The externalization of the EUs Southern border in light of the EU/Libya framework agreement : a lawful alternative or a neo-refoulement strategy?
During the last few years the European Union has intensified its cooperation with its neighbours, especially in relation to migration management. With a view to contextualize the recent negotiation on a Migration Cooperation Agenda and a Framework Agreement between the EU and Libya, this paper analyzes the actions adopted at the EU level, including bilateral activities, such as the Italy/Libya Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation. It makes clear how such instruments can be framed in a wider strategy directed towards the externalization of migration management and raises serious human rights concerns. It demonstrates how so far such strategy has proven to be a major failure, especially if adopted without a clear assessment of the neighbours’ countries human rights situation, compared to the immediate control at the borders. The paper concludes with a comprehensive analysis of the problems involved and aspects concerned and address a number of recommendations to the actors involved in order to be able, in a close future, to set down a credible externalization in line with human rights standards and the aspirations to liberty of the people living in the partner countries concerned.