The EU Delegation also included Mr Andris PIEBALGS, Commissioner for Development of the European Commission.
The South African delegation also included H.E. Dr Lindiwe SISULU, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. BILATERAL RELATIONS
Implementation of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership
South Africa and the EU stressed their continued commitment to the EU-SA Strategic Partnership and to the joint promotion of peace, security and stability in the world, and in Africa in particular. Both Parties recalled the successful holding of the 2nd EU-SA Summit on 11 September 2009 in Kleinmond, South Africa as a further important step in strengthening the partnership between the EU and South Africa.
The Parties noted the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009 and the holding of this meeting at Ministerial level under the new institutional arrangements established on the EU side and looked forward to the ongoing consolidation of relations at all levels.
The Parties reviewed the broad range of areas of cooperation between South Africa and the European Union. In particular, they welcomed progress on aviation following agreement on terms of reference for cooperation in this area and the recent engagements with a view to restoring legal certainty to existing bilateral air services agreements between South Africa and EU Member States.
The Parties also noted ongoing exchanges under the dialogues on migration, health, environment, space, ICT, energy and science and technology. In support of the full implementation of the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan, they welcomed ongoing work to further develop structured dialogues and cooperation on education and training, crime and justice, tax and customs, as well as on employment and social affairs.
The Parties took note of the forthcoming UN Review Conference on the Millennium Development Goals to be held in September 2010 and reiterated their commitments to their attainment. In this context the Parties recalled that gender equality and women empowerment are essential for economic development, poverty reduction and for reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
Both Parties look forward to the 3rd SA-EU Summit to be held in Brussels in the second half of 2010. It was recalled that the second meeting on peace and security between South Africa and the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC), will be held in Brussels on 2 June 2010. The Parties also welcomed the forthcoming Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue meeting to be held in Cape Town on 25–26 May 2010.
The Parties discussed the current activities of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in South Africa and Southern Africa. They welcomed the EIB’s support and commitment to South Africa’s economic and infrastructure development through the EIB’s current €900 million mandate for South Africa for the period 2007–13. Both Parties noted the fact that a significant portion of the EIB’s current mandate has already been committed and called for continued support by the EIB for South Africa’s development needs.
Political and institutional developments in the EU and South Africa
The meeting also addressed political and institutional developments in the EU and South Africa. In particular, the EU side reported on progress in the implementation of the external relations provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, including the establishment of the European External Action Service, which will assist the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Parties noted the progress in South Africa’s preparations for the FIFA 2010 World Cup, and encouraged European supporters to visit South African shores for the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa.
EU –SADC Economic Partnership Agreement
Both sides engaged in an open discussion on the EC-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement and on the implications that these negotiations could have on current processes of regional integration in Southern Africa. In this regard the parties took note of the recent communication from the SACU Council of Ministers to Commissioner De Gucht and his reply. Both sides agreed to urgently pursue the negotiation and resolution of all outstanding issues with a view to a prompt and mutually satisfactory conclusion that supports regional integration and development in Southern Africa.