Reversing the Perspective: How European Stakeholders React to Migration Policy Frames of Southern Mediterranean Counterparts

This paper investigates how European institutional and civil society actors frame and assess EU migration policies in the Mediterranean area. Based on extensive in-depth interviews, the report analyses how European actors describe the overall EU approach to cooperation with Mediterranean third countries in the field of migration; how they evaluate the most recent and relevant EU policies in this field; and which are the actors that they identify as key players in this policy area. European civil society actors proved to share the critical views expressed by their civil society counterparts in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. They described the EU’s discourse as securitizing and Eurocentric, highlighting that it also translates into securitizing, Eurocentric and conditionality-based policies and practices. They lamented the lack of legal migration opportunities, but at the same time they praised the European Commission for its efforts in this field. They also claimed the lack of gender-sensitive or gender-specific policies in the area of migration and the limited involvement of SEM CSOs in migration policymaking. The paper also explores possible alternative policy instruments, looking into the pros and cons of a more participatory governance of migration from the perspective of EU officials and civil society actors.

Rome, IAI, July 2018, 22 p.
Working Paper 18
Publication date: 

1. Methodology and Fieldwork
2. Assessing the EU’s General Approach to Migration Cooperation in the Mediterranean
3. Evaluating EU Cooperation Policies with SEM Countries in the Field of Migration

3.1 Labour Migration Policies: The Need for a Stronger Mediterranean Dimension
3.2 Legal Migration Pilot Projects: A Promising Development
3.3 Mobility Partnerships (MPs): Positive Partnership, Limited Mobility
3.4 Facility for Refugees in Turkey and EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: Useful Instruments Diverted by Security Concerns
3.5 Improving Cooperation on Readmission through a Restrictive Visa Policy: A Revival of Negative Conditionality
3.6 The Lack of Migration-Related Gender Policies
4. Identifying Actors Involved in Migration Policy-Making in the Mediterranean
4.1 Role of Civil Society Actors in SEM Countries
4.2 Role of the European Union
4.3 Regional Cooperation
4.4 Role of External Actors
5. Exploring New Policy Instruments for a Renewed and More Cooperative Governance of Migration

Articles and papers
Main EU policy documents analysed
Annex: List of Interviews

Research area