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You are here » Home Page » News » EU Relations with South Africa

EU Relations with South Africa

2011-09-07 source

South Africa ’s political transition from apartheid during the 1990s has served as a model across the world. Although the largest African economy, South Africa still faces many development challenges, not least in fighting AIDS, poverty and high unemployment. 

Key issues in EU-South Africa relations

EU-South African relations have flourished since 1994, and both sides entered into a Strategic Partnership in May 2007. The Strategic Partnership has two strands: enhanced political dialogue and cooperation on regional, African and world issues, and stronger cooperation in a number of economic, social and other areas. Implementation is progressing well. Enhanced political dialogue includes regular summit and ministerial level meetings, as well as specific exchanges on peace and security topics. The Strategic Partnership has also given new impetus to cooperation and dialogue in areas like the environment, energy, space, transport or migration, which are being developed.

South Africa and the EU signed a Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in October 1999 which entered fully into force on 1 May 2004 even if some provisions have been applied since 1 January 2000. The TDCA covers political dialogue, the establishment of a free trade area over an asymmetrical twelve-year period, development co-operation, economic cooperation, and cooperation in a whole series of other areas. A first amendment of the TDCA provisions on political and economic cooperation was signed in the margins of the September 2009 EU-RSA Summit. Cooperation in research and development is the subject of a separate Science and technology agreement.

South Africa , the European Commission and the Member States have drawn up a joint country strategy paper (CSP) for development cooperation over the period 2007-13. Its main objective is to reduce poverty and inequality, while promoting social stability and environmental sustainability. The CSP’s development objectives have been translated into an action programme called the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP), which focuses on employment creation and capacity development for service delivery and social cohesion. The total indicative budget for the seven-year period is € 980 million. Unemployment is being addressed through pro-poor employment programmes, and capacity development focuses on human and systems development and public finance management, with a view to improve access to public services and increase the quality of service delivery. Non-focal support is also provided for governance, regional and pan-African support and for the promotion of cooperation in other fields.

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