• Au #Niger, contrôler les flux de migrants

    Le Niger, deuxième pays le plus pauvre du monde, est au cœur de la région du Sahel en Afrique. Il accueille aujourd’hui quelque 300 000 réfugiés et personnes déplacées de pays voisins qui fuient les attaques terroristes. Beaucoup tentent de partir d’ici pour rejoindre l’Europe. Pour contrer cette migration, des fonds européens sont destinés à faire de ce pays de transit un lieu de réinstallation temporaire de certains migrants qui se trouvaient en Libye. Si ce programme, qui vise à répartir les migrants, a du mal à décoller, le flux migratoire s’est déjà tari : en 2016, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations comptaient 333 891personnes traversant la frontière du Niger, principalement vers la Libye. En 2017, le nombre a chuté à 17 634.


    https://www.mediapart.fr/studio/portfolios/au-niger-controler-les-flux-de-migrants

    #Agadez #portfolio #photographie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #réinstallation #Libye #externalisation #OIM #IOM #FMP #Flow_monitoring_points #Tillabéri #Ayorou #Tabarey-barey #camps_de_réfugiés #HCR #Niamey #ETM #mécanisme_d'évacuation_d'urgence #passeurs

    ping @rhoumour @_kg_ @karine4 @isskein

  • Deal signed for construction of new migrant centers

    Migration Minister #Notis_Mitarakis and the director of the European Commission, #Beate_Gminder, have signed a financing agreement for the construction of new closed structures on the eastern Aegean islands of #Samos, #Kos and #Leros.

    The funding for these projects will be fully covered by the European Commission.

    Also on Friday, the working group for the coordination of the procedures for the final termination of the operations of the reception and identification centers in #Vathi on Samos and on Leros met for the first time.

    The group’s main objective is the coordination of all involved bodies (Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Organization, local authorities, the Hellenic Police, the armed forces, the fire brigade and international bodies) to ensure the smooth shutdown of the existing structures and the operation of the new closed facilities of Samos and Leros.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/259140/article/ekathimerini/news/deal-signed-for-construction-of-new-migrant-centers

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #centres #camps_de_réfugiés #financement #Mer_Egée #îles #centres_fermés #financement #EU #internal_externalization #externalisation_intérieure #Union_européenne #UE

    –—

    Et voilà que #Moria_2.0 se généralise à toutes les îles grecques...
    Merci le #nouveau_pacte:


    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876752
    #pacte_européen

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • With @ItalyMFA support; IOM has built a new police border post at the Assamaka border, equipped with the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS). This project aims to reinforce the operational capacities of the Government of Niger on border management.

    https://twitter.com/OIM_Niger/status/1326033475514855424
    #IOM #Niger #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #OIM #Assamaka #MIDAS #Migration_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System #poste-frontière

    Localisation de Assamaka :

    via @rhoumour (twitter)

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • IOM Supports Safe Migration with New Police Post at Niger’s Border with Algeria

      Situated in the heart of the Sahara at only 15 km from Niger’s border with Algeria, the town of Assamaka is a major migratory hub, as the main point of entry for migrants returning from Algeria, and the last place of transit for migrants coming from Niger on their way to Algeria.

      Since late 2017, over 30,000 migrants have arrived in Assamaka from Algeria, mostly from West African countries of origins.

      On Wednesday (14/10), the Government of Niger and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated the first fixed border police post in Assamaka, built and equipped with funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

      This extensive, impoverished and sparsely populated area has long been exploited by criminal and smuggling networks. Nowadays, these ancestral trade and migration routes between Niger and Algeria are often used for smuggling illicit goods and migrants.

      In recent years, border management and border security have become top priorities for the Sahel and for Niger in particular. The Government of Niger strives to reduce illicit cross-border activities, including human smuggling and trafficking, and to prevent the entry of members of violent extremism organizations through the country’s borders.

      In addition to a sharp rise in crime in the border town, Assamaka also faces increasingly high migration flows, due to its position on the trans-Saharan migration route. These are proving difficult to manage to the detriment of the town’s 1,000 or so permanent inhabitants.

      Watch video: New Police Border Post in Assamaka

      Up to now, migrant registration had always been done manually or through IOM’s Mobile Border Post, temporarily deployed by the Government of Niger to the Agadez region. This truck-borne mobile police post was adapted specifically for meeting the challenges in remote desert locations. But it cannot replace a fixed police station.

      The newly constructed border post and its facilities will allow the police to be compliant with national and international norms and fulfill the required security and safety standards.

      The border post is part of a larger project whose objective is to strengthen the capacities of Niger’s immigration service – the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DST). The project also aims to reinforce the cooperation between Nigerien and Algerian law enforcement agencies, as well as the coordination between Nigerien security forces, local authorities and relevant technical services, such as the Regional Directorate of Public Health in the Agadez region.

      Through this new border post, eight workstations are equipped with the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), developed by IOM. These will allow authorities to digitally register people transiting the border. The data collected can be transmitted in real time to a central server, allowing authorities to better track and manage migration flows in and out of Niger.

      “We hope that this new infrastructure will alleviate some of the current challenges faced by local authorities and will improve cross-border cooperation,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Ultimately, this border post aims to contribute to the improvement of the security and stability in Assamaka and its surroundings.”


      https://www.iom.int/news/iom-supports-safe-migration-new-police-post-nigers-border-algeria

      Autres photos sur twitter:


      https://twitter.com/OIM_Niger/status/1317040811536715778

  • Migration : la #France et l’#Italie déploieront des #navires et des #avions pour alerter la Tunisie sur le départ des migrants

    Le ministre français de l’Intérieur, #Gérald_Darmanin, est attendu, ce weekend, en visite en Tunisie pour de décisives discussions dans la foulée de l’attentat contre la basilique de Nice commis par un migrant illégal tunisien, qui a fait trois morts. Une visite qui intervient aussi dans un climat de plus en plus tendu en France dont le gouvernement et le président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, s’emploient à restreindre au maximum les flux migratoires à travers la Méditerranée.

    A la veille de cette visite, le ministre français de l’Intérieur, qui se trouve ce vendredi à Rome , envisage avec son homologue italienne, #Luciana_Lamorgese, de déployer des navires ou des avions pour alerter la Tunisie du départ de #bateaux clandestins transportant des migrants vers les côtes italiennes, comme le jeune Tunisien qui est le principal suspect d’une attaque à l’arme blanche dans une église française la semaine dernière, a déclaré vendredi la ministre italienne.

    A l’issue d’une entrevue entre les deux ministres, Gerald Darmanin s’est gardé de critiquer l’Italie pour sa gestion du suspect tunisien, qui a débarqué sur l’île italienne de Lampedusa en septembre, a été mis en quarantaine en vertu du protocole sanitaire relatif à la pandémie et reçu des papiers d’expulsion des autorités italiennes avant de gagner la France en octobre.

    « A aucun moment, je n’ai pensé qu’il y avait quelque chose de défectueux » dans la façon dont l’Italie a géré l’affaire, a déclaré Darmanin, en réponse à une question posée lors d’une conférence de presse avec Lamorgese après leurs entretiens. Il a plutôt remercié Lamorgese et les services de renseignement italiens pour l’échange d’informations dans les jours qui ont suivi l’#attentat de #Nice.

    Les Tunisiens qui fuient une économie dévastée par les effets du virus, constituent le plus grand contingent de migrants débarqués en Italie cette année, et ils arrivent directement de Tunisie dans des bateaux assez solides pour ne pas avoir besoin de secours, souligne le Washington Post, rappelant que, ces dernières années, la majorité des migrants qui ont atteint les côtes méridionales de l’Italie venaient d’Afrique subsaharienne et traversaient la Méditerranée dans des embarcations de fortune , donc en mauvais état pour la plupart, et opérées par des trafiquants en Libye.

    Lamorgese a déclaré qu’elle avait discuté avec Darmarin d’un #plan prévoyant le déploiement de « moyens navals ou aériens qui pourraient alerter les autorités tunisiennes d’éventuels départs » et les aider à intercepter les bateaux, « dans le respect de leurs souveraineté et autonomie que nous ne voulons pas violer ».

    Selon ce plan, il n’y aurait « qu’une #alerte que nous donnerions aux autorités tunisiennes pour faciliter le #traçage des navires qui partent de leur territoire pour rejoindre les côtes italiennes », a déclaré la ministre italienne. « Il est évident que cela suppose la #collaboration des autorités tunisiennes ».

    La France aurait-elle son « #Patriot_Act ?

    Après sa réunion du matin à Rome, Darmarin a déclaré qu’il se rend en Tunisie, en Algérie et à Malte, pour discuter des questions de migration et de #terrorisme.

    « La France et l’Italie doivent définir une position commune pour la lutte contre l’immigration clandestine au niveau européen », a-t-il déclaré.

    Il a été demandé à Darmarin si, à la suite des récents attentats terroristes en France, le gouvernement français devrait adopter une loi comme le « USA Patriot Act » promulgué après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 pour intensifier les efforts de détection et de prévention du terrorisme.

    « Plus qu’un Patriot Act, ce qu’il faut, c’est un #acte_européen », a répondu Darmarin. « La France ne peut pas lutter seule contre la politique islamiste ».

    La Tunisie est l’un des rares pays à avoir conclu un accord de rapatriement avec l’Italie. Mais avec des milliers de Tunisiens arrivés par mer récemment et moins de 100 migrants expulsés et renvoyés dans le pays par voie aérienne chaque semaine, la priorité est donnée aux personnes considérées comme dangereuses, indique le Washington Post. Selon Lamorgese, rien n’indique que l’agresseur de Nice, Ibrahim Issaoui, 21 ans, constituait une menace.

    Les deux ministres se sont rencontrés un jour après que le président français Emmanuel Macron ait déclaré que son pays renforcera ses contrôles aux frontières après les multiples attaques de cet automne.

    L’Italie et la France lancent, sur une base expérimentale de six mois, des #brigades_mixtes de forces de sécurité italiennes et françaises à leurs frontières communes pour renforcer les contrôles, a déclaré Lamorgese aux journalistes.

    #externalisation #asile #réfugiés #migrations #frontières #surveillance_frontalière #Tunisie #militarisation_des_frontières #Darmanin #accord_de_réadmission

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Interior reactiva las expulsiones desde Canarias y deporta a 22 migrantes a Mauritania

    El Ministerio del Interior ha reactivado este miércoles las deportaciones de migrantes desde Canarias y ha expulsado a 22 las personas que estaban en el Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE) de Barranco Seco hacia Mauritania. De ellas, 18 son de Senegal, dos de Gambia, uno de Guinea-Bissau y uno de Mauritania. En este momento, el CIE de Gran Canaria está vacío, y podrá albergar hasta a 42 personas a partir de hoy, ya que el juez de control, Arcadio Díaz-Tejera, en un auto estableció que este era el aforo máximo para evitar el hacinamiento y los posibles contagios en cadena, como sucedió en marzo. Entonces, el magistrado tuvo que ordenar el desalojo y el cierre, ya que trabajadores del centro contagiaron a los internos. Además, el cierre de fronteras decretado para frenar la expansión de la COVID-19 tampoco permitía las expulsiones. La reapertura se ordenó en septiembre, tras la visita del ministro Fernando Grande-Marlaska a Nouakchott.

    El ministro viajó en compañía de la comisaria europea Ylva Johansson para abordar la crisis migratoria que atraviesa el Archipiélago en la actualidad. Uno de los resultados de este encuentro fue la recuperación de las deportaciones hacia Mauritania, aprovechando el acuerdo bilateral que ambos países mantienen. Este documento recoge la expulsión a este país africano tanto de nacionales de este país como de países terceros que en su trayecto migratorio hayan partido del territorio mauritano.

    Aprovechando este epígrafe del convenio, España expulsó a finales de 2019 y comienzos de 2020 incluso a malienses. Algunos de ellos habían solicitado protección internacional ante el conflicto armado que atraviesa su país. Según Acnur, ninguna persona procedente de las regiones afectadas por esta guerra debería ser devuelta de manera forzosa, puesto que el resto del país no debe ser considerado como una alternativa adecuada al asilo hasta el momento en que la situación de seguridad, el estado de derecho y los derechos humanos hayan mejorado significativamente. Así, Acnur insta a los Estados a proporcionar acceso al territorio y a los procedimientos de asilo a las personas que huyen del conflicto en Malí.

    Grande-Marlaska y Johansson también visitaron este fin de semana Canarias, incluido el saturado muelle de Arguineguín que alberga hasta el momento a más de 2.000 personas. El viaje fue criticado por Podemos Canarias, que lo tildó de «hipócrita y decepcionante» por haberse limitado a «poco más que a hacerse una foto y unas declaraciones que son las mismas que se repiten desde hace meses».

    El ministro evidenció en su visita que su apuesta para controlar los flujos migratorios era reforzar la vigilancia y cooperar con los países de origen, poniendo el foco en la lucha contra las mafias de tráfico de personas. Marlaska aseguró que España reforzó tanto a sus Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado como a las autoridades de Mauritania. «Un avión de la Guardia Civil ha sido enviado a Nouakchott para realizar labores de prevención y facilitar los rescates en origen y así evitar más muertes»

    Como parte de la estrategia de su departamento, ha solicitado apoyo al Frontex, que ha enviado a siete agentes a Gran Canaria para identificar migrantes y «controlar la inmigración irregular». Con este fin, el ministro ha visitado Argelia, Túnez y Mauritania, y se desplazará a Marruecos el próximo 20 de noviembre. Esta estrategia ya fue empleada en 2006 con fines disuasorios hacia las personas que pretendían partir en cayucos o pateras hacia Canarias. El operativo HERA consistió en el despliegue de personal especializado en la zona, medios marítimos y aéreos que patrullaban el litoral africano, además de sistemas de satélite para controlar el Atlántico. Este equipo no lo aportó Frontex, sino los países miembros de la UE y la agencia reembolsa los costes del despliegue, tantos de los guardias de fronteras como del transporte, combustible y mantenimiento del equipo. La Agencia europea invirtió 3,2 millones de euros de los cuatro que costó la operación en el Atlántico.

    El objetivo se cumplió, ya que de las 31.678 personas que sobrevivieron a la ruta migratoria canaria ese año, se pasó a 12.478 en 2007, 9.181 en 2008, 2.246 en 2009 y a 196 en 2010.

    https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/migraciones/interior-reactiva-expulsiones-canarias-deporta-22-migrantes-mauritania_1_63

    –-> 22 personnes expulsées des Canaries vers la Mauritanie. Une personne mauritanienne parmi elles, les autres viennent du Sénégal, de Gambie et de Guinée Bissau. Selon l’article, la reprise des expulsions a été décidée en septembre après la visite du ministre de l’intérieur.

    –—

    A mettre en lien avec la « réactivation des routes migratoires à travers la #Méditerranée_occidentale » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/885310

    #Canaries #îles_Canaries #Mauritanie #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Espagne #evelop #externalisation

    ping @_kg_ @rhoumour @isskein @karine4

    • Marruecos aumenta las deportaciones de migrantes desde el Sáhara Occidental, punto de partida clave hacia Canarias

      Hablamos con varios de los migrantes deportados por Marruecos en los últimos meses tras un pausa durante el confinamiento.

      Aminata Camara, de 25 años, es una de las 86 personas migrantes guineanas expulsadas por Marruecos el pasado 28 de septiembre desde la ciudad de Dajla. El reino marroquí retomó entonces las deportaciones de migrantes desde el Sáhara Occidental, punto de partida clave de pateras hacia Canarias. «Nos llevaron al aeropuerto, no nos tomaron las huellas, no nos pidieron nada ni los datos. Nos dieron los billetes del vuelo, sin equipaje», contaba la mujer guineana a elDiario.es mientras acababa de embarcar en el avión.

      De fondo se escuchaba el revuelo, los gritos de un grupo de mujeres, mientras ella se atropellaba al denunciar nerviosa que los militares la habían metido en un avión en Dhkala junto a otros 80 compatriotas (28 mujeres), y que los expulsaban a su país. «Los militares que nos acompañaron en el viaje nos abandonaron en el avión. Un bus nos llevó a la parte nacional del aeropuerto de Conakri y nos dejaron allí sin más, a pesar del coronavirus. Tuvimos que coger taxis para llegar a nuestras casas», denunciaba ya en su país.

      Desde entonces, han salido al menos tres aviones más con personas migrantes desde Dajla a Guinea Conakry, Senegal y Mali. El último vuelo de deportación se organizó el pasado 11 de noviembre, con alrededor de un centenar de personas que la Marina Real marroquí había interceptado en la costa atlántica intentando salir hacia las Islas Canarias. Los metieron en dos autocares en la ciudad saharaui para enviarlos en avión a Dakar. Allí, fuentes del aeropuerto, corroboran a este medio que el miércoles llegó un grupo de senegaleses.

      En el momento en que se ejecutaba la expulsión de los ciudadanos malienses el pasado 2 de octubre, elDiario.es contactó telefónicamente con Traore, el presidente de la comunidad maliense en Marruecos. «Hemos sido detenidos ilegalmente, nos cogieron en las casas y nos encerraron tres semanas en un centro de detención en El Aaiún. Hoy nos llevan al aeropuerto de Dajla para deportarnos a Mali. Somos algo más de 80 personas. Y las autoridades malienses han firmado una deportación voluntaria, mientras que nos están forzado a dejar el país sin ningún papel».

      Desde Dajla, François, que se salvó de la expulsión, asegura a este medio: «A los subsaharianos nos cogen diciendo que tenemos el coronavirus para meternos en cuarentena. Los test de PCR en los trabajos son obligatorias para los subsaharianos. Y a 115 senegaleses, 95 guineanos y 80 malienses los deportaron a sus países».

      Entre los expulsados había migrantes que residían desde hace tiempo en El Aaiún y Dajla, ciudades saharauis desde donde se registran la mayoría de las salidas en embarcaciones a Canarias, la ruta migratoria más transitada actualmente en España. Hasta el 15 de noviembre, llegaron 16.760 personas en 553 embarcaciones, según los datos del Ministerio del Interior. En plena crisis migratoria en las islas, Marlaska viaja este viernes a Marruecos con el objetivo de reforzar la cooperación en materia fronteriza y evitar la salida de pateras hacia las islas.

      Por su parte, una fuente oficial de migración desde Rabat confirma a elDiario.es los cuatro aviones de expulsión, pero con 120 personas de Mali, entre los que se encontraban cinco guineanos; 28 mujeres deportadas a Guinea Conakry y 144 senegaleses rescatados en el mar. A los que hay añadir los últimos 100 enviados a Senegal la semana pasada. «Algunos son migrantes expulsados inicialmente de Tánger, Nador, Rabat, Casablanca y Alhucemas hacia la frontera de Marruecos con Argelia en Tiouli, región de Jerada, a unos 60 kilómetros de Oujda», precisa la misma fuente. Las devoluciones se hicieron con tres de los cuatro países –el otro es Costa de Marfil– con los que Marruecos estableció un acuerdo para acceder al país sin visado.
      «Había un bebé de tres meses con nosotros»

      Aminara pasó tres semanas encerrada junto al resto de personas de origen subsahariano antes de ser expulsadas desde el Sáhara Occidental. «Había un bebé de tres meses con nosotros, otro de dos meses con su madre, dos niños de 5 y 8, una niña de 9 años», recuerda ya desde una localidad cercana a Boffa, en la región de Boké (Guinea Conakry).

      «La Gendarmería vino a la casa por la noche. Estábamos dormidos. Llamaron a la puerta y nos pidieron que abriésemos, cuando lo hicimos, nos hicieron salir y montar en los vehículos, nos llevaron a prisión y nos encerraron tres semanas.
      »¿Qué hemos hecho?", preguntaron. «Nada, tenéis que salir» respondieron los militares.

      Después la encerraron tres semanas en un centro de detención improvisado. «Nos maltrataron, nos trataban como esclavos. Pegaron a una amiga allí, y le rompieron el pie. Cuando alguien caía enfermo, lo abandonaban fuera, y nadie te miraba, ni siquiera te llevaban al hospital. Solo comíamos pan y sardinas, ni agua nos daban. Enfermó mucha gente, yo misma me puse mala. Fue un calvario», enumera apresuradamente por teléfono.

      Durante el encierro les hicieron dos veces los test PCR para detectar el coronavirus. Y después de que las autoridades firmasen junto a los representantes de los consulados su expulsión, los metieron en aviones a sus países de origen. «Nos maltrataron, nos encerraron, nos pegaron, nos hicieron todo lo malo, lo prometo», dice en un susurro.
      «Han violado nuestros derechos y queremos verdaderamente justicia»

      Precisamente, la Asociación Marroquí de Derechos Humanos (AMDH) de Nador ha denunciado detenciones forzosas desde que comenzó el confinamiento en el mes de marzo. «Estas condiciones inhumanas de confinamiento son una práctica voluntaria de las autoridades marroquíes para instar a los migrantes secuestrados a que revelen sus datos personales para posteriormente identificarlos y deportarlos contra su voluntad», mantiene la AMDH.

      Finalmente, Amina está en Guinea: «No es fácil. No tengo apoyo ni nadie que me pueda ayudar. Cuando llegamos, contactamos con Naciones Unidas. Nos dijeron que nos iban ayudar, pero después no nos han llamado, también nos ha abandonado. Nadie nos ha escuchado».

      Esta joven viajó a Marruecos para mejorar el nivel de vida. En su país, creció en la calle después de perder a sus padres. Habló con un amigo magrebí y emprendió la ruta de Argelia, pasando por Mali y entrando finalmente a Marruecos. El objetivo era trabajar, «jamás osé a cruzar a España. Lo encuentro muy peligroso. Cada día muere gente en el agua. Nunca intenté eso», confiesa.

      «Los dos años en Marruecos no había nada que hacer. Tampoco fue fácil», rememora desde Guinea. Compartía una habitación con ocho personas y trabajaba en una empresa de pescado en Dkhala, pero «los militares me pegaron y perdí mi bebé. Tuve un aborto». Tras esta desgracia, se trasladó a una residencia particular en El Aaiún «donde trabajaba día y noche por 150 euros al mes, que me llegaba para pagar el alojamiento y la comida».
      AMDH denuncia las «deportaciones forzosas» que el gobierno disfraza de «voluntarias»

      El gobierno disfraza estos vuelos con datos de «retorno voluntario» porque los están gestionando al margen de los organismos internacionales. La AMDH de Nador denunció en las redes sociales: «La deportación forzosa de migrantes subsaharianos por las autoridades marroquíes continúa desde Dajla».

      «Desalojos inhumanos que no podían hacerse sin la complicidad de las embajadas en Rabat y sin el dinero de la Unión Europea (UE)», apunta la AMDH. Incide además en sus publicaciones en Facebook en que «son expulsados con la complicidad de su embajada y con el dinero de la UE y la Organización Internacional de Migraciones (OIM)».
      «Retornos a la fuerza, y no voluntarios»

      Desde el organismo confirman que se trataba de «retornos a la fuerza, y no voluntarios». Las ONG denuncian «corrupción» porque los cónsules firmaron un retorno voluntario con Marruecos basándose en acuerdos entre los países que además se han instalado recientemente en el Sáhara Occidental, como es el caso de Guinea Conakry, Senegal y Mali.

      Moussa Coulibaly (31 años) habla con elDiario.es desde Mali. Llevaba cuatros años y medio en Marruecos, pero el 2 de octubre por la tarde fue deportado, junto a otras 83 personas malienses. «Fue el consulado el que firmó que nos trajeran al país. Nuestros gobiernos son malos. Realmente sufrimos. Las autoridades han deportado a la mayoría», delata.

      Marruecos ha retomado las deportaciones tras el confinamiento. «Desde principios de julio hasta septiembre de 2020, alrededor de 157 personas han sido expulsadas de Marruecos entre las que había 9 mujeres, 11 menores y 7 personas heridas», detallaban desde Rabat a principios de octubre.

      La AMDH ya denunció en su informe de 2019, que cerca de 600 migrantes habían sido expulsados en autocares desde un centro de internamiento de Nador al aeropuerto de Casablanca en 35 operaciones de deportación durante el año. Entonces ya desveló que los seis países que cooperan con Marruecos para deportar a sus nacionales son Camerún, Costa de Marfil, Guinea, Senegal, Mali y Burkina Faso.

      Precisamente la Organización Democrática del Trabajo (ODT) acusa al gobierno magrebí de descuidar a las personas migrantes desde que apareció la Covid–19. Denuncia en un comunicado que «el sufrimiento de los migrantes africanos en Marruecos solo se ha intensificado y exacerbado durante el período de la pandemia».

      https://www.eldiario.es/desalambre/marruecos-aumenta-deportaciones-migrantes-subsaharianos-dajla-principales-p

      #Sahara_occidental #Maroc #Dajla #Dhkala #Sénégal #Mali #Guinée-Conakry #Guinée

  • Proceedings of the conference “Externalisation of borders : detention practices and denial of the right to asylum”

    Présentation de la conférence en vidéo :
    http://www.alessiobarbini.com/Video_Convegno_Def_FR.mp4

    –---

    In order to strengthen the network among the organizations already engaged in strategic actions against the outsourcing policies implemented by Italy and Europe, during the work of the conference were addressed the issues of the impact of European and Italian policies and regulations, as well as bilateral agreements between European and African countries. Particular attention was given to the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings and detention policies for migrants and asylum seekers.

    PANEL I – BILATERAL AGREEMENTS BETWEEN AFRICAN AND EU MEMBER STATES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES ON DETENTION

    Detention and repatriation of migrants in Europe: a comparison between the different Member States of the EU
    Francesca Esposito – Border Criminologies, University of Oxford. Esposito ITA; Esposito ENG.

    The phenomenon of returnees in Nigeria: penal and administrative consequences after return
    Olaide A. Gbadamosi- Osun State University. Gbadamosi ITA; Gbadamosi ENG.

    European externalisation policies and the denial of the right to asylum: focus on ruling no. 22917/2019 of the Civil Court of Rome
    Loredana Leo – ASGI. Leo ITA; Leo ENG.

    PANEL II – THE PHENOMENON OF TRAFFICKING AND THE
    RIGHT TO ASYLUM

    Recognition of refugee status for victims of trafficking
    Nazzarena Zorzella – ASGI. Zorzella ITA; Zorzella ENG; Zorzella FRA.

    Voluntariness in return processes: nature of consent and role of the IOM
    Jean Pierre Gauci – British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Gauci ITA; Gauci ENG; Gauci FRA.

    Conditional refugees: resettlement as a condition to exist
    Sara Creta – Independent journalist. Creta ITA; Creta ENG.

    Resettlement: legal nature and the Geneva Convention
    Giulia Crescini – ASGI. Crescini ITA; Crescini ENG; Crescini FRA.

    PANEL III – THE RISKS ARISING FROM THE REFOULEMENT
    OF TRAFFICKED PERSONS, MEMBER STATES’ RESPONSIBILITIES
    AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

    Introduction of Godwin Morka (Director of research and programme development, NAPTIP) and Omoruyi Osula (Head of Admin/Training, ETAHT). Morka ITA; Morka ENG. Osula ITA; Osula ENG.

    The phenomenon of re-trafficking of women repatriated in Nigeria
    Kokunre Agbontaen-Eghafona – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Benin. Kokunre ITA; Kokunre ENG.

    The phenomenon of trafficking: social conditions before departure from a gender perspective
    R. Evon Benson-Idahosa – Pathfinders Justice Initiative. Idahosa ITA; Idahosa ENG.

    Strategic litigation on externalisation of borders and lack of access to the right to asylum for victims of trafficking
    Cristina Laura Cecchini – ASGI. Cecchini ITA; Cecchini ENG.

    Protection for victims of trafficking in transit countries: focus on Niger. Yerima Bako Djibo Moussa – Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Compensation at the National Agency for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in Niger. Yerima ITA; Yerima FRA.

    PANEL IV – LIBERTÀ DI MOVIMENTO

    ECOWAS free movement area: interferences of European policies and remedies
    Ibrahim Muhammad Mukhtar – Law Clinic Coordinator, NILE University. Mukhtar ITA; Mukhtar ENG.

    The consequences of migration policies on freedom of movement: focus on Niger
    Harouna Mounkaila – Professor and Researcher, Department of Geography, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey. Mounkaila ITA; Mounkaila FRA.

    Identification of African citizens in transit to the European Union: functioning of data collection and privacy
    Jane Kilpatrick – Statewatch. Kilpatrick ITA; Kilpatrick ENG; Kilpatrick FRA.

    EU funding for ECOWAS countries’ biometric data registry systems: level of funding and impact on the population
    Giacomo Zandonini – Journalist. Zandonini ITA; Zandonini ENG.

    The right to leave any country, including his own, in international law
    Francesca Mussi – Research fellow in International Law, University of Trento. Mussi ITA; Mussi ENG; Mussi FRA.

    Human Rights Protection Mechanisms in Africa
    Giuseppe Pascale – Researcher of International Law, University of Trieste. Pascale ITA; Pascale ENG.

    https://sciabacaoruka.asgi.it/en/proceedings-of-the-conference-externalisation-of-borders-detention-practices-and-denial-of-the-right-to-asylum/#smooth-scroll-top

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #retour_volontaire #renvois #expulsions #détention_administrative #rétention #Nigeria #returnees #droit_d'asile #trafic_d'êtres_humains #IOM #OIM #ASGI #rapport #réinstallation #refoulement #genre #Niger #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation #identification #données #collecte_de_données #biométrie #ECOWAS #droits_humains

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    ping @isskein @rhoumour @karine4 @_kg_

  • Revealed: No 10 explores sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea | UK news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/sep/30/revealed-no-10-explores-sending-asylum-seekers-to-moldova-morocco-and-p

    Downing Street has asked officials to consider the option of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco or Papua New Guinea and is the driving force behind proposals to hold refugees in offshore detention centres, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

    The documents suggest officials in the Foreign Office have been pushing back against No 10’s proposals to process asylum applications in detention facilities overseas, which have also included the suggestion the centres could be constructed on the south Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena.

    The documents, marked “official” and “sensitive” and produced earlier this month, summarise advice from officials at the Foreign Office, which was asked by Downing Street to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

    #migration #asile #déportation #externalisation #déterritorialisation

    • Downing Street has asked officials to consider the option of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco or Papua New Guinea and is the driving force behind proposals to hold refugees in offshore detention centres, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

      The documents suggest officials in the Foreign Office have been pushing back against No 10’s proposals to process asylum applications in detention facilities overseas, which have also included the suggestion the centres could be constructed on the south Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena.

      The documents, marked “official” and “sensitive” and produced earlier this month, summarise advice from officials at the Foreign Office, which was asked by Downing Street to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

      The Australian system of processing asylum seekers in on the Pacific Islands costs AY$13bn (£7.2bn) a year and has attracted criticism from human rights groups, the United Nations and even the UK government, according to the documents, which reveal British ministers have “privately” raised concerns with Australia over the abuse of detainees in its offshore detention facilities.

      The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the home secretary, Priti Patel, asked officials to consider processing asylum seekers Ascension and St Helena, which are overseas British territories. Home Office sources were quick to distance Patel from the proposals and Downing Street has also played down Ascension and St Helena as destinations for asylum processing centres.

      However, the documents seen by the Guardian suggest the government has for weeks been working on “detailed plans” that include cost estimates of building asylum detention camps on the south Atlantic islands, as well as other proposals to build such facilities in Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea.

      The documents suggest the UK’s proposals would go further than Australia’s hardline system, which is “based on migrants being intercepted outside Australian waters”, allowing Australia to claim no immigration obligations to individuals. The UK proposals, the documents state, would involve relocating asylum seekers who “have arrived in the UK and are firmly within the jurisdiction of the UK for the purposes of the ECHR and Human Rights Act 1998”.

      The documents suggest that the idea that Morocco, Moldova and Papua New Guinea might make suitable destinations for UK asylum processing centres comes directly from Downing Street, with documents saying the three countries were specifically “suggested” and “floated” by No 10. One document says the request for advice on third country options for detention facilities came from “the PM”.

      The Times reported that the government was also giving serious consideration to the idea of creating floating asylum centres in disused ferries moored off the UK coast.

      While composed in the restrained language of civil servants, the Foreign Office advice contained in the documents appears highly dismissive of the ideas emanating from Downing Street, pointing out numerous legal, practical and diplomatic obstacles to processing asylums seekers oversees. The documents state that:

      • Plans to process asylum seekers at offshore centres in Ascension or St Helena would be “extremely expensive and logistically complicated” given the remoteness of the islands. The estimated cost is £220m build cost per 1,000 beds and running costs of £200m. One document adds: “In relation to St Helena we will need to consider if we are willing to impose the plan if the local government object.”

      • The “significant” legal, diplomatic and practical obstacles to the plan include the existence of “sensitive military installations” on the island of Ascension. One document warns that the military issues mean the “will mean US government would need to be persuaded at the highest levels, and even then success cannot be guaranteed”.

      • It is “highly unlikely” that any north African state, including Morocco, would agree to hosting asylum seekers relocated to the UK. “No north African country, Morocco included, has a fully functioning asylum system,” one document states. “Morocco would not have the resources (or the inclination) to pay for a processing centre.”

      • Seeming to dismiss the idea of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Foreign Office officials point out there is protracted conflict in the eastern European country over Transnistria as well as “endemic” corruption. They add: “If an asylum centre depended on reliable, transparent, credible cooperation from the host country justice system we would not be able to rely on this.”

      • Officials warned of “significant political and logistical obstacles” to sending asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea, pointing out it is more than 8,500 miles away, has a fragile public health system and is “one of the bottom few countries in the world in terms of medical personnel per head of population”. They also warn any such a move would “renew scrutiny of Australia’s own offshore processing”. One document adds: “Politically, we judge the chances of positive engagement with the government on this to be almost nil.”

      A Foreign Office source played down the idea that the department had objected to Downing Street’s offshoring proposals for asylum seekers, saying officials’ concerns were only about the practicality of the plan. “This was something which the Cabinet Office commissioned, which we responded to with full vigour, to show how things could work,” the source said.

      However, another Whitehall source familiar with the government plans said they were part of a push by Downing Street to “radically beef-up the hostile environment” in 2021 following the end of the Brexit transition. Former prime minister Theresa May’s “hostile environment” phrase, which became closely associated with the polices that led to the Windrush scandal, is no longer being used in government.

      But the source said that moves are afoot to find a slate of new policies that would achieve a similar end to “discourage” and “deter” migrants from entering the UK illegally.

      The documents seen by the Guardian also contain details of Home Office legal advice to Downing Street, which states that the policy would require legislative changes, including “disapplying sections 77 and 78 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 so that asylum seekers can be removed from the UK while their claim or appeal is pending”.

      Another likely legislative change, according to the Home Office advice, would require “defining what we mean by a clandestine arrival (and potentially a late claim) and create powers allowing us to send them offshore for the purposes of determining their asylum claims”.

      One of the documents states that the option of building detention centres in foreign countries – rather than British overseas territories – is “not the favoured No 10 avenue, but they wish to explore [the option] in case it presents easier pathways to an offshore facility”.

      On Wednesday, asked about the FT’s report about the UK considering plans to ship asylum seekers to the south Atlantic for processing, Boris Johnson’s spokesperson confirmed the UK was considering Australian–style offshore processing centres.

      He said the UK had a “long and proud history” of accepting asylum seekers but needed to act, particularly given migrants making unofficial crossings from France in small boats.

      “We are developing plans to reform our illegal migration and asylum policies so we can keep providing protection to those who need it, while preventing abuse of the system and criminality. As part of this work we’ve been looking at what a whole host of other countries do to inform a plan for the United Kingdom. And that work is ongoing.”

      Asked for comment about the proposals regarding Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea, Downing Street referred the Guardian to the spokesman’s earlier comments. The Foreign Office referred the Guardian to the Home Office. The Home Office said it had nothing to add to comments by the prime minister’s spokesman.

