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Open letter to Ue Negotiation of the Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and democratization of Africa

D 8 décembre 2018     H 15:49     A Collectif de Solidarité avec les Luttes Sociales et Politique en Afrique     C 0 messages

This is an English translation of the original letter. In case of a discrepancy the French original text shall prevail.

Open letter to :

Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President

Mr Neven Nimica, Development Commissioner of the European Union

Subject : Negotiation of the Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the relationship between the European Union and the African Union and the democratization of Africa

Madam High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,

Mister Development Commissioner of the European Union,

Since 2009, the Collective for Solidarity with Social and Political Struggles in Africa, based in Paris, supports the democratization of Africa through the strengthening of the quality of electoral processes. Every year, on average, around 20 legislative and presidential elections take place in Africa. Recent years have highlighted the difficulties of organizing elections in many countries. Issues of the quality of electoral processes, and, in many cases, of their diversion, will continue to arise, especially in about twenty countries that have not experienced definitive and undisputed installation of democracy. It is in this difficult political context that the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States will expire in February 2020. Negotiations have just begun and the Collective for Solidarity with Social and Political Struggles in Africa offers its analysis.

History of the Negotiation of a new ACP-EU Agreement[1]

Prebriefings for the negotiation of a new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement began at the AU-EU Summit on 29 and 30 November 2018 in Abidjan. On 16 November 2017, the European Parliament emphasized « the need to strengthen good governance, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights » and « to hold a frank and open dialogue based on mutual respect, based on these values ​​and principles and to make them a major axis of cooperation, in particular by extending the conditionality of development aid to their strict respect. At the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, strategic priorities were set : « Investing in human resources – education, science, technology and skills development ; reinforcing resilience, peace, security and governance ; migration and mobility ; Mobilize investments for sustainable structural transformation in Africa « .

On 12 December 2017, the Commission adopted a Council Decision recommendation authorizing the opening of negotiations on a Partnership Agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Groups of States. A statement by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said : « The goal is above all to achieve results in key areas such as democracy and human rights, economic growth and investment, climate change, poverty eradication, peace and security, and migration. »

On 14 June 2018, the European Parliament highlighted two priorities : « The fight against poverty must remain the key to the future agreement » and « Human rights and good governance must remain priorities ». On 22 June 2018, the Council of the European Union « adopted the negotiating mandate for the future agreement ». The Council said : « The EU will work towards a substantially revised agreement, based on a common foundation at the ACP level and three tailored regional partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The future agreement should cover priority areas such as democracy and human rights, economic growth and investment, climate change, poverty eradication, peace and security, as well as migration and mobility. »

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission, through its President Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed to the EU a new « Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs »[2]. This new « alliance » for a new ACP-EU Agreement will weigh the potential of Development aid and better economic collaboration including private actors. On September 28, in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the negotiation process was officially launched by Robert Dussey and Neven Mimica.

Actors involved in the new ACP-EU Agreement Negotiations

On the African side, on May 30, 2018, the Session of the Council of Ministers of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) in Lome, appointed its negotiating officer, Robert Dussey, the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration. On that day, Togo obtained the chairmanship of the Central Negotiating Group (CNG) composed of eight states : Togo, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Lesotho and Nigeria[3]. Since then the CNG has not been heard from. In this group, the most immutable non-democratic states are the three former French colonies. In Togo, between 2007 and 2015, the EU aggravated still further the stopping of the process of democratization by accepting that Togo could, in 2007, be released from sanctions related to the Cotonou Agreement without providing sufficient prior guarantees as to the institutional and electoral reforms required since the 2006 Global Political Agreement[4]. Robert Dussey is therefore particularly well-versed in the use of political maneuvers challenging the ACP-UE Agreement in support of democracy.

On July 2, 2018, in Nouakchott, the 31st AU summit also named the Bissau-Guinean Carlos Lopes as the High Representative to support the Member States in the negotiation[5]. Finally, on November 18, 2018, at the Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa, the AU, after the AU Commission expressed the « wish to negotiate the next agreement directly with the Europeans » decided to continue working with a » collective of African countries coordinated by the AU « [6].

The last presidents of the AU have all been very supportive of non-democratic regimes : Robert Mugabe in 2015, Idriss Déby in 2016, elected to the AU when he was not yet elected in his country and still was not elected after that because he reversed the real results of the presidential election in his favour, Alpha Condé in 2017[7], and Paul Kagamé in 2018, while waiting for Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi in 2019. The AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, will be a key negotiator for the negotiations. He was Foreign Minister of Chad at the time the presidential election results were turned around in April 2016, and he still was when Idriss Déby went to help Ali Bongo to carry out the same operation on September 24, 2016 in Gabon[8].

