Examining relationships between European Union policies and migratory pressures

24 November 2008

Instead of relying on the border police, the EU should assess the effects of its own policies on the poor, migrant-sending countries. Unless the policies that perpetuate the conditions for poverty and injustice are changed, the reasons for migration will remain.

As the relevant agencies of the United Nations never fail to remind us, we live in an age of vast population movements. Millions of people are making the one-way transition from countryside to city, with the result that more than half the world now lives in an urban environment. Not infrequently, in countries like China, entire villages may be obliterated by mammoth “development” schemes and the inhabitants are relocated, usually under worse conditions. Millions more have been forcibly displaced by various types of armed violence within their own countries and are known as “internal refugees”. Finally comes the group that has already accomplished the rural-urban transition, sometimes thanks to the previous generation, and which, for reasons which remain to be fully explained, are desperate to migrate to foreign countries that they see as promised lands. These candidates for departure almost always seek to enter the wealthy OECD countries. Mexicans and Central Americans head for the United States; Asians for Australia; North Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans, as well as Eastern Europeans and Central Asians, attempt to cross the borders of the European Union.
I. Defence and illustration of the hypothesis
The brief analysis and research proposal that follow will be confined to the EU but the observations made could as well apply to North America or Australia. Within Europe, responses to increasing migratory pressures have varied from country to country but initially at least, they all treat migration as a security problem, to be dealt with primarily by the police, the coast guard, the prison or retention-centre system and, in extreme cases, the army or the navy. The FRONTEX budget has been tripled in the past few years.
The common characteristic of their various security approaches is, however, that they have not worked, at least if the definition of measures that “work” is those that reduce or stop the phenomenon of migration, or limit it to well-educated individuals the receiving country is happy to accept. Present approaches have clearly not stemmed, much less prevented the flows of people entering Europe in a variety of more or less clandestine circumstances. To the contrary, they are arriving in greater and greater numbers, often under appalling conditions. More and more deaths in transit are reported yet still they make the attempt. Many more “hidden” immigrants are simply people who arrived on a tourist visa and never left.

Let us ask an apparently simple question: Is out-migration from “South” to “North” on such a scale a “normal” phenomenon? Young people especially want to travel, but few, given the choice, would choose permanently to leave their countries, familiar landscapes, food, childhoods, families, friends, memories, languages....without serious motives. They would especially not risk their lives and gamble their futures in order to cross the borders or reach the shores of Europe, only to be confronted—in case of success—with the life of a marginal “sans papiers”, an undocumented person facing menial, ill-paid jobs, precarious living conditions, crowded sub-standard housing, no civil rights, possible imprisonment and deportation, racism, xenophobia....
Should we not therefore accept at least the hypothesis that mass migration is not “normal”; that migration candidates would, more often than not, avoid it if they had other options; that the “push factors” causing people to leave their home countries in such numbers require much closer examination than they have so far received? Among such factors should we not also accept the hypothesis that, in the case of Europe [as would be the case for other OECD countries], its own policies may have more than a little to do with out-migration?
Even a quick survey of the literature on migration shows a surprising absence of any such hypothesis. Within my time constraints and in the interests of efficiency, I did not attempt an exhaustive search; I did, however look at the work done by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research [UNU-WIDER] which has organised various conferences and produced many discussion papers and publications on the issue of migration.(1) Other sources examined include the publications of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society [COMPAS] at Oxford University(2) and the twenty years-worth of articles published by the REMI—Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales. (3)
Some aspects of the impact of European Union policies on migration [“forced migration”] have been studied by scholars like Stephen Castles of the International Migration Institute at Oxford . Still, I found no systematic questioning of the ways in which European policies might create or reinforce pressures to migrate in North African and Sub-Saharan societies. This also seems true for the impact of United States policies on its southern neighbours, judging by twenty years worth of output by the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington which describes itself as the “only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy and ....impacts on the United States [of migration]” [but clearly not the other way around—the impacts of the US on migration].(4)

