Renzi’s Migration Compact: not exactly the change of course we expected

With Italy once again becoming the main migratory route after the closure of the Balkan route, the Italian government has tried to take the lead of the EU migration strategy by proposing a ‘Migration Compact’ non-paper. The document, presented last month by Italian PM Matteo Renzi to European foreign and defense ministers, suggests an EU strategy based on enhanced cooperation with third countries of origin and transit. Following the logic of the proposal, the cooperation would be aimed at externalizing the management of migration flows to third countries, on the model of the EU-Turkey agreement which is presented in the non-paper as a positive example to be replicate for future arrangements.

The Migration Compact also proposes the creation of Africa bonds to facilitate access of African countries to capital market in exchange of stronger cooperation on border control to reduce flows to the EU, return/readmission agreements as well as management of refugee flows, including the on-site screening of refugees and economic migrants. In addition the Italian PM suggests to improve legal migration opportunities and calls on member states to show solidarity and participate in resettlement schemes. The non-paper includes a list of concrete proposal to finance the Migration compact which goes from the reorientation of existing funds to the creation of new financial tools. Namely, the non-paper proposes the creation of an ad hoc “Instrument for the external action in the field of migration” (IEAM) and “common EU migration bond” to fund the migration management in Member States.

SOLIDAR agrees with the assumption of the paper that the main challenges for the EU comes from the mixed nature of the migration flow (economic and non-economic migrants) and that more solidarity is needed from all Member States to make progress towards an EU common strategy to manage migration. However, we are not convinced that externalizing the management of the migration flow to third countries on the model of the EU-Turkey agreement is the best solution to respect human rights of migrants and promote sustainable development. Therefore SOLIDAR is deeply concerned about the lack of a strong human right conditionality in the cooperation model proposed in the Migration Compact. Likewise, SOLIDAR is concerned about the suggested reorientation of existing instrument for external action (including support for development) to border surveillance, which will doubtfully serve the objective of saving lives and ensuring safe and legal channels to the EU.

© European Union 2015 - source:EP.