Burkina Faso is a key strategic partner for the EU in a region marked for several years now by increased illegal trafficking and terrorism in neighbouring countries and by regional stability in need of strengthening.
The EU and its countries actively support Burkina Faso and follow its political, economic and social progress with interest, so that they can assist the country in its overall development, and also be in a position to anticipate potential crisis situations, as was the case in popular uprising.
The EU is also present during crisis situations, as in failed coup of 15 September and terrorist attacks in January In such cases, the EU and its countries work towards helping the country get back to a normal situation. The EU actively supported the transition period, the electoral process in and this support taking the form of different activities , etc.
This political dialogue addresses the different aspects of development, including policies on peace-building, security, conflict prevention and resolution, regional cooperation, respect for human rights, democratic principles based on the rule of law and open and responsible management of public affairs, etc.
Since , this political dialogue has taken place twice a year in Burkina Faso, and brings together the government of Burkina Faso and the EU's diplomatic heads of mission. A major part of the EU funding is allocated to governance in support of the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development SCADD for Burkina Faso, the promotion of good governance in its different aspects, the rule of law, and democratic, financial and local governance.
Economic relations The EU's relations with the African continent are based on mutual respect and solidarity. Through dialogue and a multifaceted partnership, they aim to improve the well-being of citizens, basing the relations on good governance and the rule of law and maximising the results of trade and investment as ways of reducing poverty and promoting economic and social development conclusions of the Fourth EU-Africa Summit for Heads of State and Government, April , Brussels.
The partnership between the EU and Africa is based on two key instruments: The EU-Africa partnership recommends an innovative and ambitious approach in all areas of common interest, based on the principle of political equality between partners, but also taking into account structural differences as well as differences in the level of development which call for adapted solutions in certain cases. In terms of trade and investments, the Economic Partnership Agreement EPA between the regions of Africa and the EU is a stable, secure and forward-looking long-term partnership aimed at firstly supporting countries in their objectives of integrating into the global economy and secondly promoting inclusive and sustainable development.
The EPA will help African businesses import quality items at a lower cost, acquire new technologies, attract investments and export better through greater competitiveness, and access the European market without customs duties or quotas.
The EPA will help African consumers by improving the choice of products and reducing prices. To gain from these benefits, the EU works with African countries through common agreement in order to bring about a greater understanding of the Agreement as well as assistance through reforms and measures to improve national and regional economic governance. Overall, in , ACP countries represented 4. The EU's regional strategy in West Africa In Burkina Faso, the EU Delegation is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Regional Indicative Programme, which aims to strengthen regional integration notably by boosting trade relations between countries in the sub-region and between the EU and the sub-region.
The smooth integration of West African countries into the global economy is in fact a major priority on the regional agenda. To succeed in this, the region's economies need to be structurally transformed through increased investments and effective implementation of national and regional macro-economic and sectoral policies. Furthermore, support for infrastructure, agricultural policies, an integrated legal system, competitiveness, facilitating exchanges, and the business environment, forms part of the work undertaken by the EU in a bid to strengthen commercial trade in the region and with the wider world.
Locally, several initiatives are being undertaken by the EU Delegation to Burkina Faso with a view to promoting commercial trade and investments: Creation of a group of trade and investment advisers GCCI to develop economy-development synergies.
The aim of this group is to enable exchanges between private operators, Burkina Faso leaders and development partners regarding the business environment and the conditions for investing and trading in Burkina Faso and the region. This technical support group aims to help relevant authorities and business operators better exploit the market of the 28 EU countries.
The Export Helpdesk is an online service set up by the European Commission to facilitate access, especially for those in developing countries, to the EU's markets. This free and easy-to-use service provides all the information needed by exporters interested in supplying the EU market.
Humanitarian aid ECHO in brief In Burkina Faso, the European Commission's humanitarian aid service is represented by an office and staff responsible for monitoring projects and the situation in the country. The office is located within the EU Delegation in Ouagadougou and is assisted from time to time by the Regional Office of Dakar, in specific technical fields nutrition, health, food assistance, water and sanitation, etc.
In , ECHO is continuing its funding for projects in the areas of health, nutrition, food security and support for refugees and dealing with other humanitarian crises. ECHO's strategy for combating malnutrition was introduced in in the Sahel, following the serious food crisis in Niger.
In Burkina Faso, this help also aims to reduce malnutrition rates over the long term throughout all Sahel countries. Apart from curative care, ECHO funds malnutrition prevention activities including through a range of community actions such as testing, cooking advice and social welfare. Major efforts are also undertaken to promote access to healthcare for the most vulnerable, by funding subsidies for caring for children under 5 years of age as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.
In a bid to break the vicious cycle of food crises, the EU strives to tie in its emergency humanitarian aid with its development aid. It has notably been a driving force behind the creation of AGIR, a global alliance including 17 countries from West Africa, sponsors and the aid community, the goal being to end hunger in the region by