Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish foreign minister, said that "equal partnership" is at the core of a new strategy for cooperation with Africa being planned in Finland.
Haavisto urged the next European Commission to commit itself to creating "a new strategy for partnership" with African countries.
Haavisto maintained that Africa has "a lot of solutions to its own questions" and that cooperation is the best solution to addressing root causes of migration.
He defined the questions as marginalisation, position of women, and the worsening effects of climate change.
Discussing the cooperative approach, Peter Eriksson, the Swedish minister for development cooperation, said Europe's old colonial relationship with Africa should no longer be allowed to hinder.
"We should be partners in building a better future, both in their home countries and through emigration," he said.