EU Plan on Migration Will Only Give North Africans More Reason to Flee

As the EU Foreign Affairs Council discusses Egypt and Libya today, the focus is on how to slam the door shut on refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean. The bloc’s negotiations with Cairo and Tripoli aim to outsource migration control ahead of upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France, and Germany.

But plans to support regional security forces’ efforts to prevent people leaving North Africa are shortsighted. Bolstering authoritarian regimes will only lead to more human rights violations and more people determined to flee them.

The date of the meeting alone should give the EU pause for thought. It has now been a year since 28-year-old Cambridge researcher Giulio Regeni was abducted, tortured, and murdered in Egypt. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has failed to arrest his killers and shown no interest in a full investigation.

Al-Sisi’s security forces are strongly implicated in Regeni’s death. The postgraduate had been researching the trade union movement, perceived as an opposition group by the government. Police are reported to have taken him into custody shortly before he died, and a forensics expert found he was tortured and questioned for a full week at intervals of 10 to 14 hours. The expert also found Regeni’s body had more than two dozen broken bones, including all his fingers and toes, stab wounds in the soles of his feet, cigarette burns, and a broken spine.

Regeni’s fate is only the tip of an Egyptian iceberg. Since al-Sisi came to power in a coup, authorities have imprisoned tens of thousands of Egyptians. They have tortured activists, frozen NGO assets, and imposed travel bans on critical voices.

If Egyptian officials are involved in the horrific murder of Regeni, only pressure from outside the country is likely to lead to justice. Yet with Donald Trump as U.S. president, we can expect no American intervention. The U.S. leader has already praised al-Sisi as a “fantastic guy” who “really took control of Egypt” after forces under al-Sisi’s command killed at least 817 protesters during the Rabaa massacre.

As a result, EU intervention is fast becoming the last hope for pro-democracy activists in Egypt and across the Middle East and North Africa. The EU’s current direction will end up dashing those hopes. Member states’ desperation for deals to stop migration at the point of origin only encourages despots in the region further. Efforts to stem the flow of migrants will be used as an excuse to clamp down harder still on civil society.

Al-Sisi’s regime is already counting on this. In November, the Egyptian parliament passed a draconian law that threatens to wipe out independent civil society in the country. The bill requires NGOs to seek permission from government for almost every activity they plan to carry out. The EU has yet to publicly speak out against it.

This silence risks emboldening other strongmen across the region, encouraged by the rise of authoritarian leaders in some European capitals and the United States. It’s not surprising that regimes across the region are making use of terror threats and radicalization to justify repression to Western partners. Turkey’s skillful manipulation of the Syrian refugee crisis to wrest concessions from the EU has not gone unnoticed by its neighbors, who are busy striking their own deals with Brussels.

In EU deals with the region, short-term economic interests and short-term stability are trumping the bloc’s democratic principles. This approach was effectively codified in the November 2015 review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, which replaced action plans that included a strong human rights component with “partnership priorities” to be agreed on with human rights–violating governments.

Member states are compounding the damage done by this approach by forcing the EU to use funds allocated for protecting and promoting human rights to pay for addressing the refugee crisis. Middle East and North African governments’ use of refugees as bargaining chips will only exacerbate this trend and render EU response to the closing space for civil society more difficult still.

It’s time the EU woke up. Decades of courting Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Ben Ali and the civil wars that followed should have taught the EU and United States a lesson. Collectively sacrificing short-term economic gain for principles can prevent long-term pain in the future. The worsening of relations between one member state and a dictator should not be an opportunity for another to sweep in and sign a new defense, oil, or gas contract—only to complain about the refugees that follow.

The EU should be speaking with one voice when it comes to its foreign and security policy. Now is the moment for it to put public pressure on al-Sisi to send the law back to parliament. A strong response to the murder of Giulio Regeni and al-Sisi’s crackdown on Egyptian civil society would make a good first stand.

