• The EU–South Africa strategic partnership: From bilateral to multilateral forums and the strategic value for South Africa

      Masters, Lesley; University of Johannesburg, South Africa (Taylor and Francis, 2017-07-06)
      Strategic partnerships are seen as a means of elevating bilateral relations between two countries, or in the case of the European Union (EU), relations between an intergovernmental organisation and its 10 identified strategic partners. There is a growing body of analysis on the value of these strategic partnerships for the two partner states, yet just what role this partnership has within wider multilateral forums is an area for further discussion. This article explores the role that the EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership plays in shaping engagement between the bilateral partners in multilateral contexts. In reviewing the partnership over the course of its first decade, the article argues that South Africa has increasingly acknowledged its potential value. However, further interrogation on how to manage the complex intersection between bilateral and multilateral relations is called for if the strategic partnership is to be used to optimal effect as a tool of foreign policy. © 2017 The South African Institute of International Affairs.