Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Development

This time for Africa: The Global Gateway is Europe’s ambitious new project for worldwide investments, promising to invest 150 billion in Africa. But EU engagement in African countries carries significant historical baggage. How can European policymakers demonstrate that they are truly listening to African counterparts and that investments are led by local demand?

Submitted by: Rania Boujghagh (NL), Joost Clous (NL), Elise Fanoy (NL), Aniek Meijdam (NL), Mirte van Oorschot (NL), Anna van der Stouwe (NL), Daniëla de Vries (NL), Linus Schmidt (Chairperson, DE)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Pointing out that the EUR 150 billion will not only be provided by the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), but Member States and private investors are included as well,
  2. Acknowledging that the European Union will have to play a key role in mediating between Member States and African countries,
  3. Noting that the EU faces a plethora of reputational issues including the notions that past partnerships have been unequal and development aid is mainly distributed in pursuit of the EU’s own interests,
  4. Affirming the importance of sustainable development but acknowledging the injustice experienced by African countries being denied use of their natural resources,
  5. Reiterating that hard and soft infrastructure are both imperative for long-term development and require coordinated, but entirely different approaches,
  6. Reminding that the EU has developed individual regional security strategies in the past,
  7. Convinced that investments can only be lead by local demand if local players and NGOs are included in the process;
  1. Request the European Commission to closely monitor investments made by private investors under the Global Gateway scheme to safeguard sustainability standards and close collaboration with regional actors;
  2. Calls upon the European Commission to mediate between Member States and members of the African Union to ensure fair and equal negotiations for investments;
  3. Asks Member States’ to acknowledge past mistakes in the context of development aid, including policies solely tailored towards European interests and to assure the forbearance of such in the future;
  4. Urges the European Commission to continue its strict commitment to sustainable development aid within the Global Gateway project;
  5. Accepts that African countries make use of their great supply of natural resources due to the prospect of fast economic growth;
  6. Emphasises the importance of collaboration of the EU with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as Education for Africa, and local government agencies to promote teacher’s education, with the aim of establishing a self-sustaining education system;
  7. Reaffirms the importance of establishing hard and soft infrastructure1 based on the African counterpart’s needs, rather than based on European standards and preferences;
  8. Suggests that the European Union-African Union summit initiates the establishment of regional committees dedicated to assessing needs for development aid, gathering representatives of the European Union, the African Union, local grass-root initiatives, NGOs and independent experts;
  9. Further suggests that above-mentioned committees provide a semiannual report on both the socioeconomic situation and the development of the dedicated regions;
  10. Instructs the European Commission to establish a system that identifies and penalises the initiators of development projects which do not use EU development aid in a sustainable and people-oriented way.
  1.  Hard infrastructure refers to anything tangible (e.g. roads, houses). Soft infrastructure is what allows a population to maintain its economic, health, cultural and social standards (e.g. health care, education).