NirjDeva

Juncker urged to use State of the EU address to advance international aid plan

European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker is being urged to use tomorrow's State of the European Union speech to back a plan which could channel €300 billion a year to the developing world.

It is understood Mr Juncker is considering taking forward a strategy steered through the European Parliament by Conservative Development spokesman Nirj Deva which involves using the private sector to supplement public funds for Africa and other areas.

Mr Deva said: "A joint initiative of this kind by the Parliament and Commission could transform the lives of millions of people in the developing world.

"The Deva-Juncker plan would turn the €20 billion a year of European Union international development funding into €300 billion by leveraging in private capital in the form of public private partnerships.

"We have invented a new phrase – economic blending. We use public and private sector money to create wealth, businesses, enterprise, jobs, small workshops, canning factories in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world.

"When we bring the private sector in we also bring the disciplines of the private sector. Proper accounting, tendering and reporting  procedures all follow because private sector money is going to want a return."

Mr Deva argues such an approach is the only sustainable way of tackling the migration crisis.

"The thing we must understand is why are people coming to Europe. They want better opportunities, better income, better lives. They don't stay in their countries because those countries are underdeveloped so they march with their feet to the borders of the EU.

"International development is not just about helping poor people. It's about preventing people migrating and putting pressure on our societies. It's a two way thing."

ENDS

Juncker supports private sector role in international development

A conference could be staged in the New Year and talks started with private investors following the announcement today by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker of an investment plan for Africa.

In his State of the EU speech today President Juncker said that the plan, which builds on a report steered through the European Parliament by Conservative International Development spokesman Nirj Deva MEP, would involve at least €44 billion of public and private finance and possibly up to €88 billion, depending on the support of Member States.

Mr Deva welcomed the investment, which aims to grow the economies of developing nations with private sector support and reduce the flow of economic migrants to the EU.

He said: "I am very happy these ideas have received President Juncker's support, even if he may be a little modest in his ambitions.

"I intend to stay fully engaged with the project to make sure momentum is not lost. We will look to arrange a conference early in the New Year and hopefully the Commission will begin to engage with the private sector and business communities, as well as with investment banks, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.

"The private sector is a key partner in wealth creation in the developing world; public money can never be sufficient to achieve all our Sustainable Development Goals. It is now time to put words into action.

"We will use public and private sector money to create wealth, businesses, enterprise, jobs, small workshops, canning factories in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. Partnerships will be developed in infrastructure, energy and even social sectors such as education and health."

Mr Deva stressed the investment plan was also key to addressing the long term causes of migration.

"The thing we must understand is why are people coming to Europe," he said. "They want better opportunities, better income, better lives. They don't stay in their countries because those countries are underdeveloped, so they march with their feet to the borders of the EU.

"International development is not just about relieving poverty. It's about preventing people migrating and putting pressure on our societies. It's a two way thing."

The Commission's Regulation for the investment plan will be proposed to the Parliament and European Council in the coming months.

ENDS

 

Imprisoned Maldives former President Mohamed Nasheed flies to UK for treatment

20th January, Strasbourg- Following the temporary medical reprieve of former Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, imprisoned in March 2015 for ‘terror offences’ in a trial described by the UN as “politically motivated”, Nirj Deva, Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the South East of England, stated:

“While it has been long in coming, I am truly delighted to see compassion triumph over draconian and unnecessarily cruel, punitive restrictions.”

The government of the Maldives finally acquiesced to allow Mr. Nasheed, under guarantees, to travel to Britain, to receive back surgery, following an injury sustained during the alleged physical abuse at the hands of the former Gayoom regime; a condition further aggravated, yet to date untreated, when Mr. Nasheed was dragged by police to trial last year.

Deva went on to say, “The temporary release of former President Nasheed would not have been possible without the concerted determination of both the British and Sri Lankan governments. In particular Prime Minister David Cameron, who led international efforts and Hugo Swire MP, the Foreign Office Minister for Asia, who engaged President Abdulla Yameen alongside other senior officials, truly deserve commendation.”

Former President Nasheed will fly to Britain, by way of Sri Lanka, next week for his long awaited surgery.

“This decision was only made possible by the extremely effective diplomacy carried out by Sri Lankan Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, and Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, all of whom exerted diplomatic pressure in a series of visits to the Maldives running up to Mr. Nasheed’s release.”

Mr Deva who is also The Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Development Committee went on to state:

"I want to thank my colleagues in the European Parliament for their urgency resolution in December, which enforced targeted sanctions against top officials of the Government of the Maldives and expressed dissatisfaction with the irregularities in the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed.”

Contacts:

Mr Armen Andonian & Mr Edward Robinson,  

0032-228-47245

Nirj Deva MEP speaks on the most recent North Korean Nuclear Test

21st January 2016, Strasbourg - During a debate at the European Parliament's plenary session, which focused on the latest North Korean nuclear test where on the 6th of January 2016 the country claimed to have tested its first hydrogen bomb, Nirj Deva MEP, the Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula stated:

"I was extremely saddened and sorrowed to have heard of the most recent nuclear test which took place earlier this month. The Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula in the European Parliament has worked extremely hard to keep a steady dialogue with officials from both South and North Korea and has made progress in its efforts regarding discussions towards eventual peace between these two countries."

Since the end of the Korean War, in 1953, relations between North and South Korea have been ruled by an Armistice Agreement and there has not been any agreement after which has ensured peace and security between these two neighbouring countries.

Nirj Deva went on to say, "The development of peace on the Korean Peninsula can only be achieved by replacing the current armistice agreement under the auspices of a peace treaty which is signed by both the North and the South, alongside other international and regional players such as the United States, China, Japan and Russia. Signing a peace treaty, one which is recognised under international law and supported by the international community is the only logical way to neutralise this conflict and our Delegation in the European Parliament will continue working on the road to peace between these two nations."

ENDS

Contact:

Mr Armen Andonian

0032-228-47245

EU development funding has reached a “crisis point”

ECR Spokesman on International Development, Nirj Deva MEP, has launched a blistering attack on the European Commission over the way in which the EU carries out international development funding.

His comments followed publication of an unofficial working document from the chair of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, which found that half of the EU’s annual development aid budget was missed, with projects significantly delayed or failing to achieve their objective.

It noted that 500 projects worth around €8.6bn were delayed and would not achieve their aims.

The EU is the world’s biggest donor of international development aid, but the report claims that every second Euro spent by the EU does not achieve what it pays for.

In a debate with the International Development Commissioner, Neven Mimica, Mr Deva said: “The findings of this document are quite simply a disaster.

“It makes it damningly clear that many EU funds on the ground are totally underperforming, and that money is being wasted in huge quantities.

“Quite frankly I would not be able to sleep at night if I was a Commissioner who received a report like this.

“We are now in a crisis point. This kind of mismanagement is frankly a betrayal of taxpayers’ money.

“The saddest fact of all is that whilst all this incompetence is occurring, lives are being lost, needlessly, in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.”

 

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