Category Archives: EU-Africa

Mogherini inaugurates EU premises in Tripoli

EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini visited Libya today to inaugurate the premises of the European Union Delegation to Libya and the EU Border Assistance Mission in Tripoli, and in view of the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday where the situation in Libya is on the agenda.

In Libya, the European Union is the main humanitarian aid provider, the main supporter of the UN agencies’ programmes, the main bilateral cooperation donor as well as the first economic partner. The return of the diplomatic presence of the EU in Libya will further strengthen the cooperation with the government, the local authorities and the United Nations, and the implementation of projects on the ground.

During her visit, Federica Mogherini met with ChairmanFayez Sarraj, accompanied by the Foreign Minister Siala, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, representatives of UN agencies – IOM, UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF – and some of the beneficiaries of EU financed projects.

In her meetings, Mogherini discussed the EU’s support to the country and the most effective ways to further strengthen it. She also addressed the most recent developments in Libya,  including in the Oil Crescent. High Representative Mogherini restated the European Union’s support for the Libyan political process, in the framework provided by the United Nations, including preparations for elections. She stressed the need to prepare elections on a solid legal and constitutional basis, and the need that the results are accepted by all.  Mogherini discussed during the meetings the support the EU is already providing for the preparation of elections and the additional assistance it is ready to mobilise to accompany this process.

On top of its political support to Libya, the European Union is the main provider of assistance to improve the lives of Libyan citizens and help them to rebuild their country politically, socially and economically. During the meetings, new initiatives in the areas of health, education, media, youth, support to municipalities, governance and security were discussed.

The close cooperation of the EU with the Libyan authorities and the United Nations agencies – namely the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) –  has allowed for assistance and protection to refugees, migrants and internally displaced people in the country, to save lives at sea and assist thousands of people to voluntarily return to their countries, while fighting against the trafficking of human beings. Federica Mogherini discussed with Prime Minister Sarraj the EU’s training of the Libyan coast guard through Operation Sophia, and the cooperation through EUBAM in supporting the authorities to manage the land borders, particularly in the South, also in the framework of regional initiatives.

They also discussed the successful work done by the Task Force established by the European Union, the African Union and the UN at the EU-African Union summit in Abidjan last November, that has led to assisted voluntary return of 20.000 irregular migrants from Libya to their countries of origin.

Mandela remembrance in European Parliament

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani remembered Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth. A concert took place on 11 July in honour of Nelson Mandela in the European Parliament’s Yehudi Menuhin Hall, with the South African mission and in the presence of Mr Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel.

“Today, the European Parliament celebrates the incredible legacy of Nelson Mandela, the first recipient of the Sakharov Prize in 1988. He is the symbol of the fight for freedom, non-violence and reconciliation” Tajani said in is address.

President Lourenço calls for closer EU-Angola cooperation

EU-Angola relations and cooperation, development, migration and promoting stability, growth and jobs in the African continent were among the issues addressed during Mr João Lourenço’s first official visit to the European Parliament.

The President of Angola stressed the need to address common challenges together, such as migration, calling for a closer cooperation to help African countries to develop, create jobs and business opportunities.

Angola is determined in enhancing democracy, to opening up to the world and investments, Mr Lourenço said. Africa and Europe will only have to gain if African people can stay, live and work in their continent, he told MEPs.

The EU must strengthen its action in Angola and, more in general, in Africa,’’ said European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, following the meeting with the President of Angola. Mr Tajani reiterated the need for a comprehensive Marshall Plan for Africa to help mobilise investments.

‘…At the end of his European Parliament speech, while President Joao Lourenço, of Angola, was leaving EP plenary, I managed to greet him and to ask him this question about Rafael Marques de Morais, and the corrupt ex-Prosecutor. He smiled and shrugged…” – wrote in her Twitter microblog Portugese Socialist MEP Ana Gomes.

 

Tajani insists on Marshall plan for Africa

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani insists on work with African partners to address the root causes of migration flows. Tajani also continues to promote a “true Marshall Plan”  to be part of the next EU budget in order to attract investment, infrastructure and to develop an industrial base while creating hope and prospects for the next generations of Africans. However he admits that only ensuring secure external EU borders one can keep Schengen legislation alive. Tajani also looks forward working with Austrian presidency of EU on challenges of migration from Africa. (Image: EP president Antonio Tajani – right, and Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz – left).

Europarliament to celebrate Mandela anniversary

President Tajani remembers Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth, at the opening of the session in Strasbourg.. A concert will take place on 11 July in honour of Nelson Mandela in the European Parliament’s Yehudi Menuhin Hall (Brussels), with the South African mission and in the presence of Mr Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel.

Haftar rejects foreign military presence in Libya

Libya leader Marshall Khalifa Haftar rejected any foreign military presence in the south of the country to defeat human trafficking, after the EU leaders struck a deal to establish platforms receiving migrants in North Africa.

At the Summit (28-29 June) in Brussels the EU leaders agreed to explore the setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside Europe, most likely in North Africa, to discourage migrants from undertaking risky crossing of Mediterranean.

Human traffickers have taken an advantage of the collapse of Libyan state after the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi (2011) and swiftly established at Libyan coasts a major illegal migration hub transporting people to Europe from the entire African continent. The Libyan National Army (LNA) said any attempts by “foreign parties to deploy a military presence in some areas of southern Libya on the pretext of controlling illegal migrations” is rejected.

“The army’s general command warns these foreign parties that any such (military) deployment would be considered a flagrant violation of international law and a heinous aggression against Libyan sovereignty,” a statement said.

It added that the LNA would take “all the necessary measures to protect Libya and its borders”, without elaborating.

Marshall Haftar heads the Libyan National Army (LNA) and supports a parallel government in eastern Libya, and Tobruk parliament, that challenges the authority of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli.

EU sends observers to Zimbabwe elections

Following an invitation by the Zimbabwean authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections, scheduled for 30 July 2018. This is a further demonstration of the European Union’s long-term commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections worldwide.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe.

“These elections will be key for the future of Zimbabwe. The future president, parliament and local government councils will have the responsibility of steering the transition process in the country. Zimbabweans can count on the strong support of the European Union and of the international community. Its stability and economic growth are key for the entire region and for the European Union as well. I am confident that the mission under the leadership of Chief Observer Elmar Brok will make an important contribution to this electoral process,” said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.

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