20.10.2016

PRO ASYL: EU pursues neocolonial policies of externalization and deportation

The meeting of the EU leaders might become a summit of isolation against refugees, fears PRO ASYL. The European Union seems to have cast off any legitimate concerns when dealing with issues of migration, signing off one dirty deal after another.

A draft conclusion of the European Council calls for sealing off the »Mediterranean Migration Route«, now that the route across the Aegean has been shut down. The EU calls for »further efforts regarding the return of persons from the Greek islands to Turkey«.

The friendly sounding label of »migration partnerships« disguised the neocolonial attitude of the European Union. In fact, the EU blatantly threatens the countries of origins and transit. EU funds shall only be made available if desired behavior such as the prevention of migration and the readmission of refugees and migrants are assured. The draft conclusion states that »all available – including development and trade related – measures, instruments and aid funds of the EU should be used to create and utilize necessary leverage«.

What is presented under the slogan »combatting root causes of migration« is actually a highly advanced containment program. Protection seekers are to be arrested and kept from fleeing on. They are supposed to stay where the majority of refugees already lives – or in many cases – barely survives: in the regions of origin. Human and refugee rights are of no importance in this European approach. The often called for coherence in external, development and interior affairs has become a collective policy of non-protection and isolation.

Again, Germany is a major advocate of these anti-refugee policies: the so called EU-Turkey Deal is to be implemented at all costs and taken as an example for further deals. Such migration pacts are to be concluded with states such as Jordan and Lebanon and with African countries like Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia. The EU Commission also wants to strengthen its engagement with Tunisia and Libya. EU Representative for Foreign Affairs, Francesca Mogherini also wants to examine whether deals with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh would be possible. There are ongoing talks with Egypt.

The indicator for the success of all these partnerships will be the number of persons deported back to the respective »partner« states. Merkel has only recently called for a »national effort« to increase deportations. Now, at the summit of EU Leaders it will all be about »concrete and measurable results in operative returns of irregular migrants«.

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