/news

    • EU: Frontex splashes out: millions of euros for new technology and equipment (19.06.2020)

      The approval of the new #Frontex_Regulation in November 2019 implied an increase of competences, budget and capabilities for the EU’s border agency, which is now equipping itself with increased means to monitor events and developments at the borders and beyond, as well as renewing its IT systems to improve the management of the reams of data to which it will have access.

      In 2020 Frontex’s #budget grew to €420.6 million, an increase of over 34% compared to 2019. The European Commission has proposed that in the next EU budget (formally known as the Multiannual Financial Framework or MFF, covering 2021-27) €11 billion will be made available to the agency, although legal negotiations are ongoing and have hit significant stumbling blocks due to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and political disagreements.

      Nevertheless, the increase for this year has clearly provided a number of opportunities for Frontex. For instance, it has already agreed contracts worth €28 million for the acquisition of dozens of vehicles equipped with thermal and day cameras, surveillance radar and sensors.

      According to the contract for the provision of Mobile Surveillance Systems, these new tools will be used “for detection, identification and recognising of objects of interest e.g. human beings and/or groups of people, vehicles moving across the border (land and sea), as well as vessels sailing within the coastal areas, and other objects identified as objects of interest”. [1]

      Frontex has also published a call for tenders for Maritime Analysis Tools, worth a total of up to €2.6 million. With this, Frontex seeks to improve access to “big data” for maritime analysis. [2] The objective of deploying these tools is to enhance Frontex’s operational support to EU border, coast guard and law enforcement authorities in “suppressing and preventing, among others, illegal migration and cross-border crime in the maritime domain”.

      Moreover, the system should be capable of delivering analysis and identification of high-risk threats following the collection and storage of “big data”. It is not clear how much human input and monitoring there will be of the identification of risks. The call for tenders says the winning bidder should have been announced in May, but there is no public information on the chosen company so far.

      As part of a 12-month pilot project to examine how maritime analysis tools could “support multipurpose operational response,” Frontex previously engaged the services of the Tel Aviv-based company Windward Ltd, which claims to fuse “maritime data and artificial intelligence… to provide the right insights, with the right context, at the right time.” [3] Windward, whose current chairman is John Browne, the former CEO of the multinational oil company BP, received €783,000 for its work. [4]

      As the agency’s gathering and processing of data increases, it also aims to improve and develop its own internal IT systems, through a two-year project worth €34 million. This will establish a set of “framework contracts”. Through these, each time the agency seeks a new IT service or system, companies selected to participate in the framework contracts will submit bids for the work. [5]

      The agency is also seeking a ’Software Solution for EBCG [European Border and Coast Guard] Team Members to Access to Schengen Information System’, through a contract worth up to €5 million. [6] The Schengen Information System (SIS) is the EU’s largest database, enabling cooperation between authorities working in the fields of police, border control and customs of all the Schengen states (26 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and its legal bases were recently reformed to include new types of alert and categories of data. [7]

      This software will give Frontex officials direct access to certain data within the SIS. Currently, they have to request access via national border guards in the country in which they are operating. This would give complete autonomy to Frontex officials to consult the SIS whilst undertaking operations, shortening the length of the procedure. [8]

      With the legal basis for increasing Frontex’s powers in place, the process to build up its personnel, material and surveillance capacities continues, with significant financial implications.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-frontex-splashes-out-millions-of-euros-for-new-technology-and-equipme

      #technologie #équipement #Multiannual_Financial_Framework #MFF #surveillance #Mobile_Surveillance_Systems #Maritime_Analysis_Tools #données #big_data #mer #Windward_Ltd #Israël #John_Browne #BP #complexe_militaro-industriel #Software_Solution_for_EBCG_Team_Members_to_Access_to_Schengen_Information_System #SIS #Schengen_Information_System

    • EU : Guns, guards and guidelines : reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems (26.05.2020)

      An internal report circulated by Frontex to EU government delegations highlights a series of issues in implementing the agency’s new legislation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency is urging swift action to implement the mandate and is pressing ahead with the recruitment of its new ‘standing corps’. However, there are legal problems with the acquisition, registration, storage and transport of weapons. The agency is also calling for derogations from EU rules on staff disciplinary measures in relation to the use of force; and wants an extended set of privileges and immunities. Furthermore, it is assisting with “voluntary return” despite this activity appearing to fall outside of its legal mandate.

      State-of-play report

      At the end of April 2020, Frontex circulated a report to EU government delegations in the Council outlining the state of play of the implementation of its new Regulation (“EBCG 2.0 Regulation”, in the agency and Commission’s words), especially relating to “current challenges”.[1] Presumably, this refers to the outbreak of a pandemic, though the report also acknowledges challenges created by the legal ambiguities contained in the Regulation itself, in particular with regard to the acquisition of weapons, supervisory and disciplinary mechanisms, legal privileges and immunities and involvement in “voluntary return” operations.

      The path set out in the report is that the “operational autonomy of the agency will gradually increase towards 2027” until it is a “fully-fledged and reliable partner” to EU and Schengen states. It acknowledges the impacts of unforeseen world events on the EU’s forthcoming budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF) for 2021-27, and hints at the impact this will have on Frontex’s own budget and objectives. Nevertheless, the agency is still determined to “continue increasing the capabilities” of the agency, including its acquisition of new equipment and employment of new staff for its standing corps.

      The main issues covered by the report are: Frontex’s new standing corps of staff, executive powers and the use of force, fundamental rights and data protection, and the integration into Frontex of EUROSUR, the European Border Surveillance System.

      The new standing corps

      Recruitment

      A new standing corps of 10,000 Frontex staff by 2024 is to be, in the words of the agency, its “biggest game changer”.[2] The report notes that the establishment of the standing corps has been heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. According to the report, 7,238 individuals had applied to join the standing corps before the outbreak of the pandemic. 5,482 of these – over 75% – were assessed by the agency as eligible, with a final 304 passing the entire selection process to be on the “reserve lists”.[3]

      Despite interruptions to the recruitment procedure following worldwide lockdown measures, interviews for Category 1 staff – permanent Frontex staff members to be deployed on operations – were resumed via video by the end of April. 80 candidates were shortlisted for the first week, and Frontex aims to interview 1,000 people in total. Despite this adaptation, successful candidates will have to wait for Frontex’s contractor to re-open in order to carry out medical tests, an obligatory requirement for the standing corps.[4]

      In 2020, Frontex joined the European Defence Agency’s Satellite Communications (SatCom) and Communications and Information System (CIS) services in order to ensure ICT support for the standing corps in operation as of 2021.[5] The EDA describes SatCom and CIS as “fundamental for Communication, Command and Control in military operations… [enabling] EU Commanders to connect forces in remote areas with HQs and capitals and to manage the forces missions and tasks”.[6]

      Training

      The basic training programme, endorsed by the management board in October 2019, is designed for Category 1 staff. It includes specific training in interoperability and “harmonisation with member states”. The actual syllabus, content and materials for this basic training were developed by March 2020; Statewatch has made a request for access to these documents, which is currently pending with the Frontex Transparency Office. This process has also been affected by the novel coronavirus, though the report insists that “no delay is foreseen in the availability of the specialised profile related training of the standing corps”.

      Use of force

      The state-of-play-report acknowledges a number of legal ambiguities surrounding some of the more controversial powers outlined in Frontex’s 2019 Regulation, highlighting perhaps that political ambition, rather than serious consideration and assessment, propelled the legislation, overtaking adequate procedure and oversight. The incentive to enact the legislation within a short timeframe is cited as a reason that no impact assessment was carried out on the proposed recast to the agency’s mandate. This draft was rushed through negotiations and approved in an unprecedented six-month period, and the details lost in its wake are now coming to light.

      Article 82 of the 2019 Regulation refers to the use of force and carriage of weapons by Frontex staff, while a supervisory mechanism for the use of force by statutory staff is established by Article 55. This says:

      “On the basis of a proposal from the executive director, the management board shall: (a) establish an appropriate supervisory mechanism to monitor the application of the provisions on use of force by statutory staff, including rules on reporting and specific measures, such as those of a disciplinary nature, with regard to the use of force during deployments”[7]

      The agency’s management board is expected to make a decision about this supervisory mechanism, including specific measures and reporting, by the end of June 2020.

      The state-of-play report posits that the legal terms of Article 55 are inconsistent with the standard rules on administrative enquiries and disciplinary measures concerning EU staff.[8] These outline, inter alia, that a dedicated disciplinary board will be established in each institution including at least one member from outside the institution, that this board must be independent and its proceedings secret. Frontex insists that its staff will be a special case as the “first uniformed service of the EU”, and will therefore require “special arrangements or derogations to the Staff Regulations” to comply with the “totally different nature of tasks and risks associated with their deployments”.[9]

      What is particularly astounding about Frontex demanding special treatment for oversight, particularly on use of force and weapons is that, as the report acknowledges, the agency cannot yet legally store or transport any weapons it acquires.

      Regarding service weapons and “non-lethal equipment”,[10] legal analysis by “external experts and a regulatory law firm” concluded that the 2019 Regulation does not provide a legal basis for acquiring, registering, storing or transporting weapons in Poland, where the agency’s headquarters is located. Frontex has applied to the Commission for clarity on how to proceed, says the report. Frontex declined to comment on the status of this consultation and any indications of the next steps the agency will take. A Commission spokesperson stated only that it had recently received the agency’s enquiry and “is analysing the request and the applicable legal framework in the view of replying to the EBCGA”, without expanding further.

      Until Frontex has the legal basis to do so, it cannot launch a tender for firearms and “non-lethal equipment” (which includes batons, pepper spray and handcuffs). However, the report implies the agency is ready to do so as soon as it receives the green light. Technical specifications are currently being finalised for “non-lethal equipment” and Frontex still plans to complete acquisition by the end of the year.

      Privileges and immunities

      The agency is also seeking special treatment with regard to the legal privileges and immunities it and its officials enjoy. Article 96 of the 2019 Regulation outlines the privileges and immunities of Frontex officers, stating:

      “Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to the TFEU shall apply to the Agency and its statutory staff.” [11]

      However, Frontex notes that the Protocol does not apply to non-EU states, nor does it “offer a full protection, or take into account a need for the inviolability of assets owned by Frontex (service vehicles, vessels, aircraft)”.[12] Frontex is increasingly involved in operations taking place on non-EU territory. For instance, the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states, primarily in the Western Balkans, concerning Frontex activities in those countries. To launch operations under these agreements, Frontex will (or, in the case of Albania, already has) agree on operational plans with each state, under which Frontex staff can use executive powers.[13] The agency therefore seeks an “EU-level status of forces agreement… to account for the partial absence of rules”.

      Law enforcement

      To implement its enhanced functions regarding cross-border crime, Frontex will continue to participate in Europol’s four-year policy cycle addressing “serious international and organised crime”.[14] The agency is also developing a pilot project, “Investigation Support Activities- Cross Border Crime” (ISA-CBC), addressing drug trafficking and terrorism.

      Fundamental rights and data protection

      The ‘EBCG 2.0 Regulation’ requires several changes to fundamental rights measures by the agency, which, aside from some vague “legal analyses” seem to be undergoing development with only internal oversight.

      Firstly, to facilitate adequate independence of the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), special rules have to be established. The FRO was introduced under Frontex’s 2016 Regulation, but has since then been understaffed and underfunded by the agency.[15] The 2019 Regulation obliges the agency to ensure “sufficient and adequate human and financial resources” for the office, as well as 40 fundamental rights monitors.[16] These standing corps staff members will be responsible for monitoring compliance with fundamental rights standards, providing advice and assistance on the agency’s plans and activities, and will visit and evaluate operations, including acting as forced return monitors.[17]

      During negotiations over the proposed Regulation 2.0, MEPs introduced extended powers for the Fundamental Rights Officer themselves. The FRO was previously responsible for contributing to Frontex’s fundamental rights strategy and monitoring its compliance with and promotion of fundamental rights. Now, they will be able to monitor compliance by conducting investigations; offering advice where deemed necessary or upon request of the agency; providing opinions on operational plans, pilot projects and technical assistance; and carrying out on-the-spot visits. The executive director is now obliged to respond “as to how concerns regarding possible violations of fundamental rights… have been addressed,” and the management board “shall ensure that action is taken with regard to recommendations of the fundamental rights officer.” [18] The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation.

      The state-of-play report says that “legal analyses and exchanges” are ongoing, and will inform an eventual management board decision, but no timeline for this is offered. [19] The agency will also need to adapt its much criticised individual complaints mechanism to fit the requirements of the 2019 Regulation; executive director Fabrice Leggeri’s first-draft decision on this process is currently undergoing internal consultations. Even the explicit requirement set out in the 2019 Regulation for an “independent and effective” complaints mechanism,[20] does not meet minimum standards to qualify as an effective remedy, which include institutional independence, accessibility in practice, and capacity to carry out thorough and prompt investigations.[21]

      Frontex has entered into a service level agreement (SLA) with the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) for support in establishing and training the team of fundamental rights monitors introduced by the 2019 Regulation. These monitors are to be statutory staff of the agency and will assess fundamental rights compliance of operational activities, advising, assisting and contributing to “the promotion of fundamental rights”.[22] The scope and objectives for this team were finalised at the end of March this year, and the agency will establish the team by the end of the year. Statewatch has requested clarification as to what is to be included in the team’s scope and objectives, pending with the Frontex Transparency Office.

      Regarding data protection, the agency plans a package of implementing rules (covering issues ranging from the position of data protection officer to the restriction of rights for returnees and restrictions under administrative data processing) to be implemented throughout 2020.[23] The management board will review a first draft of the implementing rules on the data protection officer in the second quarter of 2020.

      Returns

      The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) – a network of 15 European states and the Commission facilitating cooperation over return operations “as part of the EU efforts to manage migration” – is to be handed over to Frontex. [24] A handover plan is currently under the final stage of review; it reportedly outlines the scoping of activities and details of “which groups of returnees will be eligible for Frontex assistance in the future”.[25] A request from Statewatch to Frontex for comment on what assistance will be provided by the agency to such returnees was unanswered at the time of publication.

      Since the entry into force of its new mandate, Frontex has also been providing technical assistance for so-called voluntary returns, with the first two such operations carried out on scheduled flights (as opposed to charter flights) in February 2020. A total of 28 people were returned by mid-April, despite the fact that there is no legal clarity over what the definition “voluntary return” actually refers to, as the state-of-play report also explains:

      “The terminology of voluntary return was introduced in the Regulation without providing any definition thereof. This terminology (voluntary departure vs voluntary return) is moreover not in line with the terminology used in the Return Directive (EBCG 2.0 refers to the definition of returns provided for in the Return Directive. The Return Directive, however, does not cover voluntary returns; a voluntary return is not a return within the meaning of the Return Directive). Further elaboration is needed.”[26]

      On top of requiring “further clarification”, if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate. Statewatch has launched an investigation into the agency’s activities relating to voluntary returns, to outline the number of such operations to date, their country of return and country of destination.

      Frontex is currently developing a module dedicated to voluntary returns by charter flight for its FAR (Frontex Application for Returns) platform (part of its return case management system). On top of the technical support delivered by the agency, Frontex also foresees the provision of on-the-ground support from Frontex representatives or a “return counsellor”, who will form part of the dedicated return teams planned for the standing corps from 2021.[27]

      Frontex has updated its return case management system (RECAMAS), an online platform for member state authorities and Frontex to communicate and plan return operations, to manage an increased scope. The state-of-play report implies that this includes detail on post-return activities in a new “post-return module”, indicating that Frontex is acting on commitments to expand its activity in this area. According to the agency’s roadmap on implementing the 2019 Regulation, an action plan on how the agency will provide post-return support to people (Article 48(1), 2019 Regulation) will be written by the third quarter of 2020.[28]

      In its closing paragraph, related to the budgetary impact of COVID-19 regarding return operations, the agency notes that although activities will resume once aerial transportation restrictions are eased, “the agency will not be able to provide what has been initially intended, undermining the concept of the EBCG as a whole”.[29]

      EUROSUR

      The Commission is leading progress on adopting the implementing act for the integration of EUROSUR into Frontex, which will define the implementation of new aerial surveillance,[30] expected by the end of the year.[31] Frontex is discussing new working arrangements with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). The development by Frontex of the surveillance project’s communications network will require significant budgetary investment, as the agency plans to maintain the current system ahead of its planned replacement in 2025.[32] This investment is projected despite the agency’s recognition of the economic impact of Covid-19 on member states, and the consequent adjustments to the MFF 2021-27.

      Summary

      Drafted and published as the world responds to an unprecedented pandemic, the “current challenges” referred to in the report appear, on first read, to refer to the budgetary and staffing implications of global shut down. However, the report maintains throughout that the agency’s determination to expand, in terms of powers as well as staffing, will not be stalled despite delays and budgeting adjustments. Indeed, it is implied more than once that the “current challenges” necessitate more than ever that these powers be assumed. The true challenges, from the agency’s point of view, stem from the fact that its current mandate was rushed through negotiations in six months, leading to legal ambiguities that leave it unable to acquire or transport weapons and in a tricky relationship with the EU protocol on privileges and immunities when operating in third countries. Given the violence that so frequently accompanies border control operations in the EU, it will come as a relief to many that Frontex is having difficulties acquiring its own weaponry. However, it is far from reassuring that the introduction of new measures on fundamental rights and accountability are being carried out internally and remain unavailable for public scrutiny.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Note: this article was updated on 26 May 2020 to include the European Commission’s response to Statewatch’s enquiries.

      It was updated on 1 July with some minor corrections:

      “the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states... under which” replaces “the agency has entered into working agreements with Balkan states, under which”
      “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in any detail in the Regulation beyond monitoring the agency’s ’compliance with fundamental rights, including by conducting investigations’” replaces “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation”
      “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it further exposes the haste with which legislation written to deny entry into the EU and facilitate expulsions was drafted” replaces “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate”

      Endnotes

      [1] Frontex, ‘State of play of the implementation of the EBCG 2.0 Regulation in view of current challenges’, 27 April 2020, contained in Council document 7607/20, LIMITE, 20 April 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/may/eu-council-frontex-ECBG-state-of-play-7607-20.pdf

      [2] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [3] Section 1.1, state of play report

      [4] Jane Kilpatrick, ‘Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards’, Statewatch Analysis, March 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-355-frontex-recruitment-standing-corps.pdf

      [5] Section 7.1, state of play report

      [6] EDA, ‘EU SatCom Market’, https://www.eda.europa.eu/what-we-do/activities/activities-search/eu-satcom-market

      [7] Article 55(5)(a), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex 2019 Regulation), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [8] Pursuant to Annex IX of the EU Staff Regulations, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01962R0031-20140501

      [9] Chapter III, state of play report

      [10] Section 2.5, state of play report

      [11] Protocol (No 7), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2016.202.01.0001.01.ENG#d1e3363-201-1

      [12] Chapter III, state of play report

      [13] ‘Border externalisation: Agreements on Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro heading for parliamentary approval’, Statewatch News, 11 March 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/frontex-status-agreements.htm

      [14] Europol, ‘EU policy cycle – EMPACT’, https://www.europol.europa.eu/empact

      [15] ‘NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex’s respect for fundamental rights’, Statewatch News, 5 March 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/fx-consultative-forum-rep.htm; ‘Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations’, Statewatch News, 21 May 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-fr-rep.htm

      [16] Article 110(6), Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [17] Article 110, 2019 Regulation

      [18] Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [19] Section 8, state of play report

      [20] Article 111(1), 2019 Regulation

      [21] Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan, ‘Complaint Mechanisms in Border Management and Expulsion Operations in Europe: Effective Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations?’, CEPS, 2018, https://www.ceps.eu/system/files/Complaint%20Mechanisms_A4.pdf

      [22] Article 110(1), 2019 Regulation

      [23] Section 9, state of play report

      [24] ERRIN, https://returnnetwork.eu

      [25] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [26] Chapter III, state of play report

      [27] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [28] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [29] State of play report, p. 19

      [30] Matthias Monroy, ‘Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders’, Statewatch Analysis, February 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-354-frontex-drones.pdf

      [31] Section 4, state of play report

      [32] Section 7.2, state of play report
      Next article >

      Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/eu-guns-guards-and-guidelines-reinforcement-of-frontex-runs-into-problem

      #EBCG_2.0_Regulation #European_Defence_Agency’s_Satellite_Communications (#SatCom) #Communications_and_Information_System (#CIS) #immunité #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #Fundamental_Rights_Officer (#FRO) #European_Return_and_Reintegration_Network (#ERRIN) #renvois #expulsions #réintégration #Directive_Retour #FAR (#Frontex_Application_for_Returns) #RECAMAS #EUROSUR #European_Aviation_Safety_Agency (#EASA) #European_Organisation_for_the_Safety_of_Air_Navigation (#EUROCONTROL)

    • Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards

      On 4 January 2020 the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) adopted a decision on the profiles of the staff required for the new “standing corps”, which is ultimately supposed to be staffed by 10,000 officials. [1] The decision ushers in a new wave of recruitment for the agency. Applicants will be put through six months of training before deployment, after rigorous medical testing.

      What is the standing corps?

      The European Border and Coast Guard standing corps is the new, and according to Frontex, first ever, EU uniformed service, available “at any time…to support Member States facing challenges at their external borders”.[2] Frontex’s Programming Document for the 2018-2020 period describes the standing corps as the agency’s “biggest game changer”, requiring “an unprecedented scale of staff recruitment”.[3]

      The standing corps will be made up of four categories of Frontex operational staff:

      Frontex statutory staff deployed in operational areas and staff responsible for the functioning of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Central Unit[4];
      Long-term staff seconded from member states;
      Staff from member states who can be immediately deployed on short-term secondment to Frontex; and

      A reserve of staff from member states for rapid border interventions.

      These border guards will be “trained by the best and equipped with the latest technology has to offer”.[5] As well as wearing EU uniforms, they will be authorised to carry weapons and will have executive powers: they will be able to verify individuals’ identity and nationality and permit or refuse entry into the EU.

      The decision made this January is limited to the definition of profiles and requirements for the operational staff that are to be recruited. The Management Board (MB) will have to adopt a new decision by March this year to set out the numbers of staff needed per profile, the requirements for individuals holding those positions, and the number of staff needed for the following year based on expected operational needs. This process will be repeated annually.[6] The MB can then further specify how many staff each member state should contribute to these profiles, and establish multi-annual plans for member state contributions and recruitment for Frontex statutory staff. Projections for these contributions are made in Annexes II – IV of the 2019 Regulation, though a September Mission Statement by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urges the recruitment of 10,000 border guards by 2024, indicating that member states might be meeting their contribution commitments much sooner than 2027.[7]

      The standing corps of Frontex staff will have an array of executive powers and responsibilities. As well as being able to verify identity and nationality and refuse or permit entry into the EU, they will be able to consult various EU databases to fulfil operational aims, and may also be authorised by host states to consult national databases. According to the MB Decision, “all members of the Standing Corps are to be able to identify persons in need of international protection and persons in a vulnerable situation, including unaccompanied minors, and refer them to the competent authorities”. Training on international and EU law on fundamental rights and international protection, as well as guidelines on the identification and referral of persons in need of international protection, will be mandatory for all standing corps staff members.

      The size of the standing corps

      The following table, taken from the 2019 Regulation, outlines the ambitions for growth of Frontex’s standing corps. However, as noted, the political ambition is to reach the 10,000 total by 2024.

      –-> voir le tableau sur le site de statewatch!

      Category 2 staff – those on long term secondment from member states – will join Frontex from 2021, according to the 2019 Regulation.[8] It is foreseen that Germany will contribute the most staff, with 61 expected in 2021, increasing year-by-year to 225 by 2027. Other high contributors are France and Italy (170 and 125 by 2027, respectively).

      The lowest contributors will be Iceland (expected to contribute between one and two people a year from 2021 to 2027), Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Liechtenstein is not contributing personnel but will contribute “through proportional financial support”.

      For short-term secondments from member states, projections follow a very similar pattern. Germany will contribute 540 staff in 2021, increasing to 827 in 2027; Italy’s contribution will increase from 300 in 2021 to 458 in 2027; and France’s from 408 in 2021 to 624 in 2027. Most states will be making less than 100 staff available for short-term secondment in 2021.

      What are the profiles?

      The MB Decision outlines 12 profiles to be made available to Frontex, ranging from Border Guard Officer and Crew Member, to Cross Border Crime Detection Officer and Return Specialist. A full list is contained in the Decision.[9] All profiles will be fulfilled by an official of the competent authority of a member state (MS) or Schengen Associated Country (SAC), or by a member of Frontex’s own statutory staff.

      Tasks to be carried out by these officials include:

      border checks and surveillance;
      interviewing, debriefing* and screening arrivals and registering fingerprints;
      supporting the collection, assessment, analysis and distribution of information with EU member and non-member states;
      verifying travel documents;
      escorting individuals being deported on Frontex return operations;
      operating data systems and platforms; and
      offering cultural mediation

      *Debriefing consists of informal interviews with migrants to collect information for risk analyses on irregular migration and other cross-border crime and the profiling of irregular migrants to identify “modus operandi and migration trends used by irregular migrants and facilitators/criminal networks”. Guidelines written by Frontex in 2012 instructed border guards to target vulnerable individuals for “debriefing”, not in order to streamline safeguarding or protection measures, but for intelligence-gathering - “such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences,” said an internal document.[10] It is unknown whether those instructions are still in place.

      Recruitment for the profiles

      Certain profiles are expected to “apply self-safety and security practice”, and to have “the capacity to work under pressure and face emotional events with composure”. Relevant profiles (e.g. crew member) are required to be able to perform search and rescue activities in distress situations at sea borders.

      Frontex published a call for tender on 27 December for the provision of medical services for pre-recruitment examinations, in line with the plan to start recruiting operational staff in early 2020. The documents accompanying the tender reveal additional criteria for officials that will be granted executive powers (Frontex category “A2”) compared to those staff stationed primarily at the agency’s Warsaw headquarters (“A1”). Those criteria come in the form of more stringent medical testing.

      The differences in medical screening for category A1 and A2 staff lie primarily in additional toxicology screening and psychiatric and psychological consultations. [11] The additional psychiatric attention allotted for operational staff “is performed to check the predisposition for people to work in arduous, hazardous conditions, exposed to stress, conflict situations, changing rapidly environment, coping with people being in dramatic, injure or death exposed situations”.[12]

      Both A1 and A2 category provisional recruits will be asked to disclose if they have ever suffered from a sexually transmitted disease or “genital organ disease”, as well as depression, nervous or mental disorders, among a long list of other ailments. As well as disclosing any medication they take, recruits must also state if they are taking oral contraceptives (though there is no question about hormonal contraceptives that are not taken orally). Women are also asked to give the date of their last period on the pre-appointment questionnaire.

      “Never touch yourself with gloves”

      Frontex training materials on forced return operations obtained by Statewatch in 2019 acknowledge the likelihood of psychological stress among staff, among other health risks. (One recommendation contained in the documents is to “never touch yourself with gloves”). Citing “dissonance within the team, long hours with no rest, group dynamic, improvisation and different languages” among factors behind psychological stress, the training materials on medical precautionary measures for deportation escort officers also refer to post-traumatic stress disorder, the lack of an area to retreat to and body clock disruption as exacerbating risks. The document suggests a high likelihood that Frontex return escorts will witness poverty, “agony”, “chaos”, violence, boredom, and will have to deal with vulnerable persons.[13]

      For fundamental rights monitors (officials deployed to monitor fundamental rights compliance during deportations, who can be either Frontex staff or national officials), the training materials obtained by Statewatch focus on the self-control of emotions, rather than emotional care. Strategies recommended include talking to somebody, seeking professional help, and “informing yourself of any other option offered”. The documents suggest that it is an individual’s responsibility to prevent emotional responses to stressful situations having an impact on operations, and to organise their own supervision and professional help. There is no obvious focus on how traumatic responses of Frontex staff could affect those coming into contact with them at an external border or during a deportation. [14]

      The materials obtained by Statewatch also give some indication of the fundamental rights training imparted to those acting as deportation ‘escorts’ and fundamental rights monitors. The intended outcomes for a training session in Athens that took place in March 2019 included “adapt FR [fundamental rights] in a readmission operation (explain it with examples)” and “should be able to describe Non Refoulement principle” (in the document, ‘Session Fundamental rights’ is followed by ‘Session Velcro handcuffs’).[15] The content of the fundamental rights training that will be offered to Frontex’s new recruits is currently unknown.

      Fit for service?

      The agency anticipates that most staff will be recruited from March to June 2020, involving the medical examination of up to 700 applicants in this period. According to Frontex’s website, the agency has already received over 7,000 applications for the 700 new European Border Guard Officer positions.[16] Successful candidates will undergo six months of training before deployment in 2021. Apparently then, the posts are a popular career option, despite the seemingly invasive medical tests (especially for sexually active women). Why, for instance, is it important to Frontex to know about oral hormonal contraception, or about sexually transmitted infections?

      When asked by Statewatch if Frontex provides in-house psychological and emotional support, an agency press officer stated: “When it comes to psychological and emotional support, Frontex is increasing awareness and personal resilience of the officers taking part in our operations through education and training activities.” A ‘Frontex Mental Health Strategy’ from 2018 proposed the establishment of “a network of experts-psychologists” to act as an advisory body, as well as creating “online self-care tools”, a “psychological hot-line”, and a space for peer support with participation of psychologists (according to risk assessment) during operations.[17]

      One year later, Frontex, EASO and Europol jointly produced a brochure for staff deployed on operations, entitled ‘Occupational Health and Safety – Deployment Information’, which offers a series of recommendations to staff, placing the responsibility to “come to the deployment in good mental shape” and “learn how to manage stress and how to deal with anger” more firmly on the individual than the agency.[18] According to this document, officers who need additional support must disclose this by requesting it from their supervisor, while “a helpline or psychologist on-site may be available, depending on location”.

      Frontex anticipates this recruitment drive to be “game changing”. Indeed, the Commission is relying upon it to reach its ambitions for the agency’s independence and efficiency. The inclusion of mandatory training in fundamental rights in the six-month introductory education is obviously a welcome step. Whether lessons learned in a classroom will be the first thing that comes to the minds of officials deployed on border control or deportation operations remains to be seen.

      Unmanaged responses to emotional stress can include burnout, compassion-fatigue and indirect trauma, which can in turn decrease a person’s ability to cope with adverse circumstance, and increase the risk of violence.[19] Therefore, aside from the agency’s responsibility as an employer to safeguard the health of its staff, its approach to internal psychological care will affect not only the border guards themselves, but the people that they routinely come into contact with at borders and during return operations, many of whom themselves will have experienced trauma.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Endnotes

      [1] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [2] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [3] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [4] The ETIAS Central Unit will be responsible for processing the majority of applications for ‘travel authorisations’ received when the European Travel Information and Authorisation System comes into use, in theory in late 2022. Citizens who do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for authorisation to travel to the Schengen area.

      [5] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [6] Article 54(4), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [7] ‘European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more’, 29 January 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_124; “Mission letter” from Ursula von der Leyen to Ylva Johnsson, 10 September 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/mission-letter-ylva-johansson_en.pdf

      [8] Annex II, 2019 Regulation

      [9] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [10] ‘Press release: EU border agency targeted “isolated or mistreated” individuals for questioning’, Statewatch News, 16 February 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/feb/eu-frontex-op-hera-debriefing-pr.htm

      [11] ‘Provision of Medical Services – Pre-Recruitment Examination’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-documents.html?cftId=5841

      [12] ‘Provision of medical services – pre-recruitment examination, Terms of Reference - Annex II to invitation to tender no Frontex/OP/1491/2019/KM’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-document.html?docId=65398

      [13] Frontex training presentation, ‘Medical precautionary measures for escort officers’, undated, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-presentation-medical-precautionary-measures-deportation-escor

      [14] Ibid.

      [15] Frontex, document listing course learning outcomes from deportation escorts’ training, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-deportation-escorts-training-course-learning-outcomes.pdf

      [16] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [17] Frontex, ‘Frontex mental health strategy’, 20 February 2018, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/89c168fe-e14b-11e7-9749-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

      [18] EASO, Europol and Frontex, ‘Occupational health and safety’, 12 August 2019, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/17cc07e0-bd88-11e9-9d01-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-103142015

      [19] Trauma Treatment International, ‘A different approach for victims of trauma’, https://www.tt-intl.org/#our-work-section

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/frontex-launches-game-changing-recruitment-drive-for-standing-corps-of-b
      #gardes_frontières #staff #corps_des_gardes-frontières

    • Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders (27.02.2020)

      Instead of providing sea rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean, the EU is expanding air surveillance. Refugees are observed with drones developed for the military. In addition to numerous EU states, countries such as Libya could also use the information obtained.

      It is not easy to obtain majorities for legislation in the European Union in the area of migration - unless it is a matter of upgrading the EU’s external borders. While the reform of a common EU asylum system has been on hold for years, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to reshape the border agency Frontex with unusual haste shortly before last year’s parliamentary elections. A new Regulation has been in force since December 2019,[1] under which Frontex intends to build up a “standing corps” of 10,000 uniformed officials by 2027. They can be deployed not just at the EU’s external borders, but in ‘third countries’ as well.

      In this way, Frontex will become a “European border police force” with powers that were previously reserved for the member states alone. The core of the new Regulation includes the procurement of the agency’s own equipment. The Multiannual Financial Framework, in which the EU determines the distribution of its financial resources from 2021 until 2027, has not yet been decided. According to current plans, however, at least €6 billion are reserved for Frontex in the seven-year budget. The intention is for Frontex to spend a large part of the money, over €2 billion, on aircraft, ships and vehicles.[2]

      Frontex seeks company for drone flights

      The upgrade plans include the stationing of large drones in the central and eastern Mediterranean. For this purpose, Frontex is looking for a private partner to operate flights off Malta, Italy or Greece. A corresponding tender ended in December[3] and the selection process is currently underway. The unmanned missions could then begin already in spring. Frontex estimates the total cost of these missions at €50 million. The contract has a term of two years and can be extended twice for one year at a time.

      Frontex wants drones of the so-called MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class. Their flight duration should be at least 20 hours. The requirements include the ability to fly in all weather conditions and at day and night. It is also planned to operate in airspace where civil aircraft are in service. For surveillance missions, the drones should carry electro-optical cameras, thermal imaging cameras and so-called “daylight spotter” systems that independently detect moving targets and keep them in focus. Other equipment includes systems for locating mobile and satellite telephones. The drones will also be able to receive signals from emergency call transmitters sewn into modern life jackets.

      However, the Frontex drones will not be used primarily for sea rescue operations, but to improve capacities against unwanted migration. This assumption is also confirmed by the German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch, which has been providing assistance in the central Mediterranean with various ships since 2015. “Frontex is not concerned with saving lives,” says Ruben Neugebauer of Sea-Watch. “While air surveillance is being expanded with aircraft and drones, ships urgently needed for rescue operations have been withdrawn”. Sea-Watch demands that situation pictures of EU drones are also made available to private organisations for sea rescue.

      Aircraft from arms companies

      Frontex has very specific ideas for its own drones, which is why there are only a few suppliers worldwide that can be called into question. The Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1, which Frontex tested for several months on the Greek island of Crete[4] and which is also flown by the German Bundeswehr, is one of them. As set out by Frontex in its invitation to tender, the Heron 1, with a payload of around 250 kilograms, can carry all the surveillance equipment that the agency intends to deploy over the Mediterranean. Also amongst those likely to be interested in the Frontex contract is the US company General Atomics, which has been building drones of the Predator series for 20 years. Recently, it presented a new Predator model in Greece under the name SeaGuardian, for maritime observation.[5] It is equipped with a maritime surveillance radar and a system for receiving position data from larger ships, thus fulfilling one of Frontex’s essential requirements.

      General Atomics may have a competitive advantage, as its Predator drones have several years’ operational experience in the Mediterranean. In addition to Frontex, the European Union has been active in the central Mediterranean with EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. In March 2019, Italy’s then-interior minister Matteo Salvini pushed through the decision to operate the EU mission from the air alone. Since then, two unarmed Predator drones operated by the Italian military have been flying for EUNAVFOR MED for 60 hours per month. Officially, the drones are to observe from the air whether the training of the Libyan coast guard has been successful and whether these navy personnel use their knowledge accordingly. Presumably, however, the Predators are primarily pursuing the mission’s goal to “combat human smuggling” by spying on the Libyan coast. It is likely that the new Operation EU Active Surveillance, which will use military assets from EU member states to try to enforce the UN arms embargo placed on Libya,[6] will continue to patrol with Italian drones off the coast in North Africa.

      Three EU maritime surveillance agencies

      In addition to Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) are also investing in maritime surveillance using drones. Together, the three agencies coordinate some 300 civil and military authorities in EU member states.[7] Their tasks include border, fisheries and customs control, law enforcement and environmental protection.

      In 2017, Frontex and EMSA signed an agreement to benefit from joint reconnaissance capabilities, with EFCA also involved.[8] At the time, EMSA conducted tests with drones of various sizes, but now the drones’ flights are part of its regular services. The offer is not only open to EU Member States, as Iceland was the first to take advantage of it. Since summer 2019, a long-range Hermes 900 drone built by the Israeli company Elbit Systems has been flying from Iceland’s Egilsstaðir airport. The flights are intended to cover more than half of the island state’s exclusive economic zone and to detect “suspicious activities and potential hazards”.[9]

      The Hermes 900 was also developed for the military; the Israeli army first deployed it in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The Times of Israel puts the cost of the operating contract with EMSA at €59 million,[10] with a term of two years, which can be extended for another two years. The agency did not conclude the contract directly with the Israeli arms company, but through the Portuguese firm CeiiA. The contract covers the stationing, control and mission control of the drones.

      New interested parties for drone flights

      At the request of the German MEP Özlem Demirel (from the party Die Linke), the European Commission has published a list of countries that also want to use EMSA drones.[11] According to this list, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and also Greece have requested unmanned flights for pollution monitoring this year, while Bulgaria and Spain want to use them for general maritime surveillance. Until Frontex has its own drones, EMSA is flying its drones for the border agency on Crete. As in Iceland, this is the long-range drone Hermes 900, but according to Greek media reports it crashed on 8 January during take-off.[12] Possible causes are a malfunction of the propulsion system or human error. The aircraft is said to have been considerably damaged.

      Authorities from France and Great Britain have also ordered unmanned maritime surveillance from EMSA. Nothing is yet known about the exact intended location, but it is presumably the English Channel. There, the British coast guard is already observing border traffic with larger drones built by the Tekever arms company from Portugal.[13] The government in London wants to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel. The drones take off from the airport in the small town of Lydd and monitor the approximately 50-kilometre-long and 30-kilometre-wide Strait of Dover. Great Britain has also delivered several quadcopters to France to try to detect potential migrants in French territorial waters. According to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, eight gendarmes have been trained to control the small drones[14].

      Information to non-EU countries

      The images taken by EMSA drones are evaluated by the competent national coastguards. A livestream also sends them to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw.[15] There they are fed into the EUROSUR border surveillance system. This is operated by Frontex and networks the surveillance installations of all EU member states that have an external border. The data from EUROSUR and the national border control centres form the ‘Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture’,[16] referring to the area of interest of Frontex, which extends far into the African continent. Surveillance data is used to detect and prevent migration movements at an early stage.

      Once the providing company has been selected, the new Frontex drones are also to fly for EUROSUR. According to the invitation to tender, they are to operate in the eastern and central Mediterranean within a radius of up to 250 nautical miles (463 kilometres). This would enable them to carry out reconnaissance in the “pre-frontier” area off Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Within the framework of EUROSUR, Frontex shares the recorded data with other European users via a ‘Remote Information Portal’, as the call for tender explains. The border agency has long been able to cooperate with third countries and the information collected can therefore also be made available to authorities in North Africa. However, in order to share general information on surveillance of the Mediterranean Sea with a non-EU state, Frontex must first conclude a working agreement with the corresponding government.[17]

      It is already possible, however, to provide countries such as Libya with the coordinates of refugee boats. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the nearest Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) must be informed of actual or suspected emergencies. With EU funding, Italy has been building such a centre in Tripoli for the last two years.[18] It is operated by the military coast guard, but so far has no significant equipment of its own.

      The EU military mission “EUNAVFOR MED” was cooperating more extensively with the Libyan coast guard. For communication with European naval authorities, Libya is the first third country to be connected to European surveillance systems via the “Seahorse Mediterranean” network[19]. Information handed over to the Libyan authorities might also include information that was collected with the Italian military ‘Predator’ drones.