In 2018, the leaders of France, continuing three decades of policy relatively favorable to dictators of former French colonies, have positioned themselves as a sort of bridge between the EU and disreputable regimes, arguing the need to maintain dialogue. This very unbalanced position, a legacy of successive French governments, weakens the European position not only in the ACP-EU agreement, but also with regard to electoral observation missions, the global European approach, every crisis, and the totality of European activities.

Between Europe and Africa, on October 10, 2018, five European Commissioners « participated in the launch of a group of high-level personalities convened by Friends of Europe[9], the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the ONE campaign. The high-level group includes current and former heads of international organisations and foundations, former presidents and prime ministers of African countries along with renowned experts. »[10] The ‘Friends of Europe’ group of personalities is committed to « ensuring the success of Europe-Africa relations » and to working on « Youth unemployment in Africa ». It brings together experienced people from both democratic and undemocratic countries. This communication tool seems to have been created to accompany the New Europe-Africa Alliance in parallel with the negotiation of the ACP-EU Agreement.

On the European side, Ms. Mogherini and Mr. Mimica, you are the main interlocutors. In the European Parliament the Development Committee is working alone on the Agreement without the Foreign Affairs Committee. At the European Commission, the responsibility taken on by ‘Development’ in the negotiations creates for the moment an imbalance, an overvaluation of the economic approach at the expense of the political approach. The distancing of a global approach, the overemphasis on the economic, trade and development aspects at the expense of the more political approach of the ‘democracy and the rule of law’ component, could lead to an imbalance in the final outcome of the negotiations, and at this stage, does not provide a lot of assurance about the will to support the future democratization of Africa.

Repercussions of the Gabonese crisis and current evolution in relation to the Cotonou Agreement

The analysis of the negotiation of a new ACP-EU agreement cannot be done without going back to the non-application of the Cotonou Agreement in Gabon since 2016. In this country, the international community has a share of responsibility in the crisis because it asked Jean Ping to appeal to the Constitutional Court and then abandoned him during the manipulation of the constitutional court, facilitated by the president of the AU, Idriss Déby. Under pressure from the European Parliament, faced with the risk of its electoral observation missions being exploited for partisan political ends, on March 28, 2017 the EU invited[11] the « Gabonese government to engage in an intensified political dialogue with the EU, in accordance with the Cotonou Agreement »[12]. If the Gabonese authorities did not live up to the expectations in this Intensified Political Dialogue (IPD) provided for in Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, a consultation process under Article 96 would then be launched and be followed, in accordance with the resolution of the European Parliament of 2 February 2017, by « targeted sanctions against those responsible for post-election violence, human rights abuses and sabotage of the democratic process in the country »[13]. The credibility of the EU was at stake especially as texts had been signed before the Electoral Observation Mission[14], as reminded by the European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017[15].

On September 24, 2018, in Gabon, following the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s abandonment of its investigation[16], the Delegation of the European Union in agreement with the Embassies of Germany, Spain, France and Italy in Gabon, in agreement with the Africa Director of the European Service for External Action (ESEA), Koen Vervaeke[17], signed a joint declaration with the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), OIF, the General Secretariat of ECCAS, and the Embassy of the United States of America, to « encourage all stakeholders to ensure that these electoral consultations are conducted in a peaceful manner, contribute to the appeasement of the country and constitute a real opportunity for the consolidation of democracy in the Gabonese Republic », although the EU Electoral Observation Mission had observed in September 2016 that the result of the presidential election had been reversed in favor of outgoing President Ali Bongo, and that this reversal of results accompanied by crimes against humanity prevented a future democratic electoral process[18]. Above all, this signature is considered as the sign of a final judgment without any sanctions of the discussions on the respect of the Cotonou Agreement by Gabon, undertaken after the observation of the turning around of the result and the massacres.

Two years later, the EU abandoned this Intensified Political Dialogue (IPD) in a perfect absence of transparency. It thus demonstrated that it does not take into consideration the consequences of the reversal of the result of the presidential election it observed. This European inconstancy in the support of democratic principles weakens the Gabonese Democratic victims of a severe repression. The electoral process of the legislative elections of October 6, 2018 was manipulated upstream and the absence of European action in the upstream stage of this boycotted process has been taken to mean that what the EU prioritizes is the continuity of an electoral cycle, even if it can be seen to be undemocratic and even if it provokes impunity and brings about a lasting halt to the process of democratization. The denial of the Cotonou Agreement by the EU itself is analyzed as the result of pressure from the Heads of State who are holding onto power thanks to the holding of non-democratic elections at the very time negotiations for a new agreement are about to start.

