When Heads of State and Government from Africa and Europe adopted the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) at the Lisbon Summit in 2007, one of their aims was to move this cooperation beyond institutions and make it a real people-centred Partnership. Participation of African and European citizens was encouraged as well as civil society engagement in the eight Partnerships1 and areas of cooperation stipulated. However, taking stock ahead of the forthcoming Africa-EU Summit in Brussels (2-4 April 2014), it is clear that, overall, civil society has been marginalised in the decision-making processes of the Partnership. With a few exceptions, in most Partnerships civil society organisation (CSOs) encountered difficulties in engaging or playing a role that went beyond the classic paradigm of an “implementing partner”.
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European Network of Political Foundations
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