- Sputnik International
Get the latest Africa news from Sputnik: breaking news, photos, videos, analysis, and features.

'The Migrant Crisis is a Reality That Europe Has to Face' - IPSE President

© AFP 2023 / Abdullah ELGAMOUDI Migrants wait to be rescued from a sinking dingey off the Libyan coasal town of Zawiyah, east of the capital, on March 20, 2017, as they attempted to cross from the Mediterranean to Europe.
Migrants wait to be rescued from a sinking dingey off the Libyan coasal town of Zawiyah, east of the capital, on March 20, 2017, as they attempted to cross from the Mediterranean to Europe. - Sputnik International
Morocco is hosting the MEDays forum, which attracted more than 2,500 attendees, including over 150 international speakers and more than 80 government representatives. The forum is dedicated to issues of geo-strategic, political, economic and social importance in the Mediterranean, African, and Arab states.

Emmanuel Dupuy, President of the Institute for European Prospective and Security (IPSE), shared his views on the roots of the migration crisis in Europe and the current balance of power in global politics. 

Sputnik: The European migration crisis arose in the fall of 2015 due to a sizable increase in the flow of refugees and illegal migrants to the European Union (EU) from the countries of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia and differing levels of acceptance of the new arrivals among the EU countries. In your opinion, why did Europe allow the migration crisis, which has become the largest in Europe since the end of the Second World War?

Emmanuel Dupuy: I would not phrase it in that way. I don't think Europe allowed the migrant crisis. The migrant crisis is a reality that Europe has to face and again, not only Europe, a lot of people are migrating around the world. The former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently mentioned the fact that more over 70 million people were going from one place to the other, displaced on behalf of war, on behalf of asymmetry of economy, on behalf of impacts of the climate change, scarcity of water, etc. So the phenomenon of migration is a world phenomenon - which has always existed. What is new - is that most of the migrants do not come back to their country. They go abroad, they go to other places and they are displaced for a long period of time. That is to say, they go away from their home, not in the perspective of coming back. And that is something, of course, we have to take in consideration, which is a new game-changer in international relations. That means that a certain number of states are weakened by the fact that they are losing their human capability. The young migrating are not only the poorest inside the country - there are a lot of people with diplomas, students, who go abroad and do not come back. And so it's a problem of how you build and how you make a state robust if you don't have the human capability of the young coming back and helping to make a future for the country. So that's a new reality. And the other reality is that each state has its own migration policy. European Union does not have a united migration policy. The four countries – the Visegrad group - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, they do not have the same openness as, for example, Germany, who has one point five million migrants. And the recent law that Angela Merkel drafted and was voted in the parliament is calling for an economical migration because there is a lack of workers. And that gap has to be filled. So each European state, each state not only in Europe - do not have and do not tackle the question in the same way Canadian border is not open and of course, the border between Mexico and the United States. There is a lack of solidarity. There is a lack of communication and there's a lack of institutions to get to tackle these questions. There used to be and there are more and more responses to that. The Marrakech declaration late in December 2018 is one of the response. 156, I think countries voted to have a regular ordinates and legitimate ordinary migration process - so people are assessing the fact that it is where the people are migrating the more in Africa - seventy-five per cent of the migrants in Africa do not cross the Mediterranean - they cross the borders to go from one country to the other. And that, of course, is a new challenge, which we have to take in consideration.

Sputnik: And who is responsible for helping and building comfortable circumstances for refugees to come back to their motherland?

Emmanuel Dupuy: Of course, of course, it is the importance of having an economic perspective.

Sputnik: And what should be done?

