Policy roundtable and preliminary findings in Rome

Policy roundtable and preliminary findings in Rome

On 17th May 2016 the MEDMIG team hosted an afternoon of presentations and discussion on migration in the Mediterranean at the Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) in Rome, Italy.

During the event it was discussed how the europeanisation of the ‘migration crisis’ has highlighted the crisis of the EU as a common project. Failed relocation and new forms of precarity and exclusion, caused by increasing asylum rejections and deferred expulsion orders in Italy, are clear examples of this in practice.

The preliminary findings from the MEDMIG project show how the diversity within the migrant population in Italy has important implications in terms of political and public perceptions, representations and responses to the crisis. The motivations of those who make the journey towards Italy also signal the limitations of the simplistic distinction between ‘refugees’ and ‘economic migrants’ which has dominated much of the political debate. Migratory patterns and individual experiences are in fact in constant transformation, responding to the evolving circumstances found in places of rest, settlement and transit, and particularly to frequent episodes of violence and exploitation along the route.

Nando Sigona commented that ‘as well as seeking to reduce the number of arrivals, European states have not hesitated in stepping back from their international obligations towards refugees. The efficiency and effectiveness of the pact between the EU and Turkey has been evaluated solo in terms of the capacity to limit the arrivals rather than the living conditions of the refugees blocked in Turkey or sent back to the same places they have escaped from’.

Simon McMahon said ‘we have recently seen a series of political manoeuvres seeking to stop migration flows across the Central Mediterranean through agreements with the Libyan government and military action on the Libyan coast. As our research shows, these moves put people’s lives at even greater risk. Migrants in Libya already find themselves in terrible conditions, victims of violence and exploitation in a country that is still at war; for them the dangerous sea crossing is the only escape they have’.

Joining the MEDMIG team in Rome were the following presentations:

  • Accogliere: la vera emergenza, Gabriella Guido (LasciateCIEntrare)
  • Corridoi Umanitari, Daniela Pompei (Comunità di Sant’Egidio)
  • Mappa dell’accoglienza che esclude, Marco Bertotto (MSF)
  • Monitoraggio delle politiche italiane di esternalizzazione, Sara Prestianni (Arci).

The event was chaired by Ferruccio Pastore (FIERI).

For further information, consult the forthcoming MEDMIG briefing on the Central Mediterranean route.