On one hand we are confronted almost daily with the evidence of increasingly desperate people willing to undertake harrowing, dangerous, long-distance journeys—journeys often requiring the life-savings of entire families and sometimes ending in death. On the other hand, virtually all the literature stresses that migration to Europe is caused by “poverty” or “socio-economic deterioration of the situation” at home; or “the growing gap” between North and South. These serve as handy, catch-all explanations.
More sophisticated analyses may point also to the lack of security in countries torn by civil strife; improved communications and information systems that give an unrealistic picture of life in the rich countries; social solidarity networks established by and with previous immigrants; the fairly recent emergence of an entire industry of commercial, usually criminal, people-trafficking enterprises devoted to recruiting and smuggling migrants across international borders and so on. Analyses that invoke “poverty”, “deterioration” and “gaps” do not seem to consider it their business to ask why these should exist on such a vast scale—such scourges are somehow just there.
Two possible conclusions may be drawn from these remarks. Either [1] European economic/trade/aid policies are universally beneficial to the southern “sending” countries and therefore contribute nothing to migratory pressures or [2] the supposedly benign nature of European policies vis à vis sending countries is the unspoken, quasi-universal assumption of governments, research institutes, academics and the Commission itself. Thus the question of possible negative impacts does not even arise. If, however, EU policies are universally beneficial, as in alternative conclusion [1], we ought to be able to find proof to back up that claim—proof that would also be “falsifiable” in Karl Popper’s sense. If, on the other hand, this is an unspoken but unexamined assumption as in alternative conclusion [2], links between European policies and out-migration pressures might be shown to exist but have never been seriously looked for, with some exceptions in some areas. In either case, but particularly in the second, it would seem that we face a research gap of quite staggering proportions that calls out for a systematic, cooperative North-South research effort.
Obviously one does not want to fall into the trap of the “mono-causal explanation” for any phenomenon, but in the case of such a major policy preoccupation for European governments and European citizens as migration, surely it is worth examining seriously the impact of EU policies on population movements. Surely experience so far shows that the security-police approach is at best partial; at worst a failure and that root causes have not necessarily been identified, much less taken into consideration and dealt with.
European decision-makers of all political persuasions recognise that migratory flows from South to North constitute a problem area. These decision-makers should welcome more precise knowledge and assessment of the impact of European policies not merely on Southern governments, but also on the lives of communities and the vast majority of Southern populations that constitute the human pool from which migration springs. With such knowledge, they could at least decide whether maintaining this or that policy was worth the “boomerang effect” of provoking increased migratory attempts or whether Europe would be better off abandoning it.
Ideally, the overarching goal of European policy towards the sending countries should be that of the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm”. A courageous research programme has the duty to assess such harm, if it exists, and if so, to devise means to eliminate it and replace it with positive approaches. Nothing could improve the stature of the European Union with its Southern partners more than this. It is true that Europe, like any other political entity, has many constituencies to satisfy as well as many economic and political interests and cannot be expected to abandon them. Some of these constituencies and interests may, however, be quite limited in importance and of short-term value only. They could and should be replaced by the approach once known as “enlightened self-interest” which deserves a revival.
What might be the elements of such a research programme? Here follows a non-limitative “catalogue” approach. North-South research teams would be needed to deal with them. I wish to state at the outset that my own biases will be evident in some of the suggestions put forward for research work. I do not believe in “objectivity” in the social sciences and I have done too much work over past decades concerning the impact of certain Northern policies on Southern societies to put forward proposals for the EU with a “neutral” attitude.
This being clear, the key areas of European policies to examine concern debt and structural adjustment, trade [particularly with regard to food and agricultural goods] as well as tariff structures; subsidies, commodity prices; fisheries, the impact of European transnational corporations; Economic Partnership Agreements [EPAs].
On the side of the migrant-sending country governments, one should also consider incentives not to cooperate with the EU and even to encourage migration either overtly or tacitly. Southern governments know very well that remittances sent home by migrants constitute a substantial component of their revenues and that they relieve the poverty of a great many of their citizens and villages. For several countries, emigrants already represent their most valuable export. Governments know too that the “export of people” mitigates their own severe unemployment problems. For these governments, it can only be an advantage to have in particular fewer discontented, unoccupied young men around to cause trouble. These governments are only too happy for these people to be outside, not at home.
In addition to these present North-South aspects, particularly those linking the EU and North/Sub-Saharan Africa, one should also study and plan for the longer term impacts of climate change. We already know that drought-prone areas are set to become even drier and water-stressed populations will necessarily increase. In the same way, already humid areas are likely to experience more rainfall and floods. The rise of coastal waters will also create untold numbers of climate refugees seeking relief at any cost and severe weather events are slated to increase, with all their attendant dislocations. These are not hypotheses concerning distant events but well-substantiated scientific conclusions.
II. European policies with possible or likely immigration-inducing impacts

