Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone, du 19 au 24 julliet 2010

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Border policies and human movement in the Euro Mediterranean area (007) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel
 

· NOT_DEFINED institution: European Institute of the Mediterranean, Interdisciplinary Research Group in Immigration, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (Spain)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Xavier Aragall and Ricard Zapata-Barrero

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: At EU level, migration in the recent decades has been perceived and treated as a threat, and thus immigration and border policies have became securitised as illustrates the yet now common image of ‘Fortress Europe’. The Hague Program of 2004 marks a partial shift from migration in the external relations to an externalization of migration, focusing on the European interests in border management. More recently, regarding the contents of the ENP Action Plans, the external policy of migration mainly focuses on border control, the fight against illegal immigration, cooperation against terrorism, and refugee protection with a specific emphasis on countries bordering the EU. This explains why at EU level, the external dimension of migration policies is linked to border control. Insofar present EU policies in this field can be seen as the reproduction of the internal migration European policy at the external level, which implies burden-sharing of the European borders with bordering countries, and the set up of migration management policies in the countries of origin, and especially illegal migration, following European interests. However, this externalisation of national immigration policies is not entirely articulated with the present multilateral frameworks of relationship between Europe and the countries of the southern shore of Mediterranean, particularly taking into account that these countries that are simultaneously transit and origin of migratory flows towards the EU. In fact, the dynamics of the States can enter into contradiction with the EMP priorities, emphasising the importance of the internal agenda, which will condition the migratory policies conceived to be developed outside the territory. Thus, we can find a clear distinction between an externalisation more aimed at internal security and stability interests and an externalisation that puts forward policies to be implemented outside the territory, but motivated by a search for innovative solutions.

Chair: Ricard Zapata-Barrero (Interdisciplinary Research Group in Immigration (GRITIM) of the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona)

Paper presenter: Sarah Wolff (The Netherlands Institute for International Relations), “Can EU Border Management Policies Respond To The Reality Of Euro-Mediterranean Migratory Dynamics?”
The paper proposes to look into the current EU border management policy and assess whether these policies respond to the challenges of migratory dynamics in the Euro-Mediterranean area. Investigating the current border management policy of the EU and its member states, the paper shows that it is often the results of bargains between the three institutions which display different interests. While member states seem to oscillate between the preservation of their national sovereignty and their plea to increase the means of an agency like Frontex, the European Commission displays a preference for further integration while the European Parliament seems to struggle against member states’ monopoly of the agenda. One common feature of EU border management politics is that in recent years it has mainly focused on the ‘control’ side of border management. Recent policy initiatives seem to indicate nonetheless a possible window of opportunity to conciliate the goals of EU border control policy into the wider EU approach towards migration. Such initiatives include for instance the training of European border guards in fundamental rights and asylum law, the creation of a post of EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, or the creation of a European Asylum Support Office. This evolution of EU border management policy will then be checked against the reality of the transnational dynamics in the Euro-Mediterranean area. It will be shown that similarly to what happens at EU internal level, the management of borders and migration by Mediterranean partners is trapped between a movement of securitization of borders and the necessity to renew their migratory policies. Recommendations will be made as to how future cooperation and policies should approach the management of borders and migration in order to apprehend the complex and evolving reality of Euro-Mediterranean migratory dynamics.

