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Channelled Policy Transfers: EU-Tunisia Interactions on Migration Matters

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AbstractThis study analyses how the migration policy options of the Government of Tunisia have been codified by repeated interactions with the European Union (eu) and its Member States. It argues that these interactions have been shaped by the gradual consolidation of a hierarchy of priorities where the drive for operability and security predominates. A hierarchy of priorities delineates the contours of the perceived top priorities that should be tackled first and foremost, while hiding or dismissing others. Having historicized the origins of this hierarchy, the study sets out to show that the prioritization of security concerns in bilateral and multilateral migration talks allowed the leadership of former President Ben Ali to skilfully readjust or channel transferred rules and policies on migration matters with a view to strengthening its own domination. This had serious implications for human rights observance in Tunisia. Today, after (or despite) the radical transformations that took place in Tunisia in early 2011, the same hierarchy of priorities continues to exist. However, its resilience may raise a host of complicated issues, given the empowered advocacy role of civil society organizations and the manifest alertness of Tunisian population.

Affiliations: 1: Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University InstituteVia delle Fontanelle 19, I-50014 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI)


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