Emmanuel Dupuy: First of all, what should be done is to have a sort of open, overlapping capability, not only seeking for an immediate response, conjectural response - if we do not build the jobs for the future of the next generation - there will be no jobs. And if there is no job, there is sort of sentiment of indignity, sentimental revolts which will go higher and higher, 70 per cent of the population in Africa amongst the now 800 million  - and to be 1.2 or 2.6 by the end of this century - will not have a job. What will they do? They will be easily manipulated by organisation, which are challenging to state - because the state is no longer relevant or the state is no longer in these areas. The sentiments of incapacity of state or local or public authority to respond to an economic crisis will be the major driver of future terrorist or future revolts or future riots, as we can see now in the streets of Lebanon. The people in the streets of Lebanon are not terrorists. They are interrogating the capacity and the weight of the state of the institution to tackle their day to day problems. What we are experiencing outside of the European continent is as well inside the European continent. There was a recent study which was issued by a French newspaper in which one-third of the population is revolted and thinks that's their point of view is not sufficiently taken in consideration by political parties, institution, the states, the president, etc. So there is a widening gap between leadership and citizenship. And this is very dangerous because it can go in a point of extreme to terrorist actions or it can lead to revolution, reforms and gets governments to get to be ousted like it was the case during the Arab Spring in 2011 or the situation in which Prime minister of Lebanon gets just most missed it, having been forced to resign from his office, from his job.

Sputnik: How long does it take to fix the migration crisis?

Emmanuel Dupuy: Again, the migration crisis is a migration situation. I would not pinpoint the crisis dimension of migration, as I mentioned, migration is a normal thing. It has always happened. What is new is that this migration is challenging the responses of the state or the responses of the leadership. So what would it take? Better leadership, stronger leadership, more interaction between the leadership and the claims of these people and more representatively inside the decision-making process, for example. That is to say, at the United Nations, when you have five countries deciding four hundred and ninety others. Is that still relevant? Is that still democratic? In a way, it should be addressed in a wider perspective. How can we speak about the problem of terrorism and migration, which are striking the Middle East, North Africa, the African continent and Asia - and not have a representative of the African continent, the Asian continent, besides China, inside the United Nation Council or inside the G7? It is irrelevant. It is dangerous. And it has to be reconsidered and we should rebuild the agenda inside the international relations.

© AP Photo / Francois MoriPeople walk around to banner reading "Je suis Charlie"
'The Migrant Crisis is a Reality That Europe Has to Face' - IPSE President  - Sputnik International
People walk around to banner reading "Je suis Charlie"

Sputnik: We see how European countries are trying to actively deal with the consequences of the migration crisis: by regulating migration flows, closing borders, and changing laws. But what actions is Europe taking to reduce the terrorist threat emerging in Africa and the Middle East?

Emmanuel Dupuy: The rise of the terrorist actions - there was a recent poll in France mentioned in the fact that there has been an increase between 2015 and 2019. For example, 70 per cent of the terrorist actions in France took place during that period of time. That doesn't mean there was no terrorism before, but there was an increase. And the actions, of course, have been raised at this sort of industrial level. So there's been an increase. There's always been terrorism. But there's been an increase. It is not a tool inside the art of war, in a way, asymmetrical. I agree that warfare, counterinsurgency is becoming a tool which can be used not only by states but the ones who were fighting the states because there is less and less intra opposition, states go less and less to war one against each other. But we have a terrorist organisation, criminal organisation, criminal networks, mafia cartels - addressing the states. And how can we tackle that? First of all, having better relations among states, then the states which are struck in the same way. Let's say, for example, Russia. You say Russia is a bad partner because Russia is not doing correctly, what it should be is not addressing correctly - the Ukrainian crisis, etc. But then we can assess the fact that since 2004, there has been significant parallel on how terrorist organisation have struck in South Caucasus, North Caucasus, or in the border of Central Asia or in Moscow. And therefore, we need more cooperation between us, France and the countries who are experiencing terrorism. That is true of Russia. That is true with Israel. But that is true also with the countries with the southern shores, the southern borders, the Mediterranean. There have been attacks in Tunisia, in Libya, everywhere. And therefore, we need to share intelligence. We need to collaborate more. For example, the American government has made a very interesting point, having this sort of neutralisation of the judicial - security, police, defence, financial response to a terrorist organisation. And tackling the question, of terrorism from its roots, from its bottom to its top. Not only fighting against a terrorist organisation. Therefore, eliminating the leaders - Bin Laden in 2011, Baghdadi recently. But taking consideration that it's important to strike the leaders. And it is true inside as well in Afghanistan. But it is of utmost importance to eradicate the financing of this organisation, to forbid the pictures to be used by the followers or the believers, to say, OK, this is illegitimate because they are telling me it's legitimate and it's a task which implies positive or repositiving the narrative on Islam or not on Islam, because terrorism is not only striking inside the Muslim world. So these are some of the responses, better intelligence, sharing information, creating the tools to cultivate one to each other. And of course, taking in consideration that there is a huge capability to discuss amongst religious leadership, political leadership and economic leadership and diplomatic leadership. We, to this extent, have not sufficiently discussed one with each other. There's been of a sort of parallel track. Diplomats talk to diplomats, the United Nations is only states. We need to consolidate organisation or areas where you can have you can cross or fertilise one and each other. Academics speaking to politicians, security experts or militaries speaking to role models, social role models or economical actors, etc.

