Abstract: The EU-SA Strategic Partnership (SP) has entered its 10th year. It is a product of its time and particular regional and international circumstances. These having changed somewhat over the course of the last decade, it is not surprising that the dynamics of the relationship, expressed through the strategic partnership’s parameters, have undergone commensurate changes. Based on the recognition that the partnership is between a multilateral institution and a state, the difference in their respective strategic positions is inevitable. The challenge therefore, is for the EU-SA Strategic Partnership to maintain a flexibility that allows for continued contestation, development and relevance. This paper reviews the historical context of the partnership and the challenging dynamics that have evolved over the lifespan of partnership, providing the basis for the thematic discussion which follow in this issue. The analysis in this article demonstrates that in spite of acknowledged challenges, the functionality of the strategic partnership based on persisting interests remains intact.