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Wednesday, 05 October 2016

Ethiopia-EU strategic cooperation remains strong

Since spring 2015, the European Union has been facing an unprecedented peak of illegal migration from the Middle East and Africa, in particular from countries of the Horn of Africa, writes Teshome Toga. Teshome Toga is the ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Benelux and Baltic countries, as well as to the European Union. The EU has defined a set of strategies and policies to deal with this challenge internally, but also to help countries of origin and transit to manage reception and hosting of migrants. Ultimately, the goal is to address the root causes of illegal migration in the countries of origin by creating better living conditions at home. For African countries, the most significant tool of this policy was set up in Malta at the Valletta summit in November 2015 with the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, endowed with €1.8 billion for 23 African countries. At the same summit, Ethiopia and the EU signed a joint declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) that acknowledges the importance of Ethiopia as a key country of transit, destination and origin of irregular migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa on the route to Europe. However, this agreement faced critiques from some media outlets and political commentators who believed that through this solidarity fund with African countries, the EU was “compromising” itself by “funding authoritarian governments”.