Thursday, 06.06.2024

Implications of EU’s 2024 elections for HoA region

The current EU elections, likely marked by a right-wing populist shift, have significant implications for the Horn of Africa region, the extent and further consequences of which are still uncertain. The potential scale and ramifications were discussed at the recent edition of the Breakfast Meeting Series on geopolitics in the HoA region on 6 June 2024 organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Ethiopia and the Institute of Peace and Security Studies.


The significance of the EU elections for the Horn region primarily stems from the numerous cooperation efforts in various areas between the two regions and their respective states. These collaborations encompass not only peace and security initiatives and migration, but also extend to economic partnerships and the promotion of democracy and human rights. Given the many conflicts and resulting internally displaced persons, humanitarian challenges, and security concerns in the Horn of Africa on one hand, and the growing development ambitions of the states on the other hand, the importance of EU policies and strategies for the region appears particularly high at present. This also includes initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change, by which the Horn region is disproportionately affected.


The long-predicted right-wing populist shift is likely to initiate a causal chain, at the end of which also lie implications for the EU-HoA cooperation: Changes in the party composition of the EU Parliament could lead to a new prioritization and corresponding budget cuts or shifts, which could negatively affect the above-mentioned areas of partnership. Seemingly, foreign policy concerns in the EU neighborhood are already causing a realignment of priorities, which could exacerbate in the event of a right-wing change. Generally speaking, the current election will influence whether the EU will be a more united, open, and solidarity-driven actor in international affairs, or rather steers towards a “Fortress Europe”-behavior, guided solely by geopolitical interests and marked by internal renationalization.


FES and IPSS would like to express their gratitude to the participants and speakers for the enriching inputs and the fruitful debate on this multifaceted topic. Once again, the breakfast meeting provided a space for experts and stakeholders to discuss central geopolitical challenges in the Horn of Africa, leading to important insights and a fruitful debate.


Ethiopia Office

Yeka Sub-City,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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