The European Union decides to prevent further massacres of desperate people in the Mediterranean

  • 30 April 2015

Following the repetition of numerous tragedies, which have led to the deaths of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean, the European Union has decided to take action and launch a common strategy, involving all Member States. Most EU countries, also urged the United Nations to react in a unified way to what happened, they insisted on not changing the mandate of Triton, that did not turn into an act of ‘search and rescue. “The mission remains as border control, because the stronger the fear, from North to South, the “pull factor”, the factor lure migrants.

The Foreign Minister of the Interior and the European Union in Luxembourg by the Commissioner of Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos presented a ten-point plan to tackle the immigration emergency, which received the full support of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior.

The ten points are summarized below:

1) The European Union is committed to strengthening operations Triton and Poseidon in the Mediterranean “by increasing its financial resources” and extending their area of ​​operations. Specifically, the funds will be tripled, until reaching 120 million shares.

2) The EU is committed in “a systematic effort to capture and destroy the boats used by traffickers.”

3) They provide regular meetings between Europol (the European Police Office), Frontex (European Agency for the management of external borders), Easo (the European office for asylum support) and Eurojust (the Unit Cooperation European legal) to gather information on the modus operandi and the funds available to the human traffickers.

4) It is ordered that Easo unfold teams operating in Italy and Greece, to process asylum applications jointly.

5) The Member States will take the fingerprints of all migrants.

6) We will consider options for “a mechanism for relocation of emergency.”

7) There will be a large European voluntary pilot program on resettlement for those in need of protection.

8) Will set up a program to quickly send back illegal migrants, coordinated by Frontex.

9) The Commission and the External Action Service will commit the EU together with countries neighboring Libya; in particular, it will be strengthened.

10) Will be deployed immigration liaison officers (ILO) in key third countries to collect intelligence information on migration flows and strengthen the role of European delegations.

The reactions of the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker about the relocation and resettlement of migrants are hardly enthusiastic: Juncker wanted “a more ambitious”. The issue will be taken up through the Agenda for immigration; it will be, then, to the European Commission proposals to change the rules of the Dublin system on the management of asylum-seekers and to ensure that every country can do its duty in terms of solidarity.

“It is necessary that the new European strategy on immigration provides a quota mechanism that goes beyond the voluntariness: Europe must do its part with actions of shared solidarity”, said President of the EU Commission.

A positive aspect is that many countries have already expressed their willingness to offer their resources to meet the emergency, including France, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia and Norway. British Prime Minister David Cameron also offers helicopter carrier ship Bulwark, three helicopters and two patrol boats for rescue operations, in close contact with Frontex and the Italian authorities, but outside of Triton. The condition imposed by the British is “that people are brought into the country saved the nearest safe, probably in Italy, and they request asylum in the UK.”

Member States are preparing a roadmap for the implementation of the decisions taken by the European Council on 23 April. The transaction will lead to vessels and aircraft. Member States undertake to “destroy the business model” of traffickers. The intent will be to “make their lives impossible.” It should also ensure specify the role of Europol “for the removal of Internet content and materials that traffickers use to attract migrants.”

Italy is certainly the country, so far, has been in the forefront and took most of the responsibility groped to save and accept the desperate from the southern Mediterranean. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said, in fact, that before the emergency immigration “is the commitment to 90% on the shoulders of the Italian Navy, but the emergency is not just about Italy. We need to give more money to the operation of the European Triton”

Italy – said the President Grasso – has done and will continue to do its part, with a major effort of resources, personnel and equipment. It should, however, a European policy for the Greater Mediterranean, which should be a real priority for the Union.

About this issue Junker said: “it was a grave mistake you stop Mare Nostrum, has caused serious loss of life”, stressing that “Triton triple was only a return to normal, abnormal was let alone Italy “.

