• Dialogue Facility

    Bringing people together.   Moving ideas forward...

  • Improving capacity for dialogue

    Through the  provision of high-level experts, workshops and on-going support.

  • Increasing awareness

    Bringing together potential partners,  local and international media and other strategic role players.

T he Dialogue Facility contributes to the strengthening of relations between the European Union and South Africa. Its purpose is to facilitate the implementation of priority aspects of the SA-EU Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the Strategic Partnership Action Plan (SPAP) and raise awareness of the special relationship between the EU and South Africa.

The Dialogue Facility supports political dialogue and cooperation in bilateral, regional, African and global matters between the Government of South Africa and the European Union (and its Member States).

Political dialogue and cooperation have already increased through regular high level political dialogue meetings, such as ministerial meetings and annual summits. Furthermore, and in order to fully implement the SA-EU Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the SA-EU Strategic Partnership Action Plan (SPAP), a number of functional dialogue forums have been established or are in the process of being established.

Through its Programme Management Unit the Dialogue Facility contributes to establishing and developing functional dialogue forums. The Dialogue Facility is designed to support both existing and emerging dialogues by providing technical assistance resources in the form of expertise and resources for related costs.

The Dialogue Facility will help contribute to activities directly associated with the process of establishment and development of functional dialogue forums.

The TDCA and the SPAP encourage cooperation between equal partners in a number of areas in the economic, social and cultural fields. The list of areas with potential for increased dialogue is open-ended and the areas should be consistent with the objectives of the TDCA and the SPAP.

Welcome to the Dialogue Facility.


an exchange of ideas, perspectives or experience.

Dialogue support.

The Dialogue Support Facility, provides three services to improve sectoral policy dialogue and cooperation:

  • Dialogue support, providing logistical and expert services to support longer-term comprehensive dialogue initiatives
  • Rapid Response Service, providing logistical and expert services to support shorter-term dialogue initiatives
  • Grant facility, providing direct grant support to non-state actors where the result will considerably enhance existing or future dialogues

Capacity support

The Dialogue Facility supports capacity development for engaging in effective policy dialogue and leading to increased institutional capacity. Three services are provided:

  • High-level experts, both policy makers and implementers in specific areas of interest to the TDCA and the SPAP, undertake meetings and interviews with relevant SA officials and share experiences gained elsewhere that can benefit South Africa.
  • Workshops on dialogue transfer knowledge and target specific government departments that have explicitly requested support. Among the topics are determining dialogue requirements and outcomes, dialogue planning and budgeting, management of the dialogue process and monitoring and evaluation. Monthly workshops will start in August 2013.
  • Ongoing support is specifically offered by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) who provide advice and share first-hand experience on dialogues in the South Africa context with other departments.

Raising awareness

The Dialogue Facility strengthens awareness and understanding of the Strategic Partnership through awareness activities which involve and engage target groups and beneficiaries:

  • Baseline survey
  • Missions to Brussels
  • Papers on visions of SA-EU relations
  • Engaging with journalists
  • Lessons learned workshop
  • Lessons learned and best practice
  • Meetings, workshops and other information events
  • Publications & reports

  • a baseline survey of the target groups, to be repeated at programme mid-point (2013) and end (2015) ensures that appropriate and targeted information is provided and will evaluate the changing level of awareness and understanding amongst the target groups.
  • The Dialogue Facility team undertake missions to Brussels to develop dialogue relationships, strengthen ties and facilitate dialogue between the EU Directorates General and SA government departments.
  • The engagement of journalists and quality of reporting on SA/EU relations is being strengthened, while also encouraging government in South Africa to engage with the media in specific strategic areas. [Link to: DST as the lead government department with close cooperation with the EU Delegation will engage South African and international media in site visits to major R&D sites within South Africa to strengthen understanding of the S&T area of SA-EU cooperation. This project will take place in March 2013.
  • Lessons learned and best practice are being highlighted in a conference at the end of 2014, with South African, EU and global participants [Link to: Experts will analyse and synthesise lessons learned by the Dialogue Facility and similar programmes in other EU Strategic Partner countries. The outcomes of the workshop will be published as a handbook for future reference on best practice in dialogue processes. More info to be updated].
  • Breakfast meetings, workshops and other information events are held on a regular basis.

The Dialogue Facility produces publications and reports, background papers and terms of reference which emerge as elements of its dialoguing strategy. Some are listed under Resources; others appear under the specific dialogue areas. New meetings/events are announced in News.

BeachA news article published in the South African Sunday Independence of 15 May 2016 on the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement-funded “New Skills for New Jobs” project, implemented with DHET, PRASA and CSIR since June 2014.