1.Thetwenty-thirdPolitical Dialogue Meetinga atMinisterial Level between the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union
(EU) was held in Brussels on 6 February 2023 under the Co-Chairs of H.E Josep
Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy and H.E. Suzi Carla Barbosa, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs,
International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Chair
of ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
2.The President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray actively participated
in the meeting. The UEMOA Commission President, also participated as an observer,
represented by Pr. Filiga Michel Sawadogo, Commissioner in charge of Regional
market and Cooperation.
3.Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to regional and international peace and
security, as well as to the deepening of the regional integration process in West
Africa. They agreed to further strengthen their cooperation, in the spirit of equal
partnership, with a view to providing sustainable solutions to security, political,
economic,humanitarian and environmental challengesin order to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the AU Agenda 2063, and the ECOWAS
The international context
4.Both sides expressed deep concern about the adverse impact of global crises,
notably the COVID 19 pandemic and climate change. Both sides noted that since
February 2022, the war in Ukraine further adversely affected the economies of
Europe and West Africa. They referred to national positions as expressed in the UN
Security Council and the UN General Assembly. Both sides reaffirmed their respect
for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, and their commitment to the
relevant principles of International Law, including international humanitarian Law, and
the UN Charter.
5.Both sides also expressed their deep concern about terrorism and violent extremism
and their impact on peace and security as well as on protection and human suffering
of civilians and called for concerted international efforts to counter this scourge.
6.Both sides reaffirm their commitment to address all aspects of migration and mobility,
respecting national competences, in an integrated, comprehensive and balanced
manner, including through the Rabat Process. Both sides reiterate their willingness
to work in a spirit of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility, in full respect of
international law and fundamental human rights.
Political transitions, democracy and good governance
7.Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to democracy, good governance, human
rights, and the rule of law. In the context of the recent attempted coups in the Region
and the unconstitutional changes of Government in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea,
both sides reaffirmed their zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by
unconstitutional means. Both sides welcomed the decision of ECOWAS to finalise
Governance, with a view to strengthening provisions against the unconstitutional
changes of government, including a strengthened sanctions regime.
8.Both sides called for the return to constitutional order in Mali (March 2024), Burkina
Faso (July 2024) and Guinea (December 2024) in line with the different agreements
reached with ECOWAS. ECOWAS reaffirmed its commitment and determination to
accompany the ongoing transitions to their end, and the EU reaffirmed its support to
ECOWAS’s actions in that respect. Both sides welcomed the work undertaken by
ECOWAS, took note of the steps taken, and called on the three countries to ensure
the inclusivity of these transition processes in order to guarantee success.
9.On the General elections taking place in 2023 in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia,
both sides expressed their readiness to work closely together, including through their
credible electoral processes.
Peace and security in West Africa
10. Both sides expressed their deep concern over the deteriorating security situation in
the Sahel, and the spill over to West African coastal States. Both sides underlined
efforts, while respecting Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and
recommendations of the work of the “High-level independent panel on security and
development” in the Sahel led by former Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou
will contribute to solutions to insecurity in the region.
11. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to regional peace and security, in line with
the African Peace and Security Architecture. They underlined the importance of
coordination of counter-terrorism initiatives in the region under the leadership of the
ECOWAS Commission. Both sides confirmed the important coordination role that
could be played by the effective implementation of the ECOWAS 2020-2024 Priority
Action Plan to eradicate terrorism. The EU expressed its readiness to lend support to
counterterrorism initiatives, at national and regional level, including the ECOWAS
2020-2024 Priority Action Plan.