The Second African Union-European Union Ministerial Meeting will take place from today 25th to tomorrow 26th of October October 2021, in Kigali, Rwanda. While today, 25th October 2021, the Senior Officials of the AU and the EU will meet, tomorrow the 26th of October 2021, the Joint AU-EU ministerial meeting will be convened. Prior EU-Africa meetings have focused on issues such as economic cooperation, resilience, peace, security and governance, migration and mobility but not as much on Africa’s pressing sovereign debt crisis. The March 2020 EU-Africa Strategy did not focus on Africa’s debt crisis. It is important that the Second African Union-European Union Ministerial Meeting goes beyond the traditional ACP issues centering around, trade and investment, development cooperation and political dialogue. Africa’s sovereign debt crisis be part of the conversation.
The Caribbean and Africa are unique and similar in their pluri-ethnic composition and shared history. They may have more in common than any other geopolitical regions in the world. They have even more reason to strengthen and deepen political and cultural ties, not least because the Caribbean is historically a major location of the African diaspora, and much of Caribbean history is steeped in the African "soul" and culture. This should be seen as a central element in their global repositioning strategies, specifically within the context of the OACPs.
The article proceeds as follows. First, it combines a sketch of older Caribbean-African relations with more recent cooperation-related undertakings, framing mooted CARICOM-AU summitry and its precursor diplomatic milieu by analytically situating both regions in international affairs-related high politics. I show that some recent foreign policy stances of a handful of CARICOM Member States provided early, if incomplete, signals as regards the regional push for a deepening of CARICOM-AU relations. Second, this article delves into the fundamental issue of how to cast Caribbean-African relations while also taking a closer look at summit diplomacy and the main drivers behind African and Caribbean countries' foreign policies. Third, and from a CARICOM vantage point, it pinpoints the role of geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics in the making of summitry with the AU. In the case of the geopolitical dimension, the article highlights recent systemic shifts in relations between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU). The article also examines geo-economic shifts germane to the Africa axis of CARICOM Member States’ foreign policies, underlining the associated value that CARICOM attaches to the summitry enterprise. The article concludes with a look back at core lines of argumentation, along with a look ahead at the practical implications of the COVID-19 crisis and other conditions vis-à-vis the prospects for deepened CARICOM-AU relations.
The EU is often touted as providing an exemplary model for regional integration in the field of competition policy. It has indeed been successful in many ways – integrating diverse markets through strict anti-cartel laws, introducing an effective one-stop-shop merger regime in the 1990s, and tackling dominance steadfastly albeit less prolifically.However, given its experimentalist and ever-evolving nature, the EU competition regime is also bound to sometimes 'get it wrong'. In the author’s view, this statement holds true regarding the digital markets domain that was recently earmarked for regulation in the EU.
When the EU and Angola announced the first round of the first-ever ‘Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement’, development experts must have asked themselves, like I did, which aspect of this Agreement will induce many foreign firms to plough their capital into the resource-rich Southwestern African nation.
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Although the Regulations commendably exempt ninety-two countries, their restrictions still apply to many upper-middle income countries, such as South Africa, which is not only relatively poor but is battling with one of the most contagious variants of the virus. The Regulations also do not exempt a country like Canada, which despite its relatively ample resources, does not yet manufacture its own vaccines and is home to particularly vulnerable indigenous peoples, especially in its Northern and polar regions.
This article reviews the policy advancements on digital taxation, the individual initiatives that some developed countries have enacted, and considers some recommendations for developing countries to address future changes. It also contains a brief analysis of the Ecuadorian VAT reform for digital services and other possible options that need to be considered by the country.
The African Union (AU) has recently taken bold steps to integrate the continent further. In 2015 members agreed on a broad integration plan, the Agenda 2063.
Adopting an electronic version of the euro and granting it the legal tender status would certainly allow States to adopt more stringent policies for fighting AML and tax evasion. Even though most of the references and examples in this contribution were focusing on the EU context, similar conclusions can be drawn for other parts of the world. While new technologies such as a CBDC could represent an additional tool at disposal of tax authorities to fight tax evasion and fraud, issues concerning the digital divide and privacy shall be addressed while the debate over the design of a CBDC is still ongoing.