Czech officials advocate stronger Africa collaboration to address illegal immigration

Top Czech officials say openly addressing criminal networks fueling undocumented migration to Europe is crucial to effective policy-making.


Written by ČTK Published on 21.11.2023 12:03:00 (updated on 21.11.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Top Czech officials have said this week that openly addressing criminal networks fueling undocumented migration to Europe is crucial to forming effective policy, as is working directly with the immigrants' countries of origin.

At a parliamentary security seminar, Interior Ministry asylum chief Pavla Novotná said that organized crime is the primary organizer of illegal migration to Europe. She told the legislative body that discussions surrounding this fact have become mainstream after being taboo for decades.

Unique cooperation opportunities with Africa

Novotná and Czechia's director of military intelligence Jan Beroun agreed the Czech Republic must partner with African states to manage various migration drivers, from internal displacement to security threats exacerbating cross-border movement.

While European approaches towards Africa have proven "a total tragedy," given former colonial interests, bilateral ties allow unique cooperation potential, Beroun said.

The officials advocated cooperation as opposed to isolation as the means to dismantle smuggling rings preying on migrants while working on policies to address mass displacement and its root causes. Managed migration schemes were deemed unrealistic without trust-based African partnerships.

Data from The European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex shows the central Mediterranean route remains the most traveled thus far in 2022, with nearly 144,000 crossings from North Africa to Italy, a 68 percent increase over last year. Arrivals to Greece from Turkey and migrant flows through the Western Balkans also rose sharply.

With Mediterranean crossings rising sharply in 2022, tackling transnational organized crime necessitates honest dialogue and coordinated solutions between all impacted regions, officials concluded.

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