Study for the European Parliament: “The EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa: A Critical Assessment of Impact and Opportunities”

Cover website Horn of AfricaAdoption of the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa should open new opportunities for successful engagement in the region. More coherent action creates the opportunity for the EU to be recognised in the region as an actor in its own right, and with the influence that the scale of its engagement should bring. The appointment of an EUSR for the Horn of Africa should allow the EU to speak more clearly with one voice in the region. Doing so would allow the EU to exploit more fully its comparative advantage in the region: as a bloc, it is one of the most significant sources of assistance and investment into the region and an important trade partner. The EU is clearly active across the region, especially through high profile engagement in Somalia and the Sudans. However, quiet engagement in Ethiopia and Eritrea presents the greatest new opportunity to influence constructive shifts in regional security and economic dynamics. This was true before the recent death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and is even more the case now. Strengthening IGAD will also be essential if the region’s potential and the EU’s goals are to be realised.