Security and development can only be sustainable in the long term when rooted in full respect of human rights without discrimination on any ground, democratic principles, gender equality and the rule of law. 

As laid out in its Communication “Towards a comprehensive strategy with Africa” dated March 2020, the EU shall integrate good governance, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and gender equality in all its cooperation and political actions at a continental level. 

Democratic Governance

Open and inclusive societies help to foster peace, stability and are factors for jobs and for attracting investment. The EU shall continue to promote democratic processes across Africa, by supporting electoral observation and assistance in coordination with the relevant AU organs as well as concrete civil society initiatives to foster citizens and non-state actors engagement, with particular attention on women and youth, at regional and continental level.  

The EU encourages and supports the African Governance Architecture (AGA) by providing financial and technical assistance to various AU organs. It also aims to strengthen the rule of law in Africa, by encouraging accountability and transparency of public institutions, independent and impartial justice, and by tackling corruption and transnational crimes.  

Human Rights

The EU and the AU are committed to promoting and protecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms globally, understood as universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. 

The EU will further build on its strategic and structured approach to human rights political dialogues with African countries, which complement its regular consultations with African regional organisations and the well-established AU-EU Human Rights Dialogue. It will also continue to support human rights defenders to end impunity, ensure redress for victims, and foster reconciliation. 


Women and girls are key agents of development and change. Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is vital to building fair, inclusive, prosperous and peaceful societies everywhere. The EU aims at tackling the structural causes of gender inequality by taking a transformative and rights-based approach, and addressing the intersectionality of gender with other forms of discrimination. The EU supports women economic empowerment, their active involvement in decision-making processes of civic and political life, the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. 


Involving young Africans, Europeans and diaspora in active, meaningful and innovative ways is an important priority for both the EU and AU. Since the Abidjan Summit in 2017, the inclusion of youth in the Africa-EU partnership and AU-EU Cooperation has been significantly strengthened via the AU-EU Youth Track, where the AU-EU Youth Hub is a key component. The Hub, a multi-stakeholder platform for social innovation with Youth at its core, is ensuring that young people have a say and that their opinions and ideas are effectively integrated into public decision-making processes in Africa, and in EU policies and cooperation programmes, across the Africa-EU Partnership.