The EU’s “scrambled” approach to the Libyan migrant crisis
Africa Portal has published an article by Jalel Harchaoui exploring the EU’s involvement in the Libyan migrant crisis. The author highlights how the Italian and French administrations in particular, have worked to confront or insulate themselves from the situation. Harchaoui argues more broadly that the EU’s approach to the crisis has been a “self-defeating scramble”, suggesting:
Throughout 2017, divergence among member states proved the principal manifestation of EU’s frailty. But this year, convergence will be the main – and perhaps more self-defeating – trend.
Almost all EU governments are indeed rushing toward parochial, securitised responses to the migrant crisis. Poland, Hungary and Denmark refused to comply with an European Commission plan agreed in 2015 to allocate 160 000 migrants fairly among states. Austria’s new far-right government, whose predecessor militarised the Italian border, wants to toughen up the EU’s external borders, and, by way of a military intervention, have migrants interned on African soil, including in Libya. As Vienna and the Visegrád Group bluntly promote an illiberal and authoritarian approach to the migrant crisis, Brussels is unlikely to try bringing them into the fold. In fact, the EU has begun embracing their inclination.
Concretely, this backsliding to a security-only approach equates to a tacit abandonment of necessary institution-building initiatives in Libya. The consensus taking shape now across the EU is one for a policy of mere containment of Libya by the use of force, and little else. This diminishes the chances of a recovery of the embattled North African country from its failed-state status.
Click here to read the article in full.