Libyan Cooperation on Migration within the Context of Fortress Europe: North/South Relations during the Last Decade of the Gaddafi Era

Abstract

In this chapter I aim to analyse Libyan cooperation on migration within the context of Fortress Europe. I will assess the process of adoption and harmonisation of restrictive asylum and migration policies of European Union (EU) member states, as well as examine how the responsibility for assessing and managing asylum cases can be externalised to countries at the EU external borders, and to non EU countries: the Dublin System and the Safe Third Country notion will be considered reasons for the externalisation and transmission of migration policy from Italy to Libya. Furthermore, in this chapter I will analyse inter-state relations, asymmetry of power between north/south and the way this can be overcome by southern states. Finally, I will examine Libyan cooperation on migration with Italy and the EU, and show how this partnership represents an example of externalisation where Libya has not been unilaterally transferred the European approach on migration but has developed strategies to overcome power imbalance and influence both Italy and the EU.

Key Words: Dublin System, Safe Third Country, Italy, Libya, securitisation, migration governance, externalisation, non-refoulement, inter-state relations.

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1. Introduction
In this chapter I aim to analyse to what extent Libyan cooperation on migration can be defined within the context of Fortress Europe. Within this main aim there are four objectives: explore the process which led to the rise of what can be defined as Fortress Europe; assess to what extent the Dublin System and the Safe Third Country notion have influenced the establishment of the Italian/Libyan cooperation on migration; explore inter-state relations within the refugee and migration regimes, and the way power imbalance between states can be overcome; and examine to what extent the EU/Italian/Libyan cooperation can be considered an example of externalisation policy.  In part one, I will provide a brief overview of the topic. In part two, I will explore the process which led to the creation of what can be called Fortress Europe with a particular focus on issues such as the securitisation of European borders, the adoption of restrictive migration measures, and the harmonisation of migration and asylum policies among EU member states. In part three I will argue that the Dublin System and the concept of Safe Third Country are among the instruments used by the EU/northern EU member states to delegate responsibility for the management of migration and asylum flows to states at the EU external borders and from there to third countries, as shown through the Italian/Libyan partnership on migration. In part four, I will analyse inter-state power unbalance within the refugee and migration regime, the way stronger states can impose their policies on weaker states, and how the latter can elaborate mechanisms to overcome asymmetry of power. In part five, I will argue that the Libyan cooperation on migration with the EU and Italy provides an example of externalisation where the securitisation of migration has not been unilaterally relocated to Libya, and where cooperation has been negotiated within a framework of dialectic power between the three actors: Libya has managed to overcome power imbalance, has held substantial leveraging power, and has influenced national and supranational authorities such as Italy and the EU. In part six, I will provide a brief overview of the findings, outline the limitations of this chapter, and give suggestions for further research.

To read the full article please open the attached PDF:

This essay was published as part of the Book Migration Matters resulting from the 7th Global Conference on Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship held in Prague in March 2012. Migration Matters can be purchased online by clicking on the link below: https://www.interdisciplinarypress.net/online-store/diversity-and-recognition/migration-matters

How to cite this essay:
Sabrina Tucci (2013) Libyan Cooperation on Migration within the Context of Fortress Europe: North/South Relations During the Last Decade of Gaddafi Era in Migration Matters: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship, edited by M. Dugan and A. Edelstein, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-84888-183-9

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About Sabrina Tucci

Currently employed at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, I am a human rights researcher and campaigner, specialising in refugees and migrants' rights and communications strategies. I hold a Masters degree in Refugee and Migration Studies from City University, London, where I concentrated on EU member states’ migration policies, their externalisation to EU external borders and non- EU countries as well as their impact on the lives of refugees and migrants. I have field work experience in refugee camps in Algeria and in immigration removal centres in the United Kingdom. I write for a number of fora and report on governments’ violation of international human rights and refugee laws, above all the principle of non-refoulement. My name is Sabrina Tucci, I am Italian and I live in London. I can be found on Linkedin and Twitter. Email: sabtucci@gmail.com
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