EU leaders sold off refugees’ rights and European values in Valetta

At the Valletta Summit, European leaders have offered dozens of African countries at least 1,8 billion euros in a trust fund in return for agreeing to strongly limit refugees leaving their countries and to take back refugees deported from Europe.

President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, Gabi Zimmer, commented: “Instead of creating the safe and legal pathways into Europe that are so desperately needed for refugees and migrants, EU leaders have decided to further externalise EU borders to third countries and, for that purpose, work with dictatorships such as in Eritrea and Sudan.”

“The agreement will see these and other African countries work to prevent migration to the EU and take back refugees that are rejected by the EU; effectively sending some refugees back to the authoritarian regimes and situations of poverty and hunger from which they fled in the first place. 

“This not only violates the human rights of refugees, but also erodes the EU's own values of freedom and human rights, and further damages the vision of an open and cosmopolitan Union.

“European leaders must remember that it is poverty, hunger and wars that drive people to flee their countries. For many years now, most Member States of the EU have not paid their obligatory share of development aid to African countries. The current approach does not address the root causes of migration and will instead spend money on closer cooperation in border control and intensify the fight against refugees.

“What we really need is a radical change in European trade and development policy, serving first the people in developing countries and not European corporations,” Zimmer concluded.