On 26th January 2023, the Republic of Malawi and the European Union (EU) held their bi-annual Political Dialogue meeting on a range of issues of mutual interest. The discussion, which was hosted by the European Union, was characterised by mutual trust between the parties and was conducted in an open and constructive manner.
The Government of Malawi Delegation was led by Honourable Nancy Tembo, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was accompanied by Honourable Titus Mvalo, Minister of Justice, Honourable Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka, M.P., Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Honourable Mark Katsonga Phiri, M.P., Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Nancy Chaola Mdooko, Deputy Minister of Transport, Dr Thomas Munthali, Director General of the National Planning Commission and senior government officials from various ministries, departments and agencies.
The Delegation on the side of the European Union was led by the EU Ambassador to Malawi, Mr Rune Skinnebach, who was accompanied by His Excellency Ralph Timmermann, Ambassador of Germany, His Excellency Seamus O’Grady, Ambassador of Ireland, Her Excellency Saana Halinen, Ambassador of Finland, Her Excellency Margret Verwijk, Ambassador of the Netherlands, His Excellency Miguel Calheiros Veloz, Ambassador of Portugal, Ms Fanny Heylen, Headof Cooperation for Belgium, Mr Václav Kuželka, Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Mr Diego Calatayud, Deputy Ambassador of Spain, Mr Martin Jörnrud, Deputy Ambassador of Sweden, and officials from the European Union Delegation in Malawi.
The Political Dialogue addressed a series of topics relating to:
- Common values and positions on geo-political developments focusing on Russian aggression in Ukraine and regional developments, and a shared assessment of outcomes of COP27;
- Democracy and human rights with a focus on access to justice and anti-corruption efforts and achievements;
- Political and economic situation, including prospects for an IMF Extended Credit Facility;
- Reforms to the business climate and investment environment, agriculture, exports, cross-border trade under AfCFTA, and reinforcing synergies with the EU’s Global Gateway;
- The two sides, lastly, discussed partnership for development focusing on EU exploration of budget support.
Speaking at the meeting, Honourable Nancy Tembo, observed that “the discussion on the possibility of resuming direct budgetary support, underline the recognition and appreciation by the EU on the progress which the government is making in the field of governance and public financial management among others.”
She further appealed to the EU to enable Malawi benefit from its Global Gateway investment package, particularly in respect of regional transport corridors and other infrastructural projects and digitization in order to re-inforce synergies of cross border trade.”
The EU Ambassador, His Excellency Rune Skinnebach, stated: “I am heartened by the shared perspectives on many aspects covered by the dialogue, and I am confident that the strong and long-lasting partnership between Malawi and the European Union constitutes a solid foundation for pursuing our shared strategic priorities.”
Furthermore, Ambassador Skinnebach was thrilled to note the Government’s determination in the fight against corruption, and the progress in many fields touched upon during the dialogue. Furthermore he expressed encouragement with regards to potentially providing budget support through the EU Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Malawi for the period 2021-27 if the outstanding macro-economic and public finance management issues are addressed.
Both parties re-affirmed their commitment to holding a regular high-level political dialogue between them, and to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law, good governance and human rights.
The dialogue was followed in the afternoon by an audience with H.E. Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Malawi.