MEP Hayes Hosts EU Conference on Future Development of Eritrea

“By bringing everyone together for this conference, positive outcomes can be achieved” – MEP Brian Hayes

Future development of Eritrea EU conference
(L-R) Ms Christine Umutoni (UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Eritrea); John Weakliam (CEO of VITA); MEP Brian Hayes; Minister Yemane Gebremeskel and Hans Stausboll (Head of EuropeAid)

By MEP Brian Hayes,

Dublin MEP Brian Hayes on Monday hosts a conference in the European Parliament on the future development of Eritrea. MEP Hayes who is a member of the European Parliament’s Development Committee was joined in Brussels by Eritrean Minister Yemane Gebremeskel.

Ambassadors and officials from a number of countries including Ireland, the UK, Germany and Sweden attended the conference.



The United Nations was also present represented by Ms Christine Umutoni, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Eritrea.

“Today’s conference is about bringing together a number of stakeholders to discuss the future development of Eritrea. I visited the country earlier this year and met with members of the Eritrean Government and Ambassadors from other EU countries who are present in Eritrea. I also had the opportunity to visit a number EU funded projects.”

“I believe by bringing everyone together for this conference, positive outcomes can be achieved. The EU and individual Member States has an important role in helping countries like Eritrea. Ireland is an example of this. Over the past 5 years, Ireland has committed over a million euro to projects in Eritrea via the Irish Aid programme. This has directly helped over 20,000 Eritrean families.”

Ireland’s agriculture research agency – Teagasc also attend the Monday’s conference. Teagasc runs a number of programmes in Eritrea such as the diary and potato projects.

These programmes teach Eritrean farmers agricultural skills, making them commercially viable. This practical assistance is valuable to so many Eritrean families.

“As a member of the European Parliament’s Development Committee, I learnt a lot about Eritrea during my visit. I want to use this conference to outline to other MEPs my experience and open a dialogue between other EU Member States and the Eritrean Government.

Projects such as those run by Teagasc have proved so valuable to many Eritreans. I hope further similar projects can develop.

Enabling sustainable livelihoods is a critical factor in determining Eritrea’s future.