The EU’s Foreign Policy Towards African Countries

Serhii Tolstov

PhD (history), associate professor, Head of Transatlantic Research Department, Institute of World History of the Academy of Science of Ukraine

UDС 327(96):061.1ЄС



The article presents a review of the EU policy towards the African states in the early 21st century. It covers the main aspects and priorities of the EU’s relations with the countries of the region, including enhanced political dialogue, development assistance, migration control, negotiations on the new type of economic agreements. The goals and principles of the EU-AU cooperation were outlined in the Joint Strategy signed in Lisbon in December 2007. The strategic partnership relations envisage the EU’s assistance to the African states aimed at the development, security cooperation, the prevention and settlement of conflicts, migration management, promotion of trans-regional projects etc.

The joint EU-AU documents strengthen upon bilateral cooperation in addressing global issues, distributing burdens, mutual accountability, solidarity and mutual trust, equality and justice, respect for international law and agreements, gender equality and non-discrimination. However, the actual results of interaction in the priority areas such as peace and security, democracy, good governance and human rights, sustainable and inclusive development, economic growth, human development and continental integration remain rather low.

The essential factor influencing the EU’s policy in Africa is the conflict of interests of the fluent intra-regional actors. The contradictions between the EU, China and the U.S. intensify the economic competition and political rivalry. The gradual reduction of the EU’s share in trade with Africa is marked on the background of the growing economic presence of China and expanding trade of the African states with Asia.


European Union, African Union, migration control, competition.

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