The migratory phenomenon that is occurring in the Mediterranean has taken in recent times, frightening. According to the IOM, the International Organization for Migration, over twenty-one thousand people have reached the Italian coast between early 2015 and mid-April, with a death toll that comes close to two thousand. In 2014, says the UNHCR, about 219,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean from south to north, with a budget of more than 3500 deaths. Statements IOM report that the current wave starring other countries: the whole range of sub-Saharan Africa, Eritrea, Somalia (these two countries with a high level of instability and ethnic violence – religious) and Syria. In the case of Eritrea, say NGOs for Human Rights, one of the thrusts for many young people would be to avoid military service, likened by many to a kind of slavery. The refugees from the Syrian conflict, now become the majority of those rescued by boats overloaded, moving initially to neighboring countries – Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey – where many of them then try the way to Europe. Some land: the border is more critical in this case the one between Turkey and Greece, where the influx also touches the Aegean islands very close to the Anatolian coast. In addition, the war in Syria has also seen refugees from this country groped to cross the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. As for sea travel, the route is still the most beaten by the central Mediterranean that leads to Italy, considered the most useful point of call if means to reach the countries of Northern Europe. Even from the Turkish coast southwestern depart many boats precarious – if not arriving on the coast in the Aegean Greek or sink – pass between Crete and the Peloponnese and arrive directly in Italy.

The sea route can also pass the Egyptian coast – the area of ​​Alexandria is a crucial hub for traffickers – but the conflict in Libya to be the boon for organizations of smugglers, because a large part of the coast is out of control any legal authority, and often conflicting militias turn a blind eye – if not participating directly – on illegal activities. Many sub-Saharan Africans who have tried to escape in Europe were also workers living in Libya were trapped in the war. Both they and those passing through, when they arrive in Europe tell of unspeakable abuse and violence suffered in Libyan territory.




Unlocking the potential of the Mediterranean region: the EY international conference

  • 18 April 2015

On 16 and 17 April was held in Rome the international conference organized by EY (Ernst & Young). This Conference was dedicated to the growth strategies of Mediterranean countries, to their possible synergies in Europe and to the role that Italy can play in this area.

BaroMed2015, a research dedicated to the Mediterranean area, and presented in the EY Forum, involved 156 top managers from 20 countries in the world. According to the research, Mediterranean is considered a more attractive than Europe (51%), than Africa (60%) and than Asia (52%), because Mediterranean area has “an economic growth faster than in other regions” and “more business opportunities, driven by population growth and urbanization, with the birth of spectacular new cities or districts which are located in the Gulf States, Turkey and North Africa”.

The American group, EY, was born in 1989 from the merger of accounting firms based in New York, respectively, in 1906 by Arthur Young in New York and in 1903 by Alwin Ernst in Cleveland. EY is today one of the major global consultancy, present in 150 countries. The Italian branch, which has a turnover of EUR 500 million (an increase of 10% in 2014 over 2013) with 3600 employees, organized the forum entitled “Unlocking the potential of the Mediterranean region”, involving dozens of managers and economists, more than seventy representatives of the most important companies in the twenty-seven countries of the Mediterranean and the investment was more than five hundred entrepreneurs. The sessions of the conference, dedicated to strategic sectors for growth in the Mediterranean, are: Energy, Life Sciences, Retail and Consumer Products, Real Estate to Infrastructure, Telecommunication, Media and Technology (TMT).

The EY Chief Executive Officer in Italy and the Mediterranean Area Managing Partner, Donato Iacovone, said: “We decided to organize this Forum with the aim to promote and support dialogue between Institutions, Investors and Companies”. The EY conference is an opportunity for these three actors “to meet potential partners to start that path of internationalization need to compete in global markets”.

“We have two objectives”, says Iacovone: “that EY Italy enter in the most prestigious national network of subsidiaries; we would like Italy should figure on a par with the most advanced of our corporation, and for this we aim to make it an annual event”. The second objective, explains the manager, “is to explore and exploit the infinite possibilities of development of the Mediterranean, always be able to start a process of lasting peace. If this were a single country it would be the second world power, even in front of China. Today the value of the area is more than 15% of worldwide turnover and internal trade exceeded 7 thousand billion, accounting for 20% of world trade! The possible areas of intervention, all well within the reach of the competence and capabilities Italian, are countless: telecommunications, water management (there are 32 million of people who live without access to clean water, just in Cairo), road and railway infrastructure, including installation site of major industries such as biotechnology”. “We would like to help Italy to make system – concludes Iacovone – and meanwhile helping whole vast segments of the population to find a way of redemption and growth”.