Sputnik: And I think it's very important - as was spoken at the session – building trust between the leaders…

Emmanuel Dupuy: Yes, the question of leadership is not one leader being stronger than the other - is having all of the leaders being strong because they're legitimate or legitimised by the sovereignty of their states or sovereignty inside the state. Popular sovereignty, national sovereignty. This is, I think, one of the responses we can address terrorism. Terrorism is addressing the lack of states. Terrorism is fuelled by economic distress. Terrorist organisations use criminal patronage or criminal way of seeking money, drugs, human trafficking, cigarettes, weapons, smuggling of weapons, etc. So it's impossible to eradicate the smuggling of weapons inside, for example, in the Sahel region and bringing a consequence of the Libyan crises. There are more or less 60 million arms of light weapons and arms of small calibre. No one will stop that. What is possible - is to prevent these people to use the weapons - because you give them the future, you give them a perspective.

If we leave out the two most dangerous organisations, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram, the growth of terrorist activity in Africa over the past ten years looks very modest. The riots, for the most part, are regional in nature and are often associated with discontent among local populations, directed primarily against the authorities. Nevertheless, after the Joint Command in the Africa Zone (AFRICOM) was created in 2007, the United States continues to build up its armed forces in the region. Does the scale of the terrorist threat in Africa justify US military intervention?

© REUTERS / Emmanuel BraunNigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015
'The Migrant Crisis is a Reality That Europe Has to Face' - IPSE President  - Sputnik International
Nigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, March 18, 2015