      #UK #Angleterre #Maroc #Papoue_Nouvelle_Guinée #Moldavie
      #offshore_detention_centres
      #procédure_d'asile #externalisation_de_la_procédure #modèle_australien

      #île_de_l'Ascension

      #île_Sainte-Hélène


      #Sainte-Hélène

      –---

      Les #floating_asylum_centres pensés par l’UK rappellent d’autres structures flottantes :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/879396

      –—

      Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    • Ascension Island: Priti Patel considered outpost for UK asylum centre location

      The government has considered building an asylum processing centre on a remote UK territory in the Atlantic Ocean.

      The idea of “offshoring” people is being looked at but finding a suitable location would be key, a source said.

      Home Secretary Priti Patel asked officials to look at asylum policies which had been successful in other countries, the BBC has been told.

      The Financial Times says Ascension Island, more than 4,000 miles (6,000km) from the UK, was a suggested location.

      What happens to migrants who reach the UK?
      More migrants arrive in September than all of 2019
      Fleeing the Syrian war for Belfast

      The Foreign Office is understood to have carried out an assessment for Ascension - which included the practicalities of transferring migrants thousands of miles to the island - and decided not to proceed.

      However, a Home Office source said ministers were looking at “every option that can stop small boat crossings and fix the asylum system”.

      "The UK has a long and proud history of offering refuge to those who need protection. Tens of thousands of people have rebuilt their lives in the UK and we will continue to provide safe and legal routes in the future.

      “As ministers have said we are developing plans to reform policies and laws around illegal migration and asylum to ensure we are able to provide protection to those who need it, while preventing abuse of the system and the criminality associated with it.”

      No final decisions have been made.
      ’Logistical nightmare’

      Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “This ludicrous idea is inhumane, completely impractical and wildly expensive - so it seems entirely plausible this Tory government came up with it.”

      Alan Nicholls, a member of the Ascension Island council, said moving asylum seekers more than 4,000 miles to the British overseas territory would be a “logistical nightmare” and not well received by the islanders.

      He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the presence of military bases on the island could make the concept “prohibitive” due to security concerns.

      Australia has controversially used offshore processing and detention centres for asylum seekers since the 1980s.

      A United Nations refugee agency representative to the UK, Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, said the proposal would breach the UK’s obligations to asylum seekers and would “change what the UK is - its history and its values”.

      Speaking to the UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, she said the Australian model had “brought about huge suffering for people, who are guilty of no more than seeking asylum, and it has also cost huge amounts of money”.

      The proposal comes amid record numbers of migrants making the journey across the English Channel to the UK in small boats this month, which Ms Patel has vowed to stop.

      Laura Trott, Conservative MP for Sevenoaks in Kent, said it was “absolutely right” that the government was looking at offshore asylum centres to “reduce the pressure” on Kent, which was “unable to take any more children into care”.

      In order to be eligible for asylum in the UK, applicants must prove they cannot return to their home country because they fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

      Asylum seekers cannot work while their claims are being processed, so the government offers them a daily allowance of just over £5 and accommodation, often in hostels or shared flats.

      Delays in processing UK asylum applications increased significantly last year with four out of five applicants in the last three months of 2019 waiting six months or more for their cases to be processed.

      That compared with three in four during the same period in 2018.

      –—

      Ascension Island key facts

      The volcanic island has no indigenous population, and the people that live there - fewer than 1,000 - are the employees and families of the organisations operating on the island
      The military airbase is jointly operated by the RAF and the US, and has been used as a staging post to supply and defend the Falkland Islands
      Its first human inhabitants arrived in 1815, when the Royal Navy set up camp to keep watch on Napoleon, who was imprisoned on the island of St Helena some 800 miles away
      It is home to a BBC transmitter - the BBC Atlantic Relay station - which sends shortwave radio to Africa and South America

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-54349796

  • L’#Université, le #Covid-19 et le danger des #technologies_de_l’éducation

    La crise actuelle et la solution proposée d’un passage des enseignements en ligne en urgence ont accéléré des processus systémiques déjà en cours dans les universités britanniques, en particulier dans le contexte du Brexit. Même si l’enseignement en ligne peut avoir une portée radicale et égalitaire, sa pérennisation dans les conditions actuelles ouvrirait la voie à ce que les fournisseurs privés de technologies de l’éducation (edtech d’après l’anglais educational technology) imposent leurs priorités et fassent de l’exception une norme.

    Mariya Ivancheva, sociologue à l’université de Liverpool dont les recherches portent sur l’enseignement supérieur, soutient que nous devons repenser ce phénomène et y résister, sans quoi le secteur de l’enseignement supérieur britannique continuera d’opérer comme un outil d’extraction et de redistribution de l’argent public vers le secteur privé.

    *

    Avec la propagation mondiale du coronavirus et la désignation du COVID-19 comme pandémie par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé le 11 mars, les universités de nombreux pays ont eu recours à l’enseignement en ligne. Rien qu’aux États-Unis, dès le 12 mars, plus de 100 universités sont passées à l’enseignement à distance. Depuis, rares sont les pays où au moins une partie des cours n’est pas dispensée en ligne. Les prestataires de services d’enseignement privés ont été inondés de demandes de la part des universités, qui les sollicitaient pour faciliter le passage à l’enseignement à distance.

    Au Royaume-Uni, la réticence initiale du gouvernement et des directions de certaines institutions d’enseignement supérieur à imposer des mesures de distanciation sociale et à fermer les établissements ont mené plusieurs universités à prendre cette initiative de leur propre chef. Le 23 mars, lorsque les règles de confinement et de distanciation sociale ont finalement été introduites, la plupart des universités avaient déjà déplacé leurs cours en ligne et fermé la plus grande partie de leur campus, à l’exception des « services essentiels ». Si un débat sur les inégalités face à l’université dématérialisée a eu lieu (accès aux ordinateurs, à une connexion Internet sécurisée et à un espace de travail calme pour les étudiant.e.s issus de familles pauvres, vivant dans des conditions défavorables, porteurs de responsabilités familiales ou d’un handicap), l’impact sur le long terme de ce passage en ligne sur le travail universitaire n’a pas été suffisamment discuté.

    Ne pas laisser passer l’opportunité d’une bonne crise

    Étant donnée la manière criminelle dont le gouvernement britannique a initialement répondu à la crise sanitaire, un retard qui aurait coûté la vie à plus de 50 000 personnes, les mesures de confinement et de distanciation prises par les universités sont louables. Toutefois, la mise en ligne des enseignements a également accéléré des processus déjà existants dans le secteur universitaire au Royaume-Uni.

    En effet, surtout depuis la crise de 2008, ce secteur est aux prises avec la marchandisation, les politiques d’austérité et la précarisation. Désormais, il doit également faire aux conséquences du Brexit, qui se traduiront par une baisse des financements pour la recherche provenant de l’UE ainsi que par une diminution du nombre d’étudiant.e.s européens. Entre l’imminence d’une crise économique sans précédent, les craintes d’une baisse drastique des effectifs d’étudiant.e.s étranger/ères payant des frais de scolarité pour l’année académique à venir et le refus du gouvernement de débourser deux milliards de livres pour renflouer le secteur, la perspective d’une reprise rapide est peu probable.

    Le passage en ligne a permis à de nombreux étudiant.e.s de terminer le semestre et l’année académique : pourtant, les personnels enseignants et administratifs n’ont reçu que de maigres garanties face à la conjoncture. Pour les enseignements, les universités britanniques dépendent à plus de 50% de travailleurs précaires, ayant des contrats de vacation souvent rémunérés à l’heure et sur demande (« zero-hour contract » : contrat sans horaire spécifié). Si certaines universités ont mis en place des systèmes de congé sans solde ou de chômage partiel pour faire face à la pandémie, la majorité d’entre elles envisage de renvoyer les plus vulnérables parmi leurs employés.

    Parallèlement, les sociétés prestataires d’edtech, qui sollicitaient auparavant les universités de manière discrète, sont désormais considérées comme des fournisseurs de services de « premiers secours » voire « palliatifs ». Or, dans le contexte actuel, la prolongation de ces modes d’enseignements entraînerait une précarisation et une externalisation accrues du travail universitaire, et serait extrêmement préjudiciable à l’université publique.

    Les eaux troubles de l’enseignement supérieur commercialisé

    Au cours des dernières décennies, le domaine universitaire britannique a connu une énorme redistribution des fonds publics vers des prestataires privés. Les contributions du public et des particuliers à l’enseignement supérieur se font désormais par trois biais : les impôts (budgets pour la recherche et frais de fonctionnement des universités), les frais d’études (frais de scolarité, frais de subsistance et remboursement des prêts étudiants) et par le port du risque de crédit pour les prêts étudiants (reconditionnés en dette et vendus aux investisseurs privés)[1].

    Lorsque les directions des universités mettent en œuvre des partenariats public-privé dont les conditions sont largement avantageuses pour le secteur privé, elles prétendent que ces contrats profitent au « bien public », et ce grâce à l’investissement qu’ils permettraient dans les infrastructures et les services, et parce qu’ils mèneraient à la création d’emplois et donc à de la croissance. Mais cette rhétorique dissimule mal le fait que ces contrats participent en réalité à un modèle d’expansion de l’université fondé sur la financiarisation et le non-respect des droits des travailleurs dont les conditions de travail deviennent encore plus précaires.

    À cet égard, les retraites des universitaires ont été privatisées par le biais d’un régime appelé Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), dont il a été divulgué qu’il s’agissait d’un régime fiscal offshore. Par ailleurs, les universités britanniques, très bien notées par les agences de notation qui supposent que l’État les soutiendrait le cas échéant, ont été autorisées à emprunter des centaines de millions de livres pour investir dans la construction de résidences étudiantes privées, s’engageant à une augmentation exponentielle du nombre d’étudiant.e.s.

    Le marché de la construction des résidences universitaires privées atteignait 45 milliards de livres en 2017, et bénéficiait souvent à des sociétés privées offshores. Les étudiant.e.s sont ainsi accueillis dans des dortoirs sans âme, fréquentent des infrastructures basiques (par exemple les installations sportives), alors qu’ils manquent cruellement d’accès aux services de soutien psychologique et social, ou même tout simplement de contact direct avec leurs enseignants, qu’ils voient souvent de loin dans des amphithéâtres bondés. Ces choix ont pour résultat une détérioration dramatique de la santé mentale des étudiant.e.s.

    Avec des frais universitaires pouvant aller jusqu’à £9 000 par an pour les études de premier cycle et dépassant parfois £20 000 par an en cycle de masters pour les étudiant.e.s étranger/ères (sans compter les frais de subsistance : nourriture, logement, loisirs), la dette étudiante liée à l’emprunt a atteint 121 milliards de livres. La prévalence d’emplois précaires et mal payés sur le marché du travail rend à l’évidence ces prêts de plus en plus difficiles à rembourser.

    Enfin, le financement de la recherche provient toujours principalement de sources publiques, telles que l’UE ou les comités nationaux pour la recherche. Candidater pour ces financements extrêmement compétitifs demande un énorme investissement en temps, en main d’œuvre et en ressources. Ces candidatures sont cependant fortement encouragées par la direction des universités, en dépit du faible taux de réussite et du fait que ces financements aboutissent souvent à des collaborations entre université et industrie qui profitent au secteur privé par le biais de brevets, de main-d’œuvre de recherche bon marché, et en octroyant aux entreprises un droit de veto sur les publications.

    Les edtech entrent en scène

    Dans le même temps, les sociétés d’edtech jouent un rôle de plus en plus important au sein des universités, profitant de deux changements du paradigme véhiculé par l’idéologie néolibérale du marché libre appliquée à l’enseignement supérieur – ainsi qu’à d’autres services publics.

    D’abord, l’idée de services centrés sur les « utilisateurs » (les « apprenants »selon la terminologie en cours dans l’enseignement), s’est traduite concrètement par des coûts additionnels pour le public et les usagers ainsi que par l’essor du secteur privé, conduisant à l’individualisation accrue des risques et de la dette. Ainsi, la formation professionnelle des étudiant.e.s, autrefois proposée par les employeurs, est désormais considérée comme relevant de la responsabilité des universités. Les universitaires qui considèrent que leur rôle n’est pas de former les étudiant.e.s aux compétences attendues sur le marché du travail sont continuellement dénigrés.

    Le deuxième paradigme mis en avant par les sociétés edtech pour promouvoir leurs services auprès des universités est celui de l’approche centrée sur les « solutions ». Mais c’est la même « solution » qui est invariablement proposée par les sociétés edtech, à savoir celle de la « rupture numérique », ou, en d’autres termes, la rupture avec l’institution universitaire telle que nous la connaissons. En réponse aux demandes en faveur d’universités plus démocratiques et égalitaires, dégagées de leur soumission croissante aux élites au pouvoir, les sociétés edtech (dont la capitalisation s’élève à des milliards de dollars) se présentent comme offrant la solution via les technologies numériques.

    Elles s’associent à une longue histoire où le progrès technologique (que ce soit les lettres, la radio, les cassettes audio ou les enregistrements vidéo) a effectivement été mis au service d’étudiant.e.s « atypiques » tels que les travailleurs, les femmes, les personnes vivant dans des zones d’accès difficile, les personnes porteuses de handicap ou assumant des responsabilités familiales. L’éducation ouverte par le biais par exemple de webinaires gratuits, les formations en ligne ouvertes à tous (MOOC), les ressources éducatives disponibles gratuitement et les logiciels open source suivaient à l’origine un objectif progressiste d’élargissement de l’accès à l’éducation.

    Toutefois, avec le passage en ligne des enseignements dans un secteur universitaire fortement commercialisé, les technologies sont en réalité utilisées à des fins opposées. Avant la pandémie de COVID-19, certaines universités proposaient déjà des MOOC, des formations de courte durée gratuites et créditées et des diplômes en ligne par le biais de partenariats public-privé avec des sociétés de gestion de programmes en ligne.

    Au sein du marché général des technologies de l’information, ces sociétés représentent un secteur d’une soixantaine de fournisseurs, estimé à 3 milliards de dollars et qui devrait atteindre 7,7 milliards de dollars d’ici 2025 – un chiffre susceptible d’augmenter avec les effets de la pandémie. Le modèle commercial de ces partenariats implique généralement que ces sociétés récoltent entre 50 à 70% des revenus liés aux frais de scolarité, ainsi que l’accès à des mégadonnées très rentables, en échange de quoi elles fournissent le capital de démarrage, la plateforme, des services de commercialisation et une aide au recrutement et assument le coût lié aux risques.

    L’une des différences essentielles entre ces sociétés et d’autres acteurs du secteur des technologies de l’éducation proposant des services numériques est qu’elles contribuent à ce qui est considéré comme le « cœur de métier » : la conception des programmes, l’enseignement et le soutien aux étudiant.e.s. Une deuxième différence est que, contrairement à d’autres prestataires d’enseignement privés, ces sociétés utilisent l’image institutionnelle d’universités existantes pour vendre leur produit, sans être trop visibles.

    Normaliser la précarisation et les inégalités

    Le secteur de la gestion des programmes en ligne repose sur une charge importante de travail académique pour les employés ainsi que sur le recours à une main-d’œuvre précaire et externalisée. Ceci permet aux sociétés bénéficiaires de contourner la résistance organisée au sein des universités. De nombreux MOOC, formations de courte durée et des diplômes en ligne en partenariat avec ces sociétés font désormais partie de l’offre habituelle des universités britanniques.

    La charge de travail académique déjà croissante des enseignants est intensifiée par les enseignements en ligne, sans rémunération supplémentaire, et alors même que de tels cours demandent une pédagogie différente et prennent plus de temps que l’enseignement en classe. Avec la transformation de l’enseignement à distance d’urgence en une offre d’« éducation en ligne », ces modalités pourraient devenir la nouvelle norme.

    L’université de Durham a d’ailleurs tenté d’instaurer un dangereux précédent à cet égard, qui en présage d’autres à venir. L’université a conclu un accord avec la société Cambridge Education Digital (CED), afin d’offrir des diplômes entièrement en ligne à partir de l’automne 2020, sans consultation du personnel, mais en ayant la garantie de CED que seules six heures de formation étaient nécessaires pour concevoir et délivrer ces diplômes.

    Dans le même temps, les sociétés de gestion de programmes en ligne ont déjà recruté de nombreux·ses travailleur/euses diplômé·e·s de l’éducation supérieure, souvent titulaires d’un doctorat obtenu depuis peu, cantonné·e·s à des emplois précaires, et chargés de fournir un soutien académique aux étudiant.e.s. Il s’agit de contrats temporaires, sur la base d’une rémunération à la tâche, peu sécurisés et mal payés, comparables à ceux proposés par Deliveroo ou TaskRabbit. Ces employés, qui ne sont pas syndiqués auprès du même syndicat que les autres universitaires, et qui sont souvent des femmes ou des universitaires noirs ou issus de minorités racisées, désavantagés en matière d’embauche et de promotion, seront plus facilement ciblé·e·s par les vagues de licenciement liées au COVID-19.

    Cela signifie également qu’ils/elles seront utilisé·e·s – comme l’ont été les universitaires des agences d’intérim par le passé – pour briser les piquets de grève lors de mobilisations à l’université. Ce système se nourrit directement de la polarisation entre universitaires, au bénéfice des enseignant·e·s éligibles aux financements de recherche, qui s’approprient les recherches produites par les chercheur/ses précaires et utilisent le personnel employé sur des contrats uniquement dédiés à l’enseignement [pour fournir les charges d’enseignement de collègues déchargés]. Il s’agit là de pratiques légitimées par le mode de financement de l’UE et des comités nationaux pour la recherche ainsi que par le système de classements et d’audits de la recherche.

    Avec le COVID-19, le modèle proposé par les entreprises de gestion de programmes en ligne, fondé sur l’externalisation et la privatisation des activités de base et de la main-d’œuvre de l’université, pourrait gagner encore plus de terrain. Ceci s’inscrit en réalité dans le cadre d’un changement structurel qui présagerait la fin de l’enseignement supérieur public. Le coût énorme du passage en ligne – récemment estimé à 10 millions de livres sterling pour 5-6 cours en ligne par université et 1 milliard de livres sterling pour l’ensemble du secteur – signifie que de nombreuses universités ne pourront pas se permettre d’offrir des enseignements dématérialisés.

    De plus, les sociétés de gestion de programmes en ligne ne travaillent pas avec n’importe quelle université : elles préfèrent celles dont l’image institutionnelle est bien établie. Dans cette conjoncture, et compte tenu de la possibilité que de nombreux/ses étudiant.e.s annulent (ou interrompent) leur inscription dans une université du Royaume-Uni par crainte de la pandémie, de nombreuses universités plus petites et moins visibles à l’échelle internationale pourraient perdre un nombre importante d’étudiant.e.s, et le financement qui en découle.

    En dépit de tous ces éléments, l’appel à une réglementation et à un plafonnement du nombre d’étudiant.e.s admis par chaque institution, qui permettraient une redistribution sur l’ensemble du secteur et entre les différentes universités, semble tomber dans l’oreille d’un sourd.

    Un article sur le blog de Jo Johnson, ancien ministre de l’Éducation et frère du Premier ministre britannique, exprime une vision cynique de l’avenir des universités britanniques. Sa formule est simple : le gouvernement devrait refuser l’appel au soutien des universités moins bien classées, telles que les « instituts polytechniques », anciennement consacrés à la formation professionnelle et transformés en universités en 1992. Souvent davantage orientées vers l’enseignement que vers la recherche, ceux-ci n’ont que rarement des partenariats avec des sociétés de gestion de programmes en ligne ou une offre de cours à distance. Selon Johnson, ces universités sont vouées à mourir de mort naturelle, ou bien à revenir à leur offre précédente de formation professionnelle.

    Les universités du Groupe Russell[2], très concentrées sur la recherche, qui proposent déjà des enseignements dématérialisés en partenariat avec des prestataires de gestion des programmes en ligne, pourraient quant à elles se développer davantage, à la faveur de leur image institutionnelle de marque, et concentreraient ainsi tous les étudiant.e.s et les revenus. Ce qu’une telle vision ne précise pas, c’est ce qu’il adviendrait du personnel enseignant. Il est facile d’imaginer que les nouvelles méga-universités seraient encore plus tributaires des services de « soutien aux étudiant.e.s » et d’enseignement dispensés par des universitaires externalisés, recrutés par des sociétés de gestion des programmes en ligne avec des contrats à la demande, hyper-précaires et déprofessionnalisés.

    Lieux de lutte et de résistance

    Ce scénario appelle à la résistance, mais celle-ci devient de plus en plus difficile. Au cours des six derniers mois, les membres du syndicat « University and College Union » (UCU) ont totalisé 22 jours de grève. L’une des deux revendications portées par cette mobilisation, parmi les plus longues et les plus soutenues dans l’enseignement supérieur britannique, portait sur les retraites.

    La seconde combinait quatre revendications : une réduction de la charge de travail, une augmentation des salaires sur l’ensemble du secteur (ils ont diminué de 20% au cours de la dernière décennie), s’opposer à la précarisation, et supprimer les écarts de rémunération entre hommes et femmes (21%) et ceux ciblant les personnes racisées (26%). Les employeurs, représentés par « Universities UK » et l’Association des employeurs « Universities and Colleges », n’ont jusqu’à présent pas fait de concessions significatives face à la grève. La crise du COVID-19 a limité l’option de la grève, alors que l’augmentation de la charge de travail, la réduction des salaires et la précarisation sont désormais présentées comme les seules solutions pour faire face à la pandémie et aux crises économiques.

    Dans ce contexte, le passage vers l’enseignement en ligne doit devenir un enjeu central des luttes des syndicats enseignants. Toutefois, la possibilité de mener des recherches sur ce processus – un outil clé pour les syndicats – semble limitée. De nombreux contrats liant les universités et les entreprises de gestion de programme en ligne sont conclus sans consultation du personnel et ne sont pas accessibles au public. En outre, les résultats de ces recherches sont souvent considérés comme nocifs pour l’image des sociétés.

    Pourtant, un diagnostic et une réglementation des contrats entre les universités et ces entreprises, ainsi que celle du marché de l’edtech en général, sont plus que jamais nécessaires. En particulier, il est impératif d’en comprendre les effets sur le travail universitaire et de faire la lumière sur l’utilisation qui est faite des données collectées concernant les étudiant.e.s par les sociétés d’edtech. Tout en s’opposant aux licenciements, l’UCU devrait également se mettre à la disposition des universitaires travaillant de manière externalisée, et envisager de s’engager dans la lutte contre la sous-traitance du personnel enseignant.

    Bien que tout cela puisse aujourd’hui sembler être un problème propre au Royaume-Uni, la tempête qui y secoue aujourd’hui le secteur de l’enseignement supérieur ne tardera pas à se propager à d’autres contextes nationaux.

    Traduit par Céline Cantat.

    Cet article a été publié initialement sur le blog du bureau de Bruxelles de la Fondation Rosa Luxemburg et de Trademark Trade-union.
    Notes

    [1] La réforme de 2010 a entraîné le triplement des droits d’inscriptions, qui sont passés de 3000 à 9000 livres (soit plus de 10 000 euros) par an pour une année en licence pour les étudiant.e.s britanniques et originaires de l’UE (disposition qui prendra fin pour ces dernier.e.s avec la mise en œuvre du Brexit). Le montant de ces droits est libre pour les étudiant.e.s hors-UE, il équivaut en général au moins au double. Il est également bien plus élevé pour les masters.

    [2] Fondé en 1994, le Russell Group est un réseau de vingt-quatre universités au Royaume-Uni censé regrouper les pôles d’excellence de la recherche et faire contrepoids à la fameuse Ivy League étatsunienne.

    https://www.contretemps.eu/universite-covid19-technologies-education

    #le_monde_d'après #enseignement #technologie #coronavirus #facs #UK #Angleterre #distanciel #enseignement_en_ligne #privatisation #edtech #educational_technology #Mariya_Ivancheva #secteur_privé #enseignement_à_distance #dématérialisation #marchandisation #austérité #précarisation #Brexit #vacation #précaires #vacataires #zero-hour_contract #externalisation #ESR #enseignement_supérieur #partenariats_public-privé #financiarisation #conditions_de_travail #Universities_Superannuation_Scheme (#USS) #fiscalité #résidences_universitaires_privées #immobilier #santé_mentale #frais_universitaires #dette #dette_étudiante #rupture_numérique #technologies_numériques #MOOC #business #Cambridge_Education_Digital (#CED) #ubérisation #Russell_Group

  • Réfugiés : les Balkans jouent les « #chiens_de-garde » de l’UE

    La #Serbie a commencé durant l’été à construire une barrière de barbelés sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord. Officiellement pour empêcher la propagation de la Covid-19... #Jasmin_Rexhepi, qui préside l’ONG Legis, dénonce la dérive sécuritaire des autocrates balkaniques. Entretien.

    D. Kožul (D.K.) : Que pensez-vous des raisons qui ont poussé la Serbie à construire une barrière à sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord ? Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre la propagation de l’épidémie de coronavirus. Or, on sait que le nombre de malades est minime chez les réfugiés...

    Jasmin Rexhepi (J.R.) : C’est une mauvaise excuse trouvée par un communicant. On construit des barbelés aux frontières des pays des Balkans depuis 2015. Ils sont posés par des gouvernements ultra-conservateurs, pour des raisons populistes. Les réfugiés ne sont pas une réelle menace sécuritaire pour nos pays en transition, ils ne sont pas plus porteurs du virus que ne le sont nos citoyens, et les barbelés n’ont jamais été efficaces contre les migrations.

    “Faute de pouvoir améliorer la vie de leurs citoyens, les populistes conservateurs se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de la nation contre des ennemis imaginaires.”

    D.K. : Peut-on parler d’une « orbanisation » des pays des Balkans occidentaux ? Quelle est la position à ce sujet des autorités de Macédoine du Nord ?

    J.R. : Tous les pays des Balkans aimeraient rejoindre l’Union européenne (UE), cela ne les empêche pas d’élever des barbelés sur leurs frontières mutuelles, ce qui est contraire aux principes européens de solidarité et d’unité. Quand les dirigeants populistes conservateurs ne peuvent offrir de progrès et d’avancées à leurs citoyens, ils se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de l’État, de la nation et de la religion contre des ennemis imaginaires. Dans le cas présent, ce sont les réfugiés, les basanés et les musulmans qui sont visés, mais il y a eu d’autres boucs émissaires par le passé.

    La Hongrie a ouvert la danse, mais elle n’est pas la seule, il y a eu aussi l’Autriche, la Bulgarie et la Macédoine du Nord en 2016, quand Gruevski était au pouvoir, et maintenant, malheureusement, c’est au tour de la Serbie. La xénophobie des dirigeants de ces États se voit clairement dans leurs discours. La barrière en question n’inquiète toutefois pas outre mesure les dirigeants macédoniens, car ils savent que rien de tout cela n’empêche réellement les migrations, et que ce ne sont pas des barbelés qui vont maintenir les réfugiés de notre côté de la frontière. Surtout pas maintenant qu’ils ont été habitués aux déportations de masse.

    D.K. : Certains disent que cette barrière pourrait couvrir la totalité de la frontière serbo-macédonienne, soit presque 150 km. Cela peut-il freiner les migrations ?

    J.R. : Tout d’abord, il est physiquement impossible d’installer une telle barrière dans les montagnes. À quoi bon couper tant d’arbres, détruire la nature ? Cette barrière ne s’étendra que dans les plaines, comme dans beaucoup d’autres pays. Là où, de toute façon, il n’y a déjà pas grand monde qui passe. La majorité des voies migratoires empruntent des routes de montagnes, qu’il est physiquement difficile de contrôler. C’est d’ailleurs pour cela que beaucoup de migrants entrent en Macédoine du Nord, parce qu’ils peuvent passer par les montagnes. Quant aux autres, ils coupent tout simplement les barbelés.

    “Ceinte de barbelés, l’Europe du XXIe siècle mène une politique hypocrite.”

    D.K. : Les pays des Balkans acceptent-ils de jouer le rôle de chien de garde de l’UE ? Il n’y a aucun pourtant aucune demande officielle de Bruxelles pour la construction de barrières physiques...

    J.R. : L’UE n’a jamais demandé officiellement la construction de barbelés. Ce sont certains de ses États membres ayant pris la responsabilité de « défendre » l’Europe qui ont imposé cette pratique, et offert des barbelés aux pays d’Europe du Sud-Est. C’est ainsi que la route des Balkans a été bloquée en mars 2016, sur la décision de l’Autriche, parce que l’Allemagne commençait soi-disant à refouler les réfugiés, et pas du fait d’une décision officielle des institutions européennes. De même, l’accord entre l’UE et la Turquie, survenu à la même période, a d’abord été signé par un pays de l’UE, qui a ensuite convaincu les autres de faire de même. Ceci étant, les barbelés facilitent le travail des patrouilles de Frontex, l’agence de l’Union européenne chargée du contrôle et de la gestion des frontières extérieures de l’espace Schengen. La position de l’UE n’est donc pas unifiée, d’où l’impression que cette Europe du XXIe siècle, ceinte de barbelés, mène une politique hypocrite et refuse d’assumer ses responsabilités.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-balkans-chiens-de-garde-UE
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #externalisation #murs #barrière_frontalière #frontières

    –—

    sur le mur entre Serbie et Macédoine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/872957

  • Migrants: le règlement de Dublin va être supprimé

    La Commission européenne doit présenter le 23 septembre sa proposition de réforme de sa politique migratoire, très attendue et plusieurs fois repoussée.

    Cinq ans après le début de la crise migratoire, l’Union européenne veut changer de stratégie. La Commission européenne veut “abolir” le règlement de Dublin qui fracture les Etats-membres et qui confie la responsabilité du traitement des demandes d’asile au pays de première entrée des migrants dans l’UE, a annoncé ce mercredi 16 septembre la cheffe de l’exécutif européen Ursula von der Leyen dans son discours sur l’Etat de l’Union.

    La Commission doit présenter le 23 septembre sa proposition de réforme de la politique migratoire européenne, très attendue et plusieurs fois repoussée, alors que le débat sur le manque de solidarité entre pays Européens a été relancé par l’incendie du camp de Moria sur lîle grecque de Lesbos.

    “Au coeur (de la réforme) il y a un engagement pour un système plus européen”, a déclaré Ursula von der Leyen devant le Parlement européen. “Je peux annoncer que nous allons abolir le règlement de Dublin et le remplacer par un nouveau système européen de gouvernance de la migration”, a-t-elle poursuivi.
    Nouveau mécanisme de solidarité

    “Il y aura des structures communes pour l’asile et le retour. Et il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité”, a-t-elle dit, alors que les pays qui sont en première ligne d’arrivée des migrants (Grèce, Malte, Italie notamment) se plaignent de devoir faire face à une charge disproportionnée.

    La proposition de réforme de la Commission devra encore être acceptée par les Etats. Ce qui n’est pas gagné d’avance. Cinq ans après la crise migratoire de 2015, la question de l’accueil des migrants est un sujet qui reste source de profondes divisions en Europe, certains pays de l’Est refusant d’accueillir des demandeurs d’asile.

    Sous la pression, le système d’asile européen organisé par le règlement de Dublin a explosé après avoir pesé lourdement sur la Grèce ou l’Italie.

    Le nouveau plan pourrait notamment prévoir davantage de sélection des demandeurs d’asile aux frontières extérieures et un retour des déboutés dans leur pays assuré par Frontex. Egalement à l’étude pour les Etats volontaires : un mécanisme de relocalisation des migrants sauvés en Méditerranée, parfois contraints d’errer en mer pendant des semaines en attente d’un pays d’accueil.

    Ce plan ne résoudrait toutefois pas toutes les failles. Pour le patron de l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration, Didier Leschi, “il ne peut pas y avoir de politique européenne commune sans critères communs pour accepter les demandes d’asile.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/migrants-le-reglement-de-dublin-tres-controverse-va-etre-supprime_fr_

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Dublin #règlement_dublin #fin #fin_de_Dublin #suppression #pacte

    –---

    Documents officiels en lien avec le pacte:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/879881

    ping @reka @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

    • Immigration : le règlement de Dublin, l’impossible #réforme ?

      En voulant abroger le règlement de Dublin, qui impose la responsabilité des demandeurs d’asile au premier pays d’entrée dans l’Union européenne, Bruxelles reconnaît des dysfonctionnements dans l’accueil des migrants. Mais les Vingt-Sept, plus que jamais divisés sur cette question, sont-ils prêts à une refonte du texte ? Éléments de réponses.

      Ursula Von der Leyen en a fait une des priorités de son mandat : réformer le règlement de Dublin, qui impose au premier pays de l’UE dans lequel le migrant est arrivé de traiter sa demande d’asile. « Je peux annoncer que nous allons [l’]abolir et le remplacer par un nouveau système européen de gouvernance de la migration », a déclaré la présidente de la Commission européenne mercredi 16 septembre, devant le Parlement.

      Les États dotés de frontières extérieures comme la Grèce, l’Italie ou Malte se sont réjouis de cette annonce. Ils s’estiment lésés par ce règlement en raison de leur situation géographique qui les place en première ligne.

      La présidente de la Commission européenne doit présenter, le 23 septembre, une nouvelle version de la politique migratoire, jusqu’ici maintes fois repoussée. « Il y aura des structures communes pour l’asile et le retour. Et il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité », a-t-elle poursuivi. Un terme fort à l’heure où l’incendie du camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, plus de 8 000 adultes et 4 000 enfants à la rue, a révélé le manque d’entraide entre pays européens.

      Pour mieux comprendre l’enjeu de cette nouvelle réforme européenne de la politique migratoire, France 24 décrypte le règlement de Dublin qui divise tant les Vingt-Sept, en particulier depuis la crise migratoire de 2015.

      Pourquoi le règlement de Dublin dysfonctionne ?

      Les failles ont toujours existé mais ont été révélées par la crise migratoire de 2015, estiment les experts de politique migratoire. Ce texte signé en 2013 et qu’on appelle « Dublin III » repose sur un accord entre les membres de l’Union européenne ainsi que la Suisse, l’Islande, la Norvège et le Liechtenstein. Il prévoit que l’examen de la demande d’asile d’un exilé incombe au premier pays d’entrée en Europe. Si un migrant passé par l’Italie arrive par exemple en France, les autorités françaises ne sont, en théorie, pas tenu d’enregistrer la demande du Dubliné.
      © Union européenne | Les pays signataires du règlement de Dublin.

      Face à l’afflux de réfugiés ces dernières années, les pays dotés de frontières extérieures, comme la Grèce et l’Italie, se sont estimés abandonnés par le reste de l’Europe. « La charge est trop importante pour ce bloc méditerranéen », estime Matthieu Tardis, chercheur au Centre migrations et citoyennetés de l’Ifri (Institut français des relations internationales). Le texte est pensé « comme un mécanisme de responsabilité des États et non de solidarité », estime-t-il.

      Sa mise en application est aussi difficile à mettre en place. La France et l’Allemagne, qui concentrent la majorité des demandes d’asile depuis le début des années 2000, peinent à renvoyer les Dublinés. Dans l’Hexagone, seulement 11,5 % ont été transférés dans le pays d’entrée. Outre-Rhin, le taux ne dépasse pas les 15 %. Conséquence : nombre d’entre eux restent « bloqués » dans les camps de migrants à Calais ou dans le nord de Paris.

      Le délai d’attente pour les demandeurs d’asile est aussi jugé trop long. Un réfugié passé par l’Italie, qui vient déposer une demande d’asile en France, peut attendre jusqu’à 18 mois avant d’avoir un retour. « Durant cette période, il se retrouve dans une situation d’incertitude très dommageable pour lui mais aussi pour l’Union européenne. C’est un système perdant-perdant », commente Matthieu Tardis.

      Ce règlement n’est pas adapté aux demandeurs d’asile, surenchérit-on à la Cimade (Comité inter-mouvements auprès des évacués). Dans un rapport, l’organisation qualifie ce système de « machine infernale de l’asile européen ». « Il ne tient pas compte des liens familiaux ni des langues parlées par les réfugiés », précise le responsable asile de l’association, Gérard Sadik.

      Sept ans après avoir vu le jour, le règlement s’est vu porter le coup de grâce par le confinement lié aux conditions sanitaires pour lutter contre le Covid-19. « Durant cette période, aucun transfert n’a eu lieu », assure-t-on à la Cimade.

