On 14 June 2016, H.E. Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and H.E Jean-Claude Junker, European Commission President signed a Ethio-EU strategic engagement document in Brussels. The Strategic Engagement Agreement aims at structuring the reinforced cooperation between the two partners.
The EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement acknowledges the crucial role played by Ethiopia in Africa and the international community, as well as its significant economic growth (average of 10.6% estimated by the World Bank for 2004-14) and progress towards MDGs (on track to reach 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals).
The EU and Ethiopia are willing to address jointly a number of regional and global issues of common interest and to enhance the partnership on bilateral issues to a more strategic level. “The strategic engagement should become a comprehensive process of dialogue and cooperation, in different areas and on different levels, based on common interests. It should be guided by ownership, equity, partnership and joint responsibility”, the Agreement underlines.
Ethiopia is one of the EU’s most important partners on the African continent. The EU fully supports Ethiopia’s constructive role in peace and security in the Horn of Africa, amongst others in Somalia and South Sudan and as chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and as the number one contributor to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, as well as on thematic international debates such as climate change.
The Strategic Engagement focuses on six sectoral dialogues which will be reviewed during annual high-level meetings and senior officials meetings held regularly:
1. Regional Peace and Security
2. Countering Terrorism and Violent Radicalisation
3. Migration, Social and Economic Development
4. Investment And Trade
5. Governance and Human Rights
6. Climate Change and Environmental Cooperation
The EU and Ethiopia look back on 40 years of constructive bilateral relations in areas as diverse as development cooperation, trade and economic development, consolidation of democratic institutions, regional peace and security. The importance of this relationship has been underlined in the Strategic framework for the Horn of Africa (2011) and more recently in the Horn of Africa Action Plan (2015). Ethiopia is also an increasingly important partner in terms of migration, as demonstrated by the signature of a Declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) in Valletta on 11 November 2015.
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