      Reconnaissance generated with unmanned aerial surveillance is also given to the MRCC in Turkey. This was seen in a pilot project last summer, when the border agency tested an unmanned aerostat with the Greek coast guard off the island of Samos.[20] Attached to a 1,000 metre-long cable, the airship was used in the Frontex operation ‘Poseidon’ in the eastern Mediterranean. The 35-meter-long zeppelin comes from the French manufacturer A-NSE.[21] The company specializes in civil and military aerial observation. According to the Greek Marine Ministry, the equipment included a radar, a thermal imaging camera and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for the tracking of larger ships. The recorded videos were received and evaluated by a situation centre supplied by the Portuguese National Guard. If a detected refugee boat was still in Turkish territorial waters, the Greek coast guard informed the Turkish authorities. This pilot project in the Aegean Sea was the first use of an airship by Frontex. The participants deployed comparatively large numbers of personnel for the short mission. Pictures taken by the Greek coastguard show more than 40 people.

      Drones enable ‘pull-backs’

      Human rights organisations accuse EUNAVFOR MED and Frontex of passing on information to neighbouring countries leading to rejections (so-called ‘push-backs’) in violation of international law. People must not be returned to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Frontex does not itself return refugees in distress who were discovered at sea via aerial surveillance, but leaves the task to the Libyan or Turkish authorities. Regarding Libya, the Agency since 2017 provided notice of at least 42 vessels in distress to Libyan authorities.[22]

      Private rescue organisations therefore speak of so-called ‘pull-backs’, but these are also prohibited, as the Israeli human rights lawyer Omer Shatz argues: “Communicating the location of civilians fleeing war to a consortium of militias and instructing them to intercept and forcibly transfer them back to the place they fled from, trigger both state responsibility of all EU members and individual criminal liability of hundreds involved.” Together with his colleague Juan Branco, Shatz is suing those responsible for the European Union and its agencies before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Soon they intend to publish individual cases and the names of the people accused.

      Matthias Monroy

      An earlier version of this article first appeared in the German edition of Le Monde Diplomatique: ‘Drohnen für Frontex Statt sich auf die Rettung von Bootsflüchtlingen im Mittelmeer zu konzentrieren, baut die EU die Luftüberwachung’.

      Note: this article was corrected on 6 March to clarify a point regarding cooperation between Frontex and non-EU states.

      Endnotes

      [1] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/PE-33-2019-INIT/en/pdf

      [2] European Commission, ‘A strengthened and fully equipped European Border and Coast Guard’, 12 September 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-coast-guard_en.pdf

      [3] ‘Poland-Warsaw: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Medium Altitude Long Endurance Maritime Aerial Surveillance’, https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:490010-2019:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1

      [4] IAI, ‘IAI AND AIRBUS MARITIME HERON UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS) SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED 200 FLIGHT HOURS IN CIVILIAN EUROPEAN AIRSPACE FOR FRONTEX’, 24 October 2018, https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-airbus-maritime-heron-unmanned-aerial-system-uas-successfully-complet

      [5] ‘ European Maritime Flight Demonstrations’, General Atomics, http://www.ga-asi.com/european-maritime-demo

      [6] ‘EU agrees to deploy warships to enforce Libya arms embargo’, The Guardian, 17 February 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/17/eu-agrees-deploy-warships-enforce-libya-arms-embargo

      [7] EMSA, ‘Heads of EMSA and Frontex meet to discuss cooperation on European coast guard functions’, 3 April 2019, http://www.emsa.europa.eu/news-a-press-centre/external-news/item/3499-heads-of-emsa-and-frontex-meet-to-discuss-cooperation-on-european-c

      [8] Frontex, ‘Frontex, EMSA and EFCA strengthen cooperation on coast guard functions’, 23 March 2017, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-emsa-and-efca-strengthen-cooperation-on-coast-guard-functions

      [9] Elbit Systems, ‘Elbit Systems Commenced the Operation of the Maritime UAS Patrol Service to European Union Countries’, 18 June 2019, https://elbitsystems.com/pr-new/elbit-systems-commenced-the-operation-of-the-maritime-uas-patrol-servi

      [10] ‘Elbit wins drone contract for up to $68m to help monitor Europe coast’, The Times of Israel, 1 November 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/elbit-wins-drone-contract-for-up-to-68m-to-help-monitor-europe-coast

      [11] ‘Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission’, https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/12/E-2946_191_Finalised_reply_Annex1_EN_V1.pdf

      [12] ‘Το drone της FRONTEX έπεσε, οι μετανάστες έρχονται’, Proto Thema, 27 January 2020, https://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/968869/to-drone-tis-frontex-epese-oi-metanastes-erhodai

      [13] Morgan Meaker, ‘Here’s proof the UK is using drones to patrol the English Channel’, Wired, 10 January 2020, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-drones-migrants-english-channel

      [14] ‘Littoral: Les drones pour lutter contre les traversées de migrants sont opérationnels’, La Voix du Nord, 26 March 2019, https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/557951/article/2019-03-26/les-drones-pour-lutter-contre-les-traversees-de-migrants-sont-operation

      [15] ‘Frontex report on the functioning of Eurosur – Part I’, Council document 6215/18, 15 February 2018, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6215-2018-INIT/en/pdf

      [16] European Commission, ‘Eurosur’, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/eurosur_en

      [17] Legal reforms have also given Frontex the power to operate on the territory of non-EU states, subject to the conclusion of a status agreement between the EU and the country in question. The 2016 Frontex Regulation allowed such cooperation with states that share a border with the EU; the 2019 Frontex Regulation extends this to any non-EU state.

      [18] ‘Helping the Libyan Coast Guard to establish a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre’, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-000547_EN.html

      [19] Matthias Monroy, ‘EU funds the sacking of rescue ships in the Mediterranean’, 7 July 2018, https://digit.site36.net/2018/07/03/eu-funds-the-sacking-of-rescue-ships-in-the-mediterranean

      [20] Frontex, ‘Frontex begins testing use of aerostat for border surveillance’, 31 July 2019, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-begins-testing-use-of-aerostat-for-border-surveillance-ur33N8

      [21] ‘Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission’, 7 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002529-ASW_EN.html

      [22] ‘Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission’, 8 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002654-ASW_EN.html

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/drones-for-frontex-unmanned-migration-control-at-europe-s-borders

      #drones

    • Monitoring “secondary movements” and “hotspots”: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency (16.12.2019)

      The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “situational awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

      The establishment of a new ’standing corps’ of 10,000 border guards to be commanded by EU border agency Frontex has generated significant public and press attention in recent months. However, the new rules governing Frontex[1] include a number of other significant developments - including a mandate for the surveillance of migratory movements and migration “hotspots” within the EU.

      Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”[2] New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU. While this is only supposed to deal with “trends, volumes and routes,” rather than personal data, it is intended to inform operational activity within the EU.

      This may mean an increase in operations against ‘unauthorised’ migrants, bringing with it risks for fundamental rights such as the possibility of racial profiling, detention, violence and the denial of access to asylum procedures. At the same time, in a context where internal borders have been reintroduced by numerous Schengen states over the last five years due to increased migration, it may be that he agency’s new role contributes to a further prolongation of internal border controls.

      From external to internal surveillance

      Frontex was initially established with the primary goals of assisting in the surveillance and control of the external borders of the EU. Over the years it has obtained increasing powers to conduct surveillance of those borders in order to identify potential ’threats’.

      The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) has a key role in this task, taking data from a variety of sources, including satellites, sensors, drones, ships, vehicles and other means operated both by national authorities and the agency itself. EUROSUR was formally established by legislation approved in 2013, although the system was developed and in use long before it was subject to a legal framework.[3]

      The new Frontex Regulation incorporates and updates the provisions of the 2013 EUROSUR Regulation. It maintains existing requirements for the agency to establish a “situational picture” of the EU’s external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or the ports of non-EU states – which is then distributed to the EU’s member states in order to inform operational activities.[4]

      The new rules also provide a mandate for reporting on “unauthorised secondary movements” and goings-on in the “hotspots”. The Commission’s proposal for the new Frontex Regulation was not accompanied by an impact assessment, which would have set out the reasoning and justifications for these new powers. The proposal merely pointed out that the new rules would “evolve” the scope of EUROSUR, to make it possible to “prevent secondary movements”.[5] As the European Data Protection Supervisor remarked, the lack of an impact assessment made it impossible: “to fully assess and verify its attended benefits and impact, notably on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data.”[6]

      The term “secondary movements” is not defined in the Regulation, but is generally used to refer to journeys between EU member states undertaken without permission, in particular by undocumented migrants and applicants for internal protection. Regarding the “hotspots” – established and operated by EU and national authorities in Italy and Greece – the Regulation provides a definition,[7] but little clarity on precisely what information will be gathered.

      Legal provisions

      A quick glance at Section 3 of the new Regulation, dealing with EUROSUR, gives little indication that the system will now be used for internal surveillance. The formal scope of EUROSUR is concerned with the external borders and border crossing points:

      “EUROSUR shall be used for border checks at authorised border crossing points and for external land, sea and air border surveillance, including the monitoring, detection, identification, tracking, prevention and interception of unauthorised border crossings for the purpose of detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime and contributing to ensuring the protection and saving the lives of migrants.”

      However, the subsequent section of the Regulation (on ‘situational awareness’) makes clear the agency’s new internal role. Article 24 sets out the components of the “situational pictures” that will be visible in EUROSUR. There are three types – national situational pictures, the European situational picture and specific situational pictures. All of these should consist of an events layer, an operational layer and an analysis layer. The first of these layers should contain (emphasis added in all quotes):

      “…events and incidents related to unauthorised border crossings and cross-border crime and, where available, information on unauthorised secondary movements, for the purpose of understanding migratory trends, volume and routes.”

      Article 26, dealing with the European situational picture, states:

      “The Agency shall establish and maintain a European situational picture in order to provide the national coordination centres and the Commission with effective, accurate and timely information and analysis, covering the external borders, the pre-frontier area and unauthorised secondary movements.”

      The events layer of that picture should include “information relating to… incidents in the operational area of a joint operation or rapid intervention coordinated by the Agency, or in a hotspot.”[8] In a similar vein:

      “The operational layer of the European situational picture shall contain information on the joint operations and rapid interventions coordinated by the Agency and on hotspots, and shall include the mission statements, locations, status, duration, information on the Member States and other actors involved, daily and weekly situational reports, statistical data and information packages for the media.”[9]

      Article 28, dealing with ‘EUROSUR Fusion Services’, says that Frontex will provide national authorities with information on the external borders and pre-frontier area that may be derived from, amongst other things, the monitoring of “migratory flows towards and within the Union in terms of trends, volume and routes.”

      Sources of data

      The “situational pictures” compiled by Frontex and distributed via EUROSUR are made up of data gathered from a host of different sources. For the national situational picture, these are:

      national border surveillance systems;
      stationary and mobile sensors operated by national border agencies;
      border surveillance patrols and “other monitoring missions”;
      local, regional and other coordination centres;
      other national authorities and systems, such as immigration liaison officers, operational centres and contact points;
      border checks;
      Frontex;
      other member states’ national coordination centres;
      third countries’ authorities;
      ship reporting systems;
      other relevant European and international organisations; and
      other sources.[10]

      For the European situational picture, the sources of data are:

      national coordination centres;
      national situational pictures;
      immigration liaison officers;
      Frontex, including reports form its liaison officers;
      Union delegations and EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions;
      other relevant Union bodies, offices and agencies and international organisations; and
      third countries’ authorities.[11]

      The EUROSUR handbook – which will presumably be redrafted to take into account the new legislation – provides more detail about what each of these categories may include.[12]

      Exactly how this melange of different data will be used to report on secondary movements is currently unknown. However, in accordance with Article 24 of the new Regulation:

      “The Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the details of the information layers of the situational pictures and the rules for the establishment of specific situational pictures. The implementing act shall specify the type of information to be provided, the entities responsible for collecting, processing, archiving and transmitting specific information, the maximum time limits for reporting, the data security and data protection rules and related quality control mechanisms.” [13]

      This implementing act will specify precisely how EUROSUR will report on “secondary movements”.[14] According to a ‘roadmap’ setting out plans for the implementation of the new Regulation, this implementing act should have been drawn up in the last quarter of 2020 by a newly-established European Border and Coast Guard Committee sitting within the Commission. However, that Committee does not yet appear to have held any meetings.[15]

      Operational activities at the internal borders

      Boosting Frontex’s operational role is one of the major purposes of the new Regulation, although it makes clear that the internal surveillance role “should not lead to operational activities of the Agency at the internal borders of the Member States.” Rather, internal surveillance should “contribute to the monitoring by the Agency of migratory flows towards and within the Union for the purpose of risk analysis and situational awareness.” The purpose is to inform operational activity by national authorities.

      In recent years Schengen member states have reintroduced border controls for significant periods in the name of ensuring internal security and combating irregular migration. An article in Deutsche Welle recently highlighted:

      “When increasing numbers of refugees started arriving in the European Union in 2015, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary quickly reintroduced controls, citing a “continuous big influx of persons seeking international protection.” This was the first time that migration had been mentioned as a reason for reintroducing border controls.

      Soon after, six Schengen members reintroduced controls for extended periods. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway cited migration as a reason. France, as the sixth country, first introduced border checks after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, citing terrorist threats. Now, four years later, all six countries still have controls in place. On November 12, they are scheduled to extend them for another six months.”[16]

      These long-term extensions of internal border controls are illegal (the upper limit is supposed to be two years; discussions on changes to the rules governing the reintroduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area are ongoing).[17] A European Parliament resolution from May 2018 stated that “many of the prolongations are not in line with the existing rules as to their extensions, necessity or proportionality and are therefore unlawful.”[18] Yves Pascou, a researcher for the European Policy Centre, told Deutsche Welle that: “"We are in an entirely political situation now, not a legal one, and not one grounded in facts.”

      A European Parliament study published in 2016 highlighted that:

      “there has been a noticeable lack of detail and evidence given by the concerned EU Member States [those which reintroduced internal border controls]. For example, there have been no statistics on the numbers of people crossing borders and seeking asylum, or assessment of the extent to which reintroducing border checks complies with the principles of proportionality and necessity.”[19]

      One purpose of Frontex’s new internal surveillance powers is to provide such evidence (albeit in the ideologically-skewed form of ‘risk analysis’) on the situation within the EU. Whether the information provided will be of interest to national authorities is another question. Nevertheless, it would be a significant irony if the provision of that information were to contribute to the further maintenance of internal borders in the Schengen area.

      At the same time, there is a more pressing concern related to these new powers. Many discussions on the reintroduction of internal borders revolve around the fact that it is contrary to the idea, spirit (and in these cases, the law) of the Schengen area. What appears to have been totally overlooked is the effect the reintroduction of internal borders may have on non-EU nationals or ethnic minority citizens of the EU. One does not have to cross an internal Schengen frontier too many times to notice patterns in the appearance of the people who are hauled off trains and buses by border guards, but personal anecdotes are not the same thing as empirical investigation. If Frontex’s new powers are intended to inform operational activity by the member states at the internal borders of the EU, then the potential effects on fundamental rights must be taken into consideration and should be the subject of investigation by journalists, officials, politicians and researchers.

      Chris Jones

      Endnotes

      [1] The new Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU in mid-November: Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [2] Article 12, ‘Common application of surveillance tools’, Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 establishing the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013R1052

      [3] According to Frontex, the Eurosur Network first came into use in December 2011 and in March 2012 was first used to “exchange operational information”. The Regulation governing the system came into force in October 2013 (see footnote 2). See: Charles Heller and Chris Jones, ‘Eurosur: saving lives or reinforcing deadly borders?’, Statewatch Journal, vol. 23 no. 3/4, February 2014, http://database.statewatch.org/article.asp?aid=33156

      [4] Recital 34, 2019 Regulation: “EUROSUR should provide an exhaustive situational picture not only at the external borders but also within the Schengen area and in the pre-frontier area. It should cover land, sea and air border surveillance and border checks.”

      [5] European Commission, ‘Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action no 98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) no 1052/2013 and Regulation (EU) no 2016/1624’, COM(2018) 631 final, 12 September 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-com-frontex-proposal-regulation-com-18-631.pdf

      [6] EDPS, ‘Formal comments on the Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard’, 30 November 2018, p. p.2, https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/18-11-30_comments_proposal_regulation_european_border_coast_guard_en.pdf

      [7] Article 2(23): “‘hotspot area’ means an area created at the request of the host Member State in which the host Member State, the Commission, relevant Union agencies and participating Member States cooperate, with the aim of managing an existing or potential disproportionate migratory challenge characterised by a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving at the external borders”

      [8] Article 26(3)(c), 2019 Regulation

      [9] Article 26(4), 2019 Regulation

      [10] Article 25, 2019 Regulation

      [11] Article 26, 2019 Regulation

      [12] European Commission, ‘Commission Recommendation adopting the Practical Handbook for implementing and managing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)’, C(2015) 9206 final, 15 December 2015, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/securing-eu-borders/legal-documents/docs/eurosur_handbook_annex_en.pdf

      [13] Article 24(3), 2019 Regulation

      [14] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [15] Documents related to meetings of committees operating under the auspices of the European Commission can be found in the Comitology Register: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regcomitology/index.cfm?do=Search.Search&NewSearch=1

      [16] Kira Schacht, ‘Border checks in EU countries challenge Schengen Agreement’, DW, 12 November 2019, https://www.dw.com/en/border-checks-in-eu-countries-challenge-schengen-agreement/a-51033603

      [17] European Parliament, ‘Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders’, https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2017/0245(COD)&l=en

      [18] ‘Report on the annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area’, 3 May 2018, para.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2018-0160_EN.html

      [19] Elpseth Guild et al, ‘Internal border controls in the Schengen area: is Schengen crisis-proof?’, European Parliament, June 2016, p.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571356/IPOL_STU(2016)571356_EN.pdf

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2019/monitoring-secondary-movements-and-hotspots-frontex-is-now-an-internal-s

      #mouvements_secondaires #hotspot #hotspots

  • Monitoring « secondary movements » and « hotspots » : Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency

    The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “#situational_awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/dec/eu-frontex-int-surv.htm
    #surveillance #mouvements_secondaires #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Frontex #hotspot #hotspots #risques #analyse_de_risques

    –---------

    Dans ce rapport de Statewatch, on peut lire :

    Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”2 New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU.

    Ce qui n’est pas sans rappeler la carte de @reka sur les 3 frontières européennes :
    #pré-frontière
    #frontière
    #post-frontière


    https://visionscarto.net/la-mediterranee-plus-loin

    Pour une version plus récente de cette carte...


    https://asile.ch/2016/12/13/regard-dune-geographe-murs-frontieres-fantasme-controle-migratoire

    ping @etraces @karine4 @reka @isskein

    • Making misery pay : Libya militias take EU funds for migrants

      When the European Union started funneling millions of euros into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centers notorious for abuse and fight human trafficking.

      That hasn’t happened. Instead, the misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found.

      The EU has sent more than 327.9 million euros to Libya (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/north-africa/libya), with an additional 41 million approved in early December (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/all-news-and-stories/new-actions-almost-eu150-million-tackle-human-smuggling-protect-vulnerable), largely channeled through U.N. agencies. The AP found that in a country without a functioning government, huge sums of European money have been diverted to intertwined networks of militiamen, traffickers and coast guard members who exploit migrants. In some cases, U.N. officials knew militia networks were getting the money, according to internal emails.

      The militias torture, extort and otherwise abuse migrants for ransoms in detention centers under the nose of the U.N., often in compounds that receive millions in European money, the AP investigation showed. Many migrants also simply disappear from detention centers, sold to traffickers or to other centers.

      The same militias conspire with some members of Libyan coast guard units. The coast guard gets training and equipment from Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. But coast guard members return some migrants to the detention centers under deals with militias, the AP found, and receive bribes to let others pass en route to Europe.

      The militias involved in abuse and trafficking also skim off European funds given through the U.N. to feed and otherwise help migrants, who go hungry. For example, millions of euros in U.N. food contracts were under negotiation with a company controlled by a militia leader, even as other U.N. teams raised alarms about starvation in his detention center, according to emails obtained by the AP and interviews with at least a half-dozen Libyan officials.

      In many cases, the money goes to neighboring Tunisia to be laundered, and then flows back to the militias in Libya.

      The story of Prudence Aimée and her family shows how migrants are exploited at every stage of their journey through Libya.

      Aimée left Cameroon in 2015, and when her family heard nothing from her for a year, they thought she was dead. But she was in detention and incommunicado. In nine months at the Abu Salim detention center, she told the AP, she saw “European Union milk” and diapers delivered by U.N.staff pilfered before they could reach migrant children, including her toddler son. Aimée herself would spend two days at a time without food or drink, she said.

      In 2017, an Arab man came looking for her with a photo of her on his phone.

      “They called my family and told them they had found me,” she said. “That’s when my family sent money.” Weeping, Aimée said her family paid a ransom equivalent of $670 to get her out of the center. She could not say who got the money.

      She was moved to an informal warehouse and eventually sold to yet another detention center, where yet another ransom — $750 this time — had to be raised from her family. Her captors finally released the young mother, who got on a boat that made it past the coast guard patrol, after her husband paid $850 for the passage. A European humanitarian ship rescued Aimée, but her husband remains in Libya.

      Aimée was one of more than 50 migrants interviewed by the AP at sea, in Europe, Tunisia and Rwanda, and in furtive messages from inside detention centers in Libya. Journalists also spoke with Libyan government officials, aid workers and businessmen in Tripoli, obtained internal U.N. emails and analyzed budget documents and contracts.

      The issue of migration has convulsed Europe since the influx of more than a million people in 2015 and 2016, fleeing violence and poverty in the Mideast, Afghanistan and Africa. In 2015, the European Union set up a fund intended to curb migration from Africa, from which money is sent to Libya. The EU gives the money mainly through the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).

      But Libya is plagued by corruption and caught in a civil war. The west, including the capital Tripoli, is ruled by a U.N.-brokered government, while the east is ruled by another government supported by army commander Khalifa Hifter. The chaos is ideal for profiteers making money off migrants.

      The EU’s own documents show it was aware of the dangers of effectively outsourcing its migration crisis to Libya. Budget documents from as early as 2017 for a 90 million euro (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/t05-eutf-noa-ly-03.pdf) outlay warned of a medium-to-high risk that Europe’s support would lead to more human rights violations against migrants, and that the Libyan government would deny access to detention centers. A recent EU assessment (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/risk_register_eutf_0.pdf) found the world was likely to get the “wrong perception” that European money could be seen as supporting abuse.

      Despite the roles they play in the detention system in Libya, both the EU and the U.N. say they want the centers closed. In a statement to the AP, the EU said that under international law, it is not responsible for what goes on inside the centers.

      “Libyan authorities have to provide the detained refugees and migrants with adequate and quality food while ensuring that conditions in detention centers uphold international agreed standards,” the statement said.

      The EU also says more than half of the money in its fund for Africa is used to help and protect migrants, and that it relies on the U.N. to spend the money wisely.

      The U.N. said the situation in Libya is highly complex, and it has to work with whoever runs the detention centers to preserve access to vulnerable migrants.

      “UNHCR does not choose its counterparts,” said Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. “Some presumably also have allegiances with local militias.”

      After two weeks of being questioned by the AP, UNHCR said it would change its policy on awarding of food and aid contracts for migrants through intermediaries.

      “Due in part to the escalating conflict in Tripoli and the possible risk to the integrity of UNHCR’s programme, UNHCR decided to contract directly for these services from 1 January 2020,” Yaxley said.

      Julien Raickman, who until recently was the Libya mission chief for the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, believes the problem starts with Europe’s unwillingness to deal with the politics of migration.

      “If you were to treat dogs in Europe the way these people are treated, it would be considered a societal problem,” he said.

      EXTORTION INSIDE THE DETENTION CENTERS

      About 5,000 migrants in Libya are crowded into between 16 and 23 detention centers at any given time, depending on who is counting and when. Most are concentrated in the west, where the militias are more powerful than the weak U.N.-backed government.

      Aid intended for migrants helps support the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, named for the militia that controls it, in the western coastal town of Zawiya. The U.N. migration agency, the IOM, keeps a temporary office there for medical checks of migrants, and its staff and that of the UNHCR visit the compound regularly.

      Yet migrants at the center are tortured for ransoms to be freed and trafficked for more money, only to be intercepted at sea by the coast guard and brought back to the center, according to more than a dozen migrants, Libyan aid workers, Libyan officials and European human rights groups. A UNHCR report in late 2018 noted the allegations as well, and the head of the militia, Mohammed Kachlaf, is under U.N. sanctions (https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sanctions/1970/materials/summaries/individual/mohammed-kachlaf) for human trafficking. Kachlaf, other militia leaders named by the AP and the Libyan coast guard all did not respond to requests for comment.

      Many migrants recalled being cut, shot and whipped with electrified hoses and wooden boards. They also heard the screams of others emerging from the cell blocks off-limits to U.N. aid workers.

      Families back home are made to listen during the torture to get them to pay, or are sent videos afterward.

      Eric Boakye, a Ghanaian, was locked in the al-Nasr Martyrs center twice, both times after he was intercepted at sea, most recently around three years ago. The first time, his jailers simply took the money on him and set him free. He tried again to cross and was again picked up by the coast guard and returned to his jailers.

      “They cut me with a knife on my back and beat me with sticks,” he said, lifting his shirt to show the scars lining his back. “Each and every day they beat us to call our family and send money.” The new price for freedom: Around $2,000.

      That was more than his family could scrape together. Boakye finally managed to escape. He worked small jobs for some time to save money, then tried to cross again. On his fourth try, he was picked up by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship to be taken to Italy. In all, Boakye had paid $4,300 to get out of Libya.

      Fathi al-Far, the head of the al-Nasr International Relief and Development agency, which operates at the center and has ties to the militia, denied that migrants are mistreated. He blamed “misinformation” on migrants who blew things out of proportion in an attempt to get asylum.

      “I am not saying it’s paradise — we have people who have never worked before with the migrants, they are not trained,” he said. But he called the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center “the most beautiful in the country.”

      At least five former detainees showed an AP journalist scars from their injuries at the center, which they said were inflicted by guards or ransom seekers making demands to their families. One man had bullet wounds to both feet, and another had cuts on his back from a sharp blade. All said they had to pay to get out.

      Five to seven people are freed every day after they pay anywhere from $1,800 to $8,500 each, the former migrants said. At al-Nasr, they said, the militia gets around $14,000 every day from ransoms; at Tarik al-Sikka, a detention center in Tripoli, it was closer to $17,000 a day, they said. They based their estimates on what they and others detained with them had paid, by scraping together money from family and friends.

      The militias also make money from selling groups of migrants, who then often simply disappear from a center. An analysis commissioned by the EU and released earlier this month by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (https://globalinitiative.net/migrant-detention-libya) noted that the detention centers profit by selling migrants among themselves and to traffickers, as well as into prostitution and forced labor.

      Hundreds of migrants this year who were intercepted at sea and taken to detention centers had vanished by the time international aid groups visited, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. There’s no way to tell where they went, but MSF suspects they were sold to another detention center or to traffickers.

      A former guard at the Khoms center acknowledged to the AP that migrants often were seized in large numbers by men armed with anti-aircraft guns and RPGs. He said he couldn’t keep his colleagues from abusing the migrants or traffickers from taking them out of the center.

      “I don’t want to remember what happened,” he said. The IOM was present at Khoms, he noted, but the center closed last year.

      A man who remains detained at the al-Nasr Martyrs center said Libyans frequently arrive in the middle of the night to take people. Twice this fall, he said, they tried to load a group of mostly women into a small convoy of vehicles but failed because the center’s detainees revolted.

      Fighting engulfed Zawiya last week, but migrants remained locked inside the al-Nasr Martyrs center, which is also being used for weapons storage.

      TRAFFICKING AND INTERCEPTION AT SEA

      Even when migrants pay to be released from the detention centers, they are rarely free. Instead, the militias sell them to traffickers, who promise to take them across the Mediterranean to Europe for a further fee. These traffickers work hand in hand with some coast guard members, the AP found.

      The Libyan coast guard is supported by both the U.N. and the EU. The IOM highlights (https://libya.iom.int/rescue-sea-support) its cooperation with the coast guard on its Libya home page. Europe has spent more than 90 million euros since 2017 for training and faster boats for the Libyan coast guard to stop migrants from ending up in Europe.

      This fall, Italy renewed a memorandum of understanding with Libya to support the coast guard with training and vessels, and it delivered 10 new speedboats to Libya in November.

      In internal documents obtained in September by the European watchdog group Statewatch, the European Council described the coast guard as “operating effectively, thus confirming the process achieved over the past three years” (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-council-libya-11538-19.pdf). The Libyan coast guard says it intercepted nearly 9,000 people in 2019 en route to Europe and returned them to Libya this year, after quietly extending its coastal rescue zone 100 miles offshore with European encouragement.

      What’s unclear is how often militias paid the coast guard to intercept these people and bring them back to the detention centers — the business more than a dozen migrants described at the al-Nasr Martyrs facility in Zawiya.

      The coast guard unit at Zawiya is commanded by Abdel-Rahman Milad, who has sanctions against him for human trafficking by the U.N.’s Security Council. Yet when his men intercept boats carrying migrants, they contact U.N. staff at disembarkation points for cursory medical checks.

      Despite the sanctions and an arrest warrant against him, Milad remains free because he has the support of the al-Nasr militia. In 2017, before the sanctions, Milad was even flown to Rome, along with a militia leader, Mohammed al-Khoja, as part of a Libyan delegation for a U.N.-sponsored migration meeting. In response to the sanctions, Milad denied any links to human smuggling and said traffickers wear uniforms similar to those of his men.

      Migrants named at least two other operations along the coast, at Zuwara and Tripoli, that they said operated along the same lines as Milad’s. Neither center responded to requests for comment.

      The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration acknowledged to the AP that it has to work with partners who might have contacts with local militias.

      “Without those contacts it would be impossible to operate in those areas and for IOM to provide support services to migrants and the local population,” said IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli. “Failure to provide that support would have compounded the misery of hundreds of men, women and children.”

      The story of Abdullah, a Sudanese man who made two attempts to flee Libya, shows just how lucrative the cycle of trafficking and interception really is.

      All told, the group of 47 in his first crossing from Tripoli over a year ago had paid a uniformed Libyan and his cronies $127,000 in a mix of dollars, euros and Libyan dinars for the chance to leave their detention center and cross in two boats. They were intercepted in a coast guard boat by the same uniformed Libyan, shaken down for their cell phones and more money, and tossed back into detention.

      “We talked to him and asked him, why did you let us out and then arrest us?” said Abdullah, who asked that only his first name be used because he was afraid of retaliation. “He beat two of us who brought it up.”

      Abdullah later ended up in the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, where he learned the new price list for release and an attempted crossing based on nationality: Ethiopians, $5,000; Somalis $6,800; Moroccans and Egyptians, $8,100; and finally Bangladeshis, a minimum $18,500. Across the board, women pay more.

      Abdullah scraped together another ransom payment and another crossing fee. Last July, he and 18 others paid $48,000 in total for a boat with a malfunctioning engine that sputtered to a stop within hours.

      After a few days stuck at sea off the Libyan coast under a sweltering sun, they threw a dead man overboard and waited for their own lives to end. Instead, they were rescued on their ninth day at sea by Tunisian fishermen, who took them back to Tunisia.

      “There are only three ways out of the prison: You escape, you pay ransom, or you die,” Abdullah said, referring to the detention center.

      In all, Abdullah spent a total of $3,300 to leave Libya’s detention centers and take to the sea. He ended up barely 100 miles away.

      Sometimes members of the coast guard make money by doing exactly what the EU wants them to prevent: Letting migrants cross, according to Tarik Lamloum, the head of the Libyan human rights organization Beladi. Traffickers pay the coast guard a bribe of around $10,000 per boat that is allowed to pass, with around five to six boats launching at a time when conditions are favorable, he said.

      The head of Libya’s Department for Combating Irregular Migration or DCIM, the agency responsible for the detention centers under the Ministry of Interior, acknowledged corruption and collusion among the militias and the coast guard and traffickers, and even within the government itself.

      “They are in bed with them, as well as people from my own agency,” said Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez.

      SKIMMING PROFITS

      Beyond the direct abuse of migrants, the militia network also profits by siphoning off money from EU funds sent for their food and security — even those earmarked for a U.N.-run migrant center, according to more than a dozen officials and aid workers in Libya and Tunisia, as well as internal U.N. emails and meeting minutes seen by The Associated Press.

      An audit in May of the UNHCR (https://oios.un.org/audit-reports, the U.N. refugee agency responsible for the center, found a lack of oversight and accountability at nearly all levels of spending in the Libya mission. The audit identified inexplicable payments in American dollars to Libyan firms and deliveries of goods that were never verified.

      In December 2018, during the period reviewed in the audit, the U.N. launched its migrant center in Tripoli (https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html), known as the #Gathering_and_Departure_Facility or #GDF, as an “ alternative to detention” (https://apnews.com/7e72689f44e45dd17aa0a3ee53ed3c03). For the recipients of the services contracts, sent through the Libyan government agency LibAid, it was a windfall.

      Millions of euros in contracts for food (https://apnews.com/e4c68dae65a84c519253f69c817a58ec) and migrant aid went to at least one company linked to al-Khoja, the militia leader flown to Rome for the U.N. migration meeting, according to internal U.N. emails seen by the AP, two senior Libyan officials and an international aid worker. Al-Khoja is also the deputy head of the DCIM, the government agency responsible for the detention centers.

      One of the Libyan officials saw the multimillion-euro catering contract with a company named Ard al-Watan, or The Land of the Nation, which al-Khoja controls.

      “We feel like this is al-Khoja’s fiefdom. He controls everything. He shuts the doors and he opens the doors,” said the official, a former employee at the U.N. center who like other Libyan officials spoke anonymously out of fear for his safety. He said al-Khoja used sections of the U.N. center to train his militia fighters and built a luxury apartment inside.

      Even as the contracts for the U.N. center were negotiated, Libyan officials said, three Libyan government agencies were investigating al-Khoja in connection with the disappearance of $570 million from government spending allocated to feed migrants in detention centers in the west.

      At the time, al-Khoja already ran another center for migrants, Tarik al-Sikka, notorious for abuses including beating, hard labor and a massive ransom scheme. Tekila, an Eritrean refugee, said that for two years at Tarik al-Sikka, he and other migrants lived on macaroni, even after he was among 25 people who came down with tuberculosis, a disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Tekila asked that only his first name be used for his safety.

      “When there is little food, there is no choice but to go to sleep,” he said.

      Despite internal U.N. emails warning of severe malnutrition inside Tarik al-Sikka, U.N. officials in February and March 2018 repeatedly visited the detention center to negotiate the future opening of the GDF. AP saw emails confirming that by July 2018, the UNHCR’s chief of mission was notified that companies controlled by al-Khoja’s militia would receive subcontracts for services.

      Yaxley, the spokesman for UNHCR, emphasized that the officials the agency works with are “all under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.” He said UNHCR monitors expenses to make sure its standard rules are followed, and may withhold payments otherwise.

      A senior official at LibAid, the Libyan government agency that managed the center with the U.N., said the contracts are worth at least $7 million for catering, cleaning and security, and 30 out of the 65 LibAid staff were essentially ghost employees who showed up on the payroll, sight unseen.

      The U.N. center was “a treasure trove,” the senior Libaid official lamented. “There was no way you could operate while being surrounded by Tripoli militias. It was a big gamble.”

      An internal U.N. communication from early 2019 shows it was aware of the problem. The note found a high risk that food for the U.N. center was being diverted to militias, given the amount budgeted compared to the amount migrants were eating.

      In general, around 50 dinars a day, or $35, is budgeted per detainee for food and other essentials for all centers, according to two Libyan officials, two owners of food catering companies and an international aid worker. Of that, only around 2 dinars is actually spent on meals, according to their rough calculations and migrants’ descriptions.

      Despite the investigations into al-Khoja, Tarik al-Sikka and another detention center shared a 996,000-euro grant from the EU and Italy in February.

      At the Zawiya center, emergency goods delivered by U.N. agencies ended up redistributed “half for the prisoners, half for the workers,” said Orobosa Bright, a Nigerian who endured three stints there for a total of 11 months. Many of the goods end up on Libya’s black market as well, Libyan officials and international aid workers say.

      IOM’s spokeswoman said “aid diversion is a reality” in Libya and beyond, and that the agency does its best. Msehli said if it happens regularly, IOM will be forced to re-evaluate its supports to detention centers “despite our awareness that any reduction in this lifesaving assistance will add to the misery of migrants.”

      Despite the corruption, the detention system in Libya is still expanding in places, with money from Europe. At a detention center in Sabaa where migrants are already going hungry, they were forced to build yet another wing funded by the Italian government, said Lamloum, the Libyan aid worker. The Italian government did not respond to a request for comment.

      Lamloum sent a photo of the new prison. It has no windows.

      TUNISIA LAUNDERING

      The money earned off the suffering of migrants is whitewashed in money laundering operations in Tunisia, Libya’s neighbor.

      In the town of Ben Gardane, dozens of money-changing stalls transform Libyan dinars, dollars and euros into Tunisian currency before the money continues on its way to the capital, Tunis. Even Libyans without residency can open a bank account.

      Tunisia also offers another opportunity for militia networks to make money off European funds earmarked for migrants. Because of Libya’s dysfunctional banking system, where cash is scarce and militias control accounts, international organizations give contracts, usually in dollars, to Libyan organizations with bank accounts in Tunisia. The vendors compound the money on Libya’s black-market exchange, which ranges between 4 and 9 times greater than the official rate.

      Libya’s government handed over more than 100 files to Tunisia earlier this year listing companies under investigation for fraud and money laundering.

      The companies largely involve militia warlords and politicians, according to Nadia Saadi, a manager at the Tunisian anti-corruption authority. The laundering involves cash payments for real estate, falsified customs documents and faked bills for fictitious companies.

      “All in all, Libya is run by militias,” said a senior Libyan judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of risking his life. “Whatever governments say, and whatever uniform they wear, or stickers they put....this is the bottom line.”

      Husni Bey, a prominent businessman in Libya, said the idea of Europe sending aid money to Libya, a once-wealthy country suffering from corruption, was ill-conceived from the beginning.

      “Europe wants to buy those who can stop smuggling with all of these programs,” Bey said. “They would be much better off blacklisting the names of those involved in human trafficking, fuel and drug smuggling and charging them with crimes, instead of giving them money.”

      https://apnews.com/9d9e8d668ae4b73a336a636a86bdf27f

  • EU aid and development funding has provided €215 million for border security in Morocco since 2001

    Since 2001, almost €215 million has been provided to Morocco by the EU to finance border security projects. Human rights abuses against migrants and refugees committed by Moroccan authorities call into question whether financial support from the EU to Moroccan border security should continue.

    http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-347-eu-morocco-aid-border-security.pdf

    Initial EU funding efforts worth some €68 million took place between 2001 and 2010 and, despite an interlude in which financial support was concerned with reform of the country’s migration policy, in 2018 funding for border security returned with a vengeance, with €140 million promised to Morocco - half of which comes from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

    The strengthening of the EU-Morocco relationship on migration control has coincided with a crackdown on migrant presence in the north of Morocco, during which at least 8,000 people have been arrested and internally displaced to the south by the Moroccan police.

    People on the move have often faced violence at the hands of the Moroccan authorities in the name of enforcing the country’s migration policy. Nevertheless, the European Commission is reticent to acknowledge that it may have contributed in some way to operations by the Moroccan security forces in which human rights have been violated - an official told Statewatch that Morocco “advocates for a humanistic approach that considers human rights and integration as its first priority.”

    There is little publicly-available information on the results of these funding programmes and the evaluation report for just one project is publicly available. However, the activities foreseen for each project - contained in documents released to Statewatch - indicate that development aid has been used to increase the capacity of Moroccan state institutions to control the country’s land and sea borders, to exchange and coordinate information with both African and European partners. It seems like that the projects currently being implemented will continue in this vein.

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-morocco-borders.htm
    #Maroc #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #asile #migrations #développement #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur développement et migrations :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768702

  • Germany wants asylum seekers assessed before reaching Europe

    The German interior minister #Horst_Seehofer has called for a new European migration system which would see asylum applications decided outside Europe’s borders.

    Germany has called on the European Union to change its approach to asylum applications. The interior minister, Horst #Seehofer, said on Tuesday that applicants should undergo initial assessment at Europe’s external borders and be sent home from there as well.

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed,” Seehofer told the interior ministers of France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom at a meeting of the so-called #G6 group in the southern German city of Munich on Tuesday.

    The Dublin regulation refers to European Union rules which state that the EU country in which a person seeking asylum first sets foot should handle the asylum application.

    External processing

    “(This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders.”


    https://twitter.com/BMI_Bund/status/1189152116176248832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    “Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”

    Under Seehofer’s proposal, only asylum seekers with prospects for receiving protection in Europe should be distributed among a group of willing EU countries. Their asylum issues would then be addressed there.

    If the initial assessment at the European external borders is negative, the EU border agency Frontex should return the asylum seeker to his or her home country.