1. Debt
Despite modest reductions, outflows from South to North remain a heavy burden on Southern countries and hamper their development. Research must quantify this burden and assess the current value—including monetary and non-monetary value—of reimbursement to individual EU countries and to the EU as a whole. What is the level of funds “sterilised” by debt repayments and therefore unavailable for development? What are the real impacts of debt-induced structural adjustment packages, particularly the privatisation of public services and export-orientation, particularly of agriculture? The debt “crisis” is in fact a chronic illness and ideally the EU should, with the help of research, devise a quick, clean, democratic, non-bureaucratic, corruption-free, “once-for-all” plan that can put an end to a problem that has festered for over a quarter century.
Debt was accumulated for a variety of reasons; the borrowed money came from both public and private sources but in the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, they were overwhelmingly public. Loans to oppressive regimes have been estimated at about $500 billion worldwide [including $22 billion to apartheid South Africa]. One would need to examine the “odious debt” aspects [jurisprudence since the 1920s distinguishes legitimate from “odious” debt, the latter going to dictators either with no benefit to the population or serving to oppress that population further]; but the recommendation here would be for cancellation of all types of debt. (5)
Loans on the books to Low Income Countries [LICs], amounted in 2004-2005 to about $523 billion worldwide. Africa’s external debt, including that of North Africa, had by 2004 reached $300 billion with $227 billion for Sub-Saharan Africa alone. These sums are quite small by international standards but insuperable for Africa: in 2004, Sub-Saharan Africa was paying back $28.000 a minute [$15 billion a year] in debt service, according to World Bank-OECD figures. All the LICs taken together were then paying back $100 million a day/ nearly $70.000 a minute
As of July 2005 at the time of the Gleneagles G-8 Summit, 28 countries had been assured of $56 billion in debt relief and 18 very poor countries, including 14 in Africa, were promised total cancellation. In such severely indebted countries, the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] will take 100 years to achieve on current trend lines. Civil society campaigns like that of Jubilee 2000 have led to pressure on the creditor governments, yet relief promised has always been very slow to translate into reality because the target countries are obliged to undertake further periods of structural adjustment before cancellations take effect. At least 65 countries have been estimated to need complete debt cancellation in order to have even a chance of meeting the MDG targets. This would cost the creditors about $80 billion/year. G-8 and other meetings tend to make spectacular announcements which turn out on closer examination to be misleading or remain unimplemented.(6)

Intimately linked to the debt crisis is the enormous burden that capital flight from Africa has imposed on this poorest continent. Recent work by Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce of the University of Massachusetts reaches the conclusion that Africa’s wealthy have, during the period from 1970 to 2004, exported a total of $420 billion, nearly double the total debt burden of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2004, which in 2004 was $227 billion. Most of this money was not acquired legally. With the interest this capital could have accumulated over the 35 year period, the authors estimate the total loss to Africa at $607 billion. How complicit were European banks—and how lax might European governments have been--in allowing or encouraging this chronic drain? (7)
2. Structural adjustment
Beyond assessing the amounts presently owed, research should summarise the vast literature on the impact of structural adjustment policies accompanying debt, put in place by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, working in close cooperation with the United States Treasury. The elements of structural adjustment [also known as “Washington Consensus”] policies have been frequently and exhaustively studied; dozens if not hundreds of case studies exist on the impacts of high interest rates, export orientation and market liberalisation, privatisation; ‘cost-recovery’ [fee-paying] including fees for schools and health care--particularly detrimental to women and girls—and so on.

