Dispute instead of partnership
It took almost a week after the Summit between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in Abidjan was concluded to publish the final declaration. One can safely assume that more than the spelling was contended for. It is nothing out of the ordinary for an international summit to negotiate the last night before the summit declaration or to postpone its conclusion for a few hours. But I do not know of any summit where it takes almost a week after the summit to publish the statement. A sign of exceptional dispute, when partnership is so necessary.
Civil society proofs partnership is possible
My fellow Members have reported how the alternative summit supported by Bread for the World was working and that it was banned by the government of the summit host country. This alone shows that democracy is lacking in AU-EU relations. As civil society discusses the relationship between the AU and the EU, you can read on a blog post (only in German).
Democracy and participation without ifs and buts
The final declaration of the AU-EU Summit has passages that reiterate this lack of basic democratic understanding. Thus the integrity of elections is not simply called for, but only described as a parameter for democracy. In addition, they are subject to the respective national constitution ("The integrity of elections, abiding by national constitutions, are important democratic parameters."). So if elections are only a parameter for democracy, is there also democracy without elections of integrity from the point of view of the AU-EU summit? The reference to the national constitutions is also a mockery, given that in recent years, a series of constitutions have been amended shortly before the elections in order to allow an additional term of office for incumbent presidents. And to be on the safe side, you are forbidden to interfere from the outside ("We affirm our commitment to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States to reject unconstitutional change of government as well as interferences in the domestic political processes by external forces."). A principle that has long ceased to apply in absolute terms to human rights violations.
Integre elections are a human right, without ifs and buts. Is it necessary to mention that again?
Democracy and participation have been lacking on, beside and after the summit.