    Most support Seehofer

    The EU migration commissioner, Dimitris Avrampoulos, who also attended the G6 meeting, welcomed the proposal and called the discussions “constructive”. He said most of the G6 ministers supported Seehofer.


    https://twitter.com/Avramopoulos/status/1188870575877492736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    Seehofer also wants to bring forward a planned strengthening of the European border agency, Frontex. Officials in Brussels on Wednesday approved plans to deploy 10,000 uniformed border guards and officers across the EU by 2027, the AFP news agency reports.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/20480/germany-wants-asylum-seekers-assessed-before-reaching-europe
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile

    Je répète ici les mots de Seehofer, car on va probablement encore et encore les réutiliser...

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed, (...) (This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders. (...) Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”

    –-----------

    Ceci est à mettre en lien aussi avec le même genre de proposition (celle d’une externalisation non seulement des #contrôles_frontaliers, mais aussi de la #procédure_d'asile, et du #tri et de la #catégorisation) de #Macron en 2017 :
    Macron veut « identifier » les demandeurs d’asile au #Tchad et au Niger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/704970
    #France #hub

    –-------

    Mais Macron lui-même n’avait rien inventé... C’était une proposition qui arrivait de l’#Angleterre de #Tony_Blair :

    The idea of establishing reception centres in third countries, however, is not new. It was first suggested, unsuccessfully, by Tony Blair in 2003 [https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/feb/05/asylum.immigrationasylumandrefugees] It was then taken over by the former German Interior Minister Otto Schily in 2005,[ “German Interior Ministry, Effektiver Schutz für Flüchtlinge, wirkungsvolle Bekämpfung illegaler Migration – Überlegungen des Bundesministers des Innern zur Einrichtung einer EU-Aufnahmeeinrichtung in Nordafrika 9 September 2005.”] who proposed to establish asylum centres in North Africa, and more recently Italy. The original 2003 Blair proposal was that any third-country national who sought asylum in the EU would be returned immediately to a centre in a third country where his or her application would be considered.

    https://www.ceps.eu/ceps-publications/offshore-processing-asylum-applications-out-sight-out-mind
    #UK

    v. aussi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/704970#message704974
    #Transit_Processing_Centres (#TPCs) #UK

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @karine4 @visionscarto

    –----

    voir la métaliste sur les tentatives d’externalisation de la procédure d’asile de différents pays européens dans l’histoire :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900122

    • Austrian Presidency document: “a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory”

      A crude paper authored by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and circulated to other Member States’s security officials refers disparagingly to “regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes” and calls for “a halt to illegal migration to Europe” and the “development of a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory,” with some minor exceptions.

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/EU-austria-Informal-Meeting-%20COSI.pdf)

      The document was produced for an ’Informal Meeting of COSI’ (the Council of the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security) which took place on 2 and 3 July in Vienna, and the proposals it contains were the subject of numerous subsequent press articles - with the Austrian President one of the many who criticised the government’s ultra-hardline approach.

      See: Austrian president criticises government’s asylum proposals (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180715/austrian-president-criticises-governments-asylum-proposals); Austrian proposal requires asylum seekers to apply outside EU: Profil (Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-austria/austrian-proposal-requires-asylum-seekers-to-apply-outside-eu-profil-idUSKB); Right of asylum: Austria’s unsettling proposals to member states (EurActiv, https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/right-of-asylum-austrias-unsettling-proposals-to-member-states)

      Some of the proposals were also discussed at an informal meeting of the EU’s interior ministers on Friday 13 July, where the topic of “return centres” (http://statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-ciuncil-returns.htm) was also raised. The Luxembourg interior minister Jean Asselborn reportedly said that such an idea “shouldn’t be discussed by civilized Europeans.” See: No firm EU agreement on Austrian proposals for reducing migration (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180713/no-firm-eu-agreement-on-austrian-proposals-for-reducing-migration)

      The Austrian Presidency paper proposes:

      "2.1. By 2020

      By 2020 the following goals could be defined:

      Saving as many human lives as possible;
      Clear strengthening of the legal framework and the operational capabilities of FRONTEX with respect to its two main tasks: support in protecting the Union’s external border and in the field of return;
      Increasing countering and destruction of people smugglers’ and human traffickers‘ business models;
      Significant reduction in illegal migration;
      More sustainable and more effective return measures as well as establishment of instruments that foster third countries’ willingness to cooperate on all relevant aspects, including the fight against people smuggling, providing protection and readmission;
      Development of a holistic concept for a forward-looking migration policy (in the spirit of a “whole of government approach“) and a future European protection system in cooperation with third countries that is supported by all and does not overburden all those involved – neither in terms of resources nor with regard to the fundamental rights and freedoms they uphold.

      2.2. By 2025

      By 2025 the following goals could be realised:

      Full control of the EU’s external borders and their comprehensive protection have been ensured.
      The new, better European protection system has been implemented across the EU in cooperation with third countries; important goals could include:
      no incentives anymore to get into boats, thus putting an end to smuggled persons dying in the Mediterranean;
      smart help and assistance for those in real need of protection, i.e. provided primarily in the respective region;
      asylum in Europe is granted only to those who respect European values and the fundamental rights and freedoms upheld in the EU;
      no overburdening of the EU Member States’ capabilities;
      lower long-term costs;
      prevention of secondary migration.
      Based on these principles, the EU Member States have returned to a consensual European border protection and asylum policy.”

      And includes the following statements, amongst others:

      “...more and more Member States are open to exploring a new approach. Under the working title “Future European Protection System” (FEPS) and based on an Austrian initiative, a complete paradigm shift in EU asylum policy has been under consideration at senior officials’ level for some time now. The findings are considered in the “Vienna Process” in the context of which the topic of external border protection is also dealt with. A number of EU Member States, the EU Commission and external experts contribute towards further reflections and deliberations on these two important topics.”

      “...ultimately, there is no effective EU external border protection in place against illegal migration and the existing EU asylum system does not enable an early distinction between those who are in need of protection and those who are not.”

      “Disembarkment following rescue at sea as a rule only takes place in EU Member States. This means that apprehensions at sea not only remain ineffective (non-refoulement, examination of applications for asylum), but are exploited in people smugglers’ business models.”

      “Due to factors related to their background as well as their poor perspectives, they [smuggled migrants] repeatedly have considerable problems with living in free societies or even reject them. Among them are a large number of barely or poorly educated young men who have travelled to Europe alone. Many of these are particularly susceptible to ideologies that are hostile to freedom and/or are prone to turning to crime.

      As a result of the prevailing weaknesses in the fields of external border protection and asylum, it is to be expected that the negative consequences of past and current policies will continue to be felt for many years to come. As experience with immigration from regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes has shown, problems related to integration, safety and security may even increase significantly over several generations.”

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (pdf)

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-austrian-pres-asylum-paper.htm

      #Autriche

    • Germany proposed a new automatic relocation scheme for asylum seekers (https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-sets-out-plan-for-automatic-relocation-of-asylum-seekers), according to which requests for international protection would be evaluated at the external borders of the European Union. The proposal was presented last week to EU member states, with the aim of making progress in the reforming of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), ahead of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second part of next year. The document proposes the initial evaluation of cases at EU’s external borders, a new regime for determining which member state is responsible for the further processing of the application, and measures to prevent asylum seekers’ migration from one member state to another. The proposal that initial assessments of all cases should be made at the external borders is very problematic, since it determines that “clearly false and unfounded” requests would be denied immediately at the external border, as well as the fact that measures including restricting freedom of movement could be used in such proceedings. Moreover, the question of what would be the exact procedure of determining which states are responsible for processing applications for asylum also arises. According to the German plan, the key role in this would be reserved for European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which the Commission already proposes to transform into the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), that would then decide which member state is responsible for the further processing of applications. This decision would be based on factors such as the size of the population of the member state, their GDP and so on.

      Reçu via Inicijativa dobrodosli, mail du 04.11.2019.

  • New Frontex Regulation : corrected version of the text

    The European Parliament is due to approve a corrected version of the new Frontex Regulation, which was originally agreed between the Council and Parliament in April but has been undergoing revision by legal and linguistic specialists.

    See: REGULATION (EU) 2019/... OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of ... on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/oct/eu-frontex-regulation-ep-approved-corrected-version-2-10-19.pdf)

    And: the version initially agreed between the Parliament and Council in April (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/apr/eu-frontex-final-tAnnex%20to%20LIBE%20letter-EBCG-text.pdf)

    The Regulation was proposed in September 2018 and agreement was reached between the Parliament and Council in April 2019. The speed of the legislative process may explain why the text has to be corrected and approved in accordance with Rule 241 of the Parliament’s rules of procedure (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RULES-9-2019-07-02-RULE-241_EN.html).

    The headline change introduced by the new Regulation is a “standing corps” of 10,000 border guards. The official intention is to introduce the standing corps by 2027, but incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has committed to doing so by 2024 - although an article in DW commented (https://www.dw.com/en/can-the-eus-ursula-von-der-leyen-fulfill-her-promises/a-49625188) that this “looks extremely unlikely, as the member states have repeatedly rejected the move.”

    The new Regulation will also give the agency expanded surveillance powers, an extended mandate in the field of deportations and new possibilities for cooperation with non-EU states. Under its current mandate, Frontex has already begun to operate outside the EU, with an operation launched in Albania in May.

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/oct/eu-new-frontex-reg.htm
    #frontex #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #gardes-frontières_européens #gardes-frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Albanie #surveillance #renvois #expulsions

    –---

    Sur la coopération avec l’Albanie, voir :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/782260

  • Paris et Rome adoptent « une position commune » sur la répartition des migrants en Europe

    Les pays de l’UE devront participer au « #mécanisme_automatique » de répartition, voulu par MM. Macron et Conte, sous peine de pénalités financières.

    Après des mois de brouille franco-italienne, le président français, Emmanuel Macron, et le chef du gouvernement italien, Giuseppe Conte, se sont déclarés d’accord, mercredi 18 septembre, pour mettre en place un « mécanisme automatique » de répartition des migrants.

    Après deux ans de dissensions sur cet épineux dossier, ils défendront désormais au sein de l’Union européenne (UE) « une position commune pour que tous les pays participent d’une façon ou d’une autre » à l’accueil « ou bien soient pénalisés financièrement », a expliqué M. Macron.
    Lors d’une conférence de presse commune, ils ont aussi réclamé une gestion « plus efficace » du renvoi dans leur pays d’origine des migrants qui n’ont pas droit à l’asile. Le dirigeant italien a souligné que l’Italie ne « laisserait pas les trafiquants décider des entrées sur le territoire », mais aussi jugé qu’il fallait « gérer ce phénomène », quand l’ancien ministre de l’intérieur Matteo Salvini, patron de la Ligue, refusait tout débarquement de migrants.
    La France solidaire

    Regrettant de son côté « l’injustice » vécue par les Italiens, Emmanuel Macron a répété que l’UE n’avait pas été suffisamment solidaire envers l’Italie. « La France est prête à évoluer sur ce point dans le cadre de la remise à plat des accords de Dublin », qui confient actuellement aux pays d’arrivée la charge du traitement des demandes d’asile, a-t-il dit. « Je ne mésestime pas ce que le peuple italien a vécu », a expliqué M. Macron, mais « la réponse au sujet migratoire n’est pas dans le repli mais dans une solution de coopération européenne efficace. »

    Plusieurs ministres de l’intérieur de l’UE (dont les ministres français, allemand et italien) doivent se réunir lundi à Malte pour discuter de ce dossier.

    Les deux dirigeants n’ont toutefois pas évoqué devant la presse certaines des demandes de l’Italie venant en complément de la future répartition automatique des migrants en Europe. Parmi ces points qui restent à éclaircir figurent la répartition non seulement des demandeurs d’asile mais aussi des migrants économiques ainsi que la rotation des ports de débarquement, qui devrait intégrer des ports français. Fermés aux ONG secourant les migrants, les ports italiens se sont entrouverts ces derniers jours en laissant notamment débarquer sur l’île de Lampedusa 82 rescapés.
    Un sommet bilatéral programmé

    La visite du président français, la première d’un dirigeant européen depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir d’une nouvelle coalition en Italie, visait d’abord à rétablir de bonnes relations entre les deux pays, après une année de tensions avec les leaders de la précédente coalition populiste au pouvoir, notamment sur la question migratoire.

    Le chef de l’Etat français n’a passé qu’une soirée dans la capitale italienne, enchaînant un court entretien avec son homologue, Sergio Mattarella, et un dîner de travail avec le premier ministre, Giuseppe Conte, récemment reconduit à la tête d’un nouvel exécutif où le Mouvement cinq étoiles (M5S) est cette fois associé au Parti démocrate (centre gauche) et non à la Ligue (extrême droite).

    Entre l’Italie et la France existe « une amitié indestructible », a assuré le président français dont le déplacement à Rome a permis de programmer, pour 2020 en Italie, un sommet bilatéral, rendez-vous annuel lancé en 1983 mais qui n’avait pas été mis à l’agenda l’an passé pour cause de tensions entre les deux pays.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/09/19/paris-et-rome-vont-defendre-une-position-commune-sur-la-repartition-des-migr
    #répartition #asile #migrations #réfugiés #France #Italie #solidarité #UE #EU #Europe #Dublin #règlement_dublin #coopération #ports

    L’accent est mis aussi sur les #renvois... évidemment :

    ils ont aussi réclamé une gestion « plus efficace » du renvoi dans leur pays d’origine des migrants qui n’ont pas droit à l’asile.

    #machine_à_expulsion

    Et évidemment... zéro prise en compte des compétences, envies, liens, attachements que les migrants/réfugiés pourraient exprimer et qui pourraient être prises en compte dans le choix du pays de leur installation...
    #paquets_postaux

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Société.L’Italie obtient un accord pour la “redistribution” des migrants

      Lundi 23 septembre, à Malte, les ministres de l’Intérieur de plusieurs pays européens ont trouvé un accord pour mettre en place un mécanisme de répartition des migrants qui arrivent dans les ports méditerranéens. Un succès politique pour le nouveau gouvernement italien.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/revue-de-presse/societe-litalie-obtient-un-accord-pour-la-redistribution-des-

    • Société.L’Italie obtient un accord pour la “redistribution” des migrants

      Lundi 23 septembre, à Malte, les ministres de l’Intérieur de plusieurs pays européens ont trouvé un accord pour mettre en place un mécanisme de répartition des migrants qui arrivent dans les ports méditerranéens. Un succès politique pour le nouveau gouvernement italien.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/revue-de-presse/societe-litalie-obtient-un-accord-pour-la-redistribution-des-

    • Déplacement à Rome après la mise en place du nouveau gouvernement italien

      Deux semaines seulement après la mise en place du nouveau gouvernement italien, le Président Emmanuel Macron est le premier Chef d’État à se rendre à Rome pour un dîner de travail avec Giuseppe Conte, Président du Conseil des ministres italien. Cette rencontre était précédée d’un entretien avec Sergio Mattarella, Président de la République italienne.
      La visite en Italie du Président de la République était importante, tant sur le fond, dans le contexte d’un agenda européen chargé après les élections européennes, que sur le plan symbolique.

      (Re)voir la déclaration conjointe à la presse du Président de la République et du Président du Conseil des ministres italien, à l’issue de leur rencontre :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUXMEP3Kifg

      Déclaration conjointe à la presse du Président de la République et du Président du Conseil des ministres italien

      Merci beaucoup Monsieur le Président du Conseil, cher Giuseppe.

      Je n’ai que très peu de choses à rajouter et rien à retrancher de ce qui vient d’être dit à l’instant par le Président du Conseil. Je suis très heureux d’être ici parmi vous, très heureux d’être aujourd’hui à Rome quelques jours après la formation de votre nouveau gouvernement.

      Je viens de m’entretenir à l’instant avec le Président de la République, Sergio MATTARELLA, après les entretiens que nous avons eu au printemps dernier, lors des commémorations des 500 ans de la mort de Léonard DE VINCI en France, et je suis heureux de vous retrouver ici, cher Giuseppe, à Rome dans ces responsabilités.

      Ma présence aujourd’hui, c’est d’abord la volonté marquée de travailler ensemble pour la relation bilatérale et pour le projet européen, vous l’avez parfaitement rappelé. C’est aussi un message fort et clair envoyé au peuple italien d’amitié de la part du peuple français. Votre Président l’a dit il y a quelques mois, cette amitié est indestructible. Parfois nous ne sommes pas d’accord, il se peut qu’on se dispute, il se peut qu’on ne se comprenne pas mais toujours on se retrouve. Et je crois que nous en sommes là et que la volonté du peuple français est véritablement de travailler avec le peuple italien et de réussir pleinement. Vous l’avez dit Monsieur le Président à l’instant, notre souhait est de renforcer, et nous venons de l’évoquer ensemble, la coopération bilatérale et européenne et je veux revenir simplement sur quelques sujets.

      Le premier évidemment c’est le sujet des migrations. Sur ce sujet je ne mésestime pas ce que depuis 2015 le peuple italien vit, ce que l’Italie a subi, et là aussi avec beaucoup parfois de malentendus, d’incompréhensions, d’injustices qui ont été vues, perçues, et qui ont suscité de la colère. Je crois très profondément, comme vous l’avez dit, que la réponse au sujet migratoire n’est pas dans le repli, la provocation nationaliste mais la construction de solutions et de coopérations européennes réelles et efficaces.

      D’abord, nous vivons une situation, aujourd’hui, qui n’est plus celle de 2015 parce qu’il y a eu un très gros travail qui a été mené pour prévenir avec les États d’origine, pour mieux travailler avec beaucoup de partenaires africains, la situation que nous avons pu connaître alors. Mais ce que nous voulons faire ensemble, c’est poursuivre ce travail. Nos ministres de l’Intérieur se retrouveront dans quelques jours pour travailler sur la base de notre échange. Ils élargiront leur discussion à d’autres collègues européens, je pense en particulier à leur collègue maltais et à l’ensemble des pays de la rive Sud, et ils se retrouveront précisément à Malte, et ils poursuivront ainsi le travail que nous avons pu lancer à Paris au mois de juillet dernier, incluant aussi plusieurs organisations internationales.

      Notre approche doit répondre à trois exigences auxquelles je crois pouvoir dire que nous sommes l’un et l’autre attachés. La première, c’est une exigence d’humanité. On ne peut résoudre, ce conflit, en le faisant aux dépens des vies humaines ou en acceptant des personnes bloquées en mer ou des scènes de noyade que nous avons trop souvent vécues. La deuxième, c’est la solidarité, et c’est ce qui a manqué bien trop souvent en Europe. Je l’ai dit, l’Union européenne n’a pas fait suffisamment preuve de solidarité avec les pays de première arrivée, notamment l’Italie, et la France est prête à évoluer sur ce point dans le cadre de la remise à plat des accords de Dublin. Je souhaite que nous puissions ensemble travailler à une solution nouvelle, plus forte et plus solidaire. Et puis le troisième principe, c’est celui de l’efficacité. Les désaccords politiques ont conduit à une approche qui est, au fond, très inefficace, inefficace pour prévenir les arrivées, inefficace aussi pour gérer ce qu’on appelle les mouvements secondaires, parce qu’avec notre organisation actuelle, nous avons au fond trop de non-coopération entre les États membres, et du coup une situation où beaucoup de femmes et d’hommes qui ont pris tous les risques pour quitter leur pays se retrouvent sur la rive de l’Europe, errent de pays en pays, où les responsabilités sont renvoyées des uns aux autres et où nous sommes collectivement inefficaces à bien protéger ceux qui ont le droit à l’asile et à pouvoir renvoyer au plus vite ceux qui n’y ont pas droit.

      S’agissant des sauvetages en mer et des débarquements, vous l’avez évoqué, Monsieur le Président du Conseil, je suis convaincu que nous pouvons nous mettre d’accord sur un mécanisme européen automatique de répartition de l’accueil des migrants coordonné par la Commission européenne, qui permette de garantir à l’Italie ou à Malte, avant une arrivée, que ses partenaires puissent prendre en charge rapidement toutes les personnes débarquées, et avoir une organisation beaucoup plus solidaire et efficace, comme je viens de le dire, plus largement.

      Pour être justes et efficaces, il nous faut donc partout pouvoir défendre le droit d’asile, qui fait partie, bien souvent, de nos Constitutions, c’est le cas de la France, qui fait partie de nos textes les plus fondamentaux, je pense justement au texte de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme.Et donc protéger le droit d’asile, c’est aussi nous assurer que celles et ceux qui n’y ont pas droit sont reconduits le plus rapidement possible vers leur pays d’origine. C’est notre volonté commune d’avoir, au niveau européen, une plus grande harmonisation du droit d’asile, plus de coopération et une politique plus efficace de réadmission vers les pays d’origine lorsque les cas ne relèvent pas de l’asile. Au total, je crois que nous avons aujourd’hui une fenêtre d’opportunité pour parachever, relancer sur certains points, plus fondamentalement, le travail de remise à plat sur le plan des migrations et de l’asile en Europe aujourd’hui.

      La discussion que nous avons eue ces derniers jours et que nous venons d’avoir avec le Président du Conseil, comme la discussion que nous avons eue avec plusieurs de nos partenaires, en tout cas, me rend déterminé et volontariste sur ce sujet à vos côtés. Je crois, là aussi, que nous pourrons défendre une position commune avec la nouvelle Commission européenne pour que tous les pays participent, sous une forme ou une autre, à la solidarité européenne en la matière, ou bien soient pénalisés financièrement.

      Le deuxième sujet extrêmement important que nous avons discuté et qui est au cœur non seulement de l’agenda bilatéral mais de l’agenda européen, c’est celui de la croissance, de la création d’emplois, du contexte macroéconomique. Le Président du Conseil l’a évoqué. Nous voyons tous les chiffres en Europe, et si aujourd’hui, la croissance se tient à peu près, elle est en deçà de ce que nous avons pu connaître parce qu’il y a les incertitudes géopolitiques, parce qu’il y a la conflictualité commerciale mondiale, parce qu’il y a un ralentissement en Chine qui pèse sur plusieurs économies de la zone euro, parce qu’il y a aussi sans doute une coordination de nos politiques économiques qui n’est plus adaptée.

      Je veux, en la matière, ce soir, et le faire ici a un sens tout particulier, rendre hommage au travail de Mario DRAGHI, et tout particulièrement à ses dernières décisions. Une fois encore avec beaucoup de courage et de clairvoyance, le Président de la Banque centrale européenne a pris les décisions qui convenaient, mais il a aussi fait des déclarations qui convenaient, même si certains ne veulent pas entendre. Je le dis avec force, il a, à mes yeux, raison. La politique monétaire, depuis 2012, a fait le maximum de ce qu’elle pouvait faire pour préserver la situation européenne, éviter la déflation et nous éviter le pire. Il appartient aujourd’hui aux chefs d’État et de gouvernement de prendre leurs responsabilités en ce qui concerne leur budget propre comme en ce qui concerne les décisions que nous aurons à prendre au niveau européen, pour avoir une véritable politique de relance et de demande intérieure. Certains États membres ont des marges de manœuvre, et je salue d’ailleurs les annonces récentes à cet égard des Pays-Bas, qui ont décidé d’un plan d’investissements d’avenir dans lequel, je dois dire, je me retrouve, 50 milliards d’investissements sur les années qui viennent.

      J’attends avec impatience les décisions des autres États membres, et je pense que les décisions budgétaires que nous aurons collectivement à prendre doivent tenir compte de ce contexte macroéconomique et être au rendez-vous de l’investissement, de la relance. Nous en avons besoin parce que nous avons des défis éducatifs en matière de recherche, en matière stratégique, qui sont fondamentaux. Et je crois que nous pouvons garder le sérieux qui relève de nos traités, nous pouvons garder la politique de réformes qui relève de chaque pays, mais que nous devons conduire, et nous pouvons garder la lucidité sur le contexte macroéconomique qui est le nôtre, et refuser, en quelque sorte, que notre continent rentre dans la stagnation et plutôt s’arme pour préparer son avenir.

      Nous avons évoqué, avec le Président du Conseil, plusieurs autres sujets, évidemment la politique culturelle et les coopérations culturelles entre nos pays. Nous avons des échéances à venir extrêmement importantes : l’exposition Léonard DE VINCI, les expositions RAPHAËL qui vont être l’objet d’échanges, de partenariats entre nos deux pays et qui sont au cœur, je crois, de ce regard réciproque, de cette fierté que nous portons ensemble.

      Nous avons évoqué et nous allons travailler ce soir sur les sujets climatiques. Là aussi, nous croyons l’un et l’autre dans un agenda ambitieux sur le plan européen d’investissement, d’une banque climatique qui doit être au cœur du projet de la prochaine Commission, d’un prix du CO2 qui doit aussi prendre en compte ce défi et d’une stratégie neutralité carbone à l’horizon 2050, pour laquelle nous espérons finir de convaincre les derniers partenaires réticents. C’est cette même stratégie que nous allons défendre ensemble à New York lors du sommet climat, puis au moment où nous aurons à prendre nos engagements pour le Fonds vert dans les prochaines semaines.

      Enfin, le Président du Conseil l’a évoqué, sur plusieurs sujets internationaux, là aussi, nous avons conjugués nos efforts et nos vues. Et je crois que le sujet de la crise libyenne, qui nous a beaucoup occupé ces dernières années, fait l’objet aujourd’hui d’une vraie convergence franco-italienne, vraie convergence parce que nous avons su travailler ensemble pour passer des messages à nos partenaires. Je veux saluer la rencontre que vous avez eue avec le Président AL-SARAJ cet après-midi, et avec une conviction pleinement partagée : l’issue ne peut être trouvée que par le compromis politique et les discussions. C’est ce que nous avons d’ailleurs porté ensemble lors du G7 de Biarritz en défendant l’idée d’une conférence internationale pour la Libye incluant toutes les parties prenantes et une conférence inter-libyenne permettant cette réconciliation de toutes les parties au sein de la Libye. Vous avez rappelé ce point à l’instant. Et à ce titre, l’initiative portée par nos deux ministres des Affaires étrangères dans quelques jours à New York, rassemblant l’ensemble de leurs homologues concernés, est, à mes yeux, la mise en œuvre très concrète de cette volonté et sera, comme vous l’avez dit, une étape importante.

      Voilà sur quelques-uns des sujets importants de coopération économique, culturelle, industrielle, sur les sujets de défense dont nous allons continuer à parler dans quelques instants, sur les sujets européens, la volonté qui est la nôtre d’œuvrer ensemble. Dans quelques semaines, nous nous retrouverons autour de la table du Conseil pour parler de ces sujets et de quelques autres, et je me réjouis, Monsieur le Président du Conseil, de la perspective que vous avez ouverte d’un prochain sommet entre nos deux pays au début de l’année prochaine, qui se tiendra donc en Italie, qui nous permettra de poursuivre ce travail commun et de poursuivre aussi les travaux que nous avions lancé pour un traité du Quirinal, et donc pour parachever aussi toutes les coopérations communes entre nos deux pays. Je vous remercie.

      https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2019/09/18/deplacement-a-rome-apres-la-mise-en-place-du-nouveau-gouvernement-italien

    • The “#temporary_solidarity_mechanism” on relocation of people rescued at sea - what does it say?

      Germany, France, Italy and Malta have drafted a declaration (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-temporary-voluntary-relocation-mechanism-declaration.pdf) establishing a “predictable and efficient temporary solidarity mechanism” aimed at ensuring the “dignified disembarkation” of people rescued at sea in the Mediterranean. If those rescued are eligible for international protection they will be relocated to a participating EU member state within four weeks, while ineligible persons will be subject to “effective and quick return.”

      See: Joint declaration of intent on a controlled emergency procedure - voluntary commitments by member states for a predictable temporary solidarity mechanism (23 September 2019: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-temporary-voluntary-relocation-mechanism-declaration.pdf)

      The mechanism set out in the declaration is designed to address “the need to protect human life and provide assistance to any person in distress,” whilst preventing the emergence of any new irregular maritime routes into the EU. All signatories will be obliged to call on other EU and Schengen Member States to participate. Offers - or refusals - to do so are expected (https://www.dw.com/en/five-eu-interior-ministers-want-quotas-for-shipwrecked-refugees/a-50539788) to come at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 8 October.

      The mechanism

      Signatories to the declaration will have to ensure that persons rescued on the high seas are disembarked “in a place of safety”. Member states may also “offer an alternative place of safety on a voluntary basis”. Where rescue is carried out by a state-owned vessel, disembarkation will take place in the territory of the flag State.

      Following disembarkation, participating states should provide “swift relocation, which should not take longer than 4 weeks”, a process which will be coordinated by the European Commission - as has been the case with recent voluntary relocations (https://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-migrants-ocean-viking-4779483-Aug2019) following rescue at sea.

      The declaration requires participating states to declare pledges for relocation prior to disembarkation and “as a minimum, security and medical screening of all migrants and other relevant measures.” This should be based on “standard operating procedures, building on and improving existing practices by streamlining procedures and the full use of EURODAC,” the EU database of asylum-seekers’ fingerprints, with “support of EU Agencies, e.g. on EURODAC registration and initial interviewing.”

      It is unknown to which standard operating procedures the text refers (Statewatch has previously published those applicable in the Italian ’hotspots’ (http://statewatch.org/news/2016/may/it-hotspots-standard-operating-procedures-en.pdf)), nor what precisely “streamlining procedures” may entail for individuals seeking international protection.

      EU agencies Europol, Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) are present in the Greek hotspots, where detainees are not provided (https://flygtning.dk/system/siden-blev-ikke-fundet?aspxerrorpath=/media/5251031/rights-at-risk_drc-policy-brief2019.pdf) with either interpreters or adequate information on removal procedures; and those in Italy, where the EU’s own Fundamental Rights Agency has identified (https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2019-opinion-hotspots-update-03-2019_en.pdf) a number of serious problems.

      States may cease participation in the mechanism in cases of “disproportionate migratory pressure,” to be calculated using two rather vague criteria: “limitations in reception capacities or a high number of applications for international protection.” There is no further detail on how these will be determined.

      The mechanism will be valid for no less than six months and may be renewed, although it could be terminated “in the case of misuse by third parties”, a term with no further explanation. Furthermore, if within six months the number of relocated people rises “substantially”, consultations between participating member states will begin - during which “the entire mechanism might be suspended.”

      At the same time, the text calls for “advance on the reform of the Common European Asylum System,” which should provide a binding and permanent mechanism - if the member states can ever agree on such rules.

      The announcement on the signing of the declaration by the four member states was welcomed by Amnesty International. Eva Geddie, Director of the European Institutions Office, said (https://www.amnesty.eu/news/malta-asylum-seeker-disembarkation-deal-shows-a-more-humane-approach-is-poss): “We hope this mechanism will put an end to the obscene spectacle of people left stranded on boats for weeks waiting to know where, or even if, they can disembark.” The President of the European Parliament also welcomed the news (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190923IPR61761/sassoli-migration-agreement-respects-fundamental-principles-of-ep-pr). The devil, however, may be in the detail.

      Return as a priority

      Return “immediately after disembarkation,” where applicable, is one of the commitments set out in paragraph 4. This seems to imply that some form of asylum assessment will take place at sea, an idea that has previously been dismissed (https://www.ecre.org/italys-proposed-idea-of-hotspots-at-sea-is-unlawful-says-asgi) as illegal and unworkable.

      Return is emphasised as a priority again in paragraph 7, which recalls the operational support role of both Frontex and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in “the effective and quick return of those not eligible to international protection in the EU”.

      The use of “appropriate leverages, to ensure full cooperation of countries of origin,” is encouraged. Using aid and trade policy as ’incentives’ for non-EU states to readmit their own nationals has for some years now been high on the policy agenda.

      Doublethink ahoy

      The declaration also sets out certain requirements for “all vessels engaged in rescue operations”, including “not to send light signals or any other form of communication to facilitate the departure and embarkation of vessels carrying migrants from African shores” and:

      “not to obstruct the Search and Rescue operations by official Coast Guard vessels, including the Libyan Coast Guard, and to provide for specific measures to safeguard the security of migrants and operators.”

      Whether ’rescue’ by the Libyan Coast Guard is compatible with “the security of migrants” is doubtful - return to Libya means a return to inhumane and degrading conditions and there is clear evidence (https://www.glanlaw.org/single-post/2018/05/08/Legal-action-against-Italy-over-its-coordination-of-Libyan-Coast-Guard-pull) of the Libyan Coast Guard knowingly endangering the lives of migrants in distress at sea.

      EU governments are well aware of these issues. A recent document (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-libya.htm) sent to national delegations by the Finnish Presidency of the Council highlighted that:

      Another major issue is that of migrants and refugees rescued or intercepted at sea being transferred to detention centres and the lack of traceability, transparency and accountability… The Libyan government has not taken steps to improve the situation in the centres. The government’s reluctance to address the problems raises the question of its own involvement."

      Beefing up the Libyan Coast Guard and aerial surveillance

      The increasing role of the Libyan Coast Guard - and the maritime agencies of other states such as Morocco - is being deliberately enhanced by the EU. Finance and training is being provided whilst national governments are placing increasing pressure on private rescue operations (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/es-mo-sar.htm).

      Any member state that signs up to the declaration will be making a commitment to continue “enhancing the capacities of coast guards of southern Mediterranean third countries,” at the same time as encouraging “full respect of human rights in those countries.”

      One key means for assisting with the activities of non-EU coast guard agencies is “EU-led aerial surveillance”:

      “in order to ensure that migrant boats are detected early with a view to fight migrant smuggling networks, human trafficking and related criminal activity and minimizing the risk of loss of life at sea.”

      The EU’s Operation Sophia now has no boats and is largely relying on aerial surveillance to carry out its work. A recent internal Operation Sophia document seen by Statewatch says that:

      “Aerial assets will be used to enhance maritime situational awareness and the information collected will only be shared with the responsible regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC).”

      That is likely to be the Libyan MRCC. According to a March 2019 letter (http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-344-Commission-and-Italy-tie-themselves-up-in-knots-over-libya.pdf) from the European Commission to Frontex’s Executive Director, the Italian MRCC also acts as a “communication relay” for its Libyan counterpart.

      Member states are urged to contribute assets to these surveillance operations. It is noteworthy that the declaration contains no call for states to provide vessels or other equipment for search and rescue operations.

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-relocation-deal.htm

  • Info sur la refonte de la #Directive_Retour et les futurs projets de réforme du #régime_d'asile_européen_commun

    info sur la prochaine étape européenne en matière de politique migratoire. Plus précisément sur la refonte de la Directive Retour qui va passer au vote en #LIBE et aussi des infos sur l’évolution du Régime d’Asile Européen Commun (#RAEC), histoire d’informer de ce vers quoi l’on tend probablement pour la prochaine législature (donc le prochain mandat).

    Dans un effort pour réformer le Régime d’Asile Européen Commun (RAEC) et tendre vers une #uniformisation du droit d’asile au niveau européen, les directives sont revues une à une depuis quelques années (Directive Accueil, Procédure, Qualification et Retour + le règlement Dublin qui est au point mort depuis 2017 à cause du Conseil Européen).
    Ces #révisions rentrent dans le cadre de l’#agenda_européen_pour_les_migrations qui a été élaboré en 2015 par la Commission sous ordre du Conseil Européen.

    Le package est en état d’avancement prochain et l’étape la plus proche semble concerner la refonte de la Directive Retour.
    Néanmoins, il y a également un nombre assez important de dispositifs prévus dont il est peut-être pas inintéressant d’évoquer dans le sillage de l’analyse sur cette Directive.

    Il y a donc deux parties dans ce mail d’info : la première sur le Régime d’Asile Européen Commun (RAEC) et ce qu’il préfigure ; la seconde sur le texte de la Directive Retour plus précisément.

    Le Régime d’Asile Européen Commun :

    Il y a de nombreux discours actuellement autour de la mise en place d’un droit d’asile "harmonisé" au niveau européen.

    C’est une obsession de Macron depuis son élection. Il a réaffirmé, lors de la restitution du Grand Débat, sa volonté d’une Europe au régime d’asile commun : "c’est aussi une Europe qui tient ses frontières, qui les protège. C’est une Europe qui a un droit d’asile refondé et commun et où la #responsabilité va avec la #solidarité."
    https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2019/04/25/conference-de-presse-grand-debat-national

    La confusion est telle que les journalistes ne semblent pas toujours comprendre si ce régime d’asile commun existe ou non.

    Sur france inter par exemple :
    "Cela fait plusieurs années que l’on parle de la mise en place d’un régime d’asile européen commun. Nous en sommes encore très loin mais plusieurs textes sont actuellement en discussion, sur les procédures, sur l’accueil, les qualifications, les réinstallations, la création d’une agence européenne pour l’asile "
    https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/cafe-europe/cafe-europe-24-fevrier-2018

    Et non... ça ne fait pas plusieurs années qu’on en parle... ça fait plusieurs années qu’il existe !

    Historique :

    En vérité, cette tentative d’harmonisation des législations est ancienne et date à peu près du Conseil Européen de #Tampere en 1999 qui donna les premières impulsions pour la mise en place du Régime d’Asile Européen Commun avec tout ce que l’on connait maintenant à savoir par exemple, le #règlement_Dublin.
    Ici le résumé des orientations du Conseil sont claires :
    "il faut, pour les domaines distincts, mais étroitement liés, de l’#asile et des #migrations, élaborer une politique européenne commune (...) Il est convenu de travailler à la mise en place d’un régime d’asile européen commun, fondé sur l’application intégrale et globale de la Convention de Genève. (...) Ce régime devrait comporter, à court terme, une méthode claire et opérationnelle pour déterminer l’Etat responsable de l’examen d’une demande d’asile, des normes communes pour une procédure d’asile équitable et efficace, des conditions communes minimales d’#accueil des demandeurs d’asile, et le rapprochement des règles sur la reconnaissance et le contenu du statut de réfugié."
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/tam_fr.htm#a

    Vous avez ici les bases du RAEC et notamment du règlement Dublin qui vise justement à la détermination de l’#Etat_responsable de l’asile afin de lutter contre le "#shopping_de_l'asile", un """"fléau""""" qui avait déjà touché l’Europe durant les années 90 avec la crise des Balkans (en 1992, 700 000 personnes environ ont demandé l’asile en Europe, ce qui signifie par ailleurs que non... 2015 n’est pas une situation si inédite. La situation s’est stabilisée après 1993 où 500 000 personnes ont demandé l’asile, puis 300 000 dans les années qui ont suivi, mais pas au point de ne pas "forcer" les pays à réagir au niveau européen).
    https://www.persee.fr/doc/homig_1142-852x_1996_num_1198_1_2686

    Cet acte fondateur du #Conseil_de_Tampere est corroboré par plusieurs documents et on peut en trouver aussi confirmation par exemple dans le rapport sur la #politique_européenne_de_Retour (rédigé tous les trois ans) qui commence par :
    "L’Union européenne s’efforce depuis 1999 de mettre au point une approche globale sur la question des migrations, qui couvre l’#harmonisation des conditions d’admission, les droits des ressortissants de pays tiers en séjour régulier ainsi que l’élaboration de mesures juridiques et le renforcement d’une coopération pratique en matière de prévention des flux migratoires irréguliers."
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=celex:52014DC0199

    Bref, à partir de 1999 et donc du Conseil de Tampere, la direction est prise de mener une politique migratoire à l’échelle européenne pour renforcer le contrôle des frontières extérieures.

    Les Textes du RAEC, l’échec de l’harmonisation et les règlements qui nous attendent en conséquence :

    Le Conseil (donc les États) ordonné à Tampere et donc la Commission exécute en proposant plusieurs textes qui vont dessiner le paysage actuel du droit d’asile européen commun.

    Un ensemble de textes est donc créé et adopté :

    Le règlement Dublin succède donc à la convention de Dublin en 2003
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A8glement_Dublin_II
    Avec son frère le règlement #Eurodac qui permet la mise en oeuvre de #Dublin aussi en 2003 (logique) :
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurodac

    #Frontex est lancé en 2004 :
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agence_europ%C3%A9enne_pour_la_gestion_de_la_coop%C3%A9ration_op%C3%A9

    Et les directives qui constituent le coeur du Régime d’Asile Européen Commun avec le règlement Dublin sont lancées dans la foulée :

    La #Directive_Accueil en 2003 (puis réformée en 2013)
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0033

    La #Directive_Procédure en 2005 (réformée aussi en 2013)
    https://www.easo.europa.eu/sites/default/files/public/Procedures-FR.pdf

    La #Directive_Qualification en 2004 (réformée en 2011)
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32011L0095

    La Directive Retour en 2008 (qui va être réformée maintenant)
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Ajl0014

    L’ensemble de ces textes avait pour but d’harmoniser les législations nationales européennes (pour le meilleur et pour le pire d’ailleurs).
    Le problème concerne donc, non pas l’absence de législations européennes communes, mais plutôt les marges de manoeuvres des Etats dans l’interprétation des Directives et leur transposition dans les législations nationales. Cette marge de manoeuvre est telle qu’elle permet aux Etats de retenir ce qui les arrange dans tel ou tel texte, de sorte que toute tentative d’harmonisation est impossible.

