South African President Jacob Zuma will be in Brussels on 28 September for an EU-South Africa summit. The Summit will provide an opportunity to strengthen the strategic dialogue between the EU and South Africa and to discuss a number of issues, in particular global governance, climate change, development issues, the Joint Africa-EU strategy, the SA-EU strategic partnership and peace and security in Africa.
This is the first Summit meeting between the leaders of the EU and South Africa since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The EU will be represented by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
The talks will mainly focus on global issues such as global governance, development and climate change. The forthcoming EU-Africa summit, peace and security issues on the African continent, trade and bilateral questions will also be discussed. The signature of an €122 million EU budget support programme for primary education in South Africa will be the concluding highlight of the summit. It constitutes the largest EU budget support programme to the country to date.
The strong relationship now enjoyed by the European Union and South Africa first began to take shape with birth of South African democracy in 1994. Since then political dialogue has been significantly strengthened and the relationship has gradually evolved into a partnership in which issues are discussed on a level footing.
Relations are underpinned by the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), signed in 1999, which provides the legal basis for close cooperation on trade, development, economic cooperation and political dialogue. The signing of a Strategic Partnership agreement in 2007 further strengthened the relationship, enhancing political dialogue and cooperation as well as collaboration on economic and social issues.
The Strategic Partnership foresees summit level meetings at regular intervals, bringing the political dialogue to the highest level and providing political orientation and steering to the partnership.