“Not Our Burden”: A Principal–Agent Analysis of Morocco’s EU-Style Migratory Policies

Ilyssa Yahmi, Temple University

 

Introduction

The “waves of refugees” or “migrant crises” of the past decade have shaped diplomatic relations to the extent that some scholars have written about the Western Mediterranean security complex (Haddadi 1999, Benantar 2013, Hamzaoui 2020, Stivachtis 2021). Internal displacement, cross-border migration, and mobility between Africa and Europe continue to increase. Hot topics newly associated with migration—including radicalization and terrorism—shape inhumane and negative perceptions utilized to “justify” exceptional measures and policies.[i] Since 2008, European states have united behind the banner of the European Union (EU) to contract out “irregular” migration limitation to external partners for its own internal security.[ii] This strategy has been materialized through the Migration and Mobility Partnerships (MMPs), which are enticing “bundles” aimed at assisting the EU to manage “its” migrant or refugee crisis.

This paper employs a principal–agent (P–A) analysis to explore how Morocco, a key transit point for migrants coming from Africa to Europe, has operationalized its MMP with the EU. The study draws upon the literatures on migration and refugee rentierism and delegation in international organizations. The paper shows that partnerships can trick and trap principals when agents apply conditions to implementation of the delegated task and thus impose their divergent preferences or hidden interests. I use the terms “refugee” and “migrant” interchangeably, as what Europe labels a refugee, Morocco calls a migrant. The paper will not tackle the motivations of the migrants or the rigors of their journey, but one must remember the numerous catastrophes that have occurred in the past decade, making the Mediterranean first and foremost a “graveyard”,[iii] rather than a “pasta strainer.”[iv] The racial motivations and domestic factors nurturing the political treatment associated with migration commodification—that is, capitalizing migrants, although it goes with dehumanization too—will also not be discussed (but for relevant work, see Irgil 2024).

The following sections will review the literature on migration rentierism and delegation in international organizations and lay out the working theory for the case studied. I first examine the EU as a principal, contracting out “mobility” control and externalizing its borders. Next, I analyze Moroccan policies implemented after the MMPs were signed. To illustrate a key dimension of the refugee rentier bargain, the paper focuses on the externalization of border management and the delegation of migration control as requested and proposed by actors of both sides of the Western Mediterranean in response to migrant crises.

 

Delegating Migration Control: Lessons from Principals and Agents

A major strand of the literature on migration explores migrants’ integration into societies and refugee rentierism by political parties and governments. This has led scholars to study the commodification of migrants, where migrants or refugees become commodities in the eyes of some states (Tsourapas 2019 2021). Importantly, the concept of refugee rentierism paves the way for studying the rent-seeking behavior of sending, transiting, and hosting states (Lynch and Tsourapas 2024). Transit states like Morocco seek to extract two types of rents. First, Morocco’s economy relies on remittances and other goods and services provided by its emigrants, which makes Morocco an emigration rentier state. Second, Morocco and other transit states partnering with the EU “employ their position as host states of forcibly displaced populations to extract revenue, or refugee rent, from other state or nonstate actors in order to maintain these populations within their borders” (Tsourapas 2019, 465). Through the MMPs, this refugee rent takes the form of both budget allocation and strategic linkages to impose political interests, but it can take other forms as well (see Worrall 2024, on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states; and Dhingra 2024, on international assistance).

Delegation “is a conditional grant of authority from a principal to an agent that empowers the latter to act on behalf of the former” (Hawkins et al. 2006, 7). When both sides of the contract stick to the terms, delegation works as a cost-saving device. Yet asymmetries of information and failure to devote optimal effort can jeopardize the implementation of the contract, for instance if the principal chooses agents that are not the most competent or organized to fulfill the contracted tasks. Three problems can occur while delegating authority (Nielsen & Tierney 2003): hidden information from the principal that would hurt the agent; hidden actions from the agent that would be sanctioned if known; and “Madison’s dilemma,” when the agent uses powers granted by the delegation of authority against the principal. To alleviate risks, the principal can employ four strategies: screen and select to ensure compatible interests and capability, oversee via third parties, resort to checks and balances, and implement a credible reward and sanction system (Nielsen & Tierney 2003). Since the EU seeks to further its internal security through these mobility partnerships, Morocco is naturally expected to bargain with the EU and attach conditions to fulfillment of the tasks.[v] Yet, beyond the monetization of mobility limitation and visa facilitation offered to Morocco in the partnership, Morocco can still “smuggle in” other interests and condition the success of the delegated task (Barnett & Finnemore, 1999, 705).