    Dès lors, la diversité des procédures est toujours la norme d’un pays à l’autre ; un pays comme les Pays-Bas donne 4 ans de protection subsidiaire, tandis que la France avant la loi Asile n’en donnait qu’une ; la liste des pays sûrs n’est pas la même selon les Etats .... etc etc etc

    Les Etats ont tellement la main que finalement, on peut assez facilement conclure à l’#échec total des tentatives d’harmonisation et donc du RAEC, tant les Etats ont, du début à la fin, fait un peu près ce qu’ils voulaient avec les textes.
    (voir également Sarah Lamort : https://www.amazon.fr/Europe-terre-dasile-Sarah-Lamort/dp/2130734669)

    La Commission a elle-même très bien compris ces faiblesses.

    Exaspérée elle déclare en 2016 que malgré ses efforts pour la mise en place effective du RAEC : " il existe encore des différences notables entre les États membres dans les types de procédures utilisés, les conditions d’accueil offertes aux demandeurs, les #taux_de_reconnaissance et le type de protection octroyé aux bénéficiaires d’une protection internationale. Ces #divergences contribuent à des #mouvements_secondaires et à une course à l’asile (« #asylum_shopping »), créent des facteurs d’attraction et conduisent en définitive à une répartition inégale entre les États membres de la responsabilité d’offrir une protection à ceux qui en ont besoin.(...) Ces #disparités résultent en partie des dispositions souvent discrétionnaires qui figurent dans la version actuelle de la directive relative aux procédures d’asile et de celle relative aux conditions d’accueil." et de toutes les autres en vérité pouvons-nous ajouter...
    L’objectif est donc de "renforcer et harmoniser davantage les règles du régime d’asile européen commun, de façon à assurer une plus grande égalité de traitement dans l’ensemble de l’Union et à réduire les facteurs d’attraction injustifiés qui encouragent les départs vers l’UE" (les facteurs d’attraction étant le "shopping de l’asile")

    Et pour cela la Commission propose de transformer quasiment toutes les Directives citées plus haut en Règlement... :
    " la Commission proposera un nouveau règlement instituant une procédure d’asile commune unique dans l’Union et remplaçant la directive relative aux procédures d’asile ; un nouveau règlement relatif aux conditions que doivent remplir les demandeurs d’asile remplaçant l’actuelle directive du même nom, et des modifications ciblées de la directive relative aux conditions d’accueil."
    https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/FR/1-2016-197-FR-F1-1.PDF

    La différence entre la Directive et le Règlement étant que justement la Directive est soumise à une interprétation des Etats dans la transposition au sein des législations nationales de la dite Directive (dont on voit qu’elle est large), tandis qu’un Règlement est contraignant et s’applique sans interprétation, ni marge de manoeuvre whatsoever à tous les Etats (comme le règlement Dublin).
    Ici par exemple, la Commission propose de changer la Directive Procédure en un Règlement, histoire par exemple, que tous les pays aient la même liste de pays d’origine sûrs une bonne fois pour toute : https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52016PC0467

    Ce processus d’abrogation des #directives pour en faire des #règlements est en cours et il est très important puisque cela signifie qu’il va falloir surveiller de très près les dispositions qui vont apparaitre dans ces nouveaux textes qui vont TOUS s’appliquer stricto sensu.
    Ce n’est pas forcément une bonne nouvelle.

    Reste que les Etats pourraient s’opposer à l’imposition de textes aussi coercitifs et d’ailleurs, ils ont eux-mêmes bloqué la révision du règlement Dublin. Cela pose la question de l’Etat d’avancement.

    Etat d’avancement :
    Depuis l’annonce de la transformation des Directives en Règlements en 2016, les dossiers ne semblent pas avoir tant avancés que cela pour autant que je sache sauf concernant quelques dossiers majeurs, notamment la Directive Retour.

    Concernant la mise en place des règlements, la Commission est très vague dans sa dernière communication sur l’état d’avancement de l’agenda européen matière de migrations de mars 2019 : https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2019:0126:FIN:FR:PDF
    En décembre 2017, elle disait :
    "Présentées il y a un an et demi, ces propositions en sont à des stades d’avancement différents dans le processus législatif. Certaines, comme la proposition concernant l’Agence de l’Union européenne pour l’asile et la réforme d’Eurodac, sont sur le point d’être adoptées. D’autres, à savoir le cadre de l’Union pour la réinstallation, le règlement relatif aux conditions que doivent remplir les demandeurs d’asile et la directive relative aux conditions d’accueil, progressent. En revanche, la proposition de règlement sur les procédures d’asile et, comme pierre angulaire, la proposition de révision du règlement de Dublin, nécessitent encore un travail considérable. Dans ce contexte, il convient aussi de progresser dans les travaux sur la notion de pays tiers sûr au sens de l’UE, en tenant compte des conclusions du Conseil européen de juin"
    https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2017/FR/COM-2017-820-F1-FR-MAIN-PART-1.PDF

    Il y a donc fort à parier qu’en à peine 1 an et demi, les choses n’aient pas beaucoup avancées concernant les règlements.
    Bref, comme il était assez attendu, ce qui ne contraint pas totalement les Etats avancent et le reste piétine pour le moment.

    Par contre, elles avancent concernant la politique des retours et donc la Directive Retour !

    Politique des retours et externalisation de l’asile :

    Après le Conseil de Tampere en 1999, vient la "crise des migrants" en 2015, qui ne fera qu’accélérer les constatations de l’échec du RAEC.

    Le Conseil européen lance donc une réunion spéciale en avril 2015 qui annonce un changement de stratégie vers l’extérieur avec notamment un renforcement de la coopération avec les pays tiers pour le "contrôle de l’immigration". Ordre est donné à la Commission de mobiliser tous les moyens nécessaires pour mettre cette nouvelle stratégie en oeuvre.
    Ce n’est pas le lancement officiel de l’externalisation de l’Asile puisque le processus de Khartoum et de Rabat sont antérieurs et déjà lancés.
    Néanmoins, il me parait assez évident personnellement qu’un coup d’accélérateur à la stratégie d’externalisation sera donné à partir de ce Conseil qui sera entièrement tourné vers la coopération internationale :
    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/04/23/special-euco-statement

    Dans le prolongement logique des décisions prises lors du Conseil d’avril 2015 et de l’orientation stratégique vers l’extérieur, le Conseil Européen lancera le Sommet de la Valette en novembre où il invitera un nombre conséquent de pays africains.
    Ainsi le Sommet de la Valette, "fut l’occasion de reconnaître que la gestion des migrations relève de la responsabilité commune des pays d’origine, de transit et de destination. L’UE et l’Afrique ont travaillé dans un esprit de partenariat afin de trouver des solutions communes aux défis d’intérêt commun."
    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/fr/meetings/international-summit/2015/11/11-12

    C’est après ce Sommet que seront initiés le Fond Fiduciaire, les accords avec la Turquie, la Libye, les garde-côtes, la transformation de Frontex etc
    Bien que tout cela ait été préparé en amont.

    Après les ordres du Conseil, la Commission s’exécute avec l’Agenda Européen en Matière de Migrations et la focale sur les retours :
    Devant la stratégie d’orientation du Conseil qui demande des réformes fortes et des actions pour transformer la politique européenne d’asile, la Commission s’exécute en mai 2015 avec l’Agenda Européen des migrations :https://ec.europa.eu/france/node/859_fr

    Cet agenda met l’emphase sur un nombre impressionnant de points, mais une large part est également réservée aux retours page 11 et 12 (puisqu’il faudrait s’assurer que les retours soient efficaces et effectifs d’après la Commission).
    https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/docs/communication_on_the_european_agenda_on_migration_fr.pdf

    Dans la foulée la Commission lance donc une réflexion sur la politique des retours qui culminera la même année en 2015 avec The Action Plan of Return.
    L’action plan partira d’un principe assez simple, si les migrants viennent, c’est parce qu’on ne les renvoie pas...
    "The European Agenda on Migration, adopted by the European Commission on 13 May 2015, highlighted that one of the incentives for irregular migration is the knowledge that the EU’s system to return irregular migrants is not sufficiently effective"
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52015DC0453

    Ce plan est censé résoudre ce problème.
    Mais il sera aussi un relatif échec, ce qui n’empêchera pas la Commission d’insister en lançant un nouveau plan en 2017, The Renewed Action Plan on return :
    "Despite this, the overall impact on the return track record across the European Union remained limited, showing that more resolute action is needed to bring measurable results in returning irregular migrants. "
    https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/20170302_a_more_effective_return_policy_in_the_european_union_-_a_renewed_

    Toujours dans la foulée d’une politique d’expulsion efficace, il sera discuté plus tard (en mars 2019 sur l’évaluation de l’application de l’agenda européen) de la meilleure façon d’exécuter les retours en Europe. C’est là où nous en sommes.
    Pour la mise en place d’une politique de retour efficace, il y a donc deux stratégies :

    1) renforcer les accords de réadmission avec des accords bilatéraux ou par le biais des accords de Cotonou (qui vont être révisés et qui ont beaucoup tourné autour des migrations justement...on en reparlera un jour).
    "Concernant donc "les retours et la réadmission, l’UE continue d’œuvrer à la conclusion d’accords et d’arrangements en matière de réadmission avec les pays partenaires, 23 accords et arrangements ayant été conclus jusqu’à présent. Les États membres doivent maintenant tirer pleinement parti des accords existants."
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1496_fr.htm

    2) renforcer les procédures de retour depuis l’Europe.
    La Commission espère en conséquence que "le Parlement européen et le Conseil devraient adopter rapidement la proposition de la Commission en matière de retour, qui vise à limiter les abus et la fuite des personnes faisant l’objet d’un retour au sein de l’Union"
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1496_fr.htm

    C’est pourquoi la Commission propose de revoir la Directive Retour.

    La Directive Retour :
    La directive retour est donc la prochaine directive sur la liste des refontes.
    Ce sera un gros sujet a priori puisque la prochaine étape c’est le vote en Commission LIBE avant donc le vote en plénière.
    L’échéance est donc proche et les discussions bien avancées.

    Un texte problématique :

    Article 6 et 16
    En gros, les problèmes qui se posent avec ce texte ont surtout à voir avec l’article 6 qui décrit une liste de 16 critères de "risque de fuites", les derniers étant particulièrement dangereux puisqu’il semblerait que "résister aux procédures de retour" ou "refuser de donner ses empreintes" peuvent représenter des risques de fuites....
    Cet élargissement des critères est à mettre en lien avec l’article 18 qui permet la détention de toutes les personnes qui représentent un risque de fuite. Avec un élargissement pareil des critères de "fuites", je crains que l’on ne se donne le droit d’enfermer tout le monde.

    Article 7
    L’article 7 oblige les Etats tiers à coopérer dans les procédures de retour.
    L’application de cet article me semblait complexe mais le Brief du Parlement sur la Directive au paragraphe "Council" (donc sur les discussions au Conseil) ajoute que les Etats réfléchissent à la possibilité de sanctions pour les pays tiers en cas de non-respect de cette obligation de coopération.
    Et à ce moment-là j’ai compris.... Ma théorie c’est qu’un chantage quelconque pourra être mis en place pour établir une pression forçant les Etats tiers à coopérer.
    Tout le problème tient sur l’amplitude des sanctions possibles. Je n’en vois pas beaucoup, sauf à menacer de rompre des accords commerciaux ou de développement.

    C’est déjà plus ou moins le cas via le Fond Fiduciaire ou les fonds d’aide au dvp puisque l’on voit parfois que l’aide au dvp dépend de la mise en place d’accords de réadmission.
    Par exemple : l’UE et l’Afghanistan ont signé un accord de réadmission en Octobre 2016 : https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/eu_afghanistan_joint_way_forward_on_migration_issues.pdf
    Et dans la foulée d’octobre, 5 milliards d’aide au dvp étaient débloqués pour la période 2016-2020 à la conférence de Bruxelles (https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/eu-afghanistan_march_2019.pdf).

    Avec une opération pareille, des soupçons de chantage à l’aide au dvp me paraissent tout à fait légitime.
    Cependant, ils existaient une séparation dans la forme. C’est-à-dire que même si les liens peuvent sembler évidents, les accords de réadmission n’établissaient pas directement de chantage entre l’un et l’autre. Il n’était pas écrit que des "sanctions" étaient possibles (du moins pas dans l’exemple de l’Afghanistan ni même dans l’accord de Cotonou - exception faite de ce qui concerne l’article 96 et le respect des droits—et dans aucun autre texte à ma connaissance).
    Ici le Conseil veut faire un pas de plus dans la direction d’une politique assumée de pressions via des sanctions et donc, indirectement semble-t-il, de chantage.

    Les Pays Tiers-Sûrs
    Un autre élément dangereux dans ce paragraphe sur le Conseil dans le Brief du Parlement : c’est que les Etats de leur côté réfléchissent aussi à la possibilité de renvoyer une personne dans un pays tiers considéré comme sûr qui ne soit pas le pays d’origine.
    En d’autres termes, renvoyer les soudanais par exemple, en Egypte par exemple légalement.

    Cela rejoint a priori les discussions sur la notion de pays tiers sûrs que la Commission et le Conseil continuent de vouloir développer depuis très longtemps malgré les oppositions franches des ONG (http://www.forumrefugies.org/s-informer/actualites/le-concept-de-pays-tiers-sur-une-remise-en-cause-profonde-de-l-acces-) ou même l’avis défavorable de la Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme en 2017 (https://www.cncdh.fr/sites/default/files/171219_avis_concept_pays_tiers_sur_5.pdf)
    On ferait ici un pas de plus au sein du creuset initié par la politique des "pays d’origine sûrs" et on s’offrirait le droit de renvoyer des personnes dans des pays qui n’auraient pas les conditions pour les accueillir dignement (tant matériellement que du point de vue du respect des droits...).

    Article 22
    L’article 22 est aussi très problématique puisque les dispositions aux frontières devraient changer :
    Les migrants en zone d’attente devraient recevoir une décision de retour simplifiée plutôt qu’une explication motivée.
    Il ne devrait plus y avoir aucune chance de départ volontaire, sauf si le migrant possède un document de voyage en cours de validité (remis aux autorités) et coopère pleinement (car s’il ne coopère pas, on l’a vu, il peut être déclaré en "tentative de fuite" ou en "fuite").
    Concernant les recours, les migrants ne disposeront que de 48 heures pour faire appel d’une décision de retour fondée sur un rejet de l’asile à la frontière, et l’effet suspensif ne s’appliquera qu’à la présentation de nouvelles conclusions importantes (type CNDA) ou qu’il n’y a pas déjà eu de contrôle juridictionnel effectif.

    Article 16
    D’ailleurs, les recours peuvent subir un changement relativement dramatique à cause de l’article 16. Selon le brief de la Commission :
    " Proposed Article 16(4) imposes a general obligation on Member States to establish ‘reasonable’ time limits. In relation to appeals lodged against return decisions adopted as a consequence of a decision rejecting an application for international protection, Member States would have to establish a time limit for lodging an appeal of a maximum of five days, but would be free to fix a shorter period."
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2019/637901/EPRS_BRI(2019)637901_EN.pdf
    Une manière de réduire encore plus les possibilités de recours.

    Article 13
    L’article 13 apporte aussi des changements aux refus d’entrée : " the proposal would allow Member States to impose an isolated entry ban, not accompanied by a corresponding return decision, if the irregularity of a stay is detected when the third-country national is exiting the territory of a Member State"
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2019/637901/EPRS_BRI(2019)637901_EN.pdf

    Néanmoins, j’ai pour le moment du mal à évaluer l’étendue de cette proposition à l’article 13 et il faudrait peut-être en discuter avec l’anafé par exemple.

    #procédure_d'asile #réforme

    Reçu par email via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 06.06.2019

    • New EU deportation law breaches fundamental rights standards and should be rejected

      A proposed new EU law governing standards and procedures for deportations would breach fundamental rights standards, massively expand the use of detention, limit appeal rights and undermine ’voluntary’ return initiatives. It should be rejected by the European Parliament and the Council, argues a new analysis published today by Statewatch. [1]

      The original Returns Directive was agreed in 2008, but a proposal for a ’recast’ version was published by the European Commission in September 2018 as one a number of measures aiming to crack down on “illegally staying third-country nationals” in the EU. [2]

      The proposal aims to increase the number of deportations from the EU by reducing or eliminating existing safeguards for those facing deportation proceedings - but even if such a method could be considered legitimate, there is no evidence to suggest that the proposed measures will have the intended effect.

      For example, the proposal introduces numerous new grounds for placing migrants in detention and would introduce a new ’minimum maximum’ period of detention of at least three months. [3]

      However, in 2017, Spain (with a maximum detention period of 60 days) had a ’return rate’ of 37%, while the return rate from countries with a detention limit of 18 months (the maximum period permitted under the current Returns Directive) differed significantly: 11% in the Czech Republic, 18% in Belgium, 40% in Greece and 46% in Germany. [4]

      The report urges EU lawmakers to discard the proposal and focus on alternative measures that would be less harmful to individuals. It includes an article-by-article analysis of the Commission’s proposal and the positions of the European Parliament and the Council, as they were prior to the EU institutions’ summer break.

      The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will begin discussing the proposal again in the coming weeks.

      Quotes

      Statewatch researcher Jane Kilpatrick said:

      “The proposed recast prioritises detention for more people and for longer durations - the physical and mental harms of which are well-known, especially for people with prior traumatic experiences - over any collaborative measures. The recast would remove the option for states to adopt measures more respectful of human rights and health. The fact that it hasn’t relied on any evidence that these will even work suggests it is a political exercise to appease anti-migrant rhetoric.”

      Chris Jones, a researcher at Statewatch, added:

      “The EU cannot claim to be a bastion of human rights at the same time as trying to undermine or eliminate existing safeguards for third-country nationals subject to deportation proceedings. Given that there is no evidence to suggest the proposed measures would actually work, it seems that lawmakers are dealing with a proposal that would be both harmful and ineffective. The previous MEP responsible for the proposal did a good job of trying to improve it - but it would be better to reject it altogether.”

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-returns-directive.htm

    • New EU deportation law breaches fundamental rights standards and should be rejected

      A proposed new EU law governing standards and procedures for deportations would breach fundamental rights standards, massively expand the use of detention, limit appeal rights and undermine ’voluntary’ return initiatives. It should be rejected by the European Parliament and the Council, argues a new analysis published today by Statewatch. [1]

      The original Returns Directive was agreed in 2008, but a proposal for a ’recast’ version was published by the European Commission in September 2018 as one a number of measures aiming to crack down on “illegally staying third-country nationals” in the EU. [2]

      The proposal aims to increase the number of deportations from the EU by reducing or eliminating existing safeguards for those facing deportation proceedings - but even if such a method could be considered legitimate, there is no evidence to suggest that the proposed measures will have the intended effect.

      For example, the proposal introduces numerous new grounds for placing migrants in detention and would introduce a new ’minimum maximum’ period of detention of at least three months. [3]

      However, in 2017, Spain (with a maximum detention period of 60 days) had a ’return rate’ of 37%, while the return rate from countries with a detention limit of 18 months (the maximum period permitted under the current Returns Directive) differed significantly: 11% in the Czech Republic, 18% in Belgium, 40% in Greece and 46% in Germany. [4]

      The report urges EU lawmakers to discard the proposal and focus on alternative measures that would be less harmful to individuals. It includes an article-by-article analysis of the Commission’s proposal and the positions of the European Parliament and the Council, as they were prior to the EU institutions’ summer break.

      The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will begin discussing the proposal again in the coming weeks.

      Quotes

      Statewatch researcher Jane Kilpatrick said:

      “The proposed recast prioritises detention for more people and for longer durations - the physical and mental harms of which are well-known, especially for people with prior traumatic experiences - over any collaborative measures. The recast would remove the option for states to adopt measures more respectful of human rights and health. The fact that it hasn’t relied on any evidence that these will even work suggests it is a political exercise to appease anti-migrant rhetoric.”

      Chris Jones, a researcher at Statewatch, added:

      “The EU cannot claim to be a bastion of human rights at the same time as trying to undermine or eliminate existing safeguards for third-country nationals subject to deportation proceedings. Given that there is no evidence to suggest the proposed measures would actually work, it seems that lawmakers are dealing with a proposal that would be both harmful and ineffective. The previous MEP responsible for the proposal did a good job of trying to improve it - but it would be better to reject it altogether.”

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-returns-directive.htm

    • European Border and Coast Guard: Launch of first ever joint operation outside the EU

      Today, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, in cooperation with the Albanian authorities, is launching the first ever joint operation on the territory of a neighbouring non-EU country. As of 22 May, teams from the Agency will be deployed together with Albanian border guards at the Greek-Albanian border to strengthen border management and enhance security at the EU’s external borders, in full agreement with all concerned countries. This operation marks a new phase for border cooperation between the EU and its Western Balkan partners, and is yet another step towards the full operationalisation of the Agency.

      The launch event is taking place in Tirana, Albania, in the presence of Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister and Sandër Lleshaj, Albanian Interior Minister.

      Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, said: "With the first ever deployment of European Border and Coast Guard teams outside of the EU, we are opening an entirely new chapter in our cooperation on migration and border management with Albania and with the whole Western Balkan region. This is a real game changer and a truly historical step, bringing this region closer to the EU by working together in a coordinated and mutually supportive way on shared challenges such as better managing migration and protecting our common borders.”

      Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, said: “Today we mark a milestone for our agency and the wider cooperation between the European Union and Albania. We are launching the first fully fledged joint operation outside the European Union to support Albania in border control and tackling cross-border crime.”

      While Albania remains ultimately responsible for the protection of its borders, the European Border and Coast Guard is able to lend both technical and operational support and assistance. The European Border and Coast Guard teams will be able to support the Albanian border guards in performing border checks at crossing points, for example, and preventing unauthorised entries. All operations and deployments at the Albanian border with Greece will be conducted in full agreement with both the Albanian and Greek authorities.

      At the start of the operation, the Agency will be deploying 50 officers, 16 patrol cars and 1 thermo-vision van from 12 EU Member States (Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland and Slovenia) to support Albania in border control and tackling cross-border crime.

      Strengthened cooperation between priority third countries and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will contribute to the better management of irregular migration, further enhance security at the EU’s external borders and strengthen the Agency’s ability to act in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, while bringing that neighbourhood closer to the EU.

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-2591_en.htm
      #externalisation

    • Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos in Albania at the official launch of first ever joint operation outside the EU

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      We are here today to celebrate an important achievement and a milestone, both for Albania and for the EU.

      Only six months ago, here in Tirana, the EU signed the status agreement with Albania on cooperation on border management between Albania and the European Border and Coast Guard. This agreement, that entered into force three weeks ago, was the first agreement ever of its kind with a neighbouring country.

      Today, we will send off the joint European Border and Coast Guard Teams to be deployed as of tomorrow for the first time in a non-EU Member State. This does not only mark a new phase for border cooperation between the EU and Western Balkan partners, it is also yet another step towards the full operationalisation of the Agency.

      The only way to effectively address migration and security challenges we are facing today and those we may be confronted with in the years to come is by working closer together, as neighbours and as partners. What happens in Albania and the Western Balkans affects the European Union, and the other way around.

      Joint approach to border management is a key part of our overall approach to managing migration. It allows us to show to our citizens that their security is at the top of our concerns. But effective partnership in ensuring orderly migration also enables us, as Europe, to remain a place where those in need of protection can find shelter.

      Albania is the first country in the Western Balkans with whom the EU is moving forward with this new important chapter in our joint co-operation on border management.

      This can be a source of pride for both Albania and the EU and an important step that brings us closer together.

      While the overall situation along the Western Balkans route remains stable with continuously low levels of arrivals - it is in fact like night and day when compared to three years ago - we need to remain vigilant.

      The Status Agreement will help us in this effort. It expands the scale of practical, operational cooperation between the EU and Albania and hopefully soon with the rest of the Western Balkan region.

      These are important elements of our co-operation, also in view of the continued implementation of the requirements under the visa liberalisation agreement. Visa-free travel is a great achievement, which brings benefits to all sides and should be safeguarded.

      Together with Albanian border guards, European Border and Coast Guard teams will be able to perform border checks at crossing points and perform border surveillance to prevent unauthorized border crossings and counter cross-border criminality.

      But, let me be clear, Albania remains ultimately responsible for the protection of its borders. European Border and Coast Guard Teams may only perform tasks and exercise powers in the Albanian territory under instructions from and, as a general rule, in the presence of border guards of the Republic of Albania.

      Dear Friends,

      When it comes to protecting our borders, ensuring our security and managing migration, the challenges we face are common, and so must be our response.

      The European Border and Coast Guard Status Agreement and its implementation will allow us to better work together in all these areas. I hope that these agreements can be finalised also with other Western Balkans partners as soon as possible.

      I wish to thank Prime Minister Edi Rama, the Albanian authorities, and the Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Fabrice Leggeri and his team for their close cooperation in bringing this milestone achievement to life. I also want to thank all Member States who have contributed with staff and the personnel who will be part of this first deployment of European Border and Coast Guard teams in a neighbouring country.

      With just a few days to go before the European Elections, the need for a more united and stronger European family is more important than ever. We firmly believe that a key priority is to have strong relations with close neighbours, based on a clear balance of rights and obligations – but above all, on genuine partnership. This includes you, fellow Albanians.

      Albania is part of the European family.Our challenges are common. They know no borders. The progress we are witnessing today is another concrete action and proof of our commitment to bring us closer together. To make us stronger.

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-19-2668_en.htm

    • Externalisation: Frontex launches first formal operation outside of the EU and deploys to Albania

      The EU has taken a significant, if geographically small, step in the externalisation of its borders. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has launched its first Joint Operation on the territory of a non-EU-Member State, as it begins cooperation with Albania on the border with Greece.

      After the launch of the operation in Tirana on 21 May a deployment of 50 officers, 16 patrol cars and a thermo-vision van started yesterday, 22 May (European Commission, link). Twelve Member States (Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland and Slovenia) have contributed to the operation.

      New agreements

      The move follows the entry into force on 1 May this year of a Status Agreement between the EU and Albania on actions carried out by Frontex in that country (pdf). Those actions are made possible by the conclusion of operational plans, which must be agreed between Frontex and the Albanian authorities.

      The Status Agreement with Albania was the first among several similar agreements to be signed between the Agency and Balkan States, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and North Macedonia.

      The nascent operation in Albania will give Frontex team members certain powers, privileges and immunities on Albanian territory, including the use of force in circumstances authorised by Albanian border police and outlined in the operational plan.

      Frontex does not publish operational plans whilst operations (which can be renewed indefinitely) are ongoing, and documents published after the conclusion of operations (usually in response to requests for access to documents) are often heavily-redacted (Ask the EU, link).

      Relevant articles

      Article 4 of the Status Agreement outlines the tasks and powers of members of Frontex teams operating in Albanian territory. This includes the use of force, if it is authorised by both the Frontex team member’s home Member State and the State of Albania, and takes place in the presence of Albanian border guards. However, Albania can authorise team members to use force in their absence.

      Article 6 of the Status Agreement grants Frontex team members immunity from Albanian criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction “in respect of the acts performed in the exercise of their official functions in the course of the actions carried out in accordance with the operational plan”.

      Although a representative of Albania would be informed in the event of an allegation of criminal activity, it would be up to Frontex’s executive director to certify to the court whether the actions in question were performed as part of an official Agency function and in accordance with the Operational Plan. This certification will be binding on the jurisdiction of Albania. Proceedings may only continue against an individual team member if the executive director confirms that their actions were outside the scope of the exercise of official functions.

      Given the closed nature of the operational plans, this grants the executive director wide discretion and ensures little oversight of the accountability of Agency team members. Notably, Article 6 also states that members of teams shall not be obliged to give evidence as witnesses. This immunity does not, however, extend to the jurisdiction of team members’ home Member States, and they may also waive the immunity of the individual under Albanian jurisdiction.

      Right to redress

      These measures of immunity alongside the lack of transparency surrounding documents outlining team members’ official functions and activities (the operational plan) raise concerns regarding access to redress for victims of human rights violations that may occur during operations.

      Human rights organisations have denounced the use of force by Frontex team members, only to have those incidents classified by the Agency as par for the course in their operations. Cases include incidents of firearm use that resulted in serious injury (The Intercept, link), but that was considered to have taken place according to the standard rules of engagement. This opacity has implications for individuals’ right to good administration and to the proper functioning of accountability mechanisms.

      If any damage results from actions that were carried out according to the operational plan, Albania will be held liable. This is the most binding liability outlined by the Status Agreement. Albania may only “request” that compensation be paid by the Member State of the team member responsible, or by the Agency, if acts were committed through gross negligence, wilful misconduct or outside the scope of the official functions of the Agency team or staff member.

      Across the board

      The provisions regarding tasks, powers and immunity in the Status Agreements with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia are all broadly similar, with the exception of Article 6 of the agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina. This states:

      “Members of the team who are witnesses may be obliged by the competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina… to provide evidence in accordance with the procedural law of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

      The Status Agreement with Serbia, an early draft of which did not grant immunity to team members, is now consistent with the Agreement with Albania and includes provisions stating that members of teams shall not be obliged to give evidence as witnesses.

      It includes a further provision that:

      “...members of the team may use weapons only when it is absolutely necessary in self-defence to repel an immediate life-threatening attack against themselves or another person, in accordance with the national legislation of the Republic of Serbia”.

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/may/fx-albania-launch.htm

    • La police des frontières extérieures de l’UE s’introduit en Albanie

      Frontex, l’agence chargée des frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne, a lancé mardi en Albanie sa première opération hors du territoire d’un de ses États membres.

      Cette annonce de la Commission européenne intervient quelques jours avant les élections européennes et au moment où la politique migratoire de l’UE est critiquée par les candidats souverainistes, comme le ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini ou le chef de file de la liste française d’extrême droite, Jordan Bardella, qui a récemment qualifié Frontex d’« hôtesse d’accueil pour migrants ».

      Cette opération conjointe en Albanie est « une véritable étape historique rapprochant » les Balkans de l’UE, et témoigne d’une « meilleure gestion de la migration et de la protection de nos frontières communes », a commenté à Tirana le commissaire chargé des migrations, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

      L’Albanie espère convaincre les États membres d’ouvrir des négociations d’adhésion ce printemps, ce qui lui avait été refusé l’an passé. Son premier ministre Edi Rama a salué « un pas très important dans les relations entre l’Albanie et l’Union européenne » et a estimé qu’il « renforçait également la coopération dans le domaine de la sécurité ».

      À partir de 22 mai, Frontex déploiera des équipes conjointes à la frontière grecque avec des agents albanais.

      La Commission européenne a passé des accords semblables avec la Macédoine du Nord, la Serbie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine, qui devraient également entrer en vigueur.

      Tous ces pays sont sur une des « routes des Balkans », qui sont toujours empruntées clandestinement par des milliers de personnes en route vers l’Union européenne, même si le flux n’est en rien comparable avec les centaines de milliers de migrants qui ont transité par la région en quelques mois jusqu’à la fermeture des frontières par les pays de l’UE début 2016.

      Ce type d’accord « contribuera à l’amélioration de la gestion de la migration clandestine, renforcera la sécurité aux frontières extérieures de l’UE et consolidera la capacité de l’agence à agir dans le voisinage immédiat de l’UE, tout en rapprochant de l’UE les pays voisins concernés », selon un communiqué de la Commission.

      Pour éviter de revivre le chaos de 2015, l’Union a acté un renforcement considérable de Frontex. Elle disposera notamment d’ici 2027 d’un contingent de 10 000 garde-frontières et garde-côtes pour aider des pays débordés.


      https://www.lapresse.ca/international/europe/201905/21/01-5226931-la-police-des-frontieres-exterieures-de-lue-sintroduit-en-albani

    • European Border and Coast Guard Agency began to patrol alongside the Albanian-Greek border in late May (https://www.bilten.org/?p=28118). Similar agreements have recently been concluded with Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina but Albania is the first country to start implementing programs aimed at blocking refugees entering the EU. Bilten states that Frontex employees can carry arms and fight “against any kind of crime, from” illegal migration “to theft of a car or drug trafficking”. Frontex’s mission is not time-bound, i.e. it depends on the EU’s need. The Albanian authorities see it as a step forward to their membership in the Union.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa dobrodosli, le 10.06.2019

      L’article original:
      Što Frontex radi u Albaniji?

      Nakon što je Europska unija službeno zatvorila “balkansku migrantsku rutu”, očajni ljudi počeli su tražiti nove puteve. Jedan od njih prolazi kroz Albaniju, a tamošnja se vlada odrekla kontrole nad vlastitom granicom u nadi da će time udobrovoljiti unijske dužnosnike.

      Agencija za europsku graničnu i obalnu stražu, Frontex, počela je krajem prošlog mjeseca patrolirati uz albansko-grčku granicu. Već prvog dana, raspoređeno je pedesetak policajaca iz različitih zemalja članica EU koji bi se u suradnji s albanskim graničarima trebali boriti protiv “ilegalne migracije”. Iako je slične dogovore Unija nedavno sklopila sa zemljama poput Srbije, Sjeverne Makedonije, Crne Gore te Bosne i Hercegovine – a sve s ciljem blokiranja mogućnosti izbjeglica da uđu na područje EU – Albanija je prva zemlja u kojoj je počela provedba tog programa. Zaposlenici Frontexa ne samo da smiju nositi oružje, već imaju i dozvolu da se bore protiv bilo koje vrste kriminala, od “ilegalnih migracija” do krađe automobila ili trgovine drogom. Također, njihova misija nije vremenski ograničena, što znači da će Frontexovi zaposlenici patrolirati s albanske strane granice dok god to Unija smatra potrebnim.

      Unatoč nekim marginalnim glasovima koji su se žalili zbog kršenja nacionalne suverenosti prepuštanjem kontrole nad granicom stranim trupama, javnost je reagirala bilo potpunom nezainteresiranošću ili čak blagom potporom sporazumu koji bi tobože trebao pomoći Albaniji da uđe u Europsku uniju. S puno entuzijazma, lokalni su se mediji hvalili kako su u prva četiri dana Frontexovi zaposlenici već ulovili 92 “ilegalna migranta”. No to nije prvo, a ni najozbiljnije predavanje kontrole nad granicom koje je poduzela albanska vlada. Još od kasnih 1990-ih i ranih 2000-ih jadranskim i jonskim teritorijalnim vodama Republike Albanije patrolira talijanska Guardia di Finanza. Tih se godina albanska obala često koristila kao most prema Italiji preko kojeg je prelazila većina migranata azijskog porijekla, ne samo zbog blizine južne Italije, već i zbog slabosti državnih aparata tijekom goleme krize 1997. i 1998. godine.

      Helikopteri Guardije di Finanza također kontroliraju albansko nebo u potrazi za poljima kanabisa i to sve u suradnji s lokalnom državnom birokracijom koja je sama dijelom suradnica dilera, a dijelom nesposobna da im se suprotstavi. No posljednjih godina, zbog toga što su druge rute zatvorene, sve veći broj ljudi počeo se kretati iz Grčke preko Albanije, Crne Gore i BiH prema zemljama EU. Prema Međunarodnoj organizaciji za migracije, granicu je prešlo oko 18 tisuća ljudi, uglavnom iz Sirije, Pakistana i Iraka. To predstavlja povećanje od sedam puta u odnosu na godinu ranije. Tek manji dio tih ljudi je ulovljen zbog nedostatka kapaciteta granične kontrole ili pak potpune indiferencije prema ljudima kojima siromašna zemlja poput Albanije nikada neće biti destinacija.
      Tranzitna zemlja

      Oni koje ulove smješteni su u prihvatnom centru blizu Tirane, ali odatle im je relativno jednostavno pobjeći i nastaviti put dalje. Dio njih službeno je zatražio azil u Albaniji, ali to ne znači da će se dulje zadržati u zemlji. Ipak, očekuje se da će ubuduće albanske institucije biti znatno agresivnije u politici repatrijacije migranata. U tome će se susretati s brojnim pravnim i administrativnim problemima: kako objašnjavaju lokalni stručnjaci za migracije, Albanija sa zemljama iz kojih dolazi većina migranata – poput Sirije, Pakistana, Iraka i Afganistana – uopće nema diplomatske odnose niti pravne predstavnike u tim zemljama. Zbog toga je koordiniranje procesa repatrijacije gotovo nemoguće. Također, iako sporazum o repatrijaciji postoji s Grčkoj, njime je predviđeno da se u tu zemlju vraćaju samo oni za koje se može dokazati da su iz nje došli, a većina migranata koji dođu iz Grčke nastoji sakriti svaki trag svog boravka u toj zemlji.

      U takvoj situaciji, čini se izvjesnim da će Albanija biti zemlja u kojoj će sve veći broj ljudi zapeti na neodređeno vrijeme. Prije nekih godinu i pol dana, izbila je javna panika s dosta rasističkih tonova. Nakon jednog nespretnog intervjua vladinog dužnosnika njemačkom mediju proširile su se glasine da će se u Albaniju naseliti šesto tisuća Sirijaca. Brojka je već na prvi pogled astronomska s obzirom na to da je stanovništvo zemlje oko tri milijuna ljudi, ali teorije zavjere se obično šire kao požar. Neki od drugorazrednih političara čak su pozvali na oružanu borbu ako dođu Sirijci. No ta je panika zapravo brzo prošla, ali tek nakon što je vlada obećala da neće primiti više izbjeglica od onog broja koji bude određen raspodjelom prema dogovoru u Uniji. Otad zapravo nema nekog osobitog antimigrantskog raspoloženja u javnosti, unatoč tome što tisuće ljudi prolazi kroz zemlju.
      Europski san

      Odnos je uglavnom onaj indiferencije. Tome pridonosi nekoliko stvari: činjenica da je gotovo trećina stanovništva Albanije također odselila u zemlje Unije,1 zatim to što ne postoje neke vjerske i ultranacionalističke stranke, ali najviše to što nitko od migranata nema nikakvu namjeru ostati u zemlji. No zašto je albanska vlada tako nestrpljiva da preda kontrolu granice i suverenitet, odnosno zašto je premijer Edi Rama izgledao tako entuzijastično prilikom ceremonije s Dimitrisom Avramopulosom, europskim povjerenikom za migracije, unutrašnje poslove i državljanstvo? Vlada se nada da će to ubrzati njezin put prema članstvu u Europskoj uniji. Posljednjih pet godina provela je čekajući otvaranje pristupnih pregovora, a predavanje kontrole nad granicom vidi kao još jednu ilustraciju svoje pripadnosti Uniji.

      S druge strane, stalna politička kriza koju su izazvali studentski protesti u prosincu 2018., te kasnije bojkot parlamenta i lokalnih izbora od strane opozicijskih stranaka, stavlja neprestani pritisak na vladu. Očajnički treba pozitivan znak iz EU jer vodi političku i ideološku borbu protiv opozicije oko toga tko je autentičniji kulturni i politički predstavnik europejstva. Vlada naziva opoziciju i njezine nasilne prosvjede antieuropskima, dok opozicija optužuje vladu da svojom korupcijom i povezanošću s organiziranim kriminalom radi protiv europskih želja stanovništva. Prije nekoliko dana, Komisija je predložila početak pristupnih pregovora s Albanijom, no Europsko vijeće je to koje ima zadnju riječ. Očekuje se kako će sve ovisiti o toj odluci. Ideja Europe jedno je od čvorišta vladajuće ideologije koja se desetljećima gradi kao antipod komunizmu i Orijentu te historijska destinacija kojoj Albanci stoljećima teže.

      Neoliberalna rekonstrukcija ekonomije i društva gotovo je uvijek legitimirana tvrdnjama kako su to nužni – iako bolni – koraci prema integraciji u Europsku uniju. Uspješnost ove ideologije ilustrira činjenica da otprilike 90% ispitanih u različitim studijama podržava Albansku integraciju u EU. U toj situaciji ne čudi ni odnos prema Frontexu.

      https://www.bilten.org/?p=28118

    • Frontex expands operations in EU neighbouring countries

      After Albania and Montenegro, the EU Commission has concluded a Frontex status agreement with Serbia, to be followed by Northern Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. A first deployment of the EU border troops has meanwhile been increased.

      The European Commission has now also signed an arrangement with Serbia on „cooperation on border management“. The so-called status agreement regulates the implementation of „Joint Operations“ with the EU border agency Frontex at the common borders with the European Union. It was already published by the Commission in January and has now been ratified by the Serbian Parliament. Kosovo’s territory is excluded.

