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The relations between the European Union and Africa

The European Union is an economic power having a strong role in international relations. It has recently been confronted with a severe financial and economic crisis, and has now to cope with the challenges of Brexit and migration flows. Africa is composed of numerous developing or emerging countries like South Africa. Many of them are experiencing high economic growth rates, and the continent may become a fast emerging one in the coming three decades. Simultaneously, as the EU population is aging, the African continent, currently inhabited by 1.25 billion people, is estimated to have a 2.5 billion population by 2050. Trajectories are diverging, and it is then useful to try to understand the extent by which they could transform the relations between the two continents.

These relations have a long history, and several partnerships already exist: the Lomé Convention in 1975 and the ACP-EU partnership, the Barcelona process and the European neighbourhood policy, the Cairo agenda in 2000 (the first EU-Africa summit), the joint EU-Africa strategy in 2007, etc. Above mentioned tendencies will change the rules of the game, notably because of these observed divergences.

But both sides of the Mediterranean have had and still have common stakes and challenges. Some are strategic and security issues in a context of terrorist threats spreading beyond borders. Some are environmental issues, because of African emerging countries’ growth model, or because of the willingness of some European actors to export their environmental footprint. Others are demographic issues, linked notably to African youth and migration flows.

This special issue of L’Europe en formation (coordinated by Jean-Claude Vérez and Laurent Baechler) proposes a reflection and an analysis of the perspectives of the relationships between the two continents, acknowledging they cannot be considered as homogeneous entities. On the European side, growing nationalisms and populisms put in danger the integration process; on the African side, beyond the differences between the anglophone, francophone and lusophone areas, there are striking contrasts in terms of size of the countries, climatic regime, demographic (the Nigerian giant), economic (rentier countries, emerging ones, least developed ones) or political situation (Mali or Tunisia confronted to terrorism, ethnic divides, armed conflicts).

Contributions can address the following issues:
-    economic relationships and existing partnerships (including cooperation agreements)
-    defense and strategic relations
-    migration and demographic issues
-    diplomatic relationships and institutional rules
-    energy and environmental challenges

They must be submitted by November 15, 2018 to the following addresses:, The scientific board of the Journal will select the papers by November 30 the latest. The publication is scheduled by the end of the year. Articles can be written in English or French. They must be around 6000 words long.

Thank you for sending your contributions together with a recent bibliography, in French or English.

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