Deepening the relationship with South Africa
Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
© European Union 2012
Trade and investment as well as ways to boost growth and employment were among the main topics on the agenda at the fifth EU-South Africa summit which took place in Brussels on 18 September. On the fifth anniversary of the EU-South Africa Partnership, the partners took stock of the progress that had been made on peace and security issues, human rights, disarmament and non-proliferation, trade, space and education. The summit reaffirmed the value of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership.
The EU was represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. South Africa was represented by President Jacob Zuma, who was accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation.
2012 is the first year of the full implementation of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), and the free trade area is now in full force. The EU is South Africa's main trading partner (28 % of total exports), the leading foreign investor in the country (77.5 % of Foreign Direct Investment) and its most important development partner (70 % of all external assistance).
The first ever EU-South Africa Business Forum took place on the fringes of the summit, bringing together business associations from both sides. Its recommendations were presented to the summit leaders.
Leaders discussed the Economic Partnership Agreement with five other southern African countries: Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. Both parties are committed to finalising negotiations.
The EU-South Africa political dialogue has gradually been extended. It now covers a broad range of issues – peace and security, G20 issues, and bilateral relations. On international political and security issues, leaders discussed the situation in Syria, the complex security challenges in the Sahel region and Somalia, as well as the fight against piracy and terrorism. The EU praised South Africa for its facilitation efforts in Zimbabwe.
The summit launched two new dialogues on human rights and on disarmament and non-proliferation.
Other areas covered by the 2012 summit included sectoral cooperation in science and technology (celebrating the 15th anniversary of the EU-South Africa Science and Technology Agreement), space, energy, information and communication technology, environment, climate change and migration.
The leaders addressed topics related to the G20, global economic governance, climate change and sustainable development, including the follow-up to the Durban climate conference and preparations for COP18 in Doha. They also assessed the outcome of the "Rio+20" conference on global sustainable development and the next steps needed.
Press statement by Herman Van Rompuy (pdf)
Joint communiqué (pdf)
EU strategic partnership with South Africa - Factsheet (en)
5th European Union-South Africa Summit (en, fr, de)
Press conference webcast (video)
EEAS South Africa pages (European External Action Service website)
EuropeAid South Africa pages (Commission website)
EU delegation to South Africa (Commission website)
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