      The objectives of the agreement include the fight against irregular migration and cross-border crime in accordance with the Frontex Regulation. The EU also promises „increased technical and operational assistance“ to the Serbian border police.

      Model status agreement for „priority third countries“

      The negotiations with Serbia followed a model status agreement approved by the Commission under the „European Migration Agenda“ for operational cooperation with „priority third countries“. The Commission first concluded a status agreement with Albania a year ago, followed by a similar agreement with Montenegro on 7 October this year. Further status agreements with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Macedonia have been negotiated but still need to be ratified by the national parliaments. The European Parliament must also give its assent.

      Once all five status agreements have been signed, Frontex could be deployed throughout the whole Western Balkans with the exception of Kosovo. The EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, describes the agreements as „yet one more step towards bringing the Western Balkan region closer to the EU“. All countries concerned are considered candidates for EU membership and the agreement to the Frontex operations is intended to facilitate the negotiations.

      However, this rapprochement is likely to be damaged by the decision of the French government to refuse negotiations on EU membership to Northern Macedonia and Albania despite fulfilling the necessary conditions. The North Macedonian parliament could therefore delay the planned Frontex agreement. The same applies to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which France’s President Macron described as a „ticking time bomb“ for returning jihadists.

      Police powers and immunity

      The border police officers sent by Frontex from the EU Member States receive a special identity card from the country of deployment and wear their own uniforms with a blue Frontex armband. They will also carry weapons, ammunition and equipment from their sending state and may use force.

      The troops enjoy immunity during Frontex operations. If a criminal offence is found, it will be prosecuted by the jurisdiction of the Member State of origin. Frontex team members also enjoy full protection against civil and administrative prosecution in the State of operation. The latter will also be liable for any damage caused by a member of the team during „all acts performed in the exercise of the official functions“.

      Deployment plan agreed with Greece

      Following the conclusion of the status agreement with Albania, it took six months for Frontex to launch its by now „first-ever joint operation“ on the territory of a neighbouring third country. According to Frontex, the governments in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland and Slovenia have sent personnel to a total of 16 patrol vehicles and one thermovision car.

      According to the operational plan, which Frontex says is agreed with the Greek government, the operation will take place along the entire „green“ border and, in addition to border surveillance in the sections Sopik, Çarçovë, Leskovik, Shtikë, Kapshticë and Livadhja, will include border control at the Albanian-Greek crossing points Kakavija, Tre Urat (Çarçovë), Kapshticë, Rips and Qafe Bote. Frontex has set up support offices in Gjirokaster, Kakavija and Kapshticë to coordinate operations.

      In the meantime, the operation, which started with 50 EU officials, has grown to 66. One sixth comes from the German Federal Police, which also brought along six of the twelve patrol vehicles currently in use. In addition to operational border control, training measures are also planned in Albania. The operation will also facilitate the exchange of operational information and „best practices“.

      No Albanian human rights groups involved

      The new Frontex Regulation will apply from 4 December. The border agency will be then granted more powers and will set up a border troop of 10,000 border guards. The measures taken by Frontex should be observed by a Fundamental Rights Officer, among others. Frontex has also set up a Consultative Forum with non-governmental organisations to advise the Agency on how to prevent infringements.

      For „Joint Operations“ in third countries, the Consultative Forum recommends involving human rights groups active there in the operational plan. However, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, which sends eleven officers to Albania, has „no knowledge“ of the involvement of Albanian non-governmental organisations. The German Government also does not know which Albanian organisations might be asked to participate.

      https://digit.site36.net/2019/11/25/frontex-expands-operations-in-eu-neighbouring-countries

  • JE VAIS COMMENCER ICI UN NOUVEAU FIL DE DISCUSSION, SUR LES SAUVETAGES ET LES NAUFRAGES EN MEDITERRANEE.

    CE FIL DE DISCUSSION COMPLÈTE CELUI COMMENCÉ ICI :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768421

    Ici la métaliste complète:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/706177

    ping @isskein

    –------------

    Ecco il decreto sicurezza-bis: multe per ogni migrante trasportato e per chi non rispetta le norme Sar

    Salvini si attribuisce la competenza a vietare il transito delle navi ritenute pericolose e prevede che a indagare possano essere solo le Dda. Pene più pesanti per chi aggredisce le forze dell’ordine. Il M5S: «Il ministro dell’Interno copre così il fallimento sui rimpatri».

    È un vero e proprio blitz quello con il quale il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini vara un #decreto_sicurezza_bis che prevede sanzioni pecuniarie pesantissime contro chi soccorrse i migranti in violazione delle norme #Sar ma soprattutto con cui attribuisce al Viminale e alle Direzione distrettuali antimafia competenze che erano del ministero dei Trasporti e delle Procure ordinarie.

    Il provvedimento consta di dodici articoli, la maggior parte dei quali dedicato ancora al contrasto dell’immigrazione clandestina. Con norme clamorose destinate a spaccare il consiglio dei ministri.
    La prima prevede sanzioni a chi «nello svolgimento di operazioni di soccorso in acque internazionali, non rispetta gli obblighi previste dalle Convenzioni internazionali», dunque i comportamenti che Salvini attribuisce alle navi umanitarie. Le sanzioni previste sono di due tipi: da 3.500 a 5.500 euro per ogni straniero trasportato e, nei casi reiterati, se la nave è battente bandiera italiana la sospensione o la revoca della licenza da 1 a 12 mesi.

    L’articolo numero 2 va a modificare il #Codice_della_navigazione. Salvini attribuisce al Viminale quelle che sono al momento competenze del ministero dei Trasporti, in particolare la limitazione o il divieto di transito nelle acque territoriali di navi qualora sussistano ragioni di sicurezza e di ordine pubblico. E, come già scritto nelle direttive fin qui emanate, Salvini ritiene che tutte le navi che trasportino migranti siano una minaccia per la sicurezza nazionale.

    Il decreto modifica anche il codice di procedura penale estendendo anche alle ipotesi non aggravate di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina la competenza delle Direzioni distrettuali antimafia e la disciplina delle intercettazioni preventive. Di fatto togliendo alle Procure ordinarie la possibilità ad indagare.

    Tre milioni di euro vengono stanziati per l’impiego di poliziotti stranieri in operazioni sotto copertura contro le organizzazioni di trafficanti di uomini.

    Un altro pacchetto di norme inasprisce le sanzioni per chi devasta o danneggia nel corso di riunioni in luoghi pubblici e al contempo trasforma da sanzioni in delitti, con il conseguente inasprimento delle pene, le azioni di chi si oppone a pubblici ufficiali con qualsiasi mezzo di resistenza attiva o passiva, dagli scudi alle mazze e ai bastoni. Modifiche al codice penale aggravano il reato e dunque le sanzioni per violenza, minaccia e resistenza a pubblico ufficiale soprattutto se commessi durante manifestazioni in luogo pubblico. Soppressa la causa di esclusione della punibilità per particolare tenuità del fatto.

    L’articolo 7 è la norma già annunciata come «#spazzaclan» e prevede l’istituzione di un commissario straordinario con il compito di realizzare un programma di interventi finalizzati ad eliminare l’arretrato delle sentenze di condanna da eseguire nei confronti di imputati liberi. Previste le assunzioni a tempo determinato di durata annuale di 800 unità .

    L’ultimo articolo infine prevede l’impiego di altri 500 militari a Napoli in occasione delle #Universiadi.

    Fonti del M5s hanno commentato: «Salvini copre così il fallimento sui rimpatri». Secondo altre fonti «c’è fortissima preoccupazione che il ministro dell’Interno si spinga sempre più su temi estremisti».

    https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/05/10/news/ecco_il_decreto_sicurezza-bis_pene_piu_pesanti_per_i_trafficanti_di_uomin
    #decreto_sicurezza #décret #Italie #Salvini #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #amende #sauvetage #mourir_en_mer #ONG #eaux_territoriales #eaux_internationales #frontières #militarisation_des_frontières

    • Message d’@isskein via la mailing-list Migreurop.
      Chronique 9-10 mai 2019 en Méditerranée :

      9 mai Le Mare Jonio (Mediterranea Saving Humains, RescueMed) sauve 29 passagers (1 enfant de 1 an, 3 femmes dont une enceinte) d’un bateau pneumatique endommagé dans les eaux internationales, à 40 miles des côtes libyennes. Ils demandent un port sûr au centre de coordination italien, le ministère de l’Intérieur leur enjoint de contacter les gardes-côtes libyens...

      10 mai Le Mare Ionio accoste à Lampedusa, les 29 rescapés débarquent. 20h45, la « saisie préventive » du MareJonio, réclamée depuis le matin par l’Intérieur, a été notifiée. Le capitaine Pietro Marrone et Luca Casarini, chef de mission du #Mare_Jonio, font l’objet d’une enquête pour facilitation de l’immigration clandestine

      10 mai le navire militaire italien #Cigala_Fulgosi débarque dans le port d’Augusta (Sicile) 36 migrants secourus sur une embarcation à la dérive

      10 mai Au moins 70 personnes disparues dans un naufrage au large des côtes tunisiennes

      Il n’y a aujourd’hui plus aucun navire d’ONG en Méditerranée centrale.

      Sur le #naufrage au large de la #Tunisie, v. plus ici :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/780298

    • Dl sicurezza bis, cosa prevede il decreto che introduce multe da 5.500 euro a chi salva i migranti

      Il Ministero dell’Interno nella serata del 10 maggio 2019 ha messo a punto il “decreto sicurezza bis”, che prevede multe per chi soccorre i migranti, ma non solo.

      Il decreto si compone di 12 articoli.

      Il nucleo centrale prevede l’inasprimento delle misure contro i trafficanti di esseri umani e il potenziamento delle operazioni sotto copertura per contrastare l’immigrazione clandestina.

      Qui abbiamo spiegato cosa prevede il decreto sicurezza bis, punto per punto:
      Multe per chi soccorre i migranti

      L’articolo 1 del decreto sicurezza bis prevede che chi, nello svolgimento di operazioni di soccorso in acque internazionali, non rispetta gli obblighi previsti dalle Convenzioni internazionali – con particolare riferimento alle istruzioni operative delle autorità SAR competenti o di quelle dello Stato di bandiera può incorrere in una “sanzione amministrativa del pagamento di una somma da 3.500 a 5.500 euro per ciascuno degli stranieri trasportati”.

      Nei casi “più gravi o reiterati è disposta la sospensione da 1 a 12 mesi, ovvero la revoca della licenza, autorizzazione o concessione rilasciata dall’autorità amministrativa italiana inerente all’attività svolta e al mezzo di trasporto utilizzato”.
      Modifiche al codice della navigazione

      L’articolo 2 del decreto sicurezza bis prevede alcune modifiche al codice della navigazione, e nello specifico viene attribuito al ministro dell’Interno il potere di “limitare o vietare il transito e la sosta di navi mercantili o unità da diporto o di pesca nel mare territoriale per motivi di ordine e sicurezza pubblica e comunque in caso di violazione” di alcune delle disposizioni della Convenzione di Montego Bay.
      Favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina

      All’articolo 3 il decreto sicurezza bis vuole contrastare a monte l’organizzazione dei trasporti di migranti irregolari. I reati associstende ai
      Finanziamento da 3 milioni per le forze dell’ordine

      Il decreto sicurezza bis all’articolo 4 prevede lo stanziamento di 3 milioni di euro nel triennio 2019-2021 per il finanziamento degli “oneri conseguenti al concorso di operatori di polizia di Stati con i quali siano stati stipulati appositi accordi” per lo svolgimento di operazioni sotto copertura “anche con riferimento alle attività di contrasto del delitto di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina”.
      Universiadi

      Tra le novità del decreto sicurezza bis c’è l’arrivo di 500 militari in più a Napoli in vista delle Universiadi 2019.
      Inasprimento delle sanzioni per i reati di devastazione

      L’articolo 5 del decreto sicurezza bis interviene sul Tulps, il Testo unico delle leggi di pubblica sicurezza, inasprendo le sanzioni conseguenti ai reati di devastazione, saccheggio e danneggiamento, commessi nel corso di riunioni effettuate in luogo pubblico o aperto al pubblico.

      Inoltre, prevede espressamente l’obbligo di comunicazione immediata, non oltre le 24 ore, all’autorità di pubblica sicurezza delle generalità delle persone ospitate in alberghi o in altre strutture ricettive.

      Tutela degli operatori delle forze dell’0rdine

      L’articolo 6 del decreto sicurezza bis prevede maggiori tutele per gli operatori delle forze dell’ordine impiegati in servizio di ordine pubblico, attraverso l’introduzione di nuove fattispecie delittuose. Il decreto inoltre trasforma quelle che attualmente sono contravvenzioni in delitti e prevede inoltre l’inasprimento delle sanzioni.

      Ad esempio, “chiunque nel corso di manifestazioni.. per opporsi a pubblico ufficiale o all’incaricato di pubblico servizio.. utilizza scudi o altri oggetti di protezione passiva ovvero materiali imbrattanti o inquinanti è punito con la reclusione da 1 a 3 anni”.

      Ovvero, “chiunque lancia o utilizza illegittimamente, in modo da creare un concreto pericolo per l’incolumità delle persone o l’integrità delle cose, razzi, bengala, fuochi artificiali, petardi, strumenti per l’emissione di fumo o di gas visibile… ovvero bastoni, mazze, oggetti contundenti è punito con la reclusione da 1 a 4 anni”.
      Commissario straordinario e assunzione di 800 persone

      L’articolo 8 del decreto sicurezza bis prevede l’istituzione di un commissario straordinario e l’assunzione di 800 persone con impegno di spesa per oltre 25 milioni di euro: permetterà di notificare sentenze ai condannati attualmente in libertà e garantire così l’effettività della pena. Inasprite anche le misure per chi aggredisce operatori delle forze dell’ordine.

      Il commissario straordinario, nominato dal Consiglio dei ministri su proposta del ministro dell’Interno, ha il compito di realizzare un programma di interventi finalizzati ad eliminare l’arretrato relativo ai procedimenti di esecuzione delle sentenze di condanna divenute definitive da eseguire nei confronti di imputati liberi.

      https://www.tpi.it/2019/05/10/decreto-sicurezza-bis-cosa-prevede

    • Decreto sicurezza bis, ennesima proposta in contrasto con i principi fondamentali

      Nelle stesse ore in cui apprendevamo dell’ennesima strage avvenuta nel Mare Mediterraneo a causa delle politiche di chiusura ed esternalizzazione dell’Italia e dell’Unione europea, i mass media hanno anticipato i contenuti di un possibile nuovo decreto d’urgenza proposto dal Ministero dell’Interno che dovrebbe andare nuovamente a modificare alcune delle norme sulla disciplina dell’immigrazione in Italia.

      Il testo appare essere l’ennesimo stravolgimento dei fondamentali principi di diritto internazionale e un ulteriore contributo alla politica posta in essere da questo Governo, così come da quello precedente, finalizzata a colpire coloro, specialmente organizzazioni non governative di chiara fama, che non vollero ubbidire alla regolamentazione della salvaguardia del diritto alla vita.

      Tra esse la previsione di nuove sanzioni (ed addirittura la sospensione o la revoca della licenza alla navigazione) a carico di chi a certe condizioni ponga in essere “azioni di soccorso di mezzi adibiti alla navigazione ed utilizzati per il trasporto irregolare di migranti, anche mediante il recupero delle persone”. Ovvero sanzioni per chi, nell’adempimento di un dovere etico, giuridico e sociale, salva vite umane altrimenti destinate alla morte.

      Nonostante i gravi dissidi istituzionali determinati dall’ultimo Governo Conte e dalle politiche dell’attuale Ministro dell’Interno, con l’attuale ipotesi di decreto legge (a cui sono evidenti a tutti la mancanza dei requisiti di necessità ed urgenza), si persegue pervicacemente nella strada intrapresa e, addirittura, si decide di portare la guerra agli esseri umani anche in acque internazionali sbeffeggiando le convenzioni internazionali in materia di ricerca e soccorso in mare.

      Riservandoci una compiuta analisi normativa se e quando (malauguratamente) quel testo dovesse prendere formalmente vita, riteniamo doveroso evidenziare che :

      sino ad oggi la magistratura italiana ha ritenuto che le operazioni di salvataggio in mare da parte di navi private sono state svolte per adempiere a precisi obblighi internazionali e per rispondere ad evidenti condizioni di necessità

      La situazione generatasi in Libia nel corso degli ultimi anni è degenerata ulteriormente nelle ultime settimane impone di intervenire per salvare la vita dei civili e dei migranti presenti nel Paese e di interrompere le politiche di sostegno alla Libia relative alle operazioni della Guardia costiera libica

      Salvare vite in mare è un dovere che risponde a precisi obblighi umanitari e non può e non dovrà mai essere considerato un crimine.

      Prendere posizione contro questo ennesimo attacco al rispetto della vita umana, ai diritti e alle libertà fondamentali è un dovere a cui non è più possibile sottrarsi.

      https://www.asgi.it/primo-piano/decreto-sicurezza-bis-ennesima-proposta-in-contrasto-con-i-principi-fondamental

    • Il teorema #Zuccaro sulle ong è fallito

      Il giudice per le indagini preliminari (gip) di Catania, #Nunzio_Sarpietro, ha accolto la richiesta di archiviazione della procura di Catania per l’inchiesta a carico del comandante della nave umanitaria Open Arms Marc Reig e della capomissione Anabel Montes Mier, accusati di associazione a delinquere finalizzata al favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina in seguito al salvataggio di più di duecento persone, il 15 marzo 2018, al largo della Libia. Durante l’operazione la nave umanitaria si era trovata a dover affrontare momenti di tensione con una motovedetta libica, che rivendicava il coordinamento delle operazioni.

      In quell’occasione gli spagnoli si erano rifiutati di consegnare ai guardacoste libici i migranti appena soccorsi e per questo, dopo essere approdati nel porto di Pozzallo, erano stati accusati di diversi reati e la loro nave era stata sequestrata. Con l’archiviazione di questa inchiesta, cade uno degli ultimi pilastri del cosiddetto “teorema Zuccaro”, la tesi sostenuta dal procuratore di Catania Carmelo Zuccaro secondo cui ci sarebbero stati dei contatti tra le navi delle ong e i trafficanti di esseri umani. Resta aperta, invece, l’inchiesta della procura di Ragusa contro Reig e Montes Mier accusati di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina e violenza privata per lo stesso caso. Rimane aperta anche l’inchiesta della procura di Trapani contro la nave Iuventa dell’ong Jugend Rettet, sequestrata nell’agosto del 2017. Il gip dovrebbe decidere l’eventuale rinvio a giudizio nelle prossime settimane.

      “Siamo felici di apprendere che un ulteriore passo verso la verità è stato fatto”, ha commentato l’organizzazione spagnola Proactiva Open Arms in un comunicato. “Ribadiamo di aver sempre operato nel rispetto delle convenzioni internazionali e del diritto del mare e che continueremo a farlo mossi da un unico obiettivo: difendere la vita e i diritti delle persone più vulnerabili”. L’avvocata Rosa Emanuela Lo Faro chiarisce di non aver ancora preso visione delle motivazioni che hanno spinto la stessa procura di Catania a chiedere l’archiviazione. “Dal 3 maggio 2019 sapevamo però che il gip aveva archiviato questa indagine”, conferma Lo Faro.

      Già nel marzo del 2018 lo stesso gip Sarpietro aveva confermato il sequestro della nave, ma aveva escluso il reato di associazione a delinquere contro il capitano Marc Reig e la coordinatrice dei soccorsi Anabel Montes Mier, lasciando in piedi invece l’accusa di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina. Questo elemento aveva fatto decadere la competenza territoriale del tribunale di Catania che ha una specifica autorità per i reati associativi e aveva fatto intervenire il tribunale di Ragusa, che deve ancora esprimersi in merito all’inchiesta per favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina e violenza privata.

      In questo caso giudiziario è stata particolarmente importate la decisione del gip di Ragusa nell’aprile del 2018 di dissequestrare la nave, ferma nel porto di Pozzallo per un mese dopo il salvataggio. Nel decreto di dissequestro infatti il gip di Ragusa Giovanni Giampiccolo aveva riconosciuto lo stato di necessità nel quale era avvenuto il salvataggio e aveva inoltre stabilito che la Libia non è un posto sicuro in cui portare le persone soccorse in mare. Il giudice Giampiccolo ha riconosciuto che la Libia è “un luogo in cui avvengono gravi violazioni dei diritti umani (con persone trattenute in strutture di detenzione in condizioni di sovraffollamento, senza accesso a cure mediche e a un’adeguata alimentazione, e sottoposte a maltrattamenti e stupri e lavori forzati)”.

      “Quella decisione ha fatto scuola”, sottolinea l’avvocata Lo Faro. Da quel momento infatti non sono stati più disposti sequestri preventivi, ma solo sequestri probatori.

      Le indagini della procura di Catania
      Una figura centrale in questa vicenda è stato il procuratore generale di Catania Carmelo Zuccaro, alla guida della procura della città siciliana dal 2016. Dopo aver annunciato l’apertura di un fascicolo d’indagine conoscitivo sull’attività di queste organizzazioni, nella primavera del 2017 aveva rilasciato numerose interviste ai mezzi d’informazione italiani e stranieri. Il 22 marzo 2017 il pm era anche intervenuto in un’audizione al comitato parlamentare di controllo sull’attuazione dell’accordo di Schengen dichiarando di aver aperto delle indagini sui profitti delle ong e affermando di ritenere sospetto il “proliferare così intenso di queste unità navali”.

      “Noi riteniamo ci si debba porre il problema di capire da dove provenga il denaro che alimenta, che finanzia questi costi elevati. Da questo punto di vista, la successiva fase della nostra indagine conoscitiva sarà quella di capire quali siano i canali di finanziamento”. In quell’occasione aggiungeva di trovare “anomalo” che le navi non approdassero nel porto più vicino, bensì nei porti italiani, e sosteneva che ci fosse un rapporto tra la presenza delle navi umanitarie e l’aumento del numero dei morti. L’altra questione che il procuratore sollevava era quella della necessità della presenza a bordo delle navi di poliziotti e autorità giudiziarie impegnate nel contrasto al traffico di esseri umani. Questo è stato un tema caro ai magistrati, perché il materiale raccolto dalla polizia giudiziaria nel periodo della missione umanitaria Mare nostrum aveva aiutato le procure a condurre diverse indagini contro i trafficanti.

      La stessa preoccupazione ha ispirato anche uno dei punti del codice di condotta voluto dal ministro dell’interno Marco Minniti. Dal 2013 la procura di Catania si era trasformata nell’epicentro delle indagini sul traffico di esseri umani nel Mediterraneo, grazie proprio alla missione Mare nostrum. Prima i barconi con i migranti si spingevano sotto costa e arrivavano a Lampedusa, l’isola italiana più vicina alla Tunisia, oppure sulla parte occidentale della Sicilia, nella provincia di Trapani, che in linea d’aria è più raggiungibile dalle spiagge nordafricane. Ma in quello stesso periodo la marina militare e la guardia costiera italiana avevano cominciato a effettuare soccorsi in alto mare, nel canale di Sicilia, e poi nelle acque internazionali davanti alle coste libiche, quindi diversi porti siciliani, soprattutto quelli orientali come Catania, erano stati coinvolti negli sbarchi.

      Anche per questo Zuccaro si diceva preoccupato del grado di collaborazione tra le ong e la polizia giudiziaria: “Vogliamo cercare di capire se da parte di queste ong vi è comunque quella doverosa collaborazione che si deve prestare alle autorità di polizia e alle autorità giudiziarie al momento in cui si pongono in contatto con l’autorità giudiziaria italiana”. In questa prima audizione per il procuratore di Catania risultano sospetti soprattutto i finanziamenti che le ong ricevono, mentre in diverse interviste successive si concentra sui presunti contatti tra i trafficanti e le navi.

      Circa un mese dopo, durante la trasmissione Agorà su Rai 3, il pm si spinge oltre, affermando che l’obiettivo delle navi umanitarie potrebbe essere quello di destabilizzare l’economia: “A mio avviso alcune ong potrebbero essere finanziate dai trafficanti, sono a conoscenza di contatti. Forse la cosa potrebbe essere ancora più inquietante. Si perseguono da parte di alcune ong finalità diverse: destabilizzare l’economia italiana per trarne dei vantaggi”.

      Accuse a cui il governo, tramite i ministri dell’interno Marco Minniti e quello della giustizia Andrea Orlando, reagiva con fermezza, chiedendo le prove. Zuccaro rispondeva di “avere denunciato un fenomeno e non singole persone”, perché se “si aspetta troppo tempo si rischia di produrre elementi deleteri non più controllabili”. Parlava di “deroga” al riserbo, ma anche di “un dovere per chi deve fare rispettare la legalità”. In un’intervista con la Repubblica del 28 aprile 2017, il procuratore afferma però una cosa nuova: finalmente ha “la certezza” dei contatti tra le ong e i trafficanti, ma si tratta di materiale non utilizzabile in sede giudiziaria. Si parla di tabulati telefonici e conversazioni nelle mani dell’intelligence. Zuccaro si dice certo di un rapporto di complicità tra le ong e gli scafisti.

      Per due mesi nella primavera del 2017 il procuratore è molto presente sui mezzi d’informazione nazionali e internazionali con dichiarazioni di questo tenore, in tanti lo accusano di violare il segreto istruttorio e di produrre affermazioni che hanno un valore più politico che giudiziario. Mentre Zuccaro concede le sue interviste è aperta un’indagine conoscitiva sulle ong della Commissione difesa del senato, guidata dal senatore Nicola La Torre. Interpellato dalla commissione parlamentare, il generale Stefano Screpanti, capo del III Reparto operazioni del comando generale della guardia di finanza, smentisce le affermazioni del procuratore capo di Catania: “Allo stato attuale delle nostre conoscenze, non ci sono evidenze investigative tali da far emergere collegamenti tra ong e organizzazioni che gestiscono il traffico di migranti”.

      Dopo due anni d’indagini, il 13 agosto 2018 l’inchiesta “madre” di Zuccaro (che intanto aveva ipotizzato anche il reato di associazione a delinquere) è avviata all’archiviazione, nel caso Open Arms viene archiviata l’accusa di “associazione a delinquere”, ma ormai la campagna di discredito ai danni delle ong ha fatto il suo corso e le dichiarazioni del pm hanno influenzato in maniera irreversibile l’opinione pubblica italiana, che considera “accertati” i contatti tra ong e scafisti, in barba a qualsiasi garantismo.

      https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2019/05/15/amp/open-arms-zuccaro-ong?__twitter_impression=true

    • Des migrants débarqués à Lampedusa, Salvini furieux

      Quarante-sept migrants ont été débarqués dimanche soir à Lampedusa, une île au sud de la Sicile, après la saisie sur ordre de justice de leur bateau de sauvetage, provoquant la colère du ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini.

      Le navire affrété par l’ONG allemande Sea-Watch battant pavillon néerlandais, qui stationnait dans les eaux italiennes tout près de l’île de #Lampedusa, a été saisi dans la journée par la police financière italienne sur ordre d’un procureur de Sicile.

      Puis, les migrants à bord ont été transférés par moto-vedettes vers la terre ferme en fin de soirée. Une décision que M. Salvini —également vice-Premier ministre et chef de la Ligue (extrême-droite)— a semblé découvrir en temps réel à la télévision, l’amenant à demander qui au gouvernement avait pu prendre une telle décision contre son avis formel.

      Déjà à couteaux tirés avec lui, son partenaire gouvernemental du Mouvement 5 étoiles, Luigi Di Maio, a rétorqué qu’il n’acceptait pas ses insinuations, rappelant qu’il était obligatoire de faire débarquer les passagers d’un bateau saisi par la justice.

      Parallèlement à ce nouveau couac gouvernemental en pleine campagne pour les élections européennes, des échauffourées ont eu lieu dimanche soir à Florence (centre) entre forces de l’ordre et 2.000 personnes venues protester contre la présence de M. Salvini qui tenait un meeting politique dans la ville.

      Dimanche, le chef de Ligue avait jugé risibles les critiques du Haut-Commissariat aux droits de l’Homme (HCDH) de l’ONU contre un projet visant à durcir la législation anti-migratoire en Italie.

      L’ONU, « un organisme international qui coûte des milliards d’euros aux contribuables, qui a comme membres la Corée du Nord et la Turquie, et qui vient faire la morale sur les droits de l’Homme à l’Italie ? (...) Cela prête à rire », a commenté M. Salvini.

      Un projet de décret-loi, qui pourrait être soumis lundi au conseil des ministres, propose de donner au ministre de l’Intérieur le pouvoir d’interdire les eaux territoriales italiennes à un navire pour des raisons d’ordre public.

      Le texte prévoit aussi une amende de 3.500 à 5.500 euros par migrant arrivé en Italie pour tout navire de secours n’ayant pas respecté les consignes des garde-côtes compétents dans la zone où il serait intervenu.

      Dans sa lettre envoyée au ministère italien des Affaires étrangères, le HCDH demande à l’Italie de ne pas approuver ce nouveau décret-loi.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/des-migrants-debarques-lampedusa-salvini-furieux.afp.com.2019

    • Sea Watch, sbarcati i migranti. Salvini accusa i M5s: «Chi ha dato l’ordine?». Di Maio: «Non dia la colpa a noi»

      Sequestrata la nave Ong. Il ministero dell’Interno: i migranti non scenderanno. Ma il pm ordina che vengano portati sull’isola. E scoppia lo scontro tra i partner di governo. I primi a scendere una donna incinta e suo marito.
      La prima è una donna incinta, sorretta dal marito. A piedi nudi. Poi via via, tutti gli altri. Sorrisi, abbracci e saluti. Sono scesi tutti. Nonostante Salvini. “Fino a quando sono ministro io quella nave in un porto italiano non entra e non sbarca nessuno”, aveva garantito il ministro dell’Interno quando la Sea Watch 3 aveva ignorato la sua diffida e si era presentata davanti al porto di Lampedusa ottenendo l’autorizzazione all’ancoraggio alla fonda.

      Ventiquattro ore dopo, i 47 migranti rimasti a bordo della nave della Ong tedesca sono scesi a terra. Sequestro della nave d’iniziativa della Guardia di finanza, perquisizione e contestuale sbarco di tutti i migranti. Lo stesso “modello” già seguito per due volte per sbloccare i precedenti soccorsi della Mare Jonio, rimasta sequestrata per alcuni giorni e poi sempre liberata dai pm di Agrigento. Che questa volta si sono mossi di concerto con la Guardia di finanza forzando la mano ad un inferocito Salvini, incredulo di essere smentito proprio alla vigilia di quel consiglio dei ministri in cui intende portare all’approvazione il suo contestatissimo decreto sicurezza-bis.

      Un braccio di ferro senza precedenti quello tra la Procura di Agrigento e la Guardia di finanza da una parte e il Viminale dall’altro, conclusosi alle otto di sera quando due motovedette, dopo aver notificato al comandante della Sea Watch i decreti di sequestro e perquisizione firmati dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella che per tutto il weekend ha seguito personalmente sull’isola l’evolversi della vicenda, hanno scortato in porto la nave umanitaria.

      L’accelerazione nel primo pomeriggio quando il comandante Arturo Centore fa sapere alla Guardia costiera che la situazione a bordo è di assoluta emergenza. Alcuni migranti hanno indossato il giubbotto di salvataggio e minacciano di buttarsi a mare. “Se entro le nove di sera la situazione non si sblocca, levo l’ancora ed entro direttamente in porto”, annuncia il comandante della Sea Watch.

      A quel punto Guardia di finanza, guardia costiera e Procura decidono di notificare i sequestri e far sbarcare tutti. Anche contro il volere del Viminale.

      Salvini, che già poche ore prima, in un comizio a Sassuolo aveva attaccato a testa bassa “una procura e un giudice che invece di indagare gli scafisti indaga me”, incassa malissimo il colpo e ancor prima che la Sea Watch attracchi al molo di Lampedusa mette le mani avanti e sottolinea che lo sbarco avviene contro la sua volontà. “La magistratura faccia come crede ma il Viminale continua e continuerà a negare lo sbarco da quella nave fuorilegge. Il ministro dell’Interno si aspetta provvedimenti nei confronti del comandante della nave dal quale è lecito attendersi indicazioni precise sui presunti scafisti presenti a bordo”.

      Alle otto di sera, quando i 47 migranti toccano terra e vengono portati nell’hotspot di contrada Imbriacola, una nota firmata dal procuratore di Agrigento Luigi Patronaggio (il pm del caso Diciotti che per primo ha contestato a Salvini il sequestro di persona) spiega la “ratio” della scelta degli inquirenti: “Il sequestro probatorio è stato eseguito per violazione dell’articolo 12 del Testo unico sull’immigrazione ponendo la nave a disposizione di questa procura che ne ha disposto, previo sbarco dei migranti, il trasferimento sotto scorta nel porto di Licata. Le indagini proseguiranno sia per l’individuazione degli eventuali trafficanti di esseri umani coinvolti sia per la valutazione della condotta della Ong”. Come sempre. A sbarco avvenuto, quando anche l’ultimo migrante era già sceso a terra, Salvini ricara: «Per me possono stare lì fino a ferragosto. Gli porto da mangiare e da bere ma stanno lì». E al procuratore di Agrigento: «E’ quello che mi ha indagato per sequestro di persona. Se li farà sbarcare, ne prenderò atto e valuteremo nei suoi confronti il favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina».
      Salvini attacca i 5s: «Chi ha dato l’ordine?»
      Matteo Salvini ha assistito in diretta tv allo sbarco dei migranti dalla nave Sea Watch 3, ospite in studio su La7. «Qualcuno l’ordine lo avrà dato. Questo qualcuno ne dovrà rispondere», si irrita il ministro. Il M5s fa sapere a stretto giro che non sono stati i suoi ministri. Ma Salvini insiste: «Chi è che li ha autorizzati a
      sbarcare? Io no, non ho autorizzato niente, deve essere qualcun altro. Io sorrido ma è grave. Perché siamo un Paese sovrano con leggi, regole, una storia e nessuna associazione privata se ne può disinteressare. Qualcuno quell’ordine lo avrà dato. Questo qualcuno ne deve rispondere».

      Il vicepremier Luigi Di Maio prende le distanze parlando A che tempo che fa: «Il sequestro lo esegue la magistratura quindi non credo sia un espediente» per far sbarcare i migranti a bordo «perché la magistratura è indipendente dal governo. Quando arrivano qui contattiamo i Paesi Ue e chiediamo la redistribuzione. Io credo che la politica delle redistribuzioni è l’unica strada che abbiamo per fronteggiare il fenomeno. Poi c’è il tema dei rimpatri che si devono fare. La Chiesa Valdese stamattina ha lanciato una disponibilità, lavoriamo nel senso della redistribuzione» e «non scontriamoci con la magistratura, tutte queste tensioni non fanno bene al Paese».

      E dopo le accusa di Salvini replica: «Non accetto che il ministro dell’Interno dice che se stanno sbarcando dalla Sea Watch è perché i ministri 5 Stelle hanno aperto i porti. La nave è stata sequestrata dalla magistratura e, quando c’è un sequestro, si fanno sbarcare obbligatoriamente le persone a bordo».

      Duro anche il ministro Danilo Toninelli: «Salvini, se ha qualcosa da dirmi, me la dica in faccia. Non parli a sproposito del sottoscritto in tv. È evidente che l’epilogo della vicenda è legato al sequestro della nave da parte della magistratura, non serve un esperto per capirlo. Magari il ministro dell’Interno si informi prima di parlare. E trovi soluzioni vere sui rimpatri, non ancora avviati da quando è il responsabile della sicurezza nazionale».
      Lo sbarco per Salvini è una sconfitta politica
      Comunque la si guardi, la conclusione del braccio di ferro per Salvini è una sonora sconfitta che il ministro dell’Interno cerca di capitalizzare puntando tutte le sue carte su quel decreto sicurezza-bis che l’Onu chiede di ritirare ritenendolo una “violazione dei diritti umani e delle convenzioni internazionali”.

      Dopo aver irriso la lettera dell’alto Commissariato dell’Onu invitandolo ad occuparsi “dell’emergenza umanitaria in Venezuela anziché fare campagna elettorale in Italia”, Salvini ribadisce: "Resta un tema fondamentale: la difesa dei confini nazionali e l’ingresso in Italia di un gruppo di sconosciuti dev’essere una decisione della politica (espressione della volontà popolare) o di magistrati e Ong straniere? La vicenda Sea Watch 3 conferma una volta di più l’urgenza di approvare il decreto sicurezza bis già nel Consiglio dei ministri di domani per rafforzare gli strumenti del governo per combattere i trafficanti di uomini e chi fa affari con loro”.

      I 47 migranti sbarcati aspettano adesso di conoscere il loro destino. Le chiese evangeliche hanno dato la loro piena disponibilità ad accoglierli tutti nelle loro comunità in Italia ma anche all’estero.

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/05/19/news/via_libera_per_la_sea_watch_puo_attraccare_a_lampedusa-226674239

    • Italy: UN experts condemn bill to fine migrant rescuers

      UN human rights experts* have condemned a proposed draft decree by Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, to fine those who rescue migrants and refugees at sea, and urged the Government to halt its approval.

      “The right to life and the principle of non-refoulement should always prevail over national legislation or other measures purportedly adopted in the name of national security,” said the independent experts, who conveyed their concerns about the decree in a formal letter to the Italian Government.

      “We urge authorities to stop endangering the lives of migrants, including asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in persons, by invoking the fight against traffickers. This approach is misleading and is not in line with both general international law and international human rights law. Instead, restrictive migration policies contribute to exacerbating migrants’ vulnerabilities and only serve to increase trafficking in persons.”

      Earlier this month, Mr. Salvini announced a proposal to issue a decree that would fine vessels for every person rescued at sea and taken to Italian territory. NGO and other boats that rescued migrants could also have their licences revoked or suspended.

      The UN experts said that, should the decree – yet to be approved by the government – enter into force, it would seriously undermine the human rights of migrants, including asylum seekers, as well as victims of torture, of trafficking in persons and of other serious human rights abuses.

      They also asked for the withdrawal of two previous Directives banning NGO vessels rescuing migrants off Libya’s coasts from accessing Italian ports. In particular, the second Directive singled out the Italian ship Mare Jonio for helping those at sea.

      Declaring that Libyan ports were “able to provide migrants with adequate logistical and medical assistance” was particularly alarming, the experts said, especially given reports that Libyan coastguards had committed multiple human rights violations, including collusion with traffickers’ networks and deliberately sinking boats.

      The experts said any measure against humanitarian actors should be halted. “We are deeply concerned about the accusations brought against the Mare Jonio vessel, which have not been confirmed by any competent judicial authority. We believe that this represents yet another political attempt to criminalise humanitarian actors delivering life-saving services that are indispensable to protect humans’ lives and dignity.”

      The UN experts said Italian authorities had failed to properly consider several international norms, such as article 98 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, on the duty to help any person in danger at sea. “Article 98 is considered customary law. It applies to all maritime zones and to all persons in distress, without discrimination, as well as to all ships, including private and NGO vessels under a State flag,” they said.

      The Directives stigmatize migrants as “possible terrorists, traffickers and smugglers”, without providing evidence, the experts said. “We are concerned that this type of rhetoric will further increase the climate of hatred and xenophobia, as previously highlighted in another letter to which the Italian Government is also yet to reply.”

      The experts have contacted the Government about their concerns and await a reply. A copy of the letter has also been shared with Libya and the European Union.

      https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24628&LangID=E

    • Des ONG accusent la marine italienne de ne pas avoir porté assistance à des migrants en détresse

      L’ONG allemande Sea-Watch et le collectif Mediterranea accusent un navire de la marine italienne d’être resté à distance d’une embarcation de migrants en détresse au large des côtes libyennes, alors qu’il ne se trouvait qu’à plusieurs dizaines de kilomètres. Les 80 personnes en difficulté ont finalement été interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens et renvoyées en Libye.

      « Le navire P492 Bettica de la marine italienne est à proximité d’un canot pneumatique en détresse avec environ 80 personnes à son bord mais il n’intervient pas ». Ce message a été posté sur Twitter jeudi 23 mai en début d’après-midi par l’ONG Sea-Watch qui alerte sur la présence d’une embarcation dans les eaux internationales, au large de la Libye. C’est son avion de secours, le Moonbird, qui a repéré le canot en difficulté. « Notre avion a envoyé un message de détresse et a confirmé que des personnes sont accrochées à l’embarcation qui est en train de se dégonfler », continue l’ONG allemande.
      https://twitter.com/SeaWatchItaly/status/1131652854006067200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

      Un peu plus tôt, Alarm Phone, la plateforme téléphonique qui vient en aide aux migrants en mer, avait donné l’alerte sur les réseaux sociaux. « Depuis 12h40, nous sommes en contact avec un bateau en détresse en Méditerranée centrale […]. L’eau entre dans le bateau. Nous avons transmis leur position au MRCC de Rome. Nous demandons une opération de sauvetage rapide ».

