Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said on Friday that the European Union must strengthen its relationship with Africa through an institutional reconfiguration, concluding this process by the end of the Portuguese presidency.
De Sousa took this position during a conversation with the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of the third edition of the Euro-Africa Forum, which was held by videoconference due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
De Sousa, who spoke in English, said that cooperation between Europe and Africa must “change structurally”, with “a new common framework”, considering that organisations “conceived in another era” are now “largely outdated.”
“It is a great challenge. A challenge in terms of timing: we should have decisions by October when the summit between the European Union and the African Union [during the German presidency] will take place. We should have that closed during the Portuguese [European Union] presidency in the first half of next year,” he added.
De Sousa reiterated this message several times throughout this conversation, arguing that there must be “fewer bodies” and “new, more operational organisations.
“We have to integrate the different financial systems, we have to strengthen European funding for Africa, we have to do it quickly. It’s obvious that there should be preliminary conclusions before the end of this year, during the German presidency, and obviously the final definition before the end of the Portuguese [European Union] presidency,” he stressed.