      Le mécanisme de solidarité peut-il le remplacer ?

      « Il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité », a promis Ursula von der Leyen, sans donné plus de précision. Sur ce point, on sait déjà que les positions divergent, voire s’opposent, entre les Vingt-Sept.

      Le bloc du nord-ouest (Allemagne, France, Autriche, Benelux) reste ancré sur le principe actuel de responsabilité, mais accepte de l’accompagner d’un mécanisme de solidarité. Sur quels critères se base la répartition du nombre de demandeurs d’asile ? Comment les sélectionner ? Aucune décision n’est encore actée. « Ils sont prêts à des compromis car ils veulent montrer que l’Union européenne peut avancer et agir sur la question migratoire », assure Matthieu Tardis.

      En revanche, le groupe dit de Visegrad (Hongrie, Pologne, République tchèque, Slovaquie), peu enclin à l’accueil, rejette catégoriquement tout principe de solidarité. « Ils se disent prêts à envoyer des moyens financiers, du personnel pour le contrôle aux frontières mais refusent de recevoir les demandeurs d’asile », détaille le chercheur de l’Ifri.

      Quant au bloc Méditerranée (Grèce, Italie, Malte , Chypre, Espagne), des questions subsistent sur la proposition du bloc nord-ouest : le mécanisme de solidarité sera-t-il activé de façon permanente ou exceptionnelle ? Quelles populations sont éligibles au droit d’asile ? Et qui est responsable du retour ? « Depuis le retrait de la Ligue du Nord de la coalition dans le gouvernement italien, le dialogue est à nouveau possible », avance Matthieu Tardis.

      Un accord semble toutefois indispensable pour montrer que l’Union européenne n’est pas totalement en faillite sur ce dossier. « Mais le bloc de Visegrad n’a pas forcément en tête cet enjeu », nuance-t-il. Seule la situation sanitaire liée au Covid-19, qui place les pays de l’Est dans une situation économique fragile, pourrait faire évoluer leur position, note le chercheur.

      Et le mécanisme par répartition ?

      Le mécanisme par répartition, dans les tuyaux depuis 2016, revient régulièrement sur la table des négociations. Son principe : la capacité d’accueil du pays dépend de ses poids démographique et économique. Elle serait de 30 % pour l’Allemagne, contre un tiers des demandes aujourd’hui, et 20 % pour la France, qui en recense 18 %. « Ce serait une option gagnante pour ces deux pays, mais pas pour le bloc du Visegrad qui s’y oppose », décrypte Gérard Sadik, le responsable asile de la Cimade.

      Cette doctrine reposerait sur un système informatisé, qui recenserait dans une seule base toutes les données des demandeurs d’asile. Mais l’usage de l’intelligence artificielle au profit de la procédure administrative ne présente pas que des avantages, aux yeux de la Cimade : « L’algorithme ne sera pas en mesure de tenir compte des liens familiaux des demandeurs d’asile », juge Gérard Sadik.

      Quelles chances pour une refonte ?

      L’Union européenne a déjà tenté plusieurs fois de réformer ce serpent de mer. Un texte dit « Dublin IV » était déjà dans les tuyaux depuis 2016, en proposant par exemple que la responsabilité du premier État d’accueil soit définitive, mais il a été enterré face aux dissensions internes.

      Reste à savoir quel est le contenu exact de la nouvelle version qui sera présentée le 23 septembre par Ursula Van der Leyen. À la Cimade, on craint un durcissement de la politique migratoire, et notamment un renforcement du contrôle aux frontières.

      Quoi qu’il en soit, les négociations s’annoncent « compliquées et difficiles » car « les intérêts des pays membres ne sont pas les mêmes », a rappelé le ministre grec adjoint des Migrations, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, jeudi 17 septembre. Et surtout, la nouvelle mouture devra obtenir l’accord du Parlement, mais aussi celui des États. La refonte est encore loin.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27376/immigration-le-reglement-de-dublin-l-impossible-reforme

      #gouvernance #Ursula_Von_der_Leyen #mécanisme_de_solidarité #responsabilité #groupe_de_Visegrad #solidarité #répartition #mécanisme_par_répartition #capacité_d'accueil #intelligence_artificielle #algorithme #Dublin_IV

    • Germany’s #Seehofer cautiously optimistic on EU asylum reform

      For the first time during the German Presidency, EU interior ministers exchanged views on reforms of the EU asylum system. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) expressed “justified confidence” that a deal can be found. EURACTIV Germany reports.

      The focus of Tuesday’s (7 July) informal video conference of interior ministers was on the expansion of police cooperation and sea rescue, which, according to Seehofer, is one of the “Big Four” topics of the German Council Presidency, integrated into a reform of the #Common_European_Asylum_System (#CEAS).

      Following the meeting, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, spoke of an “excellent start to the Presidency,” and Seehofer also praised the “constructive discussions.” In the field of asylum policy, she said that it had become clear that all member states were “highly interested in positive solutions.”

      The interior ministers were unanimous in their desire to further strengthen police cooperation and expand both the mandates and the financial resources of Europol and Frontex.

      Regarding the question of the distribution of refugees, Seehofer said that he had “heard statements that [he] had not heard in years prior.” He said that almost all member states were “prepared to show solidarity in different ways.”

      While about a dozen member states would like to participate in the distribution of those rescued from distress at the EU’s external borders in the event of a “disproportionate burden” on the states, other states signalled that they wanted to make control vessels, financial means or personnel available to prevent smuggling activities and stem migration across the Mediterranean.

      Seehofer’s final act

      It will probably be Seehofer’s last attempt to initiate CEAS reform. He announced in May that he would withdraw completely from politics after the end of the legislative period in autumn 2021.

      Now it seems that he considers CEAS reform as his last great mission, Seehofer said that he intends to address the migration issue from late summer onwards “with all I have at my disposal.” adding that Tuesday’s (7 July) talks had “once again kindled a real fire” in him. To this end, he plans to leave the official business of the Interior Ministry “in day-to-day matters” largely to the State Secretaries.

      Seehofer’s shift of priorities to the European stage comes at a time when he is being sharply criticised in Germany.

      While his initial handling of a controversial newspaper column about the police published in Berlin’s tageszeitung prompted criticism, Seehofer now faces accusations of concealing structural racism in the police. Seehofer had announced over the weekend that, contrary to the recommendation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), he would not commission a study on racial profiling in the police force after all.

      Seehofer: “One step is not enough”

      In recent months, Seehofer has made several attempts to set up a distribution mechanism for rescued persons in distress. On several occasions he accused the Commission of letting member states down by not solving the asylum question.

      “I have the ambition to make a great leap. One step would be too little in our presidency,” said Seehofer during Tuesday’s press conference. However, much depends on when the Commission will present its long-awaited migration pact, as its proposals are intended to serve as a basis for negotiations on CEAS reform.

      As Johansson said on Tuesday, this is planned for September. Seehofer thus only has just under four months to get the first Council conclusions through. “There will not be enough time for legislation,” he said.

      Until a permanent solution is found, ad hoc solutions will continue. A “sustainable solution” should include better cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, as the member states agreed on Tuesday.

      To this end, “agreements on the repatriation of refugees” are now to be reached with North African countries. A first step towards this will be taken next Monday (13 July), at a joint conference with North African leaders.

      https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/germany-eyes-breakthrough-in-eu-migration-dispute-this-year

      #Europol #Frontex

    • Relocation, solidarity mandatory for EU migration policy: #Johansson

      In an interview with ANSA and other European media outlets, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs #Ylva_Johansson explained the new migration and asylum pact due to be unveiled on September 23, stressing that nobody will find ideal solutions but rather a well-balanced compromise that will ’’improve the situation’’.

      European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has explained in an interview with a group of European journalists, including ANSA, a new pact on asylum and migration to be presented on September 23. She touched on rules for countries of first entry, a new mechanism of mandatory solidarity, fast repatriations and refugee relocation.

      The Swedish commissioner said that no one will find ideal solutions in the European Commission’s new asylum and migration proposal but rather a good compromise that “will improve the situation”.

      She said the debate to change the asylum regulation known as Dublin needs to be played down in order to find an agreement. Johansson said an earlier 2016 reform plan would be withdrawn as it ’’caused the majority’’ of conflicts among countries.

      A new proposal that will replace the current one and amend the existing Dublin regulation will be presented, she explained.

      The current regulation will not be completely abolished but rules regarding frontline countries will change. Under the new proposal, migrants can still be sent back to the country responsible for their asylum request, explained the commissioner, adding that amendments will be made but the country of first entry will ’’remain important’’.

      ’’Voluntary solidarity is not enough," there has to be a “mandatory solidarity mechanism,” Johansson noted.

      Countries will need to help according to their size and possibilities. A member state needs to show solidarity ’’in accordance with the capacity and size’’ of its economy. There will be no easy way out with the possibility of ’’just sending some blankets’’ - efforts must be proportional to the size and capabilities of member states, she said.
      Relocations are a divisive theme

      Relocations will be made in a way that ’’can be possible to accept for all member states’’, the commissioner explained. The issue of mandatory quotas is extremely divisive, she went on to say. ’’The sentence of the European Court of Justice has established that they can be made’’.

      However, the theme is extremely divisive. Many of those who arrive in Europe are not eligible for international protection and must be repatriated, she said, wondering if it is a good idea to relocate those who need to be repatriated.

      “We are looking for a way to bring the necessary aid to countries under pressure.”

      “Relocation is an important part, but also” it must be done “in a way that can be possible to accept for all member states,” she noted.

      Moreover, Johansson said the system will not be too rigid as the union should prepare for different scenarios.
      Faster repatriations

      Repatriations will be a key part of the plan, with faster bureaucratic procedures, she said. The 2016 reform proposal was made following the 2015 migration crisis, when two million people, 90% of whom were refugees, reached the EU irregularly. For this reason, the plan focused on relocations, she explained.

      Now the situation is completely different: last year 2.4 million stay permits were issued, the majority for reasons connected to family, work or education. Just 140,000 people migrated irregularly and only one-third were refugees while two-thirds will need to be repatriated.

      For this reason, stressed the commissioner, the new plan will focus on repatriation. Faster procedures are necessary, she noted. When people stay in a country for years it is very hard to organize repatriations, especially voluntary ones. So the objective is for a negative asylum decision “to come together with a return decision.”

      Also, the permanence in hosting centers should be of short duration. Speaking about a fire at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos where more than 12,000 asylum seekers have been stranded for years, the commissioner said the situation was the ’’result of lack of European policy on asylum and migration."

      “We shall have no more Morias’’, she noted, calling for well-managed hosting centers along with limits to permanence.

      A win-win collaboration will instead be planned with third countries, she said. ’’The external aspect is very important. We have to work on good partnerships with third countries, supporting them and finding win-win solutions for readmissions and for the fight against traffickers. We have to develop legal pathways to come to the EU, in particular with resettlements, a policy that needs to be strengthened.”

      The commissioner then rejected the idea of opening hosting centers in third countries, an idea for example proposed by Denmark.

      “It is not the direction I intend to take. We will not export the right to asylum.”

      The commissioner said she was very concerned by reports of refoulements. Her objective, she concluded, is to “include in the pact a monitoring mechanism. The right to asylum must be defended.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27447/relocation-solidarity-mandatory-for-eu-migration-policy-johansson

      #relocalisation #solidarité_obligatoire #solidarité_volontaire #pays_de_première_entrée #renvois #expulsions #réinstallations #voies_légales

    • Droit d’asile : Bruxelles rate son « #pacte »

      La Commission européenne, assurant vouloir « abolir » le règlement de Dublin et son principe du premier pays d’entrée, doit présenter ce mercredi un « pacte sur l’immigration et l’asile ». Qui ne bouleverserait rien.

      C’est une belle victoire pour Viktor Orbán, le Premier ministre hongrois, et ses partenaires d’Europe centrale et orientale aussi peu enclins que lui à accueillir des étrangers sur leur sol. La Commission européenne renonce définitivement à leur imposer d’accueillir des demandeurs d’asile en cas d’afflux dans un pays de la « ligne de front » (Grèce, Italie, Malte, Espagne). Certes, le volumineux paquet de textes qu’elle propose ce mercredi (10 projets de règlements et trois recommandations, soit plusieurs centaines de pages), pompeusement baptisé « pacte sur l’immigration et l’asile », prévoit qu’ils devront, par « solidarité », assurer les refoulements vers les pays d’origine des déboutés du droit d’asile, mais cela ne devrait pas les gêner outre mesure. Car, sur le fond, la Commission prend acte de la volonté des Vingt-Sept de transformer l’Europe en forteresse.
      Sale boulot

      La crise de 2015 les a durablement traumatisés. A l’époque, la Turquie, par lassitude d’accueillir sur son sol plusieurs millions de réfugiés syriens et des centaines de milliers de migrants économiques dans l’indifférence de la communauté internationale, ouvre ses frontières. La Grèce est vite submergée et plusieurs centaines de milliers de personnes traversent les Balkans afin de trouver refuge, notamment en Allemagne et en Suède, parmi les pays les plus généreux en matière d’asile.

      Passé les premiers moments de panique, les Européens réagissent de plusieurs manières. La Hongrie fait le sale boulot en fermant brutalement sa frontière. L’Allemagne, elle, accepte d’accueillir un million de demandeurs d’asile, mais négocie avec Ankara un accord pour qu’il referme ses frontières, accord ensuite endossé par l’UE qui lui verse en échange 6 milliards d’euros destinés aux camps de réfugiés. Enfin, l’Union adopte un règlement destiné à relocaliser sur une base obligatoire une partie des migrants dans les autres pays européens afin qu’ils instruisent les demandes d’asile, dans le but de soulager la Grèce et l’Italie, pays de premier accueil. Ce dernier volet est un échec, les pays d’Europe de l’Est, qui ont voté contre, refusent d’accueillir le moindre migrant, et leurs partenaires de l’Ouest ne font guère mieux : sur 160 000 personnes qui auraient dû être relocalisées, un objectif rapidement revu à 98 000, moins de 35 000 l’ont été à la fin 2017, date de la fin de ce dispositif.

      Depuis, l’Union a considérablement durci les contrôles, notamment en créant un corps de 10 000 gardes-frontières européens et en renforçant les moyens de Frontex, l’agence chargée de gérer ses frontières extérieures. En février-mars, la tentative d’Ankara de faire pression sur les Européens dans le conflit syrien en rouvrant partiellement ses frontières a fait long feu : la Grèce a employé les grands moyens, y compris violents, pour stopper ce flux sous les applaudissements de ses partenaires… Autant dire que l’ambiance n’est pas à l’ouverture des frontières et à l’accueil des persécutés.
      « Usine à gaz »

      Mais la crise migratoire de 2015 a laissé des « divisions nombreuses et profondes entre les Etats membres - certaines des cicatrices qu’elle a laissées sont toujours visibles aujourd’hui », comme l’a reconnu Ursula von der Leyen, la présidente de la Commission, dans son discours sur l’état de l’Union du 16 septembre. Afin de tourner la page, la Commission propose donc de laisser tomber la réforme de 2016 (dite de Dublin IV) prévoyant de pérenniser la relocalisation autoritaire des migrants, désormais jugée par une haute fonctionnaire de l’exécutif « totalement irréaliste ».

      Mais la réforme qu’elle propose, une véritable « usine à gaz », n’est qu’un « rapiéçage » de l’existant, comme l’explique Yves Pascouau, spécialiste de l’immigration et responsable des programmes européens de l’association Res Publica. Ainsi, alors que Von der Leyen a annoncé sa volonté « d’abolir » le règlement de Dublin III, il n’en est rien : le pays responsable du traitement d’une demande d’asile reste, par principe, comme c’est le cas depuis 1990, le pays de première entrée.

      S’il y a une crise, la Commission pourra déclencher un « mécanisme de solidarité » afin de soulager un pays de la ligne de front : dans ce cas, les Vingt-Sept devront accueillir un certain nombre de migrants (en fonction de leur richesse et de leur population), sauf s’ils préfèrent « parrainer un retour ». En clair, prendre en charge le refoulement des déboutés de l’asile (avec l’aide financière et logistique de l’Union) en sachant que ces personnes resteront à leur charge jusqu’à ce qu’ils y parviennent. Ça, c’est pour faire simple, car il y a plusieurs niveaux de crise, des exceptions, des sanctions, des délais et l’on en passe…

      Autre nouveauté : les demandes d’asile devront être traitées par principe à la frontière, dans des camps de rétention, pour les nationalités dont le taux de reconnaissance du statut de réfugié est inférieur à 20% dans l’Union, et ce, en moins de trois mois, avec refoulement à la clé en cas de refus. « Cette réforme pose un principe clair, explique un eurocrate. Personne ne sera obligé d’accueillir un étranger dont il ne veut pas. »

      Dans cet ensemble très sévère, une bonne nouvelle : les sauvetages en mer ne devraient plus être criminalisés. On peut craindre qu’une fois passés à la moulinette des Etats, qui doivent adopter ce paquet à la majorité qualifiée (55% des Etats représentant 65% de la population), il ne reste que les aspects les plus répressifs. On ne se refait pas.


      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/22/droit-d-asile-bruxelles-rate-son-pacte_1800264

      –—

      Graphique ajouté au fil de discussion sur les statistiques de la #relocalisation :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/605713

    • Le pacte européen sur l’asile et les migrations ne tire aucune leçon de la « crise migratoire »

      Ce 23 septembre 2020, la nouvelle Commission européenne a présenté les grandes lignes d’orientation de sa politique migratoire à venir. Alors que cinq ans plutôt, en 2015, se déroulait la mal nommée « crise migratoire » aux frontières européennes, le nouveau Pacte Asile et Migration de l’UE ne tire aucune leçon du passé. Le nouveau pacte de l’Union Européenne nous propose inlassablement les mêmes recettes alors que les preuves de leur inefficacité, leur coût et des violences qu’elles procurent sont nombreuses et irréfutables. Le CNCD-11.11.11, son homologue néerlandophone et les membres du groupe de travail pour la justice migratoire appellent le parlement européen et le gouvernement belge à un changement de cap.

      Le nouveau Pacte repose sur des propositions législatives et des recommandations non contraignantes. Ses priorités sont claires mais pas neuves. Freiner les arrivées, limiter l’accueil par le « tri » des personnes et augmenter les retours. Cette stratégie pourtant maintes fois décriée par les ONG et le milieu académique a certes réussi à diminuer les arrivées en Europe, mais n’a offert aucune solution durable pour les personnes migrantes. Depuis les années 2000, l’externalisation de la gestion des questions migratoires a montré son inefficacité (situation humanitaires dans les hotspots, plus de 20.000 décès en Méditerranée depuis 2014 et processus d’encampement aux frontières de l’UE) et son coût exponentiel (coût élevé du contrôle, de la détention-expulsion et de l’aide au développement détournée). Elle a augmenté le taux de violences sur les routes de l’exil et a enfreint le droit international en toute impunité (non accès au droit d’asile notamment via les refoulements).

      "ll est important que tous les États membres développent des systèmes d’accueil de qualité et que l’UE s’oriente vers une protection plus unifiée"

      La proposition de mettre en place un mécanisme solidaire européen contraignant est à saluer, mais celui-ci doit être au service de l’accueil et non couplé au retour. La possibilité pour les États européens de choisir à la carte soit la relocalisation, le « parrainage » du retour des déboutés ou autre contribution financière n’est pas équitable. La répartition solidaire de l’accueil doit être permanente et ne pas être actionnée uniquement en cas « d’afflux massif » aux frontières d’un État membre comme le recommande la Commission. Il est important que tous les États membres développent des systèmes d’accueil de qualité et que l’UE s’oriente vers une protection plus unifiée. Le changement annoncé du Règlement de Dublin l’est juste de nom, car les premiers pays d’entrée resteront responsables des nouveaux arrivés.

      Le focus doit être mis sur les alternatives à la détention et non sur l’usage systématique de l’enfermement aux frontières, comme le veut la Commission. Le droit de demander l’asile et d’avoir accès à une procédure de qualité doit être accessible à tous et toutes et rester un droit individuel. Or, la proposition de la Commission de détenir (12 semaines maximum) en vue de screener (5 jours de tests divers et de recoupement de données via EURODAC) puis trier les personnes migrantes à la frontière en fonction du taux de reconnaissance de protection accordé en moyenne à leur pays d’origine (en dessous de 20%) ou de leur niveau de vulnérabilité est contraire à la Convention de Genève.

      "La priorité pour les personnes migrantes en situation irrégulière doit être la recherche de solutions durables (comme l’est la régularisation) plutôt que le retour forcé, à tous prix."

      La priorité pour les personnes migrantes en situation irrégulière doit être la recherche de solutions durables (comme l’est la régularisation) plutôt que le retour forcé, à tous prix, comme le préconise la Commission.

      La meilleure façon de lutter contre les violences sur les routes de l’exil reste la mise en place de plus de voies légales et sûres de migration (réinstallation, visas de travail, d’études, le regroupement familial…). Les ONG regrettent que la Commission reporte à 2021 les propositions sur la migration légale. Le pacte s’intéresse à juste titre à la criminalisation des ONG de sauvetage et des citoyens qui fournissent une aide humanitaire aux migrants. Toutefois, les propositions visant à y mettre fin sont insuffisantes. Les ONG se réjouissent de l’annonce par la Commission d’un mécanisme de surveillance des droits humains aux frontières extérieures. Au cours de l’année écoulée, on a signalé de plus en plus souvent des retours violents par la Croatie, la Grèce, Malte et Chypre. Toutefois, il n’est pas encore suffisamment clair si les propositions de la Commission peuvent effectivement traiter et sanctionner les refoulements.

      Au lendemain de l’incendie du hotspot à Moria, symbole par excellence de l’échec des politiques migratoires européennes, l’UE s’enfonce dans un déni total, meurtrier, en vue de concilier les divergences entre ses États membres. Les futures discussions autour du Pacte au sein du parlement UE et du Conseil UE seront cruciales. Les ONG membres du groupe de travail pour la justice migratoire appellent le Parlement européen et le gouvernement belge à promouvoir des ajustements fermes allant vers plus de justice migratoire.

      https://www.cncd.be/Le-pacte-europeen-sur-l-asile-et

    • The New Pact on Migration and Asylum. A Critical ‘First Look’ Analysis

      Where does it come from?

      The New Migration Pact was built on the ashes of the mandatory relocation scheme that the Commission tried to push in 2016. And the least that one can say, is that it shows! The whole migration plan has been decisively shaped by this initial failure. Though the Pact has some merits, the very fact that it takes as its starting point the radical demands made by the most nationalist governments in Europe leads to sacrificing migrants’ rights on the altar of a cohesive and integrated European migration policy.

      Back in 2016, the vigorous manoeuvring of the Commission to find a way out of the European asylum dead-end resulted in a bittersweet victory for the European institution. Though the Commission was able to find a qualified majority of member states willing to support a fair distribution of the asylum seekers among member states through a relocation scheme, this new regulation remained dead letter. Several eastern European states flatly refused to implement the plan, other member states seized this opportunity to defect on their obligations and the whole migration policy quickly unravelled. Since then, Europe is left with a dysfunctional Dublin agreement exacerbating the tensions between member states and 27 loosely connected national asylum regimes. On the latter point, at least, there is a consensus. Everyone agrees that the EU’s migration regime is broken and urgently needs to be fixed.

      Obviously, the Commission was not keen to go through a new round of political humiliation. Having been accused of “bureaucratic hubris” the first time around, the commissioners Schinas and Johansson decided not to repeat the same mistake. They toured the European capitals and listened to every side of the entrenched migration debate before drafting their Migration Pact. The intention is in the right place and it reflects the complexity of having to accommodate 27 distinct democratic debates in one single political space. Nevertheless, if one peers a bit more extensively through the content of the New Plan, it is complicated not to get the feelings that the Visegrad countries are currently the key players shaping the European migration and asylum policies. After all, their staunch opposition to a collective reception scheme sparked the political process and provided the starting point to the general discussion. As a result, it is no surprise that the New Pact tilts firmly towards an ever more restrictive approach to migration, beefs up the coercive powers of both member states and European agencies and raises many concerns with regards to the respect of the migrants’ fundamental rights.
      What is in this New Pact on Migration and Asylum?

      Does the Pact concede too much ground to the demands of the most xenophobic European governments? To answer that question, let us go back to the bizarre metaphor used by the commissioner Schinas. During his press conference, he insisted on comparing the New Pact on Migration and Asylum to a house built on solid foundations (i.e. the lengthy and inclusive consultation process) and made of 3 floors: first, some renewed partnerships with the sending and transit states, second, some more effective border procedures, and third, a revamped mandatory – but flexible ! – solidarity scheme. It is tempting to carry on with the metaphor and to say that this house may appear comfortable from the inside but that it remains tightly shut to anyone knocking on its door from the outside. For, a careful examination reveals that each of the three “floors” (policy packages, actually) lays the emphasis on a repressive approach to migration aimed at deterring would-be asylum seekers from attempting to reach the European shores.
      The “new partnerships” with sending and transit countries, a “change in paradigm”?

      Let us add that there is little that is actually “new” in this New Migration Pact. For instance, the first policy package, that is, the suggestion that the EU should renew its partnerships with sending and transit countries is, as a matter of fact, an old tune in the Brussels bubble. The Commission may boast that it marks a “change of paradigm”, one fails to see how this would be any different from the previous European diplomatic efforts. Since migration and asylum are increasingly considered as toxic topics (for, they would be the main factors behind the rise of nationalism and its corollary, Euroscepticism), the European Union is willing to externalize this issue, seemingly at all costs. The results, however, have been mixed in the past. To the Commission’s own admission, only a third of the migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected are effectively returned. Besides the facts that returns are costly, extremely coercive, and administratively complicated to organize, the main reason for this low rate of successful returns is that sending countries refuse to cooperate in the readmission procedures. Neighbouring countries have excellent reasons not to respond positively to the Union’s demands. For some, remittances sent by their diaspora are an economic lifeline. Others just do not want to appear complicit of repressive European practices on their domestic political scene. Furthermore, many African countries are growing discontent with the forceful way the European Union uses its asymmetrical relation of power in bilateral negotiations to dictate to those sovereign states the migration policies they should adopt, making for instance its development aid conditional on the implementation of stricter border controls. The Commission may rhetorically claim to foster “mutually beneficial” international relation with its neighbouring countries, the emphasis on the externalization of migration control in the EU’s diplomatic agenda nevertheless bears some of the hallmarks of neo-colonialism. As such, it is a source of deep resentment in sending and transit states. It would therefore be a grave mistake for the EU to overlook the fact that some short-term gains in terms of migration management may result in long-term losses with regards to Europe’s image across the world.

      Furthermore, considering the current political situation, one should not primarily be worried about the failed partnerships with neighbouring countries, it is rather the successful ones that ought to give us pause and raise concerns. For, based on the existing evidence, the EU will sign a deal with any state as long as it effectively restrains and contains migration flows towards the European shores. Being an authoritarian state with a documented history of human right violations (Turkey) or an embattled government fighting a civil war (Lybia) does not disqualify you as a partner of the European Union in its effort to manage migration flows. It is not only morally debatable for the EU to delegate its asylum responsibilities to unreliable third countries, it is also doubtful that an increase in diplomatic pressure on neighbouring countries will bring major political results. It will further damage the perception of the EU in neighbouring countries without bringing significant restriction to migration flows.
      Streamlining border procedures? Or eroding migrants’ rights?

      The second policy package is no more inviting. It tackles the issue of the migrants who, in spite of those partnerships and the hurdles thrown their way by sending and transit countries, would nevertheless reach Europe irregularly. On this issue, the Commission faced the daunting task of having to square a political circle, since it had to find some common ground in a debate bitterly divided between conflicting worldviews (roughly, between liberal and nationalist perspectives on the individual freedom of movement) and competing interests (between overburdened Mediterranean member states and Eastern member states adamant that asylum seekers would endanger their national cohesion). The Commission thus looked for the lowest common denominator in terms of migration management preferences amongst the distinct member states. The result is a two-tier border procedure aiming to fast-track and streamline the processing of asylum claims, allowing for more expeditious returns of irregular migrants. The goal is to prevent any bottleneck in the processing of the claims and to avoid the (currently near constant) overcrowding of reception facilities in the frontline states. Once again, there is little that is actually new in this proposal. It amounts to a generalization of the process currently in place in the infamous hotspots scattered on the Greek isles. According to the Pact, screening procedures would be carried out in reception centres created across Europe. A far cry from the slogan “no more Moria” since one may legitimately suspect that those reception centres will, at the first hiccup in the procedure, turn into tomorrow’s asylum camps.

      According to this procedure, newly arrived migrants would be submitted within 5 days to a pre-screening procedure and subsequently triaged into two categories. Migrants with a low chance of seeing their asylum claim recognized (because they would come from a country with a low recognition rate or a country belonging to the list of the safe third countries, for instance) would be redirected towards an accelerated procedure. The end goal would be to return them, if applicable, within twelve weeks. The other migrants would be subjected to the standard assessment of their asylum claim. It goes without saying that this proposal has been swiftly and unanimously condemned by all human rights organizations. It does not take a specialized lawyer to see that this two-tiered procedure could have devastating consequences for the “fast-tracked” asylum seekers left with no legal recourse against the initial decision to submit them to this sped up procedure (rather than the standard one) as well as reduced opportunities to defend their asylum claim or, if need be, to contest their return. No matter how often the Commission repeats that it will preserve all the legal safeguards required to protect migrants’ rights, it remains wildly unconvincing. Furthermore, the Pact may confuse speed and haste. The schedule is tight on paper (five days for the pre-screening, twelve weeks for the assessment of the asylum claim), it may well prove unrealistic to meet those deadlines in real-life conditions. The Commission also overlooks the fact that accelerated procedures tend to be sloppy, thus leading to juridical appeals and further legal wrangling and eventually amounting to processes far longer than expected.
      Integrating the returns, not the reception

      The Commission talked up the new Pact as being “balanced” and “humane”. Since the two first policy packages focus, first, on preventing would-be migrants from leaving their countries and, second, on facilitating and accelerating their returns, one would expect the third policy package to move away from the restriction of movement and to complement those measures with a reception plan tailored to the needs of refugees. And here comes the major disappointment with the New Pact and, perhaps, the clearest indication that the Pact is first and foremost designed to please the migration hardliners. It does include a solidarity scheme meant to alleviate the burden of frontline countries, to distribute more fairly the responsibilities amongst member states and to ensure that refugees are properly hosted. But this solidarity scheme is far from being robust enough to deliver on those promises. Let us unpack it briefly to understand why it is likely to fail. The solidarity scheme is mandatory. All member states will be under the obligation to take part. But there is a catch! Member states’ contribution to this collective effort can take many shapes and forms and it will be up to the member states to decide how they want to participate. They get to choose whether they want to relocate some refugees on their national soil, to provide some financial and/or logistical assistance, or to “sponsor” (it is the actual term used by the Commission) some returns.

      No one expected the Commission to reintroduce a compulsory relocation scheme in its Pact. Eastern European countries had drawn an obvious red line and it would have been either naïve or foolish to taunt them with that kind of policy proposal. But this so-called “flexible mandatory solidarity” relies on such a watered-down understanding of the solidarity principle that it results in a weak and misguided political instrument unsuited to solve the problem at hand. First, the flexible solidarity mechanism is too indeterminate to prove efficient. According to the current proposal, member states would have to shoulder a fair share of the reception burden (calculated on their respective population and GDP) but would be left to decide for themselves which form this contribution would take. The obvious flaw with the policy proposal is that, if all member states decline to relocate some refugees (which is a plausible scenario), Mediterranean states would still be left alone when it comes to dealing with the most immediate consequences of migration flows. They would receive much more financial, operational, and logistical support than it currently is the case – but they would be managing on their own the overcrowded reception centres. The Commission suggests that it would oversee the national pledges in terms of relocation and that it would impose some corrections if the collective pledges fall short of a predefined target. But it remains to be seen whether the Commission will have the political clout to impose some relocations to member states refusing them. One could not be blamed for being highly sceptical.

      Second, it is noteworthy that the Commission fails to integrate the reception of refugees since member states are de facto granted an opt-out on hosting refugees. What is integrated is rather the return policy, once more a repressive instrument. And it is the member states with the worst record in terms of migrants’ rights violations that are the most likely to be tasked with the delicate mission of returning them home. As a commentator was quipping on Twitter, it would be like asking a bully to walk his victim home (what could possibly go wrong?). The attempt to build an intra-European consensus is obviously pursued at the expense of the refugees. The incentive structure built into the flexible solidarity scheme offers an excellent illustration of this. If a member state declines to relocate any refugee and offers instead to ‘sponsor’ some returns, it has to honour that pledge within a limited period of time (the Pact suggests a six month timeframe). If it fails to do so, it becomes responsible for the relocation and the return of those migrants, leading to a situation in which some migrants may end up in a country where they do not want to be and that does not want them to be there. Hardly an optimal outcome…
      Conclusion

      The Pact represents a genuine attempt to design a multi-faceted and comprehensive migration policy, covering most aspects of a complex issue. The dysfunctions of the Schengen area and the question of the legal pathways to Europe have been relegated to a later discussion and one may wonder whether they should not have been included in the Pact to balance out its restrictive inclination. And, in all fairness, the Pact does throw a few bones to the more cosmopolitan-minded European citizens. For instance, it reminds the member states that maritime search and rescue operations are legal and should not be impeded, or it shortens (from five to three years) the waiting period for refugees to benefit from the freedom of movement. But those few welcome additions are vastly outweighed by the fact that migration hardliners dominated the agenda-setting in the early stage of the policy-making exercise and have thus been able to frame decisively the political discussion. The end result is a policy package leaning heavily towards some repressive instruments and particularly careless when it comes to safeguarding migrants’ rights.

      The New Pact was first drafted on the ashes of the mandatory relocation scheme. Back then, the Commission publicly made amends and revised its approach to the issue. Sadly, the New Pact was presented to the European public when the ashes of the Moria camp were still lukewarm. One can only hope that the member states will learn from that mistake too.

      https://blog.novamigra.eu/2020/09/24/the-new-pact-on-migration-and-asylum-a-critical-first-look-analysis

    • #Pacte_européen_sur_la_migration : un “nouveau départ” pour violer les droits humains

      La Commission européenne a publié aujourd’hui son « Nouveau Pacte sur l’Asile et la Migration » qui propose un nouveau cadre règlementaire et législatif. Avec ce plan, l’UE devient de facto un « leader du voyage retour » pour les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s en Méditerranée. EuroMed Droits craint que ce pacte ne détériore encore davantage la situation actuelle pour au moins trois raisons.

      Le pacte se concentre de manière obsessionnelle sur la politique de retours à travers un système de « sponsoring » : des pays européens tels que l’Autriche, la Pologne, la Hongrie ou la République tchèque – qui refusent d’accueillir des réfugié.e.s – pourront « sponsoriser » et organiser la déportation vers les pays de départ de ces réfugié.e.s. Au lieu de favoriser l’intégration, le pacte adopte une politique de retour à tout prix, même lorsque les demandeurs.ses d’asile peuvent être victimes de discrimination, persécution ou torture dans leur pays de retour. A ce jour, il n’existe aucun mécanisme permettant de surveiller ce qui arrive aux migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s une fois déporté.e.s.

      Le pacte proposé renforce la sous-traitance de la gestion des frontières. En termes concrets, l’UE renforce la coopération avec les pays non-européens afin qu’ils ferment leurs frontières et empêchent les personnes de partir. Cette coopération est sujette à l’imposition de conditions par l’UE. Une telle décision européenne se traduit par une hausse du nombre de refoulements dans la région méditerranéenne et une coopération renforcée avec des pays qui ont un piètre bilan en matière de droits humains et qui ne possèdent pas de cadre efficace pour la protection des droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées.

