Migration and EU Policies

Term Paper, 2018

13 Pages


Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Valletta Summit

3. EU Migration Policy
3.1 Border management and security

4. Cooperation with transit and countries of origin

5. Link between EU Aid and Migration Policy

6. Human Rights Dilemma: Deal with Turkey and Libya

7. Conclusion

8. Bibliography

1. Introduction

The vast majority of the Developing Countries experience migration in its different forms. As the European Commission mentions, mobility is an important strategy for several citizens of developing countries to survive and improve their lives. At the same time, mobility is also a hot topic for the Mediterranean region.

The migration routes in the Mediterranean are three, the western route, between Morocco and Spain, the central route, between Libya and Italy and the eastern route, where migrants cross the Aegean Sea. The number of arrivals by sea only in these first five months of 2018 totalled 28,002 and the dead and missing reach the amount of 628 people according to UNHCR.

The developments of the migratory routes and the numbers of migrants have lead European and national institutions to take action, trying to reduce the negative effects. This paper’s aim is to deeper analyse the challenges of migration for the European Union (EU). The first section is dedicated to the EU-Valletta Summit, which represents an example of the EU policies in the field. Following this, the EU policies will be more detailed analysed, with focus on border management and cooperation with third countries and the link to aid policies.

The second part of this paper is dedicated to the the human rights dilemma, highlighting the relations with Libya and Turkey.

2. Valletta Summit

The Valletta summit took place in Malta in 2015, called by the European Council. It is a meeting between European and African Heads of State and Governments, and the aims of the Summit can be summarized as follows: strengthening cooperation and addressing the challenges of migration. (European Commission, 2015) This Summit relies on the already established cooperation processes between EU and Africa, which are the Khartum and the Rabat process, and the EU-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Mobility. (European Commission, 2015) The results of the Valletta Summit are a political declaration, new trust fund and an action plan. The five key objectives of the action plan are the following: to address root cause, to enhance cooperation on legal migration and mobility, to reinforce the protection of migrants and asylum seekers, to prevent and to fight irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings and to enhance cooperation on return, readmission and reintegration. According to the action plan, sixteen concrete activities had to be implemented by 2016. The participants agreed that the Rabat and Khartoum Process, and the joint EU-Africa strategy will be in charge of monitoring the implementation of the action plan. (Action Plan, 2015)

In addition to these, a very important instrument has been established during the Valletta Summit, the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which will be used mainly for the implementation of the action plan. (Action Plan, 2015) Its initial budget is of €1.8 billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). (European Parliament, 2018) If compared with the EU-Turkey Deal this amount is significantly lower.

What has the Valletta Summit achieved? Critics towards this Summit have been very harsh, the political declaration does not represent something new. Mainly the Africa-EU Migration, Mobility and Employment (MME) Partnership launched in 2007 mentioned similar topics of the political declaration of the Valletta Summit. This summit was seen as a missed opportunity to address the challenges of migration. The aim of the European Head of States and EU institution was to reach a similar agreement as the EU-Turkey deal; in fact, reducing the number of migrants coming from third countries seems to be the main objective the EU is trying to reach. In the Maltese media, this was also represented as the result of the general populist context, influenced by Trump and Brexit. (Balzan, 2017) The Summit could have been a chance for politicians to reopen the discussion on relocation and alternative legal routes to Europe. This did not happened, the EU got stuck on what was worrying their voters and internal issues. (Balzan, 2017)

Several African presidents, in first line, the Senegalese president Sall, rejected the European “charity”, he accused EU to miss the general view about the global situation, and that problems like the tax evasion by multinational should be addressed. (Pace, 2016) But with other countries the EU has less controversies, during this event the EU and Ethiopia, which is a relevant country of origin and transit country, signed the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), analysed in the following parts of this papers.

Another critic raised by the author Van Dillen is that the fund is not explicitly addressed to the civil society band. Secondly, and maybe the most relevant critic, is that the European self-interests dominated during the Summit. The discussion about forced return (pushed by the EU leaders) and voluntary return (pushed by African leaders) was central. (Van Dillen, 2015) The main accusation concerning human rights is that the principle of non-refoulement is at threat, the action plan implies that African migration officials come to Europe to verify the nationality. This is a threat to political opponents or activists who come to Europe to seek asylum, because in this way corrupted African dictators could facilitate their returns to the country of origin. (Van Dillen, 2015)

An article in Chatman House criticises the EU negotiation during the Valletta Summit very strongly, it is argued that the EU forced countries of origin to deal with the topic by including migration in aid for development. (Quie, 2017)

As illustrated in this part the critics towards the Summit have been several, scholars agree that this summit has been called by the EU for the EU.

