EU-Egypt migration cooperation: where are human rights?

Brussels, July 15, 2019

The new EuroMed Rights study “EU-Egypt migration cooperation: at the expense of human rights,” published today, maps EU and Member State cooperation with Egypt in migration and border management. The study highlights the impact of this cooperation on the rights of refugees and migrants in Egypt and offers concrete recommendations for action. This publication follows the second meeting of the Migration Dialogue between the European Union and Egypt, which took place in Cairo on 11 July.

While Egypt does not constitute a major country of departure for migrant movement towards Europe, the report finds that attention towards EU-Egypt cooperation on migration is predominately driven by Egypt’s attempts to strengthen its image as a regional leader, gain European support for its counter-terrorism policy and obtain funds for its domestic projects. If EU-led cooperation programmes in Egypt have stalled, certain Member States have stepped up bilateral cooperation on migration, going so far as to increase deportations of Egyptians back to Egypt where they could face severe human rights violations.

“EU support to Egypt on migration has served to reinforce Egypt’s policing capacities and harsh border management policies, legitimising and strengthening the violence of the authoritarian Egyptian regime,” said Wadih Al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights. “We urge the EU to consult independent NGOs, inside and outside Egypt, on migration cooperation, assess the human rights impact of EU-Egypt agreements and funding, report to the European Parliament on cooperation between Frontex and the Egyptian authorities, and reject any proposals for a readmission agreement with Egypt.”

The study can be found below: