Gianni Pittella: End the barbarism in Libya and invest in Africa

Gianni Pittella meeting Faustin-Archange Touadéra, president of the Central African Republic

Africa is a crucial partner for the future of Europe. This is a firmly held conviction for Gianni Pittella, the President of the Socialists and Democrats Group.  During a high-level conference on relations with the African continent, ahead of the next European Union-African Union summit in Abidjan at the end of November, President Pittella met with a series of African leaders, including the president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra. After the meetings, he said:

“From very serious human-rights violations against migrants in Libya, to the fight against terrorism and trafficking in weapons, drugs and human beings in the Sahel, as well as the instability in central Africa, the African continent is still plagued by numerous threats, which are holding back a region which is booming economically.  The sale of slaves in migrant detention centres – a real crime against humanity – reminds us of the urgent need to put an end to the barbarism gripping Libya.  The international community must intervene to close the detention centres and replace them with reception centres that meet international humanitarian standards, under the protection of the United Nations.

“The European Socialists and Democrats have always emphasised that an approach which focuses exclusively on the security aspect of the migration phenomenon is not sufficient to resolve the problem. We must prioritise opening legal routes and creating an ambitious, multi-dimensional and truly equal partnership with our African partners also to tackle the root causes of the migration flows effectively, especially poverty, bad governance and instability. We must prioritise official development assistance, support sustainable investment in the framework of the 2030 Agenda – especially to create jobs for young people and women – strengthen democracy and human rights, fight against terrorism and improve security.

“The upcoming EU-AU summit in Abidjan must lead to specific and ambitious proposals which can address the hopes of young people – the central theme of the summit – and not just the urgent questions about migration.  If Europe wants to guarantee a better future for its citizens, it must invest in Africa and with Africa.”