Main articles of the Cotonou Agreement concerning democracy

Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement[19] states that the ACP-EU partnership is based on « respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law ». If a state fails to fulfill an obligation arising from these essential elements, a consultation procedure is implemented. According to Article 96, « appropriate measures » can be taken and go as far as suspension of cooperation. Article 96 was used in Zimbabwe in 2002, in the Central African Republic in 2003, in Guinea-Bissau in 2004 and 2011, in Togo in 2004, in Madagascar in 2010, and in Burundi in 2015[20], but, without any explanation, was not used in Gabon in 2016.

On October 17, 2018, the ACP negotiator Robert Dussey said, « Times have changed. Why today understand Article 8 of the political dialogue as if there were problems ? Article 96 sanctions ACP countries. So why don’t Africans sanction European countries ? We think that’s unfair. Justice should be equal for both sides »[21]. If they could compromise on less important issues, perhaps even on human rights, it is likely that AU-related negotiators would want to suppress or neutralize articles dealing with the requirements of democracy and democratic electoral processes, such as the current Articles 8, 9 and 96. Article 97 which allows in « serious cases of corruption » to begin consultations[22] could also be concerned.

Not all applications of sanctions have been effective. While the methods of crisis prevention as conceived by the 2000 Cotonou Agreement have sometimes reached their limits, in Africa, some 20 undemocratic regimes are provoking military confrontations with their populations by continuing, often since 1990, to divert electoral processes, most often upstream to the election, sometimes on the day of the vote, and sometimes by altering the results. A new agreement that does not take into account the tensions that gradually build up as undemocratic electoral processes accumulate will, under the pressure of Heads of State unrepresentative of the African population, miss its objectives with regard to « democratic principles ». The contents of articles 8, 9, and 96 are essential to ensure in the longer term an agreement favorable to the democratization of Africa. Knowing that the European Parliament has called for « extending the conditionality of development aid (with) strict respect » of « good governance, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights « , Articles 8, 9, and 96 can be improved.

On the European side, new methods of influence and operation

In the face of failures, it is possible to envisage changes in methods. On October 12, in Yerevan, responding to a journalist about the election of a « Rwandan personality – at the head of the International Organization of La Francophonie » « in complete contradiction with the OIF charter which promotes the values of democracy, freedom and human rights, « Emmanuel Macron replied [23] : » I am not one of those who think that we must go on forever or pretend, or make bad compromises on human rights issues. On the other hand, I am convinced that by questioning from everybody, by the sort of peer pressure we have exercised in a number of very concrete cases in recent months, we can achieve results … In a way, this appointment creates an obligation for me. And the approach that has always been mine is precisely that, to do more, to work with all States in trying to promote one’s values, not by giving lessons from the outside. That’s very easy, I can do that from Paris. But by turning up, by showing my face, by convincing somebody that giving a responsibility and my trust, creates an obligation and obliges one to change oneself…” the French president seems to be evoking new methods of influence.

Currently, in 2018, the way in which the EU power of ‘soft-power’, to influence in Africa is changing. At the level of its actions, the EU associates the budget of the European Development Fund, through a statistical approach of actions in multiple points, and more and more releases of budget for specific actions. It is also developing through a modernization of its communication in the most positive style possible, by focusing on strategic areas or themes of communication which are potentially ‘levers’ of systemic evolution, such as ‘young people’,’employment’, ‘women’, or ‘climate’, and the setting up of original events and communication structures[24]. In theory, this approach is compatible with strong support for the construction of the rule of law, for example at the level of freedom of the press, the installation of judicial and police administration, the putting of new actors into positions of responsibility. It has been particularly visible for two years in the monitoring of the electoral process in the DRC. It is adapted to preventive diplomacy. It avoids confrontation between European diplomacy and African actors. It aims to prevent confrontations between African actors which would create insurmountable obstacles, and sometimes mixes actors who oppose each other to push them towards compromises.

