Brussels | Calling for a paradigm shift in Europe-Africa relations

A petition was launched, Monday night in Brussels, in favor of a paradigm shift governing relations between Europe and Africa, to better support the major unrest that has occurred in recent decades in the two side of the Mediterranean and around the world.

During a conference-debate, organized by the association ” Friends of Morocco ” and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium around the theme ” And if the future of Europe passes in the south? ”, It was that “must be repaired” in Europe’s relations with its southern neighbor according to the new parameters are the common thread of exchanges that have seen the participation of the particular Ambassador of Morocco to Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , Mohamed Ameur, many Belgian and Moroccan personalities from the worlds of politics, culture, association action and research.

For Louis Michel, Belgian Minister of State and former MEP, ” if Europe wants to save its DNA, it needs to change its paradigm, especially in its relationship with the South ”.

“Europeans are called upon to consider a new way of conceiving their relations with Africa, to reach a political consensus on the idea of ​​the junction between Africa and Europe, to outline a models that include the economic and the human, ”he emphasized.

According to him, “there are definitely different readings, expressions and perspectives, but human values ​​are the same.”

The best way to change the paradigm, argues Mr. Michel, is “negotiating an association and free trade agreement that will include all of Europe and across Africa”, and added that “it will allow the creation of a unique community rich in human resources. , raw materials, education, culture, knowledge and languages ​​”.

However, a free trade zone is only justified if it is combined with freedom of movement, he pointed out, believing that this freedom “can eliminate this kind of migration problem that is exploited in a bad way and that has risk to pose an even greater risk to. what constitutes the size and values ​​of Europe ”.

” All the migratory receipts that have so far failed, shouldn’t the procedure be changed now? ”, He wondered, insisting on the need to achieve a ” partnership maturity ”, in order to win- winning agreements, which are ‘‘ balanced and do not favor one to the detriment of the other ’’.

In the same vein, the economist and former Minister of Economy and Finance, Fathallah Oualalou, estimates that the traditionally common partnership between Europe and Africa “seems to have now reached its limits”. It is therefore important, in his view, to emphasize the challenges of today’s world in order to try to “guide a common reflection between Europeans and Africans, with the aim of building a new or software account of the reality of a world where the economy is driven by Asia, especially China ”.

“Europe can only establish its presence in Africa if it reconciles with the south that it knows and that challenges it now to build a new type of partnership based on co-production and co-development. , with the aim of simultaneously managing the constraints associated especially with global warming, health crisis, inequality, poverty and security, ” he said.

It is necessary from there, continued Mr. Oualalou, in the development of regional value chains, to cross at the same time the global value chains, but with a particularity to take into account the neighborhood and proximity.

This new challenge will allow the Mediterranean to rehabilitate and refocus to become the new center of a more shared, more balanced and more multipolar world, he argues.

“Europe’s future will only be built with the South if it recognizes the current challenges and is able to transform the Euro-African partnership”, he insisted, adding that Europe must keep account of changes that have taken place in the past. thirty years (rise in China, bipolarization of US-China, the shocks associated with September 11, the economic crisis of 2008, the Arab spring, the health crisis, the war in Ukraine).

And to continue that ” Europe, which has to think about the new world, seems to be aware of the opportunities that have been created by the latest shocks, especially the need to empower and separate China ” .

“This awareness should lead it towards building new bases for digital, energy, human and cultural integration,” he said.

LR/MAP

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