The European Union tries to prevent a wave of migrants from Libya

ALTHOUGH he was not there, it was hard to escape Donald Trump at the European Union’s latest summit. Held in Malta on February 3rd, the day-long event focused on new plans for handling migration, particularly for stemming the flow of people making their way towards Europe from sub-Saharan Africa through Libya and across the Mediterranean. It also touched upon broader (and slightly wonky) questions of what the EU means 60 years on from the Rome treaty. But it was Mr Trump who dominated proceedings. François Hollande, the French president, called his American counterpart’s comments earlier this month denigrating the EU “unacceptable”. Describing the new migration plans, Federica Mogherini, the union’s foreign policy chief, said “we do not believe in bans and walls”, a slap at Mr Trump’s executive order on refugees and his plans for a wall on America’s Mexican border. Yet the EU’s new plans could be just as chaotic and ineffective as Mr Trump’s.

After the EU struck a deal with Turkey in March 2016 to crack down on people-smuggling in the Aegean sea, the flow of migrants from Turkey to Greece dropped dramatically, from 57,000 in…Continue reading

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