Tag Archives: Real Instituto Elcano

Análisis del Real Instituto Elcano: La crisis en el Norte de África y su impacto en la inmigración irregular a la Unión Europea (by Frontex Dep. ED Gil Arias)

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under Algeria, Analysis, Egypt, European Union, France, Frontex, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey

Analysis of the Real Instituto Elcano- Frontex: Successful Blame Shifting of the Member States?

Analysis of the Real Instituto Elcano: “Frontex: Successful Blame Shifting of the Member States?” by Jorrit J. Rijpma, PhD European University Institute, Florence, and Lecturer in EU law, Europa Instituut, Leiden University.

Excerpts:

“Frontex in Short – Frontex can be seen as the outcome of a ‘re-balancing’ of powers between the Member States, the Council and the Commission following the communitarisation of the policy on external borders after the Treaty of Amsterdam, constituting an important shift from the intergovernmental coordination of operational activity under the Council to a more Community-based approach. [***]

Joint Operations at Sea – [***] Currently, the most controversial practice is that of the diversion by national border guards of ships back to their point of departure. This practice entails not only a real risk to the life and safety of the passengers on board these often unseaworthy ships, but as regards possible asylum seekers on board, it also risks violating the right to claim asylum and the prohibition of refoulement. The Greek coast guard has the questionable reputation of regularly diverting boats back to the Turkish shores. Italy has openly admitted to the interception and return of irregular migrants and asylum seekers from Libya under its 2008 Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation with the latter country. Both within and outside the Hera operations, Spain has been returning people to Senegal and Mauritania, but here at least the interceptions are formally cast in terms of rescue operations and transfer to the nearest place of safety.

Frontex: the Lesser Evil?- There are many reasons why Frontex can be subject to criticism. It could be argued that it is an instrument of an essentially flawed EU migration and asylum policy. [***] Finally, it could be said that the Agency reinforces a securitised perception of what is essentially a humanitarian problem through its one-sided mandate, the background of most of its staff in national law-enforcement agencies and its military-style operations. [***] However, it is important to realise that for the moment the Agency’s scope for independent action remains very limited, both in practical and in legal terms. Serious human-rights violations are more likely to occur in operations from national border guards removed from the public eye, than in relatively well-scrutinised joint operations. Frontex, being a Community body, is subject to numerous reporting and evaluation duties, as well rules on transparency. [***]

Conclusion: Efforts should focus on ensuring full respect of international rules regarding international protection and search and rescue and an authoritative interpretation of these rules in a broad sense. These are essentially political decisions. It is the Member States and the Community institutions, not Frontex, that are to be reproached for the failure to do so. [***]”

Click here for full Analysis.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aegean Sea, Analysis, Eastern Atlantic, European Union, Frontex, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Senegal, Spain, Turkey

CARIM Mediterranean Migration 2008-2009 Report

Noted recently in the Newsletter of the Real Instituto Elcano:

CARIM MEDITERRANEAN MIGRATION 2008-2009 REPORT, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute, October 2009, Edited by Philippe Fargues

MIGRATIONS MÉDITERRANÉENNES, RAPPORT 2008-2009, Octobre 2009, Sous la direction de Philippe Fargues

An excerpt:

“The period covered in this latest report, the years 2007 and 2008, is characterised by the accentuation of the migratory trends described in previous reports1: emigration from South and East Mediterranean countries (SEM) is continuing at a steady rate, while immigration to these countries is increasing, particularly in various irregular forms. [***]

Transit Migrants

Transit migrants in the SEM countries are people who cannot reach the destination of their choice (Europe) for lack of the required visa. They are waiting to find a way to reach this destination and over time their transit becomes stay. All the SEM countries, from Mauritania in the west to Turkey in the East, have, over the course of the last two decades, been transformed into transit countries for those travelling to Europe.

How many transit migrants are there in the SEM countries? The statistics in this area are even more inadequate than those for de facto refugees or irregular migrant workers. Aggregating figures provided by the police and various NGOs allows for a maximum estimation of 200,000 transit migrants in the region (Table 7).

Table 7: Transit migrants present in SEM countries around 2005

Country                        Estimated number

Algeria                           > 10,000

Turkey                           > 50,000

Libya                              > 10,000

Mauritania                   ± 30,000

Morocco                      > 10,000

Egypt, Israel, Jordan,

Lebanon, Palestine,

Syria, Tunisia              Not available

Total SEM                     < 200,000

Sources: CARIM, Irregular Migration Series http://www.carim.org/index.php?areaid=8&contentid=235&callTopic=7

According to data collected by an Italian NGO on deaths and disappearances at sea (Table 8), it would seem that the number of clandestine sea crossings from SEM countries to Europe is not increasing (in fact it may even have decreased in 2008) but the routes are changing. The most ancient route across the Straits of Gibraltar is being used less and less and has been successively replaced by that from Mauritania, or even Senegal, to the Canary Islands (on which traffic peaked in 2006), from Turkey to the Greek Islands of the Dodecanese (on which traffic peaked in 2007) and lastly from Libya to Italy on which traffic peaked in 2008).

How many transit migrants are there who attempt (sometimes successfully) the crossing to Europe? And for how many does transit in the SEM countries become a more long period of stay? The rare surveys carried out in the Maghreb or in Turkey do not allow us to assess this. With the extension of their stay in countries initially seen as a place of transit, transit migrants soon become mixed up with the more significant mass of migrant workers in irregular situation. On the other hand, it is not always possible to distinguish them from refugees. The two groups exist side by side in what the HCR calls flows of “mixed migration” where transit migrants and refugees, sometimes from the same countries of provenance, resort to the same smugglers and find themselves in the same circumstances.

Table 8: Dead and missing persons on sea routes of irregular migration from SEM to Europe 2000 – 2008

Year\ Route      Sicily +             Gibraltar +

Sardinia           Ceuta & Melilla

2000                   0                           127

2001                     8                           157

2002                     236                     106

2003                     413                     108

2004                     206                    64

2005                     437                    146

2006                     302                    215

2007                     621                    142

2008                     702                    216

Total                     2,925                1,281

Year\ Route      Canary              Aegean Sea

Islands

2000                   16                         32

2001                     40                        102

2002                     39                        94

2003                     130                      81

2004                     232                      103

2005                     185                      98

2006                     1,035                  73

2007                     745                      257

2008                      136                      181

Total                       2,558                 1,021

Year                Total All Routes

2000                 175

2001                   307

2002                   475

2003                   732

2004                   605

2005                   866

2006                   1,625

2007                   1,765

2008                   1,235

Total                  7,785

Source : http://fortresseurope.blogspot.com/

[***]”

Click here for link to full Report in both English and francais.

Leave a comment

Filed under Algeria, Data / Stats, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, Portugal, Reports, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey

Analysis of the Real Instituto Elcano: Controlling Migration in Southern Europe

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.”

Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aegean Sea, Analysis, Eastern Atlantic, Greece, Italy, Mediterranean, Spain