On 6 and 7 May 2022, the Civil Society Days organised by Coordination Sud in cooperation with the European Union took place in Paris. On the table during the two-day talks, was the renewed partnership of the African and European heads of states and governments conducted on the sixth, EU-AU Summit held in February.
Although there was more measurable progress, all Civil Society Organisations noted that their recommendations were not completely being taken into account. Therefore, African and European Civils Society Organisations decided to discuss with each other and to the European Union in order to propose concrete mechanisms for the involvement of African and European CSOs in the governance of the AU-EU partnership and strengthen cooperation between African and European CSOs.
ADEPT represented the African Diaspora. It was important to make clear that it was an essential element in the AU-EU partnership. It was also important to enter into a debate with other civil society organisations on how the diaspora and traditional development cooperation organisations can strengthen each other. The interactive workshops did not avoid perilous subjects. Within these platforms, expressions such as ‘decolonisation’ and ‘asymmetric relations’ were mentioned as difficulties to tackle. From these workshops, solutions were also proposed that should be used by all stakeholders in the near future.
The first day ended with a 15-minute monologue by ADEPT’s member, Institute for African Studies Slovenia. The organisation was represented by its president Eyachew Tefera. In his address to the audience, Eyachew depicted his clear views on the proposed topic “For an equal partnership between africa and europe, what prospects?”. He called for an honest partnership between civil society organisations, a halt to the migration business and a full-decolonised approach to development cooperation.
More than 100 organisations participated in the Civil Society Days, which featured interventions from EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Mrs Jutta Urpilainen, Head, OACPS & AU Strategic Partnerships Unit, DG International Partnership, Domenico ROSA and Historian, Achille M’bembe.