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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