(Ecofin Agency) – The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 14 Sept 2016, has announced the launch of an investment plan for Africa and neighboring countries.
The plan aims to provide more local prospects and tackle economic emigration to the European Union (EU). “We currently have an ambitious investment plan for Africa and its neighboring countries, which has the potential to raise €44 billion in investment,” Juncker said. “And if EU member-states participate, up to €88 billion could be raised,” he added.
The Commission’s president also explained that the new plan would work in the same way as the Juncker investment fund, which was launched in 2015, for European countries. In both cases, private and public investors are encouraged to inject funds, with credit guarantees provided by the EU’s budget.
Moreover, African nations will be asked to, as it has been done with Turkey, to tackle with more intensity, clandestine immigration networks and “readmit” more of their citizens.
According to the European Commission, the investment plan will receive €3.5 billion from the EU’s budget and the European Fund for Development. In addition, the European Investment Bank (EIB) should lend up to €32.3 billion as guarantee from the Union till 2020 (from 2014).
Data from 2014 shows that less than 40% of illegal immigrants who were ordered by the EU to return to their countries effectively did, due to a lack of cooperation and means from their respective countries.
The same year, more than 10,000 migrants died in the Mediterranean, as they were trying to go to Europe, data from UNHCR reveals.