3. EU Migration Policy

EU’s major aim is to control migration. The general objectives of the EU in the field of migration are: to reduce the incentives for irregular migration, to save lives, to secure external borders, to develop a strong European common asylum system and to develop a new policy on legal migration since the EU is experiencing a demographic decline and is interested in having new citizens. (European Commission)

3.1 Border management and security

A specific aim of the EU in which is put a lot of effort is border management and security. The need for the EU to control its borders has grown since the number of irregular migrant crossing the border increased. The highest number of migrants crossing the sea was in 2015, the number reached 1 million people, while the following years it decreased, 362,753 in 2016 and 172,301 in 2017. (UNHCR, 2018)

The control of the EU border is intrinsically linked to security. Frontex is the main European Agency to implement this objective, which faced an important change in 2016, when it became the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. The main duties are to monitor the boarders and to cooperate with MS to identify as soon as possible threats to the security of Europe. (European Council, 2017) For the same aim, at the end of 2017 the Council adopted a new system to control the entry, exit and refusal of entry of third nationals at the Schengen external borders. (European Council, 2017) The EU is pushing for more initiatives in this direction.

It is very interesting that during the mass influx of migrants reaching Europe some countries introduced temporary border controls, which is foreseen by the articles 25,26, 28 and 29 of the Schengen Borders code in some special cases. Countries like Austria, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway made use of it. (European Commission, 2018)

Apart from boarder control, the EU is putting more relevance to an efficient return policy, as mentioned before. The EU created the European Travel Document for the Return of Illegal Migrants, which will reduce the main problem of the return of irregular migrants, their documents. (European Parliament, 2017)

4. Cooperation with transit and countries of origin

On the basis of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) the EU is leading dialogues with several African countries on different levels. On continental level with the African Union, on regional level with the Rabat Process and the Khartoum Process[1], on bilateral level the EU achieved agreements with Nigeria, Cape Verde, Tunisia and Morocco. (European Commission, 2015) Usually the EU negotiates two types of framework for bilateral dialogues: Mobility Partnerships (MPs)[2]usually used with neighbour countries or Common Agendas on Migration and Mobility (CAMMs) usually used with third countries. (European Commission, 2015)

Before analysing more in detail the relation between EU and specific countries of origin or transit it is important to clarify the role of GAMM. This approach represents the framework of the EU in the field of migration and asylum since 2005 (leading political dialogues, partnerships and cooperation with third countries). (European Commission, 2015) Moreover, the Commission, the EEAS and the MS are responsible for the GAMM, this means there is no exclusive competence at supranational level. (European Commission, 2015)

The European Commission acknowledged Niger as one of the major transit countries already in 2015. The EU is trying to involve the already deployed missions (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger) in the border management, illicit trafficking and transnational organised crime. (European Commission, 2015) It is worth mentioning that these initiatives did not deliver the expected results. In 2016 the data shows a drastically reduction of migrants crossing Niger, but this did not reduce the number of arrivals in Europe, this simply means that the traffickers and smugglers looked for different routes. (Quie, 2017)

A key country to negotiate with is Libya, but since the end of the Gadhafi’s regime, the instability made it impossible for the EU to initiate any kind of dialogue. In spite of the political situation, the EU financed several migration projects there in the years 2011 and 2014. (European Commission, 2015) This financial help comes partially from the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI). (European Commission, 2015)

The joint Declaration Cooperation with Ethiopia for a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) was signed during the Valletta Summit and has to be implemented at a bilateral level. The EU will make sure that this fund is available for projects in the field of refugee´s needs, legal migration and smuggling and trafficking in human beings. (European Commission, 2015)

The EU Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDDP) in the Horn of Africa was launched during the Valletta Summit, the RDDP was firstly launched to support neighbour countries of Syria, and is now implemented inEthiopia, Sudan and Kenya which host a large number of refugees. (Khartoum Process, 2018)

So far this paragraph has focussed on the relation with third countries. The following section will discuss the link between aid and migration policy.

5. Link between EU Aid and Migration Policy

The controversies about new EU migration policy (EU’s linkage of development aid with compliance in restricting emigrant outflows from third countries and in accepting returned migrants) are increasing. The EU’s argument is that in order to enhance the management of migration it is important to engage with countries of origin and transit, and in addition to these initiatives the EU funds a lot of other development cooperation projects by including root causes of migration. (European Commission, 2018)

The EU included migration in its aid policy, specifically in its new development framework until 2030, although usually the topic is hidden within aid for development, governance and institutional development, and creation of new jobs. (Abrahams, 2017) It is argument of the European Commission that development cooperation is the key strategy to address the root causes. (European Commission, 2015)


[1]The Rabat Process is a policy dialogue with countries involved in the western migratory route, while the Khartoum Process involves the eastern migratory route. (European Commission, 2015)

[2]MPs are usually the second step of dialogues on migration and mobility, since they involve visa facilitation and readmission agreements. (European Commission, 2015)

Excerpt out of 13 pages


Migration and EU Policies
University of Malta  (Institute for European Studies)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
migration, policies
Quote paper
Amelia Martha Matera (Author), 2018, Migration and EU Policies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/442602


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Migration and EU Policies

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free