By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
BRUSSELS, (Sudanow) - the African Union Commission and the European Commission are convening in Brussels, 31 May/1 June, for their annual College-to-College meeting, in the context of the Joint Africa-EU Partnership, the African Press Organization (APO) reported Wednesday .
The plenary session on 1 June will focus on consolidating democracy, including developments in Northern Africa, and consolidating growth. Thematic sessions will also allow for exchanges of view on political, social, environmental and economic matters. The two colleges will adopt a joint declaration.
The Strategic Partnership between Africa and the EU pursues common objectives beyond the traditional donor-recipient focus, in a dialogue of equal counterparts. The EU is the biggest trading partner for the African continent. In 2009, 36% of total imports to Africa originated in Europe. In support of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its thematic partnerships, the European Commission has committed €24.4 billion through its various financial instruments for the period 2007-2013.
The programme of the meeting between the two Commissions covers two days and is divided between thematic cluster meetings of Commissioners, bilateral meetings and a plenary session, which takes place in the morning of 1 June. Discussions aim at strengthening the political and technical cooperation between the two institutions, provide fresh impetus to the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and elements for the future political agenda.
Two key events of this meeting will be broadcast live on Europe by satellite, in English and in French.
The first event is a briefing given by Klaus Rudischhauser, Director for African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries and General Affairs from the European Commission held on 27 May Brussels.
The briefing will inform journalists ahead of the meeting of the priority areas that will be discussed by the two colleges, such as growth, democracy, trade, climate change, but also recent developments in Northern Africa, Ivory Coast or Sudan.
The second event is the joint final press conference held on 1 June at the European Commission by President Barroso and AU Commission Chairperson Ping.
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