Fl-intervent tiegħu fid-dibattitu tal-Parlament Ewropew fi Strasburgu dwar ir-relazzjonijiet bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Afrika, l-eks Prim Ministru u Kap tad-Delegazzjoni tas-S&D tal-Partit Laburista Alfred Sant enfasizza li dak li għandhom bżonn u li jeħtieġu l-pajjiżi tas-Saħara u tas-sub-Saħara huwa approċċ mhux dogmatiku magħmul apposta li jirrispondi għal problemi konkreti. Dan se jeħtieġ li n-naħa Ewropea tkun lesta li tagħmel “sagrifiċċji”, żied jgħid.

Waqt id-dibattitu plenarju li sar qabel is-sitt summit tal-kapijiet ta’ stat u gvern bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Unjoni Afrikana fis-17-18 ta’ Frar fi Brussell, il-partiti politiċi ewlenin Ewropej iddikjaraw li jistennew li s-summit bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u l-Afrika jsaħħaħ is-sħubija strateġika bejn iż-żewġ naħat.

Alfred Sant qal lill-plenarja li “hemm nuqqas ta’ rieda reali jekk mhux moħbija biex nilqgħu għall-problema strutturali kbira li għadha fuqha r-relazzjoni Ewropa-Afrika”. Għeruq kolonjalisti u neo-kolonjalisti ma qabżux u lanqas twarrbu. Il-MPE Laburista fakkar li l-mudell Ewropew ta’ kummerċ u investiment mal-Afrika kellu l-għan li jiżgura t-trasparenza li tikkonverġi lejn kundizzjonijiet tas-suq ħieles, filwaqt li jinkoraġġixxi l-investiment dirett privat u jiskoraġġixxi l-korruzzjoni u n-nuqqas ta’ azzjoni mill-gvern. Madankollu, dan ma ħadimx tajjeb għall-ekonomiji Afrikani għalkemm seta’ bbenefika xi wħud mill-elite urbani.

L-eks Prim Ministru Sant innota li aktar milli approċċi formuli ta’ kummerċ ħieles il-pajjiżi tas-Saħara u dawk sub-Saħarjani kienu jeħtieġu “approċċ mhux dogmatiku magħmul apposta” biex jindirizza kwistjonijiet speċifiċi iżda dan ikun jinvolvi sagrifiċċji min-naħa tal-Ewropa. “Inkella, dawk kollha involuti għandhom ikomplu jilagħbu kif inhu u kif kien, fuq il-bażi li l-ġiħadiżmu għandu jinżamm”, huwa sostna.


Sant calls for a tailor-made approach by the EU that responds to concrete problems in African countries

Intervening in the debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on European Union-Africa relations, former Prime Minister and Head of the Labour Party S&D Delegation Alfred Sant emphasised that what Saharan and sub-Saharan countries needed and need is an undogmatic tailor-made approach that responds to concrete problems. This will require the European side to be prepared to make “sacrifices”, he added.

During the plenary debate which took place ahead of the sixth European Union-African Union heads of state and government summit on 17-18 February in Brussels, the main European political parties stated that they expected the European Union-African summit to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two sides.

Alfred Sant told the plenary that “there is a real if hidden reluctance to come to terms with the major structural problem that still underlies the Europe-Africa relationship”. Colonialist and neo-colonialist roots have not been outgrown nor discarded. The Labour MEP recalled that the European trade and investment model with Africa meant to ensure transparency converging towards free market conditions, while encouraging private direct investment and discouraging corruption and government inertia. However, this has not worked well for African economies though it may have benefitted some urban elites.

Former Prime Minister Sant noted that rather than formulaic free trade approaches Saharan and sub-Saharan countries required “an undogmatic tailor-made approach” to address specific issues but this would entail sacrifices from the European side. “Otherwise, all involved shall continue to play it as it is and has been, on the grounds that jihadism has to be contained”, he claimed.

 

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