The scholarship on delegation and refugee rentierism advances that this smuggle in of interests by agents can materialize through at least two non-mutually exclusive strategies: blackmailing (threaten to flood Europe if agents’ preferences are not considered), and back-scratching (keep refugees in the transit country or deport them to borders because they are perceived simultaneously as a financial opportunity and a human burden) (Tsourapas 2019). Whether contracted agents utilize migrants’ lives and bodies as a pretext to pressure their principal (Greenhill 2008 2010), they switch tactics as a way to bargain their domestic interests and often their economic survival. As in the cases of Lebanon, Türkiye, and Jordan, states acting as agents in the EU’s policy have increased the gains from their partnerships with the EU after signing their respective MMPs (Gazzotti 2022, Micinski 2021; Tsourapas 2019). Partnering with the EU to combat irregular migration while facing domestic pressure and an economic crisis increases the public’s perception that Morocco enjoys EU support. Concomitantly, delegation signals that Morocco plays an important role in controlling the EU’s borders, justifying why it can exert influence over its principal. Assuming that partnerships are based on the perception of domestic elites in how “their state is geopolitically important” (Tsourapas 2019, 465), I explore the strategies to which Morocco, acting as the EU’s agent in migration policy, has resorted despite potential retributive and reputational costs.

 

Extracting Rent From Refugees: A Win-Win for Principals and Agents at the Expense of Migrants

The paper combines theories on refugee rent-seeking and migrants as “weapons” to, first, understand the mechanisms agents have employed to advance their interests (Greenhill 2008 2010) and, second, to formulate two related arguments.

First, I argue that migrants constitute a rent source upon which EU agents depend to make a profit. This implies that the presence of migrants in its territory allows Morocco to sign and maintain partnerships that attract financial compensation and other benefits from the EU. Morocco monetizes the prevention of forced or labor mobility around the EU while enhancing its own political and development agenda and offering little or no protection for migrants. Consequently, what is a burden for the principal becomes an opportunity for its agents.

Second, I argue that agents have discretion over the mechanisms they implement to control migration as agreed with the principal. For a state like Morocco, relying on two types of migration rent implies a strategic compromise because the conditions associated with each rent conflict. Being contracted by the EU means making profit from migrant regulation. Consequently, taking that refugee-seeking rent is counterproductive to the emigration-seeking rent. Thus, a state like Morocco relies on emigration rent for development and on refugee rent for advancing its political and economic interests, particularly through linkages with other international organizations or states. Therefore, the timeline for the signing and implementation of the partnerships matters in understanding when and how EU agents shirk their responsibilities and take actions to trick or contradict the EU’s directives and preferences.

Through the P–A framework, I examine the EU’s motivations and opportunities to delegate migration regulation, and the strategies used to alleviate risks posed by granting autonomy and authority to external agents. The EU has screened and selected states to act as its agents to ensure compatible interests and capability and establish a credible system to reward them. Morocco has profited from this contract, as its strategy to ease its economic crisis has involved facilitating remittances and making undocumented migrants profitable, which the MMPs offer, since they embrace a “more for more approach” and “rely on simultaneously negotiated visa facilitation and readmission agreements” (MEMO/11/800). However, I argue that the EU has lacked the ability to sanction or control possible agent opportunism when it contracted them (Madison’s Dilemma). I show that, consequently, Morocco has resorted to scaremongering tactics to pressure the EU, including through the instrumentalization of migrants as a form of border regulation. Coercing support for certain geopolitical issues has functioned as a non-violent diversionary strategy while consolidating Morocco’s position on the international stage. Lastly, tackling irregular migration for transit countries poses the question of regional solidarity and state identity. Public and political reactions after every west-central Mediterranean boat tragedy sadly reflect a loss in humanity despite some media challenging the trivialization and normalization of migrants’ deaths.

 

Methodology

This paper studies the EU delegation process of migration control to Morocco, which is both a country of origin of migrants and a transit country, through a revisited P–A analysis.[vi] For insights on the principal side (EU as donor) in the delegation chain, see Norman and Micinski (2024). Morocco is a relevant case given its geographic proximity to Europe, and the domestic political tensions and economic crisis of the past decade. Some migrants have been regularized, but most migrants have stayed between a few months and a few years, and have taken jobs in the tourism, catering, and hospitality industry or in home help services before attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to reach Europe.[vii] According to Hugon (2017), 30,000 migrants and refugees were regularized in 2014 despite an unemployment rate of over 30% for young people. Evidence used to document the case study comes from the EU and its various agencies’ websites together with official statements, newspapers, political speeches, and reports from governmental, non-governmental, and intergovernmental organizations.

