Five years after the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’, migration remains a significant political and humanitarian issue in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many of the longstanding deficiencies of current international migration governance. Regular migration pathways shrank to a minimum, the economic shock hit origin and transit countries hard, and the two forces combined heightened the risk of rising irregular migration flows, along and across the two shores of the Mediterranean. The pandemic exposed pre-existing structural weaknesses in Europe’s asylum and migration governance, revealing once again the need to strengthen the Common European Asylum System and to deepen “migration partnerships” between Mediterranean countries. While the European Commission’s “New Pact on Asylum and Migration” in September 2020 was a chance to address these vulnerabilities, multilateral efforts have almost ground to a halt, even as irregular migration across the Mediterranean is on the rise.
Watch the Rethinking Migration Panel, "Ready to Reset? New Migration Partnership for a post-pandemic Mediterranean", on the MED website.