It needed the drowning of 1,000 people within 24 hours for the European Union to wake up and call an emergency leaders summit on Thursday in order to show that can effectively tackle the migration crisis.
At a joint meeting of Foreign and Interior Ministers in Luxembroug on Monday, High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, presented a 10 point plan of the immediate actions to be taken in response to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean. The plan received the full backing of Foreign and Interior Ministers.
- Reinforce the Joint Operations in the Mediterranean, namely Triton and Poseidon, by increasing the financial resources and the number of assets. We will also extend their operational area, allowing us to intervene further, within the mandate of Frontex;
- A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels used by the smugglers. The positive results obtained with the Atalanta operation should inspire us to similar operations against smugglers in the Mediterranean;
- EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO and EUROJUST will meet regularly and work closely to gather information on smugglers modus operandi, to trace their funds and to assist in their investigation;
- EASO to deploy teams in Italy and Greece for joint processing of asylum applications;
- Member States to ensure fingerprinting of all migrants;
- Consider options for an emergency relocation mechanism;
- A EU wide voluntary pilot project on resettlement, offering a number of places to persons in need of protection;
- Establish a new return programme for rapid return of irregular migrants coordinated by Frontex from frontline Member States;
- Engagement with countries surrounding Libya through a joined effort between the Commission and the EEAS; initiatives in Niger have to be stepped up.
- Deploy Immigration Liaison Officers (ILO) in key third countries, to gather intelligence on migratory flows and strengthen the role of the EU Delegations. (source: EU delegation in UN)
In other words, the plan foresees: boosting maritime and border patrols in the Mediterranean, targeting people smugglers and working with migrants’ home countries and the nations they travel through to try to dissuade people from taking to the seas in the first place.
But these proposals are not new.
Devastating scenes in Rhodes, when a boat with 100-150 migrants broke apart 50 meters away form the shore.
The 10 points plan may have been accepted but EU leaders are not do not have the same ideas on what to do. Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi, for example, promotes the concept of establishing refugees centers in the Middle East and Africa, where refugees could be provided with temporary asylum. Renzi’s idea is being supported by Austria.
“Italy wants more money and EU solidarity, Britain prefers to target the people smugglers, Germany (inundated by asylum claims) wants to share the responsibility for refugees and asylum seekers across EU countries.” (BBC)
So what will the EU leaders do on Thursday? Stir in the same old problem pot, unable to implement a common migration policy?
Theory and practice
The migration proposals will be costly financially and possibly also politically for EU countries. Britain is not the only place with a general election this year and immigration is an explosive issue.
That is partly why, until now, countries not directly affected by the crisis preferred not to be involved. The migration debate is exploited by populist parties across Europe. Governments also felt that money was tight following the economic downturn.
This highlights one of the EU’s fundamental weaknesses.
To tackle the migration issue effectively you need co-operation, money and political will in all of the EU’s 28 member states.
Even if a common migration policy is eventually decided, the EU Commission has no means of enforcing its implementation.
(opinion article Can EU agree on response to migrant crisis? in full BBC.com)
If EU members could agree they would have done it already, right?
It’s the Troika’s answer to the eurozone, transferred to the migration sphere. And, of course, it’s the same southern countries paying the price for this mess — while northern Europe tries to insulate itself from an effects.
This is the beginning of the end of the European Union, I fear. The mental dwarfs running the EU are incapable of putting together a coherent policy on anything, except saving useless private banks in Germany, France and the UK.
Hm, I guess you are not one who let’s facts ruin your arguments:
Sweden, Germany (and France) share the major burden when it comes to taking care of migrants. Especially Germany took in a large number of Syrian refugees.
But hey, let’s keep the “Bad North Europe” propaganda going if it makes your life better, right…
Now here’s a perfect example of “The pot calling the kettle black”. Thanks for the laugh Alex, didn’t think you had it in you…
The number of refugees hosted by northern Europe, especially the UK, is miniscule in comparison with the scale of the problem. There are 1.6 million Syrians in Turkey, over a million in Lebanon, 250,000 in North Africa — and how many in Europe?
And which countries decided to interfere in Iraq, leading to the emergence of Al-Q`aida there? Which countries secretly financed and armed Syrian rebels, leading to the rise of IS and the collapse of Syria. Which countries bombed Libya when Gaddafi fell out of favour, leaving Libya with no effective state or economy?
The expectation is that 200,000 more asylum-seekers or others will arrive in Italy this year, and 100,000 in Greece. And the EU offers to host another 5,000??!!! Sorry, it is the same sort of unfunny joke as the eurozone “rescue” of Greece — basically, serving the best interests of Germany, France and the rest of northern Europe.
Admittedly, Germany takes a lot more refugees than the UK. It is one of the few positive things we can say.
Maybe you have the guts to further elaborate on that and come up with some facts that contradict my point(s).
Hey, you might accidently educate yourself on some topics along the way…
If that was a reply to me, I can tell you that I have 25 years of research, 4 books and about 80 other publications on migration and asylum. You are the one lacking an education on the issue. I don’t try to prove my arguments in smart-ass remarks on blogs.
Well. let’s see. I’m not going to read through all your drivel again, once was enough. So of the top of my head, 2 recent incidents
– you stated more than once that the EU will kick Greece out if… No such thing will ever happen, because it can’t ever happen, the EU CANNOT kick anybody out, as was admitted by both the EC, Merkel, and the EU parliament.
– You stated that leaving the EURO would immediately double Greek debt. Which is patently untrue and a deliberate lie spread by “Bilt” like types like yourself. I even educated you on why this is patently untrue.
– You’re account of what caused the crisis in Greece and elsewhere is patently false, and deliberately omits the real facts in favour of propaganda. Admitting the real facts would automatically mean you will have to admit that the neo-liberal economic model you so love is indeed a vulture economy, and bound to fail.
– You speak of “growth”, which is again a deliberate lie. There is no such thing as growth, all there is is transfer of wealth, from those who have little to those who have too much. The only thing that “grows” is debt, and in order to maintain the fiction of growth, debt must keep growing as it is now the driver of world economy. The road to hell…
Instead of insisting that other “educate” themselves, you might start doing some of that yourself. Start with simple counting. Just be warned you’ll need a lot more than 10 fingers to count all the porkies you’ve been spreading here as of late. A lot more…