A total of 612 migrants in 24 different boats have reached the Andalusian coast of Spain (Almeria, Granada, Cadiz and Huelva) from Morocco and Algeria so far in 2011.
Click here for article (ES).
A total of 612 migrants in 24 different boats have reached the Andalusian coast of Spain (Almeria, Granada, Cadiz and Huelva) from Morocco and Algeria so far in 2011.
Click here for article (ES).
Real Instituto Elcano has published an analysis regarding the situation in North Africa and its impact on irregular immigration to the EU. The analysis was written by Frontex’s Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias.
Of particular interest is the analysis regarding what Frontex believes might occur in regard to migrant flows from Libya under two different scenarios: Gadafi remaining in power or ultimately being removed from power (see Google translation of excerpt below):
“… En el caso de que el régimen de Gadafi recupere el control, la UE y sus Estados Miembros no podrán reanudar la cooperación con un régimen totalmente desacreditado. Se producirá el cese en la aplicación de acuerdos de cooperación policial que en el pasado (desde mayo de 2009) sirvieron para detener los flujos de inmigración irregular desde Libia hacia Italia y Malta. La posibilidad de que ciudadanos de otros países africanos bloqueados en Libia sean obligados o “ayudados” a emigrar a la UE no debe descartarse. De hecho, Gadafi ha amenazado con “abrir la puerta” de la inmigración ilegal hacia Europa.
La OIM estima la cifra de extranjeros presentes en Libia entre 0,5 y 1,5 millones. No obstante, no todos serian candidatos a la inmigración ilegal. Se trata fundamentalmente de trabajadores empleados por empresas extranjeras asentadas en el país, por lo que su intención primaria no sería la emigración a la UE y por otra parte una buena parte de ellos ya han abandonado Libia.
En el peor de los casos, la consecuencia de ese “abrir la puerta” sería la reactivación de los flujos por vía marítima hacia Lampedusa y Malta (eventualmente también Creta, que se encuentra a 200 km de distancia de la costa libia) en un escenario similar al de 2008 (40.000 inmigrantes llegaron a Italia y Malta, con origen en las costas libias) agravado por el efecto adicional de la inestabilidad en el país. Su destino principal serían los países con presencia importante de ciudadanos norteafricanos (Italia, Francia, España, Bélgica y el Reino Unido). El destino de los nacionales de países subsaharianos se encontraría más repartido por toda la UE.
Si Gadafi es derrocado resultará clave la capacidad y rapidez de la oposición para reorganizarse. La oposición se encuentra, por el momento, bastante desorganizada y es probable que se produzcan luchas internas por el poder, especialmente por el control de los campos petrolíferos. Ello podría conducir a un estado persistente de disturbios y a una ausencia de control por un largo periodo de tiempo.
La eventual reactivación de las rutas migratorias hacia la UE dependerá de la capacidad del nuevo régimen para imponer la ley y el orden en el país así como el control efectivo sobre los 2.000 km de costas y 4.000 km de fronteras terrestres libias. En el peor de los escenarios podría darse una situación similar a la de Somalia.
En este escenario, la economía libia puede deteriorarse y elevarse los niveles de desempleo. Actualmente se desconoce la tasa de desempleo en Libia, pero se presume baja. Previsiblemente, la mayoría de los trabajadores desempleados intentará regresar a sus países, pero parte de ellos (sobre todo los nacionales de países inseguros) buscaran otras oportunidades, entre ellas la emigración clandestina a la UE.
La ausencia de ley y orden, especialmente la ausencia de control sobre las fronteras marítimas, llevará rápidamente a las mafias al tráfico de inmigrantes hacia la UE. Los candidatos serían primariamente trabajadores desempleados no deseosos de volver a sus países (mayormente de África Occidental y Oriental, pero eventualmente también libios, egipcios, argelinos y tunecinos). Esta situación impediría, por otra parte, el retorno de quienes fuesen detectados cruzando ilegalmente las fronteras exteriores de la UE.