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The north African states are considered by the German authorities' safe and civilised , permitting the German executives to enforce return social and economy migrants to their home country, if they come and ask for asylum to be granted without providing strong proofing documentation of threat and danger for life and limb by ruling authorities in their home country.
Residence permit through illegal migration in Germany is yet not possible and trying without reason and good luck will create a long time of uncertainty and suffering. The German government will legally punish wilful lies on the migrants identity and nationality, or missing or faked personal documents. The German society is expecting the asylum seeking persons to honour the German law and culture with respect, during and after the integration period. The accepted asylum seekers (refugees) are financially supported by the social system and receive free medical assistance in demand. The migrants, not holding an unlimited permit of residence, are not participating from the social support, unless immobile due to illness and timely without own financial support, according to German social laws.

After the elections in Germany autumn 2017, depending on the size of political shift in the conservative direction, it is expected that the illegal migration will be totally stopped to enable the protection of the accepted asylum seeking refugees in Germany.
Potential future migrants from the north African states should be made aware of the extreme high risk by aiming for Central Europe.
The outlook for the EU member states' socio- economic development within the coming 10 to 15 years is not promising and could produce poverty. Germany must take care of the possible financial clash of Euro debt covering, combined with severe key industrial technical shifts and be soft handled by new tax-supported income and social system in combination, financed by high BIP from IT driven export oriented industrial economy. These today's dreams have to come true.

Unbelievably Europe has "lost its fate". Somebody, somehow reduced Europe into the point of "no return". The game is over for Europe. Its a MULTIPLE levels game. Shame. Sorry can't write any more. No time for finger pointing. Game over. Its a fact. Got to go and take care of myself. Take care.

The most basic of human instinct is survival. When an individuals means of survival is threatened, it is only natural that they will seek any means necessary to live.

With this in mind, I believe the only way the EU will rightly handle the problem of immigration would be to seriously look into the reasons that push people to seek Europe as an alternative. It is in the best interest of the EU to support initiatives that encourage good governance, human rights and economic empowerment in countries where most of their immigrants come from. The EU for example cannot continue with trade relations that are biased towards poor countries. These trade terms, make the people poor and unable to survive. It is foolish to expect the people to just continue not surviving; surely, human instinct will compel them to come to EU's doorstep where they believe chances of survival are higher. It is also foolish to support regimes that oppress their people because they ostensibly provide security to a region. The people will not sit and wait to be oppressed, they will move to places where there is more freedom and human rights.
The EU therefore has no choice but to be at the forefront in supporting real economic empowerment, and ventures that enhance good governance. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to curtail a natural instinct to survive.

So in brief summary of all the outspoken on this page, the solution is that Europe is willing to accept millions and millions of migrants/refugees from poor countries regardless of what the people in Europe think. I think this is unacceptable, undemocratic and unreasonable and even disastrous.A country like Japan does accept only 28 of 10000 asylum seekers last year and is not critized at all for that. Why does Japan do that? They want their society to remain the same and keep their identity as Japanese. So why should Europe accept millions and millions of so called refugees from which the larger part does not accept western standards like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation, womens rights etc etc and will try to impose their standards on Europe when the numbers grow. Why would we accept a new religious system imposed on us by them who are coming to Europe only to profit from the society which we built? The social standards we built. What do these people bring us? Why should the tolerant people accept intolerant ones, peopple not tolerant to our standrards? Are we crazy? Are we stupid? Are we Blind? Are we self negligent? Don't we care about our society to stay open? Do we really think that our society will stay open if the number of people of the new religion coming to Europe will raise? Do we want to put all our values at risk only because of helping people? Maybe the people who vote now for anti-migration parties will still vote this year, but if they are constantly neglected by others in their society(left and liberal politicians and elites) they will go undergound and this will ignite rebellion and war. So the elites who think they have the influence and power should really think well this time. You are playing with fire if you neglect and ignore the anti-migrant or populist parties or simple try to influence left wing and liberal parties. That is a short sighted non sustainable policy.

The answer to the migrant and refugees crisis is not to let millions and millions in Europe but to help the countries in Africa and Middle East in building up their societies. Apart from that we should indeed make the climate better in the world by sustainable energy sources. Africa could play a major role in that energy solution which is one of the core reasons of these migration movements. So help the people locally and and focus on sustainable society and sustainable energy and life so that people wont have a reason to migrate or flee.

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