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Parliamentary questions
PDF 39kWORD 10k
9 January 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Erik Marquardt
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The link between forced labour in Eritrea and EU-funded projects

According to a recent article in the New York Times (1) , substantial sums of funding from the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa are being used for a road construction project in Eritrea. Even though the funds only cover the procurement of material and equipment to support the rebuilding of roads, the Eritrean Government is using conscription for construction work linked to the project. The national service programme of mandatory, universal and indefinite conscription can be classified as forced labour or modern day slavery.

How does the Commission explain the differences between its own statement and that of the UN quoted in the article?

How can the Commission ensure that EU projects funded through the various EU trust funds are thoroughly monitored and exclude any possibility that EU aid may be financing forced labour, either directly or indirectly?

The EUTF for Africa is supposed to ‘address the root causes of migration’. What, in the Commission’s view, is the added value of a project funded by the EUTF that relies on forced labour and is thus serving to fuel the phenomenon of emigration from Eritrea?

(1) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/world/europe/conscription-eritrea-eu.html
Original language of question: DE
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