En tales circunstancias se puede prever un flujo constante de inmigración ilegal durante meses, mayoritariamente por vía marítima, pero también por vía aérea a través de Turquía. La duración en el tiempo de este escenario dependerá de la rapidez con la que la UE o los Estados Miembros y las nuevas autoridades sean capaces de restablecer la cooperación. En este sentido, serán determinantes los acuerdos de readmisión efectivos.
Por último, ha de tenerse también en cuenta el riesgo marginal de que los vencedores realicen acciones de persecución sobre los partidarios de Gadafi, lo que provocaría la huida de éstos del país en busca de refugio….”
Google translation of the above excerpts (NB – this is only a rough translation):
“…In the case of Qaddafi’s regime regaining control, the EU and its Member States shall not resume cooperation with a discredited regime. Termination will occur in the implementation of agreements on police cooperation in the past (May 2009) served to stop the flow of illegal immigration from Libya to Italy and Malta. The possibility for citizens from other African countries locked in Libya are forced or “helped” to migrate to the EU can not be ruled out. In fact, Gaddafi has threatened to “open the door” of illegal immigration into Europe.
The IOM estimates the number of foreigners in Libya between 0.5 and 1.5 million. However, not all candidates would be illegal immigration. These are mainly employed by foreign companies settled in the country, so that their primary intention would not be the migration to the EU and, moreover, a good portion of them have already left Libya.
In the worst case, the consequence of this “open door” would be the reactivation of the flows by sea to Lampedusa and Malta (and possibly Crete, which is 200 km away from the Libyan coast) in a scenario similar to that of 2008 (40.000 immigrants arrived in Italy and Malta, departing from the Libyan coast) aggravated by the additional effect of instability in the country. Its main destination countries would be a significant presence of North African citizens (Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and the UK). The fate of the national sub-Saharan countries would be more distributed throughout the EU.
If Gadhafi is overthrown will be key capacity and speed of the opposition to regroup. The opposition is, at present, quite disorganized and is likely to produce internal power struggles, especially for control of the oilfields. This could lead to a persistent state of unrest and a lack of control over a long period of time.
The eventual recovery of migratory routes towards the EU depends on the ability of the new regime to impose law and order in the country as well as effective control over the 2,000 km of coastline and 4,000 km of land borders Libya. In the worst case scenario could be a situation similar to Somalia.
In this scenario, the Libyan economy may deteriorate and unemployment levels rise. Currently unknown unemployment rate in Libya, but presumably low. Predictably, most unemployed workers try to return to their countries, but some of them (especially insecure country nationals) to seek other opportunities, including illegal migration to the EU.
The absence of law and order, especially the lack of control over maritime borders, whisk the trafficking mafias immigrants into the EU. Candidates would be primarily unemployed workers eager to return to their countries (mostly from West and East Africa, but also possibly Libyans, Egyptians, Algerians and Tunisians). This would prevent, on the other hand, the return of those who were detected illegally crossing the external borders of the EU.
In such circumstances, can provide a steady flow of illegal immigration for months, mostly by sea, but also by air through Turkey. The long life of this scenario depends on the speed with which the EU or the Member States and the new authorities are able to restore cooperation. In this regard, will determine the effective readmission agreements.
Finally, it must also take into account the marginal risk that the winners perform acts of persecution on Gaddafi’s supporters, causing them to flee the country in search of refuge….”
Click here for the Analysis. (ES)
A boat believed to be carrying 51 sub-Saharan migrants attempting to sail from Morocco to Spain capsized south of Adra (Almería). The boat reportedly left Morocco on 5 May. The accident occurred late Thursday night to early Friday morning. The boat was carrying men, women, and children. 29 people were rescued. Four bodies have been recovered. 18 people remain missing and are assumed to be dead due to the sea temperature which according to authorities would allow someone to survive for a maximum of 10 hours. Media reports suggest that the boat capsized after one of its floats ruptured which in turn caused the boat to capsize.
