Facilitating Mobility and Fostering Diversity: Getting EU Migration Governance to Respect the Human Rights of Migrants
CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe, No. 92
42 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 4, 2016
Migration towards Europe has surged over the past few years, overwhelming government authorities at the national and EU levels, and fuelling a xenophobic, nationalist, populist discourse linking migrants to security threats. Despite positive advances in the courts and worthy national initiatives (such as Italy’s Operation Mare Nostrum), the EU’s governance of migration and borders has had disastrous effects on the human rights of migrants. These effects stem from the criminalisation of migrants, which pushes them towards more precarious migration routes, the widespread use of administrative detention and the processing of asylum claims under the Dublin system, and now the EU–Turkey agreement. Yet, this paper finds that with the right political leadership, the EU could adopt different policies in order to develop and implement a human rights-based approach to migration that would seek to reconcile security concerns with the human rights of migrants. Such an approach would enable member states to fully reap the rewards of a stable, cohesive, long-term migration plan that facilitates and governs mobility rather than restricts it at immense cost to the EU, the member states and individual migrants.
Keywords: migration, Europe, EU, EU–Turkey, human rights, migrants
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