Text adopted – The EU-Africa Strategy: a boost for development – P8_TA-PROV(2017)0448 – Thursday, 16 November 2017 – Strasbourg – Provisional edition

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the ‘Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy – Shared Vision, Common Action: a stronger Europe’ presented to the European Council at its meeting of 28 and 29 June 2016,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 7 June 2017 by Parliament, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, and the Commission on the New European Consensus on Development – Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future,

–  having regard to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development and the outcome document adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

–  having regard to the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems that were developed in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-RAI) in order to contribute to the attainment of SDGs one and two,

–  having regard to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development of 2015,

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement on climate change of 2015,

–  having regard to the Africa Action Summit which took place on 16 November 2016, consolidating the African dimension of COP 22,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 26 February 2016 on the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking (COM(2016)0087),

–  having regard to the Partnership agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(1)
(the Cotonou Agreement), and to its revisions of 2005 and 2010,

–  having regard to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) adopted by African and European Heads of State and of Government at the Lisbon Summit of 9 December 2007, and the two action plans adopted in Accra in October 2007 (for the period 2008-2010) and Tripoli in November 2010 (for the period 2011-2013),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the 4th EU-Africa Summit held in Brussels on 2 and 3 April 2014, the roadmap for the format of the meetings (Cairo format) and the areas of cooperation between the two continents for the period 2014-2017 and the EU-Africa declaration on migration and mobility,

–  having regard to the Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU) adopted in May 2014,

–  having regard to the report on the draft recommendations on the institutional reform of the African Union, prepared by H.E. Paul Kagamé, with the title ‘The Imperative to Strengthen our Union’,

–  having regard to the 3rd Civil Society Intercontinental Forum which took place in Tunis from 11 to 13 July 2017, calling for greater engagement of civil society organisations and for individuals from civil society to be placed at the centre of the EU-Africa strategy,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external action’ (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/1601 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 September 2017 establishing the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund(2)
,

–  having regard to the Commission’s proposal of 5 July 2016 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (COM(2016)0447),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 22 November 2016 entitled ‘A renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP)’ (JOIN(2016)0052),

–  having regard to the various communications from the Commission on relations between the EU and Africa, particularly that of 27 June 2007 entitled ‘From Cairo to Lisbon – The EU-Africa Strategic Partnership’ (COM(2007)0357), that of 17 October 2008 entitled ‘One year after Lisbon: The Africa-EU partnership at work’ (COM(2008)0617) and that of 10 November 2010 on the consolidation of EU Africa relations: 1,5 billion inhabitants, 80 countries, two continents, one future (COM(2010)0634),

–  having regard to the joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 4 May 2017 entitled ‘For a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU partnership’ (JOIN(2017)0017), and the Council conclusions of 19 June 2017 on the subject,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on relations between the Union and Africa and the ACP countries, and particularly that of 4 October 2016 on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020(3)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2016 on the EU Trust Fund for Africa: the implications for development and humanitarian aid(4)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2016 on the EU 2015 Report on policy coherence for development(5)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2016 on increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation(6)
,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0334/2017),

A.  whereas the ties between the European Union and African countries are historic and their destinies are intimately linked; whereas the EU is Africa’s main partner in the fields of economic activity and trade as well as development, humanitarian aid and security;

B.  whereas there is a need to provide the Africa-EU partnership with a new vision that reflects the evolution of the political, economic, environmental and social situations of both continents; whereas there is a need to adapt to new players on the international scene – including China – and to move towards an enhanced, modernised and more political partnership, with a focus on defending our key common interests;

C.  whereas relations between the EU and Africa must be guided by the principles of mutual interest and understanding and by shared common values within the framework of a reciprocal partnership;

D.  whereas relations between the EU and the continent of Africa are based on various legal instruments and political strategies and whereas it is important to step up synergies and coherence between them in order to make the partnership more effective and sustainable;

