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 are at the very heart of the EU's policy.
In August The Gambia became the 14th West African country to have signed the region-to-region Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. The aim of this tailor-made agreement is to promote trade between the EU and African states and contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Once signed by all 16 partners, including Nigeria and Mauritania, the Agreement will be submitted for ratification. Meanwhile, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana have already opted for stepping stone agreements that will in future be replaced by the regional EPA with West Africa.
On the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the contributions of indigenous peoples to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures and indeed to our common heritage. It is also a day where we take stock of the many achievements in the recognition and realisation of their rights and identify the actions that the world community still needs to take, so that human rights are universally applied without any discrimination.
On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice the European Union reaffirms its commitment to the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes and violations of international humanitarian law.
As part of its External Investment Plan, the EU gave its green light to a package of financial guarantee programmes worth around €800 million on 10 July. This will help to leverage an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.
Every minute, every day, nearly 31 people are forcibly displaced. Today, more than 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, persecution, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change –25.4 million of them are refugees.