Breaking: AU-EU meeting postponed 'until further notice'

The African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by: hiroo yamagata / CC BY-SA

BRUSSELS — A videoconference between European Union and African leaders planned for Wednesday has been postponed at the last minute.

A Dec. 8 letter, seen by Devex, from the African Union Commission to the body’s bureau — made up of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, and Mali — read: "H.E. Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and current Chair of the African Union, has recommended that the AU-EU High-Level Leaders Meetings, to be held on 9 December 2020, be postponed until further notice due to the low level of representation at the Heads of State level."

With the 6th EU-African Union summit originally planned for this year postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wednesday’s meeting was billed by the EU as “an opportunity to build further momentum towards the upcoming summit and discuss the partnership between Europe and Africa.”

According to an agenda published by the EU, leaders were expected to discuss “cooperation on the immediate response to COVID-19” and “longer-term issues related to economic recovery and building back better,” as well as “to underline the importance of coordinated international efforts in the area of debt relief and increased access to international financing.”

An EU spokesperson confirmed to Devex late Tuesday that the meeting has been postponed “due to agenda issues.”

Representatives of the African Union have been contacted for comment.

About the author

  • Vince Chadwick

    Vince Chadwick is the Brussels Correspondent for Devex. He covers the EU institutions, member states, and European civil society. A law graduate from Melbourne, Australia, he was social affairs reporter for The Age newspaper, before moving to Europe in 2013. He covered breaking news, the arts and public policy across the continent, including as a reporter and editor at POLITICO Europe.