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European Commission strategy for Eritrea causes concern

The European Commission plans to provide aid to Eritrea despite political and practical concerns. These concerns have long been expressed by both Eritrean diaspora and civil society organisations since continuing to provide aid might give the wrong political signal to the country’s authoritarian government, or even contribute to the its survival. The European Commission has so far seen engagement with the Eritrean authorities as the best way to improve the situation. The European Parliament has been more critical and issued a resolution on the Horn of Africa in January in which it asked the EU to reconsider its approach to Eritrea unless progress is made. The approval of the European Commission’s country strategy and budget for Eritrea is scheduled for this spring and provides a good opportunity for a European re-engagement in human rights in Eritrea.