Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1984, the Association of Western European Parliamentarians Against Apartheid was founded (AWEPAA); with apartheid now behind us, the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa, as it was renamed, keeps working to preserve human dignity and strengthen parliamentary democracy in African countries. Such principles are as much needed now as three decades ago and AWEPA continues to rise to modern challenges. To celebrate its anniversary, AWEPA will organize an African-European parliamentary dialogue on ‘Managing Migration’, hosted by the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), in Midrand, South Africa, on October 4-5, 2014.
In addition to reviewing areas where AWEPA’s work has made a difference in strengthening democracy and development in Africa over the past decades, the event will look forward at the possible constructive roles parliamentary stakeholders can play in the contentious issue of migration.
Whereas African policymakers approach the issue of migration from a mobility and employment perspective, European actions have been criticized for appearing to put border security before migrants’ lives. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) includes a Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment (MME), which has had difficulty reaching consensus on a migrant-centred approach. The MME partnership focuses on two pillars, regular dialogue and concrete initiatives. In both cases there has been far too little contact with national parliaments, both in Africa and Europe.
The AWEPA-PAP dialogue will examine the new action plan for 2014-2016, developed by the JAES Partnership on MME, which is expected to be approved at the 4th Africa-EU Summit, to be held in Brussels in April. The occasion will also assess the links of migration to the MDGs and the calls for migration to be part of the post-2015 development agenda.