Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Future of the Africa/EU strategic partnership

Delivered in Plenary - 24th November 2010

Madam President

The African Union has proved sometimes to be a disappointment in confronting Africa’s many challenges. The AU is all too often silent in the face of autocracy, corruption, electoral fraud and illegal coups d’état.

If the EU and Africa want to deepen and intensify their strategic cooperation in the future, we cannot shy away from expressing our expectations of Africa in a firm and frank manner. That means, in reality, that the African Union must become a more responsible and responsive organisation with genuine moral and political authority.

When Africa needs help to tackle humanitarian crises, we of course should continue to provide the necessary financial and human resources. In particular, the EU needs to ensure that its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals remains as robust as ever. The EU should also reflect on the damage done to African economies by its trade policies and its – sometimes somewhat absurd – farm subsidy regime.

But ultimately only Africans can solve Africa’s problems. We need to grasp this reality and make it central to our approach to this strategic continent and our relationship with it.