European Migration and Diversity

Immigration, Integration and Asylum Forum


Migratory flows from North Africa: challenges for the EU

7 March 2011
Sheena McLoughlin (External authors) and Yves Pascouau (Senior Adviser to EPC on migration and mobility policies)



Unprecedented flows of migrants are arriving on the EU’s southern shores following recent political upheaval across North Africa and there is a fear that many more will come. In this commentary, Yves Pascouau and Sheena McLoughlin outline three challenges the EU and its Member States have to cope with: the capacity to protect their borders, the capacity to respect the human rights of those fleeing persecution, and the capacity to exercise solidarity. While there is already evidence of a capacity to react when it comes to securing borders, the authors argue that Member States will now also have to demonstrate, on the one hand, an ability to respect human rights when managing large migration flows from the south, and on the other hand, meaningful solidarity both with countries in the North African region and with EU countries struggling to cope with the new arrivals.  

Migratory flows from North Africa: challenges for the EU

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