This paper analyses how stakeholders in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries evaluate the EU’s role, approach and policies in the field of migration, mobility and asylum, focusing on the policy instruments it has adopted, the actors involved (or not involved) in policy-making, and the substance of implemented policies. Based on extensive in-depth interviews conducted with a wide range of stakeholders – including in particular different types of civil society actors – in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Europe, the analysis shows that the EU’s discourse is informed by two dominant frames – unilateralism and securitization – which translate into Eurocentric, securitizing and conditionality-based policies. The analysis demonstrates also that female migration is underrepresented and misrepresented in both EU and SEM discourses, which translates into the lack of an overall strategy to mainstream gender in migration policy-making. Based on this assessment, the paper presents a series of policy recommendations that have emerged directly from interviewed stakeholders in SEM countries. The fact that these recommendations are grounded on solid and credible empirical bases makes them particularly relevant and authoritative vis-à-vis European interlocutors

 

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