Fico: Migration Can Only Be Halted by AU-EU Cooperation

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Prime Minister Robert Fico (stock photo by TASR)

Abidjan, November 29 (TASR-correspondent) – Unless cooperation between African countries and the European Union is clear, migration is likely to remain a big phantom for the EU, stated Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) at the fifth African Union – European Union (AU-EU) summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Wednesday.

The Slovak premier finds it right for EU and AU leaders to discuss what to do jointly to stop illegal migration flows. “We’re very well aware that we have to cooperate and invest much more in this area so that the countries from which migrants are leaving for Europe at the moment are able to provide people with basic living conditions and give them no reason to leave Africa for the European Union,” he said.

Fico views the current summit as rather symbolic, but he’s convinced that the event is of great importance for both sides.

The premier further noted that the Slovak Government has recently decided to allocate, in addition to the already provided €600,000, an additional contribution towards the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa worth €1 million. This means that Slovakia will become a significant contributor to this fund “in terms of its population and economy”.

“Joint action by the V4 [Visegrad Four] countries [the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia] on which we’re currently working and which will soon be manifested in Libya will be what we call effective solidarity,” said Fico.

The leaders of the African Union and the European Union are meeting in Abidjan for a two-day summit on the future of relations between the EU and Africa and on issues concerning the economy, security and migration.

The main theme and slogan of the summit is ‘Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future’. This area is a key priority for both continents, as 60 percent of the African population is younger than 25. The participants are also focusing on strengthening the position of young people through education, science and skills development.