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    A man walks past the European Commission headquarters in Brussels April 9, 2015

    European Commission to Talk Growing Migration With African Union Commission

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    Meeting between the European Commission and the African Union Commission will take place in Brussels on Wednesday as a swelling maritime migration from Africa to Europe rapidly increases.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The seventh annual College-to-College meeting between the European Commission and the African Union Commission will take place in Brussels on Wednesday as a swelling maritime migration from Africa to Europe rapidly increases.

    Most of up to a reported 800 passengers are feared to have drowned Sunday on board a small capsized boat carrying African migrants to European shores in the latest of many incidents that have brought widespread attention to the continent's many military conflicts and their attendant humanitarian crises.

    "In the context of the ongoing crisis in Libya and the dramatic situation in the Mediterranean, we have to enhance cooperation with North African and Sub Saharan African countries to build migration and border management capacities," EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday.

    Among other topics on the agenda are extremist groups wreaking havoc in Somalia and Nigeria.

    A stopgap $50-million disaster relief program is also expected to be launched in the run-up to Wednesday's AU-EU session.

    The annual College-to-College meetings between the African Union Commission and the European Commission are held to provide political guidance to the Africa-EU Partnership.

    The Africa-EU Partnership was established in 2007 to consolidate strategic objectives and move past traditionally characterized donor-recipient relations between the two blocs.

    European Union member states account for over 80 percent of the African Union program budget, according to the commission's website.

    The as yet unknown death toll of the April 19 shipwreck off Libya's northern coastline could contribute to a projected record 30,000 migrant deaths by the end of 2015, according to International Organization for Migration estimates.

    The United Nations says some 3,500 out of 200,000 people crossing the Mediterranean died in 2014.


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