The dispute on “closed” or “open” borders, given the increasing number of the former, rings out insecurities in EU member states socio-political equilibriums: globalization, conflicts and climate change are cause of global phenomena like high volatility and intensive mobility, even destabilizing. European Union is internally divided on security policies and economic development measures for Africa.
The border, under intense migratory pressure, assumes importance as social and cultural separation, a sort of “inside-outside” division. At the same time, European Union backs away from the decade-long process of supranational integration, faced with the prevalence of national particularisms, most of all in the management of migratory flows and relocation of refugees. “The good functioning of EU policy – reports the final document of the European Council (28 June) -, presupposes […] a more effective control of the EU’s external borders, the strengthening of external action and the internal dimension“.
At the institutional level, many oppositions are imposed on migratory policy: the reform of the Dublin III Regulation (604/2013), which establishes which Member State should examine requests for international protection, has been opposed by national governments, excluding the proposal approved by European Parliament (“Dublin IV”, November 2017), on a “distribution method” with fixed quotas for each member country. The political division on the relocation of asylum seekers remains; the immovability of the Visegrád group and the intransigence of Austria and Italy, prolongs the decision-making impasse. In 2017, the migratory flow in the Mediterranean (data: Eurostat, Unhcr) decreased by half compared to the previous year (172,300 people), as the number of deaths or missing passed from 5,096 in 2016 to 3,139. This year (data available at 26 June 2018), about 43,000 people have embarked and more than 1,000 have lost their lives.
In the 2015-16 period, according to Frontex, about 2.3 million people entered the EU illegally, by sea or along the “Balkan route”; it fell to 204,700 in 2017, the lowest figure for four years. The intervention the Mediterranean border provides for more resources in the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD): the so-called “Fund for Africa”, with 4.1 billion euros, will have to promote investments in energy and transport on the Continent, while the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMIF), as foreseen in the EU budget 2021-27, will be increased to € 9.2 billion (+ 40% compared to the 2014-20 period).
To tackle the “growing challenges of migration, mobility and security“, the European Commission has adopted “more flexible funding instruments“, such as the creation of the Integrated Border Management Fund, financed with 9.3 billion. Financial resources and operative coordination tools will be supported by political-institutional common positions to achieve the objectives? Difficult prospects, given the situation: political divisions in the EU remain broadly among European political actors.
Article published on eunews.it