New project to provide systematic monitoring of EU externalisation policy


What are the objectives of the EU’s external migration policy? With which countries are new migration agreements planned? How is the EU seeking to integrate non-European states into its violent migration control regime? And what impact will this have on people seeking protection, migrants, democracy and human rights, inside and outside the EU?

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A new project, ‘Outsourcing borders: Monitoring EU externalisation policy’ explores these questions. A bulletin to be published every two months by Statewatch and will analyse and compile the key documents produced and discussed by working groups in the Council of the EU. The first edition is published today and available here.

The aim is to provide an overview of current and planned measures related to the externalization of European migration policy – and thus inform legal, campaigning and advocacy work by civil society organisations; investigations by journalists; and scrutiny by national and European MPs.

The forthcoming reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the measures introduced by the Pact on Migration and Asylum make critical scrutiny of the EU's externalisation agenda more important than ever.

However, the agenda is characterised by a high degree of secrecy. Important working groups usually meet in secret and may not even produce minutes of their meetings, while the documents used to inform discussion can remain hidden from public view for months, if not years. Negotiations and projects with partner countries take place behind closed doors. At the same time, it is difficult to maintain an overview in view of the numerous parallel processes and the large number of players and countries involved.

The project, financed by Brot für die Welt, medico international, Misereor and Pro Asyl addresses these problems. The bulletin will shed light on this opaque political field and aim to create a sound basis for the work of activists, journalists, academics and NGOs.

The first edition of the bulletin contains updates on what has been discussed within the Council of the EU since September 2023, covering topics such as deportations, funding for the externalisation of migration control, and visa sanctions. Two in-depth articles provide an explanation of the key EU institutions and agencies involved in the externalisation agenda, and an examination of an internal Commission note produced prior to the signing of the EU-Mauritania migration agreement earlier this year.

Statewatch, a London-based NGO, specializes in sourcing and analysing politically sensitive documents and has reported extensively on the EU externalization agenda in recent years. is a transnational network of activists, journalists, translators, academics and anti-racist organizations from Europe and Africa. It specializes in documenting the EU migration agenda in non-European countries.

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