“We are under no illusions that we can improve the situation overnight. But we are committed to giving people alternatives to risking their lives,” said former European Council President Donald Tusk at the Valletta migration summit in November 2015. Back then, large numbers of irregular migrants were reaching Europe’s borders, and the EU was eager to prevent a repeat. So, in collaboration with several African partners, it launched the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF for Africa), intended to finance projects that would “address the root causes of migration”, fight against irregular migration and promote the return and reintegration of migrants.
Six years after the creation of the EUTF for Africa, some €5 billion have been invested and 250 projects have been financed. What have these projects achieved? And above all, were the European intentions in line with the unique issues that African societies face?