The author's aim was to present the relations between the European Union and sub-Saharan Africa at the turn of the 21st century.The EU's international activities towards sub-Saharan Africa are driven by underlying political and economic interest, common to member states of the EU, which are often parallel to the colonial past of many of those countries. These activities confirm the role of integrated Europe as a global actor of international relations. The countries of sub-Saharan Africa in their relations with the EU are aiming at achieving such a model of North-South cooperation which would help Africa to fully integrate with the global economy and world politics. From the mid-1990s new actions were undertaken to establish a new model of EU-ACP countries relations. The Partnership Agreement between 77 members of the ACP group and the EC and its member States was signed in Cotonou on June 23, 2000 focuses on trade, development and politics, while taking into account the interdependency of trade exchange, sustainable growth and political dialogue. It goes along with the current tendencies in international development cooperation based on responsibility of recipient countries for their own development, respect for democracy, human rights and the rules of good governance. The key issue remains the amount of resources provided by the EU for African aid, better coordination of the activities of various aid agencies, and improving the cohesiveness of their activities with EU politicians in other areas (i.e. trade). The EU is the biggest donor of African development aid and is likely to retain this position in the near future. It is also the biggest contributor of humanitarian aid in the world and contributes huge amounts of money to fighting famine in Africa. The policy of the EU towards the African continent is implemented by the Common Foreign and Security Policy, established by the Maastricht Treaty of 1993. The beginning of the 21st century is a time when the EU is placing special emphasis on peacemaking in sun-Saharan Africa. It financed various projects (e.g. clearing minefields in Angola and Sahara), assisted in organizing free elections and made use of diplomatic and economic sanctions towards countries where civil wars broke out or human rights were not respected. The EU was also involved in the support of preventive diplomacy and improving Africa's capability to conduct peace operations. An expression of the close attention with which the EU treats cooperation with Africa was the first EU-Africa summit held in Cairo in 2000. The actions undertaken by the EU and sub-Saharan African countries are aimed at solving such problems as poverty, famine, diseases, overpopulation, conflicts and destruction of the natural environment in Africa.
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