PRESS RELEASE: Euro-African civil society meets European political actors — (West African Observatory on Migrations)

Keywords : Declarations Human and trade union rights Migration

In light of the upcoming African Union - European Union (AU-EU) Summit to be held in a few weeks in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), a delegation of civil society organizations from Africa and Europe composed of representatives from the West African Observatory on Migrations and Bread for the World met several European political actors. The meetings took place respectively in Brussels on 8 and 9 November and in Berlin on 10 November. They were an opportunity for the delegation to exchange with members of the EU Parliament from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and the European People’s Party. Subsequently the delegation organized a round table discussion with representatives of the different parliamentary groups and the Directorates General of the European Commission in charge of Development Cooperation (DG DEVCO), in charge of Migration and Home Affairs and the European External Action Service (EEAS). Finally, a panel discussion was held between Euro-African civil society actors and the Africa Special Adviser for the German Chancellor, Günter Nooke.

The purpose of those meeting was to increase understanding of the European agenda for the AU - EU Summit in Abidjan and to exchange on civil society’s expectations regarding the main issue of the summit, namely youth. Emphasis on job creation for young people and their vocational training, to the detriment of their participation in overhauling political governance in their countries and their participation in political decision-making have been pointed out by the civil society representatives. The different visions of Europe and Africa on Africa’s population growth and its challenges were also part of the debate. Concerns about youth radicalization and extremism that are gaining traction in Europe and Africa have also been addressed.

In addition, reference was made to actions triggered by the European Union to stem African migration to Europe and the negative consequences for African integration. The problems related to the outsourcing of European borders, the instrumentalisation of the fight against trafficking in human beings and migrant’s smuggling at the expense of the free movement of African populations, the diversion of funds from official development assistance (ODA) from fighting poverty to securitization and border control and the lack of transparency in the governance of projects funded by the Emergency Trust Fund in Africa since the Valletta Summit.
Both civil society actors and politicians appreciated the depth of the exchanges and welcomed the initiative of these meetings before the AU-EU summit. They wished to continue the discussions in Abidjan during the Citizenship Africa Europe Forum organized by the civil society and during the summit of the Heads of State with the intention that the Euro-African partnership be reviewed for the well-being of the populations.

Berlin on November 10, 2017

The West African Observatory on Migrations

Samir ABI

Visions Solidaires

West African Observatory on Migrations
Observatoire Ouest Africain des Migrations
Observatório Oeste Africano das Migrações

Lomé-TOGO

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