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Nyhedsartikel15. november 2018Tjenesten for Udenrigspolitiske Instrumenter

Beyond the 10th Anniversary of the Strategic Partnership: the EU and South Africa strengthen ties

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership. To rejuvenate bilateral cooperation for the next ten years and beyond, a set of concrete new projects will focus on issues ranging from climate change and the protection of biodiversity to strengthening the economic partnership between the EU and South Africa. EU-South Africa partnership continues to play its part in building a peaceful, prosperous and more secure world for Europeans and South Africans.

Reaping the benefits of the EU-South Africa Economic Partnership

The EU and South Africa, together with five other countries from sub-Saharan Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe) signed in June 2016 the EU-Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement, thus paving the way to enhanced business climate and market access between both regions. The agreement also holds great promises in promoting high environmental and labour standards. To make sure Europeans and South Africans reap the full benefits of the Agreement, challenges and opportunities associated with the agreement are regularly discussed in dedicated fora bringing together the two parties. Building on thriving economic and trade ties, a new project starting in 2018 ultimately aims to further deepen the economic partnership between the EU and South Africa.

EU and South Africa in the lead on climate change

As the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, the Paris Agreement requires strong commitments by the parties to deliver on their pledges. In this regard, the EU and South Africa have set themselves ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions. Through the EU’s Partnership Instrument, a varied mix of EU and South African stakeholders, ranging from business and science to local authorities and civil society, regularly exchange on the best practices and tools to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement. For instance, during the Adaptation Futures Conference 2018 held in Cape Town from 18 to 21 June 2018, EU representatives discussed the EU’s adaptation strategy to climate change, covering diverse policy areas such as science, innovation and research and development at diverse levels.

A Strategic Partnership that protects biodiversity for sustainable economies

In South Africa, over half of the population and around two thirds of the economy depend on scarce strategic water sources. If managed and monitored well, the South African ecosystem can have a positive impact on South African economic performance. To this end, the EU, with the help of UN Statistics Division and UN Environment, supports the development of a well-crafted ecosystem accounting in South Africa to enhance the contribution of the ecosystem to society and economic prosperity. Under the EU’s Partnership Instrument, workshops are organised to raise awareness among national and local stakeholders about the concrete benefits of ecosystems monitoring, such as the sustainable supply of vital assets.


The EU's Partnership Instrument helps to enhance the EU's strategic political partnerships by building relationships with key partners and supporting policy priorities, in line with the EU Global Strategy. The full Annual Action Programme 2018 is available here.

Funded by the EU’s Partnership Instrument, the Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services project aims to assist five participating partner countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – to advance the knowledge agenda on environmental and ecosystem accounting. Implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the project builds on existing agreed methodology at UN level and develops new analyses, tools and operational approaches with a view to assessing the benefits that ecosystems and biodiversity can provide to the economy.

For more information:

The EU's Partnership Instrument

Map of Partnership Instrument projects

The Adaptation Futures Conference


15. november 2018
Tjenesten for Udenrigspolitiske Instrumenter