Migration: A Crisis Europe Can’t Keep Out


"Difficulties in persuading EU Member States (EUMS) to act in solidarity with each other – or with refugees – have led to a focus on the ‘external dimensions’ of the migration crisis. This has created a misleading impression of the crisis as external to, rather created by, the EU and EUMS. Equally misleadingly, this framing suggests that the crisis can be dealt with outside, rather within the EU – generally by trying to stop the flow of migrants to Europe. This policy paper challenges this framing and argues that the migration crisis is one of Europe’s own making – and one which must be addressed, primarily, at home," writes Benjamin Tallis in his new policy paper on migration.

The difficulties that the EU and EUMS have had in devising coherent or effective internal policies to deal with the migration crisis make it understandable that they have sought common ground elsewhere. Specifically, they have sought to make progress by dealing with the ‘external dimensions’ of the migration crisis. This desire to externalise the crisis has taken several forms: upgrading protection of external borders (through e.g. the creation of the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency); making deals with neighbouring countries to reduce flows (e.g. with Turkey or the African states involved in the 2015 Valetta summit); targeting development aid at migrants’ origin and transit countries; or by emphasising the need to prevent and resolve conflicts (such as that in Syria)that are seen to forcibly displace people. However, Europe’s externalisation strategy, its various tactics or policy dimensions will not work for two main reasons... What reasons? Read more in the new paper by Benjamin Tallis.

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