These policies have caused increased hunger and deprivation, smaller numbers of children in school, chronic unemployment and hardship; millions have had to fall back on the informal sector. (8) Although local populations benefitted little or not at all from the borrowed money, most of which went to the middle and upper consuming classes, “white elephant” projects, arms purchases or private accounts abroad; these populations have been obliged to pay it back with their sacrifices.
We already know that debt cancellation is affordable. Research would need to examine the amounts owed to specific EU countries and the total amount over which Europe could have an influence [including sums still owed to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund]. The sources for such work exist: the World Bank, the OECD and the London Club and the Paris Club are the main ones—although I have found the Paris Club to be singularly uncooperative, indeed contemptuous of external requests for information. A mandate from the EU would undoubtedly be required to gain access to its data.
As for the Bank and the Fund, the IMF could continue to sell its gold without upsetting markets. The Bank, even if it were to write off all the debt owed to it by all the LDCs, would simply return to its capital levels of 1997, when it was flourishing. The Bank has 400 percent more capital than it needs to keep the triple AAA rating for its bonds [all three of the best-known rating agencies rated its bonds AAA in 1997]. In addition, for the past 15 years, the Bank has made over a billion dollars a year in profits. European voting shares in the Fund/Bank amount to 16 percent for Germany, France and Britain alone, plus another 14 percent if one counts the groups presided by Belgium, Netherland and Italy. Surely 30 percent of the voting stock gives the EU enough influence in these International Financial Institutions to push for complete cancellation for North/Southern African debtors, based on solid research of the improvements that could be expected in these countries once freed from debt bondage.
Many argue that debt cancellation would simply lead to renewed indebtedness. One can, however, show—although research on these aspects is still thin—that when debt cancellation does occur, the money is on the whole well-used, for schools, clinics, immunisation, access to water…. [evidence compiled by the NGO Jubilee 2000 shows interesting results from Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Mozambique….]. The EU, if it were to require that African governments associate their own people in the choice of priorities for spending the money freed up by cancellation, could insure that savings on debt repayments were wisely used everywhere.
Indeed, in exchange for complete cancellation, the creditor countries of Europe should have the right to demand that the recipient governments be accountable to their own people for spending the savings. Some variant of the participatory budgeting process used in many Brazilian cities could be used; one could also call for the election of a council composed of people elected on both a geographical and a sectoral basis [i.e. farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, women, civil servants...] to sit alongside the government and determine the spending priorities.

Some argue that it is not possible to impose “conditionality” on these sovereign governments, but this argument is spurious given that IMF-Bank conditionality has been imposed for decades. Democratic conditionality could simultaneously contribute to solving many governance issues in recipient countries. Where such formulas have been tried [Brazil, Tanzania...] waste and mismanagement of funds is reduced to virtually zero. A small UN Agency—or a European agency--could dispense the sums concerned to the central bank of each debtor country; the government assisted by the Council of its own citizens would determine how to spend it. If the UN solution is chosen, the one that dispenses the international “airline ticket tax” proposed by the then president of France Jacques Chirac and accepted so far by about 15 countries could do such a job; this agency is called UNITAID.
Debt cancellation ought normally to create huge numbers of jobs in the LDCs as well as allowing for much higher spending on health, education and other necessities. It would contribute to job creation in Europe as well, as former debtor countries began to be able to spend on capital goods, rather than on economically sterile interest payments.
3. Commodity prices and trade
One of the most perverse impacts of debt is the export syndrome. All the indebted countries must earn hard currency to pay the interest owed and must therefore export. Particularly in Africa, indebted countries tend to export the same narrow range of primary products with the result that they produce more than markets can absorb and thus push down prices for everyone. Commodity prices have been declining since the 1970s. Lower prices paradoxically encourage overproduction because countries strive to keep their income stable by exporting even more.Subsidies of northern countries, i.e. US subsidies to its cotton producers make matters worse and appeals to the World Trade Organisation do little good.

