Analysis of the Real Instituto Elcano: Controlling Migration in Southern Europe, Part 1: Fencing Strategies and Part 2: Gate-keeping Strategies by Anna Triandafyllidou.
“Part 1 Summary: Dealing with irregular migration has emerged as a policy priority at both the national and the EU level, although EU countries are not all affected by this phenomenon in the same way. Countries at the geographical periphery of the Union, and, in particular, southern EU member states that are close to important migration source and transit countries, face significant inflows from their land and sea borders.
This ARI discusses critically the policies adopted by different countries in southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Greece) for managing irregular migration, with a view to showing that reducing irregular migration cannot be achieved by tougher border controls only. Discourses of politicians and the media in announcing ‘floods’ or ‘waves’ of irregular migrants crossing the EU’s external borders and, on the basis of these ‘floods’, considering or indeed approving tougher border enforcement measures as the main means to effectively combat irregular migration need to be questioned by voters as well as by experts.”
Excerpt: “It is interesting to note that while sea-border patrolling and the related FRONTEX operation in the Atlantic Ocean in 2006 did not have substantial results (Triandafyllidou, 2007), the Spanish government’s diplomatic ‘offensive’ in West Africa did. Thus, during the last two years Spain has managed to sign re-admission agreements with Cape Verde, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria and varied forms of cooperation agreements with other states in the region, with the result of a notable improvement in border management and hence a notable decrease of irregular arrivals from Africa (González Enríquez, 2009). Apprehensions of irregular migrants arriving at the Canary Islands have fallen from over 30,000 in 2006 to approximately 12,000 in 2007 (data from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior cited in Arango & Finotelli, 2008). This decrease is to some extent attributable to the intensification of sea-border patrols and joint FRONTEX operations in the area which led migrants and smugglers to try alternative routes.”