Malgré les renforts déployés dans les frontières pour stopper, ou plutôt, limiter l’entrée des migrants en transit au Maroc, leurs chiffres ne cessent d’augmenter. Pour eux, le Maroc est la dernière étape avant d’arriver en Europe.

ACCM Care: Migrants Living Conditions in Across the Borders

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Africa continent Care Partner In Migration Control

Throughout this year, migratory flows have been changing so that the Western Mediterranean route, which goes from Morocco to Spain, has become the most attractive way to get to Europe. In this context, the Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez, announced last November that Morocco would receive approximately an additional €140 million ($157 million) from EU Trust Fund for Africa to support border management in the Maghreb region. However, there are some controversial points regarding the Spanish advocacy to get EU funds for Morocco in exchange of a greater migratory control, and it has also been called into question the respect for human rights in relation to the externalization of the EU borders.

The Western Mediterranean route in the center of attention

According to the European Commission, there is a decrease in the irregular arrivals of immigrants in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes: on one hand, flows along the Eastern Mediterranean route (the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece) have been reduced by 97% since the EU-Turkey refugee agreement. On the other hand, flows along the Central Mediterranean route (from Libya, mainly to Italy), which became the most-used route to Europe in recent years, have also been reduced by 80%.

By contrast, in 2018 a substantial increase of arrivals has been recorded on the Western Mediterranean route, with over 57,000 arrivals to the Spanish coasts crossing from sub-Saharan and North Africa through Morocco. The Western route becoming more attractive is related to the recent decreased in the Central route, which respond to a complex set of reasons as the new measures to restrict irregular migration adopted by EU Member States, the increased cooperation with Libyan Coast Guards, the dangerousness of the route and the strict migration policy of the new Italian government.

EU funds to support migration-related actions in Morocco

Morocco has become a key partner for the European Union when it comes to migration and border control policies. Since 2014, the EU has committed €232 million ($264 million) through different funds to support migration-related actions in the Maghreb country and according to the European Commission, the additional funding will bring the overall migration-related assistance to Morocco to €148 million in 2018.

“Morocco is under particular migratory pressure with flows along the Western Mediterranean increasing. This is why we are intensifying and deepening our partnership with Morocco and increasing our financial support. This funding will help to strengthen border management and the fight against smugglers together but also to improve the protection of migrants and to help prevent irregular departures by supporting economic development in the region,”  The challenges require joint solutions and partnerships, and the EU stands by Morocco.

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