing body itself.

POLICY COHERENCE

[Paragraph 472]  "We commend the EU's commitment to policy coherence for development and agree that the EU's policies, particularly under the Strategy for Africa, should be formulated taking into account their potential impact upon developing countries".

[Paragraph 473]  "The European Commission should continue to facilitate discussions on coherence between different Directorates-General. Commission officials should consider the potential impact of their proposals on developing countries at the outset and be prepared to justify their proposals in public, including any negative impact they might have".

  We welcome the EU's commitment to take account of the objectives of development co-operation in all polices which are likely to affect developing countries as set out in the Treaty of the European Council and the European Consensus for Development. To ensure this happens, the UK will continue to work with the Commission and other Member States to ensure the Commission makes full use of existing internal procedures such as the inter-Service quality Support Group, policy coherence working groups and the impact assessment process. All Commission proposals are published and subject to scrutiny and debate by Member States and the European Parliament.

[Paragraph 474]  "The EU must work with African partners, as well as co-ordinating its internal activities, to ensure that its policies are coherent across the whole of Africa".

  The UK will continue to work to ensure that the Commission makes full use of existing internal procedures such as the inter-Service Quality Support Group, policy coherence working groups and the impact assessment process to ensure that its policies are coherent across the whole of Africa. The EU should also use its regular dialogue with the AU and the RECs to this end.

DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE

[Paragraph 475]  "We welcome the EU Member States' commitments to increase aid and to ensure that half of that increase goes to Africa. We are, however, concerned that some Member States will not be able to meet their commitments. We reiterate the recommendation in our recent Report on the Millennium Review Summit that monitoring procedures should be rigorously applied in order to ensure that the pledges made by all Member States are met".

  We support the Committee's emphasis on close monitoring of the 2005 aid volume commitments. The Commission produces an annual evaluation of Member State progress against aid volume commitments made since 2002. The evaluation is then discussed by the Council of Ministers each Spring.

[Paragraph 476]  "A major review exercise should be conducted by the Commission in 2010 to determine whether Member States are meeting their commitments. If they are not, the Commission should put forward constructive ideas for reaching the 2015 target including, if necessary, increases in the EDF and the EC's development budget".

  The EU undertakes an annual review of its commitments under the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development and the May 2005 Commitments. The Council undertook its most recent review in April 2006. This process provides the opportunity to review Member States' progress towards meeting their aid volume commitments. We fully expect progress to be reviewed in 2010 as it is every year. It remains to be seen whether the review in 2010 will be different to usual. But we will encourage constructive ideas to make progress should the EU be off track from meeting the 2015 target.

[Paragraph 477]  "The United Kingdom Government should set a positive example by being open and transparent in the way in which they achieve their own target; and should encourage others to do the same".

  The new International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Mr Tom Clarke MP in June 2005 and which recently passed into law will increase transparency in the reporting of international development in the UK. The Department for International Development will provide Parliament with an annual report on the level, poverty focus and coherence of the Government's international development policy and expenditure, and their contribution towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

[Paragraph 478]  "We agree that, in the context of the EU Strategy for Africa, EU donors must take a more coordinated approach to delivery of aid".

  See paragraph 458.

[Paragraph 479]  "Effective co-ordination and harmonisation is essential for the EU when dealing with Africa compared with leaving the many challenges to be resolved by numerous European states acting independently of each other".

  See Paragraph 458.

[Paragraph 480]  "ln relation to individual beneficiary countries, the needs and wishes of the particular country must determine who takes the lead in that co-ordination. In many cases the Commission will be the most appropriate coordinator of donor activity and should be allowed to so act by the Member States".

  The priority is to get all bilateral and multilateral donors in a country to work together behind a nationally agreed and nationally owned poverty reduction strategy or plan. Different donors will be best placed to play a coordinating role in different countries. We will encourage the EC to take on this responsibility where appropriate.

[Paragraph 481]  "In relation to overall EU development assistance the Commission is best placed to analyse global distribution and remedy any imbalances. Under the Strategy for Africa the Commission should carry out a detailed analysis of how Member States' combined ODA is being spent and produce a report specifying how better co-ordination could help to achieve the Strategy's objectives".