      Le pacte vise enfin à étendre les mécanismes de tri des demandeurs.ses d’asile et des migrant.e.s dans les pays d’arrivée. Ce modèle de tri – similaire à celui utilisé dans les zones de transit aéroportuaires – accentue les difficultés de pays tels que l’Espagne, l’Italie, Malte, la Grèce ou Chypre qui accueillent déjà la majorité des migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s. Placer ces personnes dans des camps revient à mettre en place un système illégal d’incarcération automatique dès l’arrivée. Cela accroîtra la violence psychologique à laquelle les migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s sont déjà soumis. Selon ce nouveau système, ces personnes seront identifié.e.s sous cinq jours et toute demande d’asile devra être traitée en douze semaines. Cette accélération de la procédure risque d’intensifier la détention et de diviser les arrivant.e.s entre demandeurs.ses d’asile et migrant.e.s économiques. Cela s’effectuerait de manière discriminatoire, sans analyse détaillée de chaque demande d’asile ni possibilité réelle de faire appel. Celles et ceux qui seront éligibles à la protection internationale seront relocalisé.e.s au sein des États membres qui acceptent de les recevoir. Les autres risqueront d’être déportés immédiatement.

      « En choisissant de sous-traiter davantage encore la gestion des frontières et d’accentuer la politique de retours, ce nouveau pacte conclut la transformation de la politique européenne en une approche pleinement sécuritaire. Pire encore, le pacte assimile la politique de “retour sponsorisé” à une forme de solidarité. Au-delà des déclarations officielles, cela démontre la volonté de l’Union européenne de criminaliser et de déshumaniser les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s », a déclaré Wadih Al-Asmar, Président d’EuroMed Droits.

      https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/pacte-europeen-sur-la-migration-nouveau-depart-pour-violer-les-droits

    • Whose Pact? The Cognitive Dimensions of the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum

      This Policy Insight examines the new Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the principles and commitments enshrined in the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (UN GCR) and the EU Treaties. It finds that from a legal viewpoint the ‘Pact’ is not really a Pact at all, if understood as an agreement concluded between relevant EU institutional parties. Rather, it is the European Commission’s policy guide for the duration of the current 9th legislature.

      The analysis shows that the Pact has intergovernmental aspects, in both name and fundamentals. It does not pursue a genuine Migration and Asylum Union. The Pact encourages an artificial need for consensus building or de facto unanimity among all EU member states’ governments in fields where the EU Treaties call for qualified majority voting (QMV) with the European Parliament as co-legislator. The Pact does not abolish the first irregular entry rule characterising the EU Dublin Regulation. It adopts a notion of interstate solidarity that leads to asymmetric responsibilities, where member states are given the flexibility to evade participating in the relocation of asylum seekers. The Pact also runs the risk of catapulting some contested member states practices’ and priorities about localisation, speed and de-territorialisation into EU policy.

      This Policy Insight argues that the Pact’s priority of setting up an independent monitoring mechanism of border procedures’ compliance with fundamental rights is a welcome step towards the better safeguarding of the rule of law. The EU inter-institutional negotiations on the Pact’s initiatives should be timely and robust in enforcing member states’ obligations under the current EU legal standards relating to asylum and borders, namely the prevention of detention and expedited expulsions, and the effective access by all individuals to dignified treatment and effective remedies. Trust and legitimacy of EU asylum and migration policy can only follow if international (human rights and refugee protection) commitments and EU Treaty principles are put first.

      https://www.ceps.eu/ceps-publications/whose-pact

    • First analysis of the EU’s new asylum proposals

      This week the EU Commission published its new package of proposals on asylum and (non-EU) migration – consisting of proposals for legislation, some ‘soft law’, attempts to relaunch talks on stalled proposals and plans for future measures. The following is an explanation of the new proposals (not attempting to cover every detail) with some first thoughts. Overall, while it is possible that the new package will lead to agreement on revised asylum laws, this will come at the cost of risking reduced human rights standards.

      Background

      Since 1999, the EU has aimed to create a ‘Common European Asylum System’. A first phase of legislation was passed between 2003 and 2005, followed by a second phase between 2010 and 2013. Currently the legislation consists of: a) the Qualification Directive, which defines when people are entitled to refugee status (based on the UN Refugee Convention) or subsidiary protection status, and what rights they have; b) the Dublin III Regulation, which allocates responsibility for an asylum seeker between Member States; c) the Eurodac Regulation, which facilitates the Dublin system by setting up a database of fingerprints of asylum seekers and people who cross the external border without authorisation; d) the Asylum Procedures Directive, which sets out the procedural rules governing asylum applications, such as personal interviews and appeals; e) the Reception Conditions Directive, which sets out standards on the living conditions of asylum-seekers, such as rules on housing and welfare; and f) the Asylum Agency Regulation, which set up an EU agency (EASO) to support Member States’ processing of asylum applications.

      The EU also has legislation on other aspects of migration: (short-term) visas, border controls, irregular migration, and legal migration – much of which has connections with the asylum legislation, and all of which is covered by this week’s package. For visas, the main legislation is the visa list Regulation (setting out which non-EU countries’ citizens are subject to a short-term visa requirement, or exempt from it) and the visa code (defining the criteria to obtain a short-term Schengen visa, allowing travel between all Schengen states). The visa code was amended last year, as discussed here.

      For border controls, the main legislation is the Schengen Borders Code, setting out the rules on crossing external borders and the circumstances in which Schengen states can reinstate controls on internal borders, along with the Frontex Regulation, setting up an EU border agency to assist Member States. On the most recent version of the Frontex Regulation, see discussion here and here.

      For irregular migration, the main legislation is the Return Directive. The Commission proposed to amend it in 2018 – on which, see analysis here and here.

      For legal migration, the main legislation on admission of non-EU workers is the single permit Directive (setting out a common process and rights for workers, but not regulating admission); the Blue Card Directive (on highly paid migrants, discussed here); the seasonal workers’ Directive (discussed here); and the Directive on intra-corporate transferees (discussed here). The EU also has legislation on: non-EU students, researchers and trainees (overview here); non-EU family reunion (see summary of the legislation and case law here) and on long-term resident non-EU citizens (overview – in the context of UK citizens after Brexit – here). In 2016, the Commission proposed to revise the Blue Card Directive (see discussion here).

      The UK, Ireland and Denmark have opted out of most of these laws, except some asylum law applies to the UK and Ireland, and Denmark is covered by the Schengen and Dublin rules. So are the non-EU countries associated with Schengen and Dublin (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). There are also a number of further databases of non-EU citizens as well as Eurodac: the EU has never met a non-EU migrant who personal data it didn’t want to store and process.

      The Refugee ‘Crisis’

      The EU’s response to the perceived refugee ‘crisis’ was both short-term and long-term. In the short term, in 2015 the EU adopted temporary laws (discussed here) relocating some asylum seekers in principle from Italy and Greece to other Member States. A legal challenge to one of these laws failed (as discussed here), but in practice Member States accepted few relocations anyway. Earlier this year, the CJEU ruled that several Member States had breached their obligations under the laws (discussed here), but by then it was a moot point.

      Longer term, the Commission proposed overhauls of the law in 2016: a) a Qualification Regulation further harmonising the law on refugee and subsidiary protection status; b) a revised Dublin Regulation, which would have set up a system of relocation of asylum seekers for future crises; c) a revised Eurodac Regulation, to take much more data from asylum seekers and other migrants; d) an Asylum Procedures Regulation, further harmonising the procedural law on asylum applications; e) a revised Reception Conditions Directive; f) a revised Asylum Agency Regulation, giving the agency more powers; and g) a new Resettlement Regulation, setting out a framework of admitting refugees directly from non-EU countries. (See my comments on some of these proposals, from back in 2016)

      However, these proposals proved unsuccessful – which is the main reason for this week’s attempt to relaunch the process. In particular, an EU Council note from February 2019 summarises the diverse problems that befell each proposal. While the EU Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached agreement on the proposals on qualification, reception conditions and resettlement in June 2018, Member States refused to support the Presidency’s deal and the European Parliament refused to renegotiate (see, for instance, the Council documents on the proposals on qualification and resettlement; see also my comments on an earlier stage of the talks, when the Council had agreed its negotiation position on the qualification regulation).

      On the asylum agency, the EP and Council agreed on the revised law in 2017, but the Commission proposed an amendment in 2018 to give the agency more powers; the Council could not agree on this. On Eurodac, the EP and Council only partly agreed on a text. On the procedures Regulation, the Council largely agreed its position, except on border procedures; on Dublin there was never much prospect of agreement because of the controversy over relocating asylum seekers. (For either proposal, a difficult negotiation with the European Parliament lay ahead).

      In other areas too, the legislative process was difficult: the Council and EP gave up negotiating amendments to the Blue Card Directive (see the last attempt at a compromise here, and the Council negotiation mandate here), and the EP has not yet agreed a position on the Returns Directive (the Council has a negotiating position, but again it leaves out the difficult issue of border procedures; there is a draft EP position from February). Having said that, the EU has been able to agree legislation giving more powers to Frontex, as well as new laws on EU migration databases, in the last few years.

      The attempted relaunch

      The Commission’s new Pact on asylum and immigration (see also the roadmap on its implementation, the Q and As, and the staff working paper) does not restart the whole process from scratch. On qualification, reception conditions, resettlement, the asylum agency, the returns Directive and the Blue Card Directive, it invites the Council and Parliament to resume negotiations. But it tries to unblock the talks as a whole by tabling two amended legislative proposals and three new legislative proposals, focussing on the issues of border procedures and relocation of asylum seekers.

      Screening at the border

      This revised proposals start with a new proposal for screening asylum seekers at the border, which would apply to all non-EU citizens who cross an external border without authorisation, who apply for asylum while being checked at the border (without meeting the conditions for legal entry), or who are disembarked after a search and rescue operation. During the screening, these non-EU citizens are not allowed to enter the territory of a Member State, unless it becomes clear that they meet the criteria for entry. The screening at the border should take no longer than 5 days, with an extra 5 days in the event of a huge influx. (It would also be possible to apply the proposed law to those on the territory who evaded border checks; for them the deadline to complete the screening is 3 days).

      Screening has six elements, as further detailed in the proposal: a health check, an identity check, registration in a database, a security check, filling out a debriefing form, and deciding on what happens next. At the end of the screening, the migrant is channelled either into the expulsion process (if no asylum claim has been made, and if the migrant does not meet the conditions for entry) or, if an asylum claim is made, into the asylum process – with an indication of whether the claim should be fast-tracked or not. It’s also possible that an asylum seeker would be relocated to another Member State. The screening is carried out by national officials, possibly with support from EU agencies.

      To ensure human rights protection, there must be independent monitoring to address allegations of non-compliance with human rights. These allegations might concern breaches of EU or international law, national law on detention, access to the asylum procedure, or non-refoulement (the ban on sending people to an unsafe country). Migrants must be informed about the process and relevant EU immigration and data protection law. There is no provision for judicial review of the outcome of the screening process, although there would be review as part of the next step (asylum or return).

      Asylum procedures

      The revised proposal for an asylum procedures Regulation would leave in place most of the Commission’s 2016 proposal to amend the law, adding some specific further proposed amendments, which either link back to the screening proposal or aim to fast-track decisions and expulsions more generally.

      On the first point, the usual rules on informing asylum applicants and registering their application would not apply until after the end of the screening. A border procedure may apply following the screening process, but Member States must apply the border procedure in cases where an asylum seeker used false documents, is a perceived national security threat, or falls within the new ground for fast-tracking cases (on which, see below). The latter obligation is subject to exceptions where a Member State has reported that a non-EU country is not cooperating on readmission; the process for dealing with that issue set out under the 2019 amendments to the visa code will then apply. Also, the border process cannot apply to unaccompanied minors or children under 12, unless they are a supposed national security risk. Further exceptions apply where the asylum seeker is vulnerable or has medical needs, the application is not inadmissible or cannot be fast-tracked, or detention conditions cannot be guaranteed. A Member State might apply the Dublin process to determine which Member State is responsible for the asylum claim during the border process. The whole border process (including any appeal) must last no more than 12 weeks, and can only be used to declare applications inadmissible or apply the new ground for fast-tracking them.

      There would also be a new border expulsion procedure, where an asylum application covered by the border procedure was rejected. This is subject to its own 12-week deadline, starting from the point when the migrant is no longer allowed to remain. Much of the Return Directive would apply – but not the provisions on the time period for voluntary departure, remedies and the grounds for detention. Instead, the border expulsion procedure would have its own stricter rules on these issues.

      As regards general fast-tracking, in order to speed up the expulsion process for unsuccessful applications, a rejection of an asylum application would have to either incorporate an expulsion decision or entail a simultaneous separate expulsion decision. Appeals against expulsion decisions would then be subject to the same rules as appeals against asylum decisions. If the asylum seeker comes from a country with a refugee recognition rate below 20%, his or her application must be fast-tracked (this would even apply to unaccompanied minors) – unless circumstances in that country have changed, or the asylum seeker comes from a group for whom the low recognition rate is not representative (for instance, the recognition rate might be higher for LGBT asylum-seekers from that country). Many more appeals would be subject to a one-week time limit for the rejected asylum seeker to appeal, and there could be only one level of appeal against decisions taken within a border procedure.

      Eurodac

      The revised proposal for Eurodac would build upon the 2016 proposal, which was already far-reaching: extending Eurodac to include not only fingerprints, but also photos and other personal data; reducing the age of those covered by Eurodac from 14 to 6; removing the time limits and the limits on use of the fingerprints taken from persons who had crossed the border irregularly; and creating a new obligation to collect data of all irregular migrants over age 6 (currently fingerprint data for this group cannot be stored, but can simply be checked, as an option, against the data on asylum seekers and irregular border crossers). The 2020 proposal additionally provides for interoperability with other EU migration databases, taking of personal data during the screening process, including more data on the migration status of each person, and expressly applying the law to those disembarked after a search and rescue operation.

      Dublin rules on asylum responsibility

      A new proposal for asylum management would replace the Dublin regulation (meaning that the Commission has withdrawn its 2016 proposal to replace that Regulation). The 2016 proposal would have created a ‘bottleneck’ in the Member State of entry, requiring that State to examine first whether many of the grounds for removing an asylum-seeker to a non-EU country apply before considering whether another Member State might be responsible for the application (because the asylum seeker’s family live there, for instance). It would also have imposed obligations directly on asylum-seekers to cooperate with the process, rather than only regulate relations between Member States. These obligations would have been enforced by punishing asylum seekers who disobeyed: removing their reception conditions (apart from emergency health care); fast-tracking their substantive asylum applications; refusing to consider new evidence from them; and continuing the asylum application process in their absence.

      It would no longer be possible for asylum seekers to provide additional evidence of family links, with a view to being in the same country as a family member. Overturning a CJEU judgment (see further discussion here), unaccompanied minors would no longer have been able to make applications in multiple Member States (in the absence of a family member in any of them). However, the definition of family members would have been widened, to include siblings and families formed in a transit country. Responsibility for an asylum seeker based on the first Member State of irregular entry (a commonly applied criterion) would have applied indefinitely, rather than expire one year after entry as it does under the current rules. The ‘Sangatte clause’ (responsibility after five months of living in a second Member State, if the ‘irregular entry’ criterion no longer applies) would be dropped. The ‘sovereignty clause’, which played a key part in the 2015-16 refugee ‘crisis’ (it lets a Member State take responsibility for any application even if the Dublin rules do not require it, cf Germany accepting responsibility for Syrian asylum seekers) would have been sharply curtailed. Time limits for detention during the transfer process would be reduced. Remedies for asylum seekers would have been curtailed: they would only have seven days to appeal against a transfer; courts would have fifteen days to decide (although they could have stayed on the territory throughout); and the grounds of review would have been curtailed.

      Finally, the 2016 proposal would have tackled the vexed issue of disproportionate allocation of responsibility for asylum seekers by setting up an automated system determining how many asylum seekers each Member State ‘should’ have based on their size and GDP. If a Member State were responsible for excessive numbers of applicants, Member States which were receiving fewer numbers would have to take more to help out. If they refused, they would have to pay €250,000 per applicant.

      The 2020 proposal drops some of the controversial proposals from 2016, including the ‘bottleneck’ in the Member State of entry (the current rule, giving Member States an option to decide if a non-EU country is responsible for the application on narrower grounds than in the 2016 proposal, would still apply). Also, the sovereignty clause would now remain unchanged.

      However, the 2020 proposal also retains parts of the 2016 proposal: the redefinition of ‘family member’ (which could be more significant now that the bottleneck is removed, unless Member States choose to apply the relevant rules on non-EU countries’ responsibility during the border procedure already); obligations for asylum seekers (redrafted slightly); some of the punishments for non-compliant asylum-seekers (the cut-off for considering evidence would stay, as would the loss of benefits except for those necessary to ensure a basic standard of living: see the CJEU case law in CIMADE and Haqbin); dropping the provision on evidence of family links; changing the rules on responsibility for unaccompanied minors; retaining part of the changes to the irregular entry criterion (it would now cease to apply after three years; the Sangatte clause would still be dropped; it would apply after search and rescue but not apply in the event of relocation); curtailing judicial review (the grounds would still be limited; the time limit to appeal would be 14 days; courts would not have a strict deadline to decide; suspensive effect would not apply in all cases); and the reduced time limits for detention.

      The wholly new features of the 2020 proposal are: some vague provisions about crisis management; responsibility for an asylum application for the Member State which issued a visa or residence document which expired in the last three years (the current rule is responsibility if the visa expired less than six months ago, and the residence permit expired less than a year ago); responsibility for an asylum application for a Member State in which a non-EU citizen obtained a diploma; and the possibility for refugees or persons with subsidiary protection status to obtain EU long-term resident status after three years, rather than five.

      However, the most significant feature of the new proposal is likely to be its attempt to solve the underlying issue of disproportionate allocation of asylum seekers. Rather than a mechanical approach to reallocating responsibility, the 2020 proposal now provides for a menu of ‘solidarity contributions’: relocation of asylum seekers; relocation of refugees; ‘return sponsorship’; or support for ‘capacity building’ in the Member State (or a non-EU country) facing migratory pressure. There are separate rules for search and rescue disembarkations, on the one hand, and more general migratory pressures on the other. Once the Commission determines that the latter situation exists, other Member States have to choose from the menu to offer some assistance. Ultimately the Commission will adopt a decision deciding what the contributions will be. Note that ‘return sponsorship’ comes with a ticking clock: if the persons concerned are not expelled within eight months, the sponsoring Member State must accept them on its territory.

      Crisis management

      The issue of managing asylum issues in a crisis has been carved out of the Dublin proposal into a separate proposal, which would repeal an EU law from 2001 that set up a framework for offering ‘temporary protection’ in a crisis. Note that Member States have never used the 2001 law in practice.

      Compared to the 2001 law, the new proposal is integrated into the EU asylum legislation that has been adopted or proposed in the meantime. It similarly applies in the event of a ‘mass influx’ that prevents the effective functioning of the asylum system. It would apply the ‘solidarity’ process set out in the proposal to replace the Dublin rules (ie relocation of asylum seekers and other measures), with certain exceptions and shorter time limits to apply that process.

      The proposal focusses on providing for possible exceptions to the usual asylum rules. In particular, during a crisis, the Commission could authorise a Member State to apply temporary derogations from the rules on border asylum procedures (extending the time limit, using the procedure to fast-track more cases), border return procedures (again extending the time limit, more easily justifying detention), or the time limit to register asylum applicants. Member States could also determine that due to force majeure, it was not possible to observe the normal time limits for registering asylum applications, applying the Dublin process for responsibility for asylum applications, or offering ‘solidarity’ to other Member States.

      Finally, the new proposal, like the 2001 law, would create a potential for a form of separate ‘temporary protection’ status for the persons concerned. A Member State could suspend the consideration of asylum applications from people coming from the country facing a crisis for up to a year, in the meantime giving them status equivalent to ‘subsidiary protection’ status in the EU qualification law. After that point it would have to resume consideration of the applications. It would need the Commission’s approval, whereas the 2001 law left it to the Council to determine a situation of ‘mass influx’ and provided for the possible extension of the special rules for up to three years.

      Other measures

      The Commission has also adopted four soft law measures. These comprise: a Recommendation on asylum crisis management; a Recommendation on resettlement and humanitarian admission; a Recommendation on cooperation between Member States on private search and rescue operations; and guidance on the applicability of EU law on smuggling of migrants – notably concluding that it cannot apply where (as in the case of law of the sea) there is an obligation to rescue.

      On other issues, the Commission plan is to use current legislation – in particular the recent amendment to the visa code, which provides for sticks to make visas more difficult to get for citizens of countries which don’t cooperate on readmission of people, and carrots to make visas easier to get for citizens of countries which do cooperate on readmission. In some areas, such as the Schengen system, there will be further strategies and plans in the near future; it is not clear if this will lead to more proposed legislation.

      However, on legal migration, the plan is to go further than relaunching the amendment of the Blue Card Directive, as the Commission is also planning to propose amendments to the single permit and long-term residence laws referred to above – leading respectively to more harmonisation of the law on admission of non-EU workers and enhanced possibilities for long-term resident non-EU citizens to move between Member States (nb the latter plan is separate from this week’s proposal to amend this law as regards refugees and people with subsidiary protection already). Both these plans are relevant to British citizens moving to the EU after the post-Brexit transition period – and the latter is also relevant to British citizens covered by the withdrawal agreement.

      Comments

      This week’s plan is less a complete restart of EU law in this area than an attempt to relaunch discussions on a blocked set of amendments to that law, which moreover focusses on a limited set of issues. Will it ‘work’? There are two different ways to answer that question.

      First, will it unlock the institutional blockage? Here it should be kept in mind that the European Parliament and the Council had largely agreed on several of the 2016 proposals already; they would have been adopted in 2018 already had not the Council treated all the proposals as a package, and not gone back on agreements which the Council Presidency reached with the European Parliament. It is always open to the Council to get at least some of these proposals adopted quickly by reversing these approaches.

      On the blocked proposals, the Commission has targeted the key issues of border procedures and allocation of asylum-seekers. If the former leads to more quick removals of unsuccessful applicants, the latter issue is no longer so pressing. But it is not clear if the Member States will agree to anything on border procedures, or whether such an agreement will result in more expulsions anyway – because the latter depends on the willingness of non-EU countries, which the EU cannot legislate for (and does not even address in this most recent package). And because it is uncertain whether they will result in more expulsions, Member States will be wary of agreeing to anything which either results in more obligations to accept asylum-seekers on their territory, or leaves them with the same number as before.

      The idea of ‘return sponsorship’ – which reads like a grotesque parody of individuals sponsoring children in developing countries via charities – may not be appealing except to those countries like France, which have the capacity to twist arms in developing countries to accept returns. Member States might be able to agree on a replacement for the temporary protection Directive on the basis that they will never use that replacement either. And Commission threats to use infringement proceedings to enforce the law might not worry Member States who recall that the CJEU ruled on their failure to relocate asylum-seekers after the relocation law had already expired, and that the Court will soon rule on Hungary’s expulsion of the Central European University after it has already left.

      As to whether the proposals will ‘work’ in terms of managing asylum flows fairly and compatibly with human rights, it is striking how much they depend upon curtailing appeal rights, even though appeals are often successful. The proposed limitation of appeal rights will also be maintained in the Dublin system; and while the proposed ‘bottleneck’ of deciding on removals to non-EU countries before applying the Dublin system has been removed, a variation on this process may well apply in the border procedures process instead. There is no new review of the assessment of the safety of non-EU countries – which is questionable in light of the many reports of abuse in Libya. While the EU is not proposing, as the wildest headbangers would want, to turn people back or refuse applications without consideration, the question is whether the fast-track consideration of applications and then appeals will constitute merely a Potemkin village of procedural rights that mean nothing in practice.

      Increased detention is already a feature of the amendments proposed earlier: the reception conditions proposal would add a new ground for detention; the return Directive proposal would inevitably increase detention due to curtailing voluntary departure (as discussed here). Unfortunately the Commission’s claim in its new communication that its 2018 proposal is ‘promoting’ voluntary return is therefore simply false. Trump-style falsehoods have no place in the discussion of EU immigration or asylum law.

      The latest Eurodac proposal would not do much compared to the 2016 proposal – but then, the 2016 proposal would already constitute an enormous increase in the amount of data collected and shared by that system.

      Some elements of the package are more positive. The possibility for refugees and people with subsidiary protection to get EU long-term residence status earlier would be an important step toward making asylum ‘valid throughout the Union’, as referred to in the Treaties. The wider definition of family members, and the retention of the full sovereignty clause, may lead to some fairer results under the Dublin system. Future plans to improve the long-term residents’ Directive are long overdue. The Commission’s sound legal assessment that no one should be prosecuted for acting on their obligations to rescue people in distress at sea is welcome. The quasi-agreed text of the reception conditions Directive explicitly rules out Trump-style separate detention of children.

      No proposals from the EU can solve the underlying political issue: a chunk of public opinion is hostile to more migration, whether in frontline Member States, other Member States, or transit countries outside the EU. The politics is bound to affect what Member States and non-EU countries alike are willing to agree to. And for the same reason, even if a set of amendments to the system is ultimately agreed, there will likely be continuing issues of implementation, especially illegal pushbacks and refusals to accept relocation.

      https://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2020/09/first-analysis-of-eus-new-asylum.html?spref=fb

    • Pacte européen sur les migrations et l’asile : Le rendez-vous manqué de l’UE

      Le nouveau pacte européen migrations et asile présenté par la Commission ce 23 septembre, loin de tirer les leçons de l’échec et du coût humain intolérable des politiques menées depuis 30 ans, s’inscrit dans la continuité des logiques déjà largement éprouvées, fondées sur une approche répressive et sécuritaire au service de l’endiguement et des expulsions et au détriment d’une politique d’accueil qui s’attache à garantir et à protéger la dignité et les droits fondamentaux.

      Des « nouveaux » camps européens aux frontières pour filtrer les personnes arrivées sur le territoire européen et expulser le plus grand nombre

      En réaction au drame des incendies qui ont ravagé le camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, affirmait le 17 septembre devant les députés européens qu’« il n’y aurait pas d’autres Moria » mais de « véritables centres d’accueil » aux frontières européennes.

      Si le nouveau pacte prévoie effectivement la création de « nouveaux » camps conjuguée à une « nouvelle » procédure accélérée aux frontières, ces derniers s’apparentent largement à l’approche hotspot mise en œuvre par l’Union européenne (UE) depuis 2015 afin d’organiser la sélection des personnes qu’elle souhaite accueillir et l’expulsion, depuis la frontière, de tous celles qu’elle considère « indésirables ».

      Le pacte prévoie ainsi la mise en place « d’un contrôle préalable à l’entrée sur le territoire pour toutes les personnes qui se présentent aux frontières extérieures ou après un débarquement, à la suite d’une opération de recherche et de sauvetage ». Il s’agira, pour les pays situés à la frontière extérieure de l’UE, de procéder – dans un délai de 5 jours et avec l’appui des agences européennes (l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes – Frontex et le Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile – EASO) – à des contrôles d’identité (prise d’empreintes et enregistrement dans les bases de données européennes) doublés de contrôles sécuritaires et sanitaires afin de procéder à un tri préalable à l’entrée sur le territoire, permettant d’orienter ensuite les personne vers :

      Une procédure d’asile accélérée à la frontière pour celles possédant une nationalité pour laquelle le taux de reconnaissance d’une protection internationale, à l’échelle de l’UE, est inférieure à 20%
      Une procédure d’asile normale pour celles considérées comme éligibles à une protection.
      Une procédure d’expulsion immédiate, depuis la frontière, pour toute celles qui auront été rejetées par ce dispositif de tri, dans un délai de 12 semaines.

      Pendant cette procédure de filtrage à la frontière, les personnes seraient considérées comme n’étant pas encore entrées sur le territoire européen ce qui permettrait aux Etats de déroger aux conventions de droit international qui s’y appliquent.

      Un premier projet pilote est notamment prévu à Lesbos, conjointement avec les autorités grecques, pour installer un nouveau camp sur l’île avec l’appui d’une Task Force européenne, directement placée sous le contrôle de la direction générale des affaires intérieure de la Commission européenne (DG HOME).

      Difficile de voir où se trouve l’innovation dans la proposition présentée par la Commission. Si ce n’est que les États européens souhaitent pousser encore plus loin à la fois la logique de filtrage à ces frontières ainsi que la sous-traitance de leur contrôle. Depuis l’été 2018, l’Union européenne défend la création de « centres contrôlés au sein de l’UE » d’une part et de « plateformes de débarquement dans les pays tiers » d’autre part. L’UE, à travers ce nouveau mécanisme, vise à organiser l’expulsion rapide des migrants qui sont parvenus, souvent au péril de leur vie, à pénétrer sur son territoire. Pour ce faire, la coopération accrue avec les gardes-frontières des États non européens et l’appui opérationnel de l’agence Frontex sont encore et toujours privilégiés.
      Un « nouvel écosystème en matière de retour »

      L’obsession européenne pour l’amélioration du « taux de retour » se retrouve au cœur de ce nouveau pacte, en repoussant toujours plus les limites en matière de coopération extérieure et d’enfermement des personnes étrangères jugées indésirables et en augmentant de façon inédite ses moyens opérationnels.

      Selon l’expression de Margaritis Schinas, commissaire grec en charge de la « promotion du mode de vie européen », la nouvelle procédure accélérée aux frontières s’accompagnera d’« un nouvel écosystème européen en matière de retour ». Il sera piloté par un « nouveau coordinateur de l’UE chargé des retours » ainsi qu’un « réseau de haut niveau coordonnant les actions nationales » avec le soutien de l’agence Frontex, qui devrait devenir « le bras opérationnel de la politique de retour européenne ».

      Rappelons que Frontex a vu ses moyens décuplés ces dernières années, notamment en vue d’expulser plus de personnes migrantes. Celle-ci a encore vu ses moyens renforcés depuis l’entrée en vigueur de son nouveau règlement le 4 décembre 2019 dont la Commission souhaite accélérer la mise en œuvre effective. Au-delà d’une augmentation de ses effectifs et de la possibilité d’acquérir son propre matériel, l’agence bénéficie désormais de pouvoirs étendus pour identifier les personnes « expulsables » du territoire européen, obtenir les documents de voyage nécessaires à la mise en œuvre de leurs expulsions ainsi que pour coordonner des opérations d’expulsion au service des Etats membres.

      La Commission souhaite également faire aboutir, d’ici le second trimestre 2021, le projet de révision de la directive européenne « Retour », qui constitue un recul sans précédent du cadre de protection des droits fondamentaux des personnes migrantes. Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : L’expulsion au cœur des politiques migratoires européennes, 22 mai 2019
      Des « partenariats sur-mesure » avec les pays d’origine et de transit

      La Commission étend encore redoubler d’efforts afin d’inciter les Etats non européens à participer activement à empêcher les départs vers l’Europe ainsi qu’à collaborer davantage en matière de retour et de réadmission en utilisant l’ensemble des instruments politiques à sa disposition. Ces dernières années ont vu se multiplier les instruments européens de coopération formelle (à travers la signature, entre autres, d’accords de réadmission bilatéraux ou multilatéraux) et informelle (à l’instar de la tristement célèbre déclaration entre l’UE et la Turquie de mars 2016) à tel point qu’il est devenu impossible, pour les États ciblés, de coopérer avec l’UE dans un domaine spécifique sans que les objectifs européens en matière migratoire ne soient aussi imposés.

      L’exécutif européen a enfin souligné sa volonté de d’exploiter les possibilités offertes par le nouveau règlement sur les visas Schengen, entré en vigueur en février 2020. Celui-ci prévoie d’évaluer, chaque année, le degré de coopération des Etats non européens en matière de réadmission. Le résultat de cette évaluation permettra d’adopter une décision de facilitation de visa pour les « bon élèves » ou à l’inverse, d’imposer des mesures de restrictions de visas aux « mauvais élèves ». Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : Expulsions contre visas : le droit à la mobilité marchandé, 2 février 2020.

      Conduite au seul prisme des intérêts européens, cette politique renforce le caractère historiquement déséquilibré des relations de « coopération » et entraîne en outre des conséquences désastreuses sur les droits des personnes migrantes, notamment celui de quitter tout pays, y compris le leur. Sous couvert d’aider ces pays à « se développer », les mesures « incitatives » européennes ne restent qu’un moyen de poursuivre ses objectifs et d’imposer sa vision des migrations. En coopérant davantage avec les pays d’origine et de transit, parmi lesquelles des dictatures et autres régimes autoritaires, l’UE renforce l’externalisation de ses politiques migratoires, sous-traitant la gestion des exilées aux Etats extérieurs à l’UE, tout en se déresponsabilisant des violations des droits perpétrées hors de ses frontières.
      Solidarité à la carte, entre relocalisation et expulsion

      Le constat d’échec du système Dublin – machine infernale de l’asile européen – conjugué à la volonté de parvenir à trouver un consensus suite aux profonds désaccords qui avaient mené les négociations sur Dublin IV dans l’impasse, la Commission souhaite remplacer l’actuel règlement de Dublin par un nouveau règlement sur la gestion de l’asile et de l’immigration, liant étroitement les procédures d’asile aux procédures d’expulsion.

      Les quotas de relocalisation contraignants utilisés par le passé, à l’instar du mécanisme de relocalisation mis en place entre 2015 et 2017 qui fut un échec tant du point de vue du nombre de relocalisations (seulement 25 000 relocalisations sur les 160 000 prévues) que du refus de plusieurs Etats d’y participer, semblent être abandonnés.

      Le nouveau pacte propose donc un nouveau mécanisme de solidarité, certes obligatoire mais flexible dans ses modalités. Ainsi les Etats membres devront choisir, selon une clé de répartition définie :

      Soit de participer à l’effort de relocalisation des personnes identifiées comme éligibles à la protection internationale depuis les frontières extérieures pour prendre en charge l’examen de leur demande d’asile.
      Soit de participer au nouveau concept de « parrainage des retours » inventé par la Commission européenne. Concrètement, il s’agit d’être « solidaire autrement », en s’engageant activement dans la politique de retour européenne par la mise en œuvre des expulsions des personnes que l’UE et ses Etats membres souhaitent éloigner du territoire, avec la possibilité de concentrer leurs efforts sur les nationalités pour lesquelles leurs perspectives de faire aboutir l’expulsion est la plus élevée.

      De nouvelles règles pour les « situations de crise et de force majeure »

      Le pacte prévoie d’abroger la directive européenne relative à des normes minimales pour l’octroi d’une protection temporaire en cas d’afflux massif de personnes déplacées, au profit d’un nouveau règlement européen relatif aux « situations de crise et de force majeure ». L’UE et ses Etats membres ont régulièrement essuyé les critiques des acteurs de la société civile pour n’avoir jamais activé la procédure prévue par la directive de 2001, notamment dans le cadre de situation exceptionnelle telle que la crise de l’accueil des personnes arrivées aux frontières sud de l’UE en 2015.

      Le nouveau règlement prévoie notamment qu’en cas de « situation de crise ou de force majeure » les Etats membres pourraient déroger aux règles qui s’appliquent en matière d’asile, en suspendant notamment l’enregistrement des demandes d’asile pendant un durée d’un mois maximum. Cette mesure entérine des pratiques contraires au droit international et européen, à l’instar de ce qu’a fait la Grèce début mars 2020 afin de refouler toutes les personnes qui tenteraient de pénétrer le territoire européen depuis la Turquie voisine. Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : Frontière Grèce-Turquie : de l’approche hotspot au scandale de la guerre aux migrant·e ·s, 3 mars 2020

      Cette proposition représente un recul sans précédent du droit d’asile aux frontières et fait craindre de multiples violations du principe de non refoulement consacré par la Convention de Genève.

      Bien loin d’engager un changement de cap des politiques migratoires européennes, le nouveau pacte européen migrations et asile ne semble n’être qu’un nouveau cadre de plus pour poursuivre une approche des mouvements migratoires qui, de longue date, s’est construite autour de la volonté d’empêcher les arrivées aux frontières et d’organiser un tri parmi les personnes qui auraient réussi à braver les obstacles pour atteindre le territoire européen, entre celles considérées éligibles à la demande d’asile et toutes les autres qui devraient être expulsées.

