Creating Common Understanding - EU-Africa Responses to Urban Challenges 
John Kotsopoulos (University of Pretoria)
Jack Mangala (Grand Valley State University)
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Start time:
29 June, 2017 at 16:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

The EU and Africa have set out shared priority areas, including some which increasingly affect African cities like climate change, migration and terrorism. This panel investigates the framing of common challenges, accounting for divergent African and European views and the ability to surmount them.

Long Abstract

In April 2016 the heads of the EU and African Union Commissions reaffirmed their "common future", setting out a list of priority areas to address at the 5th Africa-EU Summit in 2017. The areas -- which increasingly affect African cities -- included climate change, migration and the fight against extremism. Yet, are these areas perceived in the same way by the two partners? And to what extent are the responses and remedies also truly shared? Policy issues are always subject to interpretation by the actors involved. Migration, for example, has long been a common challenge, yet the interests at stake and the way in which the problem is framed varies profoundly between African and European actors. How (if at all) do the two sides surmount disparate interpretations of regional problems? This panel will explore both the framing of common challenges and the practical development of responses to them. Are institutional linkages such as the Road Map of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy or the Cotonou Agreement facilitating robust dialogue and analysis of differing interests and interpretations on which to base common approaches? Do the AU's 2063 agenda and the EU's 2016 Global Strategy contain insights into the framing of common areas for cooperation? The panel will examine approaches to cooperation, reflecting critically on the commitments to "effective multilateralism" in the areas of climate change, migration and the fight against extremism. This panel is one of two which seek to re-examine EU-Africa relations organised by the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Accepted papers: