Following today’s meeting with the EU Ambassadors in Africa, the president of the S&D Group, Gianni Pittella, stated:
"Today's meeting with the EU Ambassadors in Africa, along with S&D vice-presidents, Elena Valenciano and Victor Boștinaru; chair of the EP development committee, Linda McAvan and member of the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly, Marie Arena, was a real opportunity to discuss the recent developments in African countries, and to think about concrete EU initiatives and measures to help in the efforts for more democracy, and for economic and social development on the African continent.
"We believe that change for African countries won't come from outside, but from within, through the best of Africa's political and economic energies. Europe's job is to play a proactive political and economic role and to support those seeking progressive solutions to foster real democracy. The European Union should shift its role from being just a payer to become a credible player; especially in helping people, particularly the younger generations, by creating acceptable conditions for education and employment.
"Europe united as such must act in favour of fair development, not only act through unilateral national initiatives. We firmly believe the political and economic development must go hand in hand with the respect of the human rights and the fight against any form of racial, financial or class discrimination and inequalities. Always bearing in mind that discrimination and inequalities create extremisms and terrorist tendencies, such as Boko Haram, which constitute a real global threat.
"The S&D Group is working and will keep on pushing in this direction in order to fight corruption and promote good governance. This is the reason why we will ask President Juncker to make Africa a key priority in the EU's external policy dimension. This is also the reason why the S&D Group is organising an Africa Week in the European Parliament in December this year. Our group is and will remain truly committed in the electoral observation missions in Africa as we firmly believe they represent a fundamental tool to build democracy. Additionally, we implore African leaders to respect the election process, as well as the letter of the constitution in their countries."