Début de la constitution d’une métaliste sur le sujet migrations et développement…

#message768701

  • Why return from Europe is causing problems for The Gambia

    Roughly 38,500 Gambians left the country through ‘irregular’ means between 2013 and 2017. Today, almost every family has ties abroad. The influx of immigrants to Europe and elsewhere was caused by political oppression under the long-serving former president Yahya Jammeh. His oppressive politics also severely affected the economic prospects of The Gambia’s young population.

    As a result, a large number of citizens, mostly young men, sought asylum in Europe. But very few have been allowed to stay. Even more were turned away when Jammeh was toppled after elections in 2017 and the country returned to democracy. More recently, there has been a big push from European Union (EU) member states to return failed asylum seekers back home to The Gambia.

    The question of returns is particularly volatile in the west African nation of 2 million people, reflected in the country’s and European press.

    A slight increase in Gambian deportations began in November 2018 after the EU and the government agreed on a ‘good practice’ agreement for efficient return procedures.

    This intensified cooperation became possible due to the governmental change in 2017, with President Adama Barrow becoming President after the elections, as we found in our research on the political economy of migration governance in The Gambia.

    Despite initial cooperation with the EU on returns, in March 2019 Barrow’s government imposed a moratorium on any further deportations of its nationals from the EU. After a standoff of several months, the moratorium has now been lifted. Though only temporary, the moratorium was an important tool for the government to manage problems with its domestic legitimacy.
    Relationship challenges

    Jammeh’s ousting ended years of severe repression and corruption that had discouraged donor countries from cooperating with The Gambia. When he left, the country quickly established positive relations with the EU which has become its most important development partner. It provides €55 million in budgetary support and runs three projects to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration. But the moratorium was a stress test for this new relationship.

    Before the moratorium was imposed in March 2019, the government had started to tentatively cooperate with the EU on return matters. For example, it sent regular missions to Europe to issue nationals with identification documents to facilitate their return.

    Relations began to sour when European governments increased returns in a way that authorities in The Gambia viewed as inconsistent with the ‘good practice’ agreement. The agreement stipulates that return numbers should not overstretch the country’s capacity to receive returnees. It also states that adequate notice must be given before asylum seekers are returned. Both of these provisions were allegedly breached.
    Problems at home

    The incoming returns quickly led to heated debates among the population and on social media. The rumblings peaked in February 2019 with one particular return flight from Germany. Authorities in Banjul claimed they had not been well informed about it and initially refused entry. Public demonstrations followed in March. The moratorium, which European partners had already been notified about, was declared shortly afterwards.

    The moratorium can be linked to diplomatic and technical inefficiencies, but it is also based on a more fundamental problem for Barrow’s government. By cooperating with the EU on returns, they risk their domestic legitimacy because by and large, most Gambians in Europe do not want to return home.

    The initial euphoria that surrounded the democratic transition is wearing off. Many reform processes such as in the security sector and in the media environment are dragging. The economic situation of many has not improved. Allowing more deportations from the EU is perceived as betrayal by many migrants and their families.

    The government is frequently suspected to play an active role in returns and is accused of witholding information about their dealings with the EU and member states like Germany. Incidentally, President Barrow is currently seeking to extend his rule beyond the three-year transition period originally agreed upon, ending in January 2020. Opposition to these plans is widespread.

    In these politically tense times, pressing a pause button on returns fulfilled a symbolic function by defending Gambians against foreign national interests. The recent lifting of the moratorium is politically very risky. It paves the way for more of the deeply unpopular chartered return operations.

    What next?

    On the whole, The Gambia has little room to manoeuvre. It is highly dependent on the EU’s goodwill and financial support for its reforms process. In line with the development focus of the EU, the position of the government is to prepare the ground for more “humane” repatriations, which will need more time and joint efforts.

    This would include better and more comprehensive reintegration opportunities for returned migrants. Reintegration is already the focus of various projects funded by the European Union Trust Fund. Programmes like the International Organisation for Migration’s ‘Post-Arrival Reintegration Assistance’ for returnees from Europe are up and running. However, they only serve a limited number of returnees and cannot meet all their needs.

    It is important to note that the role of the Gambian state in providing reintegration support has been marginal.

    With the lifting of the moratorium EU-Gambia cooperation stands at a crossroads. If EU member states maintain their hardline returnee approach The Gambia’s new government will continue to struggle with its legitimacy challenges. This could potentially jeopardise democratisation efforts.

    In the alternative, the EU could take a more cooperative stance by working on more holistic, development-oriented solutions. A starting point would be to move away from plans to return high numbers of failed asylum seekers. Sending back large numbers of migrants has never been feasible.

    The Gambian government will be more honest about its migration dealings with the EU if the agreements are fair and practical. Most importantly, if Gambians had access to fair and practical migration pathways this would lessen cases of irregular migration, which continue to remain high.

