1. Working title
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy: Analysis of a common agreement
2. Summary and Outline of Topic
With the signing of the Lisbon Treaties in 2007, the EU and the African Union (AU) decided in the ‘Joint Africa-EU Strategy’ (JAES) to further strengthen the co-operation between both continents. “The purpose of this Joint Strategy is to develop a political vision and practical approaches for the future partnership between the EU and Africa, based on mutual respect, common interests and the principle of ownership“ (The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, 2007). Moreover, the EU and the AU decided in this strategy to strength their co-operation in eight fields. The thesis will analyse the following three actions of the strategy: ‘Peace and security’, ‘democratic governance and human rights’ and finally ‘trade, regional integration and infrastructure’.
3. Aims and objectives
The primary aim of the thesis is to analyse the policy of the European Union towards the African Union, and in this case particularly the common Joint Strategy as part of the Lisbon agreement in 2007. The African continent moves more and more to the fore. This phenomenon is not only observable since the so called ‘Arabic Spring’, the protest movements in Northern African states and the Middle East, but also through the piracy at the Horn of Africa, famines in Somalia, the election about an independent South Sudan or the flows of refugees, trying to reach Europe. The EU and its member states can look back on 50 years of development aid on the African continent. Nevertheless it is difficult to talk about a successful story. Due to its resources, Africa becomes more significant than ever before for the European countries and therefore also for the EU. The imperative for a common strategy is defined through the first paragraph of the summit: “Africa and Europe are bound together by history, culture, geography, a common future, as well as by a community of values: the respect for human rights, freedom, equality, solidarity, justice, the rule of law and democracy “ (Joint Africa–EU Strategy, 2007).
The objectives of the thesis are on the one hand a critical analysis of the - in my opinion - three most important parts of the JAES: Peace and security (I), democratic governance and human rights (II) and finally trade, regional integration and infrastructure (III). The decision to discuss only three main points of the JAES arises from the claim to guarantee a complete analysis within the given framework. In this context it seems as necessary to connect this analysis with two of the most dominant theories in the field of International Relations, the Idealism and the Realism. The analysis of an eventually influence of rationality on the part of both actors and the formulation of a common strategy guided through the Idealism will be the main discussion of the first part to evaluate the explanatory power of these theoretical approaches. On the other hand the...