The share of commodities [oil excluded] in world trade has declined from one-third to one-quarter since the mid-1990s. Because of mass privatisation under structural adjustment policies, governments no longer have the tools to manage carryover stocks or control quantities produced and traded. According to UNCTAD, fifty low income countries are dependent on 2-3 commodities; 39 are dependent on just one. The terms of trade are set massively against raw material producers, with the result that they must export one-third more today than in 1975-85 to buy the same quantity of manufactured goods.
Although China’s purchases have recently improved the prices of primary products somewhat, particularly for metals [which are never produced by smallholders but by large, usually foreign mining enterprises] the declines for cash crops have been consistent, e.g. an average 5.1 percent/ year for coffee; 6.9 percent for cocoa; 3.4 percent for cotton, since 1977. A Ugandan coffee farmer receives 14 cents a kilo for beans; the coffee in a UK supermarket eventually costs the consumer $26.40/kilo. [these figures date from 2005]. European tariffs are low to non-existent for raw materials but high when goods are processed in the producer countries into more elaborate goods. Poor countries cannot compete in processing their own commodities so long as they face these high barriers. The European “Everything but Arms” policy has, however, been a positive step which could inspire further beneficial changes.

4. European trade policies and exports to Africa
Subsidies in the North can contribute to ruining small farmers; see for example the impact of the above-mentioned US cotton subsidies on African producers. EU agricultural production is subsidised in the amount of about a billion euros a day. What proportion of those subsidies relates to products exported to African markets at prices below true costs of production? We need to know much more about the impact of European trade on small farmers and nascent industries in Africa, particularly the dumping of subsidised products.
A few studies, particularly on dairy products, tomatoes and poultry, indicate that exports from Europe at unbeatably low prices have decimated local producers and processing industries [e.g. tomato paste production in Ghana]. Although there is significant literature concerning NAFTA--the North American Free Trade Agreement—and its impact on Mexican farmers, there seems to be little on EU impacts on African farmers. [NAFTA has ruined at least 350.000 poor Mexican farmers living in the poorest States as cheap, industrially produced US corn has flooded Mexican markets].
European Union officials will probably be aware of persistent Northern NGO criticism of the EU’s present trade policies, whether in the WTO or in the various bilateral/multilateral agreements and EPAs [Economic Partnership Agreements], all of which contain detailed investment, raw-material access and government procurement provisions. The overwhelming bias towards the interests of European transnational corporations and the latter’s influence over EU trade policy seems in little doubt. EPAs have been challenged by a few African countries [Senegal, South Africa] but most are acquiescing and the Caribbean group of the ACP countries has already signed a full agreement.
The least the Commission could do would be to sponsor monitoring of the actual behaviour and impact of European transnational corporations, particularly raw-material extractors, in the migrant-sending countries. On the occasion of the EU-Latin American Summit held in Vienna in May 2006, the Enlazando Alternativas [alternative summit] commissioned studies by Latin American NGOs and researchers on the impact of European TNCs in Central and Latin America. Their eye-witness reports yielded a wealth of information and evidence of highly adverse impacts on local populations, whether the companies concerned were engaged in mining, utilities, agricultural, paper or financial industries. (9)
5. Fisheries
The fish catch along the western coast of Africa has plummeted and small fisherman can no longer make a living. Many say that the depletion of stocks is due to overfishing by European industrial trawlers. Small fishermen are known to be selling their boats to the people-smuggling rings that use them to try to take migrants to the Canaries. The situation may be similar for countries bordering the Mediterranean. Aside from anecdotes, we know very little about this phenomenon.
III. Policies for which the eu is not directly or only partially responsible but which further impoverish migrant-sending countries.

