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The article analyses the evolution of relations between the European Union (EU) and Africa at the turn of the 21st century. The EU remains the most powerful integration union and economic center, seeking to strengthen its influence, especially in geographically close regions. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the EU and Africa formed the framework of the relations, identified the spheres of mutual interest, and gradually advanced their cooperation. At the moment, bilateral relations are experiencing a new stage of development, the priority areas of which are trade, investment and humanitarian cooperation. So far, the African continent remains "dependent" on the EU, strongly contributing to European energy security, serving as a capacious market for European goods and a provider of high revenues on investments. At the same time, Africa is the source of humanitarian problems for the EU that require a permanent political dialogue as well as substantial financial injections, and it seems that social issues will continue to dominate the relationship further. As for the trade and investments, in the coming decades the African economy is expected to grow rapidly, and Africa's "dependence" may be reduced. In addition, the gradual expansion of developing states, in particular China, which are actively conquering the African market, can have a significant impact on the level of economic cooperation between the EU and Africa. The unresolved political problems within the EU also impede the implementation of a coordinated and balanced strategy in Africa. The union is likely to remain an influential player on the African continent if it delegates the authority to develop and conduct foreign policy to a supranational level. The EU's and its members' experience in Africa can be considered as a reference for the authorities of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Russia.
foreign economic policy, trade, investments, integration, European Union, Africa
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