Migration Policy Centre – Policy Brief: “Drowned Europe”

Drowned Europe“, policy brief by Philippe FARGUES and Anna DI BARTOLOMEO, Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute, Florence.

The drowning of 800 migrants, 19 April 2015, after the capsizing of a smuggling boat, triggered responses from across Europe. But when EU leaders met four days later, the news-cycle had moved on and the European Council, 23 April, gave a disappointing response. The 28 agreed to scale up their joint search-and-rescue efforts at sea to the more substantial efforts of what Italy has achieved alone in the last year. There were, also, a handful of other minor actions. Mr Junker, President of the Commission, lamented that the EU should be more ambitious. He was right, in as much as the EU meeting will not sustainably curb the deadly trends we have seen in the Mediterranean in recent years.

2015-April_MPI Policy Brief_Drowned Europe_Fig 12015-April_MPI Policy Brief_Drowned Europe_Fig 22015-April_MPI Policy Brief_Drowned Europe_Tab 1


Filed under Analysis, European Union, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean

2 responses to “Migration Policy Centre – Policy Brief: “Drowned Europe”

  1. World Migration Day

    In 5 months ( Jan-May 2015 ), some 50,000 migrants from North Africa , crossed Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats, to land on shores of Italy
    That is some 10,000 per month ( soon reaching 100,000 per month ? )
    Irrespective of EU countries’ decision to admit only 20,000 per year , by 2020 this figure could reach 1 MILLION per month !
    Why this huge migration ?

    Apparent reasons :

    > ISIL is terrorizing Syria / Iraq
    > Boko Haram are doing the same in Nigeria
    > Houthies are following both in Yemen
    > Libya is facing a civil war
    > North and South Sudans are at war
    > Tunisia is boiling with massive unrest
    > Taliban is rearing its ugly head in Afghanistan
    > Egypt is simmering with angst against Muslim Brotherhood
    > Pakistan is becoming terrorists’ training ground
    > Turkey / Lebanon / Jordan are getting overrun with refugees
    > All over Mid-East , Shias and Sunnis are fighting
    In short , most of African and Mid-East countries are exploding with local wars , under Europe’s soft underbelly and porous right borders

    Real reasons :

    Millions of citizens of these countries are facing unemployment and consequent starvation ( when not getting killed by terrorists )
    It is no different with migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar trying to find shelter in Indonesia / Philippines / Australia / Thailand

    Closer At Home :

    Of entire World’s 800 million ” mal-nourished ” ( euphemism for ” starving ” ) people , 200 million are in India
    Only , instead of calling them ” Starving ” people , we choose to call them , ” Naxalites / Maoists ” etc !
    We fail to realize that there can be no political solution to ” Starvation ” !
    Where can they migrate ? There is no ” Promised Land ” on India’s borders !

    Solution ?

    Since no developed country wants to admit migrants from poor countries , let UNO declare , Antarctica as ” United States of Migrants ” – USM
    And fix quotas of migrants that each poor country can dispatch to USM each year ( roughly in proportion to ” Starving ” population of each poor country )
    Then contribute funds for creating settlements in Antarctica ( – in any case , due to Global Warming , ice-shelves are melting and soon Antarctica will become habitable ) .

    For the rich countries , this would be the most , economically and socially viable solution

    Let a beginning be made by declaring 27 June , as

    ” World Migration Day ”

    hemen parekh
    09 June 2015

  2. William Mckinley

    I think this article accomplishes a great deal in furthering the conversation of just what actions should be taken in combatting these massive spikes in death of immigrants in the Mediterranean. As is emphasized in the above graph, the spike in dead and missing persons on “maritime routes of irregular migration to the EU” is unprecedented. From 1998- 2013, an average 44,000 people were smuggled and recorded annually. In 2014, the number rose to almost 220,000 and in the first three and a half months of 2015, close to 40,000 entries by sea have already been recorded. These numbers have continued to rise, as demonstrated in the estimated 800 people who died off of the coast of Libya a few weeks ago.
    The article rightfully recognizes the need for the EU to be more ambitious in tackling the issue, not only in the short-term in rescuing migrants, but in curbing the deadly trends that have risen as a whole. I also think it touches upon an issue that can be expanded more upon, mainly that there is a substantial lack of lasting news coverage on the issue.
    About two weeks ago when I was first reading about the tragedy, the Mediterranean immigration deaths seemed to proliferate all of the major news outlets. Now, a relatively short-time later, looking through BBC, CNN, World News- it is eerie just how much the calamity has fallen out of headlines. Although I understand why the recent Earthquake in Nepal has taken precedence, I still found this to be an interesting consideration in itself because it highlights just how quickly disasters funnel in and out of the news. In many ways, I think that this slows the possibility of instating long-term solutions, especially concerning demographic issues that focus on the volatile actions of people, like immigration, in which desperate people often take desperate actions.
    During the meeting on the 23rd of April in response to these trends, the European Council committed itself to tripling the budget of the EU sea operations, Triton and Poseidon, from 2.9 to 9 million euros every month. In effect, these funds are ideally supposed to reduce the ability of smugglers to gain access through normal channels of access, but one of the potential issues with this is that it will simply force illegal immigrants and smugglers to begin taking more dangerous routes and methods of transportation. Ultimately, this change may decrease the number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross, but maintain the death rate or death toll due to the adaptably harsher conditions and methods of transportation. This is obviously not an issue that can be solved by throwing money at it. While this is a difficult issue to often discuss in that it is so hard to pinpoint specific solutions, I believe the article raises essential points, but also prompts questions that can further potential resolutions.

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