Expulsion or Return? A Plea for Terminological Clarity. By J.P. Cassarino
Jean-Pierre CASSARINO, College of Europe, Warsaw (Poland), holder of the chair Migration Studies IMéRA/AMU in 2020, deliver a policy brief published by Unesco which is an annoted version of a speech delivered in october 2019 during the event “From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0”, jointly organized on 24-25 October 2019 in Helsinki by the European Policy Centre, the European Migration Network and the Odysseus Network.
Politologue de formation et arabisant, Jean-Pierre Cassarino est actuellement Senior Research Fellow au sein de la Chaire « politique européenne de voisinage » du Collège d’Europe (Varsovie, Pologne). Il y dirige également l’Académie sur les Migrations Internationales tout en enseignant et en développant des recherches sur les questions migratoires. Il sera titulaire en 2020 de la Chaire Fulbright/IMéRA sur les études migratoires et travaillera sur les Fonctions et implications du système de la réadmission en Méditerranée. (Plus d’informations sur le projet ICI)
In this policy brief, Jean Pierre Cassarino denounce that the line between “voluntary” and enforced return has turned out to be too blurry. In the facts, real expulsions are hidden behind volountary return programmes and equating the two constitutes a denial of migrant’s human conditions. Jean-Pierre Cassarino underline that a grounded approach of “return” is always needed to understand and realise that reintegration is a question of access to opportunities : opportunities to find a job, transfer one’s own skills and social rights, stay mobile, start a family… Reintegration is about helping migrants complete their migration cycle.
But using “return” as a laconic umbrella term to refer to expulsion invariably deflects policy attention from the real causes of the problem and from the need to respond to migrant’s safety, and human rights, while the issue would be to foster the legal, economic, and institutionnal conditions for ensuring the reintegration of returnees migration cycles.
So, migrants expelled or removed from abroad are not returnees. As long as no distinction is made, current so-called “return” policies are not policies, conclude Jean Pierre Cassarino in his text.