President Macky Sall of Senegal led the way which ultimately resulted in the Europeans dropping the idea and replaced by the $2 billion Trust Fund that Gambia and other migrant-exporting countries are benefiting from. We will be taking a closer look at the re-entry programs and how it will potentially impact The Gambia, in particular.
Here's the blog post we wrote on November 12th, 2015.
|EU - African Heads of State Summit in Malta|
On the final day of the two-day summit of heads of state and governments of the European Union and Africa, the idea of an EU-issued travel document to African migrants to facilitate their deportation back to their countries of origin have been rejected.
The Africans strongly objected to "laissez passer" idea which would have been an EU-issued travel document. According to the African Union Ambassador to the European Union the idea was unheard-of in international law.
Realizing that the idea would have meant that the EU would have had the power to determine one's nationality on behalf of the migrants country of origin, the idea was quickly dropped, preventing EU mass deporting African migrants. The focus then was rightly directed at how to absorb the migrants by focusing on the long-term solutions of addressing the problem comprehensively.
The seed money for the proposed $2-billion "Trust Fund" as additional aid package for participating African countries was approved by the EU, provided from the Commission's central budget with matching funds expected from individual EU Members States.
The fact that the issue of readmission is central to the refugee crisis, it should not be exclusive domain of Europeans alone. This issue was driven home more emphatically by the Senegalese president Macky Sall who was highly critical of the European and Western multinationals business operations in Africa.
The Senegalese president was clearly referencing the little-known and less publicized UN's High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows led by Thabo Mbeki that estimated as much as $ 50 billion annually was being siphoned out of Africa by multinational companies - an amount that represents approximately twice the size of official development assistance.
It would appear from the European Union has abandoned is ill-advised approach of separate and unequal treatment of the Syrian and African migrants. In addition to the "Trust Fund", Britain plans to increase its aid package in the next four years on education and job creation schemes. Britain is also pushing EU countries into accepting failed asylum seekers.
The tone certainly changed on the second and final day of the Summit. It is hoped that, in moving forward, the migration crisis will be viewed and treated as a global issue, requiring global solutions that must take into account the root causes - both man-made and natural - moving forward.