€7.4B economic aid, migration deal – Politico

The EU-Egypt deal coincides with an increase in irregular migration to the group of wealthy nations. Following a lull in 2022, the EU faces a surge in migrants arriving across the Mediterranean in 2023 and numbers are expected to rise again in 2024, an EU official said.

An agreement signed with Tunisia last July and due to be signed on Sunday aims to limit access to Libya, where many migrants fall prey to human traffickers, the official added.

A growing controversy

The €7.4 billion for Egypt marks the latest payment to countries on Europe's border, following similar deals with Turkey, Mauritania and Morocco. In addition, the EU has increased resources for the border agency Frontex, which now has more than 10,000 agents under its flag.

EU faces surge in Mediterranean migrants in 2023 and numbers to climb again in 2024 | Dan Kidwood/Getty Images

Even so, right-wing and conservative EU parties want to go further. In its manifesto, the conservative European People's Party (EPP) has called for the number of Frontex's staff to be tripled to 30,000.

The push to curb migration comes despite mounting controversy, with some critics suggesting a contradiction between the camp's approach to refugees from Ukraine and those from further outside.

„We have a war in Europe,” said an EU official. „Their aim is to return home after the war. The vast majority of people crossing the Mediterranean are economic migrants – a completely different model.

Critics also argue that Brussels is handing out large sums of money to authoritarian leaders who can abuse it, with little oversight to respect human rights. Last October, Tunisia refused to allow a group of EU lawmakers to check how the EU-Tunis deal was being implemented.

READ  Gold and silver prices today: Yellow metal prices extend rally on softer US economic data, dollar nears four-month low

Human rights groups argue that the deal with Tunisia has diverted migrants to neighboring Libya, a war-torn country known for modern-day slavery, human traffickers and brutal treatment of migrants.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *