King Mohammed VI has called for the establishment of a new bi-continental pact between the European Union and Africa to rise, together, to the challenges thrown at them.
In a message to the 5th European Union-African Union summit that opened Wednesday in Abidjan, King Mohammed VI pointed out that the EU and the AU are two essential and inevitable regional groupings, because they are important to each other and that seventeen years after it was established, the Partnership between Africa and Europe is as relevant as ever. “However, it is no longer the time now for diagnoses or useless controversies. The time now is for action,” he said.
He deemed it essential that “the courageous, responsible dialogue between former colonizer nations and former colonized countries remain frank and direct. Today, fresh impetus needs to be injected into it”.
The Monarch who underscored that solidarity between Europe and Africa is built on shared responsibility and mutual dependence, said “the logic of a vertical aid pattern can today give way to a genuine horizontal partnership”.
“To that end, there should be a shift in the EU-Africa Partnership towards a new bi-continental Pact. Both Africa and Europe must rise, together, to inevitable challenges through shared competitiveness, co-localization of productive businesses, regulated human mobility and fruitful cultural exchanges,” the Monarch advocated, pointing out that both groupings “are just as concerned by opportunities and responsibilities as they are by the challenges they face”.
In his message, the King also dealt with the harsh conditions that underpin the granting of loans, stating that “the conditionality of the debt must be reconsidered”.
Indeed, he went on to say, “Western countries expect some African countries – which gained independence less than half a century ago – to perform in politics and the economy as optimally as they themselves do, and they therefore impose impossible conditions on them”.
“This aberration is all the more inexplicable as these European countries sometimes face significant financial and political difficulties themselves”.
The Monarch who dwelt in his message on the immigration issue and the atrocious practices migrants are subjected to in an utter denial of humanity, insisted that European policy should change and that a new vision is needed.
“We ought to turn immigration into a subject of peaceful debate and constructive exchange,” the Sovereign underlined, noting that it is the time for action and for finding effective solutions to this issue.
“I deeply believe that the Abidjan Summit will be a watershed moment in the African-European partnership, and that it will mark a qualitative leap towards greater stability, security and prosperity on both continents,” he said.