Just in the nick of time for the Brexit vote, Brussels claims it will spend €62bn to halt migration from Africa. Of that €62bn, Brussels will pony up precisely €3.1bn and expects cash strapped EU countries struggling with their budgets to come up with another €3.1billion.
The rest of the money assumes 10 times leverage from private markets who will supposedly want to invest in Africa migration halting schemes.
Please consider Brussels Bargains with Mideast and Africa for Fix to Migrant Crisis.
Brussels is planning to dangle a host of incentives before Middle Eastern and African countries -- from better trade terms to easier access to visas and even a share of €62bn of investment -- on one condition: they stem the flow of people into the EU.
It is not clear that what worked in Turkey can be replicated elsewhere, both because of the costs involved and the often unsavoury governments on which Brussels will forced to rely. [Mish comment: assuming of course it has worked in Turkey other than temporarily, and that if it has "worked", the final repercussions will not be worse than the initial problem].
"A new migration compact will mean Europe going even further down a dangerous and inhumane path: the EU rewriting its foreign policy so that it serves the single objective of stopping people from coming to Europe," said Natalia Alonso of Oxfam.
A planned investment fund of €62bn will be dished out on the basis of co-operation on the migration issue, rather than need.
As a quid pro quo, countries such as Nigeria must more readily accept the return of migrants who entered the EU illegally. At the moment, only 40 per cent of illegal migrants are ever deported, meaning that most people who enter the EU illegally are able to remain.
For the EU, the deals would come at a price. Following the Turkey deal, in which Ankara won €6bn in aid, European Council president Donald Tusk warned that Europe ran the risk of "blackmail" by potential partners.
To some extent, this warning has been borne out. Countries on migratory routes to the EU know that they have leverage and have proven willing to name their price. In May, Niger demanded an extra €1bn -- roughly a seventh of its total gross domestic product -- from the EU just to help it halt the flow of people who head through the country on their way to Europe.
The EU investment fund's headline figure of €62bn looks large. But for the moment it is a mirage. The commission will put aside €3.1bn and ask national capitals to match this total -- something that they have not always been willing to do.
If they do, the commission argues it can then leverage its €6.2bn pot by up to 10 times, by persuading private and other public backers to invest in infrastructure schemes in Africa and the Middle East.
"Final Sweetener" Warning to the UK
The commission also proposes opening a side door for highly qualified candidates from around the world to come to the EU by liberalising its "blue card" programme, the EU's oft-ignored attempt to copy the US's successful "green card" work visa.
At the moment, the scheme is far less popular than its cousin across the Atlantic. It is little used in all countries apart from Germany, which accounted for 90 per cent of all applications after it issued 11,580 in 2014. By comparison, Belgium issued just five.
The commission wants to loosen the rule slightly as part of a plan to make the "blue card" the main avenue for skilled non-EU applicants to enter the EU, superseding any national systems aimed at qualified migrants. Denmark, Ireland and the UK would not have to take part in the scheme.
Supposedly, Denmark, Ireland and the UK would not have to take part in the scheme. Anyone really believe that? For how long?
Here's a fitting image courtesy of the Telegraph.
Refugees: "We want to talk with Cameron". Indeed they do.
Blackmail and Mirages
Clearly there is not €62 billion the EU can dangle in front of Africa. There is precisely €3.1 billion of which Niger alone demanded €1.0 billion.
How this encourages private industry to invest €56 billion is a mystery.
Actually, I take that back, it is either a purposeful lie, sheer stupidity (or both), miraculously hatched just in the nick of time to tell the UK that something is being done about the migration crisis.
Icing on the Lie
I suspect the leverage is sheer stupidity, and the "blue card" exemptions for the UK, is icing on the lie.