      Selon les ONG, la marine italienne n’est pas loin de l’embarcation. Elle ne serait pas intervenue.

      Un tweet de la marine italienne confirme, en effet, sa présence dans la zone, à 80 km du canot en difficulté. « Nous envoyons notre propre hélicoptère pour soutenir le Colibri [également sur zone, ndlr] », écrit la marine italienne sur le réseau social. « Avec un hélicoptère de la région, nous avons vérifié que les migrants ont été récupérés par un bateau de la patrouille libyenne ».

      « Le gouvernement sera responsable de ses actes »

      Seulement voilà, les ONG accusent ainsi les Italiens d’être « restés à distance » sciemment, pour laisser « le champ libre » aux garde-côtes libyens. « Encore un refoulement par procuration en Méditerranée centrale » a réagi Alarm Phone. « L’UE continue de violer le droit international, d’ignorer les bateaux en détresse et de repousser les gens en zone de guerre ».

      https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1131612656341852161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

      Des accusations qui inquiètent plusieurs personnalités politiques en Italie. « Si c’est vrai, ce serait très grave car il est absolument impensable que des hommes, des femmes et des enfants soient renvoyés dans cet enfer qu’est la Libye », a déclaré le sénateur du mouvement 5 étoiles (M5S) Gregorio De Falco, également officier de la marine.

      Même son de cloche chez Massimiliano Smeriglio, candidat du Parti démocrate aux élections européennes. « Nous ne pouvons pas croire qu’’un navire de notre marine, qui a accompli tant de missions de secours international, peut apporter son aide sans intervenir dans une tragédie. Intervenez sans délai sans quoi le gouvernement sera responsable de ses actes », a-t-il insisté.
      Début mai, un navire militaire italien avait subi les foudres du ministre de l’Intérieur après avoir secouru des migrants en mer sans avoir attendu les garde-côtes. Matteo Salvini refuse systématiquement le débarquement des migrants sur le sol italien.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/17114/des-ong-accusent-la-marine-italienne-de-ne-pas-avoir-porte-assistance-

    • Dl sicurezza bis, I pescatori continueranno a salvare i migranti

      Michele e Salvatore Casciaro, padre e figlio, sono pescatori di Novaglie, Salento. Salvatore assiste alla tragedia dei migranti nel canale d’Otranto sin dal grande esodo degli albanesi negli anni Novanta. E da allora partecipa con la propria imbarcazione alle operazioni di soccorso e salvataggio dei naufraghi. Oggi i flussi principali provengono dal nord africa. Nell’ultimo salvataggio ha salvato con il figlio Michele una somala che altrimenti sarebbe annegata. Ma con il decreto sicurezza bis, continueranno a salvare i naufraghi o si volteranno dall’altra parte? (M. Tota)

      http://www.la7.it/tagada/video/dl-sicurezza-bis-i-pescatori-continueranno-a-salvare-i-migranti-21-05-2019-27242
      #pêcheurs

    • Il cambio di rotta di un Paese che perde l’onore
      Finora la Marina militare aveva sempre risposto alle chiamate di

      naufraghi in difficoltà.

      OGGI le cose in Italia non sono facili e quindi è proprio oggi che dobbiamo amare il nostro Paese, rispettarlo, dobbiamo dialogare, confrontarci, litigare sapendo che il suolo che calpestiamo ci restituirà solo ciò che avremo seminato e curato. Ogni parola è un seme, ogni ragionamento è un seme e noi italiani restiamo quello che siamo sempre stati: persone fatte di terra e mare. Conosciamo il mare, gabbia e occasione, limite e infinito, siamo uomini e donne di mare. Ecco perché, quando già l’Europa trattava l’immigrazione come un problema, l’Italia continuava a salvare vite in mare. E le salvava perché un uomo, una donna, un bambino che dall’Africa prendono il mare per venire in Italia, se in pericolo, non sono migranti, ma naufraghi. È la legge eterna del mare: ogni naufrago va tratto in salvo. Sempre.

      Qualcuno mi dira’, non possiamo salvarli tutti noi. Se nessun altro li salva, vi rispondo, allora li salveremo noi! Esistono le Zone Sar (Search and Rescue, ovvero “ricerca e salvataggio”) di competenza dei diversi paesi, perché dovremmo farci carico di recuperare i naufraghi anche laddove non sarebbe di nostra competenza? Perché per prima cosa dobbiamo rispettare la vita umana, è una regola universale alla quale se ci sottraiamo iniziamo a modificarci. Lasciare che una persona anneghi significa perdere qualsiasi cosa abbiamo raggiunto. Empatia, leggi, diritti, morale, convivenza. Perdiamo tutto. Non è sentimentalismo, è misura di ciò che sta accadendo. Non possiamo sottrarci dal salvare le persone in mare perché ogni vita perduta, quando poteva essere salvata, è sofferenza che si moltiplica, è odio. E l’odio diventa rancore, e il rancore vendetta.

      Ma non possiamo accoglierli tutti, mi direte. Manca il lavoro per noi, come possiamo farci carico di centinaia di migliaia di persone in cerca di un futuro migliore? Ma noi non dobbiamo accoglierli tutti: noi dobbiamo salvarli tutti, è nostro dovere farlo. Non facciamoci fregare dalla propaganda: salvare e accogliere sono due cose diverse, due momenti diversi che possono e devono essere gestiti in maniera diversa. Il salvataggio risponde a una necessità immediata, non c’è tempo per la strategia. L’accoglienza viene dopo e su quella si può discutere e cambiare passo, ma senza mettere in dubbio la necessità di salvare. Anzi, direi, senza mettere in discussione il diritto che noi italiani abbiamo, il privilegio che viviamo nel salvare vite umane. Salvare vite è come donare vita, come è accaduto che lo abbiamo dimenticato? Qualcuno oggi pensa di poter girare la faccia davanti a queste storie, pensa che tutto sommato la quotidianità sia già così difficile che non serve complicarsi la vita con questo strazio; non invidio queste persone perché per loro il risveglio sarà ancora più duro. E non le invidio perché non sanno quanto l’Italia abbia fatto la differenza, perché non sanno che l’Italia non ha mai girato le spalle a chi, in pericolo, chiedeva aiuto.

      Mi sono sentito orgoglioso di essere italiano quando ho visto il lavoro titanico che la Marina militare italiana ha sempre fatto, prima da sola, poi con l’Europa ma da capofila, poi insieme alle Ong, poi di nuovo da sola. Sono orgoglioso dei pescatori italiani che, nonostante andassero incontro a sanzioni gravose e al sequestro delle loro imbarcazioni che sono per loro sopravvivenza stessa, hanno sempre obbedito alla legge del mare, quella legge che impone di prestare soccorso a chiunque si trovi in pericolo tra le onde, a qualunque costo e senza pensare alle conseguenze. “Noi gente in mare non l’abbiamo lassata mai!”: questo era il principio dei pescatori lampedusani e a questo principio non si sono sottratti; se l’avessero fatto, avrebbero negato ogni singola parte della loro vita.

      Ma le cose sono cambiate ora, dirà qualcuno tra voi. Oggi la Marina sta agendo diversamente, direte. Sappiamo che il 23 maggio scorso, e lo sappiamo dagli unici testimoni rimasti nel Mediterraneo a darci queste informazioni, ovvero le Ong, un uomo è morto durante un’operazione di salvataggio, anzi, prima ancora che l’operazione iniziasse. Nel video girato da un velivolo della Sea-Watch si vede un gommone in avaria che sta imbarcando velocemente acqua. La Sea-Watch contatta prima la Guardia costiera libica che non risponde e poi la nave della Marina militare italiana Bettica, che si trova a meno di trenta miglia dal gommone.

      Improvvisamente e per quasi un’ora le comunicazioni tra la Marina militare italiana e la Sea-Watch si interrompono, quando riprendono la Bettica avverte che la Guardia costiera libica si sta recando sul posto. È prassi che la Guardia costiera libica non risponda alle richieste di soccorso. È prassi che i salvataggi siano fatti all’unico scopo di riportare i migranti nei campi di prigionia libici dove ricomincia il loro calvario, dove vengono torturati e dove viene estorto loro denaro: ogni migrante preso dalla Guardia costiera libica è guadagno doppio per i trafficanti (che, detto per inciso, non sono le Ong ma la guardia costiera libica finanziata dall’Italia e dall’Europa) che li lasceranno tornare nel loro paese solo in cambio di denaro.

      È ormai appurato che la Libia non è un porto sicuro. E allora perché la nave della Marina militare italiana Bettica non è intervenuta? Perché si infanga l’onore (che bella parola quando porta con sé il rispetto per la vita umana) dei militari della Marina che hanno sempre, secondo coscienza, risposto prima ancora che alle convenzioni internazionali, che pure stabiliscono il dovere di salvare vite, alla superiore e universale legge del mare? Oggi possiamo dividerci su tutto, ma non sulla necessità e sul dovere di salvare vite. Quando un uomo, una donna o un bambino sono in pericolo in mare, noi abbiamo il dovere di salvarli e se l’alternativa è la Libia, dobbiamo essere consapevoli che li stiamo condannando all’inferno. Per sfuggire a questo ragionamento, la propaganda inventa scorciatoie ridicole ma funzionanti: parole da buonista, parli bene dall’attico a Manhattan; si bersaglia chi racconta, non il racconto, perché quello è oggettivo e non può essere messo in discussione. Ma quell’uomo che annega è vita reale, non la finzione spacciata per realtà sui social.

      Facile dire la solita balla buonista parli tu dall’attico a Manhattan… no, parlo da meridionale, nato e cresciuto nelle terre più martoriate d’Italia, più saccheggiate, terre dimenticate da Dio e dagli uomini, ma non dai politici avvoltoi e sciacalli. Quelli, di noi meridionali, non si dimenticano mai. Promettono acqua agli assetati e intanto condannano le nostre anime per l’eternità. Parlo da uomo che non può accettare che il confine tra la vita e la morte sia una linea convenzionale e invisibile tracciata nel mare. Ciò che resta, alla fine di tutto, è l’onore. L’onore riscattato dal significato abusivo che ne danno le mafie per indicare nell’uomo d’onore l’affiliato. Onore inteso come rispetto dei nostri principi umani più profondi al di là delle conseguenze, nonostante le conseguenze.

      Onore è ciò che permette ancora di guardarci l’un l’altro e di sapere che io mi posso fidare di te perché tu ti puoi fidare di me, qualunque sia la tua condizione sociale, qualunque sia il luogo da cui provieni, il tuo quartiere, la tua religione e il colore della tua pelle, la tua condizione sociale, il tuo lavoro, il tuo conto in banca, la scuola che frequenta tuo figlio, il lavoro che fai. È facile: se mentre tu soffri e muori io giro lo sguardo dall’altra parte, se io soffrirò e rischierò di morire mi ripagherai con la stessa moneta. Salvare per essere salvati. Salvare per salvarsi: nel nostro mare, se smettiamo di salvare, finiremo annegati noi.

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/06/01/news/il_cambio_di_rotta_di_un_paese_che_perde_l_onore-227596448

    • Appel au secours d’un capitaine, coincé en mer avec 75 migrants malades

      Le capitaine d’un bateau égyptien ayant recueilli vendredi 75 migrants dans les eaux internationales, a lancé un appel aux autorités tunisiennes pour qu’elles le laissent accoster, alors que les vivres commencent à manquer et que des migrants sont malades.

      Le remorqueur égyptien #Maridive_601, qui dessert des plateformes pétrolières entre la Tunisie et l’Italie, est arrivé vendredi soir au port de Zarzis, dans le sud de la Tunisie, après avoir récupéré dans la matinée les migrants à la dérive.

      « Je demande aux autorités tunisiennes de nous permettre d’urgence d’entrer dans le port de Zarzis », a déclaré à l’AFP le capitaine #Faouz_Samir, ajoutant que « l’état de santé des migrants est mauvais, beaucoup sont atteints de la gale ».

      Un médecin a pu monter à bord, a indiqué la branche locale du Croissant-Rouge. « Quatre personnes sont dans un état qui nécessite une intervention médicale », et la plupart d’entre eux sont atteints de la gale infectieuse", a déclaré à l’AFP Mongi Slim, responsable du Croissant-Rouge dans le sud de la Tunisie.

      Selon l’organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), les migrants, 64 Bangladais, 9 Egyptiens, un Marocain et un Soudanais, dont au moins 32 enfants et mineurs non accompagnés, « ont besoin d’urgence d’eau, de nourriture, de vêtements, de couvertures et surtout d’assistance médicale ».

      L’agence de l’ONU a indiqué être prête à aider la Tunisie pour accueillir ces candidats à l’exil, partis de Libye dans l’espoir d’atteindre l’Europe.

      « Nous comprenons les difficultés et l’ampleur des défis que les flux migratoires peuvent poser et nous travaillons à appuyer les capacités de secours et d’assistance », a souligné Lorena Lando, chef de mission de l’OIM en Tunisie.

      « Nous restons toutefois préoccupés par les politiques de plus en plus restrictives adoptées par plusieurs pays du nord de la Méditerranée », ajoute Mme Lando.

      Le gouvernement et les autorités locales tunisiennes, sollicitées par l’AFP, n’ont pas souhaité s’exprimer.

      En août dernier, un autre bateau commercial, le Sarost 5, était resté bloqué plus de deux semaines en mer avec les 40 immigrés clandestins qu’il avait secourus. Soucieuses de ne pas créer un précédent, les autorités tunisiennes avaient souligné qu’elles acceptaient ces migrants exceptionnellement et pour raisons « humanitaires ».

      Le 10 mai, 16 migrants originaires en majorité du Bangladesh avaient été sauvés par des pêcheurs tunisiens, après le naufrage de leur embarcation qui avait fait une soixantaine de morts.

      La majorité des bâtiments de la marine qui ont patrouillé au large de la Libye ces dernières années se sont retirés tandis que les navires humanitaires font face à des blocages judiciaires et administratifs.

      https://www.voaafrique.com/a/appel-au-secours-d-un-capitaine-coinc%C3%A9-en-mer-avec-75-migrants-malades/4943716.html

    • Tugboat carrying 75 migrants stranded off Tunisia for 10 days

      The #Maridive_601, an Egyptian tugboat that rescued 75 migrants in international waters over one week ago, is still stranded off the Tunisian coast as Tunisian authorities refuse to let it dock.

      The Egyptian tugboat Maridive 601 rescued the migrants off the southern Tunisian coast on May 31 after they embarked from Libya.

      Sixty-four of the 75 migrants are Bangladeshi and at least 32 of those on board are minors and unaccompanied children, according to the International Organization for Migration.

      The Maridive 601, which services oil platforms between Tunisia and Italy, picked up the migrants who were drifting in international waters near the Tunisian coast, and headed to the closest port of Zarzis in southern Tunisia.

      “I request that the Tunisian authorities allow us to make an emergency entry to Zarzis port,” appealed Faouz Samir, captain of the Maridive 601 shortly after the rescue.

      Since then, the crew has not received entry permission. An official from the Tunisian interior ministry was quoted as saying Monday that „the migrants want to be taken in by a European country." The official did not want to be quoted by name.

      Cases of infectious scabies

      Earlier last week, a Red Crescent team based in the southern Tunisian city of Zarzis delivered aid and medical care to the migrants, some of whom were ill, according to the Red Crescent.

      They “urgently need water, food, clothes, blankets and above all medical assistance,” the IOM added. According to AFP reports, the IOM added it was ready to help Tunisia provide for the migrants.

      Mongi Slim, a Red Crescent official in southern Tunisia, told InfoMigrant last Thursday that cases of scabies were on the rise and that there were around thirty people affected. The second captain of the Maridive 601 added that the Red Crescent was not allowed to board the ship to provide scabies medication. Instead, the crew had to contact its chartering company, Shell Tunisia, which in turn delivered medication in addition to food, water, mattresses and blankets. “We’re in telephone contact with the Red Crescent and they give us instructions on how to treat the migrants,” the captain informed InfoMigrants.

      Video footage

      Photos published online by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, an NGO, showed migrants lying on the deck of the boat, while sailors attempted to feed them. A video by the same NGO shows migrants shouting: “We don’t need food, we don’t want to stay here, we want to go to Europe.”

      https://www.facebook.com/ftdes/videos/189765251957864

      Tunisia’s central government and local authorities did not wish to comment to media requests.

      “We understand the difficulties and the scale of the challenges that migration flows pose and we are working to support relief and assistance capacities,” said Lorena Lando, the IOM’s head of mission in Tunisia. “But we are worried by the increasingly restrictive policies adopted by several countries,” Lando told AFP.

      Last month, around 60 migrants, most from Bangladesh, drowned off the coast of Tunisia after leaving Libya on a boat bound for Europe.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/17413/tugboat-carrying-75-migrants-stranded-off-tunisia-for-10-days?ref=tw
      #Tunisie
      ping @_kg_

    • Méditerranée : le navire #Sea_Watch_3 de retour dans la zone de détresse

      Après avoir été bloqué par la justice italienne pendant près d’un mois, le navire humanitaire Sea Watch 3 est de retour dans la zone de détresse (SAR zone) au large de la Libye. Il est actuellement le seul bateau de sauvetage en mer.

      Le navire humanitaire de l’ONG allemande Sea Watch, le Sea Watch 3, est de retour dans la zone de sauvetage au large de la Libye, la SAR zone.

      Le Sea Watch 3 était bloqué depuis le 20 mai par la justice italienne dans le cadre de poursuites pour aide à l’immigration illégale. Il a reçu samedi 8 juin l’autorisation de repartir en mer, a annoncé l’association.

      "Le Sea Watch 3 est libre ! Nous avons reçu une notification formelle sur la libération du navire saisi et son retour aux opérations" en mer, s’est félicitée l’organisation humanitaire sur Twitter.

      Malgré la politique de "fermeture des ports" du ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini (extrême droite), le Sea Watch 3 avait pu débarquer les 65 migrants qu’il avait secourus à la mi-mai ; ils ont été autorisés à débarquer sur l’île de Lampedusa.

      Cette opération de secours avait provoqué la fureur de Matteo Salvini, qui a semblé la découvrir en temps réel à la télévision. “Je suis le ministère des règles et des ports fermés. Si un ministre du mouvement 5 étoiles a autorisé le débarquement, il devra répondre de ses actes devant les Italiens”, avait-il notamment lâché.

      Matteo Salvini estime que les migrants qui partent en mer à partir de la Libye doivent être remis aux garde-côtes libyens, conformément à un accord conclu entre l’Union européenne et Tripoli, mais les organisations humanitaires qui portent au secours des migrants refusent de s’y conformer.

      Hormis le Sea Watch 3, à la date du 10 juin, aucun autre navire humanitaire n’est présent au large des côtes libyennes.

      Les navires humanitaires qui sont bloqués dans des ports européens :

      – Depuis un débarquement en juin 2018 à Malte, le Lifeline de l’ONG allemande eponyme est bloqué au port de La Valette, à Malte, où les autorités contestent sa situation administrative.

      – Depuis le mois de janvier 2019, l’Open Arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms est bloqué à Barcelone par les autorités espagnoles. Au printemps 2018, ce navire avait été placé un mois sous séquestre en Italie avant d’être autorisé à repartir.

      – Début août 2017, la justice italienne a saisi le Juventa de l’ONG allemande Jugend Rettet, accusée de complicité avec les passeurs libyens mais qui clame depuis son innocence.

      –Le Mare Jonio, un navire battant pavillon italien qui entend avant tout témoigner de la situation en mer, est actuellement bloqué en Sicile par les autorités.

      Les ONG qui résistent :

      –Dans les airs, les petits avions Colibri de l’ONG française Pilotes volontaires et Moonbird de Sea-Watch mènent régulièrement des patrouilles pour tenter de repérer les embarcations en difficulté.

      –L’Astral, le voilier de l’ONG Open Arms, est actuellement à Barcelone.

      Les navires humanitaires qui ont renoncé :

      Des ONG engagées au large des côtes libyennes ont suspendu leurs activités, face à la chute des départs de Libye et face à une intensification des menaces des garde-côtes libyens, qui considèrent les ONG comme complices des passeurs.

      – Suite aux pressions politiques, privé de pavillon, l’Aquarius de l’ONG SOS Méditerranée – qui a secouru près de 20 000 personnes en deux ans et demi - a mis fin à ses missions en décembre 2018. L’ONG espère toutefois trouver un nouveau bateau pour repartir rapidement en mer au printemps 2019.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/17410/mediterranee-le-navire-sea-watch-3-de-retour-dans-la-zone-de-detresse

    • Italy to fine NGOs who rescue migrants at sea

      The Italian government has decided to impose stiff fines on rescuers who bring migrants into port without authorization. It also gave the interior ministry, led by Matteo Salvini, power to demand the payment.

      A decree adopted by the Italian government on Tuesday would force non-governmental organizations to pay between €10,000 and €50,000 ($11,327 – $56,638) for transporting rescued migrants to Italian ports.

      Rescuers who repeatedly dock without authorization risk having their vessel permanently impounded. The fines would be payable by the captain, the operator and the owner of the rescue ship.

      The Italian government is composed of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing populist League Party. The League leader Matteo Salvini, who also serves as the interior minister, has been spearheading an effort to clamp down on illegal immigration.

      Delayed decree

      The adoption of the decree has been delayed due to criticism from the United Nations and the office of the Italian president. Following the cabinet session on Tuesday, however, Salvini praised it as a “step forward the security of this country.” The populist leader also said he was “absolutely sure about the fact that it is compliant” with all national and international laws.

      The decree allows police to investigate possible migrant trafficking operations by going undercover. It also makes it easier to eavesdrop electronically on suspected people smugglers. Other sections of the decree impose stricter punishments on rioters and violent football fans.

      Read more: Italian court rules Salvini can be charged with kidnapping

      Additionally, the decree gives Salvini’s ministry the power to order the NGOs to pay the fines, this was previously the area of the transport and infrastructure ministries.

      Salvini has pushed through several anti-migrant decrees since becoming interior minister a year ago, including one in December which ended humanitarian protection for migrants who do not qualify for refugee status. Earlier this week, Salvini blasted three judges who opposed his hardline policies.

      Risking life at sea

      Since 2014, more than 600,000 people have made the dangerous journey across the central Mediterranean to reach Italy, fleeing war and poverty in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. More than 14,000 have been recorded killed or missing when attempting the trip.

      Without a legal way to reach Europe, they pay people smugglers for passage in unseaworthy boats. The UNHCR and IOM recently said that 1,940 people have reached Italy from north Africa since the beginning of 2019, and almost 350 have died en route — putting the death rate for those crossing at more than 15%. The number of new arrivals has dropped off in recent years, but Rome is still faced with hundreds of thousands of people who migrated illegally. Pending asylum claims as of May 31 this year were 135,337.

      With official search-and-rescue missions canceled, the burden of assisting the shipwrecked migrants falls on rescue NGOs. The Italian coastguard estimates NGOs have brought in some 30,000 people per year since 2014.

      https://www.dw.com/en/italy-to-fine-ngos-who-rescue-migrants-at-sea/a-49143481

    • L’UNHCR chiede all’Italia di riconsiderare un decreto che penalizzerebbe i salvataggi in mare nel Mediterraneo centrale

      L’UNHCR, l’Agenzia delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati, esprime preoccupazione per l’approvazione da parte del governo italiano di un nuovo decreto contenente anche diverse disposizioni che potrebbero penalizzare i salvataggi in mare di rifugiati e migranti nel Mediterraneo centrale, compresa l’introduzione di sanzioni finanziarie per le navi delle Ong ed altre navi private impegnate nel soccorso in mare.

      Salvare vite umane costituisce un imperativo umanitario consolidato ed è anche un obbligo derivante dal diritto internazionale. Nessuna nave o nessun comandante dovrebbe essere esposto a sanzioni per aver soccorso imbarcazioni in difficoltà e laddove esista il rischio imminente di perdita di vite umane.

      “In una fase in cui gli Stati europei si sono per lo più ritirati dalle operazioni di soccorso nel Mediterraneo centrale, le navi delle Ong sono più cruciali che mai,” ha dichiarato Roland Schilling, Rappresentante regionale a.i. per il Sud Europa. “Senza di loro, altre vite saranno inevitabilmente perse”.

      L’UNHCR è inoltre preoccupata per il fatto che il decreto possa avere l’effetto di penalizzare i comandanti che rifiutano di far sbarcare le persone soccorse in Libia.

      Alla luce della situazione di sicurezza estremamente volatile, delle numerose segnalazioni di violazioni di diritti umani e dell’uso generalizzato della detenzione nei confronti delle persone soccorse o intercettate in mare, nessuno dovrebbe essere riportato in Libia.

      L’UNHCR ha ribadito più volte che il rafforzamento delle capacità di ricerca e soccorso, in particolare nel Mediterraneo centrale, deve essere accompagnato da un meccanismo regionale volto ad assicurare procedure di sbarco rapide, coordinate, ordinate e sicure. La responsabilità per i rifugiati e i migranti soccorsi in mare deve essere condivisa tra tutti gli stati che li accolgono, invece di ricadere su uno o due.

      L’UNHCR chiede al governo italiano di rivedere il decreto e al parlamento di modificarlo, mettendo al centro la protezione dei rifugiati ed il salvataggio di vite umane.

      https://www.unhcr.it/news/lunhcr-chiede-allitalia-riconsiderare-un-decreto-penalizzerebbe-salvataggi-mar

    • Migrants bloqués au large de la Tunisie : les Bangladais refusent le rapatriement

      Quinze jours après avoir été secourus, 75 migrants - dont la moitié de mineurs - sont toujours coincés à bord d’un navire commercial égyptien près des côtes tunisiennes. La Tunisie refuse de les laisser débarquer et souhaite les faire « rentrer chez eux ». Seuls les migrants africains ont accepté d’être rapatriés. La majorité des rescapés, des Bangladais, s’opposent à toute expulsion.

      Les 75 naufragés secourus il y a quinze jours par le bateau commercial égyptien Maridive 601 sont toujours bloqués au large de Zarzis, sur la côte tunisienne. Quelque 32 mineurs se trouvent à bord du navire.

      Les autorités tunisiennes refusent de les laisser débarquer depuis le vendredi 31 mai, jour du sauvetage. « Le gouverneur de Médenine insiste pour qu’ils rentrent chez eux », explique Mongi Slim du Croissant rouge tunisien, joint par InfoMigrants vendredi 14 juin.

      Informés de cette décision par le Croissant rouge, seuls les Égyptiens, les Marocains et les Soudanais présents à bord ont accepté un rapatriement dans leurs pays.

      La Tunisie demande l’aide du Bangladesh

      Les 64 autres naufragés, des Bangladais dont de nombreux mineurs, ont refusé cette offre. « Ils demandent de rejoindre l’Italie ou de pouvoir rester en Tunisie avec une permission de travail », raconte Mongi Slim.

      « Les autorités ont sollicité l’aide de l’ambassade du Bangladesh. Elle va intervenir pour résoudre le problème », ajoute-t-il.

      « Rien pour se mettre à l’abri du soleil »

      En attendant, à bord, la situation psychologique des naufragés se dégrade. « Il fait très chaud en cette période de l’année dans le sud de la Tunisie, et sur le bateau les migrants n’ont rien pour se mettre à l’abri du soleil. Ils risquent la déshydratation. Ils sont emprisonnés en mer », déplore Ben Amor Romdhane, du Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES) également contacté par InfoMigrants. Le militant s’inquiète aussi des cas de gale signalés à bord.

      Pour la première fois depuis 15 jours, jeudi, une équipe médicale du Croissant rouge tunisien a pu monter sur le Maridive 601 avec des médicaments et des vivres. Jusqu’ici, le navire était ravitaillé en eau, en nourriture et en médicament anti-gale par la compagnie Shell Tunisie qui affrète le bateau. Le Croissant rouge était néanmoins parvenu à faire acheminer un stock de médicaments. Les premiers soins avaient été prodigués par l’équipage, guidé au téléphone par le Croissant rouge.

      Le médecin du Croissant rouge, qui a pu examiner les 75 migrants jeudi, a déclaré qu’il n’y avait pas de maladie grave ou d’urgences, seulement des cas de diabète, selon Mongi Slim.

      D’après le représentant du navire égyptien, joint par InfoMigrant, la situation reste pourtant « très tendue ». « La seule solution est de laisser ces migrants entrer en Tunisie », estime-t-il.

      Cet incident rappelle celui qu’avait connu le Sarost 5 l’an dernier. Le navire commercial, qui avait secouru 40 migrants en mer Méditerranée, avait dû attendre 17 jours l’autorisation de débarquer à Zarzis. Les autorités avaient finalement cédé titre exceptionnel « pour des raisons humanitaires ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/17533/migrants-bloques-au-large-de-la-tunisie-les-bangladais-refusent-le-rap

    • Migrants stranded at sea for three weeks now risk deportation, aid groups warn

      Group of 75 people survive prolonged ordeal but could now be made to leave Tunisia.

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/235b366ca8ef3c06feec045df894e482906510c0/0_0_1280_768/master/1280.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=35a960601e803a971255f0

      A group of migrants who spent nearly three weeks trapped onboard a merchant ship in torrid conditions face possible deportation to their home countries after they were finally allowed to disembark in Tunisia, aid groups have warned.

      The 75 migrants, about half of whom are minors or unaccompanied children, were rescued on 31 May by the Maridive 601 only to spend the next 20 days at sea as European authorities refused to let them land.

      “The migrant boat was ignored by Italian and Maltese authorities, though they were in distress in international waters”, said a spokesperson for Alarm Phone, a hotline service for migrants in distress at sea that was alerted to the ship’s plight by crew members. “This is a violation of international law and maritime conventions”.

      Heat and humidity onboard the Maridive 501, an Egyptian tugboat that services offshore oil platforms, were insufferable, said aid groups. Food and water were scarce, scabies broke out and spread, and several people suffered fractures and other injuries during the rescue operation.

      Witnesses said the psychological strain was immense for migrants and crew members alike.

      The brother of one Bangladeshi man said on 3 June: “Today is Eid [the festival marking the end of Ramadan]. But the day is not for me. My brother is on the ship. I can’t take it any more. How is he? How can I explain my feelings to you? When I get good news, this will be my Eid gift and that day will be my Eid day.”

      Six days later, he said: “How many days will they stay there? Who can take care of him? I am depressed, every day my mother is crying.”

      The ship’s captain, Faouz Samir, asked repeatedly to be allowed to land at the nearest port, in Zarzis, but was initially refused permission. Regional authorities said migrant centres in Medenine were too overcrowded.

      On 6 June, the migrants staged an onboard protest, asking to be sent to Europe. Video of the protest was published by the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux.

      The closure of Italian and Maltese ports to rescue ships has seemingly had a ripple effect, with Tunisia closing its own harbours to rescued people in order to avoid an overwhelming influx of migrants.

      On Tuesday evening, however, the Tunisian authorities relented. The migrants, who are mainly from Bangladeshi but also include Egyptians, Moroccans and Sudanese, will now be transferred to a detention centre.

      Aid groups, however, who had been demanding an immediate disembarkation in view of the medical emergency onboard, are concerned people may be sent back to Libya or even deported to their home countries after landing in the port of Zarzis. The governor of Medenine had previously said the boat would be allowed to dock only if all the migrants were immediately deported.

      “We are happy for the survivors. They are exhausted, some are traumatised, but we will accompany them so that we can finally find respite and reflect on the different alternatives available to them,” said Wajdi Ben Mhamed, head of the International Organisation for Migration’s Zarzis office.

      The IOM said its protection team would assist the survivors with “their protection needs and provide, for those who have requested it, assistance for voluntary return to their country of origin’’.

      Relatives claim some of the Bangladeshi survivors were told that food, water and medical treatment would be withheld if they did not accept deportation.

      One man who spoke to his brother on 18 June said fears of imminent deportation had been exacerbated by the visit of a Bangladeshi envoy to the boat. The envoy’s visit followed a meeting five days earlier with the Tunisian minister of the interior.

      Another relative said of a Bangladeshi migrant aboard the tugboat: “In Bangladesh there are people who want to kill him. He paid all the money and went to Libya to get away from the problems in Bangladesh. Then he escaped from Libya because of the problems there. He wants to go to Europe.”

      Médecins Sans Frontières warned that Tunisia could not be defined a safe haven for migrants and refugees, given that it had no functioning asylum system in place. “The nearest places of safety for rescues in the central Mediterranean are Italy or Malta,” said a spokesperson.

      A dangerous precedent would be set if an agreement was found to deport those rescued to their countries of origin quickly after disembarkation in Tunisia. Aid groups warn that boats like the Maridive would turn into migrant holding facilities until deportations were arranged. Many more boats could thus turn from places of rescue to prison islands, floating along north African shores.
      More than 70 million people now fleeing conflict and oppression worldwide
      Read more

      Giorgia Linardi, of SeaWatch in Italy said: “After this episode we should reflect on whether Tunisia qualifies as a place of safety, as our sources suggested that the migrants could be immediately repatriated or expelled from the country. The situation aboard the Maridive is very much confronted with the situation faced right now by the SeaWatch vessel with 53 migrants on board which is still floating in front of Italian territorial waters. As of now, the attitude of the Italian authorities is no different from the attitude of the Tunisian authorities towards the Maridive despite the two states having a different framework in terms of protection of human rights and in terms of asylum system in place.”

      With sea conditions currently favourable, thousands are preparing to leave Libya, where war and political instability have been aggravated by floods caused by heavy rain.

      Without rescue boats, however, the number of shipwrecks is likely to rise further. Only two of the 10 NGO rescue boats that were active in the Mediterranean are still present.

      According to data from the UN and the IOM, about 3,200 people have reached Italy and Malta from North Africa since the beginning of 2019, and almost 350 have died en route – putting the death rate for those crossing at about 11% along the central Mediterranean route.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/19/migrants-stranded-at-sea-for-three-weeks-now-face-deportation-aid-group

    • Italy’s redefinition of sea rescue as a crime draws on EU policy for inspiration

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-341-italy-salvini-boats-directive.pdf

      –-> analyse de #Yasha_Maccanico sur la première directive de Salvini contre la #Mare_Jonio et la façon dans laquelle il essaye (avec part de raison) justifier la criminalisation systématique des secours en mer en base aux instructions issues de la Commission dans le contexte de l’Agenda Européenne, plus des problèmes de base dans les représentations contenues dans la directive.

    • Maridive : les 75 migrants bloqués depuis 18 jours au large de Zarzis ont pu débarquer en Tunisie

      Après 18 jours d’hésitation, les autorités tunisiennes ont finalement laissé les 75 migrants du #Maridive débarquer au port de Zarzis, ce mercredi. Ils ont toutefois imposé leurs conditions : les migrants ont tous accepté préalablement de rentrer dans leur pays.

      « C’est enfin fini, c’est un soulagement ». Mongi Slim, membre du Croissant-rouge tunisien, s’est réjoui, mardi 18 juin, du débarquement des 75 migrants bloqués depuis le 31 mai au large de Zarzis. Les autorités tunisiennes refusaient en effet de laisser débarquer en Tunisie ces personnes secourues par un navire commercial égyptien, le Maridive 601, au large de la Libye.

      Après 18 jours de blocage, ils ont enfin pu toucher la terre ferme. « Nous sommes heureux pour les survivants. Ils sont épuisés, certains sont traumatisés mais nous les accompagnerons pour pouvoir enfin trouver du répit », a déclaré Wajdi Ben Mhamed, chef de bureau de l’agence de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM), dans un communiqué.

      Un premier vol vers le Bangladesh jeudi

      Cependant, ce débarquement s’est fait sous conditions après de longues négociations entre les ONG, les organisations internationales et les autorités. Tunis a finalement autorisé leur débarquement à condition que les migrants acceptent tous d‘être renvoyés dans leur pays d’origine. Parmi les 75 migrants secourus, 64 sont de nationalité bangladaise, neuf égyptienne, un est originaire du Maroc et un autre du Soudan.


      https://www.facebook.com/iomtunis/posts/354908018559713

      Samedi 15 juin, des représentants de l’ambassade du Bangladesh sont montés à bord du Maridive et ont convaincu les Bangladais de retourner chez eux. Selon Mongi Slim, du Croissant rouge tunisien, un premier groupe de 20 Bangladais devrait être renvoyé dès jeudi 20 juin.

      Aucune demande d’asile déposée

      Une information que ne confirme par l’OIM, qui est chargée d’organiser les retours volontaires de ces naufragés. « Nous avons effectivement dit aux autorités qu’un vol commercial avec une vingtaine de places partaient de Tunisie demain vers le Bangladesh. Mais nous n’organisons pas de retours forcés », précise à InfoMigrants Lorena Lando, chef de mission de l’OIM en Tunisie. « Mais, nous attendons de faire un point avec les migrants et savoir qui veut profiter d’un retour volontaire », insiste-t-elle.

      Malgré l’accord, l’OIM rappelle que les migrants qui veulent demander l’asile seront redirigés vers le Haut-commissariat des Nations unies aux réfugiés (HCR). Mais pour l’heure, selon l’agence onusienne, aucun des migrants du Maridive ne souhaite déposer une demande d’asile en Tunisie.
      Le 10 mai dernier, 16 migrants, majoritairement du Bangladesh, avaient été sauvés par des pêcheurs tunisiens, après le naufrage de leur embarcation ayant fait une soixantaine de morts. Deux d’entre eux avaient décidé de rentrer dans leur pays.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/17614/maridive-les-75-migrants-bloques-depuis-18-jours-au-large-de-zarzis-on

    • Working Paper: Guidelines on temporary arrangements for #disembarkation

      Given the voluntary nature of participation in the mechanism, determination of persons to be relocated will be based on the indications by the Member States of relocation of the profiles that these Member States are willing to accept (variable geometry)."

      “Member States that relocate voluntarily (a lump sum of 6000 EUR per applicant).”

      The Council of the European Union has produced a new “Working Paper” on: Guidelines on temporary arrangements for disembarkation (LIMITE doc no: WK 7219-19):

      “The Guidelines are based on best practices used in previous disembarkation cases, and rely on a coordinating role of the Commission and support by relevant agencies. The framework is of a temporary nature and the participation of the Member States is on a voluntary basis. This document has a non-binding nature.” [emphasis added]

      The circumstances for “triggering” Temporary Arrangements (TA) are:

      “type of arrivals covered

      – a search and rescue operation; and/or

      – other sea arrivals where there is a humanitarian ground at stake.”

      On the face of it the idea would appear to refer to just about every rescue. However the idea relies on the state of first disembarkation - for example, in the Med: Spain, France, Italy and Greece - allowing a safe port of arrival. These states then make a “relocation” request to other Member States. This is entirely based on voluntary participation.

      “Workflow in the Member State of disembarkation

      The following procedural steps should be undertaken in the Member State of disembarkation, where appropriate with the assistance from EU agencies, and where relevant with the involvement of the Member State of relocation, in agreement with the benefitting Member State:

      (...) Initial identification, registration, fingerprinting and swift security screening: Registration and fingerprinting of all arriving migrants as category 2 in Eurodac system; check against national and EU information systems (such as Eurodac, SIS, VIS, Europol and Interpol databases) to ensure that none of the persons arriving to the EU is a threat to public policy, internal security or public health.

      Assessment regarding possible use of alternatives to detention or detention, on a case by case basis, pending further processing (in the context of border procedure, where possible, or otherwise)”

      Member states will be allowed to set conditions on acceptable refugees to relocate:

      “Given the voluntary nature of participation in the mechanism, determination of persons to be relocated will be based on the indications by the Member States of relocation of the profiles that these Member States are willing to accept (variable geometry).”

      The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA) will:

      “provide assistance in screening, debriefing, identification and fingerprinting;

      – deploy Return Teams (composed of escort, forced return monitor and/or return specialists);”

      Financial support

      "Under the AMIF Regulation, funds are to be made available for:

      – Member States that relocate voluntarily (a lump sum of 6000 EUR per applicant, applying the amended Article 18 of the AMIF Regulation 516/2014);

      – support to return operations;

      – Member States under pressure, as appropriate, including the possibility of a lump sum per relocation to cover transfer costs.

      – When MS make full use of the lump sums available under the national programmes, additional financial support could be provided.

