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  • Immigration Aid - Think beyond the money

    Europe’s engagement with third countries is not about money. Those who think you can put a figure on a relationship woefully underestimate the significance and intricacy of such partnerships. For some time now, we have called for greater engagement with our partners in Africa and the Middle East — and the collective political will is finally there. The goal of the European Commission’s External Investment Plan is to leverage up to €44 billion in investment by 2020, and increase our external funding to reach up to €123 billion for 2021-2027. We need long-term, sustainable alliances with our key partners — and with Africa in particular. For these to be meaningful, our cooperation should go beyond migration, as it is a consequence of much broader shared challenges including geopolitical instability, demographic developments, climate change and socio-economic issues. Every such alliance must place partners on equal footing and be based on mutual trust. It should also be tailored to the specific context of the partners. Turkish authorities, for example, were never promised and never received €6 billion; the money went to international organizations on the ground that dealt directly with refugees. The EU has offered similar financial and humanitarian support to those displaced around the world, such as in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, South Sudan and Kenya, to name a few. But refugee or migration crises will not be solved by humanitarian aid alone. And that is why the EU wants to step up its engagement and foster true alliances with third-country partners, to work toward a more stable and prosperous shared future for all.

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