21 October 2016
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"European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to step up their efforts to curb illegal migration from African countries with the aim of replicating their success in halting inflows from Turkey over the past year...
To curb flows along the so-called central Mediterranean route, where thousands of migrants drown every year as they make the dangerous journey, the EU is offering trade deals and investment to African countries.
"It is not just about money, it is about substantially improving the capabilities and the chances of people in these African countries and to give hope," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on her arrival to the EU summit in Brussels.
In exchange for financial support EU leaders require their African partners to impose tighter border controls and to take back illegal migrants."
See: EU agrees to boost efforts to tackle illegal migration from Africa (Reuters, link) and official documentation: European Council conclusions on migration, 20 October 2016 (pdf) plus earlier Draft conclusions (11226/16, LIMITE, pdf)
The right of states in Africa to develop their societies and economies cannot be disputed (although the importance afforded to that right by EU states certainly can be). But is the EU right to assert that development would stop or slow migration?
See: Development leads to more migration (Hein de Haas, link): "It is often said that the only way to reduce migration to Europe, North America and other wealthy countries is to stimulate development in poor countries.
This sounds very logical. But it is a myth. In reality, social and economic development in poor countries leads to more migration."
And: activities underway: EU sounds out Egypt on possible refugee deal (EurActiv, link)
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