European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi gives a press conference on February 9, 2021 | Photo: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq
European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi gives a press conference on February 9, 2021 | Photo: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

The European Commission has proposed a plan to stimulate the economies of Mediterranean countries such as Algeria, Libya and Morocco. The goal: To support their attempts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to curb irregular migration.

A plan to stimulate the economies of the EU's partner nations across the Mediterranean was presented by the EU commission on Tuesday, February 9. One of the many goals of the plan is to curb irregular migration.

Up to €7 billion will reportedly be send to Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia between 2021 and 2027, through the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) of the European Union.

The EU said that the funds could mobilize up to €30 billion in public and private investment in the region over the next decade.

More jobs, less migration?

According to a statement released by the EU regarding its new agenda for the Mediterranean, "increased opportunities and jobs that will be generated by the [plan], especially for women and young people, will contribute to reducing factors that lead to irregular migration." The EU also called for more joint efforts to combat people smuggling and for easier "safe and legal pathways for migration and mobility."

Europe wants to "contribute directly to a long-term vision of prosperity and stability of the region, especially in the social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis," EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said. "In close dialogue with our partners, we have identified a number of priority sectors, from creating growth and jobs, investing in human capital or good governance."

 

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