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Parliamentary questions
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14 September 2018
Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003772/2018

1. Assisting partner countries to better address the challenges of migration and forced displacement is an integral part of EU development policy and cooperation.

Through the European Neighbourhood Instrument, the European Development Fund and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the EU is working with North African and Sub-Saharan countries alike to pave the way for sustainable development and to build up efficient migration management throughout the region. This can only be achieved through strengthened partnerships and enhanced political dialogue on migration at regional, national and local levels.

In this context, it is important to highlight that between January and July 2018, arrivals to Italy through the Central Mediterranean Route decreased by 80% compared to the same period in 2017.

2. The Commission does not believe that development assistance constitutes a ‘root cause of irregular migration and displacement of persons in Africa’. On the contrary, the Commission is convinced that well-targeted development assistance plays an important role in addressing poverty, insecurity, inequality and unemployment all key drivers of irregular migration.

Since June 2016, the Partnership Framework with key countries of origin and transit aims to establish genuine partnership and dialogue and address the root causes of irregular migration, including through development cooperation.

3. Finally, Africa is a continent of opportunity with considerable natural resources and agricultural potential, and hosts most of the fastest growing economies in the world. Africa’s growing working age population has the potential to support increased productivity and a stronger, more inclusive, economic growth across the continent.

For the EU this represents a huge potential for trade, innovation and investment. Europe and Africa have mutually much to gain from increased political and economic ties.

Last updated: 14 September 2018Legal notice