If these new methods based on advice, prevention or trust, have brought some progress, the evolution of European policy could replace some problems with others. There is already a lack of transparency. If regular firm positions are not held, European politics becomes incomprehensible for European voters. The methods being developed favor the non-blocked countries, in which a process of democratization is advancing, at the expense of the politically blocked countries in which a process of democratization has been halted : in countries where dictators have departed and there has been some evolution of the regime, European action is facilitated : countries such as Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Zimbabwe or Ethiopia. On the other hand, it becomes difficult and almost impossible in countries like Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Djibouti, Togo, Equatorial Guinea or Gabon. Because many of the currently blocked countries are former French colonies, without strong European influence, the situation is likely to deteriorate even further in the non-democratic part of the former French colonies. Coupled with the decline of the International Criminal Court with regard to African heads of state, European policy seems already to be facilitating the return of impunity for certain crimes, especially during electoral periods, as was seen in Gabon. Following Brexit, European politics is too influenced by a French habitus in Africa which refuses to distinguish between political regimes. Despite the electoral observation missions, European policy since the four reversals of 2016 presidential results[25] has been in decline on the issue of electoral processes. Potential progress with regard to the place of young people and women cannot hide the main issue of democratization for all citizens.

Due to regularly diverted electoral processes, especially upstream, in some 20 non-democratic countries in Africa, there is a growing risk of the EU’s past requirements being abandoned in situations that have been blocked in the absence of democracy, and moving towards ineffective minimum requirements that would accompany the status quo, while preserving commercial and military interests. In extreme cases, European diplomacy is neutralized, under the pressure of governments using European interests. The case of Djibouti illustrates this passivity : after a very noticeable abandonment of democrats in 2013 by the EU in this country historically linked to French interests, followed by a condemnation of the European Parliament[26], European diplomacy accompanied a process to improve the electoral process in 2015, which finally ended in a fiasco during the 2016 presidential election and a rise in the level of political repression to one of the highest levels in Africa, without the EU intervening[27].

The planned reduction of diplomatic confrontation cannot hide historical deterioration. « Turning to a culture of early action and preventive diplomacy »[28], avoiding being content to manage post-electoral crises can only be achieved by further supporting democracy and putting political emphasis on the quality of electoral process[29]. If there is to be discussion about electoral processes in view of a renegotiation of the Cotonou agreements on which the use of European aid depends, behind the appeased and cheerful diplomatic speeches, the positions are for the moment very distant[30].

Divergences between AU and EU on elections, electoral processes and the democratization of Africa

Electoral observation is a strong point of the EU[31]. However, due to the lack of firmness on electoral issues, European leaders are postponing the internal tensions of the European institutions, within which it is not yet fully accepted that the prevention of crises and massacres in Africa requires strengthening the quality of electoral processes, in a global approach[32]. The contradictions will reappear soon, in Chad for example, for which the European Commission has agreed to increase public aid without guarantees on the quality of the electoral process for the upcoming parliamentary elections[33], although it was able to analyze the reversal of results of the 2016 presidential thanks to the presence of an expert mission.

If the political will for change is expressed, it can only happen through a thorough debate on the technique of electoral processes. On 10 and 11 October 2018, the European External Action Service and the European Parliament jointly organized a conference on « The future of electoral observation »[34], to which the Commissioner for Political Affairs of the AU, the Burkinabè Cessouma Minata Samate was invited. The multiplication of the European Observation Missions, allows the European Parliament to progress in its approach and in its knowledge of the difficulties related to electoral processes in Africa, but after its observation in Gabon in 2016, the EU risks being refused the right to intervene in non-democratic regimes and having to be satisfied with the strengthening of electoral processes in fragile democracies, in countries in transition after the departure of an irremovable president or in a failed state[35].

The presidential election in Gabon in 2016 also showed the gap between the AU and the EU on electoral processes. The AU is still passive or favorable to the diversion of electoral processes, and is not afraid of compromising itself through false election observation missions. The UN, the EU, and the AU respect the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity : in Africa, the UN and the EU give priority to the AU. The AU itself also gives priority to the Regional Economic Communities (Cer). Two regions of Africa are more advanced in terms of democratization, Southern Africa (Sadc) and West Africa (ECOWAS) and only these two regions are capable of managing crises, including electoral ones. Above all, in the current state of Africa, when the AU is supposed to intervene the two principles do not work on electoral conflicts because the AU is not composed of a majority of states whose leaders are elected according to the rules of democracy[36]. During electoral conflicts African populations do not expect anything from the AU[37]. At this stage, the use of subsidiarity and complementarity rules in Africa facilitate the solidarity of non-democratically elected heads of state. The principle of subsidiarity prevents the EU from acting and transforms it into a passive observer of political degradation. The UN, the AU and The EU have a common interest, from the perspective of African crisis management, but this common interest has been confronted since 2005 with the obstacle of the process of democratization having been stopped following the deployment of multiparty politics in 1990. If the EU supports the AU in its construction, taking into account the Responsibility to protect the populations, the true common interest resides in the concomitant progress of the processes of democratization and the construction of international institutions, without one preventing the other.