From IMO: “Complete search and rescue cover around Africa’s coast was secured on Thursday (3 March 2011) with the signing, in the presence of representatives from Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco and Senegal, of an ad-hoc multi-lateral co-operative agreement on the North and West African sub-regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), which establishes a new Morocco MRCC near Rabat, with its associated sub-centres. The Morocco sub-regional MRCC, located at Bouznika, a seaside area 20 Km from Rabat, will join those already commissioned in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2006; in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007; in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2008; and in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2009, thus completing the final link in the chain of sub-regional African MRCCs, each with its own network of associated sub-centres….” IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said “The sharing of information derived from the centres we establish will also play an important role in the fight against piracy, kidnap and ransom on the high seas – something, which IMO, and the whole maritime community, has pledged to tackle with renewed vigour during 2011 in line with this year’s World Maritime Day theme “Piracy: Orchestrating the response”.
Click here for link to IMO statement.
Approximately 2000 new migrants in more than 20 boats arrived in Lampedusa on 14-15 March. Some were rescued and some reached Lampedusa on their own. One boat is believed to have sunk near Tunisia and approximately 35 persons are believed to be missing.
According to a UNHCR briefing yesterday, just over 10,000 migrants, nearly all young Tunisian men, have arrived in Italy since mid-January. UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said that “[t]he outflow from Tunisia is unrelated to the ongoing crisis in Libya. From our interactions with Tunisians arriving in Italy over past weeks, we believe that most are seeking employment and better economic opportunities, rather than international protection. UN staff and partners in Tunisia report that some villages appear largely empty of their young male population, with only women, children and elderly people remaining. This type of outflow is not atypical of countries in transition, and we are well aware of the many demands on the Tunisian authorities at present. Solutions to this type of flow need to be found in dialogue between the concerned governments, including arrangements for the orderly and dignified return of persons who are found not to be in need of international protection, and the establishment of opportunities for labor migration which can meet the needs of countries on both sides of the Mediterranean.”
The standoff with the Moroccan ferry, the Mistral Express, continues. The ship left Libya several days ago and is located in international waters about 20 miles from the port of Augusta, Sicily. Italian authorities have refused to permit the ship to enter Italian waters and are considering providing fuel to the ship while it remains at sea in order to prevent any of the 1800+ mostly Moroccan passengers from attempting to leave the ship and enter Italy.
Click here for UNHCR press briefing.
A large ferry, the Mistral Express, carrying approximately 1800 persons was prevented yesterday from entering Italian waters near Sicily by Italian navy or coast guard boats. The ship apparently left the Libyan port of Misurata and most of its passengers are Moroccan. The ship may have been planning to sail to Morocco and may have tried to divert to Italy for purposes of refueling, but the media reports are unclear. It is also unclear who chartered the ship. Italian authorities confirm that they prevented the ship from entering Italian waters due to uncertainty regarding the identities of the passengers. An Italian government spokesperson reportedly said it was unclear whether the passengers were “genuine evacuees” from Libya. It is also unclear whether the ship then tried to sail to Malta. Some media reports say that Malta refused the ship permission to enter Maltese waters. Maltese authorities are reported as saying that this did not occur but according to media reports Maltese authorities said that they would prevent the ship from landing in Malta if it tried to do so for the same reasons advanced by Italy.
On 16 January the Frontex Risk Analysis Unit released its Report for the Third Quarter of 2010 (July-Sept.). The report contains data, charts, and graphs detailing detections of migrants, asylum seekers, false document use, detections of facilitators, and other information. The deployment of Frontex’s RABIT force to the Greek-Turkey border did not begin until 2 November 2010, so the effects of the RABIT deployment do not appear in the Third Quarter.
The Report notes that the “unprecedented peak in illegal border-crossings at the Greek land border with Turkey is the result of a shift from the sea to the land border” coupled with a “large increase in the absolute number of migrants” using Turkey as an EU entry point. The Report states that there has been an eight-fold increase in the number Maghreb nationals detected at the Greek land border which “is thought to be the result of a displacement effect from the West Africa and Western Mediterranean routes.”
