EU migration policy in northern Africa: The logic of mobsters

The EU will only create more misery with its migration policy. As long as exploitation persists, people will try to get to Europe.

Weiß geschminkter Mann, mit, ebenfalls geschminkten Tränen

Protest for refugee's rights in Malaga, Spain Foto: reuters

The situation could hardly be more paradoxical: on the one hand, one speaks in a dramatized and exaggerated manner of the tens of thousands of sub-Saharan migrants living in Morocco and waiting to „penetrate“ Europe. But when it comes to taking responsibility for the gaps in the boat, which are a direct consequence of the European migration policy, the numbers are often played down and talk of some „illegal“ drowned.

The figures given in the first case are often the subject of negotiations on grants or political and diplomatic dividends. They are published in Europe by populist media in order to create anxiety among the population, thus justifying the implementation of a migration policy that is exclusively attributable to the security disposition. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to critically examine and question the figures circulating with regard to the so-called irregular migration.

The European Union has just started to build so-called hot spots on its territory, and many camps outside the EU, aimed at destroying those migrants wishing to move towards Europe and, on the other, those who are from Europe Have been deported. In order to safeguard this logic, the EU invents a whole new set of new concepts to protect its policy against the public. So one hears again and again from so-called „safe third countries“ or „safe countries of origin“.

Jurists may have wondered when they suddenly saw countries like Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, which the European Union considers safe. It is no longer that those countries are classified as safe third-country and / or countries of origin which guarantee the basic rights and freedoms of the citizens, but simply those who accept it to register themselves in the logic of the externalization of EU border policy. This means that for the EU, a country is considered to be „safe“ when its political leaders are both willing to stop migrants on their way to Europe, as well as those refugees who are returning as transit migrants through their country Traveled.

Shameful and unscrupulous

In the context of this migration policy, the EU has declared Morocco as a „safe third country“ and has given this country the role of „border arms“ for part of its external borders. The basic idea is to give responsibility for one's own actions and to leave the others the „dirty work“.

For the implementation of this policy, the EU is spending billions of Euros and is attracting political and economic dividends as incentives for the countries concerned. Are not the signatories of these treaties subject to the same mafia logic as the tugs, which they condemn as shameful and unscrupulous?

Despite the alarming human rights situation of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco, this country is classified as a „safe third country“. It ignores the fact that there are continual arrests and deportations from the northern border towns of Nador and Tangier, and those affected in the large cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Fès are simply exposed on the road. Those who have no papers are often deported to Oujda, where they are thrown into a ditch seven meters deep, which has been lifted to prevent the entry of migrants from Algeria to Morocco.

Vor „dramatischer“ Migration aus Afrika warnt die deutsche Regierung, von einem „Marshallplan“ ist die Rede. Doch die Milliardensummen, die Europa in Afrika ausgeben will, dienen nicht nur dem Kampf gegen Armut. Erklärtes Ziel der neuen EU-Afrikapolitik ist es, Flüchtlinge und Migranten schon tief im Innern des Kontintents aufzuhalten. Die taz berichtet seit Mitte November in einem Rechercheschwerpunkt darüber, zu finden unter

Die Recherche wurde gefördert von Fleiß und Mut e. V. (cja)

Recognized and without support

However, migrants who have been recognized by the UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Moroccan state are also denied the issuance of a passport. Access to the labor market and hospitals is also extremely limited.

There is only a chance for treatment if an employee of an antiracist group or NGO accompanies her. Furthermore, access to school education for migrant children is very difficult, despite official regulations, because there is no support or accompanying measures that ensure that most parents live in extremely precarious circumstances. In some schools even refugees are simply rejected. Another example of a particularly serious form of discrimination are sub-Saharan refugees who are begging on the street. In contrast to Syrian and Moroccan beggars, they are frequently arrested, imprisoned or deported to the Algerian border.

The EU's repressive and human rights-taking policy will certainly not stop the migration from sub-Saharan Africa. It will at most lead to a shift in the migration routes and drive the number of death victims even further. This recognition should have been achieved in the meantime in Europe and thus a change of course towards a humanist policy which respects the fundamental rights of migrants.

Exploitation as a cause of escape

The billions spent on European frontier protection and militarization will not stop the migration from sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, the EU should have the courage to name the true causes of migration and act accordingly. This includes, on the one hand, the fact that many European corporations have no interest in the ending of armed conflicts in Africa and, on the other, the fact that the exploitation of natural resources is supported or even promoted by multinational corporations by European and African governments. As long as these mechanisms of exploitation and hegemonic power do not change, people will continue to leave their countries.

As far as the commitment of the „Afrique Europe“ network is concerned, we have decided, in view of the current situation, to take concrete measures for the sub-Saharan women who arrive in Morocco and do not have a place to live. For them, we have built a shelter called Baobab. It is open to them and their children and has capacity for about 20 people. While the demand for seats is constantly increasing, capacity can unfortunately not be expanded. In September, we also started to set up a school education program for refugee children and have so far been able to integrate 30 children into the schools. For this project we are looking for individuals or organizations who would like to sponsor the school education of refugee children in Morocco

The author studied economics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was active in the student organization of the opposition party „Union for Democracy and Social Progress“ (UPDS). In 2002, he was imprisoned in the course of a demonstration against the regime of Joseph Kabila, but was able to flee. Since 2008 he lives and works in the Netherlands. He is an anti-racist activist in the network Afrique Europe Interact and author of the book „My Way from Congo to Europe – Between Resistance, Flight and Exile“ (2015)

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