      De notre point de vue, cela signifie surtout que des milliers de personnes continueront à être privées de liberté et à subir les dispositifs répressifs des Etats membres de l’Union européenne. Les conséquences néfastes sur la dignité humaine et les droits fondamentaux de cette approche sont flagrantes, les personnes exilées et leurs soutiens y sont confrontées tous les jours.

      Encore une fois, des moyens très importants sont consacrés à financer l’érection de barrières physiques, juridiques et technologiques ainsi que la construction de camps sur les routes migratoires tandis qu’ils pourraient utilement être redéployés pour accueillir dignement et permettre un accès inconditionnel au territoire européen pour les personnes bloquées à ses frontières extérieures afin d’examiner avec attention et impartialité leurs situations et assurer le respect effectif des droits de tou∙te∙s.

      Nous appelons à un changement radical des politiques migratoires, pour une Europe qui encourage les solidarités, fondée sur la protection des droits humains et la dignité humaine afin d’assurer la protection des personnes et non pas leur exclusion.

      https://www.lacimade.org/pacte-europeen-sur-les-migrations-et-lasile-le-rendez-vous-manque-de-lue

    • EU’s new migrant ‘pact’ is as squalid as its refugee camps

      Governments need to share responsibility for asylum seekers, beyond merely ejecting the unwanted

      One month after fires swept through Europe’s largest, most squalid refugee camp, the EU’s migration policies present a picture as desolate as the blackened ruins of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos. The latest effort at overhauling these policies is a European Commission “pact on asylum and migration”, which is not a pact at all. Its proposals sharply divide the EU’s 27 governments.

      In an attempt to appease central and eastern European countries hostile to admitting asylum-seekers, the commission suggests, in an Orwellian turn of phrase, that they should operate “relocation and return sponsorships”, dispatching people refused entry to their places of origin. This sort of task is normally reserved for nightclub bouncers.

      The grim irony is that Hungary and Poland, two countries that would presumably be asked to take charge of such expulsions, are the subject of EU disciplinary proceedings due to alleged violations of the rule of law. It remains a mystery how, if the commission proposal moves forward, the EU will succeed in binding Hungary and Poland into a common asylum policy and bend them into accepting EU definitions of the rule of law.

      Perhaps the best thing to be said of the commission’s plan is that, unlike the UK government, EU policymakers are not toying with hare-brained schemes of sending asylum-seekers to Ascension Island in the south Atlantic. Such options are the imagined privilege of a former imperial power not divested of all its far-flung possessions.

      Yet the commission’s initiative still reeks of wishful thinking. It foresees a process in which authorities swiftly check the identities, security status and health of irregular migrants, before returning them home, placing them in the asylum system or putting them in temporary facilities. This will supposedly decongest EU border zones, as governments will agree how to relocate new arrivals. But it is precisely the lack of such agreement since 2015 that led to Moria’s disgraceful conditions.

      The commission should not be held responsible for governments failing to shoulder their responsibilities. It is also justified in emphasising the need for a strong EU frontier. This is a precondition for free movement inside the bloc, vital for a flourishing single market.

      True, the Schengen system of border-free internal travel is curtailed at present because of the pandemic, not to mention restrictions introduced in some countries after the 2015 refugee and migrant crisis. But no government wants to abandon Schengen. Where they fall out with each other is over the housing of refugees and migrants.

      Europe’s overcrowded, unhygienic refugee camps, and the paralysis that grips EU policies, are all the more shameful in that governments no longer face a border emergency. Some 60,800 irregular migrants crossed into the EU between January and August, 14 per cent less than the same period in 2019, according to the EU border agency.

      By contrast, there were 1.8m illegal border crossings in 2015, a different order of magnitude. Refugees from conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria made desperate voyages across the Mediterranean, with thousands drowning in ramshackle boats. Some countries, led by Germany and Sweden, were extremely generous in opening their doors to refugees. Others were not.

      The roots of today’s problems lie in the measures devised to address that crisis, above all a 2016 accord with Turkey. Irregular migrants were kept on Moria and other Greek islands, designated “hotspots”, in the expectation that failed asylum applicants would be smoothly returned to Turkey, its coffers replenished by billions of euros in EU assistance. In practice, few went back to Turkey and the understaffed, underfunded “hotspots” became places of tension between refugees and locals.

      Unable to agree on a relocation scheme among themselves, EU governments lapsed into a de facto policy of deterrence of irregular migrants. The pandemic provided an excuse for Italy and Malta to close their ports to people rescued at sea. Visiting the Greek-Turkish border in March, Ursula von der Leyen, the commission president, declared: “I thank Greece for being our European aspida [shield].”

      The legitimacy of EU refugee policies depends on adherence to international law, as well the bloc’s own rules. Its practical success requires all governments to share a responsibility for asylum-seekers that goes beyond ejecting unwanted individuals. Otherwise the EU will fall into the familiar trap of cobbling together unsatisfactory half-measures that guarantee more trouble in the future.

      https://www.ft.com/content/c50c6b9c-75a8-40b1-900d-a228faa382dc?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754

    • The EU’s pact against migration, Part One

      The EU Commission’s proposal for a ‘New Pact for Migration and Asylum’ offers no prospect of ending the enduring mobility conflict, opposing the movements of illegalised migrants to the EU’s restrictive migration policies.

      The ’New Pact for Migration and Asylum’, announced by the European Commission in July 2019, was finally presented on September 23, 2020. The Pact was eagerly anticipated as it was described as a “fresh start on migration in Europe”, acknowledging not only that Dublin had failed, but also that the negotiations between European member states as to what system might replace it had reached a standstill.

      The fire in Moria that left more than 13.000 people stranded in the streets of Lesvos island offered a glaring symbol of the failure of the current EU policy. The public outcry it caused and expressions of solidarity it crystallised across Europe pressured the Commission to respond through the publication of its Pact.

      Considering the trajectory of EU migration policies over the last decades, the particular position of the Commission within the European power structure and the current political conjuncture of strong anti-migration positions in Europe, we did not expect the Commission’s proposal to address the mobility conflict underlying its migration policy crisis in a constructive way. And indeed, the Pact’s main promise is to manage the diverging positions of member states through a new mechanism of “flexible solidarity” between member states in sharing the “burden” of migrants who have arrived on European territory. Perpetuating the trajectory of the last decades, it however remains premised on keeping most migrants from the global South out at all cost. The “New Pact” then is effectively a pact between European states against migrants. The Pact, which will be examined and possibly adopted by the European Parliament and Council in the coming months, confirms the impasse to which three decades of European migration and asylum policy have led, and an absence of any political imagination worthy of the name.
      The EU’s migration regime’s failed architecture

      The current architecture of the European border regime is based on two main and intertwined pillars: the Schengen Implementing Convention (SIC, or Schengen II) and the Dublin Convention, both signed in 1990, and gradually enforced in the following years.[1]

      Created outside the EC/EU context, they became the central rationalities of the emerging European border and migration regime after their incorporation into EU law through the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997/99). Schengen instituted the EU’s territory as an area of free movement for its citizens and, as a direct consequence, reinforced the exclusion of citizens of the global South and pushed control towards its external borders.

      However this profound transformation of European borders left unchanged the unbalanced systemic relations between Europe and the Global South, within which migrants’ movements are embedded. As a result, this policy shift did not stop migrants from reaching the EU but rather illegalised their mobility, forcing them to resort to precarious migration strategies and generating an easily exploitable labour force that has become a large-scale and permanent feature of EU economies.

      The more than 40,000 migrant deaths recorded at the EU’s borders by NGOs since the end of the 1980s are the lethal outcomes of this enduring mobility conflict opposing the movements of illegalised migrants to the EU’s restrictive migration policies.

      The second pillar of the EU’s migration architecture, the Dublin Convention, addressed asylum seekers and their allocation between member-states. To prevent them from filing applications in several EU countries – derogatively referred to as “asylum shopping” – the 2003 Dublin regulation states that the asylum seekers’ first country of entry into the EU is responsible for processing their claims. Dublin thus created an uneven European geography of (ir)responsibility that allowed the member states not directly situated at the intersection of European borders and routes of migration to abnegate their responsibility to provide shelter and protection, and placed a heavier “burden” on the shoulders of states located at the EU’s external borders.

      This unbalanced architecture, around which the entire Common European Asylum System (CEAS) was constructed, would begin to wobble as soon as the number of people arriving on the EU’s shores rose, leading to crisis-driven policy responses to prevent the migration regime from collapsing under the pressure of migrants’ refusal to be assigned to a country that was not of their choosing, and conflicts between member states.

      As a result, the development of a European border, migration and asylum policy has been driven by crisis and is inherently reactive. This pattern particularly holds for the last decade, when the large-scale movements of migrants to Europe in the wake of the Arab Uprisings in 2011 put the EU migration regime into permanent crisis mode and prompted hasty reforms. As of 2011, Italy allowed Tunisians to move on, leading to the re-introduction of border controls by states such as France, while the same year the 2011 European Court of Human Rights’ judgement brought Dublin deportations to Greece to a halt because of the appalling reception and living conditions there. The increasing refusal by asylum seekers to surrender their fingerprints – the core means of implementing Dublin – as of 2013 further destabilized the migration regime.

      The instability only grew when in April 2015, more then 1,200 people died in two consecutive shipwrecks, forcing the Commission to publish its ‘European Agenda for Migration’ in May 2015. The 2015 agenda announced the creation of the hotspot system in the hope of re-stabilising the European migration regime through a targeted intervention of European agencies at Europe’s borders. Essentially, the hotspot approach offered a deal to EU member states: comprehensive registration in Europeanised structures (the hotspots) by so-called “front-line states” – thus re-imposing Dublin – in exchange for relocation of part of the registered migrants to other EU countries – thereby alleviating front-line states of part of their “burden”.

      This plan however collapsed before it could ever work, as it was immediately followed by the large-scale summer arrivals of 2015 as migrants trekked across Europe’s borders. It was simultaneously boycotted by several member states who refused relocations and continue to lead the charge in fomenting an explicit anti-migration agenda in the EU. While border controls were soon reintroduced, relocations never materialised in a meaningful manner in the years that followed.

      With the Dublin regime effectively paralysed and the EU unable to agree on a new mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers within Europe, the EU resorted to the decades-old policies that had shaped the European border and migration regime since its inception: keeping migrants out at all cost through border control implemented by member states, European agencies or outsourced to third countries.

      Considering the profound crisis the turbulent movements of migrants had plunged the EU into in the summer of 2015, no measure was deemed excessive in achieving this exclusionary end: neither the tacit acceptance of violent expulsions and push-backs by Spain and Greece, nor the outsourcing of border control to Libyan torturers, nor the shameless collaboration with dictatorial regimes such as Turkey.

      Under the guise of “tackling the root causes of migration”, development aid was diverted and used to impose border externalisation and deportation agreements. But the external dimension of the EU’s migration regime has proven just as unstable as its internal one – as the re-opening of borders by Turkey in March 2020 demonstrates. The movements of illegalised migrants towards the EU could never be entirely contained and those who reached the shores of Europe were increasingly relegated to infrastructures of detention. Even if keeping thousands of migrants stranded in the hell of Moria may not have been part of the initial hotspot plan, it certainly has been the outcome of the EU’s internal blockages and ultimately effective in shoring up the EU’s strategy of deterrence.

      The “New Pact” perpetuating the EU’s failed policy of closure

      Today the “New Pact”, promised for Spring 2020 and apparently forgotten at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been revived in a hurry to address the destruction of Moria hotspot. While detailed analysis of the regulations that it proposes are beyond the scope of this article,[2] the broad intentions of the Pact’s rationale are clear.

      Despite all its humane and humanitarian rhetoric and some language critically addressing the manifest absence of the rule of law at the border of Europe, the Commission’s pact is a pact against migration. Taking stock of the continued impasse in terms of internal distribution of migrants, it re-affirms the EU’s central objective of reducing, massively the number of asylum seekers to be admitted to Europe. It promises to do so by continuing to erect chains of externalised border control along migrants’ entire trajectories (what it refers to as the “whole-of-route approach”).

      Those who do arrive should be swiftly screened and sorted in an infrastructure of detention along the borders of Europe. The lucky few who will succeed in fitting their lives into the shrinking boxes of asylum law are to be relocated to other EU countries in function of a mechanism of distribution based on population size and wealth of member states.

      Whether this will indeed undo the imbalances of the Dublin regime remains an open question[3], nevertheless, this relocation key is one of the few positive steps offered by the Pact since it comes closer to migrants’ own “relocation key” but still falls short of granting asylum seekers the freedom to choose their country of protection and residence.[4] The majority of rejected asylum seekers – which may be determined on the basis of an extended understanding of the “safe third country” notion – is to be funnelled towards deportations operated by the EU states refusing relocation. The Commission hopes deportations will be made smoother after a newly appointed “EU Return Coordinator” will have bullied countries of origin into accepting their nationals using the carrot of development aid and the stick of visa sanctions. The Commission seems to believe that with fewer expected arrivals and fewer migrants ending up staying in Europe, and with its mechanism of “flexible solidarity” allowing for a selective participation in relocations or returns depending on the taste of its member states, it can both bridge the gap between member states’ interests and push for a deeper Europeanisation of the policy field in which its own role will become more central.

      Thus, the EU Commission’s attempt to square the circle of member states’ conflicting interests has resulted in a European pact against migration, which perpetuates the promises of the EU’s (anti-)migration policy over the last three decades: externalisation, enhanced borders, accelerated asylum procedures, detention and deportations to prevent and deter migrants from the global South. It seeks to strike yet another deal between European member states, without consulting – and at the expense of – migrants themselves. Because most of the policy means contained in the pact are not new, and have always failed to durably end illegalised migration – instead they have created a large precaritised population at the heart of Europe – we do not see how they would work today. Migrants will continue to arrive, and many will remain stranded in front-line states or other EU states as they await deportation. As such, the outcome of the pact (if it is agreed upon) is likely a perpetuation and generalisation of the hotspot system, the very system whose untenability – glaringly demonstrated by Moria’s fire – prompted the presentation of the New Pact in the first place. Even if the Commission’s “no more Morias” rhetoric would like to persuade us of the opposite,[5] the ruins of Moria point to the past as well as the potential future of the CEAS if the Commission has its way.

      We are dismayed at the loss of yet another opportunity for Europe to fundamentally re-orient its policy of closure, one which is profoundly at odds with the reality of large-scale displacement in an unequal and interconnected world. We are dismayed at the prospect of more suffering and more political crises that can only be the outcome of this continued policy failure. Clearly, an entirely different approach to how Europe engages with the movements of migration is called for. One which actually aims to de-escalate and transform the enduring mobility conflict. One which starts from the reality of the movements of migrants and offers a frame for it to unfold rather than seeks to suppress and deny it.

      Notes and references

      [1] We have offered an extensive analysis of the following argument in previous articles. See in particular : Bernd Kasparek. 2016. “Complementing Schengen: The Dublin System and the European Border and Migration Regime”. In Migration Policy and Practice, edited by Harald Bauder and Christian Matheis, 59–78. Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship. Houndmills & New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani. 2016. “Ebbing and Flowing: The EU’s Shifting Practices of (Non-)Assistance and Bordering in a Time of Crisis”. Near Futures Online. No 1. Available here.

      [2] For first analyses see Steve Peers. 2020. “First analysis of the EU’s new asylum proposals”, EU Law Analysis, 25 September 2020; Sergio Carrera. 2020. “Whose Pact? The Cognitive Dimensions of the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum”, CEPS, September 2020.

      [3] Carrera, ibid.

      [4] For a discussion of migration of migrants’ own relocation key, see Philipp Lutz, David Kaufmann and Anna Stütz. 2020. “Humanitarian Protection as a European Public Good: The Strategic Role of States and Refugees”, Journal of Common Market Studies 2020 Volume 58. Number 3. pp. 757–775. To compare the actual asylum applications across Europe over the last years with different relocations keys, see the tool developed by Etienne Piguet.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/the-eus-pact-against-migration-part-one

      #whole-of-route_approach #relocalisation #clé_de_relocalisation #relocation_key #pays-tiers_sûrs #EU_Return_Coordinator #solidarité_flexible #externalisation #new_pact

    • Towards a European pact with migrants, Part Two

      We call for a new Pact that addresses the reality of migrants’ movements, the systemic conditions leading people to flee their homes as well as the root causes of Europe’s racism.

      In Part One, we analysed the EU’s new Pact against migration. Here, we call for an entirely different approach to how Europe engages with migration, one which offers a legal frame for migration to unfold, and addresses the systemic conditions leading people to flee their homes as well as the root causes of Europe’s racism.Let us imagine for a moment that the EU Commission truly wanted, and was in a position, to reorient the EU’s migration policy in a direction that might actually de-escalate and transform the enduring mobility conflict: what might its pact with migrants look like?

      The EU’s pact with migrants might start from three fundamental premises. First, it would recognize that any policy that is entirely at odds with social practices is bound to generate conflict, and ultimately fail. A migration policy must start from the social reality of migration and provide a frame for it to unfold. Second, the pact would acknowledge that no conflict can be brought to an end unilaterally. Any process of conflict transformation must bring together the conflicting parties, and seek to address their needs, interests and values so that they no longer clash with each other. In particular, migrants from the global South must be included in the definition of the policies that concern them. Third, it would recognise, as Tendayi Achiume has put it, that migrants from the global South are no strangers to Europe.[1] They have long been included in the expansive webs of empire. Migration and borders are embedded in these unequal relations, and no end to the mobility conflict can be achieved without fundamentally transforming them. Based on these premises, the EU’s pact with migrants might contain the following four core measures:
      Global justice and conflict prevention

      Instead of claiming to tackle the “root causes” of migration by diverting and instrumentalising development aid towards border control, the EU’s pact with migrants would end all European political and economic relations that contribute to the crises leading to mass displacement. The EU would end all support to dictatorial regimes, would ban all weapon exports, terminate all destabilising military interventions. It would cancel unfair trade agreements and the debts of countries of the global South. It would end its massive carbon emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. Through these means, the EU would not claim to end migration perceived as a “problem” for Europe, but it would contribute to allowing more people to live a dignified life wherever they are and decrease forced migration, which certainly is a problem for migrants. A true commitment to global justice and conflict prevention and resolution is necessary if Europe wishes to limit the factors that lead too many people onto the harsh paths of exile in their countries and regions, a small proportion of whom reach European shores.
      Tackling the “root causes” of European racism

      While the EU’s so-called “global approach” to migration has in fact been one-sided, focused exclusively on migration as “the problem” rather then the processes that drive the EU’s policies of exclusion, the EU’s pact with migrants would boldly tackle the “root causes” of racism and xenophobia in Europe. Bold policies designed to address the EU’s colonial past and present and the racial imaginaries it has unleashed would be proposed, a positive vision for living in common in diverse societies affirmed, and a more inclusive and fair economic system would be established in Europe to decrease the resentment of European populations which has been skilfully channelled against migrants and racialised people.
      Universal freedom of movement

      By tackling the causes of large-scale displacement and of exclusionary migration policies, the EU would be able to de-escalate the mobility conflict, and could thus propose a policy granting all migrants legal pathways to access and stay in Europe. As an immediate outcome of the institution of right to international mobility, migrants would no longer resort to smugglers and risk their lives crossing the sea – and thus no longer be in need of being rescued. Using safe and legal means of travel would also, in the time of Covid-19 pandemic, allow migrants to adopt all sanitary measures that are necessary to protect migrants and those they encounter. No longer policed through military means, migration could appear as a normal process that does not generate fear. Frontex, the European border agency, would be defunded, and concentrate its limited activities on detecting actual threats to the EU rather then constructing vulnerable populations as “risks”. In a world that would be less unequal and in which people would have the possibly to lead a dignified life wherever they are, universal freedom of movement would not lead to an “invasion” of Europe. Circulatory movement rather then permanent settlement would be frequent. Migrants’ legal status would no longer allow employers to push working conditions down. A European asylum system would continue to exist, to grant protection and support to those in need. The vestiges of the EU’s hotspots and detention centres might be turned into ministries of welcome, which would register and redirect people to the place of their choice. Registration would thus be a mere certification of having taken the first step towards European citizenship, transforming the latter into a truly post-national institution, a far horizon which current EU treaties only hint at.
      Democratizing borders

      Considering that all European migration policies to date have been fundamentally undemocratic – in that they were imposed on a group of people – migrants – who had no say in the legislative and political process defining the laws that govern their movement – the pact would instead be the outcome of considerable consultative process with migrants and the organisations that support them, as well the states of the global South. The pact, following from Étienne Balibar’s suggestion, would in turn propose to permanently democratise borders by instituting “a multilateral, negotiated control of their working by the populations themselves (including, of course, migrant populations),” within “new representative institutions” that “are not merely ‘territorial’ and certainly not purely national.”[2] In such a pact, the original promise of Europe as a post-national project would finally be revived.

      Such a policy orientation may of course appear as nothing more then a fantasy. And yet it appears evident to us that the direction we suggest is the only realistic one. European citizens and policy makers alike must realise that the question is not whether migrants will exercise their freedom to cross borders, but at what human and political cost. As a result, it is far more realistic to address the processes within which the mobility conflict is embedded, than seeking to ban human mobility. As the Black Lives Matter’s slogan “No justice no peace!” resonating in the streets of the world over recent months reminds us, without mobility justice, [3] their can be no end to mobility conflict.
      The challenges ahead for migrant solidarity movements

      Our policy proposals are perfectly realistic in relation to migrants’ movements and the processes shaping them, yet we are well aware that they are not on the agenda of neoliberal and nationalist Europe. If the EU Commission has squandered yet another opportunity to reorient the EU’s migration policy, it is simply that this Europe, governed by these member states and politicians, has lost the capacity to offer bold visions of democracy, freedom and justice for itself and the world. As such, we have little hope for a fundamental reorientation of the EU’s policies. The bleak prospect is of the perpetuation of the mobility conflict, and the human suffering and political crises it generates.

      What are those who seek to support migrants to do in this context?

      We must start by a sobering note addressed to the movement we are part of: the fire of Moria is not only a symptom and symbol of the failures of the EU’s migration policies and member states, but also of our own strategies. After all, since the hotspots were proposed in 2015 we have tirelessly denounced them, and documented the horrendous living conditions they have created. NGOs have litigated against them, but efforts have been turned down by a European Court of Human Rights that appears increasingly reluctant to position itself on migration-related issues and is thereby contributing to the perpetuation of grave violations by states.

      And despite the extraordinary mobilisation of civil society in alliance with municipalities across Europe who have declared themselves ready to welcome migrants, relocations never materialised on any significant scale. After five years of tireless mobilization, the hotspots still stand, with thousands of asylum seekers trapped in them.

      While the conditions leading to the fire are still being clarified, it appears that the migrants held hostage in Moria took it into their own hands to try to get rid of the camp through the desperate act of burning it to the ground. As such, while we denounce the EU’s policies, our movements are urgently in need of re-evaluating their own modes of action, and re-imagining them more effectively.

      We have no lessons to give, as we share these shortcomings. But we believe that some of the directions we have suggested in our utopian Pact with migrants can guide migrant solidarity movements as well , as they may be implemented from the bottom-up in the present and help reopen our political imagination.

      The freedom to move is not, or not only, a distant utopia, that may be instituted by states in some distant future. It can also be seen as a right and freedom that illegalised migrants seize on a day-to-day basis as they cross borders without authorisation, and persist in living where they choose.

      Freedom of movement can serve as a useful compass to direct and evaluate our practices of contestation and support. Litigation remains an important tool to counter the multiple forms of violence and violations that migrants face along their trajectories, even as we acknowledge that national and international courts are far from immune to the anti-migrant atmosphere within states. Forging infrastructures of support for migrants in the course of their mobility (such as the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone and the civilian rescue fleet) – and their stay (such as the many citizen platforms for housing )– is and will continue to be essential.

      While states seek to implement what they call an “integrated border management” that seeks to manage migrants’ unruly mobilities before, at, and after borders, we can think of our own networks as forming a fragmented yet interconnected “integrated border solidarity” along the migrants’ entire trajectory. The criminalisation of our acts of solidarity by states is proof that we are effective in disrupting the violence of borders.

      Solidarity cities have formed important nodes in these chains, as municipalities do have the capacity to enable migrants to live in dignity in urban spaces, and limit the reach of their security forces for example. Their dissonant voices of welcome have been important in demonstrating that segments of the European population, which are far from negligible, refuse to be complicit with the EU’s policies of closure and are ready to embody an open relation of solidarity with migrants and beyond. However we must also acknowledge that the prerogative of granting access to European states remains in the hands of central administrations, not in those of municipalities, and thus the readiness to welcome migrants has not allowed the latter to actually seek sanctuary.

      While humanitarian and humanist calls for welcome are important, we too need to locate migration and borders in a broader political and economic context – that of the past and present of empire – so that they can be understood as questions of (in)justice. Echoing the words of the late Edouard Glissant, as activists focusing on illegalised migration we should never forget that “to have to force one’s way across borders as a result of one’s misery is as scandalous as what founds that misery”.[4] As a result of this framing, many more alliances can be forged today between migrant solidarity movements and the global justice and climate justice movements, as well as anti-racist, anti-fascist, feminist and decolonial movements. Through such alliances, we may be better equipped to support migrants throughout their entire trajectories, and transform the conditions that constrain them today.

      Ultimately, to navigate its way out of its own impasses, it seems to us that migrant solidarity movements must address four major questions.

      First, what migration policy do we want? The predictable limits of the EU’s pact against migration may be an opportunity to forge our own alternative agenda.

      Second, how can we not only oppose the implementation of restrictive policies but shape the policy process itself so as to transform the field on which we struggle? Opposing the EU’s anti-migrant pact over the coming months may allow us to conduct new experiments.

      Third, as long as policies that deny basic principles of equality, freedom, justice, and our very common humanity, are still in place, how can we lead actions that disrupt them effectively? For example, what are the forms of nongovernmental evacuations that might support migrants in accessing Europe, and moving across its internal borders?

      Fourth, how can struggles around migration and borders be part of the forging of a more equal, free, just and sustainable world for all?

      The next months during which the EU’s Pact against migration will be discussed in front of the European Parliament and Council will see an uphill battle for all those who still believe in the possibility of a Europe of openness and solidarity. While we have no illusions as to the policy outcome, this is an opportunity we must seize, not only to claim that another Europe and another world is possible, but to start building them from below.

      Notes and references

      [1] Tendayi Achiume. 2019, “The Postcolonial Case for Rethinking Borders.” Dissent 66.3: pp.27-32.

      [2] Etienne Balibar. 2004. We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton: University Press, p. 108 and 117.

      [3] Mimi Sheller. 2018. Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes. London: Verso.

      [4] Edouard Glissant. 2006. “Il n’est frontière qu’on n’outrepasse”. Le Monde diplomatique, October 2006.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/towards-pact-migrants-part-two

    • Pacte européen sur la migration et l’asile : Afin de garantir un nouveau départ et d’éviter de reproduire les erreurs passées, certains éléments à risque doivent être reconsidérés et les aspects positifs étendus.

      L’engagement en faveur d’une approche plus humaine de la protection et l’accent mis sur les aspects positifs et bénéfiques de la migration avec lesquels la Commission européenne a lancé le Pacte sur la migration et l’asile sont les bienvenus. Cependant, les propositions formulées reflètent très peu cette rhétorique et ces ambitions. Au lieu de rompre avec les erreurs de la précédente approche de l’Union européenne (UE) et d’offrir un nouveau départ, le Pacte continue de se focaliser sur l’externalisation, la dissuasion, la rétention et le retour.

      Cette première analyse des propositions, réalisée par la société civile, a été guidée par les questions suivantes :

      Les propositions formulées sont-elles en mesure de garantir, en droit et en pratique, le respect des normes internationales et européennes ?
      Participeront-elles à un partage plus juste des responsabilités en matière d’asile au niveau de l’UE et de l’international ?
      Seront-elles susceptibles de fonctionner en pratique ?

      Au lieu d’un partage automatique des responsabilités, le Pacte introduit un système de Dublin, qui n’en porte pas le nom, plus complexe et un mécanisme de « parrainage au retour »

      Le Pacte sur la migration et l’asile a manqué l’occasion de réformer en profondeur le système de Dublin : le principe de responsabilité du premier pays d’arrivée pour examiner les demandes d’asile est, en pratique, maintenu. De plus, le Pacte propose un système complexe introduisant diverses formes de solidarité.

      Certains ajouts positifs dans les critères de détermination de l’Etat membre responsable de la demande d’asile sont à relever, par exemple, l’élargissement de la définition des membres de famille afin d’inclure les frères et sœurs, ainsi qu’un large éventail de membres de famille dans le cas des mineurs non accompagnés et la délivrance d’un diplôme ou d’une autre qualification par un Etat membre. Cependant, au regard de la pratique actuelle des Etats membres, il sera difficile de s’éloigner du principe du premier pays d’entrée comme l’option de départ en faveur des nouvelles considérations prioritaires, notamment le regroupement familial.

      Dans le cas d’un nombre élevé de personnes arrivées sur le territoire (« pression migratoire ») ou débarquées suite à des opérations de recherche et de sauvetage, la solidarité entre Etats membres est requise. Les processus qui en découlent comprennent une série d’évaluations, d’engagements et de rapports devant être rédigés par les États membres. Si la réponse collective est insuffisante, la Commission européenne peut prendre des mesures correctives. Au lieu de promouvoir un mécanisme de soutien pour un partage prévisible des responsabilités, ces dispositions tendent plutôt à créer des formes de négociations entre États membres qui nous sont toutes devenues trop familières. La complexité des propositions soulève des doutes quant à leur application réelle en pratique.

      Les États membres sont autorisés à choisir le « parrainage de retour » à la place de la relocalisation de personnes sur leur territoire, ce qui indique une attention égale portée au retour et à la protection. Au lieu d’apporter un soutien aux Etats membres en charge d’un plus grand nombre de demandes de protection, cette proposition soulève de nombreuses préoccupations juridiques et relatives au respect des droits de l’homme, en particulier si le transfert vers l’Etat dit « parrain » se fait après l’expiration du délai de 8 mois. Qui sera en charge de veiller au traitement des demandeurs d’asile déboutés à leur arrivée dans des Etats qui n’acceptent pas la relocalisation ?

      Le Pacte propose d’étendre l’utilisation de la procédure à la frontière, y compris un recours accru à la rétention

      A défaut de rééquilibrer la responsabilité entre les États membres de l’UE, la proposition de règlement sur les procédures communes exacerbe la pression sur les États situés aux frontières extérieures de l’UE et sur les pays des Balkans occidentaux. La Commission propose de rendre, dans certains cas, les procédures d’asile et de retour à la frontière obligatoires. Cela s’appliquerait notamment aux ressortissants de pays dont le taux moyen de protection de l’UE est inférieur à 20%. Ces procédures seraient facultatives lorsque les Etats membres appliquent les concepts de pays tiers sûr ou pays d’origine sûr. Toutefois, la Commission a précédemment proposé que ceux-ci deviennent obligatoires pour l’ensemble des Etats membres. Les associations réitèrent leurs inquiétudes quant à l’utilisation de ces deux concepts qui ont été largement débattus entre 2016 et 2019. Leur application obligatoire ne doit plus être proposée.

      La proposition de procédure à la frontière repose sur deux hypothèses erronées – notamment sur le fait que la majorité des personnes arrivant en Europe n’est pas éligible à un statut de protection et que l’examen des demandes de protection peut être effectué facilement et rapidement. Ni l’une ni l’autre ne sont correctes. En effet, en prenant en considération à la fois les décisions de première et de seconde instance dans toute l’UE il apparaît que la plupart des demandeurs d’asile dans l’UE au cours des trois dernières années ont obtenu un statut de protection. En outre, le Pacte ne doit pas persévérer dans cette approche erronée selon laquelle les procédures d’asile peuvent être conduites rapidement à travers la réduction de garanties et l’introduction d’un système de tri. La durée moyenne de la procédure d’asile aux Pays-Bas, souvent qualifiée d’ « élève modèle » pour cette pratique, dépasse un an et peut atteindre deux années jusqu’à ce qu’une décision soit prise.

      La proposition engendrerait deux niveaux de standards dans les procédures d’asile, largement déterminés par le pays d’origine de la personne concernée. Cela porte atteinte au droit individuel à l’asile et signifierait qu’un nombre accru de personnes seront soumises à une procédure de deuxième catégorie. Proposer aux Etats membres d’émettre une décision d’asile et d’éloignement de manière simultanée, sans introduire de garanties visant à ce que les principes de non-refoulement, d’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant, et de protection de la vie privée et familiale ne soient examinés, porte atteinte aux obligations qui découlent du droit international. La proposition formulée par la Commission supprime également l’effet suspensif automatique du recours, c’est-à-dire le droit de rester sur le territoire dans l’attente d’une décision finale rendue dans le cadre d’une procédure à la frontière.

      L’idée selon laquelle les personnes soumises à des procédures à la frontière sont considérées comme n’étant pas formellement entrées sur le territoire de l’État membre est trompeuse et contredit la récente jurisprudence de l’UE, sans pour autant modifier les droits de l’individu en vertu du droit européen et international.

      La proposition prive également les personnes de la possibilité d’accéder à des permis de séjour pour des motifs autres que l’asile et impliquera très probablement une privation de liberté pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 6 mois aux frontières de l’UE, c’est-à-dire un maximum de douze semaines dans le cadre de la procédure d’asile à la frontière et douze semaines supplémentaires en cas de procédure de retour à la frontière. En outre, les réformes suppriment le principe selon lequel la rétention ne doit être appliquée qu’en dernier recours dans le cadre des procédures aux frontières. En s’appuyant sur des restrictions plus systématiques des mouvements dans le cadre des procédures à la frontière, la proposition restreindra l’accès de l’individu aux services de base fournis par des acteurs qui ne pourront peut-être pas opérer à la frontière, y compris pour l’assistance et la représentation juridiques. Avec cette approche, on peut s’attendre aux mêmes échecs rencontrés dans la mise en œuvre des « hotspot » sur les îles grecques.

      La reconnaissance de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant comme élément primordial dans toutes les procédures pour les États membres est positive. Cependant, la Commission diminue les garanties de protection des enfants en n’exemptant que les mineurs non accompagnés ou âgés de moins de douze ans des procédures aux frontières. Ceci est en contradiction avec la définition internationale de l’enfant qui concerne toutes les personnes jusqu’à l’âge de dix-huit ans, telle qu’inscrite dans la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant ratifiée par tous les États membres de l’UE.

      Dans les situations de crise, les États membres sont autorisés à déroger à d’importantes garanties qui soumettront davantage de personnes à des procédures d’asile de qualité inférieure

      La crainte d’iniquité procédurale est d’autant plus visible dans les situations où un État membre peut prétendre être confronté à une « situation exceptionnelle d’afflux massif » ou au risque d’une telle situation.

      Dans ces cas, le champ d’application de la procédure obligatoire aux frontières est considérablement étendu à toutes les personnes en provenance de pays dont le taux moyen de protection de l’UE est inférieur à 75%. La procédure d’asile à la frontière et la procédure de retour à la frontière peuvent être prolongées de huit semaines supplémentaires, soit cinq mois chacune, ce qui porte à dix mois la durée maximale de privation de liberté. En outre, les États membres peuvent suspendre l’enregistrement des demandes d’asile pendant quatre semaines et jusqu’à un maximum de trois mois. Par conséquent, si aucune demande n’est enregistrée pendant plusieurs semaines, les personnes sont susceptibles d’être exposées à un risque accru de rétention et de refoulement, et leurs droits relatifs à un accueil digne et à des services de base peuvent être gravement affectés.

      Cette mesure permet aux États membres de déroger à leur responsabilité de garantir un accès à l’asile et un examen efficace et équitable de l’ensemble des demandes d’asile, ce qui augmente ainsi le risque de refoulement. Dans certains cas extrêmes, notamment lorsque les États membres agissent en violation flagrante et persistante des obligations du droit de l’UE, le processus de demande d’autorisation à la Commission européenne pourrait être considéré comme une amélioration, étant donné qu’actuellement la loi est ignorée, sans consultation et ce malgré les critiques de la Commission européenne. Toutefois, cela ne peut être le point de départ de l’évaluation de cette proposition de la législation européenne. L’impact à grande échelle de cette dérogation offre la possibilité à ce qu’une grande majorité des personnes arrivant dans l’UE soient soumises à une procédure de second ordre.

