Asylum, development aid and conditionality

In recent communications on asylum and migration, the EU Commission has fully embraced the idea that ‘migration management’ and EU development policy should go hand in hand. Leaving aside the validity of the wide-spread assumption that successful development policies lead to less migration (see Hein de Haas’ post for an insightful discussion of this point), the recent documents consolidate the shift towards establishing a direct nexus between development aid and immigration policing, with the EC seems endorsing unproblematicly the contested and contestable idea that development aid should be made conditional to would-be beneficiaries’ assistance in return and repatriation of ‘unwanted’ immigrants. This approach was a topic of lively confrontation in Tony Blair’s Cabinet in the 2000s. I’ve recently interviewed a former Labour MP and Cabinet Minister who recalls that ‘there was a big row in the government about using development money to force governments to take back asylum seekers. […] Blair was determined to make aid conditional and was arguing that ‘the whole international system needs updating’. This became an issue for discussion at some EU summits and Sweden fought very hard against it’. Nowadays conditionality seems fairly established in EU circles. Blair is no longer the PM, but also Sweden is no longer the same.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s