Migration through the Mediterranean : which European responses ?
Despite the crossing being dangerous, and in the context of more stringent migration policies in some European countries, the Mediterranean Sea remains a heavily traveled route for migrants wishing to reach Europe. The Mediterranean also remains at the heart of heated debates related to the European responsibility for rescuing migrant vessels and solidarity between Member states. Which actions is the EU currently planning? Is a common response still possible?
Access to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea : a look back at ten years of European policies
Following controversies on rescue of migrant boats in the Mediterranean, discussions between EU Members are locked in stalemate. Among others, European countries are increasingly refusing to welcome humanitarian vessels in their ports, and some governments tend to criminalize NGOs operating Search and Rescue activities. While the current crisis is acute, the Mediterranean has long been at the center of EU migration policies.Read more
Migration from Libya to Europe: No end in sight to the current deadlock
While the EU increased its cooperation with Libya, which now oversees the majority of search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean, the repatriation of migrants on Libyan territory fuels debates. Given the rising insecurity in the country, many also worry about the fate that awaits them there.
“Regional Disembarkation Platforms” and “Controlled Centres”: Lifting The Drawbridge, Reaching out Across The Mediterranean, or Going Nowhere?By Francesco Maiani, Associate Professor, Centre of Comparative, European and International Law (CDCEI), University of Lausanne
“The idea is that if Europe can lift the drawbridge and confine migrants in its Southern neighbourhood, it need not face a divisive debate on internal solidarity. To borrow from Catherine Woollard of ECRE, this looks rather more like “Externalization Fantasyland” than like a feasible policy plan."
Still no agreement on the proposed "regional disembarkation platforms" and "controlled centres"
Following a UNHCR-IOM joint proposal for the creation of a “regional disembarkation mechanism”, the idea of “regional disembarkation platforms” in third countries, and “controlled centers” on European territory were proposed at the June European Council. Since then, discussions are at a standstill.
"More solidarity and a greater political courage are needed to put an end to the tragic situation in the Mediterranean and to improve the management of asylum in Europe »
Vincent Cochetel, Special Envoy of the UNHCR for the Central Mediterranean situation, shares his views on the EU proposals for a better management of migratory flows in the Mediterranean Sea, and on issues related to the cooperation with neighboring countries of the EU.
The Mediterranean situation: where are we going?2018 has given us three different takes on Europe’s position on the Mediterranean situation. Paradoxically, the one which comes closest to our shared European values came from the United Nations, with the UNHCR-IOM proposal about a “regional disembarkation mechanism” in an aim (as yet unrealised) of organising the reception for migrants rescued at sea...
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Hungarian migration policy: the EU reacts
On Wednesday the 20th of June, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a series of laws under the “Stop Soros” plan, aiming to criminalise (according to the government) “organisers of illegal immigration”.
The European Commission plans to reform the Return Directive and reinforce the Frontex Agency
During his State of the Union speech on the 12th of September, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed to reform the Return Directive and reinforce the Frontex Agency.
Germany: Events in Chemnitz have led to a resurgence in anti-migrant sentiment
The murder of a German in the streets of Chemnitz on the 26th of August led to the arrest of a Syrian and an Iraqi, spurring extreme-right groups to amplify their anti-migrant message.
Greece: another off-shore migrant camp evacuated
While the UN and NGOs have become increasingly alarmed about the living conditions of the migrants and refugees in Aegean Sea migrant camps, on the 18th of September the Greek government announced they would be evacuating about 2,000 people by the end of the month.
Spain, overwhelmed by increase in arrivals
On the 26th of July 2018, more than 800 people forced their way through the security fences separating Ceuta, a Spanish enclave, from the rest of Morocco in an event which left many injured. Most of the migrants were taken to the Ceuta detention centre, where they can file an asylum request.