22 February 2022
A statement signed by networks and organisations representing hundreds of different groups, calling for a change in approach to EU-Africa relations and an end to the EU's "security approach to migration policies." The statement was published ahead of the European Union-African Union summit on 17 and 18 February.
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Originally published in French, available via Migreurop (Statewatch is a member of Migreurop).
On 17 and 18 February, the EU-African Union leaders' summit is taking place in Brussels. This is the sixth summit to adopt a common vision for 2030 with a focus on security and economic policies.
We, African and European civil society organisations working on migration issues, aware of the stakes and challenges and of the need for a paradigm shift for win-win relationships between the two continents, call on our States to address the following issues:
Europe is putting its interests first by imposing its vision of the world on Africa, by implementing restrictive and repressive measures and policies aimed at curbing migration on its soil by investing colossal human, material and financial resources that could be used in more relevant sectors. Migration being a social, economic and political phenomenon inherent to human nature, the reality of the facts proves the inefficiency of these measures and highlights the violations of the human rights of migrants.
However, European policies have the effect of reducing intra-African mobility, weighing on the continent's development in the medium term and going against the actions taken by the African Union through the frameworks and instruments linking migration and sustainable development.
Thus, it is important for African states to adopt the main instruments and texts such as:
Any negotiation with other continents must be in line with this political will. In this respect, we strongly denounce the EU's willingness to negotiate with Senegal to strengthen the presence of Frontex off the Senegalese coast, which calls into question its national sovereignty, our freedom of mobility and also raises the problem of power relations between a state and a continental organisation such as the EU.
Beyond this issue, the involvement of all actors, particularly civil society, in the definition, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes is nothing more than wishful thinking that is slow to materialise. In general, the texts are often well written but their application is always problematic due to a lack of political will.
We call on the European Union to abandon the security approach to migration policies, to facilitate mobility between the two continents and to "build bridges between people, not walls" while:
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