There have been several positive trends in the last thirty years of international politics and development, but there have been many more changes for the worse. North-South disparities have grown, thanks to skewed world trade and investment regimes, the failure of aid, and the neoliberal undermining of states in the global South. But civil society resistance to neoliberalism does, at least, offer a silver lining to this dark cloud.
The Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) holds a special session to address Europe's policies on migrants and refugees. Fortress Europe has led to many disappeared persons and the death of thousands during their journey to reach the borders of southern and eastern Europe.
In austerity-stricken Europe, increasing funds are flowing to arms and security firms positioning themselves as experts on border control. Researcher Mark Akkerman documents the companies profiting from E.U. border externalization and the industry’s lobbying power.
In an unsettling but lucid critique, The Debt boomerang shows that we in the North must also pay the price of World bank and IMF policies that have accelerated deforestation, encouraged mass migrations, fuelled an expanding drug trade and heightened global instability and conflict.
The Single European Act ratified in 1987, introduces the discussion on migrants in the same paragraph as drug traffickers and terrorists. Ever since, European migration policy has pursued an approach of criminalizing migrants.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
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.