The roundtable discussion spanned over a number of topics beginning with the migration-development nexus, touching upon EU’s policies in Africa at large, focusing closely on the use of EUTF in Libya and Ethiopia, and going all the way to the particular involvement of the Czech Republic.

There was little debate over whether Europe had witnessed a “crisis” (call it migration, political, crisis of solidarity or otherwise). Most seemed to agree that this situation called for exceptional measures, such as the establishment the Emergency EU Trust Fund for Africa. However, in face of the recent substantial drop in the number of irregular arrivals, and EU’s continuing role as a key development actor in Africa, there appears to be a need to move into another phase of strategic (long-term) policy response in which “emergency” tools either cease to exist or transform substantially. It was also underlined that when outside the crisis, an increased level of scrutiny (instead of just channeling money less or more haphazardly) is very much needed.

It was repeatedly stated that a clear-cut line should be made between the allocation funds for security/border management and funds for development cooperation. The latter must always adhere to the key objective of poverty eradication and to the agreed development principles in place, vis-á-vis the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These include notably development effectiveness, transparency, and local ownership, making sure that needs of the most vulnerable are taken into account. This could be a plausible answer to the question, which gave the event a name.

In terms of the Czech involvement, Ethiopia where EUTF has demonstrably contributed to development objectives and where multiple local development actors have operated, was mentioned as a good practice of the use of EUTF which may be useful to replicate. More concern was voiced in relation to the recently pledged 8.75 million euro for the training and equipment of Libyan border guard, to be implemented by Italian MoI.

Concluding recommendations

To Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Coordinate the use of funds channeled via EUTF in a transparent and inclusive manner for development objectives.
  • Provide regular monitoring and impact assessments on the projects implemented within EUTF.
  • Use good practice from Ethiopia as a model to follow in other EUTF target countries.
  • Respect key principles of 2030 Agenda in allocation of funds during decision-making processes.
  • Support evidence-based awareness-raising on migration management and development issues among the larger public. Sustain/develop cooperation in this regard with civil society organizations.

To EU and Foreign Affairs Committees of both chambers of the Parliament

  • Scrutinize the use of funds allocated via EUTF by calling upon responsible officials at the Ministries (MoI, MFA) to report regularly (in writing or in person) on the EUTF implementation.
  • Monitor and eventually flag the diversion of funds for securitization and migration management purposes.
  • Recommend specific action by the Czech Republic in the Operational Committees of the EUTF.
  • Demand a steady increase of bilateral ODA, and ensure CZ is taking progressive steps to fulfill its commitment of achieve 0.33 % GNI for ODA by 2030.

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