Home News 2015 elections, security, migration to top agenda of EU, Nigeria political dialogue

2015 elections, security, migration to top agenda of EU, Nigeria political dialogue


ABUJA – A European Union delegation led by Ms Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, would hold a political dialogue with Nigeria.

Mr Michel Arrion, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this at a news briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Arrion said that the delegation was expected to be in Nigeria on Nov. 27.

He confirmed that Mogherini would be represented by Mr Mario Giro, Italian Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

He said that the dialogue would discuss issues at the bilateral, regional and international levels.

He added that issues to be discussed at the bilateral level include the forthcoming elections in Nigeria, human rights and good governance.

Others are fight against terrorism and peace in the north east, migration and trade and investment.

He said that issues to be discussed on the regional and international levels include Ebola, the role of ECOWAS in peace and stability and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Others issues to be discussed include proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the situation in the Middle East.

Arrion noted that the EU and Nigeria were engaged permanently at the bilateral to enhance their relations, adding that the common goal was to share views at all levels of cooperation.

He added that both parties had made progress in some of the areas to be discussed at the dialogue.

“We are happy to see some positive developments in the issue of the death penalty and the question of child and gender rights are important to us and we will discuss those.

“The international community has been involved in facilitating the Paris-London-Abuja-Niamey gathering to address the question of insurgency and agreeing on a common response.

“We support the achievement of the main achievements of the meetings where consistent military operations could be conducted by the four countries around Lake Chad.

“On migration and mobility, we are ready with a common agenda on immigration; we are going to agree on a memorandum of understanding to make progress in the field of legal mobility.

“On trade and investment, we would like to discuss how to attract more European investment to Nigeria; trade between EU and West Africa should not be offensive.”

He noted that though there were major EU investments in Nigeria more could be done in that area.

The EU representative, however, noted that there was a need for Nigeria to ensure that an “enabling legal environment” was in place to attract more EU investment.

“What EU investors need is the rule of law; they need to have legal certainty and security and also protection of their investments.

“There are not many things that Nigeria or West Africa are exporting to the EU so it is a question of value addition in our trade relations.”

He added that the EU was working with Nigeria to support the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government to support the diversification of the economy.

He added that Nigeria needed to ensure the implementation of it policies and strategies to attract more investment.

“Nigeria has all the potential of a very competitive economy but the question is how to improve the management and governance,” he said. (NAN)

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