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/jun/eu-council-disembark.htm

    • La #marine_italienne sur le banc des accusés

      En octobre 2013, un bateau de pêche chargé de réfugiés syriens fait naufrage près de Lampedusa, île italienne proche de la Sicile. Si 212 personnes ont pu être sauvées, 26 corps ont été repêchés et environ 240 sont restées portés disparus dont une soixantaine d’enfants. Ce drame ne restera pas impuni.
      Un procès se tiendra en 2018 avec, sur le banc des accusés pour homicide involontaire et non-assistance à personnes en danger, des officiers de la marine italienne. C’est la première fois qu’un procès de ce type est lancé. Ce jour-là, un médecin syrien qui se trouvait à bord avec ses deux enfants -tous deux morts noyés- a appelé plusieurs fois au secours les garde-côtes italiens. Ceux-ci retransmettaient le relais à leurs confrères maltais et peu après lançaient un message signalant la situation aux navires se trouvant dans la zone. C’était le cas du navire Libra de la marine italienne, à moins d’une heure de navigation mais qui, au lieu de se précipiter, s’est éloigné en laissant intervenir les Maltais, ce qui prenait beaucoup plus de temps. Le bateau des migrants a fini par chavirer à 17h07. Les secours dont, le Libra, sont arrivés vers 18h00. Trop tard.

      https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/080337-000-A/la-marine-italienne-sur-le-banc-des-accuses

    • Bangladeshi migrants in Tunisia forced to return home, aid groups claim

      Relatives say more than 30 people stuck at sea told to go home or lose food and water.

      More than 30 migrants from Bangladesh who were trapped on a merchant ship off Tunisia for three weeks have been sent back to their home country against their will, according to relatives.

      They were among 75 migrants rescued on 31 May by the Maridive 601, an Egyptian tugboat that services offshore oil platforms, only to spend the next 20 days at sea near the Tunisian coast.

      The International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental organisation linked to the United Nations, said the Bangladeshis “wished to return home”.

      But relatives and aid groups claimed that when a Bangladeshi envoy visited the boat the migrants were forced to accept their repatriation under the threat of having food, water and medical treatment being taken away.

      One relative told the Guardian: “When all the people were on the boat, they were told by the Bangladeshi embassy that if they didn’t agree to sign, they would not get any food or water any more. The people were afraid to die on the boat. The Bangladeshi embassy forced them to sign.”

      On 18 June, the 75 migrants, who included Egyptian, Moroccan and Sudanese people, were taken off the Maridive 601 and transferred to a Tunisian detention centre.

      The IOM confirmed that a few days later the first 17 individuals were returned to Bangladesh, and on 24 June, another 15 migrants were sent back.

      It said “more migrants will be travelling in the coming days, according to their decision”.

      The Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux (FTDES), an independent organisation that aims to defend economic and social rights, said: “We doubt that the decisions to return were made voluntarily by the migrants.

      “We have tried to visit the migrants in the reception centre in order to inquire about their wellbeing but despite making repeated inquiries and requests, the whereabouts of the detained migrants was not revealed.”

      Another relative said: “I spoke with my brother this morning in the centre. He is scared to be returned to Bangladesh, like all the people there. Nobody wants to return to Bangladesh; everyone who is returned is forced.”

      The IOM’s head of mission in Tunisia, Lorena Lando, rejected the accusations. “None of the migrants has been deported; [they] wished to return,” she said. “IOM does not do deportation, nor force anyone to return.”

      Lando said the IOM “did not have access” to the migrants until 19 June, after the Tunisian authorities allowed their disembarkation.

      She added: “Remaining at sea was not a solution either. It is up to the person to also apply for asylum if they fear persecution … or seek help to return home or take time to decide.”

      A spokesperson for Alarm Phone, a hotline service for migrants in distress at sea that was alerted to the ship’s plight by crew members, said: “The IOM refers to such deportations as voluntary returns but what is voluntary about telling survivors that they can leave their prison merely if they agree to be returned?

      “Do we really believe that these Bangladeshi people risked their lives to move to Libya and then to try to cross the Mediterranean, only to then be ‘voluntarily’ returned to Bangladesh?”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/25/bangladeshi-migrants-in-tunisia-forced-to-return-home-aid-groups-claim

  • Report to the EU Parliament on #Frontex cooperation with third countries in 2017

    A recent report by Frontex, the EU’s border agency, highlights the ongoing expansion of its activities with non-EU states.

    The report covers the agency’s cooperation with non-EU states ("third countries") in 2017, although it was only published this month.

    See: Report to the European Parliament on Frontex cooperation with third countries in 2017: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-report-ep-third-countries-coop-2017.pdf (pdf)

    It notes the adoption by Frontex of an #International_Cooperation_Strategy 2018-2020, “an integral part of our multi-annual programme” which:

    “guides the Agency’s interactions with third countries and international organisations… The Strategy identified the following priority regions with which Frontex strives for closer cooperation: the Western Balkans, Turkey, North and West Africa, Sub-Saharan countries and the Horn of Africa.”

    The Strategy can be found in Annex XIII to the 2018-20 Programming Document: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf (pdf).

    The 2017 report on cooperation with third countries further notes that Frontex is in dialogue with Senegal, #Niger and Guinea with the aim of signing Working Agreements at some point in the future.

    The agency deployed three Frontex #Liaison_Officers in 2017 - to Niger, Serbia and Turkey - while there was also a #European_Return_Liaison_Officer deployed to #Ghana in 2018.

    The report boasts of assisting the Commission in implementing informal agreements on return (as opposed to democratically-approved readmission agreements):

    "For instance, we contributed to the development of the Standard Operating Procedures with #Bangladesh and the “Good Practices for the Implementation of Return-Related Activities with the Republic of Guinea”, all forming important elements of the EU return policy that was being developed and consolidated throughout 2017."

    At the same time:

    “The implementation of 341 Frontex coordinated and co-financed return operations by charter flights and returning 14 189 third-country nationals meant an increase in the number of return operations by 47% and increase of third-country nationals returned by 33% compared to 2016.”

    Those return operations included Frontex’s:

    “first joint return operation to #Afghanistan. The operation was organised by Hungary, with Belgium and Slovenia as participating Member States, and returned a total of 22 third country nationals to Afghanistan. In order to make this operation a success, the participating Member States and Frontex needed a coordinated support of the European Commission as well as the EU Delegation and the European Return Liaison Officers Network in Afghanistan.”

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-report-third-countries.htm
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers
    #Balkans #Turquie #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #Afrique_du_Nord #Afrique_sub-saharienne #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Guinée #Sénégal #Serbie #officiers_de_liaison #renvois #expulsions #accords_de_réadmission #machine_à_expulsion #Hongrie #Belgique #Slovénie #réfugiés_afghans

    • EP civil liberties committee against proposal to give Frontex powers to assist non-EU states with deportations

      The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee (LIBE) has agreed its position for negotiations with the Council on the new Frontex Regulation, and amongst other things it hopes to deny the border agency the possibility of assisting non-EU states with deportations.

      The position agreed by the LIBE committee removes Article 54(2) of the Commission’s proposal, which says:

      “The Agency may also launch return interventions in third countries, based on the directions set out in the multiannual strategic policy cycle, where such third country requires additional technical and operational assistance with regard to its return activities. Such intervention may consist of the deployment of return teams for the purpose of providing technical and operational assistance to return activities of the third country.”

      The report was adopted by the committee with 35 votes in favour, nine against and eight abstentions.

      When the Council reaches its position on the proposal, the two institutions will enter into secret ’trilogue’ negotiations, along with the Commission.

      Although the proposal to reinforce Frontex was only published last September, the intention is to agree a text before the European Parliament elections in May.

      The explanatory statement in the LIBE committee’s report (see below) says:

      “The Rapporteur proposes a number of amendments that should enable the Agency to better achieve its enhanced objectives. It is crucial that the Agency has the necessary border guards and equipment at its disposal whenever this is needed and especially that it is able to deploy them within a short timeframe when necessary.”

      European Parliament: Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190211IPR25771/stronger-european-border-and-coast-guard-to-secure-eu-s-borders (Press release, link):

      “- A new standing corps of 10 000 operational staff to be gradually rolled out
      - More efficient return procedures of irregular migrants
      - Strengthened cooperation with non-EU countries

      New measures to strengthen the European Border and Coast Guard to better address migratory and security challenges were backed by the Civil Liberties Committee.”

      See: REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action n°98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) n° 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) n° 2016/1624 of the European Parliament and of the Council: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/ep-libe-report-frontex.pdf (pdf)

      The Commission’s proposal and its annexes can be found here: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-soteu-jha-proposals.htm

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/ep-new-frontex-libe.htm

  • UN experts: concern over EU’s attempts to seal borders, close protection space and disregard human rights and humanitarianism

    In September eight UN working groups, independent experts and special rapporteurs issued a statement highlighting serious concerns over the ongoing attempts to reform the EU’s migration and asylum systems. Their paper was addressed to the informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Salzburg in September, but remains relevant given the ongoing discussions in the EU on the Common European Asylum System and revamping of EU agencies such as Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

    The document was signed by the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity; Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

    See: Joint communication of Special Procedures ahead of the informal summit of EU heads of state or government in Salzburg on 19-20 September 2018 (OL OTH 64/2018, 18 September 2018, pdf): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/oct/un-joint-communication-eu-migration-asylum-proposals-18-9-18.pdf

    Selected quotes:

    "We would like to comment on three particular proposals elaborated by the European Commission based on the European Council’s conclusions, which are of utmost concern from a human rights perspective, namely: the creation of #regional_disembarkation_platforms, the establishment of controlled centres, and the strengthening of the border police and coast guard.

    ...Outsourcing responsibility of disembarkation to third countries, in particular those with weak protection systems, only increases the risk of #refoulement and other human rights violations. As similar models have shown elsewhere, external disembarkation and processing centres do not provide durable solutions and result in numerous grave human rights violations, including breaches of the non-refoulement obligation, torture and ill-treatment, confinement amounting to arbitrary or indefinite detention, and violations of the right to life. Furthermore, processes should be established to ensure that relevant actors be held to account if they fail to meet international standards.”

    -----

    “We are deeply concerned that in truth, the above-mentioned three proposals which are being discussed in the context of the reform of the common migration and asylum system are aimed at sealing borders, closing the protection space in Europe, and disregarding human rights principles and humanitarian concerns as central aspects at stake. Moreover, we are concerned that these measures are being proposed as a means to leverage political gain in response to the worrying rise of anti-migration and xenophobic hate speeches and stances, as reflected by increased acts and discourses of #violence and racism against migrants in various member States. In this respect, we urge the European Commission to lead efforts to counter negative anti-immigration discourses both at the political and social level in order to facilitate and improve the reception and integration of migrants in Europe.”

    -----

    “The EU and its member States should adopt a more thoughtful approach, and seek constructive, long-term, sustainable solutions, instead of adopting counterproductive and ineffective security policies which result in the criminalization and stigmatization of migrants.”

    -----

    “It is high time for the EU to accept the impossibility of sealing borders and the perverse incentives and paradoxes created by the current system, as well as the inevitability and added benefits of mobility. The EU must invest in the overall development of a coherent and robust migration policy that fully integrates the human rights of migrants as enshrined in both international and regional law. Measures intended to prevent migration, accelerate returns, and seal borders are not the solution, and only respond to misguided security concerns over the protection of migrants.”

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/oct/un-sr-eu-migration.htm
    #ONU #fermeture_des_frontières #EU #UE #droits_humains #humanitarisme #Europe #réfugiés #asile #migrations #plateformes_de_désembarquement #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation #push-back #droit_à_la_vie #hate_speech #xénophobie #racisme #mobilité #politique_migratoire
    ping @reka

  • True scale of UK role in torture and rendition after 9/11 revealed - Two damning reports reveal British intelligence’s treatment of terrorism suspects
    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/uk-torture-isc-report.htm

    “British intelligence agencies were involved in the torture and kidnap of terrorism suspects after 9/11, according to two reports by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee.
    The reports published on Thursday amount to one of the most damning indictments of UK intelligence, revealing links to torture and rendition were much more widespread than previously reported.

    While there was no evidence of officers directly carrying out physical mistreatment of detainees, the reports say the overseas agency MI6 and the domestic service MI5 were involved in hundreds of torture cases and scores of rendition cases.”

    See: True scale of UK role in torture and rendition after 9/11 revealed - Two damning reports reveal British intelligence’s treatment of terrorism suspects (The Guardian, link)

    See: Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament:

    Detainee mistreatment and rendition: 2001–2010 (Press release, pdf)

    Report: Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition: 2001–2010 (pdf)

    Detainee mistreatment and rendition; Current issues (Press release, pdf)

    Report: Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition: Current Issues (pdf)

    See also: Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, speech to the European Parliament hearing in Brussels on 23 January 2006: On the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners - EU governments have colluded by turning a “blind eye”, by failing to ask any questions or exercising any control (pdf)

    And: Statewatch Observatory on “rendition”

  • EU leaders consider centers outside bloc to process refugees

    Draft conclusions for the European Council summit next week propose the creation of ‘disembarkation platforms.’

    European Council President Donald Tusk has proposed that EU leaders create “regional disembarkation platforms” outside the European Union, where officials could quickly differentiate between refugees in need of protection and economic migrants who would potentially face return to their countries of origin.

    The proposal is an effort to break the acute political crisis over migration and asylum that has bedeviled EU leaders since 2015 — and even threatened in recent days to topple the German government — even as the numbers of arrivals have plummeted since the peak of the crisis.

    The disembarkation platform concept — which officials said would have to be implemented in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) — could create a formal mechanism by which the EU can bridge the divide between hard-line leaders calling for tough border controls and those insisting that EU nations obey international law and welcome refugees in need of protection.

    But the idea could also open EU leaders to criticism that they are outsourcing their political problem by creating centers for people seeking entry in countries on the periphery of the bloc. Among the potential partner nations are Tunisia and Albania, but officials say it is far too soon to speculate.

    The idea to create such facilities was suggested in 2016 by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the strongest critic of the EU’s policies on migration — especially on the relocation of refugees across Europe.

    More recently, French President Emmanuel Macron has endorsed the idea, and on Sunday Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero said Italy wants to officially put the idea on the table at the European Council summit.

    According to the draft guidelines, the new sites would “establish a more predictable framework for dealing with those who nevertheless set out to sea and are rescued in Search And Rescue Operations.”

    The conclusions state: “Such platforms should provide for rapid processing to distinguish between economic migrants and those in need of international protection, and reduce the incentive to embark on perilous journeys.”
    https://www.politico.eu/article/regional-disembarkation-platforms-eu-leaders-consider-camps-outside-bloc-to

    Nouveau #mots, nouvelle absurdité #disembarkation_platform...!!!
    #tri #migrations #migrants_économiques #réfugiés #catégorisation #hotspots #externalisation #novlangue
    #regional_disembarkation_platforms #Tunisie #Albanie #plateformes_régionales_de_désembarquement

    cc @reka @isskein @i_s_

    • European Council meeting (28 J une 2018) – Draft conclusions

      In order to establish a more predictable framework for dealing with those who nevertheless set out to sea and are rescued in Search And Rescue Operations, the European Council supports the development of the concept of regional disembarkation platforms in close cooperation with UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should provide for rapid processing to distinguish between economic migrants and those in need of international protection , and reduce the incentive to embark on perilous journeys.

      https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/draftEucoConclusionsJune.pdf
      #HCR #OIM #IOM

    • Une idée qui vient de la Hongrie...

      From protest to proposal : Eastern Europe tries new migration tactic

      “Asylum procedures should be completed outside the EU in closed and protected hotspots before the first entry on the territory of the EU,” states Orbán’s plan. “Third countries should be supported in establishing a system of reception and management of migratory flows … which should foresee careful on-site screening of refugees and economic migrants,” reads Renzi’s.

      https://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orban-hungary-slovakia-from-protest-to-propose-eastern-europe-tries-

    • La UE estudia instalar centros de clasificación de inmigrantes en el norte de África

      Un borrador de documento para la cumbre afirma que la idea podría facilitar «un procesamiento rápido que distinga entre migrantes económicos y refugiados»

      La Unión Europea estudia la idea de construir centros para el procesamiento de inmigrantes en el norte de África en un intento por disuadir a la gente de emprender viajes a través del Mediterráneo que puedan poner en riesgo su vida, según indica un documento al que ha tenido acceso The Guardian.

      El Consejo Europeo de líderes de la UE «apoya el desarrollo del concepto de plataformas de desembarque regional», según señala un borrador de conclusiones de la cumbre europea que se llevará a cabo la próxima semana.

      La UE quiere estudiar la viabilidad de instalar estos centros en el norte de África, donde comienza la mayoría de los viajes de los inmigrantes que quieren llegar a suelo europeo. «Estas plataformas podrían facilitar un procesamiento rápido que distinga entre migrantes económicos y aquellos que necesitan protección internacional, y así reducir los incentivos a embarcarse en viajes peligrosos», sostiene el documento.

      La inmigración es un tema prioritario en la agenda de la próxima cumbre de dos días que se iniciará el 28 de junio. Los líderes de la UE intentarán llegar a un consenso sobre cómo manejar la crisis de los miles de refugiados e inmigrantes que llegan a Europa cada mes.

      Los líderes de Alemania y Francia, Angela Merkel y Emmanuel Macron, se han reunido este martes cerca de Berlín para fijar una posición común respecto a la inmigración y la eurozona, en medio de los temores sobre el desmoronamiento del proyecto europeo.

      Antes de la reunión, el ministro de Hacienda francés, Bruno Le Maire, afirmó que Europa está «en proceso de desintegración». «Vemos Estados que se están cerrando, intentando encontrar soluciones nacionales a problemas que requieren soluciones europeas», señaló. Así, llamó a construir «un nuevo proyecto europeo sobre inmigración», así como sobre asuntos económicos y financieros «que consoliden a Europa en un mundo en el que Estados Unidos está a un lado, China al otro y nosotros quedamos atrapados en el medio».

      El ministro de Interior alemán, Horst Seehofer, de línea dura, está presionando a la canciller Angela Merkel para que diseñe un plan europeo para finales de mes. Alemania sigue siendo el país europeo que más solicitudes de asilo recibe. Si no hay avance a nivel europeo, Seehofer quiere que la policía de las fronteras alemanas comience a negar la entrada a los inmigrantes.

      No queda claro cómo se llevaría a la práctica la propuesta europea de «plataformas de desembarque regional», o dónde se instalarían.

      En 2016, la UE llegó a un acuerdo con Turquía que redujo drásticamente el flujo migratorio, pero al bloque le ha resultado más difícil trabajar con los gobiernos del norte de África, especialmente con Libia, punto de partida de la mayoría de las embarcaciones que intentan llegar a Europa por el Mediterráneo.

      La Comisión Europea ha rechazado la posibilidad de llegar a un acuerdo con Libia parecido al de Turquía, debido a la inestabilidad del país. Sin embargo, el anterior Gobierno de Italia pactó con las milicias y tribus libias y colaboró para reconstituir la guardia costera libia. Estas acciones han contribuido a reducir drásticamente el número de personas que intenta cruzar el Mediterráneo, pero los críticos han denunciado un aumento en las violaciones de los derechos humanos.

      Según el documento filtrado, la UE prefiere construir los centros en colaboración con ACNUR, la agencia de la ONU para los refugiados, y con la Organización Internacional para la Migración, otro organismo relacionado con la ONU que con anterioridad ha criticado la escasez de rutas legales que tienen los inmigrantes y refugiados africanos para llegar a Europa.

      https://www.eldiario.es/theguardian/UE-instalar-procesamiento-inmigrantes-Africa_0_783922573.html

    • Commentaire d’Emmanuel Blanchard, via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Au contraire de ce que suggère le titre choisi par ce journaliste (article ci-dessous), la proposition de créer ces plateformes de débarquement n’est pas vraiment « étonnante » tant elle ressemble aux « #processings_centers » et autres « #centres_d'identification » dont les projets ressurgissent régulièrement depuis le début des années 2000. Il y a cependant des évolutions (ces centres étaient pensés pour cantonner les exilés avant qu’ils prennent la mer et pas pour débarquer les boat-people secourus en mer) et le danger se rapproche : maintenant que ces camps existent sous le nom de hotpsots dans les iles grecques, il apparaît possible de les étendre dans des pays extérieurs ayant besoin du soutien financier ou politique de l’UE.

      #camps #cpa_camps

    • Europe Pushes to Outsource Asylum, Again

      With Dublin reform stalled, European leaders began to cast around for new ideas to solve the ongoing political crisis on migration and settled on a recurring proposition: the creation of asylum processing centres beyond the (strengthened) borders of the European Union.

      What exactly is up for discussion remains unclear. The plans championed by various EU leaders are diverse, yet the details remain fuzzy. What they have in common is a near-universal focus on shifting responsibility for dealing with refugees and migrants upstream. The idea of external processing looks good on paper, particularly in demonstrating to skeptical voters that governments have control over migration flows. But leaders also hope that by reducing inflows to the European Union, they will face less pressure to compromise on sharing responsibility for asylum within the bloc.

      The devil is in the detail. Proposals to externalize the processing of asylum claims are not new, but have largely fallen flat. Previous leaders balked at the idea of such elaborate constructions, especially when confronted with their significant practical complications. But public pressure to further slow arrivals of refugee and migrant boats has mounted in many countries, and leaders feel compelled to find an agreement. The result is a debate on migration increasingly divorced from reality.

      But before sitting down to the negotiating table, EU leaders may want to reflect on the exact model they wish to pursue, and the tradeoffs involved. Critically, does the concept of “regional disembarkation platforms” set out in the draft European Council conclusions offer a potential solution?

      Key Design Questions

      From Austria’s so-called Future European Protection System, to the “centres of international protection in transit countries” suggested by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, to an outlier idea from the Danish Prime Minister to create centres to host failed asylum seekers in “undesirable” parts of Europe —a variety of models for externalization have been floated in recent weeks.

      Several proposals also envisage the simultaneous creation of joint processing centres within the European Union, coupled with the use of reception centres that restrict residents’ freedom of movement. While it is still unclear how such a plan would unfold, this commentary focuses on the external dimension alone.

      Where Would People Be Stopped and Processed?

      The proposals differ regarding where in the journey they would stop migrants and potential asylum seekers. French President Emmanuel Macron has vaguely referred to centres in key transit countries, such as Niger, Libya, and Chad, as well as closer to regions of origin. Others have focused more squarely on the North African coast.

      Centres operating far away from the European Union would likely function as a form of resettlement, stopping people en route (or even prior to the journey), and offering selected individuals an additional channel of EU entry in hopes that this would discourage the use of smugglers. Indeed, nascent EU efforts to resettle refugees evacuated from Libya to Niger (under the Evacuation Transit Mechanism, or ETM), demonstrate how this might work. At the other extreme, the model championed by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz would see migrants and refugees returned to “safe zones” in Africa, where they would stay, even after arriving at the external EU border.

      The latter concept is problematic under current EU and international law. By returning arrivals to third countries without giving them the opportunity to submit an asylum claim, governments would be likely to run afoul of the EU Asylum Procedures Directive, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits signatories from the “collective expulsion of aliens.” European Court of Human Rights case law also precludes the pushback of migrants rescued by European boats while crossing the Mediterranean. Conversely, however, if migrants and potential asylum seekers are stopped before entering EU waters, and without the involvement of European-flagged vessels, then no EU Member State has formal legal responsibility.

      A framework for regional cooperation on the disembarkation of migrant boats—being developed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) —may offer a middle ground. While details are scarce, it seems likely that the proposal would focus first on the development of a system for determining who would rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean, and where they would be landed. Absent consensus within the European Union on responsibility sharing for asylum claims, UNHCR would attempt to create a new framework for responsibility sharing with both Northern and Southern Mediterranean states on search and rescue. However, to prove palatable to partners, such a scheme would require strong EU support, not least through the creation of regional disembarkation centres across North Africa where migrants and refugees “pulled back” from their journey would be sent. This approach would sidestep the application of EU law. To be viable, the European Union would likely need to offer North African partner states some assurance of support, including resettling some of those found in need of protection (as with the Niger ETM).

      Who Would Do the Processing?

      Once asylum seekers are pulled back, there is the question of who would make determinations regarding their protection. There are three options.

      First, Member States’ own asylum agencies could adjudicate protection claims, as Macron has occasionally suggested. Aside from the logistical challenges of seconding officials outside Europe, the question quickly arises as to who would adjudicate which applications? Member States have very different asylum systems, which produce markedly different outcomes for applicants, and would need extensive coordination.

      As a result, there is growing interest in developing an EU asylum agency capable of undertaking assessments on behalf of Member States. This appears a neat solution. However, governments would have to agree joint procedures and standards for processing claims and have confidence in the decisions made by through a joint processing arrangement. This is, if anything, an option only in the long term, as it would be years before any such agency is operational.

      Should the regional disembarkation idea gain ground, the European Union would have no legal responsibility to undertake assessment. Most Member States would be likely to consider UNHCR a key partner to manage any external process. But doing so could require UNHCR to redeploy limited staff resources from existing resettlement operations or from pressing humanitarian situations elsewhere. Moreover, outsourcing to UNHCR could still raise the issue of trust and transferability of decisions. Many Member States remain reluctant to rely solely on UNHCR to select refugees for resettlement, preferring to send their own teams to do the final selection.

      What Happens Next?

      The issue of what happens to people after their protection claims are assessed remains at the crux of questions around the feasibility of external processing. Proposals here differ starkly.

      On the one hand, some proposals would allow those recognized as in need of protection to subsequently enter the European Union. This is the option that—even if the European Union has circumvented any legal responsibility—would be deemed necessary to host countries as it would give them assurance that they are not overly burdened with providing protection. But doing so would require Member States to agree on some sort of distribution system or quotas for determining who would be settled where—crashing back into a responsibility-sharing problem that has plagued the European Union.

      By contrast, proposals that would explicitly not allow entry to anyone who had attempted to travel to Europe via the Mediterranean, taking a page from Australia’s playbook, are meant to assuage fears that such centres would become magnets for new travellers. Those with protection needs brought to such centres would be settled in countries outside the bloc. The challenges with this model centre squarely on the difficulty finding a “safe” country that would allow the settlement of potentially unlimited number of protection beneficiaries. Neither is likely to be the case in any arrangements the European Union would seek to make with external countries.

      Finally, there is the troubling question of what to do with those denied status or resettlement in the European Union. While the International Organization for Migration (IOM) or another agency might be able to help facilitate voluntary return, some might not be able to return home or may have been denied resettlement but nonetheless have protection needs. They are at risk of becoming a population in limbo, with long-term implications for their well-being and for the host country.


      https://www.migrationpolicy.org/news/europe-pushes-outsource-asylum-again
      #schéma #visualisation

    • "L’UE devrait demander à la Tunisie ou l’Algérie d’accueillir des migrants"

      Afin d’éviter toute complicité des ONG, #Stephen_Smith propose notamment une participation des pays du sud de la Méditerranée. « L’Europe se bat un peu la coulpe et a l’impression que tout est pour elle. Or, la Libye a beaucoup de pays voisins. Pourquoi n’a-t-on pas songé à demander le soutien de la Tunisie ou de l’Algérie ? Habituellement, en cas de naufrage, la règle veut que les voyageurs soient transportés vers la prochaine terre sûre. Et, à partir de la Libye, cette terre n’est pas l’Italie. »

      http://www.rts.ch/info/monde/9678271--l-ue-devrait-demander-a-la-tunisie-ou-l-algerie-d-accueillir-des-migran
      #Tunisie #Algérie

    • Macron y Pedro Sánchez proponen «centros cerrados de desembarco» para los inmigrantes que lleguen a Europa

      Con el apoyo de Pedro Sánchez, el presidente francés expone su apuesta para la gestión de las llegadas de migrantes a las costas del sur de Europa

      En estos centros se tratarían los expedientes de los demandantes de asilo o se tramitaría su devolución a los países de origen

      https://www.eldiario.es/desalambre/Macron-propone-centros-desembarco-inmigrantes_0_785321746.html
      #Espagne

    • EU admits no African country has agreed to host migration centre

      The European Union’s most senior migration official has admitted that no north African country has yet agreed to host migrant screening centres to process refugee claims.

      Details of an EU plan to prevent migrants drowning at sea emerged on Thursday after Italy criticised the agenda of an emergency summit for not offering enough to help it cope with arrivals.

      Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, said the EU wanted to “intensify cooperation” with Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Niger and Morocco, as he announced the intention to create a “regional disembarkation scheme”.
      Malta’s ’barbaric’ finch traps ruled illegal by EU court
      Read more

      So far no African country had agreed to host screening centres, he confirmed. “It has to be discussed with these countries, he said. “An official proposal has not been put on the table.”

      The idea for offshore migrant processing centres remains sketchy, with numerous political, practical and legal questions unanswered. It remains unclear, for example, whether migrants on a rescue ship in European waters could be returned to a north African country.

      Tahar Cherif, the Tunisian ambassador to the EU said: “The proposal was put to the head of our government a few months ago during a visit to Germany, it was also asked by Italy, and the answer is clear: no!

      “We have neither the capacity nor the means to organise these detention centres. We are already suffering a lot from what is happening in Libya, which has been the effect of European action.”

      He said his country was facing enough problems with unemployment, without wishing to add to them while Niger said its existing centres taking migrants out of detention camps in Libya are already full.

      The idea for the centres was thrown into the mix of EU migration policy before a series of crucial summits on migration in the next week.

      About 10 EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Sunday in a hastily convened emergency meeting aimed at preventing the collapse of the German coalition government.

      But the Italian government has been angered by draft conclusions for the summit, which stress the need to counter “secondary movements” – an issue that affects Germany.

      Under EU rules, a member state usually has responsibility for asylum seekers who have arrived in its territory, a regulation that has put frontline states Italy and Greece under huge pressure.

      But claimants often move to a second EU state, seeking a faster decision or to unite with family members.

      So-called “secondary movements” is the issue driving a wedge between Germany’s ruling coalition. The Bavarian CSU party has set the chancellor, Angela Merkel, a deadline of two weeks to find a solution. The interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has threatened to send away migrants at the border – a breach of EU rules that threatens to unravel the common asylum system.

      Tensions are running high after Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said he was not ready to discuss secondary movements “without having first tackled the emergency of ‘primary movements’ that Italy has ended up dealing with alone”.

      Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said: “If anyone in the EU thinks Italy should keep being a landing point and refugee camp, they have misunderstood.”

      The election of a populist government in Italy, combined with tensions in Germany’s ruling coalition, has created a political storm over migration despite the sharp fall in arrivals. In the first six months of this year 15,570 people crossed into Italy, a 77% drop on last year.

      The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, reluctantly agreed to host the weekend summit to help Merkel, after her governing coalition came close to breaking point.

      Avramopoulos stressed that the summit would be about “consultations” to prepare the ground for decisions to be taken by all 28 EU leaders at a European council meeting next Thursday.

      Warning that the future of the EU’s border-free travel area was at stake, Avramopoulos said: “The European leadership of today will be held accountable in the eyes of future generations if we allow all these forces of populism to blow up what has been achieved”.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/21/eu-admits-no-african-country-has-agreed-to-host-migration-centre
      #cpa_camps

    • IOM-UNHCR Proposal to the European Union for a Regional Cooperative Arrangement Ensuring Predictable Disembarkation and Subsequent Processing of Persons Rescued at Sea

      Approximately 40,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe via maritime routes in 2018 to date. This is almost six times less than over the same period in 2016, following a peak in arrivals by sea in 2015. According to EUROSTAT, approximately 30 per cent of those arriving on the European shores were in need of international protection; moreover, some have faced extreme hardship and abuse at the hands of unscrupulous traffickers during the journey.

      Despite the reduced arrival rates, new challenges resulting from divergent EU Member State views have revealed a need to revisit regional arrangements to relieve front line states from having the sole responsibility for the disembarkation and further processing of people rescued at sea.

      IOM and UNHCR stand ready to support a common approach, and call on all countries in the Mediterranean region to come together to implement a predictable and responsible disembarkation mechanism in a manner that prioritizes human rights and safety first, delinked from the subsequent processing of status and related follow-up responsibilities, post-disembarkation, for those rescued in international waters.

      It is increasingly recognized that disembarkation cannot be the sole responsibility of one country or regional grouping. It should be a shared responsibility across the Mediterranean Basin, with due respect for the safety and dignity of all people on the move. A comprehensive approach is required to realize effective and sustainable responses.

      People on the move to and through the Mediterranean have different migratory status, with the majority of them not qualifying for international or subsidiary protection. Addressing the drivers of forced displacement and irregular migration needs to be given renewed attention through effective conflict-prevention and crisis settlement processes, strengthening good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights efforts, stabilization and recovery, as well as poverty reduction.

      Priority efforts need to focus on strengthening protection capacities in regions of origin, including through developing sustainable asylum systems; providing sufficient needs-based support for humanitarian operations and adopting a development-oriented approach to assistance; as well as expanding opportunities for resettlement, family reunification and safe pathways for refugees which are currently well below existing needs and pledges being made. Efforts toward opening safe and regular pathways for migrants need also to be undertaken (family reunification, labour and education opportunities, humanitarian visas for vulnerable migrants).

      Against this background, with a focus on the immediate disembarkation concerns at hand, the current proposal for a regional disembarkation mechanism aims to ensure that:

      People rescued-at-sea in international waters are quickly disembarked in a predictable manner in line with international maritime law, in conditions that uphold respect for their rights including non-refoulement, and avoid serious harm or other risks;
      Responsible post-disembarkation processing, supported – as appropriate- by IOM and UNHCR, leads to rapid and effective differentiated solutions and reduces onward movement through an effective cooperative arrangement.

      Functioning of the mechanism is premised on a set of principles and common objectives:

      The effective functioning of maritime commerce requires ships’ masters to have full confidence in prompt and predictable disembarkation;
      Efforts to reduce loss of life at sea are maximized, in line with existing international obligations and frameworks, and saving lives remains the international community’s priority;
      Strengthened efforts to build the capacity of Coast Guards in Mediterranean countries (not just in Libya) to perform effective rescue operations in their respective SAR;
      National Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC) are able to carry out their work effectively for the purposes of search and rescue operations based on long- standing and effective practices to save lives;
      People rescued at sea in the Mediterranean are quickly disembarked in safe ports in a predictable manner in line with established rescue at sea arrangements and international maritime law, coordinated through the responsible MRCCs;
      Measures for cooperative arrangements to support States providing for disembarkation are well-established;
      The right to seek asylum is safeguarded, and the human rights of all individuals such as non-refoulement are respected, including the right not to be disembarked in or transferred to a place where there is a risk of persecution, torture, or other serious harm;
      Efforts to address human smuggling and trafficking are reinvigorated, including measures to ensure protection and/or referrals for victims of trafficking and ensuring the effective prosecution of those involved in / or facilitating human trafficking or smuggling;
      Rescue at sea capacity coordinated by effective MRCCs that operate in accordance with international law is reinforced.

      As such, the proposal does not affect existing legal norms and responsibilities applicable under international law (Note 1) Rather it seeks to facilitate their application in accordance with a regional collaborative approach and the principle of international cooperation. This proposal relies on functional arrangements for intra-EU solidarity in managing all consequences of rescue, disembarkation and processing. It also relies on operational arrangements which would need to be sought and formalised through a set of understandings among all concerned States.

      https://www.iom.int/news/iom-unhcr-proposal-european-union-regional-cooperative-arrangement-ensuring-pre

      Question : c’est quoi la différence entre la proposition IOM/HCR et la proposition UE ?

    • THE LEGAL AND PRACTICAL FEASIBILITY OF DISEMBARKATION OPTIONS

      This note presents a first assessment of the legal and practical feasibility of the three different scenarios on disembarkation presented at the Informal Working Meeting of 24 June 2018. Under international maritime law, people rescued at sea must be disembarked at a place of safety. International law sets out elements of what a place of safety can be and how it can be designated, without excluding the possibility of having regional arrangements for disembarkation.


      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/migration-disembarkation-june2018_en.pdf
      #scénario

    • #Palerme :
      ❝La Commission régionale de l’Urbanisme a rejeté le projet de pré-faisabilité du « #hotspot » à Palerme, confirmant l’avis du Conseil municipal de Palerme. L’avis de la Commission régionale reste technique. Le maire de Palerme a rappelé que "la ville de Palerme et toute sa communauté sont opposés à la création de centres dans lesquels la dignité des personnes est violée (...). Palerme reste une ville qui croit dans les valeurs de l’accueil, de la solidarité et des rencontres entre les peuples et les cultures, les mettant en pratique au quotidien. En cela, notre « non » à l’hotspot n’est pas et ne sera pas seulement un choix technique, mais plutôt un choix relatif à des principes et des valeurs".
      > Pour en savoir plus (IT) : http://www.palermotoday.it/politica/hotspot-zen-progetto-bocciato-regione.html

      –-> Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop

    • Ne dites pas que ce sont des #camps !

      Les camps devraient être la solution. C’est en Afrique, peut-être en Libye ou au Niger, que les migrants seront arrêtés avant qu’ils puissent commencer leur dangereux voyage en mer vers l’Europe. Ainsi l’a décidé l’UE. Des camps attendront également les réfugiés qui réussiraient toutefois à arriver dans un pays de l’UE. Des camps sur le sol européen. Où seront-ils établis ? Cela n’est pas encore défini, mais ce seront des installations fermées et surveillées parce que les détenus devront être « enregistrés » et les personnes non autorisées seront expulsées. Ils ne pourront pas s’enfuir.

      L’intérêt pour les camps concerne également les responsables politiques allemands. Le gouvernement allemand veut élargir le no man’s land à la frontière germano-autrichienne afin que les réfugiés puissent être arrêtés avant d’entrer officiellement en Allemagne et avoir ainsi droit à une procédure d’asile régulière. Une « fiction de non-entrée » est créée, comme le stipule précisément l’accord. Un État qui magouille. Pendant ce temps, la chancelière Angela Merkel a déclaré que personne ne sera détenu plus de quarante-huit heures, même dans le no man’s land. Il reste encore à voir si l’Autriche y accédera. Le plan est pour l’instant plus un fantasme qu’une politique réalisable, ce qui est bien pire. Bien sûr, tous ces centres fermés de rassemblement de migrants ne peuvent pas être appelés camps. Cela évoquerait des images effrayantes : les camps de concentration nazis, le système des goulags soviétiques, les camps de réfugiés palestiniens de plusieurs générations, le camp de détention de Guantánamo.

      Non, en Allemagne, ces « non-prisons » devraient être appelées « centres de transit ». Un terme amical, efficace, pratique, comme la zone de transit d’un aéroport où les voyageurs changent d’avion. Un terme inventé par les mêmes personnes qui désignent le fait d’échapper à la guerre et à la pauvreté comme du « tourisme d’asile ». Les responsables politiques de l’UE sont encore indécis quant à la terminologie de leurs camps. On a pu lire le terme de « centres de protection » mais aussi celui de « plateformes d’atterrissage et de débarquement », ce qui fait penser à une aventure et à un voyage en mer.

      Tout cela est du vernis linguistique. La réalité est que l’Europe en est maintenant à créer des camps fermés et surveillés pour des personnes qui n’ont pas commis de crime. Les camps vont devenir quelque chose qui s’inscrit dans le quotidien, quelque chose de normal. Si possible dans des endroits lointains et horribles, si nécessaire sur place. Enfermer, compter, enregistrer.

      La facilité avec laquelle tout cela est mis en œuvre est déconcertante. Deux ans seulement après que le public européen a condamné l’Australie pour ses camps brutaux de prisonniers gérés par des sociétés privées sur les îles de Nauru et Manus, dans l’océan Pacifique, nous sommes prêts à abandonner nos inhibitions. Pourquoi ne pas payer les Libyens pour intercepter et stocker des personnes ?

      Derrière le terme allemand « Lager » (« camp ») se cache un ancien mot correspondant à « liegen », qui signifie « être allongé ». Les camps sont ainsi faits pour se reposer. Aujourd’hui, le terme de « camp » implique quelque chose de temporaire : un camp n’est que pour une courte période, c’est pourquoi il peut aussi être rustique, comme un camp de vacances pour les enfants ou un dortoir. Des camps d’urgence sont mis en place après des catastrophes, des inondations, des glissements de terrain, des guerres. Ils sont là pour soulager les souffrances, mais ne doivent pas être permanents.

      Si les responsables politiques participent activement à l’internement de personnes dans des camps en l’absence de catastrophe, alors il s’agit d’autre chose. Il s’agit de contrôle, d’#ordre, de #rééducation, de #domination. Les puissances coloniales tenaient des camps, depuis les camps de barbelés des Britanniques au Kenya jusqu’aux camps de Héréros dans le Sud-Ouest africain. C’est dans des camps que les États-Unis ont enfermé des Américains d’origine japonaise pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Les responsables de ces camps n’avaient pas pour préoccupation le logement, mais bien la garde et la gestion de « personnes problématiques ».

      Dans de tels camps, la #violence extrême et la #déshumanisation des détenus allaient et vont généralement de pair avec une gestion froide. Exploiter un camp nécessite de l’#organisation. La technologie de #contrôle à distance aide le personnel à commettre des atrocités et transforme des gens ordinaires en criminels. Dans son essai controversé « Le siècle des camps », le regretté sociologue #Zygmunt_Bauman qualifie le camp de symptôme de #modernité. Pour lui, l’association d’une #exclusion_brutale et d’une #efficacité dans l’ordre semblable à celle d’un jardinier est une caractéristique de notre époque.

