Report written by Liska Wittenberg, Desperate Migration Series No. 3.

“Drawing from the insights presented in this paper, a number of lessons should inform policy discourse on how the EU and, more broadly, the international community can better respond to the challenges of mixed migration along the Central Mediterranean route:

  • Focusing on push factors: Addressing the migration crisis in the long term will require greater examination of the factors that cause people to flee their countries of origin and to move on from transit countries or countries of first asylum.
  • Looking beyond border control: While border control mechanisms can lead to shifts in migration routes, they do not stem overall movement, often leaving migrants and refugees with no choice but to travel via more dangerous paths.
  • Improving collaboration and solidarity: While the European Commission has implemented some pragmatic and innovative ideas to manage the migration crisis, EU member states have failed to match its commitments and actions. Effective management requires increased collaboration and solidarity among all actors.
  • Bolstering rescue-at-sea operations: Existing rescue-at-sea efforts need to be reinforced with the establishment of internationally supported, long-term protection mechanisms geared toward preventing deaths at sea.
  • Creating more legal alternatives: Action has been limited on creating legal avenues through which migrants and refugees can enter the EU, which could help significantly reduce the size of irregular mixed migratory movements to Europe.”