E.  whereas the Cotonou Agreement with the EU, to which 79 ACP States are parties, including 48 in sub-Saharan Africa, governs the main partnership between the EU and Africa; whereas the EU has also established relations with African countries that are not parties to the Cotonou Agreement; whereas the EU-ACP partnership was established at a time when ACP countries had not yet formed their current regional or continental cooperation structures; whereas the emergence of the AU in 2003 and of the JAES in 2007 makes it essential to streamline the various policy frameworks between the EU and Africa; whereas the objective to ‘treat Africa as one’ is clearly stated in the preamble of the JAES;

F.  whereas the EU is engaged with the African countries in a political and institutional dialogue advanced through the EU-Africa summits, the intergovernmental organisation the ‘Union for the Mediterranean’ (UfM) and the ACP-EU cooperation bodies, including at parliamentary level via the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the EU Delegation to the UfM Parliamentary Assembly and with the Pan-African Parliament;

G.  whereas the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) has a budget of EUR 30,5 billion, of which EUR 900 million are reserved for the African Peace Facility, and whereas EUR 1,4 billion of the EDF will be used for the EU Trust Fund for Africa; whereas more than EUR 5 billion have been spent on the needs of African countries in the context of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), and whereas EUR 845 million have been allocated to the Pan-African Programme under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) to implement the JAES;

H.  whereas the next AU-EU Summit, which will take place in Abidjan on 29 and 30 November 2017 on the topic of ‘Investing in Youth’, is an opportunity to create, support and develop economic conditions of true equality between partners wishing to defend key common interests;

I.  whereas the new JAES must be included in the future post-Cotonou agreement;

J.  whereas the EU is a long‑standing partner and a major guarantor of the security of the continent of Africa, which is a subject of the utmost importance; whereas the security and sustainable growth of the European continent closely and immediately depend on the stability and development of the African continent and vice versa;

K.  whereas constant support for the effective implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture and the commitment of the EU, the AU and other international players present in Africa are essential for the development and stability of the African continent;

L.  whereas migration features prominently in the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy and constitutes a priority topic in the EU’s external relations, including its relations with Africa; whereas Africa and Europe have a shared interest and responsibility when it comes to migration and mobility, including in the fight against human trafficking and smuggling, and whereas managing migration calls for global solutions based on solidarity, the sharing of responsibility, respect for migrant rights and international law, as well as the effective use of development cooperation instruments;

M.  whereas more than 218 million people live in extreme poverty in Africa; whereas the share of the population living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa has fallen from 56 % in 1990 to 43 % in 2012; whereas 33 of the 47 least developed countries are in Africa, which makes the EU-Africa partnership a vital tool for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the attainment of the sustainable development goals, particularly the eradication of poverty;

N.  whereas, in Africa, infrastructure requirements are estimated at EUR 75 billion annually, the value of the consumer market is likely to reach USD 1 000 billion in 2020, foreign direct investment is set to increase steadily to an estimated USD 144 billion in 2020, and the population is currently 1 billion;

O.  whereas exports from Africa are still dominated by unprocessed products, and whereas a high proportion of these exports are covered by trade preference arrangements; whereas free market access for most African products increases the capacities of African countries and enhances their competitiveness and participation in global markets when accompanied, among other things, by policies aimed at lasting sustainable industrialisation and rural productivity as key paths for development;

P.  whereas demographic trends will have to be taken into account, bearing in mind that by 2050, according to some estimates, Africa could have a population of 2,5 billion, most of them young people, while Europe is expected to have a significantly older population; whereas it is therefore crucial to generate millions of jobs and to help with and support the empowerment of women and young people, particularly by means of education, access to healthcare and training on the African continent;

Intensifying the political dialogue between the EU and Africa: a precondition for a renewed strategic partnership

1.  Takes note of the new communication entitled ‘For a Renewed Impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership’ which aims to lend fresh impetus to the Africa-EU partnership in order to broaden and intensify it, gearing it to prosperity and stability on the two continents in accordance with the commitments undertaken by subscribing to the SDGs, the New European Consensus for Development, which serves as a set of guidelines for European development policy, the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and Agenda 2063;