 

The EU: Contracting “Mobility” Control Through Border Externalization

The P–A framework helps analyze the EU’s incentives and expectations in the delegation of human mobility management, as stated in the MMP signed by Morocco in 2013. By expanding and externalizing its border control to non-member developing states, the EU turned its “human burden” into a financial and political opportunity for Morocco.

 

EU’s Incentives to Delegate Mobility Control to Morocco

The first MMPs came after bilateral action plans between external states and the EU, and was concomitant to the creation of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum in 2008. Morocco signed its MMP in 2013, amid a regional crisis and before the first European “migrant crisis” declared by the Luxembourg Presidency in 2015. Given that these MMPs were drafted before the crisis “officially” started, they were potentially thought of as preventive tools.

The increasing number of undocumented Moroccans in Europe, the number of migrants crossing the Western Mediterranean more broadly, and the regional weakening of states following the Arab uprisings and conflict in the Sahel were central elements persuading the EU to partner with Morocco on migration. The EU subcontracted Morocco, given:

“(1) the overall relationship that the EU maintains with each partner country, (2) the current level of capacity in the partner country to manage migration flows, and (3) the willingness of the latter to engage in a constructive and effective dialogue.” (COM (2011) 292)

Indeed, the EU and Morocco have signed several agreements to foster dialogue, exchange, and cooperation since the Barcelona Process of 1995 (Mirel 2021). In 2011, 84% of the Moroccans living abroad were based in Europe, which one could argue justifies fostering a privileged partnership with the EU (IP/13/513). The 2011 EU New Response for a Changing Neighbourhood (COM (2011) 303 final) —based on reforms in governance and rule of law, security, social cohesion, economy, and environmental policy—allocated €1.4 billion to Morocco (while Jordan and Egypt received €750 million, and Tunisia €1.6 billion). Certainly “Morocco benefits from an advanced status in its relations with the EU,” but its previous experience with border control was dismissed in the screening process (JOIN/2015/50). The Ceuta assault of 2005, in which migrants were killed by police forces,[viii] alerted the EU and Morocco to the need to better enforce border controls. The NGO Act Together for Human Rights [Agir Ensemble pour les Droits Humains] criticized repressive migration policies to ensure security and warned about the potential transfer of European responsibilities to third countries that would absolve Europe of certain disasters.[ix] Yet Morocco was incentivized to further its partnership with the EU to mitigate its domestic crises and reduce its growing public debt.[x] Indeed, in the P–A model, agents are rational actors who will only accept a contract if the benefits outweigh the costs associated with the tasks. Thus, despite the resilience of the monarchy, tensions within the government and prospects of a burgeoning Hirak Rif movement instilled a quest for both external support and economic stability from Morocco.

 

Objectives and Expectations of the MMPs Proposed to Morocco

The MMPs are “innovative” diplomatic contracts based on “shared interests and concerns” to enhance the cooperation between the EU and Morocco (MEMO/11/800). The joint declaration establishing the mobility partnership between the EU and Morocco comprised about 46 measures and directives divided into six sections. The wording emphasizes ideals, with half of the measures aimed at boosting existing mechanisms and broad directives. The first 11 measures aim at enhancing and strengthening the mobility of Moroccans, including better access to information, visa facilitation “for certain groups of people, particularly students, researchers and business professionals” (IP/13/513), and smoother integration into the EU. The next nine directives seek to reinforce information exchange, the Moroccan authorities’ capacity, and existing mechanisms for border management. They also mention support for migrants’ fundamental rights, awareness campaigns on human smuggling and trafficking, and assistance in equipping Morocco with a functional legal framework. In the next seven objectives, the focus is on reinforcing the role of diaspora, mitigating brain drain, and favoring remittances. The eight horizontal initiatives aim to reinforce dialogue and Morocco’s capacity. The last nine implementation measures stipulate that the MMP is non-binding, needs to be renewed as needed by parties, and engages both parties to cooperate on the abovementioned objectives. None of the 46 measures are quantified or quantifiable, leaving room for interpretation and evolution from both parties.