The Report also notes an increase in the number of detections on the Central and Western Mediterranean sea routes compared to Q2 which may be attributable to seasonal variations or “may be indicative of reorganized modi operandi in these areas in response to Frontex Joint Operations, more effective border controls and bilateral agreements implemented in 2008.” See Figure 3 below.
Excerpts from the Report:
“Detections of illegal border-crossing”
“… Fig. 2 [see below] shows quarterly detections at the land and sea borders of the EU since the beginning of 2008. The 30% increase in the number of detections between the previous and present quarters is comprised of a 60% increase at the sea borders (although from a lower base) and a 23% increase at the land borders. This means that the shift from sea to land borders has not continued to same extent as in the previous quarters. Nevertheless in Q3 2010, there were some 29 000 detections of illegal border-crossing at the external land border of the EU, which constitutes 85% of all the detections at the EU level, and the highest number of detections at the land border since data collection began in early 2008….”
“Eastern Mediterranean route”
The Report observes that there has been a shift in illegal crossings from the Greece-Turkey maritime border to the Greece-Turkey land border and notes an increase in the number of nationals from Maghreb countries apprehended at the Greece-Turkey land border. “This route [being taken by Maghreb nationals] is very indirect, but is thought to be the result of a displacement effect from the West Africa and Western Mediterranean routes….”
See Figure 4 below which shows that detections of illegal border crossers at the land border of Greece have exceeded detections at the sea border since Q1 of 2010.
“Central Mediterranean route”
“There were 2 157 detections of illegal border-crossing during Q3 2010. This is more than a three-fold increase compared to the previous quarter and a third higher than the same period last year. However despite this apparently large increase, detections still remain massively reduced compared to the peak of around 16 000 during the same period in 2008 (Fig. 3)….”
“The JO Hermes 2010 which was operational between June and October 2010, focused on illegal migratory flows departing from Algeria to the southern borders of the EU, specifically to Sardinia. In 2010, there were fewer detections than in previous years….”
“Departures from Libya also remained low. In June 2010, a new law was implemented to serve more severe punishments for facilitating illegal immigration. Ambassadors of the countries of origin were called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tripoli to be informed about the consequences of the new law, which suggests that this may be a serious implementation.”
“Western Mediterranean route”
“In general, irregular immigration to southern Spain has decreased massively since the beginning of 2006. However, in Q3 2010 there were 2 200 detections of illegal border crossing in the Western Mediterranean, more than twice that of the previous quarter and around a third higher than the same period in 2009. There is growth in the number of detections of a wide range of African nationalities, nine of which more than doubled in number between Q2 and Q3 2010. The most detected nationalities were Algerian, Moroccan, Cameroonian and Guinean.”
“Western Africa route”
“The cooperation and bilateral agreements between Spain and the rest of the Western African countries (Mauritania, Senegal and Mali) are developing steadily, and are one of the main reasons for the decrease in arrivals, as is the presence of patrolling assets near the African coast.”
“According to data collected during JO Hera, the numbers of arrivals in the Canary Islands and detections in West Africa are very low compared to the same time last year. The main nationality and place of departure is from Morocco, to where migrants are returned within a few days.”
Click here for the 3rd Quarter 2010 Report.
Click here for the 2nd Quarter 2010 Report.
Click here for the 1st Quarter 2010 Report.
Click here for my previous post regarding the 2nd Quarter Report.
Migreurop has released its second report on Europe’s borders: “European borders- Controls, detention and deportations.” Migreurop describes the report as a “[denunciation of] the « externalization » process of the European union migratory policy [which] shows how third countries are obliged, through the threat of the reconsideration of cooperation agreements and development aid, not only to readmit the migrants chased from Europe, but also to keep them on their own territory from travelling towards its doors. From Calais area in France to the edge of Turkey and the Adriatic sea, from the surroundings of Gibraltar to the Sahel Saharan desert and the new member states of eastern Europe, a subcontracting of migratory control is carried out in series, sometimes very far away from the Union but also within its territory, especially when it deals with sending asylum seekers from country to country considered as unwanted. A large population of exiles, from both sides of the European borders, is subjected to arbitrary incarceration, wandering, and the constant humiliation of a hostile environment….”
