EU Supports Spain On Migration

Sub Saharan African inmigrants arriving to South coast of Spain
During a meeting on Friday in Brussels between the European Commission and the Spanish government both sides decided to continue the dialogue and cooperation on migration and especially in regard to the challenges Spain face because of the increased migration pressure along the Western Mediterranean route.
The European Commission and Spain also discussed the measures taken by Spain as well as the contingency plans that are to be developed by the Spanish government this summer.
About 30 million Euro have been awaeded by the EU Commission, in emergency assistance to Spain which includes 25.6 million Euro awarded on July 2nd and further three million Euro on Friday August 3rd.
They stressed the importance of the enhanced partnership with Morocco and the necessity to intensify the EU support and cooperation with Morocco on migration.
This intensified cooperation includes the delivery of 55 million Euro border management programme for Morocco and Tunisia which was approved under the  EU Emergency Fund for Africa.
Spain and the EU Commisson consider it as necessary to increase the cooperation between the the EU and Morocco in order to manage their borders and the causes for migration.
During his two months in office Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has intervened several times in Europe’s migration crisis by offering shelter to refugees rescued at sea while other European Union states have refused to to accommodate them.
As the arrivals of refugees has increased the immigration debate in Spain has become more politicised.
There are early signs that Prime Minister Sanchez might feel political presure to toughen his approach if the influx continues to pickup speed.
But, analysts in Madrid are not expecting the migration headlines to dent Prime Minister Sanchez’s unity with his partners.
Others express the opinion that there may be an underlying anti-immigration sentiment within the Spanish population that has concerns about the increased competition for economic resources.
EU diplomats in Brussels worry that the increase in migrant traveling from Morocco comes as efforts to stem the migrant traffic from Libya to Italy are finally bearing fruit.
Spain has become the new main entry point for refugees fleeing Africa, that could bring to political tensions across the EU, EU officials said.
Morocco is a destination in itself for those refugees fleeing poverty and violence in sub-Sahara Africa. But, at the same time Morocco has become a step stone for these refugees  who are determined to reach Europe.

 

About the Author

Israel Rafalovich
Israel Rafalovich is a journalist now based in Brussels who has over 50 years of experience in Tel-Aviv, Brussels, Bonn and Washington, DC. He covers Europe and the European institutions and writes a weekly column on International Relations.