Press Advisories

3. 4. 2014 15:28

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka Attends the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels

Czech Premier Bohuslav Sobotka attended the EU-Africa Summit on Wednesday 2 April 2014. During the fourth edition of the event, delegates from European and African countries discussed such issues as peace, prosperity, and migration, and assessed the partnership between the two continents. Sobotka subsequently met with officials from Tunisia, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

The EU-Africa Summit is a forum attended by representatives of EU-28 and 53 African countries. "The Czech Republic welcomes the possibility of taking part in a debate between the European Union and African countries. Since Africa is a territory where we have long-standing trading interests, the Czech Republic is interested in the strengthening of peace and stability in this region," commented Sobotka in Brussels.

With the theme of the summit being "Investing in People, Prosperity, and Peace", Sobotka delivered a presentation entitled "Prosperity". Subsequently, the Czech prime minister met with delegates from Tunisia and Ethiopia to discuss economic conditions, support for education and healthcare, and various other topics debated at the summit. After the bilateral talks, Sobotka reported: "Tunisia is one of the most stable African countries. We must help establish contacts between businesses from our respective countries and find new opportunities for Czech enterprises. On its part, Ethiopia is going through a period of favorable economic growth and enjoys the necessary stability. It is also in the center of our attention." During Wednesday's talks in Brussels, Sobotka will be substituted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Talpa. The EU's dialogue with Africa is rooted in the Cotonou Agreement signed between EU and African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States in 2000 with a view to promoting international cooperation. The conference held this year in April was preceded by summits held in Cairo (2000), Lisbon (2007), and Tripoli (2010). The entire framework of the EU's cooperation with Africa relies on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), which reflects the political development on the African continent, the creation of the African Union in particular. JAES defines economic and development frameworks, including democratic governance and the building of peace and security.

The following documents were discussed at the summit:
  1. EU-Africa Summit Declaration
  2. EU-Africa: Delivering the Partnership since 2007
  3. Declaration on Migration and Mobility

In the past, the Czech Republic signed several bilateral agreements with African countries. As international cooperation is gaining importance in promoting economic growth, the trade exchange between the Czech Republic and its African partners continues to rise. In 2013, the amount of reciprocal trade surpassed the 50 billion crown mark, where Czech exports accounted for nearly 33 billion. Security is another area targeted by the Czech government. Sobotka confirmed that the EU's training mission in Mali included the deployment of 34 Czech military specialists during a period of 15 months.

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