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HomeInformationA Façade of Migration Agreements: A Critical Expat Examination

A Façade of Migration Agreements: A Critical Expat Examination

A Façade of Migration Agreements: An Expat Perspective


There is a long-standing and contentious issue that is omnipresent both in domestic and international politics across Europe: migration. Julie Gripenberg’s article in a local Swedish newspaper rings an alarm bell on one facade of this critical issue – the EU’s malfunctioning migration agreement with North African and Middle Eastern countries. As expats, our viewpoints on this matter, which is characterized by human distress, may be drastically different from those of the Swedes.

Why is the Migration Agreement Important?

Migration is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brings new people, new ideas, and new energy into countries. On the other hand, it often embodies desperation and danger for those making the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean. For migrants, especially those from Syria, the search for a better life has pushed them into the arms of death, with their hopes drowned in the sea.

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Every EU government is aware of how potent the migration issue is, a veritable powder keg that could lit electoral downfall. Such is the tragic dichotomy – while there’s a human desperation to migrate, many EU countries resist accepting migrants. Chaos sharpens the blade with undocumented entries exacerbating distrust among member states, each fearing to bear the weight of the issue alone.

The Deal with Tunisia and the Bitter Reality

Part of the EU’s new migration policy includes establishing strategic agreements with countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Turkey to control migrant influx. In essence, these countries are paid to act as gatekeepers, preventing migrants from reaching Europe’s gates. But these agreements often turn out to be hollowballoons inflated with false hope.

Take the recent deal struck with Tunisia, which promises better border control in return for the EU’s financial help, as an instance. Yet, summer news reveals a bitter reality where Tunisian authorities allegedly forced migrants into inhospitable desert regions bordering Libya and Algeria, leading to multiple deaths.

The Impact on the Expat Community

As expats, many of us might empathize with the migrants’ hope for better opportunities, a hope that possibly brought us here as well. However, we also recognize the nuanced reality of hosting incomers and the tensions it might create within the domestic population. This delicate interplay of hopes, aspirations, and practicalities define the complex webs we navigate as part of a global community.


The dysfunctionality of the EU’s migration policy is causing an increasing amount of discomfort both domestically and internationally. As the EU tries to get its act together, we, the expat community, hope that ‘functioning’ does not always equate to ‘inhumane.’ An ideal agreement should strike a balance between preserving human dignity, countering risks, and managing demographics, and this indeed places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the policymakers. The question is whether they can carry it effectively.

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