1. Free trade: Initially, the World Bank announced that developing countries would see massive benefits [over $300 billion/year] from genuinely free trade. Under pressure from economists elsewhere, the Bank was obliged in successive stages to scale back its estimates to a mere $16 billion, half of which was expected to go to Brazil and Argentina. The most that the poor countries are likely to see from more free trade is a 1 percent increase in GDP over the next 10 years. (10)

The WTO has claimed that the stalled “Doha Development Round” would provide real gains for the South. However, the North, including the EU, has so far proposed granting access for only 97 percent of each southern country’s goods. This may sound generous, but due to the reliance of so many Southern countries on a very limited number of products, the North can easily place what each country can produce economically in the category of the remaining three percent. [NB: All the EPAs put forward by Europe are “WTO Plus”, that is, they are more demanding on partner countries that any requirements of WTO agreements.
2. WTO banana decision: It may already be soon enough to assess the impact on local producers of the WTO ruling on the EU-ACP banana dispute. The preferential regime by which Europe guaranteed to purchase a set quantity of bananas from ACP countries was ruled WTO-illegal: Europe does not have the right to give any privileges to ACP countries and must accept, for example, the bananas produced on plantations by US transnational corporations like Chiquita Brands, in Ecuador or Central America. What has been the effect of this decision on poor ACP farmers? Has it increased their tendency to attempt migration?
3. Multi-Fibre Agreement: The end of the Multi-Fibre agreement gave China a huge advantage in textiles. Chinese exports have had a large impact in Europe itself, but in the South, the effect has been devastating. Textile industries in places like Bangladesh, Cambodia or Central America are unlikely to recover. In Morocco, the industry has already shed hundreds of thousands of jobs. These unemployed workers are going back to kif [drug] production or attempting to emigrate. Can the EU do anything to mitigate these impacts? Clearly in this case, they cannot be ascribed to Europe’s own policies, but should they influence the EU’s attitude within the WTO or in other international-system and/or trade regimes?
4. Financial crises: Even before the present market turbulence and incipient recession stemming from—but not confined to—the subprime crisis, financial meltdowns have taken a heavy toll. The International Labour Organisation has estimated that over 90 “serious financial crises” occurred between the beginning of the 1990s and 2002, with great loss of economic security, jobs, livelihoods and savings. The ILO definition of a “serious” currency crash is that the value of the currency dropped by at least 25 percent in a single month and that this drop was at least 10 percent greater than the depreciation of the previous month. In other words, these are crises in which the value of peoples’ bank accounts, insurance, social security, pensions, and so on fell by at least 35 percent within the space of two months.

