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