EU tries to stem number of African migrants coming to Europe after striking new deal


Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal have entered into a €425million (£379.5m) agreement with Europe to try and stem the flow of migrants heading into the eurozone for economic purposes.

The EU high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said: “We are starting to see the very first operational results on ground.”

The number of migrants coming from Niger is already decreasing and the EU is carrying out work in Mali and Senegal to ensure similar results there.

One key tactic, being enforced in Ethiopia, is to provide adequate employment opportunities on the ground so locals do not have to leave their countries of origin to find work.

Networks of smugglers and human traffickers are also being crushed and migrants are now being returned to their own nations.

The EU Africa Trust Fund intends to roll out 24 programmes by the end of the year as part of the Partnership Framework designed to solve the issues leading Africans to feel the need to come to Europe.

A senior EU official said: “Most of member states will expect results in December.

“At the end of day, the measure of success will be the rate of returns.”

If the scheme is a success, it could be widened to incorporate other African nations, EU officials confirmed.

Lebanon and Jordan could also be given similar support in return for housing hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Mr Mogherini ruled out such an agreement with Libya, where the majority of migrants crossing the central Mediterranean come from, because of the current security turmoil there.

She also added an agreement with Egypt was “not being considered at the moment” despite calls from German politicians for the country to be included.

Despite initial optimism, Mr Mogherini admitted there was “no quick fix” and that her work was “about laying ground for more results to come in future”.