From: AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
The European Union (EU) has said that it is spearheading the fight against insecurity in Africa because the region’s security translates to the security of Europe.
A senior EU official, in a teleconference in Brussels monitored, in Abuja, said the forthcoming 5th African Union-EU summit in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, is being organised as a way of strengthening the political nature of its relationship with Africa.
The EU official said the summit was important because the year 2017 marked the 10th year that both the African Union and the EU reached a high level relationship.
The official also said there was a clear understanding that both sides would go further in the relationship according to the lines mapped out by both continents.
The decision, the official added, was as a result of the clear sense of interdependence between Africa and Europe, saying that whatever that is happening in Europe, has a direct bearing on Africa.
The official said the issues of migration, issues of terrorism, insecurity, had a great impact on the relationship between both sides.
He noted that the African Union and the EU were already in partnerships in the areas of peace and security, climate change, economy, investment, jobs, education and migration, which he said, would be very prominent during the conference.
Following understanding from both sides, the youths, the EU official added, would be at the heart of the summit in Abidjan since the youths formed the future of the African continent.
“We have been at the forefront in supporting all of Africa’s peacekeeping and mediation efforts; 2.5 billion euros we have invested in the last ten years, working with the African Union and the regional economic communities.
“For us, investing in security in Africa is investing in our own security. And so, we have to adapt our relationship and deepen it further for the coming years,” the EU official said.
The official added that migration was also an important issue between the two continents, saying that both sides have made a lot of progress in the last couple of years in managing the issue of migration together.