Migration Drivers, the EU External Migration Policy and Crisis Management

Fulvio Attinà
The present paper 2 is a study of the response of the EU institutions and leaders to the inflow of irregular migrants from 2011 to 2016. The first section is the synthetic presentation of the migration drivers of our times at the global and local level. In section two, the citizens' perception of the migrants as a threat is briefly discussed, and the border control and immigration policies of the EU are reviewed. In section three, the 'Trans boundary crisis management' model opted for analysing
more » ... opted for analysing the EU migration crisis management is presented. Section four presents the analysis of the four scenarios of the European management of the current migration crisis. In the concluding section, the results of the analysis are summarily discussed. The analysis demonstrates that the EU leaders have been late in detecting the characteristics of the phenomenon and have not conceded to reconcile their conventional view to the features of the current migration. They have been unable to make response decisions well timed and acceptable to all. Lastly, they have been unable to stand firm on those management decisions they agreed on with difficulty and failed to formulate a shared message about the crisis and communicate credible messages to citizens about their ability to manage it. The Mediterranean migration flows are not unexpected to migration experts. The upward trend of migration in all the corners of the world was predicted more than two decades ago (Castle and Miller, 1993). Demographers further warned about the flow from Africa because of the high fertility rate, the very low income levels and almost no job opportunities in the continent. Students of economic development invariably claimed that a huge reform process was necessary to shrink the structured unemployment gap between the developed and developing world. With such knowledge in mind, one can say that European policy-makers have either been deaf to such warnings, or they underestimated the alerts. But the political leaders say the magnitude of the current flow across the Mediterranean is exceptional and unexpected as it derives from the fortuitous overlap of a well-known demographic and economic change process and uncontrolled conditions existing in local theatres like civil wars and the population uprising against Arab regimes.