2.  Recalls that Africa is a key strategic partner for the EU and considers it vital to intensify relations between the EU and the AU via a revised and broadened dialogue, which includes the principles of transparency and good governance, in order to establish a ‘win-win’ situation, and equal and sustainable cooperation to respond to shared challenges and secure common benefits, while ensuring the principle of ownership and taking into account the specific circumstances and level of development of each partner country;

3.  Invites the future partnership to focus on the priority areas identified by both the AU and the EU, such as:

   economic development (via trade, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), enhanced regional integration, economic diversification, sustainable industrialisation and the creation of quality jobs),
   good governance, including human rights,
   human development via public services covering basic needs, such as education, health, access to water and sanitation, gender equality, science, technology and innovation,
   security and the fight against terrorism,
   migration and mobility,
   environment – including climate change;

4.  Recalls that budget support is the best way to carry out appropriation, providing governments with the means to determine their needs and priorities; recalls that general or sector-specific budget support enables development policies to be supported and ensures maximised take-up;

5.  Welcomes the fact that the main topic of the 5th AU-EU Summit, which will take place in Côte d’Ivoire in November 2017, is youth, given its importance for the future of both continents;

6.  Recalls the importance and effectiveness of ACP-EU cooperation and the results achieved in the field of development; stresses that this legally binding framework must be maintained after 2020; stresses the need to step up this cooperation, while developing its regional dimension, including by means of increased cooperation with the AU, the regional economic communities and other regional organisations; calls for a more strategic, pragmatic, comprehensive and structured approach to political dialogue within the framework of negotiations for the post-Cotonou agreement;

7.  Calls for the parliamentary dimension of the ACP-EU to be stepped up; stresses that the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a unique platform for interaction and plays a key role in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

8.  Stresses that the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) review provides opportunities for improving the coordination of neighbourhood policy and policy on other African states through the creation of extended cooperation frameworks on regional issues such as security, energy, and even migration;

9.  Reaffirms the need to adopt, within the Africa-EU partnership, an approach coordinated among the EU Member States themselves, and between the EU and its Member States, as provided for by Article 210 TFEU; recalls, likewise, that respect for the EU principle of policy coherence for development is necessary in European and African policies and initiatives alike in order to attain the SDGs;

10.  Calls for the principle of policy coherence for development to be fully incorporated into the EU’s trade relationship with Africa, which entails the inclusion of enforceable Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) clauses in all EU trade agreements with African countries, in line with the commitment undertaken by the Commission in the ‘Trade for All’ strategy;

11.  Reiterates the importance of the Member States fulfilling their commitment to directing 0,7 % of their GDP to official development assistance to strengthen cooperation with Africa;

12.  Endorses the stated desire to intensify alliances between the EU and Africa to tackle global governance issues; stresses, in this context, the need to step up the dialogue with the AU and the importance of ensuring its financial autonomy, in accordance with the Kigali Decision on Financing, by reducing its dependence on external financing; takes note of the proposals put forward in the report drawn up by Paul Kagamé which aims at strengthening the AU in order to give impetus to the process of political African integration;

13.  Stresses the role played by civil society – including NGOs, faith‑based organisations, youth and women’s rights organisations, the private sector, trade unions, parliamentary assemblies, local authorities and the diaspora, each one of them with its own specific features – in consolidating the political dialogue between the EU and Africa to ensure a people-focused partnership;

14.  Stresses the need to increase the participation of civil society in the Africa-EU Partnership, promoting the reinforcement of its capacities, especially by transferring expertise and ensuring its involvement in the design and implementation of relevant reforms and policies; considers that the engagement of civil society organisations (CSOs) is essential for public accountability; supports the various platforms established to make civil society a key actor in the partnership, particularly the Joint Annual Forum (JAF), whose aim is to implement the EU-Africa roadmap; regrets, nonetheless, the fact that the JAF has never been held and calls for the EU and the AU to immediately put in place the financial and political means needed to ensure the meaningful participation of all stakeholders in the partnership, including in the framework of this 5th AU-EU Summit;