Here is the Table of Contents:
Ceuta, a gilded prison
Sahel-Saharan countries, Europe’s new sentries
Poland, Romania: how to be good state members in the enlarged EU
The Ionian and Adriatic seas: forced returns between Italy and Greece
Ping-pong at the Greco-Turkish border
Dismantling the Calais jungle: a deceptive operation
Migreurop network 121
Click here for article (ES) in Periodismo Humano about the report.
Frontex has released information from its 2010 First Quarter report by the Frontex Risk Analysis Network (FRAN). A copy of the report itself has apparently not been released. According to the summary provided, there have been significant reductions in irregular migration:
Click here for full statement.
Frontex’s Annual Risk Analysis (ARA) for 2010 was prepared in March 2010 and was posted to the Frontex web site on 7 July. The public document only contains certain portions of the full ARA as recommendations and other “operationally sensitive details” have been redacted. While some of the ARA’s contents have previously been released by Frontex, this 35 page document contains a lot of data regarding irregular migration by land, sea, and air, and is worth a read.
Excerpts from the ARA relating to maritime migration include:
“Detections of illegal border crossing – In 2009, the [EU] Member States and Schengen Associated Countries reported a total of 106,200 detections of illegal border crossings at the sea and land borders of the EU. This represented a 33% decrease compared to 2008. The decrease is comprised of both a strong decrease reported from the sea borders (-23%), and land borders (-43%).”
“The bilateral collaboration agreements with third countries of departure on the Central Mediterranean route (Italy with Libya) and the Western African route (which Spain signed with Senegal and Mauritania) had an impact on reducing departures of illegal migrants from Africa.”
“The agreements were made at a time when the economic crisis decreased the labour demand in the EU, thus simultaneously reducing the pull factor. The synchronisation of these events probably explains why no displacement has so far been noticed from the Central Mediterranean and Western African routes to other illegal migration routes in the statistics for detections.”
“However, intelligence suggests that the risk of displacement remains high, either with the emergence of new routes or the exploitation of existing ones by nationalities which used to be detected along the Central Mediterranean or the Western African routes.”
“As a corollary to the sharp decreases registered in Italy and Spain, the number of detections of illegal border crossing in Greece rose from 50% of the total EU detections to 75% of the total. In 2009, the Greek land border sections with Albania and FYROM represented the largest share of the EU total, with 36,600 detections (34% of the EU total), followed by 22,000 detections in the Aegean Sea with (21% of the EU total).”
“Eastern Mediterranean route – The Eastern Mediterranean route is the route taken by illegal migrants transiting through Turkey and entering the EU through eastern Greece, southern Bulgaria or Cyprus. Turkey, due to its geographical position near the EU, is the main nexus point on this route. From Istanbul, illegal migrants may reach the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, or cross the land borders to Greece or to Bulgaria.”
“In 2009, illegal border crossing on the Eastern Mediterranean route totalled 41,500, or 39% of all EU detections. Most of the detections were reported from the Aegean Sea, followed by detections along the land border between Turkey and Greece. The number of detections reported by Bulgaria and Cyprus were considerably lower.”
“Central Mediterranean route – The Central Mediterranean route refers to illegal migration from northern Africa to Italy and to Malta. For the past two years, Libya has been a nexus point where migrants from the Horn of Africa and Western African routes and a small proportion of Asian nationals met before embarking.”
“Since the signing of a bilateral agreement with Libya, joint patrols by Libya and Italy have had a clear and measurable deterrent effect, with 3,200 detections in the seven months after the joint patrols (June to December), compared to 7,200 detections in the five months before the joint patrols (January to May), and almost 40,000 detections in the whole of 2008.”
“Western African route – The Western African route is primarily through Western African countries to Spain via the Canary Islands. The main embarkation points are in Senegal and Mauritania and the main countries of origin are Mali, Mauritania, Guinea Conakry and Senegal. Other African nationals have also been reported, and occasionally migrants from Asia. This route is now less favoured since the Spanish collaboration agreements with Senegal and Mauritania. The Frontex coordinated Joint Operation Hera plays a major role in maintaining effective surveillance in the area.”
