Fulfilling implausible expectations : reducing migratory flows from Libya amidst porous borders


This policy brief discusses the hypothesis that EU-sponsored border management policies explain the dramatic reduction in migratory flows from Libya to Italy over the past months. It argues that the data available dismiss the significance of the Libyan Coast Guard’s contribution to this end, and are insufficiently reliable to demonstrate the strengthening of Libya’s southern borders. These observations invite the conclusion that events taking place at Libya’s external borders provide a less convincing explanation for Europe-bound migratory flows than what occurs within Libya, thereby questioning the assumptions surrounding EU migration management and crisis response policies.