An approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU has the full support of civil society from both continents. However, it is necessary to act now: “An action plan is not enough, it is important to equip it with the necessary funding and improve coordination and cooperation”. These were the main messages of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 27-28 October.
Welcomed Civil Society representatives from African States, members of European economic and social councils and partner organisations as well as representatives from the European institutions and international organisations to discuss the main challenges and find common solutions to the refugee crisis. The 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network ended with a joint resolution outlining proposals which mainly focused on three issues, the fight against migrant smuggling and the strengthening of police and judicial cooperation as outlined in the EU’s action plan. Participants stressed the importance of adequate funding, the need for closer cooperation between the two continents and the urge to punish traffickers, not the migrants themselves. The setting up of safe humanitarian corridors and support to civil society organisations providing assistance to migrants on the ground were also highlighted.