New impetus for development in Africa needed
Economic, migratory and social problems, coupled with protracted crises, require new responses and better cooperation between the African Union and the EU.
In order to give new impetus to cooperation and the development of African nations, MEPs recommend a new EU-Africa strategy also aimed at strengthening the resilience of African countries, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.
Their key suggestions are to:
- establish a frank dialogue on promoting good governance, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and combating corruption, but link development aid to these being strictly respected,
- step up European peace and security actions, in close cooperation with African and international partners,
- provide more substantial European help for sustainable agriculture, small-scale farmers, national education systems and combating climate change,
- start an intense EU-African Union dialogue before negotiations for the two UN global compacts on migration and refugees begin in 2018.
First and foremost, member states must live up to their promises to finance an EU trust fund fostering growth and job creation, and should refrain from making development aid conditional on cooperation in migration matters.
The non-legislative resolution was backed by 419 votes to 97, with 85 abstentions.
Rapporteur Maurice Ponga (EPP, FR) said: “Strengthening the EU-Africa partnership will contribute to the development of both continents and help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The EU is a major contributor to Africa’s development, trade and security, but it must continue to invest, especially in education to offer prospects for younger generations. Our future is interlinked, so we must act together.”
In July, Parliament gave its green light to an EU investment plan tackling the root causes of migration in Africa, but warned that aid money must foster development and not be used to stop refugees.