      Que Bauman fasse des camps de concentration nazis un « distillat » d’un problème majeur et moderne pour sa thèse lui a justement valu des critiques. Il ignore la singularité de l’Holocauste. Contrairement aux camps coloniaux, les camps de concentration étaient en effet des camps d’extermination qui n’avaient plus pour fonction d’apprêter des groupes ou de les rééduquer, ni même de les dissuader. Il s’agissait de « violence pour elle-même », comme l’écrit le sociologue #Wolfgang_Sofsky, de folie de la #pureté et d’éradication des personnes #indésirables.

      L’Europe croit être à l’abri de cette folie. Pour les gouvernants allemands, le slogan « Plus jamais de camps en Allemagne » est un slogan ridicule parce qu’il évoque des images qui n’ont rien à voir avec le présent. Dans les différents camps de migrants en Europe et à l’extérieur, il n’est certes pas question d’une extermination mais « seulement » de contrôle de l’accès et de #dissuasion. C’est ce dernier objectif qui est explicitement recherché : répandre dans le monde l’idée de camps de l’horreur au lieu du paradis européen.

      Mais il n’y a pas de raison de maintenir la sérénité. L’analyse de Zygmunt Bauman parlait de la mince couche de #civilisation par-dessus la #barbarie. La leçon tirée de l’expérience des camps du XXe siècle est la suivante : « Il n’y a pas de société ordonnée sans #peur et sans #humiliation ». La #pensée_totalitaire peut à nouveau prospérer, même dans les sociétés apparemment démocratiques.

      https://www.tdg.ch/monde/europe/dites-camps/story/31177430
      #totalitarisme

      Et ce passage pour lequel je suis tentée d’utiliser le tag #frontières_mobiles (#Allemagne et #Autriche) :

      L’intérêt pour les camps concerne également les responsables politiques allemands. Le gouvernement allemand veut élargir le no #man’s_land à la frontière germano-autrichienne afin que les réfugiés puissent être arrêtés avant d’entrer officiellement en Allemagne et avoir ainsi droit à une procédure d’asile régulière. Une « #fiction_de_non-entrée » est créée, comme le stipule précisément l’accord.

      Et sur la question de la #terminologie (#mots #vocabulaire) :

      Bien sûr, tous ces #centres_fermés de rassemblement de migrants ne peuvent pas être appelés camps. Cela évoquerait des images effrayantes : les camps de concentration nazis, le système des goulags soviétiques, les camps de réfugiés palestiniens de plusieurs générations, le camp de détention de Guantánamo.

      Non, en Allemagne, ces « #non-prisons » devraient être appelées « #centres_de_transit ». Un terme amical, efficace, pratique, comme la zone de transit d’un aéroport où les voyageurs changent d’avion. Un terme inventé par les mêmes personnes qui désignent le fait d’échapper à la guerre et à la pauvreté comme du « #tourisme_d’asile ». Les responsables politiques de l’UE sont encore indécis quant à la terminologie de leurs camps. On a pu lire le terme de « #centres_de_protection » mais aussi celui de « #plateformes_d’atterrissage_et_de_débarquement », ce qui fait penser à une aventure et à un voyage en mer.

      Tout cela est du #vernis_linguistique. La réalité est que l’Europe en est maintenant à créer des camps fermés et surveillés pour des personnes qui n’ont pas commis de crime. Les camps vont devenir quelque chose qui s’inscrit dans le quotidien, quelque chose de normal. Si possible dans des endroits lointains et horribles, si nécessaire sur place. Enfermer, compter, enregistrer.

      #shopping_de_l'asile #normalisation
      #cpa_camps

    • L’#Autriche veut proscrire toute demande d’asile sur le territoire de l’Union européenne

      A la veille d’une réunion, jeudi, entre les ministres de l’intérieur de l’UE sur la question migratoire, Vienne déclare vouloir proposer un changement des règles d’asile pour que les demandes soient étudiées hors d’Europe.

      https://mobile.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/07/10/l-autriche-veut-proscrire-toute-demande-d-asile-sur-le-territoire-de-

    • Record deaths at sea: will ‘regional disembarkation’ help save lives?
      ❝What is the aim of European policy on Mediterranean migration?

      Europe’s strategic ambition is clear: reduce the number of people who embark on journeys across the Mediterranean by boat. The more European countries struggle to share responsibility for those who are rescued at sea and brought to Europe, the stronger the desire to dissuade migrants from getting on a boat in the first place. Moreover, stemming the departures is said to be the only way of reducing the death toll.

      The challenge, as the European Council put it, is to ‘eliminate the incentive to embark’ on journeys across the Mediterranean. And the new migration agreement proposes a solution: setting up ‘regional disembarkation platforms’ outside the European Union. The logic is that if people rescued at sea are sent back to the coast they left, nobody will take the risk and pay the cost of getting on smugglers’ boats.
      Would this even work?

      Addressing the challenges of irregular migration is truly difficult. Still, it is baffling how the proposal for regional disembarkation platforms is embroiled in contradictions. The agreement itself is scant on specifics, but the challenges will surface as the policy makers have to make key decisions about how these platforms would work.

      First, will they be entry points for seeking asylum in Europe? The agreement suggests that the platforms might play this role. But if the platforms are entry points to the European asylum procedure, they will attract thousands of refugees who currently have no other option to apply for asylum in Europe than paying smugglers to set out to sea.

      This scenario raises a second question: what will be the possible ways of accessing the platforms? If they are reserved for refugees who have paid smugglers and are rescued at sea, access to protection will be just as reliant on smugglers as it is today. But if anyone can come knocking on the gate to the platforms, without having to be rescued first, the asylum caseload would swell. Such an outcome would be unacceptable to EU member states. As a recent EC note remarked, ‘to allow individuals to “apply” for asylum outside the EU […] is currently neither possible nor desirable.

      These two questions lay out the basic scenarios for how the regional disembarkation platforms would operate. Thinking through these scenarios it’s not clear if these platforms can ever be workable. Moreover, putting these platforms in place directly contradicts the European Council’s stated objectives:

      – dissuading smuggling journeys
      – distinguishing individual cases in full respect of international law
      – not creating a pull factor

      How does this relate to broader EU policies on migration?

      In some way, regional disembarkation platforms are a logical next step along the course the EU has been pursuing for years now. To stop refugees and other migrants from reaching its shores, the EU has been using a multi-pronged approach. On the one hand, the bloc has increased the use of aid to tackle the ‘root causes’ of migration – the logic being that if potential migrants are given other opportunities (e.g. skills training), they will be deterred from leaving. Similarly, information campaigns targeting aspiring migrants seek to deter people from setting out on dangerous journeys.

      Another major focus has been that of externalisation of border management – basically shifting border management to countries outside the EU: a key component of the EU-Turkey Deal is Turkey agreeing to take back refugees who crossed into Greece. Externalisation serves two purposes: keeping migrants physically out of Europe, but also as a deterrence measure sending potential migrants the implicit message that it won’t be easy to come to Europe.

      Regional disembarkation platforms are part of this process of externalisation. But there are key differences that make this proposal more extreme than policies pursued so far. Other externalization measures have aimed at preventing potential asylum seekers from reaching the point where they become eligible to launch a claim in Europe. The platforms will apparently serve a different role, by enabling the physical return of asylum seekers who have become Europe’s responsibility after being rescued by European ships in international waters.
      What do we know about efforts to deter irregular migration?

      The dim outlook for regional disembarkation platforms reflects more general limitations of deterrence measures in migration policy. Using decades worth of data, Michael Clemens and colleagues have shown that along the US-Mexico border greater deterrence and enforcement efforts have only reduced irregular migration when accompanied by greater legal migration pathways. Research by ODI has shown that information about deterrence measures and anti-migration messages rarely featured in migrant decision-making process. We will explore this further in our upcoming MIGNEX research project, which includes large-scale analyses of the drivers of migration in ten countries of origin and transit.
      Blocking access to asylum is not a life-saving measure

      The European Council presents regional disembarkation platforms as a strategy for ‘preventing tragic loss of life’. The irony of this argument is that these platforms will only deter sea crossings if they are dead ends where people who are rescued at sea are barred from seeking asylum in Europe. It is difficult to see how such a setup would be legally feasible, or indeed, ‘in line with our principles and values’, as the Council states.

      If the legal obstacles were overcome, there may indeed be fewer deaths at sea. But some of the deaths would simply occur out of sight instead. Refugees flee danger. Blocking access to seeking asylum puts more lives at risk and cannot be justified as a measure to save lives at sea.

      For now, the European Council glosses over the dilemmas that the regional disembarkation platforms will create. Facing the realities of the situation would not make perfect solutions appear, but it would enable an open debate in search of a defensible and effective migration policy.


      $https://blogs.prio.org/2018/07/record-deaths-at-sea-will-regional-disembarkation-help-save-lives

    • Austrian Presidency document: “a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory”

      A crude paper authored by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and circulated to other Member States’s security officials refers disparagingly to “regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes” and calls for “a halt to illegal migration to Europe” and the “development of a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory,” with some minor exceptions.

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (pdf): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/EU-austria-Informal-Meeting-%20COSI.pdf

      The document was produced for an ’Informal Meeting of COSI’ (the Council of the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security) which took place on 2 and 3 July in Vienna, and the proposals it contains were the subject of numerous subsequent press articles - with the Austrian President one of the many who criticised the government’s ultra-hardline approach.

      See: Austrian president criticises government’s asylum proposals (The Local, link); Austrian proposal requires asylum seekers to apply outside EU: Profil (Reuters, link); Right of asylum: Austria’s unsettling proposals to member states (EurActiv, link)

      Some of the proposals were also discussed at an informal meeting of the EU’s interior ministers on Friday 13 July, where the topic of “return centres” was also raised. The Luxembourg interior minister Jean Asselborn reportedly said that such an idea “shouldn’t be discussed by civilized Europeans.” See: No firm EU agreement on Austrian proposals for reducing migration (The Local, link)

      The Austrian Presidency paper proposes:

      "2.1. By 2020

      By 2020 the following goals could be defined:

      Saving as many human lives as possible;
      Clear strengthening of the legal framework and the operational capabilities of FRONTEX with respect to its two main tasks: support in protecting the Union’s external border and in the field of return;
      Increasing countering and destruction of people smugglers’ and human traffickers‘ business models;
      Significant reduction in illegal migration;
      More sustainable and more effective return measures as well as establishment of instruments that foster third countries’ willingness to cooperate on all relevant aspects, including the fight against people smuggling, providing protection and readmission;
      Development of a holistic concept for a forward-looking migration policy (in the spirit of a “whole of government approach“) and a future European protection system in cooperation with third countries that is supported by all and does not overburden all those involved – neither in terms of resources nor with regard to the fundamental rights and freedoms they uphold.

      2.2. By 2025

      By 2025 the following goals could be realised:

      Full control of the EU’s external borders and their comprehensive protection have been ensured.
      The new, better European protection system has been implemented across the EU in cooperation with third countries; important goals could include:
      no incentives anymore to get into boats, thus putting an end to smuggled persons dying in the Mediterranean;
      smart help and assistance for those in real need of protection, i.e. provided primarily in the respective region;
      asylum in Europe is granted only to those who respect European values and the fundamental rights and freedoms upheld in the EU;
      no overburdening of the EU Member States’ capabilities;
      lower long-term costs;
      prevention of secondary migration.
      Based on these principles, the EU Member States have returned to a consensual European border protection and asylum policy.”

      And includes the following statements, amongst others:

      “...more and more Member States are open to exploring a new approach. Under the working title “Future European Protection System” (FEPS) and based on an Austrian initiative, a complete paradigm shift in EU asylum policy has been under consideration at senior officials’ level for some time now. The findings are considered in the “Vienna Process” in the context of which the topic of external border protection is also dealt with. A number of EU Member States, the EU Commission and external experts contribute towards further reflections and deliberations on these two important topics.”

      “...ultimately, there is no effective EU external border protection in place against illegal migration and the existing EU asylum system does not enable an early distinction between those who are in need of protection and those who are not.”

      “Disembarkment following rescue at sea as a rule only takes place in EU Member States. This means that apprehensions at sea not only remain ineffective (non-refoulement, examination of applications for asylum), but are exploited in people smugglers’ business models.”

      “Due to factors related to their background as well as their poor perspectives, they [smuggled migrants] repeatedly have considerable problems with living in free societies or even reject them. Among them are a large number of barely or poorly educated young men who have travelled to Europe alone. Many of these are particularly susceptible to ideologies that are hostile to freedom and/or are prone to turning to crime.

      As a result of the prevailing weaknesses in the fields of external border protection and asylum, it is to be expected that the negative consequences of past and current policies will continue to be felt for many years to come. As experience with immigration from regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes has shown, problems related to integration, safety and security may even increase significantly over several generations.”

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (pdf)

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-austrian-pres-asylum-paper.htm

    • Libya rejects EU plan for refugee and migrant centres

      Blow to Italy as Tripoli snubs proposal to set up processing centres in Africa

      Libya has rejected a EU plan to establish refugee and migrant processing centres in the country, adding that it would not be swayed by any financial inducements to change its decision.

      The formal rejection by the Libyan prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, is a blow to Italy, which is regarded as being close to his Tripoli administration.

      In June, Italy proposed reception and identification centres in Africa as a means of resolving divisions among European governments.

      The impasse came as the EU said it was willing to work as a temporary crisis centre to oversee the distribution of refugees and migrants from ships landing in Europe from Libya. Italy has said it is not willing to open its ports and may even reject those rescued by the EU Sophia search and rescue mission, a position that has infuriated other EU states.

      Speaking to the German newspaper Bild, Serraj said: “We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in.”

      He dismissed accusations that Libya’s coastguard had shot at aid workers in ships trying to rescue people from the Mediterranean.

      “We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day – our ships are constantly on the move,” he said. In practice, Libya is already running detention camps, largely as holding pens, but they are not run as EU processing centres for asylum claims.

      European foreign ministers agreed at a meeting on Monday to do more to train the Libyan coastguard by setting up the EU’s own training team inside Libya.

      The European parliament president, Antonio Tajani, said after a trip to Niger, one of the chief funnels for people into Libya, that the EU needed to plough more money into the Sahel region to reduce the need to leave the area. He said the number of people reaching Libya from Niger was collapsing.

      Tajani said: “Until 2016, 90% of irregular migrants travelled through the Niger to Libya and Europe. In just two years, Niger reduced migration flows by 95%, from over 300,000 to about 10,000 in 2018.”

      He said he would host a European conference in Brussels in October to support democratic elections in Libya scheduled for December.

      At the same time, Italy is to host a further conference in Rome in September seen as a follow-on to a conference held in May by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, that led to a commitment to hold elections this year.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/20/libya-rejects-eu-plan-for-migrant-centres?CMP=Share_iOSApp_OtherSpeakin

    • UNHCR ed OIM discutono con la Commissione europea sulle piattaforme di sbarco, ma gli stati dicono no.

      Lunedì 30 luglio si svolgerà a Ginevra un incontro di rappresentanti dell’UNHCR e dell’OIM con la Commissione Europea per discutere sulle piattaforme di sbarco che Bruxelles vorrebbe imporre nei paesi di transito, come gli stati nordafricani, e negli stati di sbarco, soprattutto in Italia. Per selezionare rapidamente migranti economici e richiedenti asilo, e dunque procedere al respingimento immediato dei primi, senza alcuna garanzia di difesa, ed all’avvio delle procedure di asilo, per gli altri, senza alcuna garanzia di resettlement o di relocation ( ricollocazione) in un paese diverso da quello di primo ingresso. La Commissione dichiara che, soltanto dopo avere trovato un “approccio comune a livello europeo “, si rivolgeranno proposte ai paesi terzi. Gli stati nordafricani hanno però respinto in blocco questa proposta, e le autorità locali dei paesi di primo ingresso più interessati dagli sbarchi, confernano la loro opposizione a nuovi Hotspot. Le risorse previste per questa esternalizzazione delle frontiere sono ridicole. Per non parlare dei costi in termini di vite e di sfregio dei diritti umani.

      Un progetto che si salda strettamente con l’incremeno degli aiuti alla sedicente Guardia costiera “libica”, alla quale si affida già adesso, nella prassi quotidiana, un numero sempre più elevato di intercettazioni in acque internazionali, di fatto respingimenti collettivi, perchè realizzati con il coordinamento e l’assistenza di unità militari della Marina italiana che ha una base a Tripoli, nell’ambito della missione Nauras. Intanto la accresciuta assistenza italiana alla Marina ed alla Guardia costiera di Tripoli rischia di contribuire all’inasprimento del conflitto tra le diverse milizie ed allontana le probabilità di una reale pacificazione, premessa indispensabile per lo svolgimento delle elezioni. Le stesse milizie che continuano a trattenere in Libia, in condizioni disumane, centinaia di migliaia di persone.

      Dietro la realizzazione delle “piattaforme di sbarco” in Nordafrica, proposte anche dal Consiglio europeo del 28 giugno scorso, il ritiro dalle responsabilità di coordinamento dei soccorsi in acque internazionali da parte degli stati che fin qui ne sono stati responsabili in conformità al diritto internazionale generalmente riconosciuto. Per ragioni diverse, nè la Tunisia, ne la Libia, possono essere riconosciuti come “paesi terzi sicuri” con porti di sbarco che siano qualificabili come place of safety. Come avveniva fino a qualche mese fa, secondo il diritto internazionale, dopo i soccorsi in acque internazionali, i naufraghi vanno sbarcati non nel porto più vicino, na nel porto sicuro più vicino. Ma questa regola, a partire dal caso della nave Aquarius di SOS Mediterraneè, il 10 giugno scorso, è stata continuamente violata dal governo italiano e dalle autorità amministrative e militari che questo governo controlla. Molto grave, ma prevedibile, il comportamento di chiusura da parte di Malta, che continua a trattenere sotto sequstro due navi umanitarie, la Lifeline e la Seawatch. Sempre più spesso le dispute tra stati che negano a naufraghi un porto sicuro di sbarco rischiano di fare altre vittime

      La soluzione che si prospetta adesso con la nave SAROST 5,dopo gli appelli delle ONG tunisine, lo sbarco a Zarzis dei migranti soccorsi il 15 luglio, un caso eccezionale ben diverso da altri soccorsi operati in precedenza in acque internazionali, non costituisce un precedente, perchè la SAROST 5 batte bandiera tunisina. Dunque i naufraghi a bordo della nave si trovavano già in territorio tunisino subito dopo il loro recupero in mare. In futuro, quando i soccorsi in acque internazionali saranno comunque operati da imbarcazioni miitari o private ( incluse le ONG) con diversa bandiera, il problema del porto sicuro di sbarco si proporrà in termini ancora più gravi, con un ulteriore incremento delle vittime e delle sofferenze inflitte ai sopravvissuti, a fronte dei dinieghi degli stati che non rispettano il diritto internazionale ed impediscono la individuazione, nei tempi più rapidi, di un vero “place of safety”.

      Nel 2013 il caso del mercantile turco SALAMIS, che sotto cooordinamento della Centrale operativa (IMRCC) di Roma, aveva soccorso naufraghi a sud di Malta, in acque internazionali, si era concluso con lo sbarco in Italia, in conformità del diritto internazionale. Con lo sbarco dei migranti soccorsi dalla SAROST 5 nel porto di Zarzis,in Tunisia, per ragioni di emergenza sanitaria, si consuma invece una ennesima violazione del diritto internazionale, dopo i rifiuti frapposti dalle autorità italiane e maltesi. Stati che creano sofferenze, come strumento politico e di propaganda, fino al punto da costringere i comandanti delle navi a dichiarare lo stato di emergenza. Alla fine il governo tunisino, nel giorno della fiducia al governo e dell’insediamento del nuovo ministro dell’interno, ha ceduto alle pressioni internazionali, ed ha accettato per ragioni umanitarie lo sbarco di persone che da due settimane erano bloccate a bordo di un rimorchiatore di servizio ad una piattaforma petrolifera, in condizioni psico-fisiche sempre più gravi. Un trattamento inumano e degradante imposto da quelle autorità e di quegli stati che, immediatamente avvertiti dal comandante della SAROST 5 quando ancora si trovava in acque internazionali, hanno respinto la richiesta di garantire in tempi più rapidi ed umani un porto di sbarco sicuro.

      Di fronte al probabile ripetersi di altri casi di abbandono in acque internazionali, con possibili pressioni ancora più forti sulla Tunisia, è importante che l’UNHCR e l’OIM impongano agli stati membri ed all’Unione Europea il rispetto del diritto internazionale e l’obbligo di soccorso in mare, nel modo più immediato. Le prassi amministraive di “chiusura dei porti” non sono sorrette ada alcuna base legale, e neppure sono concretizzate in provvedimenti amministrativi, motivati ed impugnabili davanti ad una qualsiasi autorità giurisdizionale. Non si può continuare a governare tratendo in inganno il corpo elettorale, distorcendo persino le posizioni delle grandi organizzazioni internazionali. Fino ad un mese fa sia l’UNHCR che l’OIM avevano respinto la proposta della Commissione che voleva creare piattaforme di sbarco al di fuori dei confini europei. Una proposta che adesso viene ripresentata con vigore ancora maggiore, sotto la presidenza UE affidata all’Austria di Kurz, con la spinta di Orban e di Salvini verso la “soluzione finale” verso migranti ed ONG.

      Le Nazioni Unite conoscono bene la situazione in Libia. Occorre garantire a tutti i naufraghi soccorsi in acque internazionali un porto sicuro di sbarco, che non deve essere quello più vicino, se non offre la piena garanzia di una tutela effettiva dei diritti fondamentali e del diritto di chiedere asilo delle persone sbarcate. Non basta la presenza fisica di operatori dell’UNHCR e dell’OIM in alcuni punti di sbarco, come si sta verificando da mesi in Tripolitania, per riconoscere l’esistenza di un place of safety in paesi che anche secondo le grandi istituzioni internazionali, come per i tribunali italiani, non sono in grado di garantire place of safety in conformità alle Convenzioni internazionali.

      Se si dovesse decidere di riportare i migranti intercettati in acque internazionali e sbarcati nei paesi nordafricani, ammesso che posa succedere( anche se i migranti considerati “illegali” in Nordafrica saranno costretti a firmare una richiesta di resettlement, se non di rimpatrio volontario), magari per essere riportati indietro in un campo profughi in Niger, sarebbero violati i principi base di protezione delle persone, in quanto eseri umani, ai quali si ispirano le Convenzioni internazionali e la Costituzione italiana. La Convenzione di Ginevra non esclude il diritto dei richeidenti asilo a rivolgersi ad paese piuttosto che ad un altro. L’evacuazione dalle aree di crisi non esclude il diritto di accesso alle frontiere di un paese europeo perchè la richiesta di asilo sua valutata con le garanzie sostanziali e procedurali previste dalla normativa interna e sovranazionale.

      Se l’UNHCR e l’OIM cederanno alle pressioni dei governi, diventeranno complici degli abusi che i migranti continuano a subire nei paesi del nordafrica nei quali vengono respinti e detenuti.

      Le Organizzazioni non governative che, insieme ai naufraghi che soccorrono, continuano ad essere bersaglio di una campagna di odio che non accenna ad attenuarsi, continueranno, nei limiti dei propri mezzi a denunciare quanto accade ed a soccorrere le persone che in acque internazionali potranno raggiungere prima che facciano naufragio. La loro attività di ricerca e salvataggio appare tuttavia fortemente ridotta, anche per la illegittima “chiusura dei porti” decisa dal governo italiano, in assenza di qualsiasi provvedimento che ne fornisca una base legale, tale almeno da potere essere impugnato. Una lesione forse irreversibile dello stato di diritto (rule of law) alle frontiere marittime.Una responsabilità ancora maggiore per le autorità militari alle quali sarebbe affidato il coordinamento delle attività di ricerca e soccorso in mare (SAR). La percentuale delle vittime calcolate sul numero dei migranti che ancora riescono a fuggire dalla Libia non è mai stata tanto alta. Non si deve ridurre il valore del rispetto della vita umana alla riduzione numerica degli arrivi o dei soccorsi in mare.

      Dietro la conclamata esigenza di contrastare i trafficanti si cela una micidiale arma elettorale che sta permettendo il capovolgimento della narrazione dei fatti e la criminalizzazione della solidarietà. Il ruolo delle città dell’accoglienza e dei rappresentanti politici che ancora si oppongono a questa deriva disumana contro i migranti e le ONG, devono passare dalle parole ai fatti e dare concretezza alle dichiarazioni di solidarietà ed all’impegno di aprire i porti, ed aprire le città. Tutti i cittadini solidali sono chiamati ad esporsi in prima persona, saldando il ruolo delle autonomie locali con la capacità di autorganizzazione. Sarà una stagione lunga e dolorosa di conflitto, senza una rappresentanza polkitica capace di praticare una vera opposizione. Ma non ci sono possibilità di mediazione con chi dimostra di valutare una parte dell’umanità come “untermenschen” ( sottouomini), praticando l’abbandono in mare ed il respingimento collettivo verso luoghi di internamento e tortura, in modo da creare le premesse per una discriminazione istituzionale che nei territori si sta già traducendo in una violenza diffusa contro i più deboli. Oggi tocca ai migranti, dai naufraghi a quelli accolti nei centri in Italia, domani saranno nel mirino le componenti minoritarie dell’intera popolazione.

      https://www.a-dif.org/2018/07/29/unhcr-ed-oim-discutono-con-la-commissione-europea-sulle-piattaforme-di-sbarco

    • Libya rejects establishment of reception centres for irregular migrants on its territory

      Foreign Minister of the Presidential Council’s government Mohamed Sayala said Libya refuses the idea of setting up reception centres for irregular migrants on its territory, as did Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

      “The country’s immigrant housing centres are sheltering around 30,000 immigrants, and Libya has cooperated with the European Union to return migrants to their countries of origin, but some countries refused to receive them,” Sayala said to the Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

      “Libya has signed agreements with Chad, Niger and Sudan to enhance the security of the crossing borders in order to curb the flow of migrants,” the Foreign Minister added.

      https://www.libyaobserver.ly/inbrief/libya-rejects-establishment-reception-centres-irregular-migrants-its-t

    • Juncker says N.Africa migrant “camps” not on EU agenda

      European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that a suggestion that the European Union might try to set up migrant camps in North Africa was no longer on the agenda.

      EU member states are in disagreement over how the bloc should deal with tens of thousands of migrants arriving every year in Europe, the bulk of them by sea from Turkey and North Africa.

      In June, a summit of all EU leaders asked the Commission to study ways to set up “regional disembarkation platforms” in North African countries, including Tunisia, for migrants rescued by European vessels in the Mediterranean.

      However, there has been little appetite in Africa and EU officials have long questioned the legality and practicality of such camps — a view underlined in Juncker’s blunt reply.

      “This is no longer on the agenda and never should have been,” Juncker told a news conference in Tunis with Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

      http://news.trust.org/item/20181026131801-1t7he
      #cpa_camps

    • Juncker says North Africa migrant ’camps’ not on EU agenda

      European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that a suggestion that the European Union might try to set up migrant camps in North Africa was no longer on the agenda.

      EU member states are in disagreement over how the bloc should deal with tens of thousands of migrants arriving every year in Europe, the bulk of them by sea from Turkey and North Africa.

      In June, a summit of all EU leaders asked the Commission to study ways to set up “regional disembarkation platforms” in North African countries, including Tunisia, for migrants rescued by European vessels in the Mediterranean.

      However, there has been little appetite in Africa and EU officials have long questioned the legality and practicality of such camps — a view underlined in Juncker’s blunt reply.

      “This is no longer on the agenda and never should have been,” Juncker told a news conference in Tunis with Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.


      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-africa/juncker-says-north-africa-migrant-camps-not-on-eu-agenda-idUSKCN1N01TU

    • Refugee centers in Tunisia ’out of the question’, president says

      The Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi, has said his country will not host EU refugee reception centers. He also told DW that Tunisia was a safe country, despite a terrorist attack in the capital earlier this week.

      President Essebsi made the statement in Berlin, where he attended Chancellor Angela Merkel’s African business summit. In an interview with DW’s Dima Tarhini, the 91-year-old leader said opening refugee reception centers in countries such as Tunisia was “out of the question.”

      “Tunisia has much more experience with refugees than many European countries. After the Libyan revolution, more than 1.3 million refugees from various countries streamed into Tunisia. Fortunately, most of them returned to their home countries with our help. Europe has never experienced anything comparable. And we, unlike Europe, do not have the capacities to open reception centers. Every country needs to pull its own weight on this issue.”

      The European Union wants greater cooperation on migration with North African nations Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Niger and Morocco. Earlier this year, the EU migration commissioner announced a plan for a “regional disembarkation scheme”. Under the proposed deal, African countries would host migrant screening centers to process refugee claims. The Tunisian government has already expressed opposition to the idea.

      Despite terrorism, a ’safe country’

      During President Essebsi’s visit to Berlin, a 30-year-old woman blew herself up with a homemade bomb in the Tunisian capital, injuring at least eight people.

      “We thought we had eradicated terrorism, but it turns out that it still exists and that it can strike in the heart of the capital,” President Essebsi said in a statement to the press.

      The suicide attack led to renewed questions about whether Tunisia should be considered a safe country of origin for asylum seekers.

      Tarhini: In Germany, in the context of repatriating asylum-seekers, it has been questioned just how safe Tunisia really is. Tunisia is considered a safe North African country. What is your opinion on this?

      Beji Caid Essebsi: "Tunisia is a safe country; that is the truth. It is much safer than many other countries. Regarding refugees and the problem that they pose for Europe and other regions: Tunisia guarantees the freedom of its citizens, no matter what their conduct. If Tunisians abroad do something wrong and are sent back, then we will take them in. But not citizens of other countries.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/13062/refugee-centers-in-tunisia-out-of-the-question-president-says?ref=tw
      #Tunisie
      ping @_kg_

    • Les plateformes de débarquement pour migrants enterrées ?

      « Les Plateformes de débarquement en Afrique ne sont plus à l’ordre du jour et n’auraient jamais dû l’être », a déclaré le président de la Commission européenne Juncker, ce 26 octobre, lors d’une conférence de presse à Tunis avec le Premier ministre tunisien, Youssef Chahed .

      Etonnant ? Rembobinons la bande-son 4 mois en arrière...

      Les plateformes de débarquement sont une proposition de la Commission européenne faite, à Bruxelles, le 28 juin lors d’un Conseil européen. Son objectif était d’empêcher l’arrivée des personnes migrantes, dites irrégulières, sur le sol européen. Comment ? En les bloquant, en amont, dans des centres fermés, le temps d’examiner leur profil et demande. Et en y débarquant systématiquement les naufragés repêchés en Méditerranée. Ces plates-formes seraient situées sur les côtes africaines notamment en Tunisie et au Maroc. L’Egypte a été également évoquée.

      Cette proposition s’inscrivait dans l’approche dominante de « l’externalisation » de la gestion des frontières prônée de façon croissante par les institutions européennes et ses membres depuis une vingtaine d’années. Depuis 2015, cette approche constitue l’une des orientations majeures des politiques migratoires européennes.

      Pourquoi dès lors, la Commission fait-elle marche arrière quant à ce projet ? Plusieurs raisons peuvent être avancées.

      La première réside dans le fait que cette approche n’atteint pas ses objectifs (endiguer les départs et augmenter les expulsions des personnes en situation irrégulière). Il suffit de voir la situation dans les hotspots d’Italie et de Grèce depuis 2015. A Moria, sur l’île de Lesbos, MSF parle de crise humanitaire due au surpeuplement, aux infrastructures et conditions d’accueil déplorables, ainsi qu’à l’insécurité mettant à mal l’ensemble des droits fondamentaux des personnes, notamment ceux des femmes et des mineurs. Les plus vulnérables se retrouvent dans un cul-de-sac.
      « Moria est devenu pour beaucoup un lieu de transit prolongé le temps que leur demande d’asile soit étudiée », souligne Dimitris Vafeas, le directeur adjoint du camp de Moria. D’autres exemples sont ceux du Niger ou encore de la Libye qui laissent les personnes migrantes dans une situation « d’encampement » permanent ou d’errance circulaire sans fin, faute de voies légales de migrations.

      La seconde explication trouve sa source dans le fait que cette approche ne respecte pas le droit international. En effet, d’une part, selon la Convention de Genève, chacun a le droit de quitter son pays et de demander l’asile dans un pays où sa sécurité sera assurée. Le droit international, s’il autorise un pays à refuser l’immigration, prohibe l’instauration du délit d’émigration : la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme stipule ainsi en son article 13 le droit de « quitter tout pays y compris le sien ». De plus, le droit maritime prévoit que tout naufragé sauvé en mer doit être conduit vers le port proche le plus sûr, ce qui implique que les personnes rescapées au large des côtes européennes doivent y être conduite. Enfin, plusieurs pays, à commencer par la Libye, ne représentent en aucun cas des « lieux sûrs », au regard des conditions auxquelles y font face les migrants. Même au Maroc, il y a quelques semaines, le GADEM, association marocaine de défense des droits de l’homme, sortait un rapport dramatique faisant état des violences multiples qu’encourent les personnes migrantes au Maroc.

      La troisième raison est que la majorité des pays en développement ne veulent pas entendre parler de ces plates-formes. Ils accueillent déjà 85 % des personnes réfugiées alors que l’Europe n’en accueille que 6%. Les pays africains tentent donc de faire bloc afin d’installer un rapport de force face aux Européens. Ils savent qu’ils sont désormais des acteurs incontournables du dossier migratoire sur la scène internationale. Cependant, les sommes mises sur la table, tels que les budgets de l’APD, risquent à terme d’effriter ce bloc d’argile, même si ces montants doivent être mis en regard des transferts des diasporas (remittances), nettement plus importants et qui rendent donc les dirigeants des pays d’origine enclins à favoriser les migrations.

      Il est donc temps, vu cet échec, que la Commission européenne change de cap et axe ses politiques non pas sur l’externalisation des questions de l’asile et de la migration, mais sur le renforcement de la solidarité intra-européenne dans l’accueil et sur la mise en œuvre de nouvelles voies sûre et légales de migration. Cela lui permettrait, enfin, de respecter le droit international et de consacrer son APD à la réalisation des Objectifs de développement plutôt qu’à la lutte contre les migrations, fussent-elles irrégulières.

      https://www.cncd.be/Les-plateformes-de-debarquement

    • L’UE bat partiellement en retraite sur les hotspots en Afrique

      Le Conseil voulait débarquer les migrants sauvés en Méditerranée sur les côtes africaines. Face à l’opposition des États africains, le projet a été abandonné, mais l’UE fait toujours pression sur les pays de transit.

      Au sommet du Conseil de juin dernier, les dirigeants européens ont demandé à la Commission d’étudier la possibilité d’instaurer des « plateformes de débarquement régionales » en Afrique, afin d’y envoyer les migrants repêchés par des bateaux européens en Méditerranée.

      L’initiative a tourné court. Dans les jours qui ont suivi le sommet, le Maroc et l’Union africaine se sont mobilisés pour assurer un rejet généralisé des « hotspots » sur les territoires africains.

      Nasser Bourita, le ministre marocain aux Affaires étrangères, a accusé les dirigeants européens de réagir de manière excessive, et souligné que le nombre de migrants tentant d’entrer en Europe a largement chuté. À ce jour, ils sont 80 000 à être arrivés cette année, contre 300 000 en 2016.

      La société civile s’est aussi opposée au projet, estimant que ces camps de migrants seraient contraires aux engagements de l’UE en termes de droits de l’Homme.

      Lors d’une visite en Tunisie le 26 octobre, Jean-Claude Juncker, président de la Commission européenne, a assuré que l’UE ne tentait pas de mettre en place des camps de réfugiés dans le nord de l’Afrique. « Ce n’est plus au programme, et ça n’aurait jamais dû l’être », a-t-il indiqué lors d’une conférence de presse avec le Premier ministre tunisien, Youssef Chahed.

      Une semaine après, la porte-parole de la Commission, Natasha Bertaud, a expliqué que l’exécutif européen préférait à présent parler d’« arrangements de débarquement régionaux ». L’UE a donc commencé à préparer des accords spécifiques avec chacun des pays concernés, dont un échange de financements contre un meilleur contrôle migratoire. Le but est ainsi d’empêcher les migrants d’arriver en Europe.

      Accords en négociations

      Depuis le mois de septembre, des discussions sont en cours entre Bruxelles et le gouvernement égyptien d’Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. Un accord « cash contre migrants » devrait être finalisé avant le sommet UE-Ligue arabe qui aura lieu en février au Caire.

      S’il parait évident que l’Europe ne répétera pas son offre de 4 milliards à la Turquie, l’Égypte devrait demander une aide considérable et des prêts avantageux en échange d’un durcissement du contrôle migratoire. Des accords similaires devraient être conclus avec le Maroc, la Tunisie et la Libye.

      Le timing n’est pas dû au hasard, puisque Abdel Fattah al-Sissi succédera en janvier au Rwandais Paul Kagame à la présidence de l’Union africaine, et que le sommet de février sera centré sur l’immigration.

      Ce n’est pourtant pas parce que l’idée des « hotspots » a été abandonnée que les pays africains échappent aux pressions européennes.

      Le 1er novembre, Reuters indiquait que le ministère marocain des Affaires étrangères avait mis en place une nouvelle obligation pour les ressortissants du Congo Brazzaville, de Guinée et du Mali, qui devront à présent demander un permis de voyage quatre jours avant leur arrivée au Maroc. La plupart des migrants espérant atteindre l’Europe via le Maroc sont guinéens ou maliens.

      L’Espagne fait en effet pression sur Rabat pour réduire le nombre d’arrivées de migrants, notamment via ses enclaves de Ceuta et Melilla.

      Redéfinitions à venir

      Par ailleurs, les conditions de renvoi des migrants seront redéfinies dans le texte qui remplacera l’accord de Cotonou, mais il est clair que l’Europe ne voudra pas les rendre plus strictes. Les discussions entre l’UE et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique, viennent de commencer.

      L’accord, qui expire en 2020, prévoit que les États africains réintègrent les migrants qui n’obtiennent pas l’autorisation de rester en Europe, une mesure qui n’a cependant pas été mise en pratique. « Les dirigeants africains ne respecteront jamais ces articles sur la migration », indique une source proche des négociations.

      L’Union africaine n’est pas parvenue à unir ses membres pour négocier le successeur de l’accord de Cotonou sur la base d’une position commune face à l’UE, mais les avis sont plus convergents sur la question migratoire. Selon une représentante de la société civile, son plan d’action sur l’immigration est « l’un des meilleurs documents sur la migration ».

      Contrairement à l’UE, divisée entre des pays plutôt accueillants et d’autres comme la Hongrie, la Pologne ou l’Italie, qui défendent des règles extrêmement strictes, les membres de l’Union africaine sont sur la même longueur d’onde sur le sujet. « L’UE n’est pas en position de négocier sur l’immigration, mais l’Union africaine l’est », conclut cette même source.

      Pour montrer à ses citoyens qu’elle agit, l’UE pourrait donc finir par mettre en place des arrangements de contrôle migratoire fragmentés et chers.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/eu-lowers-its-ambitions-on-african-migration-control

    • EP lawyers back EU plans for migrant centres in Africa

      Lawyers working at the European Parliament on Tuesday (27 November) struggled to provide a detailed analysis of whether stalled EU plans to offload rescued migrants in north Africa were legal - but ultimately backed the controversial concept.

      “It was at least a brave attempt to piece together, sort of like bits of circumstantial evidence from a kind of a crime scene, to see what the hell this is,” British centre-left MEP Claude Moraes said of their efforts.

      Speaking at the parliament’s civil liberties committee, a lawyer from the legal service was only able to provide an oral summary of their report, citing confidentiality issues.

      But EUobserver has obtained a full copy of the 10-page confidential report, which attempted to provide a legal analysis of stalled EU plans to set up so-called ’regional disembarkation platforms’ in north Africa and controlled centres in Europe.

      The report broadly rubber stamps the legality of both concepts, but with conditions.

      It says “controlled centres and/or disembarkation platforms of a similar nature could be, in principle, lawfully established in the European Union territory.”

      It states disembarkation platforms “could lawfully be established outside of the European Union, in order to receive migrants rescued outside the territory of the Union’s member states.”

      It also says EU law does not apply to migrants rescued at high sea, even with a boat flying an EU-member state flag.

      “We can’t consider a vessel flying a flag of a member state to be an extension of a member state,” the lawyer told the MEPs.

      EU law is also not applied if the migrant is rescued in the territorial waters of an African coastal state, states the report.

      It also notes that people rescued in EU territorial waters cannot then be sent