Luca Lixi is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sheffield. His research is part of the Prospects for International Migration Governance project (MIGPROSP), led by Andrew Geddes, and now based at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute, Florence. Mr. Lixi’s work focuses on European external migration governance with a geopolitical focus on North African countries.
Mr. Lixi previously worked at the European Commission on issues of external relations and migration governance. He has also served as a consultant for the European Migration Forum organized by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, and was a visiting researcher at MPI Europe.
He holds an MSc from the London School of Economics in international migration and public policy.
In the face of an uptick in unauthorized arrivals in Italy from Tunisia in 2017, the European Union dusted off earlier policy proposals such as funding to increase Tunisia’s border-control capabilities and the creation of disembarkation platforms. This article explores why contemporary developments, including a fragile Tunisian political system, suggest the need for a different approach.
Since the 2015–16 refugee crisis, European policymakers have eagerly sought cooperation with origin and transit countries in the hopes of stemming unauthorized migration to Europe. This approach is neither new, nor without its limitations. By examining the evolution of two longstanding Mediterranean partnerships—between Spain and Morocco, and Italy and Tunisia—this report offers insights on what has and has not worked.