In 2018, democracy and the rule of law are in decline in Africa because of their decline in Morocco, the Comoros, Guinea, Niger or Benin, in addition to the twenty undemocratic states, and despite the democratization of Gambia, the return to normal in Kenya, net progress in Ethiopia, progress in Zimbabwe and Angola, two countries where the progress made does not guarantee the continuation of democratization. If, in the future, the continental equilibrium moves in favor of democracies, the functioning of the AU could evolve positively, but the new agreement between the African countries of the ACP and the EU is negotiated in 2018 and 2019 at a stage when the democratization of Africa is insufficient and too close to equilibrium in the number of democratic and undemocratic countries, which is very favorable to a strong influence of undemocratic regimes.

Since 2016, the year of reversing presidential results, the number of state massacres in electoral conflicts has been increasing, without the international community putting in place appropriate prevention mechanisms. Countries remain locked in vicious circles of impunity, repression, and elections with upstream manipulation, that guarantee impunity. The processes of democratization are frozen. The international community is easily neutralized and accused of interference by illegetimate powers. The European policy of support for democracy at the level of electoral processes has shown its limits, for example in Togo and Gabon[38]. In spite of its desire to renew its methods, the EU has for some years been facing increasingly insurmountable difficulties that are disrupting its global approach. The many undemocratic leaders in Africa, more than 20 at present, are entering into negotiations with the EU with the idea of ​​refusing to be subject to controls on the rules of the game of democracy.

Conclusion and recommendations

The Collective for Solidarity with Social and Political Struggles in Africa expects from the post-Cotonou negotiations progress that can restore hope to African peoples waiting for democracy. If this is not the case, the African populations will see, for contradictory reasons, and more and more negatively, what will be called ‘interference’ to favour European interests in the management of migration or in the support of their companies’ business activities.

The Collective for Solidarity with Social and Political Struggles in Africa reminds the EU of the need to prioritize the quality of electoral processes on the agenda of discussions with the AU during the negotiations for a new agreement with the ACP countries. It stresses the need to maintain binding provisions in terms of democratization, in particular by extending the conditionality of development aid and by providing for appropriate sanctions measures.

In addition, the Collective for Solidarity with Social and Political Struggles in Africa reaffirms its support for African democrats and invites the European Union to organize the most inclusive consultation possible, with the participation of all political actors and elements of civil society, and to take into account the lack of electoral legitimacy of many African heads of state who have never been democratically elected and would nevertheless like to take advantage of current negotiations to try to perpetuate their regimes.

Collective for Solidarity with the Social and Political Struggles in Africa,

Paris, 5 december 2018

Signatures : Ile-de-France chapter of National Alliance for Change (ANC-IDF, Togo), National Union for Development and Renewal (UNDR, Chad), Republican Alliance for Development (ARD, Djibouti), Association Coalition of Opposition for the Restoration of a Democratic State (Association CORED, Equatorial Guinea), Amicale PanAfricaine, The Left Party, Europe Ecology-The Greens.

7 signataires in French : Alliance Nationale pour le Changement Ile-de-France (ANC-IDF, Togo), Union nationale pour le développement et le renouveau (UNDR, Tchad), Alliance Républicaine pour le Développement (ARD, Djibouti), Association Coalition d’Opposition pour la Restauration d’un Etat Démocratique (Association CORED, Guinée Equatoriale), Amicale panafricaine, Europe Ecologie les Verts (EELV), Parti de gauche.

Detailed recommendations to the EU, the Seae and the European Commission
Recommendations resulting from the work of the Collective for Solidarity with the Social and Political Struggles in Africa in his letter to Emmmanuel Macron of 2 June 2017[39], updated on 25 November 2018.

