The EU and its “no more roads approach” in Eritrea

On June 15, the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) held a hearing in the European Parliament (EP) on the European Union’s development cooperation with Eritrea and in particular the road rehabilitation project that is carried out with the help of national service labour, which is widely defined as forced labour. The hearing included a change of views between the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), the Europe External Action Service (EEAS) and members of the committee on progress and the possibilities on getting results on the very difficult situation in Eritrea. The ‘no more roads’ decision can be seen as the most important outcome.

News highlights: Eritrean road project scrutinised in EU meetings, UN warns of locust catastrophe in East Africa, Libya arms embargo main objective in Operation Sophia

In this week’s news highlights: European Parliament Development Committee discusses road project in Eritrea; Statement proposes EU benchmarks for progress in Eritrea, Spain returns did not break European law according to ECHR; Attacker of Eritrean journalist in London found guilty; Greece’s plans for new refugee detention centres delayed after protests; Two refugee boats missing in the Mediterranean; Pregnant African women disappear from Dutch asylum seeker centres; UN urges international community to take action against the locust plagues in East Africa; Ethiopia adopts tool for protecting Internally Displaced Persons; UN reviews Eritrean women’s rights; Bribes at refugee camp Sudan; Operation Sophia to enforce weapon embargo Libya as primary aim; Migrants and refugees in Tripoli increasingly vulnerable; and Tunisian refugee camp build for deported refugees from the EU, says journalist.

The European Union is questioned over the Eritrean road project

The legality of the road building project in Eritrea funded by European Union (EU) under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been questioned on the territory of the European institutions over the past week. On 14 February, the European Commission Directorate General on International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) held a Round Table meeting with several NGOs and on 18 February, the Committee on Development (DEVE) of the European Parliament dedicated a part of its agenda to the EU development aid in Eritrea. During both events representatives of the European Commission, civil society as well as members of the parliament were presenting their points of view.