Economic activity in the Mediterranean as well as having enormous growth potential of the economy also has interesting prospects for population growth. “In fact we are talking about, continues the CEO Iacovone, an area that can contain until 535 million people, the 7.1% of the world population and that, by 2040, is expected to reach 750 million units, 8, 3% of the population overall. Within this scenario, Italy assumes, for location and vocation, a key role for dialogue and the development of the countries of the Mediterranean”.

Maria Pinelli, Global vice Chair Strategic Growth EY Markets, added: “The Mediterranean is an area full of potential, but it must confront the new challenges of the economic environment imposes. To overcome the problems and promote further economic growth of this basin is more over necessary to build an ecosystem that would allow new companies to grow and provide the know-how and the necessary financial support to start-ups to successfully deal with the early stages of their business. This basin is a certainly market for a growing number of young people around the world, who have innovative ideas and are looking for new markets in which to start their own business. To build an effective and functional growth in the economic system is necessary to exploit the synergies between governments, companies and entrepreneurs”.

In fact, Northern Europe is in many ways an economy now mature, but, according to the study BaroMed 2015, the countries bordering the Mare Nostrum have still great potential to express and Italy may be the leader of this growth. According to the numbers presented by Mondazzi – CFO Eni, who spoke at the Forum EY- last year the electricity in the southern countries of the area was produced for less than 73% from natural gas, while 13% came coal, 9% from oil, 4% from hydropower and only 1% from renewable. In the northern part of the region, however, the data are very different: 33% of electricity was generated by nuclear power, 20% gas, 16% from coal and equally from hydro, 13% from renewable and 2% oil.

The GDP of the region already exceeds 10 trillion dollars and “over the past five years there have been over 17 thousand projects of foreign direct investment”. According to the research, “between 2009 and 2013, the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, and the Gulf Countries have attracted 17,110 projects of foreign direct investment, mainly achieved in the European Mediterranean and the Gulf Countries (78% of overall projects)”. Due to a relative scarcity of potential acquisition targets companies and potential not expressed in the region, “mergers and acquisitions of companies during 2013 represent only 35% of total foreign direct investment, while Greenfield investments (those allowing the creation from scratch of productive activities) are 65% with a total of 85.8 billion dollars, a figure higher than that of China”.

The greatest investment opportunities are found in the field of business services (15.4%), digital industry (10.8%), and financial services (10.6%). As for the target instead of the acquisitions, the companies considered most interested those that belong to the sectors of telecommunications, media, technology (17.3%), retail, consumer products (15.4%) and energy (11.7%). “By taking advantage of the central location between Europe, Asia and Africa, the region is also developing sectors of real estate, tourism and retail trade”. There is then, according to the study, an interesting phenomenon: “Some investors are bringing their operations from Asia to the Mediterranean, to be able to better manage their supply chains to the demand of the European markets”, thanks to the presence of the 18 ports on 100 and 8 of 30 busiest airports in the world.

However, despite the positive outlook, many of those interviewed in BaroMed2015 “highlighted potential risks: instability (an average of 53% in 5 sub-regions) – as not to think of Islamic terrorism, the Islamic State in particular, or Crisis in the Middle East and Libya, in North Africa – and the lack of transparency (29%) are the main obstacles to investment and sustainable growth”. Moreover, it emerges “concerned about the lack infrastructure in certain countries and for economic stagnant Europe, which remains the main source of capital of the whole region”. For Italy it is however important to engage this train: in 2050, we learn from the research, “the emerging economies of the region will exceed in terms of GDP, growth, innovation and adoption of disruptive technologies some of the developed countries”.

Regarding the energy sector, “in countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, the renewable market is already mature – said during the same meeting Carmelo Staircase, executive vice-president of new business development EDF Energies Nouvelles – What is lacking is rather the willingness to grow the market by removing regulatory barriers”.