Building more resilient states and societies for the benefit of all people, particularly young people, in order to attain the SDGs

15.  Considers it necessary to make resilience – in all its five dimensions – a major component of the new EU-Africa strategy;

Political resilience

16.  Emphasises the need to promote good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, but also to undertake efforts to combat corruption on both continents, as they are indispensable elements of sustainable development;

17.  Calls, therefore, for a frank and inclusive dialogue, based on mutual respect, making these values and principles a major component of cooperation, particularly by extending the conditionality of development aid to their strict respect;

18.  Stresses that addressing governance challenges in both continents with greater determination is of paramount importance for building fairer, more stable and more secure societies; underlines the need to continue to uphold and promote human rights and governance on the basis of existing international legal instruments, laws, principles and mechanisms, including those of African regional governance bodies such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its protocols, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, so as to strengthen ownership;

19.  Recalls the importance of the role of the International Criminal Court in tackling impunity and in upholding the values of peace, security, equality, fairness, justice and compensation that it serves as a vehicle for; calls for the European Union and African states to continue supporting the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court; urges all signatories of the Rome Statute to ratify it as soon as possible;

20.  Supports the organisation of a joint high-level AU-EU conference on electoral processes, democracy and governance in Africa and Europe, and calls for the European Parliament, the Pan African Parliament, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (PA-UfM) to be fully involved in it; calls for the links between the different assemblies to be strengthened with a view to fostering synergies and the consistency of joint measures;

Security resilience

21.  Reiterates the close interlinkage between security and development; points out the need to better integrate security concerns and development aims to address the specific problems of fragile states and to foster more resilient states and societies; notes that this should be done through specific instruments and additional funding;

22.  Calls for stronger cooperation between the EU and Africa in the field of security and justice in respect of the international legal framework in order to take a holistic approach to tackling problems and to better combat organised crime, human trafficking and smuggling particularly in relation to children, and terrorism; considers that EU action should be in synergy with the strategies adopted by African countries, particularly those related to peace and security expressed in Agenda 2063;

23.  Stresses the need for cooperation between the EU, AU, regional organisations and other relevant political players in Africa in the field of security in order to increase the capacities of developing countries, to reform their security sectors, to support activities in the field of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants;

24.  Recalls that terrorism is a global threat affecting regional peace and stability, sustainable development and internal security, which needs to be tackled in a coordinated effort by national governments, regional and international organisations, and European Agencies; calls for enhanced cooperation within the EU-Africa Strategy aimed at preventing impunity, promoting the rule of law and the expansion of police and judicial capacities in order to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and preventing, countering, and combating the financing of terrorism as well as prosecuting it; notes that anti-terrorism strategy should also include measures for promoting interfaith dialogue and preventing radicalisation in Africa and Europe, especially among young people, which leads to violent extremism;

25.  Reiterates the importance of the various EU missions and operations deployed in Africa; welcomes the creation of the Group of Five Sahel joint force; calls for European peace and security actions to be stepped up in cooperation with African and international partners and for support for the full operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA); calls for an initial EU contribution to the AU Peace Fund for activities under the ‘mediation and diplomacy’ window;

Environmental resilience

26.  Recalls that Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change; considers it essential for the EU to develop a strategic approach to building climate resilience and to support African countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs), in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt; stresses the importance of climate change as a risk multiplier for conflict, drought, famine and migration, as exemplified in the recent outbreak of famine in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia; recalls, in this context, that it is vital to promote and respect the commitment given in Paris in 2015 to allocate USD 100 billion to developing countries by 2020; calls for new kinds of EU-Africa collaboration to lower the barriers to funding and technology transfer;

27.  Stresses that Africa has a rich and diverse natural environment; calls for the protection of biodiversity to be put at the core of the AU-EU political agenda; calls for the EU-Africa strategy to work in conjunction with the priorities of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking and to protect natural heritage and, in particular, nature parks;

