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How to better monitor migrant flows. See 2005!

Tony Blair during the UK Presidency of the EU - here at Hampton Court (Credit: European Commission, B2 Archive)
Tony Blair during the British presidency of the EU – here at Hampton Court (credit: European Commission, archives B2)

(B2) While rummaging through my archives, I found these conclusions from a European summit, held at the end of December 2005, under the British presidency of the Union (Tony Blair in office at the time). They followed the informal meeting held at Hampton Court in October 2005. That was ten years ago. It feels like it was a century ago! But the recommendations of the '25' (at the time) seem entirely current...

« Measures must be taken to reduce illegal migration flows and the loss of human lives, ensure the return of illegal immigrants in good security conditions, provide more durable solutions for refugees and strengthen capacities to better manage migration, notably by maximizing the benefits for all partners of legal immigration, while fully respecting human rights and the right to seek asylum. stated the conclusions.

This meeting did not stop there, it established a series of actions to be implemented during 2006. I cannot resist the idea of ​​also mentioning some of the avenues envisaged:

launch, as early as possible in 2006, a feasibility study on strengthening the control and surveillance of the EU's southern maritime border, namely the Mediterranean, and on the establishment of a Mediterranean network of coastal patrols in which EU Member States and North African countries would participate.

• Examine whether the establishment, by the end of 2006, of a surveillance system which should cover the entire southern maritime border of the EU and the Mediterranean is technically feasible.

• Establish, as early as possible during 2006, regional networks of “immigration” liaison officers by involving priority countries or regions, and present reports by May 2006, on illegal immigration and human trafficking, with the assistance, where necessary, of immigration liaison officers present in the main countries.

• Present, by spring 2006, a proposal for the creation of rapid response teams made up of national experts capable of providing rapid technical and operational assistance during periods of large influxes of migrants.

Ten years after ! It would be interesting to see where we are (1). I have the impression that we could take several of these prescriptions and apply them today...


(1) Only the last seems to me more or less applied (Rabit teams from Frontex, but still in a limited way).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).