First of all, AFRICOM was not created to fight against terrorism. AFRICOM was created to justify the presence of American soldiers on the African continent. It is the latest African command in the continent of Africa –Africa was the only continent to not have a command. So, AFRICOM was created, as you mentioned in 2009, which is sitting not in Africa, but in Stuttgart, which gives you the impression that, of course, it was something that the Americans didn't think about or did not think with real legitimacy. Americans have deployed a certain number of special forces, drone capability and training, mentoring, train and equip capability. That was important as the Americans felt that a certain number of countries were not taking sufficiently in consideration the fight against Al Shabab, the fight against Boko Haram. But then things have changed - first of all, the United States has decided to withdraw everywhere in the world -because they thought wars - that the public opinion was not, I think, eager or ready to endorse. President Barak Obama used to say, I am a pacific president, forgetting that under his rule, he is the one who put the most American lives in danger - during the wars, of course, and continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Donald Trump is saying, OK, I don't want that anymore. But Donald Trump very well knows that if you pull out troops where you have maintained them in Syria, 2000, in the Middle East, 70000 in Africa, more or less 28-30 thousand deployed around 35 countries. This gives you less capability to have a say in the bilateral relations - if you make sure that America will be replaced by Russia, of course, if it is a factor of destabilization of less power. So Donald Trump as very intelligently said - what we used to be doing with official forces will be doing it with private forces, private contractors, private military companies. Exactly what Russia and other states are doing, by the way - it's very easy or it's better to tell the public opinion that when you are four members of the special forces who have been killed - this was the case in Niger three years ago. It's very difficult to justify - why have they been killed? What are the strategic interests of the United States in Niger? You would assess that France because 90 per cent of the uranium that we use comes from Niger. But it's more difficult to justify that for the US. This is why, for example, the United States opened its biggest military base in Agadez, right? Why in Agadez - because they are now putting less boots on the ground - worse, they are exactly doing what Madeleine Albright used to say concerning the Balkans. Why should the Americans do what our allies could be doing? It's called burden-sharing. It's unfair. It's a cynical burden-sharing. And the debate we're having with NATO is exactly that. Why should the Americans do what they've been paying for the others to be doing? You take the risk –we’ll pay, and of course, I think this will frame a lot of what is going to happen concerning the new security defence architecture in Europe - will the Europeans, members of European Union or Great Britain, or wider Europe accept that? We don't care. The Americans pay for the security of Europe - because we know one thing - they may not be here when we need them. When President Barak Obama was not here to help the Saudis when they were attacked – whether it was Houthis or the Iranians - did the Americans use the Patriot missiles? No. They said to the Saudis, we paid. We give you the money. Do the job. And I'm sure it will happen the same way in Europe. This is why Emmanuel Macron, I think, had made an interesting point, saying, OK, is Article 5 relevant? Will France use Article 5? Will we risk a war with Turkey? Of course not. Will America risk a war with Turkey? The meeting between Donald Trump and Erdogan prove the contrary. So we are in the situation where all that we built, all that we managed to understand with the Americans being partners on the security and under the defence agenda is collapsing. I'm not saying that America will get out of NATO. But I'm quite sure that if President Donald Trump is re-elected, he will put that as a sort of game-changer or way of pushing his ideology, saying he is a pacifist president and he is a non-interventionist president and he will say exactly what Barrack Obama used to say - let's make this be done by others.

Sputnik: What are the main factors in the radicalisation of Muslims in Africa that you can name?

Emmanuel Dupuy: First of all, strong or stronger narrative, some toasts organisation which happen to be more intelligent or more clever in the way they are using the indignity or the sentiments of the population in which state has no longer a capability of addressing. When you are in the northern part of Mali, when you are in the bordering area, which we call the three borders between Faso, Mali and Niger - the state is no longer there. I will give you another example, just not only to focus on Africa. I was deployed in Afghanistan in 2011. I was a political adviser for the French forces there. We had in front of us an insurgency. Were they jihadi militants? Were they Talibans? Were they insurgents? It's not important. What we didn't know at that, they had a grievance against the states, which was not delivering justice, which had no longer state civil servants and capability of addressing the need for basic civil public services. So the question you raise is very tricky question, because of course the terrorist organisations are using artificial narrative because they strike more, of course than having a more complex, a more legitimate, more intelligent way of assessing, for example, what is the prospecting of having a religion in which the Koran is both a civil code, a penal code or constitution. The question that I think can resume my answer, in response to your question is that - these terrorist organisation - I've understood one thing that there is a debate between liberalism and modernism. Modernism is more difficult - universal human rights, equality between sex, gender equality, secularity - is something which has not been naturally used or naturally put an emphasis and a certain number of society. These countries are such a number of countries post-colonial countries have only 60 to 70 years of independence. So they're not living the same way universalism values as we may have experienced having made a revolution 200 years ago. And again, in France, it's a very tricky question. People are saying - should the model that we put an emphasis with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1789 or the one in 1948 is still relevant? People are addressing that - and people are saying - well, maybe the model in which we'll be living is unfair, illegal, and we have to change it. Again, it's a very important question of every debate inside each civilisation - what is the nature of the state, which is the responsibility of the states, should the states have a say in a certain number of social-economical aspiration? So I think the debates in which the states have a huge states which are struck by terrorism, state, which have been challenged by terrorism - is to find the right narrative and to see why having a secular model is modern. What we are experiencing now - terrorism, migration, interrogation on whether or not faith is stronger than the state - is something we experience in Europe a thousand years ago, we had a war of religion. It lasted 30 years. It led to the Westphalia treaty in 1648. We had the use of terrorism. If you take, for example, the dreadful massacres - it is the same thing, population - French killing of the French - for the sake of religion. We interrogated with the reformist movement and we have celebrated 500 years of reform state. A religion saying should a religious book be the constitution of the state? Should we use the Bible to decide what is good for a nation or a city, etc.? The difference between knowing and believing - we have experienced this a thousand years ago and we spin this. We are experiencing this inside the Muslim world again - modernisation of Islam, Islamisation of modernity.