For the EU, contributing as a privileged partner to Morocco’s economic development promised a reduction in its domestic instability, and therefore in irregular migration. But through these MMPs, “the contracting parties content themselves with an agreement that frames their relationship—that is, one that fixes general performance expectations” (Williamson 1985, 3). In exchange for maintaining masses of migrants in transit countries (migration), which comes with reputational and financial costs, the EU offered facilitation in circulation (skilled mobility) and financial compensation. Setting such vague and non-exhaustive expectations made for blurry instructions and thus established unclear standards, which translated into a reappropriation of the contract terms by the agents. These partnerships lack not only control procedures for situations where the contract is not explicit, but also mechanisms to adjudicate disputes or possible opportunism by agents (Williamson 1985). Therefore, the principal trapped itself in a situation where it could neither assess agency nor impose sanctions, which gave agents plenty of autonomy to impose their own preferences and compel the principal to review its priorities. Despite the screening and selection of compatible agents and a credible reward system, external agents successfully smuggled in their own interests once the EU had adopted a victim position amid the influx of unwanted human movement.

 

Morocco: Instrumentalization of Migrants as Blackmail Strategy for Diplomatic-Level Coercion

The EU–Morocco MMP, finalized in 2013, is a logical continuation of the ties the two parties have nurtured, namely Europe’s reliance on Morocco for border control and Morocco’s reliance on migration rents to enhance its economic situation and advance diplomatic interests, particularly the recognition of Western Sahara as part of its national territory. Morocco’s economic stability and development rely on emigration rent in the form of remittances (sending funds back home) and transferable skills (investing in the homeland and sponsoring fellow citizens). Migrant remittances to developing countries reached $351 billion in 2011, more than twice the global amount of development aid,[xi] and “are more efficient in less financially developed countries with remittances acting as a substitute for credit from the financial sector” (World Bank 2010). According to the World Bank 2010 Migration Report, remittances sent from Moroccan migrants back home reduce the probability of being poor from 15% to 8%. Remittances also positively impact investment in human and physical capital. For instance, children in remittance-receiving households have a lower school dropout ratio, and women receiving remittances work less than other women. Thus, by partnering with the EU to better manage border and migration flows, Morocco has also worked on improving its economic situation to mitigate domestic grievances. But, as irregular migration increased, primarily from Algeria, Sahelian, and coastal West African states, Morocco’s strategy was to monetize the maintenance of migrants outside EU territory. This created a second rent for Morocco to benefit from, in the form of financial compensation by the EU and political linkages. Between 2014 and 2022, in exchange for controlling borders and combating irregular migration “including by using new technologies and exchanging best practices with the EU agencies, Frontex and Europol,” Morocco has benefited by €1.5 billion (IP/19/6810).[xii]

Lastly, a conditional pillar of the MMP was that agents provide asylum services to migrants. Although these MMPs mention that “successful integration in countries of destination creates better conditions,” third countries were not legally bound to take steps to readmit or integrate migrants (COM/2011/292). Morocco ratified the Geneva Convention in 1956 and its protocol in 1971, but it is not legally equipped to organize asylum despite increased calls for an effective system since the 2005 Ceuta tragedy. Asylum is still delegated to the High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, making this EU objective another ideal and lengthening the delegation chain.

 

Engineered Refugee Rent and Diplomatic-Level Coercion

The European strategy of offering migrants financial incentives to relocate to third countries outside of Europe can come with coercion at the diplomatic level from these third countries. Morocco smuggled in the resolution of (or at least advancement on) dated disputes with the EU or some if its member states, particularly regarding the status of Western Sahara. Morocco has sent credible threats and used migrants to contest the EU or EU member states’ actions or position. This instrumentalization of migrants—what Greenhill has called “weaponization”—concretely consists of letting migrants cross the Mediterranean or enter Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish autonomous cities, to flood Europe.[xiii]

In official statements following critical events, Morocco reminds us of its efforts and dedication to combat illegal immigration and regularize the situation of sub-Saharan migrants.[xiv] The free trade agreement on agricultural and fisheries products concluded between the EU and Morocco in 1988 was due to be renewed for the 2019–2023 period. Despite the financial benefits, renewal was jeopardized following a European Court of Justice ruling of a case brought by Polisario Front, Western Sahara’s pro-independence movement, which claimed that the agreement excluded the territory’s inhabitants from negotiations and was thus illegal.[xv] In 2016, the European Court of Justice decision that Western Sahara should be included in free trade agreements sparked frustration for Morocco, which, in February 2017, contributed to the “massive” influx of migrants into Ceuta.[xvi] According to an official statement from the Ministry of Agriculture published the same day (retrieved from Benjelloun 2019), Morocco declared that:

