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Programma SharEU - Centro di Eccellenza Jean Monnet

EU-Africa relations and future challenges: Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality?

EU- Africa Relations and Future Challenges:

Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality?

One-day workshop

Polo delle Scienze Sociali, 2nd May 2019

Building D15, room 004

By

 Scientific coordinator Prof. Valeria Fargion (valeria.fargion@unifi.it)

Administrative assistant Alice Perini (cejm@dsps.unifi.it)

 

Over the past two centuries Africa played a very important role for Europe and viceversa; albeit for different reasons, this will be the case also for the coming decades. The European Union and its Member States can hardly ignore this  continent: not only is it just across the Mediterranean sea, but it  has - and will continue to have - the youngest demographic profile in the world, while European population is increasingly ageing and diminishing in size.The recent migratory crisis shows blatantly that what happens in apparently remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa can have an impact on European domestic politics, by influencing partisan competition, and triggering new dividing lines in our political systems. Furthermore, like in the case of the Ebola pandemic, geopolitical turmoil taking place somewhere in the Horn of Africa or in Central Africa cannot be sealed-off easily. In an increasingly interdependent world, the future of European democracy also depends on how we interact with countries outside of Europe, and Africa – let’s not forget it - is a very close neighbor.

Against this backdrop, the workshop intends to discuss recent developments in four major policy areas that appear crucial for the future of EU-Africa relations, particularly for the political implications at the supra-national, and the national levels of government. The four areas are: security, migration, trade and development cooperation. In addressing the main issues that are at stake in each of these fields the core question that needs to be investigated is the following:  is the EU effectively pursuing a forward-looking strategy aimed at establishing a mutually –reinforcing partnership, as reflected in the official discourse? Or, has the EU been trapped – in spite of its commitments - in a backward-looking strategy, that still reflects the asymmetrical relations typical of colonial times, and inadvertently favors the position of emerging illiberal powers? 

 

Opening Address

9:15-9:30

Fulvio Conti, Dean of the School of Political Science, University of Florence

Laura Leonardi, Director, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, University of Florence

 

Panel 1  

                                                                     9:30-11.30 am

The EU and Conflict Resolution in Africa

Chair:  Marco Mayer, LUISS-Rome

Speakers

Federica Bicchi, Schuman Centre, EUI

Daniela Irrera, University of Catania

Lorenzo Angelini, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO)

Reuben Joseph Babatunde Lewis, Transnational School of Governance, EUI

 

Coffee break: 11.30-12:00 am

 

Panel 2

12:00-1:30 pm

The EU and the migratory conundrum

Chair: Gustavo De Santis, University of Florence

Speakers

Martin Ruhs, Deputy Director Migration Policy Centre, EUI   

Mauro Lanati, Migration Policy Centre, EUI

Andrea Stocchiero, Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale e FOCSIV

 

Lunch: 1:30-2:30 pm

 

2:30- 3:00 pm

Keynote Speech 

Towards a Europe-Africa alliance

Stefano Manservisi, Director-General, DG DEVCO    

 

Panel 3

3:00-4:30pm

European Development Cooperation at cross-roads: past achievements and future opportunities

Chair: Maria Stella Rognoni, University of Florence

Speakers

Valeria Fargion, University of Florence

Marco Mayer, LUISS, Rome

Arrigo Pallotti, University of Bologna

Tanya Cox, Director CONCORD Europe

Niels Keijzer, German Development Institute 

 

Coffee Break: 4:30-5:00 pm

 

Panel 4

5:00-6:30 pm

EU trade policy and African economic development: a contested nexus.

Chair: Jean Leonard Touadi, Senior Advisor FAO, Partnership Division. 

Speakers

John Akokpari, Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town

Giorgia Giovannetti, School of Economics, University of Florence and EUI  

Thilo Bodenstein, Central European University

6:30-7:00 pm

Closing Keynote speech

The Prospects for Democracy in Africa

Mamoudou Gazebo, University of Montreal

 

 To download the program click HERE

 How to reach the Polo delle Scienze Sociali

Over the past two centuries Africa played a very important role for Europe and viceversa; albeit for different reasons, this will be the case also for the coming decades. The European Union and its Member States can hardly ignore this continent: not only is it just across the Mediterranean sea, but it has - and will continue to have - the youngest demographic profile in the world, while European population is increasingly ageing and diminishing in size.The recent migratory crisis shows blatantly that what happens in apparently remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa can have an impact on European domestic politics, by influencing partisan competition, and triggering new dividing lines in our political systems. Furthermore, like in the case of the Ebola pandemic, geopolitical turmoil taking place somewhere in the Horn of Africa or in Central Africa cannot be sealed-off easily . In an increasingly interdependent world, the future of European democracy also depends on how we interact with countries outside of Europe, and Africa – let’s not forget it - is a very close neighbor.

Against this backdrop, the workshop intends to discuss recent developments in four major policy areas that appear crucial for the future of EU-Africa relations, particularly for the political implications at the supra-national, and the national levels of government.The four areas are:security, migration, trade and development cooperation. In addressing the main issues that are at stake in each of these fields the core question that needs to be investigated is the following: is the EU effectively pursuing a forward-looking strategy aimed at establishing a mutually –reinforcing partnership, as reflected in the official discourse? Or,hasthe EU been trapped – in spite of its commitments - in a backward looking strategy, that still reflects the asymmetrical relations typical of colonial times, and inadvertently favors the position of emerging illiberal powers?

 
last update: 18-Apr-2019
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