      Pré-filtrage à la frontière : risques et opportunités

      La Commission propose un processus de « pré-filtrage à l’entrée » pour toutes les personnes qui arrivent de manière irrégulière aux frontières de l’UE, y compris à la suite d’un débarquement dans le cadre des opérations de recherche et de sauvetage. Le processus de pré-filtrage comprend des contrôles de sécurité, de santé et de vulnérabilité, ainsi que l’enregistrement des empreintes digitales, mais il conduit également à des décisions impactant l’accès à l’asile, notamment en déterminant si une personne doit être sujette à une procédure d’asile accélérée à la frontière, de relocalisation ou de retour. Ce processus peut durer jusqu’à 10 jours et doit être effectué au plus près possible de la frontière. Le lieu où les personnes seront placées et l’accès aux conditions matérielles d’accueil demeurent flous. Le filtrage peut également être appliqué aux personnes se trouvant sur le territoire d’un État membre, ce qui pourrait conduire à une augmentation de pratiques discriminatoires. Des questions se posent également concernant les droits des personnes soumises au filtrage, tels que l’accès à l’information, , l’accès à un avocat et au droit de contester la décision prise dans ce contexte ; les motifs de refus d’entrée ; la confidentialité et la protection des données collectées. Etant donné que les États membres peuvent facilement se décharger de leurs responsabilités en matière de dépistage médical et de vulnérabilité, il n’est pas certain que certains besoins seront effectivement détectés et pris en considération.

      Une initiative à saluer est la proposition d’instaurer un mécanisme indépendant des droits fondamentaux à la frontière. Afin qu’il garantisse une véritable responsabilité face aux violations des droits à la frontière, y compris contre les éloignements et les refoulements récurrents dans un grand nombre d’États membres, ce mécanisme doit être étendu au-delà de la procédure de pré-filtrage, être indépendant des autorités nationales et impliquer des organisations telles que les associations non gouvernementales.

      La proposition fait de la question du retour et de l’expulsion une priorité

      L’objectif principal du Pacte est clair : augmenter de façon significative le nombre de personnes renvoyées ou expulsées de l’UE. La création du poste de Coordinateur en charge des retours au sein de la Commission européenne et d’un directeur exécutif adjoint aux retours au sein de Frontex en sont la preuve, tandis qu’aucune nomination n’est prévue au sujet de la protection de garanties ou de la relocalisation. Le retour est considéré comme un élément admis dans la politique migratoire et le soutien pour des retours dignes, en privilégiant les retours volontaires, l’accès à une assistance au retour et l’aide à la réintégration, sont essentiels. Cependant, l’investissement dans le retour n’est pas une réponse adaptée au non-respect systématique des normes d’asile dans les États membres de l’UE.

      Rien de nouveau sur l’action extérieure : des propositions irréalistes qui risquent de continuer d’affaiblir les droits de l’homme

      La tension entre l’engagement rhétorique pour des partenariats mutuellement bénéfiques et la focalisation visant à placer la migration au cœur des relations entre l’UE et les pays tiers se poursuit. Les tentatives d’externaliser la responsabilité de l’asile et de détourner l’aide au développement, les mécanismes de visa et d’autres outils pour inciter les pays tiers à coopérer sur la gestion migratoire et les accords de réadmission sont maintenues. Cela ne représente pas seulement un risque allant à l’encontre de l’engagement de l’UE pour ses principes de développement, mais cela affaiblit également sa posture internationale en générant de la méfiance et de l’hostilité depuis et à l’encontre des pays tiers. De plus, l’usage d’accords informels et la coopération sécuritaire sur la gestion migratoire avec des pays tels que la Libye ou la Turquie risquent de favoriser les violations des droits de l’homme, d’encourager les gouvernements répressifs et de créer une plus grande instabilité.

      Un manque d’ambition pour des voies légales et sûres vers l’Europe

      L’opportunité pour l’UE d’indiquer qu’elle est prête à contribuer au partage des responsabilités pour la protection au niveau international dans un esprit de partenariat avec les pays qui accueillent la plus grande majorité des réfugiés est manquée. Au lieu de proposer un objectif ambitieux de réinstallation de réfugiés, la Commission européenne a seulement invité les Etats membres à faire plus et a converti les engagements de 2020 en un mécanisme biennal, ce qui résulte en la perte d’une année de réinstallation européenne.

      La reconnaissance du besoin de faciliter la migration de main-d’œuvre à travers différents niveaux de compétences est à saluer, mais l’importance de cette migration dans les économies et les sociétés européennes ne se reflète pas dans les ressources, les propositions et les actions allouées.

      Le soutien aux activités de recherche et de sauvetage et aux actions de solidarité doit être renforcé

      La tragédie humanitaire dans la mer Méditerranée nécessite encore une réponse y compris à travers un soutien financier et des capacités de recherches et de sauvetage. Cet enjeu ainsi que celui du débarquement sont pris en compte dans toutes les propositions, reconnaissant ainsi la crise humanitaire actuelle. Cependant, au lieu de répondre aux comportements et aux dispositions règlementaires des gouvernements qui obstruent les activités de secours et le travail des défendeurs des droits, la Commission européenne suggère que les standards de sécurité sur les navires et les niveaux de communication avec les acteurs privés doivent être surveillés. Les acteurs privés sont également requis d’adhérer non seulement aux régimes légaux, mais aussi aux politiques et pratiques relatives à « la gestion migratoire » qui peuvent potentiellement interférer avec les obligations de recherches et de sauvetage.

      Bien que la publication de lignes directrices pour prévenir la criminalisation de l’action humanitaire soit la bienvenue, celles-ci se limitent aux actes mandatés par la loi avec une attention spécifique aux opérations de sauvetage et de secours. Cette approche risque d’omettre les activités humanitaires telles que la distribution de nourriture, d’abris, ou d’information sur le territoire ou assurés par des organisations non mandatées par le cadre légal qui sont également sujettes à ladite criminalisation et à des restrictions.

      Des signes encourageants pour l’inclusion

      Les changements proposés pour permettre aux réfugiés d’accéder à une résidence de long-terme après trois ans et le renforcement du droit de se déplacer et de travailler dans d’autres Etats membres sont positifs. De plus, la révision du Plan d’action pour l’inclusion et l’intégration et la mise en place d’un groupe d’experts pour collecter l’avis des migrants afin de façonner la politique européenne sont les bienvenues.

      La voie à suivre

      La présentation des propositions de la Commission est le commencement de ce qui promet d’être une autre longue période conflictuelle de négociations sur les politiques européennes d’asile et de migration. Alors que ces négociations sont en cours, il est important de rappeler qu’il existe déjà un régime d’asile européen et que les Etats membres ont des obligations dans le cadre du droit européen et international.

      Cela requiert une action immédiate de la part des décideurs politiques européens, y compris de la part des Etats membres, de :

      Mettre en œuvre les standards existants en lien avec les conditions matérielles d’accueil et les procédures d’asile, d’enquêter sur leur non-respect et de prendre les mesures disciplinaires nécessaires ;
      Sauver des vies en mer, et de garantir des capacités de sauvetage et de secours, permettant un débarquement et une relocalisation rapide ;
      Continuer de s’accorder sur des arrangements ad-hoc de solidarité pour alléger la pression sur les Etats membres aux frontières extérieures de l’UE et encourager les Etats membres à avoir recours à la relocalisation.

      Concernant les prochaines négociations sur le Pacte, nous recommandons aux co-législateurs de :

      Rejeter l’application obligatoire de la procédure d’asile ou de retour à la frontière : ces procédures aux standards abaissés réduisent les garanties des demandeurs d’asile et augmentent le recours à la rétention. Elles exacerbent le manque de solidarité actuel sur l’asile dans l’UE en plaçant plus de responsabilité sur les Etats membres aux frontières extérieures. L’expérience des hotspots et d’autres initiatives similaires démontrent que l’ajout de procédures ou d’étapes dans l’asile peut créer des charges administratives et des coûts significatifs, et entraîner une plus grande inefficacité ;
      Se diriger vers la fin de la privation de liberté de migrants, et interdire la rétention de mineurs conformément à la Convention internationale des droits de l’enfant, et de dédier suffisamment de ressources pour des solutions non privatives de libertés appropriées pour les mineurs et leurs familles ;
      Réajuster les propositions de réforme afin de se concentrer sur le maintien et l’amélioration des standards des droits de l’homme et de l’asile en Europe, plutôt que sur le retour ;
      Œuvrer à ce que les propositions réforment fondamentalement la façon dont la responsabilité des demandeurs d’asile en UE est organisée, en adressant les problèmes liés au principe de pays de première entrée, afin de créer un véritable mécanisme de solidarité ;
      Limiter les possibilités pour les Etats membres de déroger à leurs responsabilités d’enregistrer les demandes d’asile ou d’examiner les demandes, afin d’éviter de créer des incitations à opérer en mode gestion de crise et à diminuer les standards de l’asile ;
      Augmenter les garanties pendant la procédure de pré-filtrage pour assurer le droit à l’information, l’accès à une aide et une représentation juridique, la détection et la prise en charge des vulnérabilités et des besoins de santé, et une réponse aux préoccupations liées à l’enregistrement et à la protection des données ;
      Garantir que le mécanisme de suivi des droits fondamentaux aux frontières dispose d’une portée large afin de couvrir toutes les violations des droits fondamentaux à la frontière, qu’il soit véritablement indépendant des autorités nationales et dispose de ressources adéquates et qu’il contribue à la responsabilisation ;
      S’opposer aux tentatives d’utiliser l’aide au développement, au commerce, aux investissements, aux mécanismes de visas, à la coopération sécuritaire et autres politiques et financements pour faire pression sur les pays tiers dans leur coopération étroitement définie par des objectifs européens de contrôle migratoire ;
      Evaluer l’impact à long-terme des politiques migratoires d’externalisation sur la paix, le respect des droits et le développement durable et garantir que la politique extérieure migratoire ne contribue pas à la violation de droits de l’homme et prenne en compte les enjeux de conflits ;
      Développer significativement les voies légales et sûres vers l’UE en mettant en œuvre rapidement les engagements actuels de réinstallation, en proposant de nouveaux objectifs ambitieux et en augmentant les opportunités de voies d’accès à la protection ainsi qu’à la migration de main-d’œuvre et universitaire en UE ;
      Renforcer les exceptions à la criminalisation lorsqu’il s’agit d’actions humanitaires et autres activités indépendantes de la société civile et enlever les obstacles auxquels font face les acteurs de la société civile fournissant une assistance vitale et humanitaire sur terre et en mer ;
      Mettre en place une opération de recherche et de sauvetage en mer Méditerranée financée et coordonnée par l’UE ;
      S’appuyer sur les propositions prometteuses pour soutenir l’inclusion à travers l’accès à la résidence à long-terme et les droits associés et la mise en œuvre du Plan d’action sur l’intégration et l’inclusion au niveau européen, national et local.

      https://www.forumrefugies.org/s-informer/positions/europe/774-pacte-europeen-sur-la-migration-et-l-asile-afin-de-garantir-un-no

    • Nouveau Pacte européen  : les migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s traité.e.s comme des « # colis à trier  »

      Le jour même de la Conférence des Ministres européens de l’Intérieur, EuroMed Droits présente son analyse détaillée du nouveau Pacte européen sur l’asile et la migration, publié le 23 septembre dernier (https://euromedrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Analysis-of-Asylum-and-Migration-Pact_Final_Clickable.pdf).

      On peut résumer les plus de 500 pages de documents comme suit  : le nouveau Pacte européen sur l’asile et la migration déshumanise les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s, les traitant comme des «  #colis à trier  » et les empêchant de se déplacer en Europe. Ce Pacte soulève de nombreuses questions en matière de respect des droits humains, dont certaines sont à souligner en particulier  :

      L’UE détourne le concept de solidarité. Le Pacte vise clairement à «  rétablir la confiance mutuelle entre les États membres  », donnant ainsi la priorité à la #cohésion:interne de l’UE au détriment des droits des migrant.e.s et des réfugié.e.s. La proposition laisse le choix aux États membres de contribuer – en les mettant sur un pied d’égalité – à la #réinstallation, au #rapatriement, au soutien à l’accueil ou à l’#externalisation des frontières. La #solidarité envers les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s et leurs droits fondamentaux sont totalement ignorés.

      Le pacte promeut une gestion «  sécuritaire  » de la migration. Selon la nouvelle proposition, les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s seront placé.e.s en #détention et privé.e.s de liberté à leur arrivée. La procédure envisagée pour accélérer la procédure de demande d’asile ne pourra se faire qu’au détriment des lois sur l’asile et des droits des demandeur.se.s. Il est fort probable que la #procédure se déroulera de manière arbitraire et discriminatoire, en fonction de la nationalité du/de la demandeur.se, de son taux de reconnaissance et du fait que le pays dont il/elle provient est «  sûr  », ce qui est un concept douteux.

      L’idée clé qui sous-tend cette vision est simple  : externaliser autant que possible la gestion des frontières en coopérant avec des pays tiers. L’objectif est de faciliter le retour et la réadmission des migrant.e.s dans le pays d’où ils/elles sont parti.es. Pour ce faire, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes (Frontex) verrait ses pouvoirs renforcés et un poste de coordinateur.trice européen.ne pour les retours serait créé. Le pacte risque de facto de fournir un cadre juridique aux pratiques illégales telles que les refoulements, les détentions arbitraires et les mesures visant à réduire davantage la capacité en matière d’asile. Des pratiques déjà en place dans certains États membres.

      Le Pacte présente quelques aspects «  positifs  », par exemple en matière de protection des enfants ou de regroupement familial, qui serait facilité. Mais ces bonnes intentions, qui doivent être mises en pratique, sont noyées dans un océan de mesures répressives et sécuritaires.

      EuroMed Droits appelle les Etats membres de l’UE à réfléchir en termes de mise en œuvre pratique (ou non) de ces mesures. Non seulement elles violent les droits humains, mais elles sont impraticables sur le terrain  : la responsabilité de l’évaluation des demandes d’asile reste au premier pays d’arrivée, sans vraiment remettre en cause le Règlement de Dublin. Cela signifie que des pays comme l’Italie, Malte, l’Espagne, la Grèce et Chypre continueront à subir une «  pression  » excessive, ce qui les encouragera à poursuivre leurs politiques de refoulement et d’expulsion. Enfin, le Pacte ne répond pas à la problématique urgente des «  hotspots  » et des camps de réfugié.e.s comme en Italie ou en Grèce et dans les zones de transit à l’instar de la Hongrie. Au contraire, cela renforce ce modèle dangereux en le présentant comme un exemple à exporter dans toute l’Europe, alors que des exemples récents ont démontré l’impossibilité de gérer ces camps de manière humaine.

      https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/nouveau-pacte-europeen%e2%80%af-les-migrant-e-s-et-refugie-e-s-traite

      #paquets_de_la_poste #paquets #poste #tri #pays_sûrs

    • A “Fresh Start” or One More Clunker? Dublin and Solidarity in the New Pact

      In ongoing discussions on the reform of the CEAS, solidarity is a key theme. It stands front and center in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum: after reassuring us of the “human and humane approach” taken, the opening quote stresses that Member States must be able to “rely on the solidarity of our whole European Union”.

      In describing the need for reform, the Commission does not mince its words: “[t]here is currently no effective solidarity mechanism in place, and no efficient rule on responsibility”. It’s a remarkable statement: barely one year ago, the Commission maintained that “[t]he EU [had] shown tangible and rapid support to Member States under most pressure” throughout the crisis. Be that as it may, we are promised a “fresh start”. Thus, President Von der Leyen has announced on the occasion of the 2020 State of the Union Address that “we will abolish the Dublin Regulation”, the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal (examined here) has been withdrawn, and the Pact proposes a “new solidarity mechanism” connected to “robust and fair management of the external borders” and capped by a new “governance framework”.

      Before you buy the shiny new package, you are advised to consult the fine print however. Yes, the Commission proposes to abolish the Dublin III Regulation and withdraws the Dublin IV Proposal. But the Proposal for an Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (hereafter “the Migration Management Proposal”) reproduces word-for-word the Dublin III Regulation, subject to amendments drawn … from the Dublin IV Proposal! As for the “governance framework” outlined in Articles 3-7 of the Migration Management Proposal, it’s a hodgepodge of purely declamatory provisions (e.g. Art. 3-4), of restatements of pre-existing obligations (Art. 5), of legal bases authorizing procedures that require none (Art. 7). The one new item is a yearly monitoring exercise centered on an “European Asylum and Migration Management Strategy” (Art. 6), which seems as likely to make a difference as the “Mechanism for Early Warning, Preparedness and Crisis Management”, introduced with much fanfare with the Dublin III Regulation and then left in the drawer before, during and after the 2015/16 crisis.

      Leaving the provisions just mentioned for future commentaries – fearless interpreters might still find legal substance in there – this contribution focuses on four points: the proposed amendments to Dublin, the interface between Dublin and procedures at the border, the new solidarity mechanism, and proposals concerning force majeure. Caveat emptor! It is a jungle of extremely detailed and sometimes obscure provisions. While this post is longer than usual – warm thanks to the lenient editors! – do not expect an exhaustive summary, nor firm conclusions on every point.
      Dublin, the Undying

      To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the Dublin system have been once more greatly exaggerated. As noted, Part III of the Migration Management Proposal (Articles 8-44) is for all intents and purposes an amended version of the Dublin III Regulation, and most of the amendments are lifted from the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal.

      A first group of amendments concerns the responsibility criteria. Some expand the possibilities to allocate applicants based on their “meaningful links” with Member States: Article 2(g) expands the family definition to include siblings, opening new possibilities for reunification; Article 19(4) enlarges the criterion based on previous legal abode (i.e. expired residence documents); in a tip of the hat to the Wikstroem Report, commented here, Article 20 introduces a new criterion based on prior education in a Member State.

      These are welcome changes, but all that glitters is not gold. The Commission advertises “streamlined” evidentiary requirements to facilitate family reunification. These would be necessary indeed: evidentiary issues have long undermined the application of the family criteria. Unfortunately, the Commission is not proposing anything new: Article 30(6) of the Migration Management Proposal corresponds in essence to Article 22(5) of the Dublin III Regulation.

      Besides, while the Commission proposes to expand the general definition of family, the opposite is true of the specific definition of family applicable to “dependent persons”. Under Article 16 of the Dublin III Regulation, applicants who e.g. suffer from severe disabilities are to be kept or brought together with a care-giving parent, child or sibling residing in a Member State. Due to fears of sham marriages, spouses have been excluded and this is legally untenable and inhumane, but instead of tackling the problem the Commission proposes in Article 24 to worsen it by excluding siblings. The end result is paradoxical: persons needing family support the most will be deprived – for no apparent reason other than imaginary fears of “abuses” – of the benefits of enlarged reunification possibilities. “[H]uman and humane”, indeed.

      The fight against secondary movements inspires most of the other amendments to the criteria. In particular, Article 21 of the Proposal maintains and extends the much-contested criterion of irregular entry while clarifying that it applies also to persons disembarked after a search and rescue (SAR) operation. The Commission also proposes that unaccompanied children be transferred to the first Member State where they applied if no family criterion is applicable (Article 15(5)). This would overturn the MA judgment of the ECJ whereby in such cases the asylum claim must be examined in the State where the child last applied and is present. It’s not a technical fine point: while the case-law of the ECJ is calculated to spare children the trauma of a transfer, the proposed amendment would subject them again to the rigours of Dublin.

      Again to discourage secondary movements, the Commission proposes – as in 2016 – a second group of amendments: new obligations for the applicants (Articles 9-10). Applicants must in principle apply in the Member State of first entry, remain in that State for the duration of the Dublin procedure and, post-transfer, remain in the State responsible. Moving to the “wrong” State entails losing the benefits of the Reception Conditions Directive, subject to “the need to ensure a standard of living in accordance with” the Charter. It is debatable whether this is a much lesser standard of reception. More importantly: as reception conditions in line with the Directive are seldom guaranteed in several frontline Member States, the prospect of being treated “in accordance with the Charter” elsewhere will hardly dissuade applicants from moving on.

      The 2016 Proposal foresaw, as further punishment, the mandatory application of accelerated procedures to “secondary movers”. This rule disappears from the Migration Management Proposal, but as Daniel Thym points out in his forthcoming contribution on secondary movements, it remains in Article 40(1)(g) of the 2016 Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation. Furthermore, the Commission proposes deleting Article 18(2) of the Dublin III Regulation, i.e. the guarantee that persons transferred back to a State that has meanwhile discontinued or rejected their application will have their case reopened, or a remedy available. This is a dangerous invitation to Member States to reintroduce “discontinuation” practices that the Commission itself once condemned as incompatible with effective access to status determination.

      To facilitate responsibility-determination, the Proposal further obliges applicants to submit relevant information before or at the Dublin interview. Late submissions are not to be considered. Fairness would demand that justified delays be excused. Besides, it is also proposed to repeal Article 7(3) of the Dublin III Regulation, whereby authorities must take into account evidence of family ties even if produced late in the process. All in all, then, the Proposal would make proof of family ties harder, not easier as the Commission claims.

      A final group of amendments concern the details of the Dublin procedure, and might prove the most important in practice.

      Some “streamline” the process, e.g. with shorter deadlines (e.g. Article 29(1)) and a simplified take back procedure (Article 31). Controversially, the Commission proposes again to reduce the scope of appeals against transfers to issues of ill-treatment and misapplication of the family criteria (Article 33). This may perhaps prove acceptable to the ECJ in light of its old Abdullahi case-law. However, it contravenes Article 13 ECHR, which demands an effective remedy for the violation of any Convention right.
      Other procedural amendments aim to make it harder for applicants to evade transfers. At present, if a transferee absconds for 18 months, the transfer is cancelled and the transferring State becomes responsible. Article 35(2) of the Proposal allows the transferring State to “stop the clock” if the applicant absconds, and to resume the transfer as soon as he reappears.
      A number of amendments make responsibility more “stable” once assigned, although not as “permanent” as the 2016 Proposal would have made it. Under Article 27 of the Proposal, the responsibility of a State will only cease if the applicant has left the Dublin area in compliance with a return decision. More importantly, under Article 26 the responsible State will have to take back even persons to whom it has granted protection. This would be a significant extension of the scope of the Dublin system, and would “lock” applicants in the responsible State even more firmly and more durably. Perhaps by way of compensation, the Commission proposes that beneficiaries of international protection obtain “long-term status” – and thus mobility rights – after three years of residence instead of five. However, given that it is “very difficult in practice” to exercise such rights, the compensation seems more theoretical than effective and a far cry from a system of free movement capable of offsetting the rigidities of Dublin.

      These are, in short, the key amendments foreseen. While it’s easy enough to comment on each individually, it is more difficult to forecast their aggregate impact. Will they – to paraphrase the Commission – “improv[e] the chances of integration” and reduce “unauthorised movements” (recital 13), and help closing “the existing implementation gap”? Probably not, as none of them is a game-changer.

      Taken together, however, they might well aggravate current distributive imbalances. Dublin “locks in” the responsibilities of the States that receive most applications – traditional destinations such as Germany or border States such as Italy – leaving the other Member States undisturbed. Apart from possible distributive impacts of the revised criteria and of the now obligations imposed on applicants, first application States will certainly be disadvantaged combination by shortened deadlines, security screenings (see below), streamlined take backs, and “stable” responsibility extending to beneficiaries of protection. Under the “new Dublin rules” – sorry for the oxymoron! – effective solidarity will become more necessary than ever.
      Border procedures and Dublin

      Building on the current hotspot approach, the Proposals for a Screening Regulation and for an Asylum Procedures Regulation outline a new(ish) “pre-entry” phase. This will be examined in a forthcoming post by Lyra Jakuleviciene, but the interface with infra-EU allocation deserves mention here.

      In a nutshell, persons irregularly crossing the border will be screened for the purpose of identification, health and security checks, and registration in Eurodac. Protection applicants may then be channelled to “border procedures” in a broad range of situations. This will be mandatory if the applicant: (a) attempts to mislead the authorities; (b) can be considered, based on “serious reasons”, “a danger to the national security or public order of the Member States”; (c) comes from a State whose nationals have a low Union-wide recognition rate (Article 41(3) of the Asylum Procedure Proposal).

      The purpose of the border procedure is to assess applications “without authorising the applicant’s entry into the Member State’s territory” (here, p.4). Therefore, it might have seemed logical that applicants subjected to it be excluded from the Dublin system – as is the case, ordinarily, for relocations (see below). Not so: under Article 41(7) of the Proposal, Member States may apply Dublin in the context of border procedures. This weakens the idea of “seamless procedures at the border” somewhat but – from the standpoint of both applicants and border States – it is better than a watertight exclusion: applicants may still benefit from “meaningful link” criteria, and border States are not “stuck with the caseload”. I would normally have qualms about giving Member States discretion in choosing whether Dublin rules apply. But as it happens, Member States who receive an asylum application already enjoy that discretion under the so-called “sovereignty clause”. Nota bene: in exercising that discretion, Member States apply EU Law and must observe the Charter, and the same principle must certainly apply under the proposed Article 41(7).

      The only true exclusion from the Dublin system is set out in Article 8(4) of the Migration Management Proposal. Under this provision, Member States must carry out a security check of all applicants as part of the pre-entry screening and/or after the application is filed. If “there are reasonable grounds to consider the applicant a danger to national security or public order” of the determining State, the other criteria are bypassed and that State becomes responsible. Attentive readers will note that the wording of Article 8(4) differs from that of Article 41(3) of the Asylum Procedure Proposal (e.g. “serious grounds” vs “reasonable grounds”). It is therefore unclear whether the security grounds to “screen out” an applicant from Dublin are coextensive with the security grounds making a border procedure mandatory. Be that as it may, a broad application of Article 8(4) would be undesirable, as it would entail a large-scale exclusion from the guarantees that applicants derive from the Dublin system. The risk is moderate however: by applying Article 8(4) widely, Member States would be increasing their own share of responsibilities under the system. As twenty-five years of Dublin practice indicate, this is unlikely to happen.
      “Mandatory” and “flexible” solidarity under the new mechanism

      So far, the Migration Management Proposal does not look significantly different from the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal, which did not itself fundamentally alter existing rules, and which went down in flames in inter- and intra-institutional negotiations. Any hopes of a “fresh start”, then, are left for the new solidarity mechanism.

      Unfortunately, solidarity is a difficult subject for the EU: financial support has hitherto been a mere fraction of Member State expenditure in the field; operational cooperation has proved useful but cannot tackle all the relevant aspects of the unequal distribution of responsibilities among Member States; relocations have proved extremely beneficial for thousands of applicants, but are intrinsically complex operations and have also proven politically divisive – an aspect which has severely undermined their application and further condemned them to be small scale affairs relative to the needs on the ground. The same goes a fortiori for ad hoc initiatives – such as those that followed SAR operations over the last two years– which furthermore lack the predictability that is necessary for sharing responsibilities effectively. To reiterate what the Commission stated, there is currently “no effective solidarity mechanism in place”.

      Perhaps most importantly, the EU has hitherto been incapable of accurately gauging the distributive asymmetries on the ground, to articulate a clear doctrine guiding the key determinations of “how much solidarity” and “what kind(s) of solidarity”, and to define commensurate redistributive targets on this basis (see here, p.34 and 116).

      Alas, the opportunity to elaborate a solidarity doctrine for the EU has been completely missed. Conceptually, the New Pact does not go much farther than platitudes such as “[s]olidarity implies that all Member States should contribute”. As Daniel Thym aptly observed, “pragmatism” is the driving force behind the Proposal: the Commission starts from a familiar basis – relocations – and tweaks it in ways designed to convince stakeholders that solidarity becomes both “compulsory” and “flexible”. It’s a complicated arrangement and I will only describe it in broad strokes, leaving the crucial dimensions of financial solidarity and operational cooperation to forthcoming posts by Iris Goldner Lang and Lilian Tsourdi.

      The mechanism operates according to three “modes”. In its basic mode, it is to replace ad hoc solidarity initiatives following SAR disembarkations (Articles 47-49 of the Migration Management Proposal):

      The Commission determines, in its yearly Migration Management Report, whether a State is faced with “recurring arrivals” following SAR operations and determines the needs in terms of relocations and other contributions (capacity building, operational support proper, cooperation with third States).
      The Member States are “invited” to notify the “contributions they intend to make”. If offers are sufficient, the Commission combines them and formally adopts a “solidarity pool”. If not, it adopts an implementing act summarizing relocation targets for each Member State and other contributions as offered by them. Member States may react by offering other contributions instead of relocations, provided that this is “proportional” – one wonders how the Commission will tally e.g. training programs for Libyan coastguards with relocation places.
      If the relocations offered fall 30% short of the target indicated by the Commission, a “critical mass correction mechanism” will apply: each Member States will be obliged to meet at least 50% of the quota of relocations indicated by the Commission. However, and this is the new idea offered by the Commission to bring relocation-skeptics onboard, Member States may discharge their duties by offering “return sponsorships” instead of relocations: the “sponsor” Member State commits to support the benefitting Member State to return a person and, if the return is not carried out within eight months, to accept her on its territory.

      If I understand correctly the fuzzy provision I have just summarized – Article 48(2) – it all boils down to “half-compulsory” solidarity: Member States are obliged to cover at least 50% of the relocation needs set by the Commission through relocations or sponsorships, and the rest with other contributions.

      After the “solidarity pool” is established and the benefitting Member State requests its activation, relocations can start:

      The eligible persons are those who applied for protection in the benefitting State, with the exclusion of those that are subject to border procedures (Article 45(1)(a)).Also excluded are those whom Dublin criteria based on “meaningful links” – family, abode, diplomas – assign to the benefitting State (Article 57(3)). These rules suggest that the benefitting State must carry out identification, screening for border procedures and a first (reduced?) Dublin procedure before it can declare an applicant eligible for relocation.
      Persons eligible for return sponsorship are “illegally staying third-country nationals” (Article 45(1)(b)).
      The eligible persons are identified, placed on a list, and matched to Member States based on “meaningful links”. The transfer can only be refused by the State of relocation on security grounds (Article 57(2)(6) and (7)), and otherwise follows the modalities of Dublin transfers in almost all respects (e.g. deadlines, notification, appeals). However, contrary to what happens under Dublin, missing the deadline for transfer does not entail that the relocation is cancelled it (see Article 57(10)).
      After the transfer, applicants will be directly admitted to the asylum procedure in the State of relocation only if it has been previously established that the benefitting State would have been responsible under criteria other than those based on “meaningful links” (Article 58(3)). In all the other cases, the State of relocation will run a Dublin procedure and, if necessary, transfer again the applicant to the State responsible (see Article 58(2)). As for persons subjected to return sponsorship, the State of relocation will pick up the application of the Return Directive where the benefitting State left off (or so I read Article 58(5)!).

      If the Commission concludes that a Member State is under “migratory pressure”, at the request of the concerned State or of its own motion (Article 50), the mechanism operates as described above except for one main point: beneficiaries of protection also become eligible for relocation (Article 51(3)). Thankfully, they must consent thereto and are automatically granted the same status in the relocation State (see Articles 57(3) and 58(4)).

      If the Commission concludes that a Member State is confronted to a “crisis”, rules change further (see Article 2 of the Proposal for a Migration and Asylum Crisis Regulation):

      Applicants subject to the border procedure and persons “having entered irregularly” also become eligible for relocation. These persons may then undergo a border procedure post-relocation (see Article 41(1) and (8) of the Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation).
      Persons subject to return sponsorship are transferred to the sponsor State if their removal does not occur within four – instead of eight – months.
      Other contributions are excluded from the palette of contributions available to the other Member States (Article 2(1)): it has to be relocation or return sponsorship.
      The procedure is faster, with shorter deadlines.

      It is an understatement to say that the mechanism is complex, and your faithful scribe still has much to digest. For the time being, I would make four general comments.

      First, it is not self-evident that this is a good “insurance scheme” for its intended beneficiaries. As noted, the system only guarantees that 50% of the relocation needs of a State will be met. Furthermore, there are hidden costs: in “SAR” and “pressure” modes, the benefitting State has to screen the applicant, register the application, and assess whether border procedures or (some) Dublin criteria apply before it can channel the applicant to relocation. It is unclear whether a 500 lump sum is enough to offset the costs (see Article 79 of the Migration Management Proposal). Besides, in a crisis situation, these preliminary steps might make relocation impractical – think of the Greek registration backlog in 2015/6. Perhaps, extending relocation to persons “having entered irregularly” when the mechanism is in “crisis mode” is meant precisely to take care of this. Similar observations apply to return sponsorship. Under Article 55(4) of the Migration Management Proposal, the support offered by the sponsor to the benefitting State can be rather low key (e.g. “counselling”) and there seems to be no guarantee that the benefitting State will be effectively relieved of the political, administrative and financial costs associated to return. Moving from costs to risks, it is clear that the benefitting State bears all the risks of non implementation – in other words, if the system grinds to a halt or breaks down, it will be Moria all over again. In light of past experience, one can only agree with Thomas Gammelthoft-Hansen that it’s a “big gamble”. Other aspects examined below – the vast margins of discretion left to the Commission, and the easy backdoor opened by the force majeure provisions – do not help either to create predictability.
      Second, as just noted the mechanism gives the Commission practically unlimited discretion at all critical junctures. The Commission will determine whether a Member States is confronted to “recurring arrivals”, “pressure” or a “crisis”. It will do so under definitions so open-textured, and criteria so numerous, that it will be basically the master of its determinations (Article 50 of the Migration Management Proposal). The Commission will determine unilaterally relocation and operational solidarity needs. Finally, the Commission will determine – we do not know how – if “other contributions” are proportional to relocation needs. Other than in the most clear-cut situations, there is no way that anyone can predict how the system will be applied.
      Third: the mechanism reflects a powerful fixation with and unshakable faith in heavy bureaucracy. Protection applicants may undergo up to three “responsibility determination” procedures and two transfers before finally landing in an asylum procedure: Dublin “screening” in the first State, matching, relocation, full Dublin procedure in the relocation State, then transfer. And this is a system that should not “compromise the objective of the rapid processing of applications”(recital 34)! Decidedly, the idea that in order to improve the CEAS it is above all necessary to suppress unnecessary delays and coercion (see here, p.9) has not made a strong impression on the minds of the drafters. The same remark applies mutatis mutandis to return sponsorships: whatever the benefits in terms of solidarity, one wonders if it is very cost-effective or humane to drag a person from State to State so that they can each try their hand at expelling her.
      Lastly and relatedly, applicants and other persons otherwise concerned by the relocation system are given no voice. They can be “matched”, transferred, re-transferred, but subject to few exceptions their aspirations and intentions remain legally irrelevant. In this regard, the “New Pact” is as old school as it gets: it sticks strictly to the “no choice” taboo on which Dublin is built. What little recognition of applicants’ actorness had been made in the Wikstroem Report is gone. Objectifying migrants is not only incompatible with the claim that the approach taken is “human and humane”. It might prove fatal to the administrative efficiency so cherished by the Commission. Indeed, failure to engage applicants is arguably the key factor in the dismal performance of the Dublin system (here, p.112). Why should it be any different under this solidarity mechanism?

      Framing Force Majeure (or inviting defection?)

      In addition to addressing “crisis” situations, the Proposal for a Migration and Asylum Crisis Regulation includes separate provisions on force majeure.

      Thereunder, any Member State may unilaterally declare that it is faced with a situation making it “impossible” to comply with selected CEAS rules, and thus obtain the right – subject to a mere notification – to derogate from them. Member States may obtain in this way longer Dublin deadlines, or even be exempted from the obligation to accept transfers and be liberated from responsibilities if the suspension goes on more than a year (Article 8). Furthermore, States may obtain a six-months suspension of their duties under the solidarity mechanism (Article 9).

