Oxfam reaction to African Union-European Union meeting

Published: 27th February 2020

Reacting to the African Union-European Union college-to-college meeting today in Addis Ababa, Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Advocacy, Marissa Ryan, said:

“It is good news that Europe has begun developing prospects for a real and meaningful partnership with Africa. Ursula von der Leyen’s vision of a truly ‘geopolitical Commission’ must be grounded in European values and result in EU policies that actually work for people in Africa instead of making their situation worse.

“If labor, fiscal and social regulations are not strong enough, trade liberalization poses risks to local people and production systems. Trade relations should be designed in ways that allows local economies and businesses to thrive, not to create an enabling environment solely for foreign investment and imports.

The involvement of civil society and women’s organisations at national and regional level is critical to ensure development initiatives are fit for purpose, have the support of local communities and leave no one behind.”

Notes to editors

  • Marissa Ryan is available for interviews in Brussels.
  • Oxfam’s recent report ‘The EU Trust Fund for Africa: Trapped between aid policy and migration politics’ reveals how EU development aid is increasingly being spent to close borders, stifle migration and push for returns of migrants to Africa. This approach is hurting the EU’s diplomatic standing and diverting aid from its true purpose of helping those in need, sometimes even worsening the situation of the people it should support.

Contact information

Florian Oel | Brussels | florian.oel@oxfam.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

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