Intervention by President Charles Michel at the ‘Climate and energy in the Africa-Europe partnership’ debate

Je voudrais commencer par remercier la Fondation Afrique Europe pour son implication, pour son engagement. Merci Mo (Ibrahim) pour ton implication constante afin de rapprocher les points de vue européens et africains.

Maybe a few words. I am very pleased to cooperate and coordinate a lot with our friend Macky Sall. We had the pleasure of being together in Senegal a few weeks ago. Macky, you were in Brussels a few weeks ago in December with some other African leaders to have informal exchanges of views, in order to prepare the next summit that we will have in Brussels in February. I will just say a few words about the preparation of this summit.

First, I sincerely hope it will be an opportunity for a new paradigm, for a new approach, for a new alliance between Africa and Europe. And this is why we have tried, in recent weeks, in recent months, to work a lot together – African friends, European friends. And thank you, also, for the role of this foundation in ensuring that we share the same views as much as possible, that we share the same priorities, and that we are ready to take the same measures, to decide together.

It means that we need to agree – it will be one of the goals of the summit – on the principles for the future relationship between Africa and Europe. Mutual respect, sincerity, mutual interests, a role for the private sector, and how it is possible on both sides to improve governance. First, what are the foundations? What are the principles for our future relationship between Africa and Europe?

Second, prosperity. We want more prosperity in Africa and in Europe. And it’s a common interest: more prosperity taking into account the global challenges – climate change, digital revolution, energy, infrastructure, health, and all those challenges. The importance of financing, of channelling the money we need  to make the right choices, and the importance of accountability. This is not the first time that we have made great statements, but we were not necessarily able to make sure that we were able to implement what we had decided together. That’s why this question of governance accountability, in my opinion, should be an important element for this future partnership.

And one last word – and it’s very important – about security and stability. How is it possible to have a political dialogue to cooperate and to coordinate? How is it possible, from the European side, to develop the tools that are useful to support and to help our African partners, our African friends, to develop African solutions to improve the level of stability and improve the level of security?

I won’t take any longer. You see the passion. You see the commitment. I think this moment, this summit, should be – and, I hope, will be – an important moment for the future relationship. We have many challenges that we need to tackle and to address in common. And I’m very grateful again to all of you for your involvement and for your participation because what’s important is not only a meeting with the leaders – what is important is also the societies in Africa and in Europe.

The more our societies are interconnected, the more we will be able to succeed together and to prepare a better world because we will be able to prepare a better relationship between Africa and Europe.