[ 25. May 2016 ]

EU migration regime and West Africa

Views of grassroots activists from Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Europe. Workshop on Friday 27th May 2016 from 10:30 am to 1 pm and 3 to 6 pm at the Kritnet Conference 2016, Migration - Criminalization - Resistance - Invention, VHS Ottakring, Ludo-Hartmann-Platz 7, 1160 Vienna.


In the aftermath and with the pretext of the so-called refugee crisis EU member states are intensifying their joint efforts to prevent African migrants from entering the EU territory and to more efficiently deport migrants from Europe. EU is pushing for readmission agreements for deportations under the banner of EU-Africa (development) cooperation, including plans for issuing a standard EU traveling certificate to deport African nationals and bilateral deportation deals. Within African civil societies, there are on the one hand those involving themselves in EU-sponsored campaigns against "illegal migration", but also voices of resistance in defense of the freedom of movement.

This workshop brings together activists from West Africa and Europe to discuss these and related developments of the border regime from the perspective of self-organised and grassroots resistance.

In the first part of the workshop experiences from the struggle against embassy deportation collaboration are discussed. As German authorities pressure African embassies to collaborate in deportation procedures, African nationals under deportation threat and without passport are summoned to special hearings all over Germany employing coercive identification procedures. During the past decade refugees have challenged and denounced such racist and colonial practices. Osa, Korvensyrjä and Feliziani present their ongoing research and action plans to collectively oppose the collaboration to deport and connect this to causes of forced migration.

In the second part of the workshop the La Valetta action plan, drafted in the EU-Africa migration summit in November 2015, is analysed in the light of its practical consequences for African societies. Some of the concrete results of the multi- and bilateral follow-up meetings, in which the ECOWAS states have played a crucial role, are: an increase of migrant- and refugee pushbacks, the construction of "reception" camps for retaining and pushing back refugees and migrants; the presence of security staff cooperating with FRONTEX on African airports and setting up stricter controls along inner-African borders and traveling routes. Touré, Diarra, Keita and Ouédraogo discuss the perspectives of joint resistance by African and European grassroots movements as well as the question of African approaches against the death of migrants and refugees on seas and traveling routes.

The workshop languages are English and French. Translation to other languages available.

With Rex Osa (The Voice Refugee Forum, Nigeria/Germany), Inna Touré (Afrique-Europe Interact women's section, Mali), Ousmane Diarra (Malian Association of Deportees / AME), Ramata Keita (Malian Association of Deportees / AME), Moussa Ouédraogo (filmmaker, Ouagadougou), Aino Korvensyrjä (Free Movement Network Finland / Berlin), Hans-Georg Eberl (Afrique-Europe Interact Vienna), Claudio Feliziani (filmmaker, Berlin)

Moderation: Florian Horn (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung)

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