The Collective for Solidarity with the Social and Political Struggles in Africa recommends to the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union and to the European Commission of :

On the elections that will follow in undemocratic and without alternation countries,

Ensure that the EU Member States commit themselves to unambiguous support for the democratization of African States, by framing military influence during the fight against terrorism, in a comprehensive approach integrating the support of ‘democracy and the rule of law’, along with ‘development’ and ‘peace and security’,

Reinforce the commitment of the European policy in an increased support to the democracy in Africa, in this same global approach balancing the three big poles, politics of ‘peace and security’, policy of economic development and policy of support to the democracy and to the rule of law,

Ensure with the EU Member States that the fight against terrorism is used for the benefit of undemocratic regimes and that the military cooperation of the EU Member States is associated with the presidential function and dissociated from a particular president[40] especially in the absence of democratic alternation, especially in Chad,

Engage European diplomacy in support of democracy in Central Africa, to facilitate an exit from the regional electoral crisis, following the succession in 2016, during presidential elections, of three inversions of result at the compilation of the minutes and to the publication of the results in Congo Brazzaville, Chad and Gabon, in particular in Chad, where legislative elections are expected in 2019,

Take initiatives to ensure that the electoral processes of the legislatures in Togo, Cameroon, Mozambique and Chad are organized in accordance with the rules of democracy, with particular emphasis on the division of constituencies at the level of which there are geographical imbalances abnormal, probable sources of majority reversals[41],

Promoting the necessary preconditions for an electoral process :
- absence of repression of the opposition,
- minimum prior rule of law : freedom of the press, freedom to demonstrate, -freedom to organize for civil society and political parties,
- inclusive dialogue with the opposition,
- consensus on the composition of a neutral Independent Electoral Commission,
- consensus on the method of manufacturing the electoral roll,
- possibility of legal challenge to an undisputed independent court,

Demanding strict respect for human rights,

Support political opposition in front of proposals for dialogue with the government under conditions unilaterally fixed by this power while it refuses the rules of democracy,

Take a general position on the absence of alternation and quality of the electoral processes in the countries without limitation of the number of presidential terms,

Take into account the inversion of the results of the presidential or legislative elections, the history of the elections since 1990, in the diplomatic and political treatment of the electoral processes,

Appoint special envoys or diplomats mandated to work for the democratization of Africa for inclusive and transparent international negotiations, as long as the absence of democracy will generate conflicts that will involve the international community,

Propose upstream to prevent electoral crises an international accompaniment of the mixed political and technical electoral process, in addition to electoral observation missions,

Avoid condoning any drift to false legality based on false prior legality, among other things, by giving value to institutions such as the Constitutional Courts of countries without alternation and without real democracy, as happened for example at Gabon in 2016,

In the face of the non-respect of the preconditions necessary for an electoral process and in case of electoral process outside the democratic rules, consider the possibilities of sanctions according to article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, in the sense of a conditionality of assistance associated with the quality of electoral processes, not directly affecting the populations,

Make more transparent the action of the missions of electoral expertise, avoiding the absence of publication of the reports of these missions, which are essential historical documents,

On the African Union (AU) and its relationship with the European Union and the United Nations,

Post-Cotonou : With the UN, avoid that the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity applied between the EU, the EU and the UN are diverted to support undemocratic regimes during diverted electoral processes, upstream, the day of the vote, or election with reversed result at the compilation of the minutes and the publication of the results,

Post-Cotonou : follow the proposal of the European Parliament[42] to discuss with the AU « to extend the conditionality of development aid (with) strict respect of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, respect for (human) rights, (and) the fight against corruption »,

Post-Cotonou : Propose to the AU a dialogue on the technical quality of the electoral processes, in particular on the independence and the inclusiveness and technicality of the Electoral Commissions, the quality of the electoral files, the quality of the compilation of the results from the minutes, the possibility of legal challenge to indisputable independent courts, and the implementation of international mixed political and technical support, by organizing the most inclusive consultation possible, including all political actors and civil societies, and involving the European Parliament and the United Nations,

Post-Cotonou : In the ACP-EU negotiations, promote sanctions measures adapted to the resolution of electoral crises, upstream and downstream, sanctions not only focused on human rights abuses, taking into account actions of misappropriation of electoral processes,

Post-Cotonou : In negotiations with the AU, propose measures to prevent reversals of presidential results in the compilation of the minutes and the publication of the results, propose to the Ua to promote the obligation the publication and the undeniable verification of detailed minutes. In the event of a probable reversal, to prevent violence, to try to prevent a definitive blocking of the process of democratization, by firm political support from the United Nations, the AU, the EU and the Member States of the EU , generalize the consultation procedure provided for in the Cotonou Agreement, including in Article 96 to all cases of sufficiently likely reversal of probable result,

Promote the EU’s observation missions, ensure that they do not become impossible in countries without democracy, or simple technical tools instrumentalised politically,

To continue, in connection with the European Parliament[43], following the conference of 10 and 11 October 2018, on the ‘future of electoral observation’, the discussions with the Ua on ‘electoral processes, democracy and governance in Africa » (and « in Europe » according to the formula of the European Parliament), work with the AU to improve its election observation missions and stop its missions supporting leaders in non-democratic elections,

Consider the capacity of the AU to intervene, through its observation missions and special envoys during crises, according to the progress of the process of democratization of the African continent, and the balance of the moment between democratic regimes and undemocratic regimes,

In the context of international negotiations, reconsider the Responsibility to protect the population in the case of electoral conflicts to avoid that the fear of an increase of the death toll leads to accept the maintenance of a non-democratic regime through a defeated election or with an inverted result or to accept a decline in the quality of electoral processes under democratic rule.
[1] More detailed history, quotes and sources in Appendix.

