Lampedusa and Immigration at the Mediterranean: Tragedies, Dilemmas and International Conflicts. A Crossroad for Europe.

Docente: Jonathan Zaragoza Cristiani – European University Institute, Department of Social and Political Sciences

Lingua: Inglese, Italiano

The 3rd of October 2013 more than 350 migrants died while trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa. A few months later in February 2014, 15 sub-Saharan migrants died trying to escape from the Spanish police while they were attempting to get to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. When these tragedies take place, media and politicians usually focus for a while on the tragedy. A pile of regrets, articles, declarations and accusations are done talking about the problem of irregular migration. However after a while, the issue is forgotten, no real in-depth analysis has been done and no new measures or solutions have been proposed or implemented. The aim of this talk is three-fold:
First, we will talk about the proper tragedies of Ceuta and Lampedusa that took place last year. In this sense, we will answer questions like: What were the direct and indirect causes of the tragedy? Who are these migrants and what were the countries of origin of these migrants? What are the migratory routes in the Mediterranean used by irregular migrants and asylum seekers? What was the responsibility of Italy, Spain and the EU in these tragedies?
Second, we will analyze from a global and international perspective the reasons and causes of irregular migration and asylum-seekers in the Mediterranean. We will talk about the geopolitical context in the Mediterranean and how conflicts like the Arab Spring, and wars and political instability in countries like Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tunisia, Libya, have provoked an increase of arrivals of migrants and asylum-seekers to Europe.
Third, we will analyze the European crossroad. The media and politicians have announced the implementation of measures like the Mare Nostrum and Triton operations. Also a few years ago, Italian government cooperated with Libya to control irregular migration coming from Libyan coasts. In this sense we will observe what are the actions that Spain, Italy and Europe have carry out unilaterally or in cooperation with countries like Libya, Tunisia and Morocco to control irregular migration in the Mediterranean and in North Africa. In other words, to conclude this talk, we will discuss on the one hand about what Europe has done so far to manage the problem of irregular migration in the Mediterranean, and on the other hand, to think all together what Europe could do today and in the future to avoid tragedies and to solve the causes of forced migration.
The talk will be as entertaining, interactive and informational as possible, discussing and debating with the students, raising and answering questions, and explaining certain aspects with anecdotes, comparisons, images and graphs to understand better the complexity of the issues debated.