A delegation of S&D MEPs led by Group President Gianni Pittella will visit Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) tomorrow until Friday to meet with Ethiopian and African Union leaders to discuss the increasingly important EU-African relations. Mr Pittella will be joined by S&D Spokesperson for Development Norbert Neuser and Vice-chair of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Cécile Kyenge.
Ahead of the visit, S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:
"Africa is not just a European neighbour it must quickly become one of our most important partners for economic, cultural, development and security cooperation. We must abandon our traditional Eurocentric approach and realize that the current migration crisis is a global crisis and not just a European one. This phenomenon is first and foremost hitting Africa with millions of people fleeing conflicts, poverty and growing inequalities, climate change and natural disasters, human rights violations and poor democratic systems.
"If we really want to solve the migration crisis in the long term and address common global challenges we must address its root causes, by dramatically increasing political cooperation with African countries and the African Union. This goal is very important to the S&D Group and Africa remains our clear priority.
"Hence, along with Cécile Kyenge, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President, and Norbert Neuser, S&D DEVE Coordinator, we will go in mission to Ethiopia to meet the representatives of the African Union and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn. We will also visit the Addis Ababa centre for returnee children run by UNICEF.
"The S&D group is fully committed to working on peace and security issues with national authorities, with the African Union and UN to create new opportunities, to make Africa a better place for its people, and a more attractive place for business. European and African challenges go hand-in-hand. The more we contribute to the stabilization and development of African countries, the sooner us as Europeans will solve our own challenges."