EU-AU Student Leaders’ Roundtable Discussion

by | Feb 10, 2022 | News

The perspectives of student union leaders in pursuit of a stronger AU-EU Partnership

The whole statement here: AU_EU Summit Side Event Concept Note_220211_075530

Date and time:  

Tuesday 15th February 

1-2:30pm GMT / 2-3:30pm CET / 4pm-5:30 EAT

Registration link:

https://bit.ly/EU-AU-STUDENT-LEADERS-ROUNDTABLE-DISCUSSION

Context:

The AU-EU Summit is a critical political moment for both continents, which is expected to identify key areas of agreement and action geared towards enhancing socio-economic development. The EU-AU summit brings politics, education, health, business and an array of relevant issues together in order to provide these two very strategic stakeholders with an opportunity to debate and pursue their common goals. For the future of the EU and Africa to be mutually prosperous, all actors including civil society groups must be involved in creating a new alliance based on fair and sustainable initiatives and agreements.

Over the years these summits take stock of the progress being made in implementing commitments and provide political guidance for further work. At the 5th summit in 2017, the leaders adopted a joint declaration outlining common priorities for the future of the EU-AU partnership. Broadly the leaders made commitments to invest in people, education, science, technology and skills development; Peace, Security and Governance; tackle the hurdles that migration and mobility faces; and mobilize investments for African structural and sustainable transformation. These issues and many others are relevant to the student movement. Our resolve, as the student movement spanning both regions, is to contribute immensely to shaping policy and supporting implementation.

In the past, student unions on both continents have led on actions geared towards the protection of human rights, and the delivery of justice everywhere. Currently, student unions continue to take actions to protect the climate, promote equal access to education, gender parity, inclusivity and provide support for government policy. 

Ahead of the 6th EU-AU Summit, the Global Students Forum, the European Students’ Union and the All-Africa Students Union are coming together to issue a joint declaration of student demands for the EU-AU Summit. We are also hoping to use this opportunity to enlighten the student movement about the EU-AU partnership and explore how National Student Union leaders can engage their governments on the strategies and programmes of the partnership.

Objectives of roundtable discussion:

  • Launch the EU-AU Student Declaration of demands for the upcoming 6th AU-EU Summit 
  • Increase student awareness and understanding of the EU-AU Partnership, including the policy frameworks, initiatives and programmes it encompasses
  • Provide knowledge on how student union leaders across Africa and Europe can engage and influence their governments on the EU-AU Partnership
  • Advocate for stronger participation of students and their representative organisations in subsequent EU-AU Summits.

Session format:

A roundtable discussion between representatives of national, regional and global student movements on their joint demands for the 6th EU-AU Summit. Representatives from, and experts on, the EU-AU Partnership will also be invited to join the roundtable to share their perspectives on the key themes of the student declaration and the role of students in future EU-AU relations.

Student leaders from across the two regions will be encouraged to join and share their questions, comments and suggestions for a stronger, equitable partnership between Africa and the European Union.  

Programme outline: 

  • Opening remarks from AASU, ESU and GSF on the importance of the AU-EU Summit and the core demands of the student declaration
  • A roundtable discussion between student leaders and guest speakers exploring the themes of the declaration and the EU-AU Partnership in more depth 
  • Q&A with student leaders in audience 
  • Moderator closes the roundtable and summarises the key takeaways from the discussion and outlines the next steps for students/audience to amplify the declaration
  • Call to action from leaders of AASU, ESU and the GSF to policy-makers attending the EU-AU Summit