The impacts of EU external migration policies on the democratization of the Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood: a case of challenge or opportunity?

Autor principal:
Luisa Faustini Torres (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Sesión 5, Sesión 5
Día: jueves, 11 de julio de 2019
Hora: 11:00 a 12:45
Lugar: B019

Even though most countries target by EU External Migration Policies are either autocracies or hybrid regimes, the impact of these policies on state and power relations is still underexplored. This article intents to start fulfilling this gap by exploring the (side)-effects of these policies in terms of democratization of countries located in the Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood. The main aim has been to identify whether these policies constitute an opportunity or a challenge for this political process and explain why this particular outcome might be taking place. In order to do so, I follow a theoretical framework that accounts for explaining when and how external actors can influence democratization processes (Hill, 2016; Levinsky and Way 2005, 2006; Tolstrup 2013; Yilmaz 2002). Based on this framework and relying on a documental analysis of secondary sources (academic literature, EU documents and NGO reports), I contextualize and analyse the case of Southern Mediterranean Countries. The main hypothesis identified has been that even if within EU External Migration Policies narrative there is an intention to have a positive impact on democratization, a contrary effect seems to be taking place: in order to fulfil its goal of controlling migration, policies tend to produce negative impacts in terms of democratic development. This would be mainly because such policies would (a) favour the maintenance of core socio, political and economic power structures that reinforce the regime status quo (b) disfavour domestic forces of political change and (c) shape the capacity and willingness of EU democracy promotion efforts. Therefore, this article echoes the voices of the debate that question the EU role as a ‘normative’ actor, arguing that the EU is not only ineffective when promoting democracy in the neighbourhood, but might be acting as a negative actor, since its external actions and policies in the field of migration control seem to be producing adverse and counterproductive effects in terms of democratization.

Palabras clave: EU external migration policies, Southern Mediterranean, democratization, democracy promotion, political change