  The Commission uses OECD/DAC data to produce a regular analysis of the global distribution of EC and Member State aid in the form of its Donor Atlas. We support the principle that the EC should take the overall provision of aid into account when allocating its resources and pay particular attention to under-aided countries. The Commission is due to publish a progress report on implementation of the Strategy in the autumn. We would welcome suggestions from the Commission about ways to accelerate achievement of the Strategy's objectives.

[Paragraph 482]  "The Commission should present a communication setting out how it intends to fulfil its commitments under the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness for consideration in Council before the end of 2006".

  In March 2006 the Commission presented a package of Communications including "EU Aid: Delivering more better and faster" (COM 2006 (87)) which set out how the Commission and EU as a whole could fulfil its commitments under the Paris Declaration. In April the Council welcomed the proposals and agreed on the importance of implementing without delay the commitments and principles set out in the Paris Declaration.

[Paragraph 483]  "We agree that budget support provides a better means of supporting the aim of African ownership in the Strategy for Africa than programme support".

  Budget support is a key tool for the UK and the European Commission's development assistance in developing countries. Paragraph 26 of the 2005 European Consensus on Development sets out the Commission and Member States' commitment to increasing the use of general or sectoral budget support where circumstances permit. This includes where the assessment of the effectiveness of the recipient government's systems and practices and level of risk is acceptable, and where appropriate steps are in place to mitigate and monitor the risks. In 2004, 27% of the commitments made under the 9th EDF were in the form of budget support.

  [Paragraph 484]  "NEPAD could devise a programme to support parliamentary oversight of ODA spending in Africa whilst EU (including Member State) parliamentarians should share their expertise and experiences. AWEPA, the organisation of European Parliamentarians for Africa, is already going some way towards achieving this, but its resources are limited".

  Parliament to parliament contacts and networking is to be encouraged. The Pan-African Parliament, the European Parliament, national parliaments On Africa and Europe), and parliamentary organisations such as AWEPA all have a role to play based on their various comparative advantages. There is also a Joint Parliamentary Assembly bringing together parliamentarians from African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) countries and Members of the European Parliament.

  The UK supported a meeting of parliamentarians from Africa, Europe and the G8 during 2005 to discuss their role in holding their own governments to account. The UK is currently considering how best to support the Pan-African Parliament directly.

[Paragraph 485]  "Further consideration should be given by EU Member States to direct budget aid, including an examination of the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme (GEMAP) and its potential to control finances in poorly governed African states".

  Paragraph 26 of the 2005 European Consensus on Development sets out the Commission and Member States' commitment to increasing the use of general or sectoral budget support where circumstances permit. We agree that useful lessons can be learned from GEMAP and in specific cases applied in other African countries.

GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

[Paragraph 486]  "The implementation of governance initiatives requires a better understanding of what constitutes good governance. The EU should work with Africans and the international community to achieve a common definition of good governance".

  The European Commission's Communication on Governance released on 30 August offers a broad definition of good governance. The EC also proposes. that Member States and the Community agree practices and principles for dialogue and cooperation with developing countries on governance. The UK is committed to supporting good governance as stated in its White Paper "Making Governance Work for the Poor", We will continue to work with our partner countries and other donors to achieve this aim.

[Paragraph 487]  "We believe that the APRM (African Peer Review Mechanism] holds great potential to make a significant difference in enhancing good governance in Africa. The EU should take a close interest in the development of the APRM, with a focus on helping the Africans to develop it It is important that the EU acknowledge the scale of the challenges facing the APRM".

  The EU will support the APRM secretariat and is hoping to be able to support the reforms that come out of the peer review's recommendations through support in country. The 30 August Communication on governance proposes how the EU might support the APRM including from the 10th EDF.

  The UK has provided $2 million to the APRM Secretariat Trust Fund. At country level in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda we have also provided support to the national process underpinning the review. We fully recognise the difficulties in implementing such a peer review and are providing support where possible and feasible.

[Paragraph 488]  "The EU needs to encourage more AU member states to participate in the APRM. It should provide programming and other support for countries participating positively in the APRM process, both as part of the reporting process and in terms of support for the implementation of recommendations made".

  The EU has an important role to play in supporting Africa in taking forward its plans with respect to improving governance as set out in its recent Communication on Governance. Measures include supporting the African Union and Africa Peer Review process and the emergent national plans of action. We believe such support should be conducted within the existing framework of co-operation at country level and aligned to the budget and planning processes of the country.

