Paradigm Lost? The Joint Africa-EU Strategy: A Study of the Peace and Security Partnership


  • Camilla Elowson
  • Per Nordlund

Publish date: 2013-12-20

Report number: FOI-R--3752--SE

Pages: 66

Written in: English


  • African Union
  • AU
  • European Union
  • EU
  • Africa
  • Joint Africa-EU
  • Strategy
  • JAES
  • African Security
  • African Peace and Security Architecture
  • APSA
  • Peace and Security
  • Peace and Security Partnership
  • Peace Support
  • Operations
  • Amani Africa
  • Partnership Culture
  • Political Dialogue
  • Security
  • Policy


This report, commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Defence, examines the Peace and Security Partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). The report provides a background to the partnership and the strategy, and an overview of progress since the adoption of the JAES in December 2007. Developments on the African and the EU side are discussed, and conclusions and recommendations for the journey ahead are presented. The point of departure is the Peace and Security Action Plan and its three Priority Actions: 1. Political dialogue. 2. Operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). 3. Predictable funding for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) undertaken by the AU or under its authority. The JAES represents a long-term ambition to fundamentally change relations between Africa and the EU. The continental actors recognise the need for a paradigm shift: away from colonial and aid patterns of interaction and towards a mutually defined agenda for change between equals. The results so far, however, have to be regarded as a disappointment, and stakeholders have manifested less commitment to the JAES in the last few years. While the Peace and Security Partnership overall is performing better than the other seven partnerships within the JAES, there is still much room for improvement. Findings of the report include: the urgent need to improve the political dialogue and partnership culture, the need for continued support to centralisation through the strengthening of the AU and the long-term vision of Africa as one, the importance of building on concrete progress in the Action Plan, the necessity of strengthening buy-in to the process from EU and AU member states, and the urgency of stimulating increased funding of the JAES from African partners. Ultimately the question is: What is the scope for ensuring that the envisaged paradigm shift in Africa-EU relations is not lost entirely? The report finds that a significant shift in Africa-EU relations is still a distant future. A substantial increase of African funding for the JAES and APSA, and a strong commitment of the EU's political leaders to engage in a serious political dialogue with their African partners are of crucial importance for the realisation of the strategy. If this does not happen in the near future, the JAES is likely to remain an ambitious but unfulfilled vision.