This panel will gauge Europe's continued relevance on the continent by exploring the ways in which the EU has responded to Africa's shifting international orientation and rapidly changing demographics and urban growth. The thematic focus will be placed on politics, trade and development.
Africa's burgeoning multilateral and bilateral relations with the Global South invariably ask questions about the place and relevance of relations with the Global North. There is a sense that the EU and its Member States represent a past order, while partnerships with emerging powers like China, India and Brazil represent the future of a multipolar world. Yet Africa's process of negotiating a changing world remains in flux. A downturn in growth rates among emerging powers is affecting their engagement with the rest of the world. The EU in the meantime faces many challenges within its borders, which have affected the organisation's focus and priorities. This panel will seek to gauge Europe's continued relevance on the continent by exploring the ways in which the EU has responded to Africa's shifting international orientation. The thematic focus will be placed on politics, trade and development. Are innovations in policy, practice or approaches in these historic areas of cooperation allowing the EU and Africa to keep their relationship relevant? Are instead traditional patterns of interaction and asymmetry persistent? Finally, are policies responding to Africa's fast changing demographics, with burgeoning urban growth and increasing disparities between urban and rural? This panel is one of two which seek to re-examine EU-Africa relations organised by the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa.