EU-South Africa Summit

The first Summit to be organized between South Africa and the EU, was held in Bordeaux on July 25th. This Summit is  also the first Summit to be held during the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Republic of South Africa is the main regional power in Africa and a member of the group of emerging countries. It is one of the drivers of growth in the continent and a success story that refutes Afro-pessimism. The reference framework for EU-South African relations is the strategic partnership and action plan adopted jointly in May 2007.

The importance of a privileged relationship with South Africa justified the organisation of an event at the highest political level. This was the first summit organised between the EU, in the Trio Presidency format, and South Africa, represented by President Thabo Mbeki, and the first summit organised under the French Presidency.

This summit provided an opportunity to review the implementation of the strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa, particularly in the areas of peace and security, science and technology, transport and education.

The three presidents (European Commission, France, South Africa) discussed:

  • Global issues: climate change, migration and food security.
  • Economic issues: Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), the WTO and the role of the private sector in development in Africa.
  • Security issues: Zimbabwe; Sudan/Chad; the Middle East.

As a result of this Summit, Presidents signed a Joint Statement welcoming that since the establishment of a Strategic Partnership between South Africa and the EU in May 2007, bilateral relations have developed into an enhanced mutually beneficial partnership, based on strengthened political dialogue and cooperation in a wide range of  economic and other areas. The partnership is a reflection of the shared values and interests of Sout Africa and the EU, and an instrument to jointly pursue both sides' commitment to promote liberty, peace, security and stability in the world, and Africa in particular.

This Joint Statement was accompanied by a Declaration on Climate Change, a Declaration regarding the private sector, and a Report on the implementation of the Strategic Partnership between South Africa and the European Union and priorities for future cooperation.