[2] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-5702_fr.htm

[3] La 107ème session ACP : Le Togo désigné pour présider les négociations « Post-Cotonou », 31.5.18, http://www.afreepress.info/index.php/nouvelles/societe/item/3847-la-107eme-session-acp-le-togo-designe-pour-presider-les-negociations-post-cotonou

[4] Togo et politique européenne – Lettre ouverte à N.Westcott, 16.7.15, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/ue-togo-et-politique-europeenne-lettre-ouverte-a-lattention-de-m-nicholas-westcott/

[5] http://www.jeuneafrique.com/587564/politique/sahara-occidental-mushikiwabo-issoufou-les-cinq-decisions-cles-de-lua-a-nouakchott/

[6]Not specified : the Gcn created at the end of May or a new group : https://www.jeuneafrique.com/666975/politique/union-africaine-apres-le-sommet-extraordinaire-daddis-abeba-ou-en-sont-les-reformes/

[7] 17.11.17 http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2017/11/16/nous-allons-trouver-une-solution-au-zimbabwe-dit-le-president-alpha-conde_5216089_3212.html

[8] https://regardexcentrique.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/gabon-coup-detat-electoral-resume-jour-par-jour-bilan-reactions-internationales/#_Toc462611563

[9] https://www.friendsofeurope.org/

[10] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/52016/european-commission-welcomes-new-high-level-group-eu-africa-relations_ga

[11] 17.10.17, https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/gabon/34179/communiqu%C3%A9-de-presse-dialogue-politique-intensifi%C3%A9-gabon-%E2%80%93-union-europ%C3%A9enne-session-sur-la_en

[12] Ue Declaration 28.3.17 https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/23636/node/23636_en

[13] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0017&language=FR&ring=P8-RC-2017-0120

[14] Séraphin Moundounga 19.11.17 http://gabonreview.com/blog/inapplication-accords-electoraux-atteintes-droit-international-cycle-4/

[15] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0349&language=FR&ring=P8-RC-2017-0512

[16] https://www.icc-cpi.int//Pages/item.aspx?name=180921-otp-stat-gabon

[17] https://twitter.com/koen_vervaekeEU/status/1044621788016185344

[18] Gabon – Open letter to the EU, the UN and the Elysee : Request for action by the United Nations and the EU for democracy in Gabon


[19] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/03_01/pdf/mn3012634_fr.pdf

[20] https://www.consilium.europa.eu/fr/policies/cotonou-agreement/article-96-cotonou-agreement/

[21] RFI, 17.10.18, http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20181017-acp-pays-partenaires-ue-dussey-reclament-plus-equite

[22] P112 : http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/03_01/pdf/mn3012634_fr.pdf

[23] http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20181012-francophonie-exclusif-rfi-france-24-entretien-president-emmanuel-macron

[24] For example, ‘Friends of Europe’ group with Mo Ibrahim, One and singer Bono, or in France Presidential Council Africa

[25] Régis Marzin, 27.4.17, https://regardexcentrique.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/2016-annee-des-coups-detat-electoraux-en-afrique-et-democratisation-de-lafrique-depuis-1990/

[26] https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/communique-djibouti-lunion-europeenne-abandonne-t-elle-les-democrates-pour-considerer-djibouti-comme-une-zone-militaire/

[27] https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/category/djibouti/

[28] ONU Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, 24.2.16 http://www.un.org/apps/newsFr/storyF.asp?NewsID=36687#.Vs9rQkC9E-g

Cf letter to Ue of march 2016 https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/congo-b-djibouti-tchad-lettre-a-ue-politique-europeenne-et-processus-electoraux-sans-democratie-en-afrique-en-2016/

[29] French Politics and Quality of Electoral Processes in Africa, Open Letter to Macron, Solidarity Collective with Social and Political Struggles in Africa, 2.6.17, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/politique-francaise-et-qualite-des-processus-electoraux-en-afrique-lettre-ouverte-a-emmanuel-macron/

