I warmly welcome President Juncker’s commitment to a new relationship with our neighbours in Africa. We need stronger partnerships built on honesty and trust. We, civil society organisations, support initiatives that foster investments working for people (decent jobs) and planet (environmentally sustainable). The EU should ensure that achieving sustainable development, including tackling inequalities and ending poverty are at the core of any future partnerships.
And this is unfortunately not what we have observed: Investments that put commercial opportunities for EU companies at the centre rather than people’s needs, and approaches that say you’ll only get aid if you stop your people coming to Europe are not worthy of the proud values of our continent or likely to endear us to our neighbours.