“The Western Mediterranean route includes the sea route from Northern Africa to the Iberian Peninsula, and the land route through Ceuta and Melilla. It is mostly used by Northern African nationals (Algerian and Moroccan) travelling to Spain, France and Italy.”
“Maritime detections between Northern Africa and Spain are rising, with increasing detections of Algerian and to a lesser extent Sub Saharan nationals. Moroccan nationals are also regularly detected on this route. The lack of employment opportunities for the growing population of young people in Morocco continues to increase the incentives of migrating to the EU. The Spanish authorities recently reported an increasing number of attempts by Moroccan minors to get on the ferry link between Tanger and Spain. These cases do not seem connected with criminal networks; rather individual attempts are driven by poor employment prospects in Morocco.”
Click here for the ARA.
Click here for link to Frontex Map showing situation at External Borders.
UNODC has issued a new publication entitled “Smuggling of Migrants into, through and from North Africa: A thematic review and annotated bibliography of recent publications.” Most of the reviewed literature and data are from 2008 and earlier dates and therefore the publication does not include references to more recent events, e.g. the Italy-Libya migration agreement. But it is a comprehensive and useful publication. The 16 page Annotated Bibliography is a very good resource.
According to the UNODC web site, the publication “focuses primarily on the patterns and dynamics of migrant smuggling, as it concerns the North African region. Recognizing, however, that irregular migration and smuggling flows are transnational in nature, the review goes beyond North Africa, to also cover sub- Saharan African and European countries affected along the various smuggling routes. The aim of the review is twofold: to describe major findings on smuggling of migrants; into, through and from North Africa, and to highlight the need for further research on specific issues that have not yet been studied.”
Table of Contents:
Click here for the publication.
The trial of 3 Moroccan men (YF, MSB and BJ) accused of murder of 25 young African migrants began on 18 May in Gran Canaria before the Sixth Section of Audiencia Provincial de Las Palmas. The migrants who died were all between the ages of 8 and 16. The young migrants drowned when their boat sank 20 meters from the shore in Lanzarote, Canary Islands on 15 February 2009. The boat had departed from Guelmin, Morocco on 13 February. The migrants reportedly paid between 500 and 1000 euros to be transported to the Canary Islands. The prosecution has asserted that the boat was designed for use as a small fishing boat close to shore and was not designed for travel on the open sea. Six persons on the boat survived, several of them were rescued by a local surfer.
Click here for video – Antena 3 Canarias televisión de difusión de noticias 17 May with video of rescue operation.
Un nouveau rapport du HCR (UNHCR Research Paper) par Smaïn Laacher a été publié: “Les violences faites aux femmes pendant leur voyage clandestin: Algérie, France, Espagne, Maroc.”
“L‟objet de notre mission a porté sur les violences faites aux femmes migrantes pendant leur voyage clandestin. Les femmes qui constituent la population de notre étude sont des femmes qui ont quitté illégalement leur pays et ont voyagé jusqu‟au Maroc, en Algérie, en Espagne, et en France. *** Les violences subies par les femmes pendant leur voyage clandestine … , dont la plus destructrice est la violence sexuelle, visent principalement des êtres sans défense, c‟est-à-dire des femmes qui n‟ont pu ou qui ne peuvent pas être défendues, précisément parce qu‟elles n‟existent pour personne, si ce n‟est que pour elles-mêmes et pour leurs agresseurs. ***”
Cliquez ici pour télécharger le rapport.
Cliquez ici pour télécharger le rapport.
Comme indiqué sur le blog EuroMed-MigrAsyl: Un nouveau rapport a été publié par la section espagnole de Médecins Sans Frontières: “Violence sexuelle et migration: La réalité cachée des femmes subsahariennes arrêtées au Maroc sur la route de l’Europe.”
