Analysis

EU nations turn to authoritarian states to solve migrant boat crisis

After Britain’s deal with France to curb cross-Channel boats, EU nations are paying authoritarian countries such as Turkey and Tunisia to try to stop migrants taking to the water, writes Borzou Daragahi

Thursday 29 June 2023 20:54 BST
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<p>Survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Greece that is believed to have killed hundreds earlier this month </p>

Survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Greece that is believed to have killed hundreds earlier this month

It is a problem that the EU has struggled to deal with for years: what to do with the thousands of refugees and migrants seeking to reach the continent’s shores by sea? The answer from officials in Brussels? Outsourcing the issue to authoritarian governments in countries people leave or cross to get to Europe.

European Union leaders this week are set to bolster plans to pay the governments of Tunisia, Turkey and others to keep refugees and migrants – including some escaping war and political repression – from attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

A two-day Brussels summit on migration and other pressing matters on Thursday and Friday comes after the capsizing earlier this month of a fishing boat carrying hundreds of refugees and migrants, many of whom appear to have perished.

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