© REUTERS / Wolfgang RattayG20 leaders summit in Hamburg
'The Migrant Crisis is a Reality That Europe Has to Face' - IPSE President  - Sputnik International
G20 leaders summit in Hamburg

Sputnik: In your view, is Africa an actor in the current strategies or simply an issue of European foreign policy, as it relates to migration?

Emmanuel Dupuy: When it comes to migration, I think Africa can offer a model of what Europe should do. Let me be more precise on that. The European Union is discussing whether or not we should have a Dublin 2 process - we should have a binding European mechanism, which, of course, is not a reality amongst the 28 country - only 14 have agreed to do that. The new Slovakian president said - no migrants will cross the border between Slovakia and Serbia, between Slovakia and Austria. So, Europe has a lot to do. We decided to host 25 per cent of the refugees, asylum seekers, Germany as well, 10 per cent for Italy, etc. The reality again is that we can not only have a sort of mechanical response to an issue which will not end - if we say - we are going to have a hundred twenty-three thousand asylum seekers should be at ten thousand or twenty thousand more. Would that mean that only 10 or 20000 thousand more will cross the border? Absolutely not. We could not address that in a very mechanical, very institutional posture. Africa has another perspective - they decided to have a new approach saying, first of all, it is an African problem - because as I mentioned, 75 per cent of the migrants migrate from one country to the other in Africa, 80 per cent of the Guineans who go outside of Guinea, they are in Morocco. So we don't have anything to say about that - it's a question between Guinea and Morocco. So the African way of seeing the making crisis is addressing the insufficient economic cooperation amongst the African countries. It is tackling the necessity to have more infrastructural capability. IMF mentioned the fact that there were only 45 billion of euros invested in Africa. IMF is saying it should be 68 to 105 billion more. More roads, more bridges, more water capability, more airports, more railway station, more interactivity, more connectivity. So, in Europe, we are experiencing something that maybe we should have tackled 10 or 20 years ago. The question between integration and externalisation, or enlargement, for example, recently the French president said - Europe is not ready to host new parties. This question has been addressed during 20 years - Turkey, 1963, Albania - 2008, North Macedonia, 2001. And now we're saying, no, no, no. This is no longer relevant. We are not sufficiently strong and we have to build more connectivity between France and Germany. The problem with the migration is not that it is addressing a problem outside of the European Union - is that we have a problem inside. We do not know what are the common values that we are ready to defend. I'm not sure president Duda in Poland or prime minister Orban or prime minister Babiš, will address the same way as president Macron or Angela Merkel to the question of migration. So maybe the question of migration is interrogating the reality of the mutual unity and cooperation we have amongst European states. To be honest, I think we are experiencing better cooperation than bigger cooperation.

I'm not sure Brexit is a bad thing. I'm quite sure Brexit opens the debate on whether or not we should have a sort of mutual understanding of what we can lose together instead of the one saying that maybe we should build it on the common figures we have. That is to say, Europe is not 27. It may be only 6 or 12 countries. For example, in defence, the European intervention initiative, building more reactivity when it comes to deploying troops to fight against terrorist organisations. It is only 13 countries and it will not be more - because a certain number of our partners think we have nothing to do and when it comes to security with France or Italy - because we're doing that with NATO. So I think the migrant crisis is really interrogating the way we see our common perspective. So I see Europe having a sort of flexibility, elasticity. The utopia of having 28 for a common 28 foreign policy, a common 28 commercial policy at 28 defiance policy - having one policy for each is not viable. We have to make choices, choices that are about sensuality, not just about having a sort of engine and to start a car, you have to have an engine. Maybe we have to redefine what we really share together and accept to disagree on a certain number of issues. And I think migration is one of them.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала