The European Union and its Member States have progressively put in place a comprehensive external migration policy and strengthened the work along the Central Mediterranean route. Saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement: these are the aims at the very heart of the EU's policy.
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia is a recognition to a man of courage and to a generation of Africans working for change and reconciliation. His leadership in establishing a dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea is giving hope not only to two countries, but to the whole region and to an entire continent. He has shown that while the path to reconciliation can be long and difficult, peace is always possible, even after decades of conflict.
The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe firmly oppose the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. The death penalty means revenge, not justice, and its abolition contributes to the enhancement of human dignity.
On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the European Union reaffirms its commitment towards democracy as a fundamental right of every human being. Every woman and every man has to be free to participate to the political, economic and social life of her or his country. No one should fear to speak up, to demonstrate peacefully, to go to vote or to expect fair and inclusive policies from a government. Democracy can only function if participation and trust between democratic state institutions, governments and citizens are guaranteed.
European Union has awarded full Masters scholarship for 60 Ethiopian students for the academic year of 2019-2020 through the EU’s flagship education initiative, Erasmus Mundus/Erasmus+ European Scholarship Programme. The students will spend 2 years in prestigious Universities in 12 European countries to pursue their Master Degrees in various fields. Each beneficiary student will attend a master degree to be awarded by a consortium of universities from at least two EU Member States.
On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.