Tragedies in the Mediterranean : analyzing the causes and addressing the solutions from the roots to the boats
Title: Tragedies in the Mediterranean : analyzing the causes and addressing the solutions from the roots to the boats
Author: ZARAGOZA CRISTIANI, Jonathan
Citation: Notes internacionals CIDOB, 2015, No. 124, pp. 1-5
External link: http://www.cidob.org/en/publications/publication_series/notes_internacionals/n1_124_tragedies_in_the_mediterranean/tragedies_in_the_mediterranean_analyzing_the_causes_and_addressing_the_solutions_from_the_roots_to_the_boats
In the wake of the April 19 tragedy in the Mediterranean, in which more than 900 migrants died when the boat taking them to Italy sank, politicians and experts from across Europe were swift to give their analysis of the causes of this dramatic event. In most cases, the geopolitical instability in Libya and Syria was held up as the cause, and a range of immigration policies were suggested to prevent the deaths of other migrants in the Mediterranean. After meetings and negotiations, the European Union agreed on a 10-point action plan on migration to address the urgent situation in the Mediterranean. This primarily consists of implementing migration control measures, such as the reinforcement of Joint Operations in the Mediterranean (namely Triton and Poseidon), or military operations to destroy boats used by smugglers, and it concentrates most of its efforts in two geographic areas, Libya and the Mediterranean. However, the analyses offered so far have overlooked two key elements for understanding the root causes of the tragedies and to propose effective and lasting solutions. This article reassesses the tragedies in the Mediterranean in terms of these two key elements. First, the need to analyze the push-factors of flows of irregular migration and asylum-seekers in the Mediterranean from a global and international perspective. To this end the present analysis takes into account not only the geopolitical context in the Mediterranean and Africa, but also traces the migratory routes from the Mediterranean back to their origin. Second, the analysis of the repeated tragedies has mainly focused on immigration and EU migration policies, but not from the perspective of international relations and EU foreign policy. In other words, there has been very little discussion about the likelihood that migratory flows currently targeting Europe via the Mediterranean may be a direct or indirect result of the decisions and inactions of the EU and its member states in relation to conflicts and tyranny in Africa and the Middle East. I argue that an approach based on a foreign policy perspective is needed (rather than an approach based exclusively on rigid and security-based immigration policies) in order to consider possible measures to prevent continued tragedies in the Mediterranean.
Type of Access: openAccess
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