[Paragraph 489]  "The EU should also, when allocating aid, take account of whether countries participate in, and implement the recommendations of, the APRM".

  It is not appropriate for allocations of aid to be based on whether a country has signed up to a mutual peer review process. However in its governance initiative, European Commission allocations of aid from the 10th European Development Fund will include an incentive tranche linked to good governance. The UK in its recent White Paper has also said it will focus further on countries with good governance.

[Paragraph 490]  "However, EU engagement with the APRM should be careful not to undermine African ownership of the process. Accordingly, the EU should not seek to influence the outcome of Peer Reviews nor to specify the means by which countries implement any recommendations made".

  The UK's consistent line is that donor support for the APRM should not undermine African ownership. Rather support should be conducted within the existing framework of co-operation at country level and aligned to the budget and planning processes of the country itself.

[Paragraph 491]  "The EU should make robust use of existing provisions under Cotonou on governance issues".

[Paragraph 492]  "However, the fact that Cotonou primarily engages at the country level on issues of governance provides significant potential for useful dialogue".

  The EU has used the provisions of the ACP-EC (Cotonou) Partnership Agreement to address breaches of the essential elements (human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law) and/or the fundamental element (corruption) in a number of countries. The revision of the Agreement in 2005 included an enhancement of the provisions for regular political dialogue (Article 8), with the objective of strengthening relations between the parties and preventing situations arising where a breach of the Agreement might be considered. The EC also holds dialogue with ACP states on migration issues under the terms of Article 13 of the Cotonou agreement.

[Paragraph 493]  "The programming process for the 10th EDF can be used effectively to support good governance: extra funds should be made available for countries that commit themselves to promoting good governance; consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement should be invoked for countries that are failing to promote good governance, although the emphasis should be on dialogue in the first instance".

  The EU Governance Initiative is a positive step forward. The Governance Initiative will allocate part of the 10th European Development Fund on the basis of governance performance. We believe the Governance Initiative could be further improved by ensuring wider consultation during the compilation of governance profiles for each country. We are pushing for a review of the Governance Initiative in 2007 with all key stakeholders.

[Paragraph 494]  "The EU should use dialogue with the AU to encourage and assist the AU's governance role. The EU is also well-placed to support the continued development of the AU's institutional capacity in this area. Co-ordinated bilateral agreements within the framework of the EU Strategy for Africa should encourage AU Member States to take forward and implement the political commitments it has made to promoting good governance".

  The EU will continue to provide assistance in this area both through regular dialogue and financial support.

[Paragraph 495]  "European efforts to support governance through Cotonou and the European Neighbourhood Policy should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate diverse levels of governance in different African states, and should support relevant African structures".

  The above-mentioned Commission Communication on Governance is not limited to sub-Saharan Africa and recognises diverse levels of governance within and beyond Africa.

[Paragraph 496]  "A firm response by the AU to the situation in Zimbabwe is critical to the credibility of the institution as an effective mechanism to promote human rights in Africa and as a viable interlocutor for the EU: The EU should strongly support any such response by the AU in relation to Zimbabwe".

  As indicated in Paragraph 462 the African Union has made some attempt to respond to the Zimbabwe situation. The EU continues to encourage the AU to do more and will certainly strongly support any further response.

[Paragraph 497]  "We commend those leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to good governance and expect that the EU will support them in sharing best practice with their neighbours".

  The EU strongly encourages sharing of best practice, and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism is such a tool. The EU also recognises the constructive role that can be played by significant regional actors, such as South Africa, where the EU is in the process of discussing a Strategic Partnership that reflects its prominent role in the region.

[Paragraph 498]  "Implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa should support the involvement of civil society in the promotion of governance in Africa, particularly the role of African civil society groups in helping to build African institutional capacity in this area at national, sub-regional and continental levels".

  Effective consultation with civil society organisations is highlighted in the European Consensus on Development and EC programming guidelines. We recognise the importance of engaging African civil society organisations in development of Africa. This is why we encourage African countries to engage with such organisations when consulting on their national plans for poverty reduction.

