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Migration Pact: Commission bows to EU’s xenophobic regimes at Greece’s expense

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proudly announced on Wednesday the Migration Pact, the EU’s proposal for Migration and Asylum. “The Pact offers a fresh start,” von der Leyen said adding that “the old system to deal with migration in the bloc no longer works.”

She stressed that the EU needs to establish a predictable migration management system and called for “sustainable solutions.”

What is the “fresh start”?

First of all, relocations of refugees and asylum-seekers are no longer mandatory. But “sponsorships” come, instead. EU member-states can help -on voluntary basis, of course, – a country that receives asylum-seekers to send them back home if their asylum applications have been rejected.

Instead of taking in a specific number of relocated asylum seekers, member states could instead help another country to return the equivalent number of irregular migrants to their home country.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson: There will be no mandatory relocation quota – instead Member States will be able to choose between relocation, and return sponsorship.”

A country that decides to sponsor returns would have eight months to implement them, and it would even be able to decide which nationality of migrants it wants to try to return. But if it fails to implement the returns, it would have to take in refugees instead — and it would not have a choice when it comes to their nationality.

This “sponsorship” scheme is just one of the measures of the Commission Migration Pact proposal. The rest practically foresees that asylum-seekers will be stuck in Greece and Italy and Spain in camps or send back to their countries.

In order to accept refugees or asylum seekers, countries will receive 10,000 euros for each adult, from money from the European budget. No country will be obliged to offer asylum.

Governments that reject relocation and sponsorship schemes could  choose to spend money on other measures, such as funding reception centers in front-line countries such as Greece.

Again, the EU proposes to contain people in camps at borders and on islands.

Accelerated asylum procedures include a “maximum four weeks for the application of derogation from registering applicants for international protection.”

Among others, the Migration Pact foresees also:

  • New compulsory pre-entry screening involving health, identity and security checks
  • A faster asylum border process involving decisions within 12 weeks and swift returns for failed applicants
  • Expand opportunities for asylum seekers with ties to other countries to get those countries to process their claims.
  • Return more irregular migrants to their homeland, in part by appointing an EU coordinator for such returns.
  • Each state would be legally required to contribute their “fair share” – based half on GDP, and half on population size
The new pact is also designed to replace the ageing Dublin regulation, which requires asylum claims to be handled in the EU country where the applicant first enters the system. Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said the old regulation was designed for a few people fleeing dictatorships, not today’s reality.

The fate of the Migration Pact will be in the hands of EU member countries and their parliaments.

Task Force for Lesvos

The commission announced the creation of a task force in order to improve the situation of refugees and migrants on the island of Lesvos.

Priority of the task force is to work closely with the Greek authorities to build new reception facilities in the coming months. The goal, according to them, is for the facilities to be of European level, with durable infrastructure and access to health care and adequate sewerage.

It will take into account the special needs of women, children and families, and will require greater involvement of EU and international organizations, such as the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration.

In addition, the task force will oversee a number of actions:

  •  -End the overpopulation by transporting vulnerable people to the mainland and continuing the relocation of unaccompanied children and families with children to other Member States.
  • – Fast procedures to ensure clarity and certainty to applicants, but also to improve the relationship between key procedures, including asylum and return or integration supported by EU-European Asylum Support and Frontex agencies.
  • – Increase voluntary returns through the implementation of the ongoing assisted voluntary return system that was previously halted due to the coronavirus.
  • Improved security and protection for migrants and asylum seekers fully supported by the EU agencies Frontex and Europol.

Criticism

Criticism on Migration Pact came immediately and thus from those involved with migration issues, right on the spot and not from some comfortable Brussels chairs: from the NGOs.

They label the Pact as “BRX bubble pessimism,”  with BRX referring to Brussels.

From Human Rights Watch

For one more time the Commission and its relatively new leadership show that they are not able to handle crises. Instead to taking efforts to unite, they gave in to the xenophobic pressure and hardliners from some countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and others.

They abolish the mandatory quota and the “fair share” in the reception of refugees.

Under the label “flexible solidarity,” they allow EU member states. to choose whether to accept refugees or to take responsibility for their return to the countries of origin of those whose asylum applications have been rejected.

First host countries such as Greece and Italy will continue to bear the burden of the migration and Refugee crisis and depend on the good or bad will of their EU partners in Central and Northern Europe.

So far, there has been no reaction by the official Athens and will not be any. Then hardliners among the Greek government believe that if migrants and asylum-seekers see chances to be relocated to Europe they will keep flocking to Greece.

PS the King’s fresh cloths are, in fact, the old ones and yet he is still naked.

The Commission’s Migration Pact is here  packed in attractive categories and decorated with nice words that underline our modern powerful but empty European Values, wishes and promises

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2 comments

  1. Angelos Eleftheriou Kenos

    Oxfam and other NGOs, especially the Hellenic despising Germans, should be utterly ashamed of the gross pressure that they have placed on the shoulders of the Hellenic people, a burden made worse given the nation’s struggling economic issues. Some have literally sent boats TO Turkey to return with hundreds of refugees whom they then dump into the hands of the over stressed people of Lesvos and other islands. Have they looked at the growing evidence that refugees started toe Moira fires? Or the blatant vandalism of Hellenic Churches?
    Have they considered how the Hellenic people have given all that they can to help and are being repaid with evil?
    No, these pompous NGOs, including OXFAM, with their VERY highly paid CEOs, only care about pretending to care – except they care NOTHING about the Hellenic people.

  2. It’s not enough to say our European neighbours should be ashamed of themselves for the burden caused by so many thousands of displaced people and disgusting scapegoating of Greece. Human tragedy yes, but they’ve made our country absolutely disgusting, dirty, dangerous and full of petty crimes, nuisance begging when we have our pen problems here. Nobody is stating fact here in Athens, that NOBODY WANTS THEM HERE because of political correctness. I moved to an area I had researched for months before deciding to purchase there and now it has become central Africa, complete with people literally shitting near dumpsters we have to walk past on the street, and prostituting themselves and selling drugs all under the noses of the absolutely useless police. Patisia, for instance, has become a God-damned ghetto. I’m sorry for these people, but it is not up to Greece to fix their damn problems too. Turkey for starters should be SANCTIONED by the EU for a host of reasons by now, as should Arab countries who refuse to take in their own!!! It’s not enough to “condemn” and “scold” and “criticize” those countries – do something that hurts back!!!! Additionally, incentivising our government to process more of them by paying the Greek government for each one, means they will “process” ANYBODY without proper checks as to who they are and if they are problem-causers and have records of narcotics or violence etc, just to line their own pockets and make sure they fuel their next summer holidays and luxury homes and cars. Stop with the talking, and do something! Genuine asylum seekers should be taken in by countries aligned with the same religion and values and are closer!!! Stop using Greece as a gateway to Europe. Stop the possibility of getting processed here and they will stop coming.