The Africa-Med-Europe Vertical

Our Vision :

Jean-Claude Juncker summarizes the Africa-Med-Europa project:

“The Covid-19 crisis is pushing the world to innovate. United by a common future, Europe and Africa are inextricably interlinked, being each other’s most natural allies in the quest for prosperity and growth. Our partnership cannot reproduce old schemes. With regional economies offering solutions to the challenges arising from unregulated globalisation, new forms of integration of production, supply and value chains have to be designed together.

The innovative approach which sees Europe, Africa as well as the Mediterranean as an integrated region promoted by La Verticale Africa-Med-Europe Foundation is of utmost importance. With shared management, the Foundation will serve as a tool to boost regional integration with an innovative three-pillar structure composed by the AME Think Tank Network, Wise Persons Group and Council of Business Leaders, working in-sync to elaborate coordinated action and create new opportunities for our two continents.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, Honorary President La Verticale AME Foundation

La Verticale Africa-Med-Europa (AME) Foundation is a non-governmental and multi-stakeholder organization which aims to accelerate the economic integration of the AME region in a productive, sustainable and united manner. It offers tangible methods and projects for the medium and long term, by transforming shared ideas into concrete actions. Its mission is centered around a major trend: the regionalization of our economies.

A fundamental trend: the regionalization of globalization

There are in fact two forms of internationalization of trade: globalization, with the whole world as a playing field; and regionalization, within large groups of neighboring countries (European Union, Asean + 3, etc.).

Globalization and regionalization are linked, but so far public debates have mainly focused on globalization. The latter had been the subject of growing criticism even before the coronavirus crisis; they have increased even further since then. Europe’s difficulty in obtaining vaccines – to say nothing of the Mediterranean and Africa – has shown that sovereignty requires greater control over strategic supplies.

The promotion of shorter circuits does not mean a return to nations. The power of regional integrations all over the world, especially in East Asia, shows that the alternative to deregulated globalization takes the form of large “North-South regions”.

This is particularly the case in the Americas and East Asia, where this regional economic integration is based on four instruments:

– a financial instrument: a regional development bank (and even two in East Asia);

– an economic instrument: an investment security treaty to promote co-production between industrialized countries and emerging countries;

– a political instrument: the Organization of American States and the East Asian Summits.

– an instrument for economic forecasting, such as ECLAC, which brings together 700 researchers from 33 South American countries in the Americas, in which 11 countries are associated, including the United States and Canada; and the ERIA which brings together the 16 countries of East Asia.

The signing in November 2020 of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between ASEAN countries, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, confirms the region’s deep economic integration.

If they do not want to be dominated by globalization, the European, southern Mediterranean and sub-Saharan countries must face common challenges together: adaptation to climate change, energy transition, co-development and control of migratory flows, security, food, health and technological sovereignty.

Africa-Mediterranean-Europe, our « quartier d’orange »

Our relevant space is the Africa-Mediterranean-Europe region, our “quartier d’orange”, to use the term of Jean-Louis Guigou. Hence the importance for Africans, South Mediterraneans and Europeans to work together in the long run to prepare for the future.

This involves changing:

– vision and thinking in terms of “North-South regions”;

– objective: not to be utilitarian and short-termist, to promote a sustainable, united and inclusive productive partnership, with a strong content of transfers of know-how, training and the exchange of experiences. In other words, promote the cultural part of economic development in order to strengthen our common values;

– strategy, moving from simply commercial relations to those productive relations which make for the success of the integration of East Asia. Deep regional integration requires the geographic redistribution of the production apparatus;

– method, starting from the needs of populations with bottom-up and no longer top-down strategies, favoring the approach by territories (short circuits, local and regional common goods, territorialized local sectors, circular economies, local ecosystems , clusters and Special Economic Zones); by highlighting concrete projects led by civil society and in particular businesses;

– political priority, moving from the security approach which dominates North-South relations, to “general human security”: security of employment, investments, access to energy, to food , to quality medicines and to the health, political and legal security of individuals;

– behavior, moving from a spirit of conquest or resentment, to a spirit of sharing where common work prepares the future;

– ambition, by making AME the number one region in the world.

Political awareness

It has been progressing for several years, as evidenced by the following statements:

– Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou: “Observing the economic and social development of the two continents, European and African, shows how closely they are linked and how necessary a permanent framework for strategic thinking is to guide this development.» (Letter of support for the Verticale AME project, 2015).