“Ce document vise à faire connaître la problématique de la violence sexuelle subie par les femmes migrantes d’origine subsaharienne qui arrivent au Maroc alors qu’elles tentent de gagner l’Europe. Au travers des données et témoignages recueillis lors de ses projets d’action médico-humanitaire, Médecins Sans Frontières souhaite contribuer à la recherche d’une réponse globale à cette problématique qui touche toujours plus de femmes, et des femmes de plus en plus jeunes.”
“La violence est toujours présente et dans les mêmes proportions que dans les années précédentes : 39 % des [des migrants subsahariens] interrogés pendant le recensement ont reconnu avoir subi une agression.”
Cliquez ici pour télécharger l’article.
The Thomas More Institute has released a report, “Towards a Sustainable Security in the Maghreb – An Opportunity for the Region, a Commitment for the European Union.” The report was released on 7 April at the “Maghreb and the European Union: Enhancing the partnership for a sustainable security” conference in Brussels.
From the Executive Summary: “The relationship between Europe and the Maghreb is a complex, multidimensional and somewhat passionate one. The two areas share a common history and are bound by common interests. United against a number of joint challenges (economic development, regional stability, fight against terrorism, migration, sustainable development), it is time for the two shores of the Mediterranean to reconsider the basis for their cooperation. [***] The EU is well aware of what is at stake and must now look for ways of making a more active commitment in the region, particularly on sensitive issues such as human rights and migration. [***] The question of migration, which extends as far as the Sahelian area, is another area of cooperation which needs to be looked into in more depth, since the EU’s policy of limiting migratory flows can no longer be restricted to the northern border of the Maghreb. Reinforcing the role of the European agency FRONTEX throughout the area, for example by opening regional offices and assigning resources, is one possible solution. Intensifying efforts to coordinate development assistance policies between the EU and Maghreb countries to help Sub-Saharan African countries that represent sources of immigration is another solution that should not be ignored.”
A further excerpt: “A need for increased cooperation between the European Union and the Maghreb – Europe’s policy on migration is based on the principle that the great era of mass migrations is over, replaced by a new international division of labour, whereby a foreign workforce is substituted for the national workforce, and by policies that involve returning and rehabilitating non-Europeans in their countries of origin and internal mobility for Europeans within an area with no interior borders. European countries – and the Community, followed by the EU – concentrated their efforts on border control, in a securitarian view dictated by the migratory risk and concerns about the challenges of integration. Schengen relegated the countries of the Maghreb, and others, to the status of “outsider countries”, with which human circulation is restricted. This logic was maintained by the militarisation of borders which started in 1988 when barriers were built around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, then as of 2002 by the installation of the Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) around Gibraltar and later along the Spanish coasts – including the Canary isles – comprising twenty-five detection points, a dozen mobile radar and ten or so patrol units. The attacks perpetrated on September 11th reinforced the security component and, following the creation of FRONTEX (European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders) in 2005, other areas were militarised, with preventive sea and air patrols in the Mediterranean and even in the Atlantic, near the Canary isles. The EU also provides its members with technical assistance. [***] The Maghreb has made a real effort to contribute and cooperate with the EU in the fight against immigration. In February 2004, Morocco and Spain started joint patrols and in 2008, cooperation was reinforced by improving controls in the ports of Tangier and Algeciras. According to the Spanish authorities, the result was an overall drop of 60% in illegal immigration originating in Morocco between 2007 and 2008. The decrease in illegal Moroccans was reportedly around 38%. However, reinforced controls caused a shift in migratory routes. According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, the number of illegal immigrants arriving in Italy by sea rose by 75% between 2007 and 2008. 14 000 people arrived in Italy illegally in 2007, whereas the figure was in excess of 40 000 in 2008. Following the signature of the Benghazi treaty between Italy and Libya on 30th August 2008, Italy obtained greater assistance from Tripoli in the form of bilateral cooperation on illegal immigration and the application of the December 2007 agreement on joint patrols off the Libyan coasts, plus the installation of radars by Finmeccanica at Libya’s southern borders.”
Click here for full Report.