Political dialogue – Card on the table with the European Union

D-Day for the tenth political dialogue between the government and the European Union delegation. The two parties will put their cards on the table during a face-to-face meeting at the Iavoloha State Palace.

The tenth round. As announced during a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Anosy on Thursday, the tenth political and partnership dialogue between the government and the European Union (EU) delegation will be held today at the State Palace of Iavoloha.

For the tenth time, the Executive and the Ambassadors of the EU Member States will hold a face-to-face meeting. A mechanism provided for by the Cotonou Agreement. This time, the context is particular. The aftermath of the health crisis, the damage of successive cyclones at the start of the year and now the economic consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine will decorate the backdrop of today’s meeting in Iavoloha. As Richard Randriamandrato, Minister of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged on Thursday, “unfortunately, we have to deal with it”.

Find out how Europe can support Madagascar so that the country can cope with the current global crisis situation. Thursday, the head of the Malagasy diplomacy discussed topics such as fuel supply, mitigation of the shock of inflation, or even resilience in the face of climate change. “We are going to take stock of the achievements, those to be strengthened, the work done and see the new areas of cooperation in order to strengthen cooperation with the European Union for development”, he declares with words in keeping with decorum. diplomatic.

It was underlined during Thursday’s event that today’s appointment takes place less than a year after the ninth Political and Partnership Dialogue which took place in November 2021. Giovanni’s impending departure Di Girolamo, ambassador of the EU delegation, could be a reason. The ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was, precisely, to show him the recognition of the Malagasy state. He was elevated to the rank of Commander of the National Order.

make things clear

Today’s face-to-face could have been scheduled so that the cooperation roadmap discussed could be presented to the EU decision-making bodies at the start of the school year in September. “We are going to take stock of the achievements, evaluate the work done, the issues to be strengthened, to be improved, the efforts to be made and see the new areas of cooperation in order to strengthen cooperation with the European Union for the development of the country” , said Minister Randriamandrato.

With regard to the subjects of cooperation between Madagascar and the EU, precisely, Giovanni Di Girolamo, Thursday, evoked the file of the fishing agreement, whose negotiations are struggling to settle. It is likely, moreover, that European diplomats will take the opportunity to put the posture of the Big Island on the table vis-à-vis the war in Ukraine. European states took the hit after Madagascar affirmed its decision to remain neutral in the face of the Ukrainian conflict.

Only, as Christophe Bouchard, Ambassador of France, argued in his speech during the ceremony on July 14, “(…) we want to continue the dialogue everywhere in the world and here in Madagascar”, about support for Ukrainians and condemnation of what the West calls “Russian aggression”. He, all the more, underlined the weight of this subject “in the political partnership”, between Madagascar and France and more broadly, with the EU. During a press conference in March, Giovanni Di Girolamo declared, on the subject, “we have a duty to explain our point of view to you”.

Governance will also be on the menu of today’s discussions. Good governance, the fight against corruption or even issues related to human rights are, in fact, major lines in the conditionalities of the Cotonou Agreement. On the basis of statements during Thursday’s ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, preparations for the next elections, in particular, the presidential election in 2023 will also be one of the key topics of political dialogue and partnership today, in Iavoloha.

Besides the issue of financing, the legal framework for the elections will be discussed during the face-to-face meeting between the government and the EU delegation. A subject already on display during the ninth political and partnership dialogue in November 2021. The question of “equality of candidates”, which would have been raised by European diplomats, was even the cause of confusion. Inscribed in a first version of the joint press release at the end of the meeting, this point was removed in a second version published a little later.

In his opening speech of the ninth political dialogue, the ambassador of the EU delegation declared that the next electoral deadline “should be confirmation that Madagascar is completely on the path to democracy. It is important for us and the Member States that the elections are held in peace and stability”. In an interview published on November 29, 2021, following this face-to-face with the Executive, he stressed the opportunity to apply the recommendations of the EU election observation mission, including “a strengthening of the framework legal system of elections”.

In terms of political partnership, precisely, the tenth political dialogue, today, will be an opportunity for the Malagasy side to clarify things on a topical subject. That of a possible support from Europe for the national consultation desired by the opposition. An argument hammered by the latter for a few weeks.

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