– The European and African Heads of State, during the 2015 Summit of 11 and 12 November in Valletta decided to “continue the strategic reflection with a view to continuing to promote regional economic integration between European countries, of the Southern Mediterranean and the Sub-Saharan countries ”.

– President Macron on August 27, 2017, in front of the French Ambassadors: “We must tie together, finally, the European and African continents, across the Mediterranean; the Maghreb will therefore remain a central priority for France (…). The Strategy I want to implement is to create an integrated axis between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe “.

– Chancellor Merkel in December 2017, with her idea of ​​an African Marshall Plan.

– President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, in his State of the Union speech on September 13, 2018, in which he declared that collaboration with Africa is a key priority for the European Union. He proposed “a new alliance between Europe and Africa for sustainable investments and jobs”. This involves reducing the public aid that passes through the ministries, and to increase support for private projects, with the creation of the External Investment Plan (EIP).

– The new European Parliament and the new Commission, President Von der Leyen, having taken bold initiatives during the winter of 2019-2020 to renew Euro-African relations.

– The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell: “We must act now, in a few years it will be too late. We must avoid getting to the point where, as my friend Enrico Letta, former Italian Prime Minister, says, Europeans will have to choose between being a Chinese colony or an American colony.» (Política Exterior, 09/01/2020).

The narrative of relations between Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa has therefore changed. However, the tools to turn ideas into action are not yet up to the challenge. The AME Foundation is a shared tool for a new long-term regional alliance, a productive, sustainable and united development that will ensure our sovereignty.

As Maurice Blondel said, “The future cannot be predicted, it is prepared”.

July 16, 2020: The Appeal of the AME Foundation’s “Wise Persons Forum

On July 16, 2020, the members of the Wise Persons Forum, launched an appeal, the essential elements of which are:

“In this 21st century world, made more dangerous by the return of nationalisms and the weakening of multilateralism, Africa and Europe have a major responsibility to create a fairer globalisation, more respectful of regional realities, rules and collective preferences, that does not leave anybody behind. The interests of our continents largely depend upon it. (…)

A new partnership between Africa and Europe is more necessary than ever. It is an alliance that we must build together every day with our societies, our youths, our women, our cities, our companies. It is a global region that will count nearly 3 billion people by 2040 and that we must build.

Our geographic, historical and cultural proximity, as well as our diversity, are strategic assets to tackle common challenges: imagining together a new story, developing economic and social interactions, setting up fair North-South exchanges, creating jobs, mastering digitalisation and technologies, fighting against global warming, ensuring peace and security.

We must mobilize our intellectuals, researchers, entrepreneurs and societies. Without taboos, deference or paternalism.

To do so, we must implement a Foundation that facilitates this movement: the “Africa-Med- Europa (AME) Verticale”, an independent, equally-shared tool, that works towards the general interest in the long term, and that could carry this project.”

Signatories:

  • Jean-Claude JUNCKER, Former President of the European Commission and Honorary President of “La Verticale Africa-Med-Europa (AME)” Foundation
  • Elisabeth GUIGOU, President of “La Verticale AME” Foundation, Former Minister of the Republic of France
  • Nana AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana
  • Mohamed Ould EL-GHAZAOUANI, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso
  • Uhuru KENYATTA: President of the Republic of Kenya
  • Issoufou MAHAMADOU, President of the Republic of Niger
  • Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
  • Ulisses CORREIA E SILVA, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cabo Verde
  • Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF, Former President of the Republic of Liberia
  • Louise MUSHIKIWABO, Secretary General of the International Organisation “La Francophonie”
  • Talal ABU-GHAZALEH, Vice-President of “La Verticale AME” Foundation, Former Senator of the Kingdom of Jordan, Chairman of TAG. Global
  • Romano PRODI, Former President of the European Commission
  • Felipe GONZALEZ, Former President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain
  • Horst KÖHLER, Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Miguel Ángel MORATINOS, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
  • Piero FASSINO, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies
  • Etienne DAVIGNON, Minister of State of the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Louis MICHEL, Minister of State of the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Stefano MANSERVISI, Advisor to Jean-Claude Juncker, Former Director General of Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission.
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