Tag Archives: Maghreb

DIIS Policy Brief: Europe Fighting Irregular Migration – Consequences of European non-entry policies for West African Mobility

A new Policy Brief from DIIS by Nauja Kleist, “Europe Fighting Irregular Migration – Consequences of European non-entry policies for West African Mobility.”

Abstract: “In collaboration with African countries, the EU is fighting irregular migration to Europe through border control and deportations. However, rather than halting irregular migration, such policies reconfigure mobility flows and make migration routes more dangerous and difficult. The phenomenon of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing the Mediterranean in boats to reach Europe is just one example of this phenomenon.

In this DIIS Policy Brief, Nauja Kleist explores the consequences of EU migration policies and the fight against irregular migration, focusing on West African migration. The overall policy tendency is a differentiation of African migration flows, making mobility easier for educated and privileged groups and more difficult and dangerous for the large majority of migrants. Likewise there is a tendency to conflate migration within Africa – by far the largest and most important aspect of West African migration – with migration towards Europe.

Examining some of the main routes and migration systems between West and North Africa, the brief recommends to ensure evidence-based and context-sensitive migration polices, to carefully consider the human and politics costs of externalizing border control, and to ensure further access to legal and safe migration.”

Click here for full document.

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Article: Overview of North African Bilateral Cooperation on the Removal of Unauthorized Migrants

The May 2010 publication by the Middle East Institute (Washington DC), Viewpoints- Migration and the Maghreb, contains several articles including “An Overview of North African Countries’ Bilateral Cooperation on the Removal of Unauthorized Migrants: Drivers and Implications” by Jean-Pierre Cassarino.

Excerpts from the article (at page 34):

“Since 1965, when Bourguiba’s Tunisia signed with Austria its first bilateral agreement on the repatriation of its own nationals, North African countries’ patterns of cooperation on readmission or removal have changed dramatically….

“[R]eadmission agreements are … one of the many ways to consolidate a broader bilateral cooperative framework, including other strategic, and perhaps more crucial, policy areas such as security, energy, development aid, and police cooperation….

“Faced with the uncertainty surrounding the concrete implementation of the cooperative agreements, some EU Member States, particularly those affected by migration flows originating in North Africa (e.g., France, Spain, Italy), set out to devise flexible arrangements while opting for different ways of dealing with readmission. These include exchanges of letters, memoranda of understanding, or other types of arrangements (e.g., police cooperation agreements and pacts)….

“Readmission is embedded in power relations that can shape the intensity of the quid pro quo. Following their proactive involvement in the reinforced police control of the EU external borders, North African countries have become gradually aware that they could play the efficiency card in the field of migration and border management, while gaining further international credibility….”

Click here for link to publication (see p. 34 for this article.)

Click here for the MIREM Project Inventory of Agreements Linked to Readmission.

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Thomas More Institute: Towards a Sustainable Security in the Maghreb – An Opportunity for the Region

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.

Main routes of present-day Trans-Saharan migrations

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