The EU's Missions and Operations from the Central Mediterranean to West Africa in the Context of the Migration Crisis
Keywords:European Union, migration crisis, Common Security and Defence Policy, EU missions and operations, securitization
This paper focuses on investigating how distance affects the political decisions on interventions, from geographically the closest to the farther CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) missions and operations. More specifically, we look at the utilization of the CSDP missions and operations in the context of the migration and refugee crisis. As part of the broad foreign policy toolbox, the EU started to use its CSDP missions and operations to address some of the root causes of migration (like internal security and border management issues) in the countries of origin. In this research, we investigate how the mandates and objectives of the missions and operations in the Mediterranean and West African region have changed between 2013 and first quarter of 2022 in order to support the EU's migration policy. Missions and operations gained political capital and more financial and political support from EU Member States as a consequence of the migration and refugee crisis. This support is visible in the expenditures of the three examined missions in the Sahel. Moreover, the European Agenda on Migration of 2015 stated that migration is to become a specific component of CSDP missions and operations. Consequently, the EU started to count on CSDP missions and operations to handle irregular migration in 2015.