Failure in tripoli

The joint conference of the EU and the African Union (AU) on immigration ies did not go beyond declarations of intent

For two days, 78 EU and African Union (AU) countries had debated immigration and development in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But in the joint final document not a single concrete measure was agreed upon. Because the EU was not prepared to set up the demanded development fund, the African countries refused to commit to the demanded repatriation of their compatriots. Libyan leader Gaddafi called emigration a natural phenomenon and the right of all people to emigrate.

It is astonishing that the German Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Schauble, described the conference in Tripoli as a "important step" describes. This positive image is in stark contrast to how the meeting is judged, for example, in the Spanish media, where also by the "complete failure" spoken.

As "positive" The fact that there was a joint declaration at all and that so many African countries took part in the meeting can be seen as a complete failure. However, no progress has been made on the essential ies. The desired framework for a migration policy is still not in sight. The follow-up conference in Rabat, which took place in July, was even less concrete.

The Africans demanded concrete help, because the meeting was also supposed to be about development, in order to be able to offer a future to the youth in Africa. However, although development policy is often talked about in the EU, when it comes to concrete means, politicians tend to be monosyllabic. Its aim, as in Rabat, was to involve the African countries in its foreclosure policy.

There, the EU had pushed for the border protection agency Frontex to conduct joint patrols off the coast of West Africa with Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. Now, in addition to the stronger involvement of the host, the withdrawal of those who continue to reach Europe was on the agenda of the EU.

But the Africans would only agree to a general withdrawal if the EU, in return, gave concrete figures for support in the final declaration. The EU was not prepared to do this. Thus only the "The possibility of creating a fund" The EU had held out the prospect of a reduction in development aid. For this "A joint working group of representatives of the African Union and the EU Commission should be formed", is now stated in the eleven-page final document.

Once again, it is generally stated that the fight against illegal immigration must not be limited to repressive measures, but must be coupled with a development policy and a policy for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and stability in Africa. EU pledges to increase development aid to 0.56% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010. Half of the increase should benefit African states. For 35 years, the target has been 0.7% of GDP, and the figure in OECD countries has fallen from a meager 0.33% (1990) to a deplorable 0.25% (2005).

Immigration is a "natural phenomenon"

It should not surprise anyone that Africans have a hard time accepting migrants, since remittances from emigrants sustain the economies of some countries and ensure the survival of many families. After long debates, the EU only managed to include a pas on the importance of previous agreements in the preamble. In concrete terms, this was what was meant by Cotonou, when in 2000, in the Benin seat of government, African states pledged to take back those who enter Europe illegally. .

No progress was made on the question of legal immigration either. It was now agreed to go beyond the "Simplification" of the procedures to "debate", to one "certain group of people" to ensure access to the EU. This also includes temporary migration, for example as a harvest worker, "taking into account the needs of the market and the protection of migrant workers".

In the margins of the conference, the European Commissioner for Development, Louis Michel, suggested the creation of immigration agencies in the countries of origin, in order to inform people and to control and regulate immigration. He also addressed the inconvenient truth that immigration is an "natural phenomenon" act.

This was also affirmed by the Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi, who described immigration as "a right" . Borders are a new artificial invention, and opposing immigration is a new art "How to row against the current", he said. One cannot ignore the complex social and historical reasons for the phenomenon.

Thus, the EU’s hope of integrating Libya, as one of the current main transit countries, more strongly into EU plans and turning it into an outpost of the isolation policy, as it has succeeded with Morocco, will hardly be fulfilled. While via Libya this year estimated 16.000 refugees arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa, nearly 30.000 people have made the long journey from Mauritania and Senegal to the Canary Islands. That is already almost six times as many in 2006 as in the whole of the previous year. It shows very clearly that only the routes are changing. It is not clear how many will lose their lives on the long journey. Last winter alone, thousands of.

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