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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

ALDE: EU should be more involved in the Sahel region

The ALDE Group held a seminar this week to discuss persistent problems in the Sahel region and identify the role that the EU should play taking into consideration the External Action Service is working on a strategy for development for this region. The Sahel, characterized by underdevelopment and terrorism is of crucial geo-strategic interest. As far as the  EU is concerned the Sahel is the extension of its southern neighbourhood, not just some distant region. Charles Goerens (Democratic Party, Luxembourg), says "We must be aware of stereotypes and simplistic solutions for the situation in the Sahel where the  complex  twin challenges of security, in terms of terrorism and food need to be addressed. The fallout from the situation in Libya and resulting refugee crisis has exacerbated the situation. The key is to promote the regional dimension and respond urgently to the absence of  a State in the Touareg region of  Mali." He concluded that "the region possesses wealth and great potential as well as an innovative capacity of its people." Marielle de Sarnez (Modem, France) added, "You cannot imagine any development without security, but also there will be no security without development. Europe must be more present to develop economic and social opportunities.  This is fundamental to the region in order to bring peace and stability".

Source: ALDE