“any obstacle to the application of this agreement is a direct attack on thousands of jobs on both sides in extremely sensitive sectors, as well as a real risk of resumption of the migratory flows that Morocco, through sustained effort, has managed to manage and contain.” (97)

Another event that turned into a diplomatic crisis also questioned Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, when the General Secretary of Polisario Front and proclaimed President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was being treated for COVID-19 in Spain: “weeks after Ghali’s hospitalization, more than 10,000 migrants surged into Spain’s tiny North African enclave of Ceuta as Moroccan border forces looked the other way, in an incident seen as meant to punish Madrid.”[xvii]

In 2021, Spain was coerced to publicly recognize Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara, “ending a decades-long stance of neutrality.”[xviii] As a consequence, Spain contradicted the EU and European Court of Justice rulings and infringed its bilateral and EU relations with Algeria and the SADR.[xix]

Morocco was able to attack the EU’s position on Western Sahara because the EU had no mechanism to either sanction agents’ behavior or set boundaries in its MMP. Intentionally allowing migrants to reach European territory despite the MMP signals that Morocco uses migration as a “safety valve” and blackmail tool.[xx] Moroccan threats are credible because of the EU’s deeply rooted fear of being flooded by migrants, which gives its partners enough leverage to bargain. Morocco’s implementation of the MMP is therefore an ingenious manipulation of migrant movements as political weapons of dispute to enhance its economic situation, advance its geopolitical interests, including the recognition of Western Sahara as part of its national territory, and thus coerce states to violate international legislation.

 

Conclusion: Migrants as Profitable Instruments, MMPs as Tricky Tools

This paper has explored Morocco’s engineered refugee rent and diplomatic-level coercion through a P–A analysis of the MMPs agreed with the EU. The MMPs have been instrumental in commodifying, monetizing, weaponizing (and thus dehumanizing) migrants, although their original goal was to enhance cooperation in combating irregular migration. In the case studied, the EU strategically delegated border control management to Morocco, given its geographic proximity, history with the EU and its member states, and its reputation of being a stable partner. However, the EU did not implement oversight and control mechanisms over practical demands, such as cooperating with Frontex or ensuring migrants’ regularization and safety. The P–A analysis of the MMPs shows that agents smuggle in their own interests and preferences with conditions not previously agreed. Morocco has unlocked a strategy where it makes credible threats regarding the non-resolution of its disputes, in turn dragging the principal into a spiral of pressure and blackmail. While better understanding the wheels of refugee rent-seeking, it remains to analyze the rent derived from proxy quasi-immigration state actors (see Malit 2024, on his work on the Emirati strategy), autonomous entities (Yassen 2024; McGee and Ahmed’s 2024 contribution on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq), and from criminal and non-state armed groups (see Bish’s 2024 contribution regarding EU work in Libya).

 

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[i] The EU “had a key role to play in managing the growing overlap between international crime, terrorism and migration” (EU Institute for Security Studies 2016, 91).

[ii] The 2014–2015 migration flows were also referred to as the “Arab winter” (ibid, 87). Additionally, the EU strengthened its border surveillance system “to respond to migratory pressure […], and to reinforce the security of citizens within the Union.” Available at: https://france.representation.ec.europa.eu/informations/leurope-est-une-passoire-vraiment-2019-03-20_fr.

[iii] Yousfi, N. 2020 ‘The Mediterranean Sea, a Graveyard for Humans and Hopes,’ As-Safir Al-Arabi. Available at: https://assafirarabi.com/en/30281/2020/04/06/the-mediterranean-sea-a-graveyard-for-humans-and-hopes/.

[iv] Than, K. 2022. ‘Despite Border Fence, Hungary is Route of Hope for Migrants to the West,” Euronews (Reuters). Available at:  https://www.euronews.com/2022/02/19/uk-europe-migrants-hungary.

[v] Considering the EU as a unitary actor may scare some because it is a conglomerate of actors, but the EU is also “increasingly speaking with one voice” when it comes to migration (MEMO/11/800). Perhaps it is easier to blame one singular actor and more challenging to hold a plurality of actors accountable for border mismanagement.

