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They agreed today on a joint Action Plan to implement the existing dialogues and announced a meeting of Senior Officials level to take place no later than January 2017 to take stock of the overall progress in its implementation.
The EU's Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa which was launched today represents an important instrument to effectively implement the Action Plan adopted at the Valletta Summit and will benefit the Sahel region and Lake Chad area; the Horn of Africa and the North of Africa therefore encompassing the major African migration routes to Europe.
In her remarks ahead of the summit, Federica Mogherini stressed that the EU's Emergency Trust Fund is not only about money but about building opportunities for people, protecting people's lives, fighting against criminal networks that exploit people's desperation and doing this together.
In a joint political declaration at the conclusion of the Valletta Summit, the EU and African leaders expressed deep concern by the sharp increase in flows of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants. They agreed that the first priority is to save lives and do everything necessary to rescue and protect the migrants whose lives are at risk and to respond decisively and together manage migration flows in all their aspects. The leaders also reiterated their firm commitment to respect international obligations and human rights recognising the high degree of interdependence between Africa and Europe as we face common challenges and the benefits of well-managed migration and mobility between and within European and African continents.
The participants to the Valletta Summit jointly committed to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, to advance legal migration and mobility possibilities, to strengthen the fight against irregular migration, to scale up our joint efforts in preventing and fighting migrant smuggling, eradicating trafficking in human beings and to strengthen international protection and step up assistance, including its humanitarian dimension. They also express their strong political commitment to pursue joint actions through existing bilateral and regional mechanisms, to undertake concrete actions to respond to challenges of migration and mobility at the appropriate level and with a gender perspective and to allocate appropriate resources.
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Complementing the EU's already existing development cooperation in the region to assist the most fragile and vulnerable countries across Africa, the Commission-managed instruments amount to €1.8 billion and are supplemented with new funds from EU Member States and other donors. It is an innovative way how the EU is stepping up its collective response to current challenges to help foster stability in the regions and to contribute to better migration management. It aims to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration, by promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development.
More on the Valletta Summit on migration