EU-Africa relations should be defined by mutual respect on the basis of a common agenda – Minister Evarist Bartolo

EU-Africa relations should be defined by mutual respect on the basis of a common agenda – Minister Evarist Bartolo

Reference Number: PR212222, Press Release Issue Date: Dec 14, 2021
Foreign and European Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo highlighted the importance of mutual respect between Europeans and Africans, noting the significance to EU-Africa relations in developing a common agenda. 

Europe must have fair trade and investment relations with Africa that create wealth and jobs in Africa for Africans, particularly young people that need a real perspective.

Minister Bartolo attended the Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting of the Council of the European Union in Brussels, which focused on the EU relations with Africa, in the run-up to the EU-Africa Summit scheduled for 2022, the current situation in Belarus and Ukraine and the situation in Varosha.

Minister Bartolo underscored the need for consistency across the EU’s various policies vis-a-vis Africa that would ensure the creation of jobs, growth, and prosperity on the African continent. Minister Bartolo opined that Europe can invest strategically to develop various sectors with Africans, including solar energy, for example, where 600 million are still without electricity. In his intervention, he also underlined that creating opportunities for Africans in Africa is the best way to guarantee a sustainable future for Africa shaped by Africans.

Concerning the situation in Varosha, Minister Bartolo stressed that relevant UN resolutions need to be upheld and measures must be taken to de-escalate tensions between Cyprus and Turkey.

Foreign ministers also held an exchange of views with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. The exchange focused primarily on Qatar’s role in Afghanistan. Minister Bartolo highlighted the importance that the EU and Qatar working closer together as their interests are intertwined. Minister Bartolo commended the role of Qatar in ensuring resumption of flights and access of humanitarian assistance engaging with international partners to uphold humanitarian and human rights, particularly those of women and girls.  

In the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the ministers held an exchange of views with the IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. The meeting focused on the current rise in global energy prices, which are said to have increased substantially when compared to last year. Minister Bartolo noted that this situation is a catalyst for moving towards alternative and cheaper energy sources. Given the importance of rare minerals in the development of new clean energy sources, Minister Bartolo emphasised the importance of cooperation on a European and global level, to address climate challenges.

Minister Evarist Bartolo with Italy’s Luigi di Maio and Austria’s Alexander Schallenberg 
Minister Bartolo with Estonia’s Eva-Maria Liimets and Germany’s Annalena Baerbock.