International campaign against readmission agreements EU-third countries

A few years ago the European Union decided to struggle against immigration and started to condemn any illegal movements. For the time being the European policy on asylum and immigration is based on repression.

In order to realize this project the Union decided to create cooperation with the “third countries”, those where immigrants are from, and tried to attack the first cause of immigration.

What was supposed to be an improvement (struggling against the cause could have meant struggling against poverty, conflicts) turned to sole repression. The main goal for the states of the Union is to deport illegal foreigners.

Thus, for now, cooperation means negotiating readmission agreements with countries outside EU the foreigners are from, or where they passed through ; in order to take them back.

In exchange, economic and development help agreements are sometimes signed.

This strategy shows the construction of the Europe according to security matters, denying fundamental rights ; this policy must be denounced in many points :

- On the politic of “given-given”

Readmission agreements are based on a real unfair negotiation since the Union put a huge pressure on the “third countries” to reach its goal. The tools used are so important and the conditions can be very tough. For example, receiving a help for development for Morocco had been conditioned to the start of the negotiation of the readmission agreement.

- On the consequences of this readmission policy on the “third countries”

The readmission creates in those countries, often the poorest, the obligation to support the burden of a population which disturbs the social, the economic and the democratic construction. This method is at the origin of the creation of new camps (official or unofficial) where the minimum of legal and humanitarian standards are not guaranteed.

Moreover we have to remind that the stop of the emigration in few regions might become a real problem, where the development is based on the incomes of the migrants (example of the “River valley” in Senegal).

On the long term, this politic should provoke strong tensions between the population of the origin countries and the European countries.

- On the body of the readmission agreements

With the future European Constitution, the European Union will be part of the European Convention of Human Rights (E.C.H.R.). According to the first article of this Convention the Union will have to respect the principle of the responsibility and will have to assume any violations of the rights protected in the Convention ; violations committed by the Union on its territory or outside.

As a minimum, the ECHR forbids the expulsion of people who are about to seek for a protection, whatever the country or region they are from, then none automatic expulsion has to be done to the origin country, even if it is a safe third country according to the European regulation.

Unfortunately, deportation is right at the centre of the EU immigration policy, which does not respect human rights.

This strategy is unfair but also inefficient : it is not this kind of “cooperation” which will cancel the will or the obligation for people to move, or to escape from their country.

We invite you to think about different ways of actions in order to denounce those agreements, to stop their negotiations, and to impulse a reorientation of EU immigration and asylum policy.