EU Migration Crisis: The Solution Is Transaqua
A “mega political crisis over migration”, to quote deputy EU Commission chairman Margareta Schinas, threatens to break out between France and Italy over illegal migrants. After Italy denied docking to some NGO ships which then sailed to French ports, the French government accused the Italians of violating EU agreements and took a series of retaliatory measures, including the suspension of the redistribution agreement and of the Schengen agreement with Italy. From there, the quarrel quickly escalated.
Despite efforts by Italian State President Sergio Mattarella to cool down the controversy in a phone call with Emmanuel Macron and meetings between Italian and French foreign ministers, neither of the two contenders seems willing to back down.
Since Italian Foreign Minister Tajani has called for “a Marshall plan” for Africa in order to solve the migrant crisis at the roots and Giorgia Meloni herself proposed that Italy honor the 60th anniversary of the death of Enrico Mattei by pushing for “A Mattei Plan for Africa”, in her speech in the Parliament two weeks ago, this is what should be the focus of EU deliberations on the migration issue.
The “Mattei Plan” exists already, in the form of the Transaqua plan for central Africa, which Italy had sponsored it in 2018 by pledging funds for a feasibility study. As Transaqua veteran co-author Andrea Mangano explained in the Nov. 12 Schiller Institute webinar (cf. below), the plan for tranferring water from the Congo basin to the Lake Chad basin would solve the existential crisis for 50 million people in the region, thus eliminating one of the main causes of the flight of refugees over the Mediterranean.
Not only that: the jobs generated by the Transaqua project, which includes building a dozen dams in the Central African Republic alone, would attract people from regions which they are now fleeing in the hopes of finding jobs in Europe. Awareness of these factors had convinced the Italian government in 2018 to sponsor the plan at the Lake Chad international conference in Abuja, which adopted Transaqua as the only feasible solution for Lake Chad, which is fast disappearing.
After four years of being stalled, the idea is again gaining momentum, and the Nigerian Water Minister announced an initiative to have the African Development Bankfinance a feasibility study (cf. SAS 44/22).