[vi] Initial works on the principal-agent model focused on Congressional dominance in the United States (Weingast, Calvert, and Moran (1982; 1983; 1984)). For critical overviews, see Mitnick (1980), Moe (1984; 1987). On transposing the Americanists’ modeling and hypotheses in the subfield of International Relations, see Pollack (1997; 2002; 2003).

[vii] On how states can regularize migrants but manipulate their work status, see Babar’s comprehensive study of the Azad visa within GCC states (2024).

[viii] AFP. 2005. ‘ L’assaut D’immigrants sur L’Enclave Espagnole de Ceuta a Fait Cinq Morts.’ Le Monde. Available at:  https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2005/09/29/l-assaut-d-immigrants-sur-l-enclave-espagnole-de-ceuta-a-fait-cinq-morts_694052_3210.html.

[ix] See: https://www.ldh-france.org/10-octobre-2005-Immigration-Le/.

[x] García, B. L. 2014. ‘Morocco 2013: A Year of Crises. In European Institute of the Mediterranean Yearbook. Available at: https://www.iemed.org/publication/morocco-2013-a-year-of-crises/.

[xi] Pereira, A. S. 2013. ‘Maroc et Union Européenne. Conclusion du Partenariat Pour la Mobilité: Quand se Mêlent Perspectives Nouvelles et Réserves.’ EU Logos. Available at: https://www.eu-logos.org/2013/06/28/maroc-et-union-europeenne-conclusion-du-partenariat-pour-la-mobilite-quand-se-melent-perspectives-nouvelles-et-reserves/.

[xii] Frontex is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. See also: https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-03/EU_support_migration_morocco.pdf.

[xiii] Some find the terminology used in debates on this issue problematic because it dehumanizes migrants and nurtures a political agenda. Unfortunately, there is to date no consensus on suitable alternate ways to describe how powerful entities instrumentalize migrants for political advantage.

[xiv] Akhannouch, A. 2017. ‘L’UE doit clarifier sa position et mettre un terme aux discordances au sujet de l’accord agricole avec le Maroc.’ Le Matin. Available at: https://lematin.ma/journal/2017/aziz-akhannouch-laquo-l-rsquo-ue-doit-clarifier-sa-position-et-mettre-un-terme-aux-discordances-au-sujet-de-l-rsquo-accord-agricole-avec-le-maroc-raquo-/266675.html.

[xv] Andrés, P. 2023. ‘L’Accord de pêche Ue-Maroc Bloqué Dans L’Attente D’Une Décision de Justice sur le Sahara Occidental,” Euractiv. Available at: https://www.euractiv.fr/section/agriculture-alimentation/news/laccord-de-peche-ue-maroc-bloque-dans-lattente-dune-decision-de-justice-sur-le-sahara-occidental/; “Ministro marroquí de Agricultura: trabajamos “con mentalidad constructiva” para desbloquear el acuerdo con la UE,” EFE Agro. Available at:  https://efeagro.com/ministro-marroqui-agricultura-trabajamos-mentalidad-constructiva-desbloquear-acuerdo-la-ue/.

[xvi] AFP. 2017. ‘À Ceuta, 850 migrants franchissent la frontière Maroc-Espagne.’ Le Monde. Available at: https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/02/20/plusieurs-centaines-de-migrants-franchissent-la-frontiere-a-ceuta_5082355_3214.html.

[xvii] Reuters. 2021. ‘Western Sahara leader’s treatment in Spain angers Morocco.’ Available at:  https://www.reuters.com/world/western-sahara-leaders-treatment-spain-angers-morocco-2021-05-18/.

[xviii] AFP, 2022. ‘Polisario Front Breaks off Contact with Spain Over U-turn on Western Sahara,” France 24. Available at:  https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20220411-polisario-front-breaks-off-contact-with-spain-over-u-turn-on-western-sahara.

[xix] Despite some contradictory signals sent by some EU member states and agencies, the EU supports “a political process with the aim to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self‑determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,” in UNGA 77 – Fourth Committee: EU Explanation of Position on Western Sahara Resolution (October 14 2022). Available at: https://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/un-new-york/unga-77-–-fourth-committee-eu-explanation-position-western-sahara-resolution_en.

[xx] El Azzouzi, R. 2021. ‘Sahara Occidental: le Maroc Ouvre les Vannes Migratoires pour Faire Pression sur l’Europe.’  Mediapart, May 19 2021. Available at: https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/190521/sahara-occidental-le-maroc-ouvre-les-vannes-migratoires-pour-faire-pression-sur-l-europe.