Migrants at the gates: the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy in the South Mediterranean

The issue of irregular migration from the South Mediterranean has grown in importance since the Arab Spring. In addition, calls from a number of Member States to reconsider the Schengen agreement have triggered a serious institutional debate over one of the basic European rights: free movement. These debates partly coincided with the institutional and policy changes brought by the enforcement of the Lisbon Treaty, which has modified the EU’s external action.