Valletta Summit on Migration: A booster shot or a new initiative?

Hard hit by the migration crisis, the European Union (EU) in a desperate effort to respond to the crisis has called a summit on migration in Valletta, Malta from 11-12 November 2015. The African side has been invited to participate in this meeting. The EU and African Union (AU) have presented separate position documents reflecting their priorities and approaches to address migration and its positive and negative consequences. The EU’s Valletta Summit document addresses five major focus areas: The Development benefits of migration and addressing root causes, Legal migration and mobility, International protection and asylum, Prevention of and the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, and Cooperation on return and readmission. There is a sixth hidden agenda: the new EU migration containment strategy. The EU has already adopted a short-term approach in the form of its ‘migration containment policy’ and use of military force in response to smuggling. But will containment of migrants work? In the context of the current migration crisis, containment refers to stopping migrants wherever they are, and holding them in countries of origin if possible, and in countries of transit if necessary. With this migration containment policy, EU is going to create ‘migration rentier states’ such as Turkey where EU pledged billions of USD. Similarly, EU has pledged an Emergency Trust Fund of USD 2 Billion for Africa that will be paid for African rentier states such as Eritrea. In addition to the migration rentier states, another key player in the containment policy is the Frontex, EU border agency, which is increasingly operating and securitizing migration in countries of transit for now and may continue to do so in the countries of origin.
Valletta Summit on Migration: A booster shot or a new initiative? | Africa Times