ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 21/09/2018

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The Economist / Why Europe should focus on its growing interdependence with Africa

  • The geopolitical buzzword of the moment is “Eurasia”. Europe and Asia are integrating along old Silk Road routes, especially under China’s Belt and Road infrastructure splurge, yet “Eurafrica” remains relatively little discussed.
  • Those Africans risking the trip north across the Mediterranean today are not the poorest. As African countries gradually prosper, migration will surely increase, not decrease. The number of Afro-Europeans (Europeans with African roots) could rise from 9m at present to between 150m and 200m by 2050.
  • Angela Merkel promotes a “Marshall Plan for Africa”, as a means of reducing migration. That reckons without the fact that economic development will raise migration numbers.
  • There is an alternative “Eurafrica” strategy, writes Stephen Smith, author of “The Rush to Europe”. This is to accept the integration of Africa and Europe. Europe should increase its role as a supporter of, and model for, a multilateral Africa, and create regulated routes for migrants travelling in both directions.

Politico – Miguel Otero-Iglesias / Europe’s two-faced migration reality

  • Migration is a great tool to fight global poverty, and the gains are substantial for host countries too. But, like free trade and finance, it creates winners and losers.
  • If Europe’s political elite doesn’t come up with ways to compensate low-skilled native workers who feel threatened or displaced by migrants, the anti-immigration wave will continue to surge.
  • The most persuasive idea, advocated by the World Bank, is to develop legal channels of migration based on the demand of the job market and better education and retraining systems to cover the displaced local workforce.
  • But for such a scheme to work, borders would need to be better controlled, repatriation agreements further developed and better implemented, and inspections against hiring of irregular workers would have to be more intrusive and widespread.

Foreign Affairs – Annie Sparrow / How UN humanitarian aid has propped up Assad

  • Why have sanctions been so unsuccessful at stopping Assad’s killing machine? A big part of the blame lies with the UN-led humanitarian effort in Syria.
  • UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have permitted the Assad regime to take control of the $30 billion international humanitarian response, using donor funds to skirt sanctions and subsidize the government’s war effort.
  • The best estimate is that only between two and 18 percent of UN aid actually reaches needy Syrians. That aid, moreover, rarely goes to those most in need: the Syrians suffering in opposition-held areas, often under siege.
  • The Syrian government’s ability to hijack the most expensive humanitarian effort on record signals a need for the UN to reform its system for providing aid, which defers to sovereign states even when they have declared war on parts of their own population.
  • If the UN cannot radically improve the terms on which it operates in Syria, it should get out, until Assad’s brutal regime no longer imposes itself on the Syrian people.

Foreign Policy – Lyric Thompson & Christina Asquith / One small step for feminist foreign policy

  • On Sept. 21 and 22, Canada will host the first-ever meeting of female foreign ministers, as part of a package of commitments it made to prioritize women’s issues under its G-7 presidency this year.
  • The concept of a feminist foreign policy was first popularized in 2014 by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. She has described a feminist foreign policy as “standing against the systematic and global subordination of women” and a “precondition” for achieving Sweden’s wider foreign development and security policy objectives.
  • Reactions to Wallstrom’s ideas have ranged from giggling to outright hostility. Even most countries that talk about a feminist foreign policy aren’t really implementing it; they’re simply adding aid programs for women.
  • Criticism should not be answered by ceasing to use the word “feminist”, but rather by fostering a conversation in which gender equality is not presented as a zero-sum battle where men lose and women win. In reality, it is a rising tide that raises all ships.

Washington Post – Amber Phillips & Kevin Uhrmacher / What Democratic control of Congress would mean for Trump

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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