By failing to reach a readmission agreement at the Valletta summit, the EU risks pumping aid into countries without any clear evidence either that it will reduce economic push factors, and no clear way of reducing the pull factors on economic migrants, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, ECR home affairs spokesman, said today.
Speaking after the end of the Valletta summit, he said:
"The economic development of African nations is an important long term goal for the EU. Development aid should be given with the intention of creating future trading partners for the EU and providing individuals with the hope of a future in their own countries.
"Failing to reach a readmission strategy in Valletta is disappointing. EU development aid to African nations should come with one clear condition; that if individuals come to the EU illegally they will be returned to their home nation.
"Member States and the EU cannot combat illegal immigration without an effective returns and readmissions policy. Perusing readmission and returns must continue to be a top priority for EU leaders to achieve. By doing so we send out a clear signal that if persons want to work and live in the EU then they must do so legally.
"European leaders must continue to work at getting the basics right; dismantling trafficking networks, securing borders, and focusing on direct resettlement of refugees rather than encouraging millions to make a perilous journey and then relying on a relocation system which is already seen to be failing."