The debate in Italy and Europe on how to govern migration often revolves around national policies and politics. The irregular arrival of migrants on European shores has focused public attention on how to manage migratory flows at the macro level, something that falls inevitably under the responsibility of the central government of each member state, or of the EU as a whole.
Since 16 September, the drop in sea arrivals to Italy has entered its fifteenth month. Last August, less than 1,500 migrants have entered Italy irregularly by sea: the lowest number in a Summer month since 2012, the year before the “migration crisis” starterd. And while in September political instability in Libya spiked, departures from the country have remained low.
Almost seven years have now passed since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, which has given rise to a situation of “organised chaos” in Libya. Leaders change, alliances change, but state institutions remain weak, confined to a small part of the region and sometimes divided between the Eastern and Western parts of the country, while sub-national affiliations continue to prevail over and prevent the rebuilding of a new legitimacy and national identity.
During the few last weeks, migration policies discussions have heated up. At June's European Council, discussions drew out over the night, and a deal was finally clinched at 5 am in the morning.
Two years have passed since the refugee deal between the European Union and Turkey that officially closed the so-called "Balkan Route". But in these two years, facts have shown that this route has not been completely closed: it has only changed its directions and has become even more dangerous for migrants who are trying to reach Europe.
Working language: English and Italian
The opinions expressed in this Conference were strictly personal.
The EU is struggling to cope with the so-called “migration crisis” that has emerged over the past few years. Designing the right policies to address immigration requires a deep understanding of its root causes. Why do Africans decide to leave their home countries? While the dream of a better life in Europe is likely part of the explanation, one also needs to examine the prevailing living conditions in the large and heterogeneous sub-Saharan region.
On May 5, in the context of the G7 “engagement groups” promoted by Italy’s Presidency of the G7, ISPI organized the Think Tank 7.
Last Sunday Chechen police declared having registered 1.1 million people participating in the protest against the “genocide” of Muslims in Myanmar held in the center of Grozny (the capital of the Chechen republic). The number of participants may be overestimated, since the Republic's overall population is 1.3 million people, but the importance of this protest for Russia’s internal stability and international political agenda is hard to overestimate.
The opening of the so-called Western Balkan route in the summer of 2015 brought the region back to our living rooms and to political boardrooms. One could sense relief and hope among those long advocating for increased efforts on the side of the EU for the Thessaloniki agenda to reach its finalité. Relief because it looked like the immense strains the refugee wave put on the countries along the route did not seem to endanger the regional stability still feared to be fragile.