On the 29th of September ACP YPN was invited to speak at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to the EU on the topic of the EU Trust Fund for Africa. Yentyl Williams, President and Founder of ACP YPN spoke alongside Head of Unit and Manager of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, Mr. Hans Christian Stausboll. This exchange was part of the NRW-EU Brussels Happy Development Hour.
Yentyl discussed (i) ACP YPN Actions leading up to Trust Fund: ACP YPN is signatory of Joint Declaration of African Diaspora organizations for the Valletta Summit on Migration; (ii) ACP YPN Action during the implementation of the Trust Fund: Response to the EU consultation on the future of EU ACP relations where ACP YPN commended the ‘flexibility’ of the trust fund. However, ACP YPN also identified several issues of concern, notably which undermine the EU principle of Policy Coherence for Development: (a) Early warning mechanism: EU member states are often torn between responding to conflict, whereby some member states that see conflict as an opportunity to sell arms; (b) Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs): the EU can’t give with one hand while taking with the other as Africa loses 50bn annually. In other words, Africa loses more in IFFs than it receives in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) combined. Moreover, private sector accounts for 65% of IFFs, therefore there is a clear need to re-evaluate the synergies between the support for the private sector and development principles; (c) Technical barriers to legal migration e.g. working visas, humanitarian visa issues in rhetoric and reality. The response states that the partnership failed to apply the appropriate solutions to crises: additionally, and specifically in relation to cooperation on EU-ACP youth issues, there needs more emphasis on circular migration and the recognition of ACP diplomas by EU countries.
And, (iii) going forward on the EU Trust Fund for Africa: 1) Yentyl recommended that ACP YPN members who come from the affected regions should be invited as ‘observers’ to the Trust Fund’s Operational Committee to give targeted expert input; 2) Hold a Roundtable with ACP YPN members from the affected regions and policy officials (GIZ, DFID, UNIDO, etc.) to discuss the issues and bring clarity to a complex debate. 3) Publish Policy paper on Future EU ACP relations in Jan. 2017 and how the EU can achieve Triple A for its European Pillar of Social Rights vis-à-vis ACP-EU youth.
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