Since the 1990s, the European Union has embarked upon the development of the «external» dimension of its immigration and asylum policy, also known as «externalisation process». Several means, operations and instruments have been implemented for the purpose of making its neighbours (more or less close) take charge of controlling migration flows. Among these instruments, there is a figure that has become one of the linchpins of externalisation: the readmission agreement.
In fact, member states of the European Union and the Union itself encourage third countries to sign such agreements that commit them to accept the return to their territory of any people whose presence in the European territory is deemed undesirable (regardless of whether these people are their own nationals or people whose nationality is different but have been in transit in their country before reaching Europe). In exchange, these third countries are offered «compensation», particularly in terms of development aid, visa exemption or facilitation, or also in the economic field.
To face the opacity of the negotiation and the implementation of these agreements, and the lack of information concerning them, the Euro-African network Migreurop set up a working group devoted to studying them in 2008. This group strives to research, catalogue and divulge the texts of these agreements and regularly alerts MPs, MEPs and civil society at large about the dangers of signing them, particularly with regards to respect for human rights.
One of the means to raise awareness about this reality whose breadth is expanding, is to grant space to the people who are most affected: the people who are «expelled». The publication « Stories of expulsion» is the outcome of work that has been undertaken collectively with other associations that are partners of the Migreurop network. It does not merely attempt to explain the legal frameworks within which the «readmissions» of migrants are organised, but also, primarily, to carry the voice of the people who are expelled, returned or refouled; voices that relate the dramatic effects of this process better than any other means.
Press contact: Claudia Charles : 0033 1 43 14 84 83