27 November 2020
On Wednesday the European Parliament voted in favour of a report that says the provision of development aid by the EU should depend on recipient states' compliance with "migration management" measures. A last-minute amendment by the MEP responsible for the file reversed the original position of the report. Human rights groups have condemned the move.
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Denying aid on the basis of EU migration objectives is wrong (Concord, link, emphasis added):
"Brussels, 27 November 2020 – On Wednesday, after a surprise move by the Chair of the Development Committee, Tomas Tobé, the European Parliament voted in favour of making EU aid to developing countries conditional on their compliance with EU migration control objectives.
The Development Committee of the European Parliament has been working on the report “Improving development effectiveness and efficiency of aid” since January 2020. However, shortly before the plenary vote on Wednesday, Tomas Tobé of the EPP group, suddenly added an amendment to allow the EU to refuse to give aid to partner countries that don’t comply with EU migration requirements.
“The process that led to the European Parliament vote on this report is scandalous”, said Tanya Cox, Director of CONCORD. Up until a few hours before the plenary vote, the report represented a forward-looking contribution to EU aid policy. But without any discussions in committee or in plenary, and with a quick turn-around ahead of the plenary vote, rapporteur MEP Tobé presented an amendment to his own report saying that EU development aid could be conditional on migration management. “This is not a minor change. It is a dangerous precedent and a major policy reversal”, said Cox. Ironically, the Development Committee had previously adopted this report with a paragraph explicitly opposing making aid conditional on partner countries’ cooperation with EU migration policies."
The resolution as it was due to be approved can be found here: Report on improving development effectiveness and the efficiency of aid (EP, link). Rapporteur: Tomas Tobé, EPP
Tobé submitted last-minute amendments to paragraphs 62 and 63, which now read:
"62. Believes that European development aid and public investments should promote joint priorities and policy objectives including eradicating poverty, climate and environmental action, economic and trade policies and migration management, and should also be fully aligned with the principles of fundamental human rights, democracy and good governance;
63. Stresses that making humanitarian aid and emergency aid allocation conditional on cooperation with the EU on migration or security issues is not compatible with agreed development effectiveness principles;"
The original wording expressed completely the opposite intention:
"62. Notes with grave concern that the EU and Member States are currently attaching conditions to aid related to cooperation by developing countries on migration and border control efforts, which is clearly a donor concern in contradiction with key internationally agreed development effectiveness principles; recalls that aid must keep its purposes of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, respecting and supporting human rights and meeting humanitarian needs, and must never be conditional on migration control;
63. Reiterates that making aid allocation conditional on cooperation with the EU on migration or security issues is not compatible with agreed development effectiveness principles;"
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