28.  Encourages greater investment in the fields of renewable energy and the circular economy in order to further stimulate actions which contribute to respect for the environment and create job opportunities; recalls that ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is crucial for the satisfaction of basic human needs, is essential for virtually all kinds of economic activity and is a key driver of development; calls for continued EU support for the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and welcomes the Commission’s proposal to launch a new EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on climate change and sustainable energy;

29.  Calls on the Africa-EU partnership to focus on agriculture and food security in a long‑term perspective and to promote synergies between food security and climate measures; urges the EU, in this context, to scale up its assistance to sustainable agriculture, agro-forestry and agro-ecological practices respecting traditional land use, and ensuring access to land, water and open source seeds; calls, in addition, on the EU to support small-scale producers/farmers and pastoralists to attain food security through building up and investing in infrastructure in line with the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the CFS, and to support the establishment of cooperatives; underlines also the capacity and experience that CSOs have gained at community level in relation to sustainable agriculture;

30.  Welcomes the EU initiatives demanding better management of, and more transparent trade in, natural resources; believes that the sustainable management of and trade in natural resources, such as minerals, timber and wildlife, would allow resource-rich countries and their populations to further benefit from them; recalls the need, under EU legislation on conflict minerals, to introduce accompanying measures following an integrated approach that encourages the application of international standards on due diligence, as defined by the OECD Guidance; calls for a joint EU-Africa charter on sustainable management of natural resources to be drawn up;

Economic resilience

31.  Considers that a stable regulatory and institutional environment and a healthy economy are essential elements for ensuring competitiveness, investments, job creation, a higher standard of living and sustainable growth; stresses, in this context, the need to increase the online accessibility of corporate law information; recalls that economic growth without an impartial state does not systematically guarantee social development or progress and insists on the need to assure the redistribution of wealth, the provision of services for citizens and to improve equal opportunities;

32.  Calls for increased cooperation between the European and African private sectors and for the concentration of investment, particularly by means of public-private partnerships, based on a strict ethical code and on the principles of social responsibility, in key sectors such as:

   sustainable energy including electricity access for all,
   basic infrastructure, notably in the transport sector, including maritime transport,
   sustainable use of natural resources,
   sustainable agriculture,
   the ‘blue economy’ – including the maritime industry,
   research, science, technology and innovation, both around subjects of common interest and around those which particularly affect one of the continents, such as poverty-related and neglected diseases,
   digitalisation as a key factor in ensuring the development of the African economy, but also in connecting people;

33.  Stresses the fact that regional integration drives economic development and is a necessity in a globalised world; calls for support for South-South Cooperation which reflects the gradual transformation of the African continent; supports the establishment of a continental free trade area in Africa as well as the goal of increasing intra-African trade to 50 % by 2050; recalls also the development prospects offered by Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and trade agreements between the EU and African countries, which allow the promotion of sustainable development, human rights and fair and ethical trade; stresses the need to provide for development-supportive rules of origin, effective safeguard clauses, asymmetrical liberalisation schedules, protection for infant industries, and the simplification and transparency of customs procedures; recalls that EPAs are intended to help the ACP countries to expand their markets, to encourage trade in goods and to boost investment and that they anticipate a slow, gradual and asymmetric opening up of trade in goods between the EU and the ACP countries;

34.  Calls for transparency in trade agreements and for the full participation of all relevant stakeholders, including the civil societies of the countries concerned, through formal consultations, in future negotiations and in the implementation of agreements currently under negotiation;

35.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to better coordinate their aid for trade programmes and to boost synergies with their Africa investment policies; calls, furthermore, for an increase in their financial commitments to Aid For Trade as well as technical assistance and capacity‑building initiatives, which are essential for African countries, in particular in LDCs;

