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AU-EU Summit: a step forward, but youth and development still held hostage by the emergence of migration


30 Nov 2017


Development Policy
Global Europe

Brussels, 30 November 2017

The Summit between the African Union and the European Union had to be historic, but it has not kept all its promises. The S&D Group welcomes the decisions taken in Abidjan to rescue migrants in Libya, but they come too late. The action plan announced in the Ivory Coast must be implemented immediately to put an end to the chaotic management of the migration crisis, which, to our great regret, has taken hostage the agenda of a Summit where youth, then development, investment and security were at the heart of the AU-EU discussions.
S&D Group president, Gianni Pittella, said:
"It was high time for European and African leaders to propose an action plan to end the terrible violations of human rights suffered by African migrants in Libya and along the increasingly perilous migratory routes. The decisions taken in Abidjan by the AU and EU Heads of State and government to close Libyan detention centers, - which can only be described as concentration camps - repatriate migrants and relocate asylum seekers must be implemented as soon as possible.
"Nevertheless, we must do more. We must open legal and safe channels for migration. This is no longer an option, but an obligation that the EU and AU should have taken into account long ago.
"The sale of slaves in Libya, revealed by CNN, is the fruit of a chaotic management too focused on security aspects of the migration crisis which obliged the European and African leaders to act in Abidjan with no way out. It should never have come to this. Certainly not on the eve of a historic summit that was to be dedicated to youth, investment, development and strengthening security in African states, but which turned into a meeting of Heads of State and government on the migratory emergency.
"Only a strategic long-term vision and initiatives such as the EU's External Investment Plan (EIP) for Africa will enable us to fight effectively against the root causes of precarious migration and ensure a better future for African and European generations."
S&D Group vice-president, Tanja Fajon, added :
"Our delegation of S&D MEPs is leaving Abidjan with the conviction that European and African leaders have finally realised, together, the tragic plight of migrants in Libya and Sahel.
"This overdue realisation must lead to concrete actions being taken in favour of the men, women and children who risk their lives to get to Europe. However, the short-term vision of the AU-EU Summit is not a solution, quite the contrary. It is high time the European and African Heads of State and government contribute to implementing the sustainable development goals they adopted in New York in 2015."





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