Paper presenter: Abdesselam El Ftouh (Fondation Hassan II pour les MRE), “Approche Critique De La Gestion Migratoire Europeenne Pour Un Changement De Paradigme ”
L’émigration marocaine vers l’Europe a été engagée dans les années 60 et ce, à la demande des pays européens. Elle a été organisée conjointement et d’une manière concertée avec le Maroc. La croissance économique, aidant, a permis vite d’en baliser le chemin. Cependant, dès les premières difficultés économiques des années 70, les pays européens ont décrétés unilatéralement la fin de la migration, ce qui était leur droit, et le regroupement familial. Depuis, toutes les décisions dans ce domaine ont été prises en Europe. Les pays du sud ne pouvaient qu’en prendre acte et s’aligner. Décréter une politique est un acte souverain certes, mais ses effets induits sur ses partenaires et sur les sujets concernés devraient être pris en compte. A défaut, il risque fort de dégager des effets pervers et/ou d’aboutir à des résultats inverses de ceux escomptés. Une approche critique de la politique de gestion migratoire européenne, au vu de ses effets induits, permet d’énoncer trois faiblesses :1. Son caractère unilatéral : « L’Autre ça n’est pas Moi » semble être la pensée sous-jacente commandant le dispositif européen de la gestion migratoire, d’où son caractère unilatéral. Elle aboutit fatalement à une politique protectionniste, conservatrice et à caractère sécuritaire. Cette pensée semble ignorer la géographie, la mémoire de l’histoire, l’interpénétration des intérêts et l’interconnexion économique entre les deux rives de la méditerranée. C’est ainsi que certaines décisions européennes affectant le Maroc ont donné lieu à un effet boomerang. Cela atteste que les parcours de l’Un et de l’Autre (pays du Nord et pays du Sud) sont fatalement convergeant. 2. Son caractère mécanique : La migration est traitée comme on traiterait un trop plein d’eau. On dresse les digues, on obstrue les canaux, on ferme les vannes, on installe des filtres et on refoule le trop plein, comme si la mécanique des fluides a inspiré le décideur politique. Or, si un tel traitement est efficace contre la matière « inerte » qu’est l’eau, elle ne le serait pas totalement contre le flux migratoire. Nous avons à faire à la faculté humaine de réactivité intelligente. Cette déshumanisation de la migration aboutit inéluctablement à des biais dans le domaine des Droits de l’Homme mais là n’est pas notre propos. Le dispositif en soi est rendu parfois caduc par la capacité d’adaptation du migrant et ses choix personnels de projet migratoire. Autrement dit, les dimensions psychologiques et sociologiques doivent être intégrées dans tout dispositif de traitement correct. Mettre l’Homme au centre de notre préoccupation, permettra indéniablement d’éviter des écueils et de gagner en efficacité. 3. Son caractère « primaire ou superficiel « Le corollaire de la migration est souvent perçue comme une perte d’emploi pour les autochtones et un mouvement de fonds à sens unique (de la rive nord vers la rive sud de la méditerranée). Cette perception donne lieu tout naturellement à une volonté de contrôler et de maîtriser systématiquement les mouvements humains et financiers consécutives à la migration. En fait, elle serait réductrice et « primaire » car elle ne considère pas les effets induits de la migration sur l’activation des échanges entre les peuples et les économies concernées. Le suivi des flux d’échanges dans le sens inverse, permet de saisir d’autres dimensions de la migration, aboutissant à envisager un nouveau paradigme dans ce domaine. L’intervention proposée visera, à travers les faits observés sur le terrain de la migration, à illustrer les faiblesses citées ci-dessus et mettre le doigt sur les limites du dispositif européen de gestion migratoire en vigueur. Elle fera la proposition d’un nouveau paradigme à explorer. Un faisceau de raisons économiques et sociales à caractère régional, qui devrait commander les relations en la matière, entre les deux rives de la méditerranée.

