A Failing Policy for Failed States: The EU and Maritime Migration out of Libya

CNR, Vol. 11, No. 2 (2015)

As this issue of CNR is published, there has been much coverage in the media about maritime migration to Europe. In their article, “A Failing Policy for Failed States: The EU and Maritime Migration out of Libya,” Andrew Bergel and Michelle Legassicke explore the policies and possible roles of naval and coast guard forces in the migration across the Mediterranean to Europe. Bergel and Legassicke outline the weaknesses of the current EU policies and focus on the successful policy adopted by Spain to deal with migration to Europe via the Canary Islands. The authors note that the current EU policies are reactive, and that a more proactive policy would be to address the flow of migration by increasing Libya’s capacity to deal with it. They discuss the possibility of using this issue as a way to build cooperation and capacity in the two competing governments of Libya. Rather than EU naval patrols in the Mediterranean, they suggest that it would be more effective and cheaper to train and equip the Libyan coast guard, and to provide funding to ensure that Libya has the capacity and the incentive to stop the human trafficking from its coasts – and with the possibility of kickstarting the process of building a national unity government in Libya.

Andrew Bergel and Michelle Legassicke are PhD candidates in the Department of Political
Science, Dalhousie University.

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