March 21, 2011

Nordics welcome JAES but remain sceptical

Posted: 09:52 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on March 21, 2011

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was originally billed as the panacea for policy incoherence, but the ambitious project is now being criticized by African and European stakeholders for lacking strategic focus and for its aspirational character. An ECDPM article analyses the role of the Nordic EU member states in EU-Africa relations and their attitudes towards the JAES and the authors find that the Nordics’ engagement with the JAES illustrate the varying degrees of commitment to this multilateral framework of EU Member States in general: they are making use of the broad JAES framework by engaging in those thematic areas which follow their own policy objectives. Within a multilateral framework this could be considered a first step towards more policy coherence, however in light of the criticism about the weak implementation structure the added value of JAES remains unclear. The newly established European External Action Service could improve implementation but it should not be lost that this strategy was supposed to be “joint” between Africa and Europe and so it success depends as much on African stakeholders.

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