The ‘irregular’ distraction in the New Pact

Progressive Migration Group series

Policy Brief

26/11/2023

In September 2020, the European Commission presented a ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’ that proposed “a comprehensive approach, bringing together policy in the areas of migration, asylum, integration and border management, and European Union’s (EU) relations with third countries”.

The proposal consists of an intricate and complicated set of legislation that, at least in theory, should reform the EU’s current asylum and migration policy, and ensure a holistic approach to migration management. According to the agreed roadmap, the European legislators should adopt the ‘new’ Pact by May 2024. However, the outcome of the ongoing negotiations is impossible to foresee, as EU member states’ deeply conflicting interests may eventually jeopardise a final agreement. In its current form, the Pact has been criticised by many observers, who regard it, beyond the dominant rhetoric that speaks of reform, as ‘old wine in a new bottle’.

The Pact, in fact, insists on the existing EU strategy, focused on curtailing ‘irregular migration’ and on the securitisation of migration. Such a regressive approach does not comply with human rights standards and worsens migrants’ vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the Pact does not take into consideration the interests and needs of the origin and transit countries it will have an impact on. This policy brief argues that only a negotiated strategy between Africa and Europe that reflects a common understanding of migration, mobility and development can eventually benefit both continents.

Progressive Migration Group

FEPS, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung EU Office and Fondation Jean-Jaurès came together to establish the Progressive Migration Group (PMG). The group, chaired by Anna Terron Cusi and composed of African and European migration experts, explores the relations and cooperation between the European Union and the countries of origin and transit, with the aspiration of abandoning the prevailing stagnant narratives surrounding migration, and, above all, with the ambition of formulating innovative recommendations and policy proposals for progressive forces at the EU and national levels in the field of migration management as well as in other policy areas that have an impact on migration causes and flows.

In particular, the project focuses on how these complex relations have been interpreted and translated into policies by the EU institutions, mostly aimed at curbing (irregular) migration by externalising migration control and management. This is a component of EU policy still prevailing in the (New) Pact for Asylum and Migration.

The PMG formulates alternative migration schemes between Africa and Europe that take on board this more profound understanding of this nexus.

Network
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Related publications
17/05/2024

Growing remittance industry

Progressive Migration Group series
22/12/2023

Designing labour migration policies that work for the EU and African countries

Progressive Migration Group series
25/11/2023

Bridging the gap between EU migration and development policies

Progressive Migration Group series
24/11/2023

A no-win situation

Progressive Migration Group series
Related events
08/11/2023
EP, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Progressive Migration Group

An African-European dialogue on migration
21 - 22/09/2023
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Expert meeting)

Progressive Migration Group meeting

08 - 09/06/2023
Barcelona, Spain (Expert meeting)

Progressive Migration Group meeting

Find all related publications
Publications
13/06/2024

The Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation: Towards future-proof crisis management and responses?

New Pact Implementation series
04/06/2024

The new Screening and Border Procedures: Towards a seamless migration process?

New Pact implementation series
17/05/2024

Growing remittance industry

Progressive Migration Group series
13/05/2024

Labour migration from the European periphery to the EU’s core

FEPS YAN Series
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
30/11/2023

Is it time to turn down the volume on the migration debate?

29/09/2023

Lampedusa tragedy: 10 years later nothing has changed

19/06/2023

Chronicle of a failure foretold

Find all related events
Events
Past
11 - 12/06/2024
Online (Expert meeting)

Progressive Migration Group meeting

24/01/2024
FEPS HQ

Progressive Yearbook launch

08/11/2023
EP, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Progressive Migration Group

An African-European dialogue on migration
Find all related news
News
07/12/2023

Call for Tender – Research on Migration

This call for tender closed on 05/01/2024
26/01/2023

Grzegorz Pietruczuk is FEPS Progressive Person of the Year

FEPS Progressive Person of the Year 2023
10/12/2022

Multiannual research project: Disinformation about migration in the EU

How to counteract disinformation effectively?
01/10/2018

International Progressives gathered in the framework of the UNGA to send a message on Migration

Find all related in the media
In the media

Is it time to turn down the volume on the migration debate?

by IPS Journal 13/11/2023
IPS Journal article about FEPS policy briefs 'Communicating on migration'