PM Renzi sets the tone for the Italian 2017 Summit: Africa and migrations at the forefront

20160526_160123 bisPrime Minster Matteo Renzi met the Italian media at the Ise Shima G7 Summit. Even if questions about the Italian scene crowded the setting, including a constitutional referendum next autumn with substantive changes in the pipeline, Renzi managed to steer the conversation to the content agenda, including growth, the fate of the global and expansive fiscal policies. The Italian Prime Minister did not miss the opportunity to pick up some of thorny issues in the public debate too. He confirmed the line that migrations and terrorism are not linked; terrorism is rather stemming from radicalization processes from with our own countries. There is more than that: Renzi called for a plan for Africa to address to root cause of migration. The wording was careful and cautious of the new African reality, but the message was clear. The other side of the coin is that this African plan seems at the moment to translate into the migration compact, namely the plan Italy submitted to its EU partners in April. The problem with the migration compact is that it is not development cooperation as we know it; it is a rather a kind of a give‑and‑take agreement: African countries will get financial support if and when implementing measures to stem migration flows; including repatriation policies. These kinds of agreements may even work in the short term, but they are not poised to reverse the global trends, which require long term, patient development cooperation. This is something PM Renzi needs to factor in. ldf

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