      The inclusion of this proposal in the Pact – possibly an attempt to further placate Member States averse to European solidarity? – beggars belief. Legally speaking, the whole idea is redundant: under the case-law of the ECJ, Member States may derogate from any rule of EU Law if confronted to force majeure. However, putting this black on white amounts to inviting (and legalizing) defection. The only conceivable object of rules of this kind would have been to subject force majeure derogations to prior authorization by the Commission – but there is nothing of the kind in the Proposal. The end result is paradoxical: while Member States are (in theory!) subject to Commission supervision when they conclude arrangements facilitating the implementation of Dublin rules, a mere notification will be enough to authorize them to unilaterally tear a hole in the fabric of “solidarity” and “responsibility” so painstakingly – if not felicitously – woven in the Pact.
      Concluding comments

      We should have taken Commissioner Ylva Johansson at her word when she said that there would be no “Hoorays” for the new proposals. Past the avalanche of adjectives, promises and fancy administrative monikers hurled at the reader – “faster, seamless migration processes”; “prevent the recurrence of events such as those seen in Moria”; “critical mass correction mechanism” – one cannot fail to see that the “fresh start” is essentially an exercise in repackaging.

      On responsibility-allocation and solidarity, the basic idea is one that the Commission incessantly returns to since 2007 (here, p. 10): keep Dublin and “correct” it through solidarity schemes. I do sympathize to an extent: realizing a fair balance of responsibilities by “sharing people” has always seemed to me impracticable and undesirable. Still, one would have expected that the abject failure of the Dublin system, the collapse of mutual trust in the CEAS, the meagre results obtained in the field of solidarity – per the Commission’s own appraisal – would have pushed it to bring something new to the table.

      Instead, what we have is a slightly milder version of the Dublin IV Proposal – the ultimate “clunker” in the history of Commission proposals – and an ultra-bureaucratic mechanism for relocation, with the dubious addition of return sponsorships and force majeure provisions. The basic tenets of infra-EU allocation remain the same – “no choice”, first entry – and none of the structural flaws that doomed current schemes to failure is fundamentally tackled (here, p.107): solidarity is beefed-up but appears too unreliable and fuzzy to generate trust; there are interesting steps on “genuine links”, but otherwise no sustained attempt to positively engage applicants; administrative complexity and coercive transfers reign on.

      Pragmatism, to quote again Daniel Thym’s excellent introductory post, is no sin. It is even expected of the Commission. This, however, is a study in path-dependency. By defending the status quo, wrapping it in shiny new paper, and making limited concessions to key policy actors, the Commission may perhaps carry its proposals through. However, without substantial corrections, the “new” Pact is unlikely to save the CEAS or even to prevent new Morias.

      http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/a-fresh-start-or-one-more-clunker-dublin-and-solidarity-in-the-ne

      #Francesco_Maiani

      #force_majeure

    • European Refugee Policy: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Make It Better

      In 2015 and 2016, more than 1 million refugees made their way to the European Union, the largest number of them originating from Syria. Since that time, refugee arrivals have continued, although at a much slower pace and involving people from a wider range of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

      The EU’s response to these developments has had five main characteristics.

      First, a serious lack of preparedness and long-term planning. Despite the massive material and intelligence resources at its disposal, the EU was caught completely unaware by the mass influx of refugees five years ago and has been playing catch-up ever since. While the emergency is now well and truly over, EU member states continue to talk as if still in the grip of an unmanageable “refugee crisis.”

      Second, the EU’s refugee policy has become progressively based on a strategy known as “externalization,” whereby responsibility for migration control is shifted to unstable states outside Europe. This has been epitomized by the deals that the EU has done with countries such as Libya, Niger, Sudan, and Turkey, all of which have agreed to halt the onward movement of refugees in exchange for aid and other rewards, including support to the security services.

      Third, asylum has become increasingly criminalized, as demonstrated by the growing number of EU citizens and civil society groups that have been prosecuted for their roles in aiding refugees. At the same time, some frontline member states have engaged in a systematic attempt to delegitimize the NGO search-and-rescue organizations operating in the Mediterranean and to obstruct their life-saving activities.

      The fourth characteristic of EU countries’ recent policies has been a readiness to inflict or be complicit in a range of abuses that challenge the principles of both human rights and international refugee law. This can be seen in the violence perpetrated against asylum seekers by the military and militia groups in Croatia and Hungary, the terrible conditions found in Greek refugee camps such as Moria on the island of Lesvos, and, most egregiously of all, EU support to the Libyan Coastguard that enables it to intercept refugees at sea and to return them to abusive detention centers on land.

      Fifth and finally, the past five years have witnessed a serious absence of solidarity within the EU. Frontline states such as Greece and Italy have been left to bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility for new refugee arrivals. Efforts to relocate asylum seekers and resettle refugees throughout the EU have had disappointing results. And countries in the eastern part of the EU have consistently fought against the European Commission in its efforts to forge a more cooperative and coordinated approach to the refugee issue.

      The most recent attempt to formulate such an approach is to be found in the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, which the Commission proposed in September 2020.

      It would be wrong to entirely dismiss the Pact, as it contains some positive elements. These include, for example, a commitment to establish legal pathways to asylum in Europe for people who are in need of protection, and EU support for member states that wish to establish community-sponsored refugee resettlement programs.

      In other respects, however, the Pact has a number of important, serious flaws. It has already been questioned by those countries that are least willing to admit refugees and continue to resist the role of Brussels in this policy domain. The Pact also makes hardly any reference to the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration—a strange omission given the enormous amount of time and effort that the UN has devoted to those initiatives, both of which were triggered by the European emergency of 2015-16.

      At an operational level, the Pact endorses and reinforces the EU’s externalization agenda and envisages a much more aggressive role for Frontex, the EU’s border control agency. At the same time, it empowers member states to refuse entry to asylum seekers on the basis of very vague criteria. As a result, individuals may be more vulnerable to human smugglers and traffickers. There is also a strong likelihood that new refugee camps will spring up on the fringes of Europe, with their residents living in substandard conditions.

      Finally, the Pact places enormous emphasis on the involuntary return of asylum seekers to their countries of origin. It even envisages that a hardline state such as Hungary could contribute to the implementation of the Pact by organizing and funding such deportations. This constitutes an extremely dangerous new twist on the notions of solidarity and responsibility sharing, which form the basis of the international refugee regime.

      If the proposed Pact is not fit for purpose, then what might a more constructive EU refugee policy look like?

      It would in the first instance focus on the restoration of both EU and NGO search-and-rescue efforts in the Mediterranean and establish more predictable disembarkation and refugee distribution mechanisms. It would also mean the withdrawal of EU support for the Libyan Coastguard, the closure of that country’s detention centers, and a substantial improvement of the living conditions experienced by refugees in Europe’s frontline states—changes that should take place with or without a Pact.

      Indeed, the EU should redeploy the massive amount of resources that it currently devotes to the externalization process, so as to strengthen the protection capacity of asylum and transit countries on the periphery of Europe. A progressive approach on the part of the EU would involve the establishment of not only faster but also fair asylum procedures, with appropriate long-term solutions being found for new arrivals, whether or not they qualify for refugee status.

      These changes would help to ensure that those searching for safety have timely and adequate opportunities to access their most basic rights.

      https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2020/11/5/european-refugee-policy-whats-gone-wrong-and-how-to-make-it-b

  • Refugee protection at risk

    Two of the words that we should try to avoid when writing about refugees are “unprecedented” and “crisis.” They are used far too often and with far too little thought by many people working in the humanitarian sector. Even so, and without using those words, there is evidence to suggest that the risks confronting refugees are perhaps greater today than at any other time in the past three decades.

    First, as the UN Secretary-General has pointed out on many occasions, we are currently witnessing a failure of global governance. When Antonio Guterres took office in 2017, he promised to launch what he called “a surge in diplomacy for peace.” But over the past three years, the UN Security Council has become increasingly dysfunctional and deadlocked, and as a result is unable to play its intended role of preventing the armed conflicts that force people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Nor can the Security Council bring such conflicts to an end, thereby allowing refugees to return to their country of origin.

    It is alarming to note, for example, that four of the five Permanent Members of that body, which has a mandate to uphold international peace and security, have been militarily involved in the Syrian armed conflict, a war that has displaced more people than any other in recent years. Similarly, and largely as a result of the blocking tactics employed by Russia and the US, the Secretary-General struggled to get Security Council backing for a global ceasefire that would support the international community’s efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic

    Second, the humanitarian principles that are supposed to regulate the behavior of states and other parties to armed conflicts, thereby minimizing the harm done to civilian populations, are under attack from a variety of different actors. In countries such as Burkina Faso, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia, those principles have been flouted by extremist groups who make deliberate use of death and destruction to displace populations and extend the areas under their control.

    In states such as Myanmar and Syria, the armed forces have acted without any kind of constraint, persecuting and expelling anyone who is deemed to be insufficiently loyal to the regime or who come from an unwanted part of society. And in Central America, violent gangs and ruthless cartels are acting with growing impunity, making life so hazardous for other citizens that they feel obliged to move and look for safety elsewhere.

    Third, there is mounting evidence to suggest that governments are prepared to disregard international refugee law and have a respect a declining commitment to the principle of asylum. It is now common practice for states to refuse entry to refugees, whether by building new walls, deploying military and militia forces, or intercepting and returning asylum seekers who are travelling by sea.

    In the Global North, the refugee policies of the industrialized increasingly take the form of ‘externalization’, whereby the task of obstructing the movement of refugees is outsourced to transit states in the Global South. The EU has been especially active in the use of this strategy, forging dodgy deals with countries such as Libya, Niger, Sudan and Turkey. Similarly, the US has increasingly sought to contain northward-bound refugees in Mexico, and to return asylum seekers there should they succeed in reaching America’s southern border.

    In developing countries themselves, where some 85 per cent of the world’s refugees are to be found, governments are increasingly prepared to flout the principle that refugee repatriation should only take place in a voluntary manner. While they rarely use overt force to induce premature returns, they have many other tools at their disposal: confining refugees to inhospitable camps, limiting the food that they receive, denying them access to the internet, and placing restrictions on humanitarian organizations that are trying to meet their needs.

    Fourth, the COVID-19 pandemic of the past nine months constitutes a very direct threat to the lives of refugees, and at the same time seems certain to divert scarce resources from other humanitarian programmes, including those that support displaced people. The Coronavirus has also provided a very convenient alibi for governments that wish to close their borders to people who are seeking safety on their territory.

    Responding to this problem, UNHCR has provided governments with recommendations as to how they might uphold the principle of asylum while managing their borders effectively and minimizing any health risks associated with the cross-border movement of people. But it does not seem likely that states will be ready to adopt such an approach, and will prefer instead to introduce more restrictive refugee and migration policies.

    Even if the virus is brought under some kind of control, it may prove difficult to convince states to remove the restrictions that they have introduced during the COVD-19 emergency. And the likelihood of that outcome is reinforced by the fear that the climate crisis will in the years to come prompt very large numbers of people to look for a future beyond the borders of their own state.

    Fifth, the state-based international refugee regime does not appear well placed to resist these negative trends. At the broadest level, the very notions of multilateralism, international cooperation and the rule of law are being challenged by a variety of powerful states in different parts of the world: Brazil, China, Russia, Turkey and the USA, to name just five. Such countries also share a common disdain for human rights and the protection of minorities – indigenous people, Uyghur Muslims, members of the LGBT community, the Kurds and African-Americans respectively.

    The USA, which has traditionally acted as a mainstay of the international refugee regime, has in recent years set a particularly negative example to the rest of the world by slashing its refugee resettlement quota, by making it increasingly difficult for asylum seekers to claim refugee status on American territory, by entirely defunding the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency and by refusing to endorse the Global Compact on Refugees. Indeed, while many commentators predicted that the election of President Trump would not be good news for refugees, the speed at which he has dismantled America’s commitment to the refugee regime has taken many by surprise.

    In this toxic international environment, UNHCR appears to have become an increasingly self-protective organization, as indicated by the enormous amount of effort it devotes to marketing, branding and celebrity endorsement. For reasons that remain somewhat unclear, rather than stressing its internationally recognized mandate for refugee protection and solutions, UNHCR increasingly presents itself as an all-purpose humanitarian agency, delivering emergency assistance to many different groups of needy people, both outside and within their own country. Perhaps this relief-oriented approach is thought to win the favour of the organization’s key donors, an impression reinforced by the cautious tone of the advocacy that UNHCR undertakes in relation to the restrictive asylum policies of the EU and USA.

    UNHCR has, to its credit, made a concerted effort to revitalize the international refugee regime, most notably through the Global Compact on Refugees, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and the Global Refugee Forum. But will these initiatives really have the ‘game-changing’ impact that UNHCR has prematurely attributed to them?

    The Global Compact on Refugees, for example, has a number of important limitations. It is non-binding and does not impose any specific obligations on the countries that have endorsed it, especially in the domain of responsibility-sharing. The Compact makes numerous references to the need for long-term and developmental approaches to the refugee problem that also bring benefits to host states and communities. But it is much more reticent on fundamental protection principles such as the right to seek asylum and the notion of non-refoulement. The Compact also makes hardly any reference to the issue of internal displacement, despite the fact that there are twice as many IDPs as there are refugees under UNHCR’s mandate.

    So far, the picture painted by this article has been unremittingly bleak. But just as one can identify five very negative trends in relation to refugee protection, a similar number of positive developments also warrant recognition.

    First, the refugee policies pursued by states are not uniformly bad. Countries such as Canada, Germany and Uganda, for example, have all contributed, in their own way, to the task of providing refugees with the security that they need and the rights to which they are entitled. In their initial stages at least, the countries of South America and the Middle East responded very generously to the massive movements of refugees out of Venezuela and Syria.

    And while some analysts, including the current author, have felt that there was a very real risk of large-scale refugee expulsions from countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya and Lebanon, those fears have so far proved to be unfounded. While there is certainly a need for abusive states to be named and shamed, recognition should also be given to those that seek to uphold the principles of refugee protection.

    Second, the humanitarian response to refugee situations has become steadily more effective and equitable. Twenty years ago, it was the norm for refugees to be confined to camps, dependent on the distribution of food and other emergency relief items and unable to establish their own livelihoods. Today, it is far more common for refugees to be found in cities, towns or informal settlements, earning their own living and/or receiving support in the more useful, dignified and efficient form of cash transfers. Much greater attention is now given to the issues of age, gender and diversity in refugee contexts, and there is a growing recognition of the role that locally-based and refugee-led organizations can play in humanitarian programmes.

    Third, after decades of discussion, recent years have witnessed a much greater engagement with refugee and displacement issues by development and financial actors, especially the World Bank. While there are certainly some risks associated with this engagement (namely a lack of attention to protection issues and an excessive focus on market-led solutions) a more developmental approach promises to allow better long-term planning for refugee populations, while also addressing more systematically the needs of host populations.

    Fourth, there has been a surge of civil society interest in the refugee issue, compensating to some extent for the failings of states and the large international humanitarian agencies. Volunteer groups, for example, have played a critical role in responding to the refugee situation in the Mediterranean. The Refugees Welcome movement, a largely spontaneous and unstructured phenomenon, has captured the attention and allegiance of many people, especially but not exclusively the younger generation.

    And as has been seen in the UK this year, when governments attempt to demonize refugees, question their need for protection and violate their rights, there are many concerned citizens, community associations, solidarity groups and faith-based organizations that are ready to make their voice heard. Indeed, while the national asylum policies pursued by the UK and other countries have been deeply disappointing, local activism on behalf of refugees has never been stronger.

    Finally, recent events in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe have raised the question as to whether refugees could be spared the trauma and hardship of making dangerous journeys from one country and continent to another by providing them with safe and legal routes. These might include initiatives such as Canada’s community-sponsored refugee resettlement programme, the ‘humanitarian corridors’ programme established by the Italian churches, family reunion projects of the type championed in the UK and France by Lord Alf Dubs, and the notion of labour mobility programmes for skilled refugee such as that promoted by the NGO Talent Beyond Boundaries.

    Such initiatives do not provide a panacea to the refugee issue, and in their early stages at least, might not provide a solution for large numbers of displaced people. But in a world where refugee protection is at such serious risk, they deserve our full support.

    http://www.against-inhumanity.org/2020/09/08/refugee-protection-at-risk

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #protection #Jeff_Crisp #crise #crise_migratoire #crise_des_réfugiés #gouvernance #gouvernance_globale #paix #Nations_unies #ONU #conflits #guerres #conseil_de_sécurité #principes_humanitaires #géopolitique #externalisation #sanctuarisation #rapatriement #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation #droits_humains #Global_Compact_on_Refugees #Comprehensive_Refugee_Response_Framework #Global_Refugee_Forum #camps_de_réfugiés #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #banque_mondiale #société_civile #refugees_welcome #solidarité #voies_légales #corridors_humanitaires #Talent_Beyond_Boundaries #Alf_Dubs

    via @isskein
    ping @karine4 @thomas_lacroix @_kg_ @rhoumour

    –—
    Ajouté à la métaliste sur le global compact :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/739556

  • Chrysochoidis meets Austrian interior minister

    Citizens’ Protection Minister #Michalis_Chrysochoidis on Tuesday thanked Austria for helping Greece secure its border with Turkey which tens of thousands of migrants and refugees tried for days to breach in March.

    Chrysochoidis was speaking during a meeting with Austrian Interior Minister #Karl_Nehammer in Athens for talks on security, migration and the novel coronavirus.

    “In #Evros in March, we, you and other Europeans moved Europe forward. We fought for a common cause: our borders,” Chrysochoidis said.

    “There was no hesitation about supporting Greece,” Nehammer said about the decision to send dozens of police officers to the border.

    “At this difficult time, European solidarity depends on actions, not just words,” he said.

    “We had to send a clear message to Turkey that no one will be left alone,” he said.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/256205/article/ekathimerini/news/chrysochoidis-meets-austrian-interior-minister
    #Autriche #Grèce #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #Turquie #police #solidarité_européenne (sic)

    –---

    Ajouté au fil de discussion sur l’extension du mur dans l’Evros, car l’envoi de policiers participe aussi à la militarisation de la frontière :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/830355

  • La Tunisie, terre d’accueil… des politiques européennes

    Pays en paix, doté d’institutions démocratiques, soi-disant accueillant pour les migrant·es d’Afrique subsaharienne, la Tunisie apparaît comme le candidat idéal pour la sous-traitance des politiques migratoires de l’UE. Et, de fait, les institutions européennes ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour obtenir un accord de réadmission avec les autorités de Tunis pour faire de ce pays le réceptacle de tous les indésirables d’Afrique du Nord et subsaharienne renvoyés d’Europe, jusqu’à imaginer y installer le plus grand hotspot d’Afrique.

    https://www.cairn.info/revue-plein-droit-2020-2-page-27.htm

    #Tunisie #migrations #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #accords_de_réadmission #hotspot

    ping @_kg_ @karine4

  • Budget européen pour la migration : plus de contrôles aux frontières, moins de respect pour les droits humains

    Le 17 juillet 2020, le Conseil européen examinera le #cadre_financier_pluriannuel (#CFP) pour la période #2021-2027. À cette occasion, les dirigeants de l’UE discuteront des aspects tant internes qu’externes du budget alloué aux migrations et à l’#asile.

    En l’état actuel, la #Commission_européenne propose une #enveloppe_budgétaire totale de 40,62 milliards d’euros pour les programmes portant sur la migration et l’asile, répartis comme suit : 31,12 milliards d’euros pour la dimension interne et environ 10 milliards d’euros pour la dimension externe. Il s’agit d’une augmentation de 441% en valeur monétaire par rapport à la proposition faite en 2014 pour le budget 2014-2020 et d’une augmentation de 78% par rapport à la révision budgétaire de 2015 pour ce même budget.

    Une réalité déguisée

    Est-ce une bonne nouvelle qui permettra d’assurer dignement le bien-être de milliers de migrant.e.s et de réfugié.e.s actuellement abandonné.e.s à la rue ou bloqué.e.s dans des centres d’accueil surpeuplés de certains pays européens ? En réalité, cette augmentation est principalement destinée à renforcer l’#approche_sécuritaire : dans la proposition actuelle, environ 75% du budget de l’UE consacré à la migration et à l’asile serait alloué aux #retours, à la #gestion_des_frontières et à l’#externalisation des contrôles. Ceci s’effectue au détriment des programmes d’asile et d’#intégration dans les États membres ; programmes qui se voient attribuer 25% du budget global.

    Le budget 2014 ne comprenait pas de dimension extérieure. Cette variable n’a été introduite qu’en 2015 avec la création du #Fonds_fiduciaire_de_l’UE_pour_l’Afrique (4,7 milliards d’euros) et une enveloppe financière destinée à soutenir la mise en œuvre de la #déclaration_UE-Turquie de mars 2016 (6 milliards d’euros), qui a été tant décriée. Ces deux lignes budgétaires s’inscrivent dans la dangereuse logique de #conditionnalité entre migration et #développement : l’#aide_au_développement est liée à l’acceptation, par les pays tiers concernés, de #contrôles_migratoires ou d’autres tâches liées aux migrations. En outre, au moins 10% du budget prévu pour l’Instrument de voisinage, de développement et de coopération internationale (#NDICI) est réservé pour des projets de gestion des migrations dans les pays d’origine et de transit. Ces projets ont rarement un rapport avec les activités de développement.

    Au-delà des chiffres, des violations des #droits_humains

    L’augmentation inquiétante de la dimension sécuritaire du budget de l’UE correspond, sur le terrain, à une hausse des violations des #droits_fondamentaux. Par exemple, plus les fonds alloués aux « #gardes-côtes_libyens » sont importants, plus on observe de #refoulements sur la route de la Méditerranée centrale. Depuis 2014, le nombre de refoulements vers la #Libye s’élève à 62 474 personnes, soit plus de 60 000 personnes qui ont tenté d’échapper à des violences bien documentées en Libye et qui ont mis leur vie en danger mais ont été ramenées dans des centres de détention indignes, indirectement financés par l’UE.

    En #Turquie, autre partenaire à long terme de l’UE en matière d’externalisation des contrôles, les autorités n’hésitent pas à jouer avec la vie des migrant.e.s et des réfugié.e.s, en ouvrant et en fermant les frontières, pour négocier le versement de fonds, comme en témoigne l’exemple récent à la frontière gréco-turque.

    Un budget opaque

    « EuroMed Droits s’inquiète de l’#opacité des allocations de fonds dans le budget courant et demande à l’Union européenne de garantir des mécanismes de responsabilité et de transparence sur l’utilisation des fonds, en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de pays où la corruption est endémique et qui violent régulièrement les droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées, mais aussi les droits de leurs propres citoyen.ne.s », a déclaré Wadih Al-Asmar, président d’EuroMed Droits.

    « Alors que les dirigeants européens se réunissent à Bruxelles pour discuter du prochain cadre financier pluriannuel, EuroMed Droits demande qu’une approche plus humaine et basée sur les droits soit adoptée envers les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s, afin que les appels à l’empathie et à l’action résolue de la Présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen ne restent pas lettre morte ».

    https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/budget-europeen-pour-la-migration-plus-de-controles-aux-frontieres-mo


    https://twitter.com/EuroMedRights/status/1283759540740096001

    #budget #migrations #EU #UE #Union_européenne #frontières #Fonds_fiduciaire_pour_l’Afrique #Fonds_fiduciaire #sécurité #réfugiés #accord_UE-Turquie #chiffres #infographie #renvois #expulsions #Neighbourhood_Development_and_International_Cooperation_Instrument

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur la #conditionnalité_de_l'aide_au_développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    Et à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765319

    ping @karine4 @rhoumour @reka @_kg_

  • EU pays for surveillance in Gulf of Tunis

    A new monitoring system for Tunisian coasts should counter irregular migration across the Mediterranean. The German Ministry of the Interior is also active in the country. A similar project in Libya has now been completed. Human rights organisations see it as an aid to „#pull_backs“ contrary to international law.

    In order to control and prevent migration, the European Union is supporting North African states in border surveillance. The central Mediterranean Sea off Malta and Italy, through which asylum seekers from Libya and Tunisia want to reach Europe, plays a special role. The EU conducts various operations in and off these countries, including the military mission „#Irini“ and the #Frontex mission „#Themis“. It is becoming increasingly rare for shipwrecked refugees to be rescued by EU Member States. Instead, they assist the coast guards in Libya and Tunisia to bring the people back. Human rights groups, rescue organisations and lawyers consider this assistance for „pull backs“ to be in violation of international law.

    With several measures, the EU and its member states want to improve the surveillance off North Africa. Together with Switzerland, the EU Commission has financed a two-part „#Integrated_Border_Management Project“ in Tunisia. It is part of the reform of the security sector which was begun a few years after the fall of former head of state Ben Ali in 2011. With one pillar of this this programme, the EU wants to „prevent criminal networks from operating“ and enable the authorities in the Gulf of Tunis to „save lives at sea“.

    System for military and border police

    The new installation is entitled „#Integrated_System_for_Maritime_Surveillance“ (#ISMariS) and, according to the Commission (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000891-ASW_EN.html), is intended to bring together as much information as possible from all authorities involved in maritime and coastal security tasks. These include the Ministry of Defence with the Navy, the Coast Guard under the Ministry of the Interior, the National Guard, and IT management and telecommunications authorities. The money comes from the #EU_Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa, which was established at the Valletta Migration Summit in 2015. „ISMariS“ is implemented by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and follows on from an earlier Italian initiative. The EU is financing similar projects with „#EU4BorderSecurity“ not only in Tunisia but also for other Mediterranean countries.

    An institute based in Vienna is responsible for border control projects in Tunisia. Although this #International_Centre_for_Migration_Policy_Development (ICMPD) was founded in 1993 by Austria and Switzerland, it is not a governmental organisation. The German Foreign Office has also supported projects in Tunisia within the framework of the #ICMPD, including the establishment of border stations and the training of border guards. Last month German finally joined the Institute itself (https://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/dokumente/1493-deutscher-beitritt-zum-international-centre-for-migration-policy-development/file). For an annual contribution of 210,000 euro, the Ministry of the Interior not only obtains decision-making privileges for organizing ICMPD projects, but also gives German police authorities the right to evaluate any of the Institute’s analyses for their own purposes.

    It is possible that in the future bilateral German projects for monitoring Tunisian maritime borders will also be carried out via the ICMPD. Last year, the German government supplied the local coast guard with equipment for a boat workshop. In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/194/1919467.pdf), the Federal Police carried out 14 trainings for the national guard, border police and coast guard, including instruction in operating „control boats“. Tunisia previously received patrol boats from Italy and the USA (https://migration-control.info/en/wiki/tunisia).

    Vessel tracking and coastal surveillance

    It is unclear which company produced and installed the „ISMariS“ surveillance system for Tunisia on behalf of the ICPMD. Similar facilities for tracking and displaying ship movements (#Vessel_Tracking_System) are marketed by all major European defence companies, including #Airbus, #Leonardo in Italy, #Thales in France and #Indra in Spain. However, Italian project management will probably prefer local companies such as Leonardo. The company and its spin-off #e-GEOS have a broad portfolio of maritime surveillance systems (https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/sea/maritime-domain-awareness/coastal-surveillance-systems).

    It is also possible to integrate satellite reconnaissance, but for this the governments must conclude further contracts with the companies. However, „ISMariS“ will not only be installed as a Vessel Tracking System, it should also enable monitoring of the entire coast. Manufacturers promote such #Coastal_Surveillance_Systems as a technology against irregular migration, piracy, terrorism and smuggling. The government in Tunisia has defined „priority coastal areas“ for this purpose, which will be integrated into the maritime surveillance framework.

    Maritime „#Big_Data

    „ISMariS“ is intended to be compatible with the components already in place at the Tunisian authorities, including coastguard command and control systems, #radar, position transponders and receivers, night vision equipment and thermal and optical sensors. Part of the project is a three-year maintenance contract with the company installing the „ISMariS“.

    Perhaps the most important component of „ISMariS“ for the EU is a communication system, which is also included. It is designed to improve „operational cooperation“ between the Tunisian Coast Guard and Navy with Italy and other EU Member States. The project description mentions Frontex and EUROSUR, the pan-European surveillance system of the EU Border Agency, as possible participants. Frontex already monitors the coastal regions off Libya and Tunisia (https://insitu.copernicus.eu/FactSheets/CSS_Border_Surveillance) using #satellites (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-003212-ASW_EN.html) and an aerial service (https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/26/frontex-air-service-reconnaissance-for-the-so-called-libyan-coast-guar).

    #EUROSUR is now also being upgraded, Frontex is spending 2.6 million Euro (https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:109760-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML) on a new application based on artificial intelligence. It is to process so-called „Big Data“, including not only ship movements but also data from ship and port registers, information on ship owners and shipping companies, a multi-year record of previous routes of large ships and other maritime information from public sources on the Internet. The contract is initially concluded for one year and can be extended up to three times.

    Cooperation with Libya

    To connect North African coastguards to EU systems, the EU Commission had started the „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ project two years after the fall of North African despots. To combat irregular migration, from 2013 onwards Spain, Italy and Malta have trained a total of 141 members of the Libyan coast guard for sea rescue. In this way, „Seahorse Mediterranean“ has complemented similar training measures that Frontex is conducting for the Coastal Police within the framework of the EU mission #EUBAM_Libya and the military mission #EUNAVFOR_MED for the Coast Guard of the Tripolis government.

    The budget for „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ is indicated by the Commission as 5.5 million Euro (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000892-ASW_EN.html), the project was completed in January 2019. According to the German Foreign Office (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/196/1919625.pdf), Libya has signed a partnership declaration for participation in a future common communication platform for surveillance of the Mediterranean. Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt are also to be persuaded to participate. So far, however, the governments have preferred unilateral EU support for equipping and training their coastguards and navies, without having to make commitments in projects like „Seahorse“, such as stopping migration and smuggling on the high seas.

    https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/28/eu-pays-for-surveillance-in-gulf-of-tunis

    #Golfe_de_Tunis #surveillance #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #militarisation_des_frontières #surveillance_des_frontières #Tunisie #externalisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #Algérie #Egypte #Suisse #EU #UE #Union_européenne #Trust_Fund #Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Allemagne #Italie #gardes-côtes #gardes-côtes_tunisiens #intelligence_artificielle #IA #données #Espagne #Malte #business

    ping @reka @isskein @_kg_ @rhoumour @karine4

    –—

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765330

    Et celle-ci sur le lien entre développement et contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

  • Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact

    The European Commission’s long-awaited and long-delayed pact on migration will include new asylum centres along the outer rim of the European Union, EUobserver has been told.

    The idea is part of a German proposal, floated last year, that seeks to rapidly pre-screen asylum seekers before they enter European Union territory.

    Michael Spindelegger, director-general of the Vienna-based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) told EUobserver on Thursday (9 July) that the European Commission had in fact decided to include it into their upcoming migration pact.

    “I got some information that this will be part of these proposals from the European Commission. So this is what I can tell you. I think this really is something that could bring some movement in the whole debate,” he said.

    Spindelegger was Austria’s minister of foreign affairs and finance minister before taking over the ICMPD in 2016, where he has been outspoken in favour of such centres as a means to unblock disagreements among member states on the overhaul of the future EU-wide asylum system.

    The German non-paper published in November 2019 proposed a mandatory initial assessment of asylum applications at the external border.

    The idea is to prevent irregular and economic migrants from adding to the administrative bottlenecks of bona-fide asylum seekers and refugees.

    “Manifestly unfounded or inadmissible applications shall be denied immediately at the external border, and the applicant must not be allowed to enter the EU,” stated the paper.

    EUobserver understands the new pact may also include a three-tiered approach.

    Abusive claims would be immediately dismissed and returned, those clearly in the need for protection would be relocated to an EU state, while the remainder would end up in some sort of facility.

    Spindelegger concedes the idea has its detractors - noting it will be also be tricky to find the legal framework to support it.

    “To give people, within some days, the right expectation is a good thing - so this is more or less a surprise that the European Commission took this initiative, because there are also some people who are totally against this,” he said.
    EU ’hotspots’ in Greece

    Among those is Oxfam International, an NGO that says people may end up in similar circumstances currently found in the so-called hotspots on the Greek islands.

    “We are very concerned that the Greek law and the hotspots on the islands are going to be the blueprint for the new asylum and migration pact and we have seen them failed in every criteria,” said Oxfam International’s Raphael Shilhav, an expert on migration.

    The hotspots were initially touted as a solution by the European Commission to facilitate and expedite asylum claims of people seeking international protection, who had disembarked from Turkey to the Greek islands.

    The zones on the islands quickly turned into overcrowded camps where people, including women and children, are forced to live amid filth and violence.

    Shilvav said some people at the hotspots who deserved asylum ended up falling through the cracks, noting new Greek laws effectively bar many people who do not have legal support from appealing an asylum rejection.

    EUobserver has previously spoken to one asylum seeker from the Congo who had spent almost three years living in a tent with others at the hotspot in Moria on Lesbos island.

    The new pact is a cornerstone policy of the Von der Leyen Commission and follows years of bickering among member states who failed to agree on a previous proposal to overhaul the existing EU-wide asylum rules.

    “Over the past few years, many member states simply refused to find a solution,” Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer said ahead of the current German EU presidency’s first debate on home affairs issues.

    The commission has so far refused to release any specific details of the plan - which has been delayed until September, following the eruption of the pandemic and on-going debates over the EU’s next long-term budget.

    “This proposal will be there to protect and defend the right to asylum and that includes the possibility to apply for asylum, that is a right for everybody to do so,” EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson told MEPs earlier this week.

    For its part, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the new pact needs to be common and workable.

    “This means establishing fair and fast asylum procedures to quickly determine who needs international protection and who does not,” a UNHCR spokeswoman said, in an emailed statement.

    She also noted that some 85 percent of the world’s refugees are currently hosted in neighbouring and developing countries and that more funds are needed for humanitarian and development support.

    https://euobserver.com/migration/148902
    #migration_pact #pacte_migratoire #Europe #identification #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #pré-identification #centres_d'identification #hotspots #Grèce #contrôles_migratoires #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation #EU #UE #frontières_extérieures #relocalisation #renvois #expulsions

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Una riflessione sul rapporto tra migrazione e sicurezza a partire dalla questione della iscrizione anagrafica

      Io sono un uomo invisibile. No, non sono uno spettro, come quelli che ossessionavano Edgar Allan Poe; e non sono neppure uno di quegli ectoplasmi dei film di Hollywood. Sono un uomo che ha consistenza, di carne e di ossa, fibre e umori, e si può persino dire che possegga un cervello. Sono invisibile semplicemente perché la gente si rifiuta di vedermi: capito? (…) Quando gli altri si avvicinano, vedono solo quello che mi sta intorno, o se stessi, o delle invenzioni della loro fantasia, ogni e qualsiasi cosa, insomma, tranne me”.
      (R.W. Ellison, L’uomo invisibile - 1952 - Einaudi Torino 2009, p. 3).
      1.

      In questi ultimi giorni si è tornato a parlare molto dei c.d. Decreti sicurezza e di una loro possibile revisione. A riaprire il dibattito, da ultimo, la pronuncia della Corte costituzionale dello scorso 9 luglio con la quale è stata dichiarata l’illegittimità costituzionale dell’art. 13 comma 1, lett. a) n. 2 del primo “decreto sicurezza” (Decreto Legge 4 ottobre 2018 n. 113) per violazione dell’art. 3 della Costituzione.

      Prima di dare conto del contenuto della decisione della Corte costituzionale, è opportuno ripercorrere, seppur brevemente, le tappe del percorso che ha portato i giudici della Consulta a intervenire. Per chiarire i termini precisi della discussione che è scaturita in questi anni e il senso della decisione finale assunta il 9 luglio, occorre inquadrare la questione in primo luogo da un punto di vista giuridico.

      Questa importante pronuncia ha riguardato appunto la legittimità costituzionale del primo Decreto Sicurezza approvato nel 2018 che doveva servire a impedire, almeno nelle intenzioni del legislatore, l’iscrizione dei richiedenti asilo, sulla base del titolo di soggiorno provvisorio loro rilasciato, nei registri anagrafici dei Comuni. Una modifica normativa volta a rendere ancor più precario lo status giuridico dei richiedenti asilo presenti nel nostro Paese, negando a costoro anche un legame fittizio con il territorio che avrebbe dovuto accoglierli. Una restrizione dal forte valore simbolico e di carattere tutto politico, frutto dei tempi.

