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Emnet Assefa

The African Union (AU) and its European equivalent the European Union (EU) will hold their sixth commission to commission (C2C) meeting on the 25th and 26th of April here at the AUC compound.

The meeting will be co-chaired by the AUC Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma and her European counterpart José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and will be attended by Commissioners from both sides. It is expected that the two sides will review the results of the cooperation between the two unions since June 2011 and provide the necessary political input in new areas of mutual interests.

Briefing the press today, both sides assert the meeting will be an opportunity to review the effectiveness and efficiency of the AU-EU partnership. Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Natama, Chief of Staff of the AUC, said that AU’s new strategic plan for 2014 was designed to put in place priorities for the Union and “we have defined what we expect from our partners to achieve our priorities,”

“Peace and security remains on top of the priorities and we have a lot to learn from Europe who was once in such a problem,” said Ambassador Natama. However, the EU has no equivalent commission for the AU’s Peace and Security Commission.

Ambassador Gary Quince, Head of EU Delegation to the African Union, on his part said that the partnership was successful so far but an effective involvement of the two partners was sought in order to strengthen the partnership more.

“Job creation and economic development is something that EU experienced which could help Africa because the challenge is in both sides,” said Ambassador Quince and added that the Euro 2020 strategic plan was designed to support countries and solve problems of the economic crisis in Europe.

Peace and security, democratic governance and human right, trade, regional integration and infrastructure, MDGs, Energy, Climate change and Environment are some of the partnerships areas the two parties are working together.

The meeting this week is also a kick start preparations for the 4th Africa-EU summit which will be held in April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.

Photo Caption – Ambassador Gary Quince, Head of EU Delegation to the African Union

Photo Credit – Addis Standard

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