Written by Joanna Apap and graphics by Christian Dietrich
The Valletta Summit held in November 2015 was the venue for more than 60 countries to come together with the European Union and African Union institutions, as well as regional and international organisations involved, to address the current migration crisis. The summit was called for in April 2015 by the European Council, when European Union leaders held a special meeting on the migration situation in the Mediterranean, recognising the need to deepen dialogue and partnership with the African countries. The April European Council tasked the European Commission with proposing measures for immediate action, as well as policy options for the medium and longer term. To this end, on 13 May, the Commission presented its proposal for a European Agenda on Migration, which was followed on 27 May by the implementation plan for the first measures. More than 3 600 people have so far been declared missing in the Mediterranean sea in 2015. The grim death toll in the Mediterranean has provoked an urgent call for action as 2015 has been the deadliest year so far for migrants trying to get to Europe. The reasons for this significant increase in migration flows include, amongst others: war, political repression, and economic crisis.
Libya has become a popular starting point for many journeys, with human traffickers and smugglers exploiting the country’s power vacuum and increasing lawlessness. On 13 April 2015, a conference of foreign ministers from the European Union and the southern shores of the Mediterranean took place in Barcelona to discuss the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At centre stage of the agenda was stronger cooperation in the fight against Jihadist terrorism and irregular immigration. To this end, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tasked the Commission to come up with a proposal for a reviewed ENP, which was published on 18 November 2015.
Read the complete briefing on ‘European Neighbourhood Policy: Southern Neighbourhood – migration issues‘ in PDF.