  The UK welcomes and has provided support for the African Monitor initiative, led by the Archbishop of Cape Town, which aims to establish a civil society network across Africa to monitor implementation of, and the impact of, African and donor commitments to support the continent.

PEACE AND SECURITY

  [Paragraph 499]  "We commend the AU's various initiatives to promote peace in Darfur, which should be helpful in providing the political context for a peace process in the region but, sadly, we acknowledge that the violence continues in many areas and that the AU has suffered from severe resource and logistical constraints The EU should urge the AU to co-operate with the UN in planning a UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur".

  The AU's contributions both in facilitating the peace talks and brokering the Darfur Peace Agreement, and in deploying AMIS (African Mission in Sudan) have been immensely important. The EU is a strong supporter of the AU's efforts. The Africa Peace Facility is providing a large proportion of the finance (the UK is also of course a large bilateral donor); the EU, AU and UN co-hosted a donors' conference for AMIS in July; and EU experts are involved in providing direct technical assistance as part of the EU's supporting action to AMIS. But it is clear now the AU mandate is too wide for current force structures, and the AU has stated that it intends to hand over the mission to the UN. The EU supports this plan and has offered encouragement to the AU Commission and UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) joint planning mission which took place from 9-23 June 2006. The Security Council pawed UNSCR 1706 on 31 August which called for a UN force for Darfur. Major diplomatic efforts remain focussed on gaining Sudanese acceptance for the new force. The EU and the UK are assisting where we can.

  [Paragraph 500]  "We believe that ESDP missions have been an effective means of promoting peace and security in Africa and should continue to be deployed where appropriate. EU Battlegroups have the potential to play a significant role in supporting peace operations in Africa".

  The EU is operationally active in Africa. In addition to the supporting action to AMIS in Darfur, it has three operations/missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): EUFOR continues to provide support to the UN over the election period, EUSEC is providing support in the area of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and assisting with the payment of DRC soldiers' salaries, and EUPOL Kinshasa is monitoring and mentoring Congolese police units. These activities demonstrate the effective and important role that the EU is playing in international efforts to promote stability. This will be complemented by the significant role EU Battlegroups will be able to fulfil on reaching full operational capacity in January 2007. They will be able to deploy globally, including in Africa, in response to a sudden crisis. This capacity should be in addition to the EU's ability to generate forces, including reserves, when timescales permit.

[Paragraph 501]  "The EU should continue its efforts to develop integrated approaches to peace and security initiatives in Africa, developing more systematic co-ordination with the UN, with NATO and with other operational partners".

  The EU is currently considering specific measures to implement the EU Africa Strategy in the field of peace and security. The UK is encouraging principles of co-ordination with other key actors to be included in EU implementation strategies. The division of labour between the EU and NATO in assisting AMIS (providing capability and support for civilian policing elements and logistics provision respectively) is a good example of where co-ordination has worked to good effect. Co-operation and co-ordination with UN, G8, NATO and other donors on capacity building for AU and Sub-Regional Organisations are also being developed in the context of support for the African Standby Force.

[Paragraph 502]  "We believe that the Africa Peace Facility has made a very significant contribution to African-led promotion of peace and stability in Africa and welcome its renewal as part of the 10th EDF. The review process for the APF should evaluate the status of the African Standby Force and the other elements of the Africa peace and security architecture, in deciding how to take the APF forward beyond 2010. If necessary, the EU should be prepared to supplement the current APF in the meantime".

  The UK strongly agrees that the Africa Peace Facility (APF) has made a remarkable impact on the ability of the AU to promote peace and security. It has been the key external factor in allowing the AU to deploy a peace support mission to Darfur. The decision to renew and reinforce the APF is an important contribution to the international community's commitment to provide predictable, flexible and long term financing for African Peace Support Operations. The UK also considers that the APF has a vital role to play in helping fund longer-term capacity-building within the AU and the sub-regional organisations and agrees that the developing security architecture will need to be carefully considered when the future of the APF is considered beyond 2010.

[Paragraph 503]  "The EU must continue to assist in operationalising the African Standby Force by supporting the establishment of its key components in Addis Ababa and in the RECs. Capacity-building programmes for the ASF should pay careful attention to the specific functions of the AU relative to other operational partners active in Africa, based on a broader process to develop a more rationalised, interlocking and integrated international peacekeeping system; this will help to maximise the effectiveness both of African capability and donor support for capacity building".