36.  Considers that the private sector, from micro to small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs), to cooperatives and multinational companies, plays a decisive role in job creation and the development process, and that it helps to finance the latter; stresses the specific role of SMEs and small family-run establishments, and calls for support for individual initiative; welcomes in this regard the establishment of the European Fund for Sustainable Development, which should aim to support the private sector in African countries, particularly local business and SMEs in fragile countries, and thus promote investment and the creation of sustainable jobs, particularly for women and young people;

37.  Recalls the obligations that the private sector is required to fulfil under the United Nations and OECD Guidelines, and reiterates its call on EU and AU Member States to constructively participate in the UN intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights to work towards the setting-up of an international binding treaty, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, on the way corporations comply with human rights obligations and obligations with respect to social, labour and environmental standards;

38.  Underlines the necessity of creating decent jobs and of linking them to investment, both of which should be done within the framework of the Africa-EU partnership; calls for compliance with ILO standards in this regard; stresses the importance of interaction between social, economic and institutional persons and calls for the role of social partners to be strengthened by boosting the effectiveness of social dialogue at all relevant levels, which is conducive to collective bargaining;

39.  Deplores the fact that, each year, some USD 50 billion is drained out of Africa in the form of illicit financial flows, which exceeds the total annual amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and undermines efforts in the field of domestic revenue mobilisation; calls, therefore, on both parties to:

   create effective tools to combat tax evasion, tax fraud and corruption, including public transparency on ultimate beneficial ownership of legal entities, trusts and similar arrangements,
   promote the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI),
   support initiatives to increase the efficiency and transparency of public financial management systems;

40.  Calls, moreover, for the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Debt and Human Rights and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing; welcomes the UN’s work towards an international sovereign debt workout mechanism;

41.  Calls for greater financial inclusion in Africa, including that of women, through the development of electronic banking in order to fight against the polarisation of African society; recalls that remittances make up a larger flow of money to developing countries than the total of ODA and can significantly contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda; calls, therefore, on the EU to further support the AU’s efforts in improving remittance mechanisms;

Social resilience

42.  Recognises the importance of demographic dynamics in Africa, which necessitate a long-term strategic vision for developing sustainable, inclusive and participatory societies; stresses, equally, the need to ensure non-discrimination against vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples; recognises that the increasing population in Africa is both a challenge for the local economy and an opportunity for the continent; calls, therefore, on the EU to show commitment in promoting appropriate public policies and investments in education and health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), to ensure that young people are equipped to make informed decisions about their SRH, gender equality and children’s rights without which social, economic and environmental resilience cannot be reached;

43.  Emphasises that the urbanisation rate in Africa is on the rise and poses social, economic and environmental challenges; calls for solutions to relieve this urban pressure and to alleviate the problems of uncontrolled urbanisation;

44.  Calls for the EU and the AU to strengthen African national education systems, including the capacity of its administrative structure, by investing at least 20 % of their national budgets in education and by scaling up the EU’s support for the global partnership for education (GPE) and the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund;

45.  Stresses the need for universal, inclusive, equitable and long-term access to high-quality education at all levels, from early childhood onwards and for all, with a special focus on girls, and including in emergency and crisis situations;

46.  Stresses the need to invest in human capital and for young people to be connected to global realities and to have skills which meet the current and future needs of the job market by strengthening educational and vocational learning systems – both formal and informal – self-employment and entrepreneurship;

47.  Considers it important to support African countries in establishing effective public health systems and ensuring affordable access to quality health services for all, while, in particular, breaking down the barriers faced by women and other vulnerable groups, including children, people with disabilities and LGBTI people;

48.  Calls for the introduction of minimum universal coverage by setting up horizontal national health systems; underlines the need to train an additional one million skilled health professionals than originally planned on the basis of current trends to meet the minimum WHO standard by 2030;

49.  Stresses that infectious diseases pose a significant threat to social resilience; calls on the Commission to step up scientific and medical cooperation efforts between the two continents, such as the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, EDCTP2, and to invest in science, technology and innovation (STI) to tackle the still huge burden of poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) through its development cooperation;

