On 25 October, the Council of the European Union adopted its Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan 2015-2020. EU Foreign Affairs Council for Development said that “This Regional Action Plan reasserts the importance which the EU attaches to continuing close co-operation with partners across the region in using all available instruments to support and encourage peace, stability, sustainable growth and prosperity throughout the Horn of Africa.” The Council also expressed readiness to continue working closely with countries and regional organizations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and the African Union in support of efforts to achieve peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa. It said “While the Gulf States have always had interests in the Horn of Africa due to their geographic proximity, the politics and security of the Horn of Africa are today increasingly and visibly intertwined with those of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.” It also mentioned the recent crisis in Yemen as affecting the security of northern Somalia and the geopolitical position of both Sudan and Eritrea.
The Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan outlines the EU’s approach to address key issues throughout the region. It calls for the EU to give priority to regional security and stability, migration and forced displacement, counter-radicalization and violent extremism, youth and employment, and human rights, rule of law and democratic governance. It says eradication of poverty is a precondition to addressing these challenges effectively and that will remain the central objective of the EU’s development co-operation. The Council said addressing these challenges would require interventions in peripheral regions and across borders, and will demand a better synchronized approach to political, development, economic, migration, gender-based and security aspects. The Action Plan will be implemented through the EU Trust Fund to be presented at the Valletta Summit on Migration on November 11 to 12.