Fighting the causes of flight plays no role for the EU. The goal now is to keep people seeking protection away at all costs.

Refugees in Tunisia

Refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean were intercepted off the coast of the southern Tunisian city of Sfax in June 2023. Photo: Hasan Mrad/IMAGESLIVE via ZUMA Press Wire

According to UN data, more than half of Sudan's population, 17.7 million people, have very little to eat. One tenth, more than 4 million, suffer from acute malnutrition. Almost 9 million are fugitives inside and outside the country. Beyond the borders, in Chad, for example, everything is lacking. There are humanitarian aid organizations, but they don't have money. While the world rightly watches the horror in Gaza, the horror in Sudan is being forgotten almost a year after the start of the war between the country's most powerful generals. Whoever can, flees. Anyone who cannot die, dies.

This is the invisible reality of Africa, whose visible end is manifested in misery camps for “illegal” refugees in North Africa and overcrowded ships that capsize in the Mediterranean. Not only in Sudan, but in many countries, from Mali to the Congo, entire societies are collapsing under the force of the deliberate or gradual destruction of their living conditions.

Europe faces this reality with a mixture of harshness and blindness. The difficulty lies in the determination to stop “illegal” migration, make access to asylum procedures more difficult, and facilitate the deportation of those seeking protection. To achieve this, the EU concludes agreements with authoritarian transit states such as Tunisia, Egypt or Mauritania, where fundamental rights do not apply. Blindness consists of ignoring the reasons why people move and risk their lives for the prospect of a better life.

“Combating the causes of flight” was for years the central mantra of German refugee policy: better living conditions in countries of origin reduce emigration. It has always been a fallacy: better living conditions allow many people to broaden their horizons. But at least it was recognized that there are reasons for the flight.

Today we no longer talk about “fighting against the causes of flight.” Europe simply does not want more refugees, at least not European ones. Other countries are no longer paid to reduce the causes of flight, but to prevent flight. People should get along on the other side of the Mediterranean; The main thing is that they stay there. If necessary, huge amounts of money are spent on this and at the same time they are buying qualified workers and green energy sources all over the world.

Europe wants to benefit from the wealth of the rest of the world while remaining ignorant of the misery of the rest of the world. Is it any wonder that the rest of the world doesn't want to know anything about Europe? If Europe makes its policies without the rest of the world, the rest of the world makes its policies without Europe. Soon the aging continent will be left alone and will no longer understand the world. And the world won't care.

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