The list of twenty-six North and Sub-Saharan African countries that between 1990-2003 suffered economic/financial crises as defined by the ILO is : Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe. (11)
5. Climate change: As already noted, the impact of rapid climate change is no longer in doubt and needs no more research per se. The IPCC has established that dry/humid areas will become more drought/flood prone, that extremes of temperatures and secondary impacts will strike the vulnerable in the South with greater force than in the temperate zones of the North. We have already witnessed catastrophic floods in Sub-Saharan Africa and know that stresses of all kinds will multiply. Here is a perfect opportunity for European S&T to propose clean and abundant energy systems [particularly solar] for the South, in an all-out development effort to change not just the South but also Europe’s own energy scenario. For the moment, palliative and relief programmes will be more necessary than ever.
Conclusion
During and after the decolonisation process, formerly colonised and/or dependent countries produced many brilliant and charismatic leaders [present at Bandung and beyond….]. These countries formed political groups like the Non-aligned Movement or the G-77 [which later numbered well over 100 countries]. From the 1970s in particular, they called for a New International Economic Order; various UN documents like the 1981 “Brandt Report” seconded many of their demands. It looked for a time as if there might finally be a fairer distribution of wealth in the world and greater opportunity for emerging nations. The North was obliged at least to pay lip-service to the demands emerging from a newly confident South.
In 1974 at the FAO Rome World Food Conference, Henry Kissinger [fresh from engineering the fascist coup in Chile] intoned that “Within a decade, no child will go to bed hungry, no family will fear for its next day’s bread…” Other conferences followed and the South thought, with some justification, that it was making progress. Gradually, however, the North, led by the United States, brought the situation back under northern control. Other dictatorships besides that of Pinochet were introduced and supported by the North and former colonisers often underpinned undemocratic and repressive regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Jamaica in 1981, the newly elected president Ronald Reagan put a stop to the process of a New International Economic Order and greater autonomy once and for all.
The European Union as a comparatively new political entity has the opportunity to break with this inglorious past and show that it can not only cooperate but act as an advocate for permanent, equal partnerships with the South. Every ruined farmer, every unemployed youth, every fisherman without a livelihood is a candidate for migration. Europe can stop cutting off avenues to prosperity and development with its policies and make migration less necessary.
Naturally it would have to disappoint some more or less powerful European lobbies in the short term, but the benefits for Europeans as well as for the people of the South would be enormous. A fortress-Europe policy will not work and, under present circumstances at least, an “open borders” policy is politically unacceptable. The only other options are to reinforce the unsuccessful police-security-expulsion response with its train of inhumane measures and dismal record or to study present European practices and decide to eliminate abuses—using research results to buttress the case. Otherwise, no one—particularly no European official--should profess surprise in future as they witness the steady flow of incoming migrants.
Notes
(1) UNU-WIDER, “Seminar on International Migration and Development: Patterns, Problems and Policy, United Nations, New York, 12 September 2006; or UNU-Wider seminar in 2001 on “International Migration and Poverty; also Timothy J. Hatton and Jeffrey G. Williamson, “What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?”, UNU-WIDER Discussion Paper no.2003/23. The ongoing WIDER project on Refugees, International Migration and Poverty is co-directed by George Borjas of Harvard and Jeff Crisp of the UNHCR.
(2) http://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/publications. There are ten subheadings of various types of publications.
(3) http://remi.revues.org/entrees.html?type=motcle Keyword search.
(4) Center for Immigration Studies, Washington, D. C.
(5) Patricia Adams, Odious Debts, Probe International, Earthscan, Toronto, 1991

(6) Susan George, A Fate Worse than Debt, Penguin, London 1987; Susan George, The Debt Boomerang, Pluto Press, London, 1992; more recent figures regularly published by the Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers-Monde-CADTM, www.cadtm.org
(7) Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce, Tax Justice Focus, the quarterly journal of the Tax Justice Network, First quarter 2008, Volume 4 no.1,
(8) In a memorable presentation, A.T. Moussa Tchangiri, director of the magazine Alternative in Niger, at the World Social Forum in Bamako [January 2006] described in fine detail how forced privatization policies [of transport, cereal stock-holding, veterinary services, etc.] had directly contributed to widespread famine in that country.
(9) http://peoplesdialogue.org/en/node/39
(10) Kevin Gallagher of Tufts University, who also attended the EU research workshop that gave rise to the present series of papers, including mine, has written decisively on this issue.
(11) ILO, Socio-Economic Security Programme, Economic Security for a Better World, Geneva 2004, box, p.,.40, data based on IMF and World Bank figures inter alia.


Susan George, Author, Board Chair of the Transnational Institute, Honorary President of Attac-France, EU expert no. E251198R Her latest books are Hijacking America: How the religious and secular right changed what Americans think , and We the peoples of Europe.

About the authors

Susan George

Susan George is one of TNI's most renowned fellows for her long-term and ground-breaking analysis of global issues. "How to win the Class War - The Lugano Report II" is the newest of her sixteen widely translated books. She describes her work in a cogent way that has come to define TNI: "The job of the responsible social scientist is first to uncover these forces [of wealth, power and control], to write about them clearly, without jargon... and finally..to take an advocacy position in favour of the disadvantaged, the underdogs, the victims of injustice."

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