EU-Egypt Partnership: Economic Aid for Migration Control Raises Human Rights Concerns

In a significant development, the European Union has signed a comprehensive €7.4 billion deal with Egypt, aimed at bolstering the North African nation’s struggling economy and mitigating migration crises. This strategic partnership, unveiled by prominent EU figures including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Cairo, includes €5 billion in soft loans, €1.8 billion to stimulate private sector investments, and €600 million in grants, with a notable €200 million allocation for migration management. This initiative has sparked criticism and concerns regarding the EU’s engagement with authoritarian regimes, echoing similar apprehensions raised following a deal with Tunisia.

The agreement is primarily designed to enhance Egypt’s economic resilience and contribute to regional stability. However, a clear benefit for the EU is the control of migration by Egypt, which has already prompted strong opposition from Human Rights Watch and other NGOs. They highlight the EU’s apparent willingness to compromise on human rights for strategic interests. These criticisms underscore the broader debate over the EU’s external migration strategy, which aims to collaborate with neighboring countries to control migration flows but has faced accusations of exacerbating human rights abuses.