50.  Recalls the need for greater investment in access to maternal healthcare and sexual and reproductive health in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality and to tackle traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced and/or child marriage;

51.  Emphasises the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in EU-Africa cooperation; stresses the positive role and participation of women in the political and economic spheres, as well as in conflict prevention and building sustainable peace;

52.  Notes that culture is both an enabler and an important component of development and may facilitate social inclusion, freedom of expression, identity building, civil empowerment and conflict prevention while strengthening economic growth; calls, therefore, on the EU and the AU to promote intercultural political dialogue and cultural diversity and to support strategies protecting culture and heritage; stresses that democracy is a universal value which can be part of any culture; acknowledges, equally, the role of sport as a source and driver of social inclusion and gender equality;

Establishing a strategy for mobility and migration which contribute to the development of the two continents

53.  Recalls that migration and mobility between and within Europe and Africa have an economic, social, environmental and political impact, and that this challenge must be tackled in a coordinated and holistic manner between the two continents and in cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination, maximising synergies and making use of the relevant EU policies, instruments and tools, based on solidarity, responsibility sharing, respect and human dignity; recalls, in this context, that it is desirable to step up the Africa-EU dialogue in advance of the negotiations on the two global compacts on migration and refugees, respectively, to be drawn up by 2018 under the auspices of the United Nations in order to identify shared priorities, where possible;

54.  Recalls the need to enhance the positive impact of migration and mobility so that these phenomena are seen as reciprocal development tools for the two continents; stresses that this requires a carefully designed, balanced, evidence-based and sustainable policy response with a long-term strategy which takes into account demographic perspectives and the root causes of migration;

55.  Recognises that violent conflicts, persecution, inequality, infringements of human rights, weak governance, corruption, terrorism, repressive regimes, natural disasters, climate change, unemployment and chronic poverty have led to population movements and an increase in migration to Europe in recent years; recalls, nevertheless, that more than 85 % of African people leaving their country remain within the continent itself;

56.  Supports the various initiatives adopted at European level to tackle the underlying causes of irregular migration: migration partnerships, trust funds for Africa and the European Fund for Sustainable Development; calls for their implementation to be ensured and continued in a flexible, efficient, coherent and transparent manner while enhancing possible synergies among different instruments, programmes and activities, both in internal and external action; highlights the need for increased cooperation in the field of border management;

57.  Reiterates its call for the promotion of legal migration, in line with the recommendations of the Valletta Action Plan; stresses, further, that development aid should not be made conditional on cooperation in migration matters;

58.  Calls on the Member States to offer their resettlement places to a significant number of refugees; calls, in this context, for the establishment of a European resettlement framework which can easily be acted upon by Member States; calls, in addition, for the EU and its Member States to cooperate with and provide assistance to African countries that are faced with movements of refugees or prolonged crises, with a view to increasing their asylum capacities and protection systems;

59.  Urges Member States to step up their financial contribution to trust funds and other instruments aiming to foster inclusive and sustainable growth and stimulate job creation thus contributing to addressing the root causes of migration; also asks for a stronger scrutiny role of the European Parliament to ensure that migration partnerships and funding tools are compatible with EU legal basis, principles and commitments;

60.  Calls for the EU and the AU to promote exchanges between students, teachers, entrepreneurs and researchers between the two continents; welcomes the Commission’s proposal to launch an African Youth Facility, expanding the scope of Erasmus+, and an EU vocational education and training facility; calls for a discussion on the recognition by the EU of certificates and diplomas issued by African schools and universities; notes that ensuring circular migration is essential for sustainable development; and for preventing a brain drain from Africa;

61.  Recognises the special position of the diaspora in both the receiving countries and the countries of origin in sending considerable funds and as a development partner at national and regional levels; expresses its wish that the diaspora might act as a source of information tailored to respond to the real needs of the people, addressing the dangers linked to irregular migration, as well as the challenges linked to integration in host countries;

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62.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission of the African Union, the ACP Council, the Pan-African Parliament and the Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

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