Migreurop - At the Margins of Europe
Migreurop report published on 2012; "At the margins of Europe: externalisation of migration controls". You can read the inroduction section below.
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When peoples rebel, the Union fortifies itself
In 2011, a report on the violence of migration controls could not ignore the dramatic situations which occurred in the Mediterranean, with the death by drowning or exhaustion on board of overloaded and often damaged boats of several thousands exiles seeking to flee Libya, but lawfully prevented from doing so because of the surveillance of sea borders implemented in the south of the European Union (EU). While the fieldwork on which this report is based was mainly carried out before the outbreak of the Libyan uprising in February, Migreurop has closely followed this tragic demonstration of Western selfishness when faced by the movement of refugees.
This is because the revolutionary Arab movements, applauded – sometimes belatedly – by European governments, have not led the latter to reconsider the issue of population movements from these southern Mediterranean neighbours. While they included it in the agenda of the summit held in Brussels in June 2011, it was to express their concern about "massive migratory movements provoked by the events (...)" and to decide to implement partnerships with neighbouring countries to the south and east to "manage mobility in a secure environment so as to address the root causes of migrations". The message is clear: in the field of migration, the EU wants to continue following the course that it has set so far. To do so, it will stick to extending and reactivating the agreements struck with authoritarian regimes that have been ousted from power with new provisional governements, following the same direction.
The Libyan National Transition Council has understood this well and, hardly a month after the start of the uprising in Lybia, one of its leaders stated that his movement wished to combat illegal migration if it were to seize power, in particular by respecting the "friendship treaty" signed in 2008 by Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi. Far from hearing the call for change expressed by the Arab revolts, Europe primarily seeks to perpetuate the system established since the end of the 1990s that keeps migrants at a distance. A system that gives rise to many human rights violations, which Migreurop regularly reports.
This 2010-2011 report focusses once again on two pillars of European migration policy that Migreurop has often described: the subcontracting of controls and the detention of migrants and asylum seekers, this time surveyed in their maritime and eastern dimensions. The research conducted in several European ports and on the eastern Turkish border, shed new light on these mechanisms that have not been documented extensively to date.
- See press releases in appendix 2.
- Conclusions of the European Council of 23 and 24fckLRJune 2011.
- AFP, 29 March 2011