Addis Abeba

Joining forces in 
Addis Ababa

The EU Delegation to the African Union in Ethiopia is helping to promote African integration

Delegation of the European Union, or EU Embassy, is the name used to designate the 141 diplomatic missions that the European Union currently maintains in third countries and at international organizations like the OECD and the United Nations. For the EU, these delegations perform functions similar to those of individual countries’ embassies. They serve as mouthpieces and intermediaries between the European Commission and the governments and populations of the host countries and, organizationally, form part of the European External Action Service (EEAS), which was established in 2010. Since 2008, there has also been a European Union Delegation to the African Union (AU). The AU was launched in 2002 as an alliance of 53 African states to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The organization, which also plans to set up an African Court of Justice and a Pan African University, has its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since 2012, the Chair of the AU Commission has been held for the first time by a woman, the South African doctor and politician Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The AU’s mandate encompasses all areas of political, economic and social life in Africa and focuses in particular on fostering economic and political integration, peacekeeping and sustainable development as well as the promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance. In recent years, the EU has become an important discussion partner for the AU on all of these issues. Cooperation between the two organizations extends well beyond development assistance proper: they see themselves as equal partners on matters relating to both of their continents. Accordingly, at the second Africa-EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007, a Joint Africa-EU Strategy and an Action Plan were adopted, the latter being renewed in 2010 for the period 2011–2013. The mutual interest in cooperation is not surprising given the fact that the EU is Africa’s largest trading partner and second-largest donor. Since 2007, the European Commission has provided some 24 million euros in funding to support the partnership. ▪

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