European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker, in the final 12 months of his tenure, has remarked that the European Union (EU) plans to beef up security at the borders to keep out migrants from Africa.
The commission chief announced, during his annual state of the union address that the region will install 10,000 border guards to stop the influx of migrants from Africa by 2020.
Migration from African nations has increased in the last 30 years, going from 1% in the 1990s to 31% by the 2000s. In 2017, approximately 25 million people from sub-Saharan Africa lived outside their countries, according to a Pew Research study. African migrants navigate the deadly Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea routes, often from North Africa to Europe, to escape conflict, economic decline, disease and hunger.
One of Juncker’s solutions is the creation of some 10 million jobs in the next five years on the African continent. The EC head elaborated that a more solid plan is required to replace the current "ad-hoc solutions" that are in place to deal with large groups of people arriving on migrant ships.
European nations have previously offered African nations billions of euros in aid and other incentives with hopes of keeping those citizens out of Europe.
Juncker, on the other hand, proposes a new Africa-Europe, continent-to-continent free trade agreement involving less aid. “Africa does not need charity, it needs true and fair partnerships. And Europe needs this partnership just as much.” In accordance with Juncker’s solution, German and British leaders recently completed tours in Africa to promote investment opportunities.
The European Commission president’s speech also addressed other regional issues, including populism, terrorism and Brexit.
Italy’s populist, anti-migration deputy prime minister has become notorious for refusing to accept African migrants and actively turns away rescue ships. Additionally, on Sunday, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats — only recently abandoning its neo-Nazi roots — significantly increased its share of the vote and could become the country's second largest party.
EU officials consider most people arriving from Africa to be economic migrants. Under international law, economic migrants can be deported.
EU leaders will meet in Salzburg, Austria, next week to discuss how to better manage African migrant arrivals.