  The UK agrees that the EU has an important role to play in helping to develop African Standby Force structures. The EU is already playing a key part in funding policy workshops and in co-ordinating donor input (including non-EU) in Addis. It will become increasingly important for international donors to act in a complementary and co-ordinated way, especially as plans develop in the UN on the UN Secretary General's 10-year capacity building plan for the AU, and in the light of future co-operation with NATO. EU support for African Standby Force development through the Africa Peace Facility will continue to be based on dialogue with the AU on priorities in their plans, and will focus on the areas where the AU carries the most comparative advantage.

[Paragraph 504]  "The EU is well placed to provide institutional support to build the AU's preventive capacity and should ensure that capacity building programmes support the preventive components of the African peace and security architecture effectively, paying particular attention to civilian and police elements".

  Preventive capacity is just as important, if not more important than conflict management capacity. Some EU member states (including the UK) are already engaging with the AU on their developing plans for realising the full range of the African Peace and Security Architecture, including the Panel of the Wise and the Continental Early Warning System. The EU through the Africa Strategy has shown that it stands ready to support this growing preventive capacity through the capacity building funds available in the APF. Assistance to develop the civilian policing components of peace support missions is already underway, with EU police officers deployed with AMIS in Darfur, and parallel work to boost capacity at the AU headquarters in Addis to deploy and manage civilian policing elements.

[Paragraph 505]  "We believe that the EU has a key role to play both in helping to build the peace and security capacity of the AU and in providing direct, operational support in Africa where necessary. Achieving an appropriate balance between the provision of operational support and longer term support for indigenous, African structures should be a key component of EU policy, taking into account the roles of other key partners in this area".

  The EU and other international support for initiatives to promote peace and security in Africa must recognise that lasting stability will be most effectively achieved through strong African political leadership in mediating and resolving violent conflicts. The EU Africa Strategy makes clear that commitments will be implemented wherever possible in support of African plans and initiatives to provide long-term capacity to tackle conflict. However, pressures will continue to respond to immediate conflicts and instability, either with support for AU deployments or via direct EU deployments. Member states will need to weigh carefully proposals that funds for longer-term capacity building be diverted to immediate operational needs, both within the EU and in other international fora.

[Paragraph 506]  "The EU should find ways to engage across the whole spectrum of activities supporting security sector reform initiatives in Africa".

  During the UK Presidency, the EU agreed a generic concept for undertaking ESDP support to security sector reform. The Commission recently published its own guidelines. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive framework for EU support. As mentioned above, the EU is also operationally active in security sector reform through its EUSEC mission in the DRC. This mission is widely regarded as being effective not only in the delivery of support, but also as a means of co-ordinating the international community's efforts. The EU stands ready to consider other cases as appropriate. Under the current Finnish Presidency, the EU is also examining ways in which it might enhance its ability to support Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) in Africa and elsewhere.

[Paragraph 507]  "The EU and AU must work with the new UN Peacebuilding Commission to make a genuine difference to countries emerging from conflict, by drawing together and co-ordinating the activities of the key peacebuilding actors in Africa, including the UN and the AU, and by developing a close working relationship with the International Financial Institutions".

  The UK strongly supports the newly established Peacebuilding Commission, which should play an important role in sustaining and providing more effective international assistance to countries emerging from conflict. One of the strengths of this new institution is that it brings together institutional donors, including the World Bank and the IMF, and regional organisations as well as Member States. Its membership can vary depending on the country under discussion to ensure that all key political, military and development stakeholders are represented.

  The UK supports an effective role for the EU and AU in all relevant discussions of the Peacebuilding Commission. We have supported the designation of the European Community as an "institutional donor" in recognition of its global role in development assistance, which would entitle it to attend all meetings of the Peacebuilding Commission. We will also support representation of the EU by the Presidency in those cases where it is playing a significant political role alongside the Community's development assistance. The UK also believes that the central role of the African Union should be recognised when the Peacebuilding Commission is discussing African countries, and we will support its membership in all such cases. The Peacebuilding Commission has now selected the first two countries for consideration: Sierra Leone and Burundi. In both cases, the European Commission, European Union and African Union will all be represented.



 
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