Irregular migration into the European Union (EU) poses clear challenges for European governments. Few would question the urgent need for policies to address these challenges. However, the common EU policy in this area is primarily focussed on keeping migrants and asylum seekers out of and away from Europe. The rights of migrants and refugee protection are marginalized.
This briefing paper summarizes recent trends in the EUs approach. Through case studies of conditions in, and EU policies toward, Ukraine and Libya, it critiques current EU externalization practices. After noting some hopeful signs toward enhanced protection for asylum seekers and migrants, it concludes with recommendations to the EU and its member states.