[30] Communiqué of the Collectif Solidarity with the Social and Political Struggles in Africa on Equatorial Guinea 16.11.17, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/guinee-equatoriale-apres-le-proces-des-bma-des-elections-saugrenues-augurant-dune-monarchisation/

[31] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/32212/statement-hrvp-federica-mogherini-occasion-international-day-democracy_en

[32] https://regardexcentrique.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/hollande-afrique-absence-approche-globale/

[33] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3125_fr.htm

[34] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/51855/node/51855_fr + http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20181005IPR15111/european-parliament-to-host-a-high-level-event-on-election-observation

[35] Communiqué of the Collectif Solidarity with the Social and Political Struggles in Africa on Equatorial Guinea 16.11.17, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/guinee-equatoriale-apres-le-proces-des-bma-des-elections-saugrenues-augurant-dune-monarchisation/

[36] Régis Marzin, 30.3.16, https://regardexcentrique.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/apres-26-ans-de-democratisation-dictature-et-democratie-bientot-a-lequilibre-en-afrique/#_Toc447135143

[37] French Politics and Quality of Electoral Processes in Africa, Open Letter to Macron, Solidarity Collective with Social and Political Struggles in Africa, 2.6.17, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/politique-francaise-et-qualite-des-processus-electoraux-en-afrique-lettre-ouverte-a-emmanuel-macron/

[38] 9 proposals to the EU to support democratization in Africa, 23.2.15, https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/19/

[39] Letter to E.Macron, 2.6.17, recommendations improved by Régis Marzin on November 27, 2017 : https://electionsafrique.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/politique-francaise-et-qualite-des-processus-electoraux-en-afrique-lettre-ouverte-a-emmanuel-macron/


[40] confusion between personality and presidential function

[41] Sufficient and very likely source of majority reversal for Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Togo, Cameroon and Chad.

[42] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2017-0448+0+DOC+XML+V0//FR

[43] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2017-0448+0+DOC+XML+V0//FR

[44] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2017-0448+0+DOC+XML+V0//FR

[45] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/36393/opening-remarks-hrvp-mogherini-african-union-european-union-ministerial-meeting-ahead-5th_en

[46] https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20171207/final-declaration-investing-youth-accelerated-inclusive-growth-and

[47] Communiqué 12.12.17 : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-5223_fr.htm + Recommendation for a Council Decision, 12.12.17 : https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/pc-com-2017-763-final-act-20171212_en.pdf

[48] The 107th session of the ACP : Togo appointed to chair the « Post-Cotonou » negotiations, 31.5.18 http://www.afreepress.info/index.php/nouvelles/societe/item/3847-la-107eme-session-acp-le-togo-designe-pour-presider-les-negociations-post-cotonou

[49] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/fr/press-room/20180607IPR05247/partenariat-ue-afrique-caraibes-et-pacifique-objectifs-pour-le-renouvellement

[50] https://www.consilium.europa.eu/fr/press/press-releases/2018/06/22/eu-african-caribbean-and-pacific-countries-future-partnership-council-adopts-negotiating-mandate

[51] http://www.jeuneafrique.com/587564/politique/sahara-occidental-mushikiwabo-issoufou-les-cinq-decisions-cles-de-lua-a-nouakchott/

[52] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-5702_fr.htm

[53] https://www.friendsofeurope.org/

[54] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/51855/node/51855_fr + http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20181005IPR15111/european-parliament-to-host-a-high-level-event-on-election-observation

[55] RFI, 17.10.18, http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20181017-acp-pays-partenaires-ue-dussey-reclament-plus-equite


Les plus lus

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2.  Déclaration à propos de la menace du gouvernement britannique de priver d’aide les pays qui violent les droits des personnes LGBTI en Afrique

3.  Angola : Isabel dos Santos, Honour and Lies


5.  La voix des Sahraouis étouffée au cœur de l’Europe

5 articles au hasard

1.  Congo Brazzaville : « En Françafrique, il n’y a pas d’élection »

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3.  Mauritanie : L’UFP, à propos du passage de Aziz à la télé

4.  Cameroun : « Nous demandons une période de transition consensuelle »


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2.  Afrique du sud : The Lives of Women & Girls Are Not Respected

3.  La voix des Sahraouis étouffée au cœur de l’Europe

4.  Agenda des actions africaines en région parisienne d Avril 2015

5.  Transparency group should reject Ethiopia’s membership due to its restrictions on civil society