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School of Law

Queen Mary Lead Study Investigates the EU Approach to Migration in the Mediterranean

Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax was lead author of the expert study that examines the EU approach on migration in the Mediterranean, covering developments from the 2015 refugee crisis up to the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

Map of the Mediterranean, showing Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece, South East Europe and North Africa

The study assesses the effect the 2015 refugee crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have had on the design, implementation, and reform of EU policy on asylum, migration and external border control, and documents their ramifications on the actors who operate and are impacted by these policies, including immigration authorities, civil society organisations, and the migrants themselves.

It includes a review of the state of play of relevant EU asylum and migration legislation and its implementation, an appraisal of the situation in the Mediterranean, and a thorough examination of the external dimension of the EU migration, asylum and border policies, focusing on cooperation with third countries (Turkey, Libya and Niger), incorporating human rights and refugee law considerations and an analysis of the implications of funding allocations under the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the Refugee Facility in Turkey.

The main goal is to test the correct application of EU and international law, having regard to increased allegations of human rights violations, undue criminalisation, and complicity of the EU in atrocity crimes committed against migrants at sea, stranded in Libya, or contained in Niger and Turkey. The role of EU agencies (Frontex and EASO) is also assessed alongside the bilateral or multi-lateral initiatives adopted by MS to confront the mounting challenges at the common external borders of the EU, incorporating the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility (Article 80 TFEU) as a horizontal concern.

45 recommendations have been formulated for the European Parliament to take account of in current and future negotiations regarding the New Pact on Migration and Asylum revising EU common policies on migration, asylum, return, border controls, and external relations.

European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the study, at the request of the LIBE Committee. Read the full study.

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