Central and Eastern Europe and EU–Africa Relations After 2020

The EU’s newer member states can help shape a more equal partnership between Europe and Africa
Research paper Updated 11 December 2023 Published 19 November 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78413 430 3
Image shows African and EU leaders at the 2017 Africa-EU summit in Abidjan

With negotiations for a new post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement and a renewed Joint Africa-EU Strategy due to be concluded in 2021, there is the potential for a critical reset in the relationship between the EU and Africa.

This paper finds that the transition perspectives of Central and Eastern European member states can help shape the EU’s evolving partnership with Africa, in line with the ambition to move away from a donor-to-recipient dynamic towards a more equal engagement based on trade, investment and partnership.

There is scope for some Central and Eastern European countries to find common ground with African states in priority areas of the EU–Africa partnership, including digitalization, gender, peace and security, and civil society.

But Central and Eastern European states’ emphasis on migration control is sparking frustration within the EU and in Africa, and may limit the breadth of the partnership, or even lead to a failure of the current negotiations.