    Without a greater share of legal migration, the issue of return will continue to be particularly contentious.

    https://theconversation.com/why-return-from-europe-is-causing-problems-for-the-gambia-124036
    #Gambie #retour #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés_gambiens #développement #coopération_au_développement #aide_au_développement #conditionnalité_de_l'aide #Allemagne #moratoire #réintégration #European_Union_Trust_Fund #Trust_Fund #Post-Arrival_Reintegration_Assistance #OIM #IOM
    ping @karine4 @_kg_

    J’ai ajouté « #deportees » dans la liste des #mots autour de la migration :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/414225
    Et plus précisément ici : https://seenthis.net/messages/414225#message812066
    #terminologie #vocabulaire
    ping @sinehebdo

    Ajouté à la métaliste développement-migrations, autour de la conditionnalité de l’aide :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

  • Dictators as 
Gatekeepers for Europe : 
Outsourcing EU border 
controls to Africa

    The USA is divided around the wall President Trump wants to build along the Mexican border. Europe has long answered this question at its own southern border: put up that wall but don’t make it look like one.

    Today the EU is trying to close as many deals as it can with African states, making it harder and harder for refugees to find protection and more dangerous for labour migrants to reach places where they can earn an income. But this is not the only effect: the more Europe tries to control migration from Africa, the harder it becomes for many Africans to move freely through their own continent, even within their own countries.

    Increasingly, the billions Europe pays for migration control are described as official development assistance (ODA), more widely known as development aid, supposedly for poverty relief and humanitarian assistance. The EU is spending billions buying African leaders as gatekeepers, including dictators and suspected war criminals. And the real beneficiaries are the military and technology corporations involved in the implementation.

    https://darajapress.com/publication/dictators-as-%e2%80%a8gatekeepers-for-europe-%e2%80%a8outsourcing-eu-bo
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #dictature #dictatures #Afrique #contrôles_frontaliers #fermeture_des_frontières #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #développement #livre

    Ajouté à la métaliste autour de l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765340

    Et celle-ci sur le lien migrations et développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    ping @karine4 @isskein @pascaline

    • Op-ed: The Birth Defect of EU Migration Diplomacy

      Prevention of migration to Europe, especially from Africa, was a priority of the previous Commission and, as it looks, likely to remain as such for the new Commission.

      This makes it increasingly difficult for refugees to find protection. And it is becoming increasingly dangerous for migrant workers to reach places where they can seek income. But that is not the only consequence. The more Europe tries to control migration, the more difficult it becomes for many Africans to move freely within their own continent, even within their own country.

      The EU investment is substantial. From the beginning of the millennium until 2015, the figure was around two billion euros. By 2020, at least another 15 billion euros will have been added. The EU will pay for the costs incurred by controlling migration itself: supplying detained refugees, jeeps or ships for the border police, deportations, reception camps. But it gives even more, in a sense as a premium: an extra portion of development aid for the coalition of the willing in matters of border protection.

      Some African states, such as Tunisia, therefore make it a punishable offence to leave for Europe without papers. Some save themselves such a law and imprison migrants just like that – for example Libya. Some set up border posts where there haven’t been any so far – Sudan, for example. Some introduce biometric passports that many of their citizens cannot afford – such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which charges 185 dollars for one of the new so-called e-passports produced by a Belgian-Arab consortium. Some take back deportees from Europe, even if they are not their own citizens – for example Morocco. Some states block migration routes with soldiers – Egypt, for example. Some allow Frontex and European Police-Officers to come and help with this – Niger, for example. And some close the borders: not only for transit migrants, but also for their own citizens if they want to enter Europe irregularly – Algeria, for example.

      More and more often, the money paid in return for controlling migration is booked as Official Development Assistance (ODA). It is a misappropriation of funds that are there to alleviate poverty and hardship. It also contradicts the sense of development aid because labour migration is a blessing for poor countries. It brings money into the coffers of small traders and farmers. This mixture of development aid and migration control will increase. “Combating the root causes” is the new paradigm of development policy.

      Günter Nooke, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner, had an idea on what Africa’s future could look like. In October 2018 he proposed that African states should give up parts of their territory against payment so that the EU could settle refugees there: “Perhaps one or the other African head of government is prepared to give up a piece of territorial sovereignty in exchange for a lease and allow free development there for 50 years. Migrants could be settled there in special economic zones, supported by the World Bank or the EU or individual states.” Such statements are hardly beneficial neither in the formal relationship between Europe and Africa nor in broader segments of the public on the African continent.

      But the cordon sanitaire that the EU is trying to weave against undesirable migration is full of holes. The blueprint agreement with Turkey is crumbling. The number of arrivals in the Aegean islands is currently higher than at any other time since the EU-Turkey deal came into force. Boats from Libya keep leaving, arrivals in Morocco increases.

      The massive political pressure that had been built up for the African states to recognise for example the EU „Laissez Passers“ – passport replacement papers that the deportation country can simply issue itself – or otherwise contribute to increasing the deportations of those obliged to leave has had only a limited effect. And last February, the African Union made it clear that it will not accept transit EU asylum camps on African soil.

      Neither the transit regions nor the regions of origin will let themselves be used in the long term as reception camps or assistant EU border guards. The consequence of this is that the EU cannot solve its migration problem outside its own territory on the long run. The old Commission had consistently refused to accept this insight. The new Commission would now have the opportunity not to repeat this mistake.

      https://www.ecre.org/op-ed-the-birth-defect-of-eu-migration-diplomacy