Massimo Derchi, managing director of Erg Renew, pointed out that the biggest problem is the lack of overall coordination of energy policies within the European Union, as it is shown that Europe wastes every year, billions of euro due to the distribution infrastructure for the exploitation of renewable energy. For example, in Germany the photovoltaic is six times more developed than in Spain, where, however, to take advantage of solar radiation are much greater. Opinion Derchi, which still recognizes the responsibility of individuals, who have “defended for years a model unsustainable,” is that individual countries should cede some of their sovereignty to the European Commission, also in terms of energy policy. “Otherwise, declares Derchi, if everyone will want to continue to have full autonomy, the chaos will continue.” In general terms, however, “will be inevitable Darwinian selection of the player in the coming years: the big companies will survive and some niche, while medium-sized ones will remain in play only if they can reduce operating costs and develop appropriate technologies.”

In the Southern Mediterranean region there is a different situation and this involved the necessity of governmental investment in the infrastructure sector and of greater political stability and law. In particular, “the North African countries are making an important transition to market economies – said Harry Boyd Carpenter, senior banker of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – and the development of the great potential of renewable will have a prominent role in this process.”

It’s clear, however, that, in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, only one type of energy is not enough: “The real objective is to select the best combination of sources – concluded Mondazzi – and at the same time improve the transmission of energy, which impacts significantly on costs. “On these fronts that companies are calling on governments to act.

The Italy-Mediterranean Business Forum: in Venice were established the new strategies for a Mediterranean market

  • 1 April 2015

The Italy-Mediterranean Business Forum was held in Venice on the last 26th of March, with the aim of improve the integration of Mediterranean markets, including economic and social, through an entrepreneurial culture in shared values ​​and strategies aimed at growth .

In the Mediterranean, Italian exports in 2014 reached almost thirty billion euro, more than two and a half times what we export to China, three times the exports in Russia and as much as one to the United States. This data highlighted the centrality of the South-Mediterranean for our businesses, particularly for SMEs. Despite these numbers, however, in the interchange total of the Mediterranean, Italy has lost its leadership in Europe, which in 2013 went to Germany.

Globalization is having as a result is a growing standardization, is the emergence of the need to highlight the importance of our common culture and the originality of the Mediterranean, an area of ​​the world that has made history. The business is not within the boundaries of a country: for this you need to promote an idea of ​​the business community and of belonging to it.

The forum was also attended BusinessMed, an organization that brings together business organizations central Mediterranean, which serves as a carrier of a new way of doing business, based on respect for the cultural and the proximity of the countries, surpassing the approach “Business to Business” to land instead an approach “Partner to Partner”.

The Barcelona Conference had shown the way in 1995: creating an area of ​​shared growth between the European Union and the countries of the southern Mediterranean. Today more than ever we need an economic policy that raises this path of integration. And it is necessary to create systems mature business on both sides. With awareness: the model of small business is a key factor for development. These are the premises of the Italy-Mediterranean Business Forum, established to create opportunities for cooperation between our country and those of the Mediterranean. Through the forum they discussed the main areas of cooperation and analyzed specific cases of collaboration between Italy and Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The goal is to strengthen cooperation between the countries on both shores of the Mediterranean, and facilitate the formation of business partnerships. Globalization requires first a real regionalization: the future of this area in the medium term through the creation of a common market in the Mediterranean.

During the Italy-Mediterranean Business Forum representatives of businesses and business organizations Italian and the countries of the Mediterranean basin they have had a chance to meet and discuss the themes of the Forum. This action was made with the aim of contributing to the creation of a real market integration of the Mediterranean, including economic and social. The contribution of SMEs and innovation is the base to addressing the challenges facing the countries of the area and that it can enhance competitiveness.

Italy, according to the findings from the Forum Venetian, must therefore stand as a reference point between the North and South shores of the Mediterranean. A new business model can be created using Mediterranean increasing involvement of private companies of the two sides in business partnerships. This model could reposition the Italian industry as an example and reference for the entire area and strengthen our country in the role of bridge between the economies of the Southern Mediterranean and Europe. The role, in fact, the common market is also to contribute to the economic and social prosperity and peace, through creating greater economic also the foundations of a political union.