Facts on SA - EU Relations
The SA-EU Strategic Partnership
The SA-EU Ministerial Troika meeting of 14 May 2007 agreed to the Joint Action Plan for the establishment of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership. The Partners agreed to establish a new overarching umbrella structure for all existing fora of cooperation, the Mogôbagôba Dialogue. [The Mogôbagôba is the national tree of South Africa (Podocarpus latifolius or Real Yellowwood)]. A tree in traditional African culture symbolises a place where people engage in dialogue and resolve common challenges. The Mogôbagôba Dialogue is composed of all relevant meetings overseeing all forms of cooperation between the two partners: including the Joint Cooperation Council, Ministerial Troika meetings as well as regular Summits.
In terms of the structure of the Strategic Partnership and its overall relation to the SA-EU Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) agreement was reached on the following issues, namely:
- There will be high-level political talks twice a year in Troika format forming the core of the political dialogue between the EU and South Africa. The meetings will take place alternately in South Africa and the EU. The dialogue should take place at Summit level on a regular basis;
- High-level ad hoc meetings on issues of common interest will be effected whenever necessary;
- The JCC should take place alternately in South Africa and the EU. It will meet at Senior Officials and/or Ministerial level.
- Full use will be made of opportunities for contacts between South African Ministers and their EU counterparts on issues of mutual interest;
- There would be periodic meetings at the level of senior officials and experts to exchange views on regional, continental and global issues;
- To maintain and strengthen regular dialogue at the level of Heads of Mission’s meetings with the South African Department of International relations & Co-operation;
- To review at the Summit, Ministerial Troika and JCC-level meetings the effective implementation of decisions taken, and jointly decide on future actions.
South Africa and the EU consider each other as true strategic partners. South Africa and the EU share many common values and beliefs, making them natural partners to promote development, socio-economic and political progress, as well as stability in a globalising world. Both partners support the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment, racism and xenophobia, as well as the promotion of equal distribution of power, influence and opportunity in the global political and economic systems.
South Africa and the EU strongly believe in the primacy of liberty, peace and security, equality, democracy, human rights, good governance, tolerance and respect for the rule of law, and are committed to advancing these values in Africa and globally. Both partners believe in rules-based multilateralism, the primacy of the UN in global security matters, sustainable development, the basic economic principles of a social market economy, free and fair trade and an equitable international economic order. South Africa and the EU further share a concern for the environment in general, and climate change in particular. Both partners recognize the fundamental role of science and technology innovation for development and are committed to closer cooperation in this regard.
South Africa and the EU are both fully committed to a vision of an African Continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united, and which contributes to a world that is just and equitable. The EU fully supports South Africa's commitment to the African Agenda, including the African Union and its socio-economic programme, NEPAD. Both partners are also committed to ensuring that the interests of developing and emerging countries are addressed. Both partners agree that the Strategic Partnership will be supportive of regional integration in SADC and the proposed Joint EU-Africa Strategy.
A key element of the Strategic Partnership is the common commitment to promoting an agenda of liberty, peace, security and stability in the world, and in Africa in particular. South Africa and the EU share the understanding that security and development are inter-dependent, and that both parties play key global roles in this regard. South Africa and the European Union recognize the importance of regional cooperation and integration.
For more information contact Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787
Department of International Relations & Cooperation
Private Bag X152
08 September 2009