Paper presenter: Christian Kaunert (University of Salford, Manchester, UK), “Refugees And The European Union: Securitizing Vs Externalising Practices?”
In recent years, migration and asylum issues have become increasingly contentious in Western Europe - at the core of electoral campaigns in several EU member states: France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Spain and the UK. Since the events of the 9/11, it has been argued by some scholars that security has become the dominant force in the first phase of the Common European Asylum System. As a result, there has been an active debate on the ‘securitization’ of the EU asylum and migration policy (Huysmans, 2000, 2004; Bigo, 1996, 1998a, 1998b, 19998c, 1998d, 2001, 2002; Guild, 1999, 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2004, 2006; Guiraudon, 2000, 2003). In this context, ‘securitization’ refers to the theoretical suggestion that asylum and migration are presented as security threats, based on the framework by the so-called ‘Copenhagen school’ (Buzan, 1991; Buzan et al., 1998; Waever, 1993, 1995). Levy (2005: 35) suggests that 9/11 represents a turning point because ‘the trend towards liberalisation seemed to be stopped dead in its tracks by the events of 9/11’. Boswell (2007) concurs that while EU migration policies were not securitised since 9/11, this does not hold for asylum policies. Some non-governmental organisations (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Statewatch) have also expressed their fear that security concerns could affect the European Union effort to create a Common European Asylum System. However, this fear should be counter-intuitive. Especially the European Union is well known for its legalistic approach to policy problems, which aims to appear to always follow the letter of the law; in fact, the Commission is often derided for being technocratic. It seems thus counter-intuitive that the EU would ‘securitize’ the EU Asylum Policy. According to the Copenhagen School, who argue that an issue is transformed into a security issue (i.e. securitized) after a securitizing actor presents it as an existential threat and this ‘securitizing move’ is accepted by the audience, this would mean that EU institutions deliberately construct refugees as a security threat in order to be able to use ‘emergency measures’ (Buzan, 1991; Buzan et al, 1998; Waever, 1993, 1995). Buzan, Wæver and de Wilde (1998: 25) note that ‘the existential threat has to be argued and just gain enough resonance for a platform to be made from which it is possible to legitimize emergency measures or other steps that would not have been possible (‘)’ (idem). This means that the same EU institutions that want to give the impression of following the letter of the law want to construct a situation in which the letter of the law can be disregarded (‘emergency measures’). The way in which the EU institutions would aim to achieve this would be through a discursive construction of threats, thereby lifting the issues ‘outside the normal realms of politics’ (Buzan, 1991; Buzan et al, 1998; Waever, 1993, 1995). On the face of it, this seems plausible for right-wing politicians at the national level, but rather unlikely for EU bureaucrats who loathe nothing more than the ‘political limelight’. Moreover, this goes against several academic arguments that were often made about asylum cooperation in Europe. Amongst academic scholars in the field of immigration and asylum, the argument has been advanced that EU governments decided to ‘venue shop’; they decided to circumvent domestic pressures and obstacles, and therefore ‘escaped’ to legislate at the EU level where they were protected from these issues (Joppke, 1998, 2001; Freeman, 1998; Guiraudon, 2000, 2001, 2003; Boswell, 2003a, 2003b, 2007, 2008; Ellermann, 2008; Geddes, 2000, 2001; Stetter, 2000, 2007; Thielemann, 2001a, 2001b, 2004, 2005, 2006; Thielemann and Dewan, 2006; Lavenex, 1998, 1999, 2001a, 2001b, 2004, 2006; Occhipinti, 2003). EU member states, in this argument, have thus decided to enhance their co-operation in the field of asylum and migration (ibid) in a process driven by national bureaucracies. These state-centred accounts (esp. Joppke, 1998; Freeman, 1998) stress the resilience of nation states, their ability to control ‘unwanted immigration’ and the use of the EU by its member states as a device for attaining immigration and asylum (see Thielemann, 2001a, 2001b) policy objectives that are unlikely to be achieved at the domestic level alone. If indeed, national policy-makers are perfectly able to circumvent national pressures in order to restrict immigration and asylum at the EU level, why should they then ‘securitize’ the issues in order to achieve what they are already achieving? Why should national policy-makers go to a forum where technocracy is valued in order to securitize, which would be far easier in a national context? This paper analyses the interaction between the EU and refugees, which is caught between two different trends ‘ securitization practices and externalisation practices, i.e. the desire to circumvent national pressures and take decisions at the EU level, as well as continuously moving the ‘threat’ upwards and outwards. The relations between Europe and the countries of the southern Mediterranean are particularly affected by these twin developments ‘the changing migration patterns, which have been followed by increasing amounts of legal agreements between Europe and its southern neighbours. Thus, the paper deals with the following research questions: 1. How and under what conditions can supranational institutions influence policy-making processes in the EU asylum policy? 2. How can we explain securitizing practices in the EU refugee policy which follow increasing externalising practices shifting the ‘migration burden’ outside the EU dimension? 3. How do these developments lead to affect migration patterns in response to securitization and externalisation practices?

Paper presenter: Laure-Anne Bernes (University of Liege) "Migration, security and free trade. A case-study of the border-city of Ceuta"
This paper discusses the articulations between free trade, security and migration in the Western Mediterranean. It analyzes the implications of simultaneously reinforcing restrictive migration policies, epitomized by a strong political focus on EU’s external borders, and consolidating a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. The differentiated - and apparently contradictory - management of the flow of goods and people is analytically addressed through the lens of Ceuta’s border as a place that crystallizes economic and security tensions. We first deconstruct the link between free trade and migration, keeping an eye on the much-discussed NAFTA experience in North America. Although little attention has been paid to the Euro-Mediterranean case, research has challenged the overall logic that presupposes a positive and linear relation between trade and development on the one hand, and development and decreasing migration flows on the other. In this light the EU and its member States appear to be striving to conciliate contrasted objectives, which raises questions framed in terms of compatibility and efficiency. Efforts to control undocumented migration at the margins of the EU have indeed failed to significantly stem migration flows, while clashing with liberal values and economic requirements. In spite of mitigated results, initiatives aimed at tackling the issue of border permeability have proliferated. To grasp their significance, we review analyses that shed light on the politics of symbolism (borders as political stage), performative effects of security discourses and the crucial role played by customs, police and technology in framing migration issues in security terms. In line with approaches highlighting the limits of state-centric frameworks to address border issues, we argue that borders could be analyzed as “spaces of interactions” between multiple actors as well as places of a power struggle sustaining a regime of selective and negotiated mobility. The case of Ceuta provides empirical ground for this hypothesis. While strengthening territorial discontinuity and crafting the image of Fortress Europe, the physical “bordering” of Ceuta also blurs mobility dynamics. Describing the border through open/closed dichotomies thus downplays original features (and practices) displayed by borderlands such as Ceuta and its Moroccan neighborhood.