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Journal Article: “Post-normal times: re-thinking the futures of the EU-Africa relationship”

GovInn researchers Dr Robin Bourgeois, Dr Frank Mattheis and Dr John Kotsopoulos have contributed a journal article to the European Journal of Futures Research titled “Post-normal times: re-thinking the futures of the EU-Africa relationship”.  The article is part of the Centre’s EU-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ERGO) and Futures of EU-Africa Relations: Lessons from scenario-building (FEARLESS), which is funded by European Commission’s Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme.

The nature of the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Africa is in permanent evolution. Historically, the EU mostly dominated the relationship while Africa developed adaptive/reactive strategies. With the establishment of new powers as well as efforts to decolonise the thought and practise of North-South interactions, it is crucial to understand what the future of the relationship could be. The purpose of this paper is to draw lessons from the “Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations” workshop whose aim was to advance perspectives on EU-Africa relations from the point of view of African scholars. The process consisted of identifying major influential factors in the relationship and assessing what role they played in the past and what role they could play in the future. The results indicate a decline of the importance of EU-dominated factors and the emergence of African agency related factors. We interpret these results as a transformation of this relationship, using the concept “post-normal” to highlight indeterminacy, insolvability and irreversibility as the new context. Implications are discussed regarding the type of research that needs to be developed in order to further investigate this transformation, particularly the meaning of a shifting focus from (normal times) EU-Africa relationship to (post-normal times) Africa-EU relationships.

 

The full article is open access and can be read here.

EU-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ERGO)

European Union – Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ERGO) is a research activity carried out as a Jean Monnet Project with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Africa has enjoyed a new prominence in the 21st century. Institutions such as the African Union have capitalised on this status by broadening relations with the result of the world, including members of the rising Global South. Questions have subsequently been asked about the continued relevance of relations with the Global North in a seemingly changing global order. For some people, the EU and its Member States represent a past order, while partnerships with emerging powers China, India and Brazil represent the future. Yet this assumption is not a given. What is more certain is that we are in a state of flux which has challenged Africa’s relationships, new and old. The impetus here is, therefore, to “re-examine” EU-Africa relations in this changing global order. The objective of this proposed project is to bring together top academics, policy makers and political observers to explore how EU-Africa relations can best be understood today in light of a changing global order, highlighting innovations and challenges, and how the partnership can be updated in key areas such as security, trade, migration, development of climate change. Particular focus will be placed on engaging ‘African voices’ – hitherto the least present voices in the debate on EU-Africa relations. ERGO’s main activities were two international workshops as well as a larger one-day open conference, all held in Pretoria. These brought together academics, students, policymakers, practitioners, stakeholders and other members of civil society from across the continent and beyond.

The key outputs are published as a special issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs as well as in a number of policy-relevant publications. The project was carried out with the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) and served to promote the Jean Monnet Programme and EU studies across Africa.

Project number: 574837-EPP-1-2016-1-ZA-EPPJMO-PROJECT

Contact: esassa.up@gmail.com

ERGO Policy Day 29 November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERGO First workshop programme July 2017
ERGO Second Workshop November 2017
EU Africa Policy Day programme Nov 29 2017

Repatriating migrants misses the point. Systemic issues need to be tackled

In his latest Op-Ed in The Conversation, GovInn Deputy Director Chris Nshimbi says the decision to repatriate the migrants in precarious condition from Libya is a welcome pragmatic intervention that fails to consider the fundamental causes of human flight from Africa. Since the adoption of the plan, over 3,000 migrants have been repatriated to Gambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast. The number falls short of the targeted 20,000 the AU wished to return within six weeks of adopting the plan.

Read the full article here: https://theconversation.com/repatriating-migrants-misses-the-point-systemic-issues-need-to-be-tackled-88809

Africa-EU Relations, Migration, Development and Integration (AEMDI)

About the project

GovInn and the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) at the University of Pretoria, the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Zululand, are pleased to announce the receipt of funding from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union for our Jean Monnet Project ‘Africa-EU relations, migration, development and integration’ (AEMDI).

In September 2018 the project hosted the a conference on “EU-Africa Migration Conundrum in a Changing Global Order” at the University of Pretoria.

Aims

The Africa-EU relations, migration, development and integration (AEMDI) project, aims to:

  • Bring into conversation leading academics, policy makers, political observers and practitioners from civil society to explore and examine intra-Africa migration on one hand and EU-Africa relationships vis-à-vis migration on the other hand.
  • Draw lessons and parallels from across Africa, and chiefly, the integration experience of the EU—particularly the Schengen Area—in moving from free movement of labour to EU citizenship, as enshrined in Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  • Through a series of international workshops and conferences, research collaborations and publications, AEMDI will promote the Jean Monnet Programme and adopt best practices from the EU`s successes in regional integration, for Africa.
  • It will increase networking and expertise between/of academics, policy makers, professionals and relevant stakeholders in Africa and the EU
  • AEMDI promotes development and well-being in Africa through, among other things, learned experiences from observed successes in EU integration.

Project Coordinators

Chris Nshimbi, University of Pretoria;

Jussi Laine, University of Eastern Finland;

Inocent Moyo, University of Zululand

Project period

01.09.2017 – 08.01.2020

Project partners

University of Pretoria , South Africa; University of Eastern Finland, Finland; University of Zululand, South Africa

Erasmus+ Programme

The project is supported by Jean Monnet Activities within the Erasmus+ Programme

Project Number – 587767-EPP-1-2017-1-ZA-EPPJMO-PROJECT

 

 

Contacts

Chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org

‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’, by Adelle & Kotsopoulos, 06.07.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers Camilla Adelle and John Kotsopoulos published the article ‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’ in the South African Journal of International Affairs.

This paper uses an analytical framework drawn from organisational studies to unpack and evaluate climate change relations under the EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership. The article finds that, while the EU and South Africa share a common purpose and high-level climate goals, many of the formal organisational structures set up under the partnership to tackle climate change and the environment are weak and have fallen into disuse. At the same time several factors outside of the strategic partnership, such as South Africa’s hosting of the Durban climate change meeting, have played a significant role in promoting climate cooperation between the two partners. Therefore, while the strategic partnership creates an additional opportunity for climate cooperation, it is by no means the only or even the most important instrument in the EU’s foreign policy tool box for negotiation and dialogue.

Read the full article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10220461.2017.1345321