The Sangatte Agreement is a bilateral agreement signed between France and the United Kingdom in 2002 that aimed to manage immigration and asylum seekers. It was named after the Sangatte Refugee Camp, a controversial migrant camp located near Calais in France.
The Sangatte camp, run by the French Red Cross, was set up in 1999 to accommodate refugees and migrants trying to reach the UK through the English Channel. The camp housed up to 2,000 people at its peak and was seen as a symbol of the growing immigration crisis in Europe.
The UK government was concerned about the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country and wanted to reduce the number of people using the Sangatte camp as a base for entering the UK illegally. The Sangatte Agreement was signed in an effort to address this issue.
Under the terms of the agreement, France agreed to increase security measures around the camp to prevent migrants and refugees from attempting to cross the Channel. The UK, in turn, promised to take a greater role in managing and financing the camp.
In addition, the UK agreed to provide financial assistance to France to help it manage its immigration system and deal with the influx of migrants and asylum seekers. The two countries also agreed to work together to establish better systems for managing immigration and asylum seekers.
The Sangatte Agreement was seen as a significant step towards improving cooperation between France and the UK on issues related to immigration. However, the agreement was not without controversy. Many criticized the UK for not doing enough to help refugees and asylum seekers and accused the government of trying to pass the responsibility for managing the Sangatte camp onto France.
Despite these criticisms, the Sangatte Agreement remains an important document in the history of cross-Channel cooperation on immigration issues. It was an early example of two European nations coming together to address a shared problem, and it continues to influence discussions around immigration policy in Europe today.