      La nuova previsione normativa introdotta dall’art. 13 cit. ha animato, anche per questo, un forte dibattito e numerose sono state le prese di posizione da parte sia dei commentatori politici che dei tecnici del diritto. Un dibattito che purtroppo si è fermato alle problematiche più strettamente giuridiche sollevate dalla nuova normativa, tralasciando invece la questione della ratio ispiratrice della nuova disciplina. Una ratio che imporrebbe una riflessione più generale sulle problematiche legate ai fenomeni migratori e, nello specifico, sul tema dell’asilo e del rispetto dei diritti umani.

      Il tema della iscrizione anagrafica, infatti, ci consente non solo una riflessione sul contesto normativo che è stato oggetto di modificazione, ma anche sul significato profondo che assume il concetto di “asilo” nel nostro Paese.
      2.

      Negli anni il diritto d’asilo è stato più volte ridefinito generando anche confusione. Un diritto che affonda le sue radici nella storia antica, lo conoscevano bene i greci che riconoscevano al fuggiasco una sorta di inviolabilità per il solo fatto di trovarsi in un determinato luogo. “Veniva chiamata asilia l’inviolabilità a cui quel luogo dava diritto” [1].

      Un diritto che nel corso del tempo ha subito non pochi cambiamenti e che oggi è diventato uno strumento nelle mani dello Stato che ne dispone a proprio piacimento.
      Viene da pensare a quanto scrive la professoressa Donatella Di Cesare proprio a proposito del diritto d’asilo. Nel chiedersi se si tratti di un diritto del singolo che lo chiede o dello Stato che lo concede, la Di Cesare evidenzia come l’asilo sia divenuto “un dispositivo di cui gli Stati si servono per esercitare, anche in concreto, il loro potere sui migranti” [2]. Accade così che si assiste ad una duplice deriva che porta lo Stato a moltiplicare le barriere giuridiche e poliziesche e ad aumentare le restrizioni burocratiche e procedurali, con il fine dichiarato (non celato) di scoraggiare le richieste di asilo politico.

      Questo dibattito, direttamente connesso alla questione della iscrizione anagrafica “negata” ai richiedenti asilo, è stato purtroppo poco presente ed è stato messo in secondo piano rispetto invece alle questioni, non meno importanti, della discriminazione in essere nella normativa introdotta dal Decreto Legge n. 113 del 2018.

      Una precisa “discriminazione” nei confronti di una determinata categoria di soggetti, appunto i richiedenti asilo, rispetto ai quali, secondo i primi commenti, diveniva impossibile procedere all’inserimento nelle liste anagrafiche dei Comuni di residenza.

      Una norma, peraltro che, come osservato da autorevoli commentatori, si poneva in netto contrasto con la logica stessa dell’istituto dell’iscrizione anagrafica e con l’articolo 6 comma 7 del Testo Unico Immigrazione.
      3.

      Le discussioni che sono scaturite e lo scontro tra numerosi Sindaci, da una parte, e il Ministro dell’Interno dell’epoca, dall’altra, con i primi disposti anche a disapplicare la norma sui loro territori, sono state di fatto mitigate dagli interventi dei Tribunali italiani chiamati a decidere sui ricorsi d’urgenza presentati dai richiedenti asilo che si sono visti negato il diritto di procedere all’iscrizione presso i registri suddetti.
      Infatti, nella pratica, la modifica prevista dall’art. 13 del Decreto 113 del 2018 è stata immediatamente disinnescata dagli interventi dei giudici di merito chiamati a pronunciarsi sui ricorsi proposti. Numerose pronunce hanno riconosciuto il diritto del richiedente asilo alla iscrizione anagrafica addivenendo a una interpretazione della norma secondo la quale l’affermazione contenuta nell’art. 13 comma 1 lett. a) n. 2 avrebbe avuto soltanto l’effetto di far venire meno il “regime speciale” introdotto dall’art. 8 D.L. 17.2.17 n. 13 conv. in L. 13.4.17 n. 46 (secondo il quale i richiedenti asilo venivano iscritti all’anagrafe sulla base della dichiarazione del titolare della struttura ospitante) per riportare il richiedente asilo nell’alveo del regime ordinario (quello cioè della verifica della dimora abituale, come previsto anche per il cittadino italiano, al quale lo straniero regolarmente soggiornante è parificato ai sensi dell’art. 6, comma 7 TU immigrazione). Solamente in tre procedimenti i Tribunali di Trento e Torino hanno optato per una interpretazione diversa della norma optando per un divieto di iscrizione.
      4.

      Per rendere più chiara la comprensione dell’operazione compiuta dalla giurisprudenza di merito, proviamo a ricostruire, brevemente, uno dei tanti casi portati all’attenzione dei giudici italiani, nello specifico il caso di un cittadino di nazionalità somala che ha proposto ricorso d’urgenza dinanzi al Tribunale di Firenze contro il diniego all’iscrizione nei registri anagrafici opposto dal Comune di Scandicci. Nel ricorso proposto dal richiedente asilo si evidenziava come il requisito del regolare soggiorno nel territorio dello Stato potesse essere accertato mediante documenti alternativi al permesso di soggiorno rilasciati ai soggetti che hanno presentato domanda di riconoscimento della protezione internazionale, quali, ad esempio, il modello C3 di richiesta asilo presentato in Questura, oppure la ricevuta rilasciata da quest’ultima per attestare il deposito della richiesta di soggiorno o la scheda di identificazione redatta dalla Questura. Il Tribunale di Firenze ha ritenuto di poter accogliere il ricorso esprimendosi in favore del ricorrente.

      Nel motivare la propria decisione, il Tribunale, analizzando il contenuto letterale del nuovo comma 1-bis citato, sottolinea come esso si riferisca al permesso di soggiorno per richiedenti protezione internazionale quale titolo per l’iscrizione anagrafica e che, tuttavia, il sistema normativo di riferimento dalla stessa disposizione richiamato (il DPR n. 223 del 1989 e l’art. 6, comma 7 del T.U.I.), non richieda alcun “titolo” per l’iscrizione anagrafica, ma solo una determinata condizione soggettiva, i.e. quella di essere regolarmente soggiornante nello Stato. Inoltre, riconoscendo che l’iscrizione anagrafica ha natura di attività amministrativa a carattere vincolato, in relazione alla quale il privato ha una posizione di diritto soggettivo, evidenzia come «l’iscrizione anagrafica registra la volontà delle persone che, avendo una dimora, hanno fissato in un determinato comune la residenza oppure, non avendo una dimora, hanno stabilito nello stesso comune il proprio domicilio», sulla base non di titoli, ma delle dichiarazioni egli interessati o degli accertamenti ai sensi degli artt. 13, 15, 18-bis e 19 del citato DPR n. 223/1989. Pertanto, non essendo intervenuta alcuna modificazione dell’art. 6, comma 7, del T.U.I., sulla base del quale «le iscrizioni e variazioni anagrafiche dello straniero regolarmente soggiornante sono effettuate alle medesime condizioni dei cittadini italiani con le modalità previste dal regolamento di attuazione, ritiene il Tribunale che il nuovo comma 1-bis dell’art. 4 D.lgs. n. 142/2015 non possa essere interpretato nel senso di aver introdotto un divieto, neppure implicito, di iscrizione anagrafica per i soggetti che abbiano presentato richiesta di protezione internazionale.

      In conclusione, secondo la giurisprudenza di merito richiamata, se il legislatore avesse voluto introdurre un divieto, avrebbe dovuto modificare il già citato art. 6, comma 7 T.U.I., anche nella parte in cui considera dimora abituale di uno straniero il centro di accoglienza ove sia ospitato da più di tre mesi.
      5.

      Nonostante l’interpretazione prevalente della nuova normativa, la questione è stata portata all’attenzione della Corte costituzionale dai Tribunali di Milano, Ancona e Salerno che hanno comunque ritenuto fondata la questione di illegittimità costituzionale per violazione dei diritti fondamentali dei richiedenti asilo e per violazione del principio di eguaglianza.

      In data 9 luglio 2020 la Corte costituzionale ha così dato l’ultimo colpo alla normativa di cui all’art. 13 sancendone la illegittimità per violazione dell’art. 3 della Costituzione. In effetti, nel comunicato stampa diramato dalla stessa Consulta, in attesa di leggere le motivazioni complete della decisione, è scritto che “la disposizione censurata non è stata ritenuta dalla Corte in contrasto con l’articolo 77 della Costituzione sui requisiti di necessità e di urgenza dei decreti legge. Tuttavia, la Corte ne ha dichiarato l’incostituzionalità per violazione dell’articolo 3 della Costituzione sotto un duplice profilo: per irrazionalità intrinseca, poiché la norma censurata non agevola il perseguimento delle finalità di controllo del territorio dichiarate dal decreto sicurezza; per irragionevole disparità di trattamento, perché rende ingiustificatamente più difficile ai richiedenti asilo l’accesso ai servizi che siano anche ad essi garantiti”.

      I giudici costituzionali sono stati perentori nell’affermare che la norma censurata si pone in contrasto con l’art. 3 della Costituzione sotto molteplici profili e “sostanzialmente perché introdurrebbe una deroga, priva dei requisiti di razionalità e ragionevolezza, alla disciplina dell’art. 6, comma 7, del D.lgs. n. 286 del 1998” [3].

      In particolare il legislatore si troverebbe a contraddire la ratio complessiva del decreto-legge n. 113 del 2018 al cui interno si colloca la disposizione portata all’attenzione della Corte costituzionale. Infatti, “a dispetto del dichiarato obiettivo dell’intervento normativo di aumentare il livello di sicurezza pubblica, la norma in questione, impedendo l’iscrizione anagrafica dei richiedenti asilo, finisce con il limitare le capacità di controllo e monitoraggio dell’autorità pubblica sulla popolazione effettivamente residente sul suo territorio, escludendo da essa una categoria di persone, gli stranieri richiedenti asilo, regolarmente soggiornanti nel territorio italiano” [4].

      In conclusione, finanche l’obiettivo primario perseguito dal legislatore verrebbe contraddetto dalla disposizione in esame che proprio per questa ragione sarebbe paradossalmente in contrasto persino con le esigenze dichiarate di maggiore controllo e sicurezza del fenomeno migratorio.

      Un vero paradosso se pensiamo che l’esclusione dalla registrazione anagrafica di persone che invece risiedono sul territorio comunale accresce anziché ridurre i problemi connessi al monitoraggio degli stranieri che soggiornano regolarmente nel territorio statale anche per lungo tempo.
      6.

      È sulla base di queste ultime osservazioni che è possibile articolare una breve riflessione complementare sulla giustapposizione ideologica e strumentale di “migrazione” e “sicurezza” e considerare la necessità/possibilità di ripensare, ancora rimandando tra gli altri ai lavori di Di Cesare, le modalità di coabitazione e di residenza in un territorio.

      In effetti oggi l’asilo e la “protezione internazionale” sono divenuti strumenti di gestione statale della migrazione (in senso generale) e dei corpi delle persone migranti (in senso più concreto), in un crescendo di categorizzazioni che hanno progressivamente ridotto il numero degli “aventi diritto”: da una parte attraverso processi di “vulnerabilizzazione” che hanno estremizzato le logiche selettive a detrimento del diritto di altri individui a presentare una richiesta di protezione. Non stiamo dicendo che i vulnerabili non vadano protetti, ma che non è possibile escludere gli altri dalla procedura perché non lo sono abbastanza.

      D’altra parte, attraverso un’evoluzione intimamente legata ai processi di esternalizzazione dei controlli e della gestione della migrazione da parte dell’UE, si sono fatti saltare i “fondamentali” del diritto d’asilo come diritto individuale, riducendo la questione a un’economia geopolitica che seleziona e distingue sempre più esplicitamente su base nazionale, a partire da assunti quali i “paesi terzi sicuri”, come l’Afghanistan, o i porti sicuri, come la Libia.

      Lo smantellamento e la limitazione dell’asilo come diritto fondamentale individuale, e il ridimensionamento delle prerogative e dei diritti dei richiedenti asilo che vanno inevitabilmente a minare le loro condizioni di vita e i loro percorsi di integrazione come nel caso dei decreti Salvini, rappresentano tra l’altro soltanto una parte, molto importante anche per la sua valenza simbolica, ma non preponderante di una degenerazione complessiva delle politiche in materia di migrazione in UE. Perché al peggioramento delle condizioni di vita dei richiedenti asilo corrispondono purtroppo anche un progressivo aumento dei dinieghi, e una sempre maggiore “esclusione” dei potenziali aventi diritto (e chiunque dovrebbe averlo) dalla procedura, a causa di pratiche espeditive di espulsione, a causa dei ritardi di compilazione della documentazione necessaria (C3), ecc. Volendo essere espliciti, chi accede alla procedura d’asilo rappresenta, oggi, alla fine, il “resto”, la rimanenza dell’insieme delle persone in migrazione che il dispositivo di controllo e di gestione globale (IOM, UE, Stati europei e paesi vicini collaborativi) non è riuscito a bloccare, nei paesi di partenza, di transito, nel Mediterraneo, negli hotspot, ecc...

      Rileggendo il deterioramento del sistema di asilo in questi anni, sia in termini di rispetto dei diritti fondamentali che in termini materiali di accoglienza, divenuta sempre meno una politica etica e sempre più un business e un terreno di confronto elettorale, non possiamo che constatare che il dispositivo di asilo (ideologico e pratico) si riduce sempre più, come conferma Di Cesare, ad uno strumento di gestione della migrazione, allo stesso modo che i regolamenti interni di gestione (Dublino), la gestione emergenziale dell’accoglienza, i dispositivi di gestione della frontiera (Frontex, Eunavformed) i processi di esternalizzazione, ecc. In questo senso, il deterioramento del sistema d’asilo rappresenta l’ultimo anello, il livello finale di una progressiva e generale “lotta alla migrazione”, dissimulata dietro retoriche di approcci globali e pratiche di politiche di esternalizzazione sempre più feroci (si veda il riferimento di Di Maio alla condizionalità negativa migrazione/sviluppo come forma istituzionalizzata di ricatto alla Tunisia) : lotta alla migrazione che ha visto estendersi progressivamente le categorie (e il numero) di indesiderabili, ridotti genericamente a “migranti economici” provenienti da paesi “’sicuri” o comunque “bloccati” dal dispositivo di controllo e gestione della mobilità imposto ai paesi terzi. L’erosione del diritto d’asilo va dunque letta anche all’interno di una più generale dinamica generale di riduzione dei diritti alla mobilità e all’installazione nei confronti di una certa tipologia di persone straniere da parte dei paesi dell’UE.
      7.

      Il presupposto problematico è che questi “diritti” destinati a persone straniere vengono sempre definiti e manovrati da coloro i quali sono nelle condizioni di doverli applicare, e le norme internazionali vengono ignorate, trascurate, aggirate invocando situazioni di “urgenza” e di sicurezza, che evidentemente si sono amplificate in questa stagione pandemica, e che si accompagnano all’armamentario ideologico dei nuovi sovranisti. Questo è vero per quanto riguarda le situazioni di frontiera, ontologicamente più fosche e meno trasparenti, all’interno delle quali norme meno restrittive (Cuttitta etc) si associano a pratiche in esplicita violazione dei diritti fondamentali, ma è vero anche per quanto riguarda l’articolazione dei dispositivi di accoglienza e più in generale la gestione della presenza sul territorio di persone straniere con status amministrativi differenti, e condizioni di marginalità (e sfruttamento) differenti. La difesa della patria, il “prima gli italiani” che si declina a livello regionale, provinciale e iperlocale in un ripiegamento identitario in abisso, rappresentano il corrispettivo ideologico delle politiche di esclusione e di “chiusura” che i paesi dell’UE hanno integrato trasversalmente, con qualche sfumatura più o meno xenofoba. E purtroppo la retorica xenofoba, che mixa ignoranza e paura, paura di invasione e di contagio, si abbatte sulla popolazione con la forza di media conniventi e ripetizione ad oltranza di notizie false, fuorvianti, imprecise, volte ad alimentare diffidenza e timore: “insicurezza”.

      In questo senso, sarebbe utile come accennavamo sopra, provvedere ad una genealogia della convergenza di “immigrazione” e “sicurezza”, al di là dell’assunto antropologico “atavico” che il pericolo arrivi da fuori, da ciò che non si conosce: ma è già possibile, attraverso la vicenda dell’iscrizione anagrafica dei richiedenti asilo legata all’applicazione dei decreti salviniani, osservare che la “geografia” di questi decreti immigrazione e sicurezza è a geometria variabile.

      Come ha parzialmente evidenziato la mappa prodotta dalla geografa Cristina del Biaggio e pubblicata su VisionCarto, che ha recensito le reazioni dei vari sindaci e dei differenti comuni alla stretta di Salvini sull’iscrizione anagrafica dei RA, la logica securitaria “sovranista” a livello nazionale, ossessionata dalla difesa delle patrie frontiere, con toni nazionalisti postfascisti e modi - come prova la vicenda di Open Arms - spesso al limite o oltre la legalità, è sfasata rispetto ad una nozione di “sicurezza” ad un livello territoriale più circoscritto, di comunità urbana e di amministrazione locale. Perché inevitabilmente tanti amministratori locali, di fronte ad un’operazione che ha concretamente destabilizzato la gestione locale dell’accoglienza e dell’integrazione buttando letteralmente per strada o comunque esponendo a situazioni di marginalità estrema un numero estremamente rilevante di persone (il rapporto «La sicurezza dell’esclusione - Centri d’Italia 2019» realizzato da ActionAid e Openpolis parlava di 80.000 persone toccate nei primi mesi di applicazione, con stime di 750.000 persone “irregolarizzate” entro gennaio 2021), hanno reagito sottolineando, a diverso titolo e con toni diversi, che gli effetti reali dei decreti sul territorio avrebbero inevitabilmente prodotto insicurezza e difficoltà (correlando più o meno direttamente una situazione amministrativa marginale/irregolare e l’aumento possibile di situazioni di criminalità, extralegalità, sfruttamento, ecc.).

      Dunque possiamo dedurre che la lettura della relazione tra sicurezza ed immigrazione non è la stessa a livello nazionale e a livello locale, dove, in ragione da una parte della ricaduta concreta e dell’applicazione pratica di normative e politiche che regolano la presenza di cittadini stranieri (a diverso titolo) sul territorio (permessi di soggiorno ecc.), e dall’altra dell’evoluzione delle dinamiche quotidiane di accoglienza/convivenza/integrazione, la presenza di persone migranti (richiedenti asilo etc.) rappresenta un elemento reale, contingente, relazionale e non semplicemente una nozione teorica, astratta, amministrativa. In questo senso, tutte le politiche legate alla migrazione, più o meno inclusive o esclusive, più o meno ammantate di un argomentario ideologico nazionalista/identitario, devono poi fare i conti con le condizioni concrete di coabitazione, con le possibilità e gli strumenti di integrazioni in possesso o da fornire alle persone “in arrivo” e con la volontà, la possibilità e la capacità di una comunità locale di interagire con le persone “straniere”, e più in generale “esterne” ad essa, nel modo più vantaggioso e utile, positivo e ragionevole possibile.
      8.

      Se il pericolo arriva da fuori, da cioè che non si conosce, le alterative sono due: chiudersi a riccio e difendersi a priori da qualsiasi cosa venga a perturbare il nostro quotidiano, la nostra “tradizione”, la nostra “identità”, o conoscere quello che c’è fuori, quello che arriva da fuori: accettando che questa dinamica di apertura e di incontro è stato il fondamento dell’evoluzione delle comunità umane.

      Alla presa di posizione dei sindaci, che osteggiano i decreti Salvini nel nome di una prospettiva accogliente o nel nome di un realismo politico e di organizzazione della vita sociale della comunità distinto dall’ottica di “gestione dell’ordine” dell’ex ministro degli interni e di tante prefetture (basta ricordare che Salvini ha invocato, nel marzo 2019 anche la possibilità di attribuire più poteri straordinari ai prefetti riducendo quelli dei sindaci), corrisponde anche una reazione “accogliente” dal basso, una capacità di adattamento della collettività (autonoma, indotta dall’amministrazione o in antitesi a posizioni di chiusura delle municipalità) : al di là dei comuni impegnati in politiche locali di accoglienza attraverso i dispositivi SPRAR, o di reti come RECOSOL, non sono poche le collettività che sono passate dal “rifiuto” e alla reticenza, legati agli spettri mediatici e politici, alle retoriche di invasione o alle presenze imposte in via straordinaria a livello prefetturale senza consultazione dell’amministrazione - e che hanno creato, quasi fosse una finalità connessa una pressione su comunità locali “impreparate” -, a modalità di apertura, graduali, mediate, progressive che si sono risolte spesso (a livello urbano come rurale) constatando che una presenza accettata, accolta, “accompagnata”, tutelata, sostenuta non è affatto “nociva” per la comunità che accoglie, ma anzi rappresenta un valore aggiunto, arricchisce e offre opportunità, in una logica di reciprocità che si affranca dalle pratiche assistenziali che annullano i potenziali di azione e partecipazione delle persone accolte.

      Il diritto internazionale relativo all’asilo, per ovvie ragioni storiche e geopolitiche, si appoggia alle strutture nazionali e “inevitabilmente” si confronta con le dimensioni dell’appartenenza come la cittadinanza e la “nazionalità”; tuttavia, la discussione è focalizzata sempre essenzialmente sul potenziale beneficiario/destinatario di questo diritto, dell’asilo o della “protezione internazionale”, come più in generale, eticamente, dell’accoglienza/ospitalità. Mentre rimane sempre implicita, troppo spesso data per scontata la soggettività collettiva che accorda questo diritto, che lo elargisce, che lo offre.

      Se il diritto internazionale tende ad inquadrarlo, a concederlo/garantirlo è di solito una comunità politica, un paese che concede asilo ad un cittadino straniero proveniente da un altro paese sulla base di principi “universali” e attraverso strumenti come, per l’Italia, la carta costituzionale.

      Ora, se appare evidente che l’accanimento xenofobo di un Salvini sia strumento elettoralista e strumentale che passa per una lettura quantomeno originale della stessa Costituzione, andando a “scegliersi” qualche articolo conveniente (come quelli che invocano la patria) ma snobbando completamente altri che si riferiscono a diritti fondamentali ( e dunque più “ampi” di quelli legati all’appartenenza nazionale), possiamo anche considerare che nel corso degli ultimi anni la questione “asilo” e più generalmente accoglienza in Italia è rimasta questione tecnica di specialisti nella sua dimensione normativa giuridica (avvocati, Commissioni territoriali ecc.), mentre dal punto di vista etico-politico (la questione) è rimasta sempre secondaria rispetto ad un discorso politico e mediatico focalizzato ossessivamente (come del resto avviene in tutta Europa) sulla difesa delle frontiere e sul controllo della migrazione: la presenza di persone straniere sul territorio diventa visibile solo quando appare “deviante” o “problematica”, mentre le “buone prassi” di integrazione e partecipazione rimangono escluse dalla narrazione quotidiana.

      In sostanza il “popolo” italiano, che attraverso la Costituzione garantisce a individui stranieri la possibilità di ricevere sostegno e protezione sul territorio nazionale, viene chiamato in causa e sollecitato (politicamente e mediaticamente) in concreto quasi esclusivamente in quanto corpo sociale minacciato (economicamente, culturalmente, socialmente, ecc.) dalla migrazione, dalla presenza di stranieri, e praticamente mai in quanto attore implicato in percorsi di accoglienza, impegnato in un percorso di evoluzione sociale e culturale che implica obbligatoriamente un confronto con la migrazione, come con tutti gli altri temi essenziali della convivenza politica.

      La “gestione” tecnica dell’accoglienza rimane invece questione tecnica, esposta a mistificazioni e speculazioni, e “astratta” fino a quando non si materializza sul territorio, spesso “precipitata” dall’alto, come è accaduto dal 2011 attraverso la gestione emergenziale, e inscritta come gestione dell’ordine pubblico piuttosto che all’interno delle politiche sociali: da un punti di vista “sovranista” e più in generale di depotenziamento dei livelli di partecipazione e implicazione critica della collettività, la comunità locale rimane “spettatrice” di processi di gestione che sono finalizzati sempre più solo al controllo delle persone e sempre meno alla loro integrazione (e che va di pari passo con una deresponsabilizzazione generale della popolazione a tutti i livelli).

      Ora, se la teoria costituzionale dell’asilo in Italia ha radici storiche determinate, le pratiche di accoglienza sono quasi sempre locali, territorializzate, e implicano l’investimento più o mendo diretto e esplicito della collettività: un investimento che, attraverso l’implicazione delle amministrazioni locali e percorsi partecipativi riporta la questione dell’accoglienza dell’altro, e la sua potenziale integrazione, nell’alveo di una realtà politica concreta, quotidiana, locale; diventa quindi interessante interrogarsi sulla consapevolezza di questa potenzialità da parte delle comunità locali (come in altri ambiti diversi) di autodeterminarsi politicamente, di impattare in modo significativo su una serie di questioni che le riguardano direttamente, puntualmente o sul lungo periodo.

      Se il diritto d’asilo va tutelato a livello internazionale e nazionale, e iscritto in quadri normativi che possano garantire un accesso inalienabili ai diritti fondamentali, diventa importante sottolineare la capacità delle comunità locali di rivendicare il dovere/diritto di andare oltre, e di integrare questo quadro giuridico con pratiche di accoglienza e partecipazione che, concertate collettivamente, possono rappresentare percorsi di evoluzione comuni, non solamente eticamente gratificanti ma anche vantaggiosi tanto per chi è accolto che per chi accoglie.

      Indipendentemente quindi anche dal parere della Corte Costituzionale che ha contestato una serie di elementi del decreti sicurezza tecnicamente difformi dal mandato costituzionale stesso, diventa estremamente rilevante l’espressione pubblica e politica di comunità locali, di andare oltre e di rivendicare il diritto di garantire l’iscrizione anagrafica - e con essa l’accesso ad un insieme di altri diritti in grado di migliorare sensibilmente le condizioni di esistenza delle persone sul territorio e all’interno della comunità, e di favorire dinamiche di interazione e cooperazione indipendenti da distinzioni legate alla provenienza e alla nazionalità.

      È in questo senso che evolve in questi ultimi anni la configurazione politica delle città rifugio (città accoglienti, città dell’asilo, città santuario, …), che si fonda precisamente sulla volontà e la capacità delle amministrazioni e delle comunità locali di pensare forme di accoglienza che superino le forme di gestione/ricezione legate ad una nozione di asilo sempre più sacrificate all’altare della geopolitica internazionale e delle politiche di esternalizzazione della UE.

      Se da un lato dunque occorre difendere il diritto d’asilo, e anzi incentivarlo ed aggiornarlo rispetto ad un orizzonte globalizzato, dall’altra è necessario resistere alla gestione differenziale della mobilità umana da una parte, rivendicando per tutti il diritto di movimento e di installazione, da combinare all’invenzione di nuove forme di coabitazione e accoglienza legate alla residenza e alla presenza sul territorio più che a origini nazionali e rivendicazioni identitarie.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/Una-riflessione-sul-rapporto-tra-migrazione-e-sicurezza-a.html
      #droit_d'asile #asile #justice #Scandicci #Testo_Unico_Immigrazione #jurisprudence #sécurité #prima_i_nostri #frontières #externalisation #peur #accueil #résistance #citoyenneté #nationalité #menace #droits #villes-refuge #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation

  • EU: Damning draft report on the implementation of the Return Directive

    Tineke Strik, the Green MEP responsible for overseeing the passage through the European Parliament of the ’recast Return Directive’, which governs certain common procedures regarding the detention and expulsion of non-EU nationals, has prepared a report on the implementation of the original 2008 Return Directive. It criticises the Commission’s emphasis, since 2017, on punitive enforcement measures, at the expense of alternatives that have not been fully explored or implemented by the Commission or the member states, despite the 2008 legislation providing for them.

    See: DRAFT REPORT on the implementation of the Return Directive (2019/2208(INI)): https://www.statewatch.org/media/documents/news/2020/jun/ep-libe-returns-directive-implementation-draft-rep-9-6-20.pdf

    From the explanatory statement:

    “This Report, highlighting several gaps in the implementation of the Return Directive, is not intended to substitute the still overdue fully-fledged implementation assessment of the Commission. It calls on Member States to ensure compliance with the Return Directive and on the Commission to ensure timely and proper monitoring and support for its implementation, and to enforce compliance if necessary.

    (...)

    With a view to the dual objective of the Return Directive, notably promoting effective returns and ensuring that returns comply with fundamental rights and procedural safeguards, this Report shows that the Directive allows for and supports effective returns, but that most factors impeding effective return are absent in the current discourse, as the effectiveness is mainly stressed and understood as return rate.”

    Parliamentary procedure page: Implementation report on the Return Directive (European Parliament, link: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2019/2208(INI)&l=en)

    https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-damning-draft-report-on-the-implementation-of-the-return-directive
    #Directive_Retour #EU #Europe #Union_européenne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #rétention #détention_administrative #évaluation #identification #efficacité #2008_Return_Directive #régimes_parallèles #retour_volontaire #déboutés #sans-papiers #permis_de_résidence #régularisation #proportionnalité #principe_de_proportionnalité #AVR_programmes #AVR #interdiction_d'entrée_sur_le_territoire #externalisation #Gambie #Bangladesh #Turquie #Ethiopie #Afghanistan #Guinée #Côte_d'Ivoire #droits_humains #Tineke_Strik #risque_de_fuite #fuite #accord #réadmission

    –—

    Quelques passages intéressants tirés du rapport:

    The study shows that Member States make use of the possibility offered in Article 2(2)(a) not to apply the Directive in “border cases”, by creating parallel regimes, where procedures falling outside the scope of the Directive offer less safeguards compared to the regular return procedure, for instance no voluntary return term, no suspensive effect of an appeal and less restrictions on the length of detention. This lower level of protection gives serious reasons for concern, as the fact that border situations may remain outside the scope of the Directive also enhances the risks of push backs and refoulement. (...) Your Rapporteur considers that it is key to ensure a proper assessment of the risk of refoulement prior to the issuance of a return decision. This already takes place in Sweden and France. Although unaccompanied minors are rarely returned, most Member States do not officially ban their return. Their being subject to a return procedure adds vulnerability to their situation, due to the lack of safeguards and legal certainty.

    (p.4)
    #frontières #zones_frontalières #push-backs #refoulement

    Sur les #statistiques et #chiffres de #Eurostat:

    According to Eurostat, Member States issued over 490.000 return decisions in 2019, of which 85% were issued by the ten Member States under the current study. These figures are less reliable then they seem, due to the divergent practices. In some Member States, migrants are issued with a return decision more than once, children are not issued a decision separately, and refusals at the border are excluded.

    Statistics on the percentage of departure being voluntary show significant varieties between the Member States: from 96% in Poland to 7% in Spain and Italy. Germany and the Netherlands have reported not being able to collect data of non-assisted voluntary returns, which is remarkable in the light of the information provided by other Member States. According to Frontex, almost half of the departures are voluntary.

    (p.5)

    As Article 7(4) is often applied in an automatic way, and as the voluntary departure period is often insufficient to organise the departure, many returnees are automatically subject to an entry ban. Due to the different interpretations of a risk of absconding, the scope of the mandatory imposition of an entry ban may vary considerably between the countries. The legislation and practice in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands and Sweden provides for an automatic entry ban if the term for voluntary departure was not granted or respected by the returnee and in other cases, the imposition is optional. In Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria however, legislation or practice provides for an automatic imposition of entry bans in all cases, including cases in which the returnee has left during the voluntary departure period. Also in the Netherlands, migrants with a voluntary departure term can be issued with an entry ban before the term is expired. This raises questions on the purpose and effectiveness of imposing an entry ban, as it can have a discouraging effect if imposed at an early stage. Why leave the territory in time on a voluntary basis if that is not rewarded with the possibility to re-enter? This approach is also at odds with the administrative and non-punitive approach taken in the Directive.

    (p.6)

    National legislation transposing the definition of “risk of absconding” significantly differs, and while several Member States have long lists of criteria which justify finding a risk of absconding (Belgium has 11, France 8, Germany 7, The Netherlands 19), other Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland) do not enumerate the criteria in an exhaustive manner. A broad legal basis for detention allows detention to be imposed in a systematic manner, while individual circumstances are marginally assessed. National practices highlighted in this context also confirm previous studies that most returns take place in the first few weeks and that longer detention hardly has an added value.

    (p.6)

    In its 2016 Communication on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission recognised that cooperation with third countries is essential in ensuring effective and sustainable returns. Since the adoption of this Communication, several informal arrangements have been concluded with third countries, including Gambia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The Rapporteur regrets that such informal deals are concluded in the complete absence of duly parliamentary scrutiny and democratic and judicial oversight that according to the Treaties the conclusion of formal readmission agreements would warrant.

    (p.7)

    With the informalisation of cooperation with third countries in the field of migration, including with transit countries, also came an increased emphasis on conditionality in terms of return and readmission. The Rapporteur is concerned that funding earmarked for development cooperation is increasingly being redirected away from development and poverty eradication goals.

    (p.7)
    #développement #aide_au_développement #conditionnalité_de_l'aide

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @i_s_ @karine4 @rhoumour

  • Asylum Outsourced : McKinsey’s Secret Role in Europe’s Refugee Crisis

    In 2016 and 2017, US management consultancy giant #McKinsey was at the heart of efforts in Europe to accelerate the processing of asylum applications on over-crowded Greek islands and salvage a controversial deal with Turkey, raising concerns over the outsourcing of public policy on refugees.

    The language was more corporate boardroom than humanitarian crisis – promises of ‘targeted strategies’, ‘maximising productivity’ and a ‘streamlined end-to-end asylum process.’

    But in 2016 this was precisely what the men and women of McKinsey&Company, the elite US management consultancy, were offering the European Union bureaucrats struggling to set in motion a pact with Turkey to stem the flow of asylum seekers to the continent’s shores.

    In March of that year, the EU had agreed to pay Turkey six billion euros if it would take back asylum seekers who had reached Greece – many of them fleeing fighting in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – and prevent others from trying to cross its borders.

    The pact – which human rights groups said put at risk the very right to seek refuge – was deeply controversial, but so too is the previously unknown extent of McKinsey’s influence over its implementation, and the lengths some EU bodies went to conceal that role.

    According to the findings of this investigation, months of ‘pro bono’ fieldwork by McKinsey fed, sometimes verbatim, into the highest levels of EU policy-making regarding how to make the pact work on the ground, and earned the consultancy a contract – awarded directly, without competition – worth almost one million euros to help enact that very same policy.

    The bloc’s own internal procurement watchdog later deemed the contract “irregular”.

    Questions have already been asked about McKinsey’s input in 2015 into German efforts to speed up its own turnover of asylum applications, with concerns expressed about rights being denied to those applying.

    This investigation, based on documents sought since November 2017, sheds new light on the extent to which private management consultants shaped Europe’s handling of the crisis on the ground, and how bureaucrats tried to keep that role under wraps.

    “If some companies develop programs which then turn into political decisions, this is a political issue of concern that should be examined carefully,” said German MEP Daniel Freund, a member of the European Parliament’s budget committee and a former Head of Advocacy for EU Integrity at Transparency International.

    “Especially if the same companies have afterwards been awarded with follow-up contracts not following due procedures.”

    Deal too important to fail

    The March 2016 deal was the culmination of an epic geopolitical thriller played out in Brussels, Ankara and a host of European capitals after more than 850,000 people – mainly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans – took to the Aegean by boat and dinghy from Turkey to Greece the previous year.

    Turkey, which hosts some 3.5 million refugees from the nine-year-old war in neighbouring Syria, committed to take back all irregular asylum seekers who travelled across its territory in return for billions of euros in aid, EU visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens and revived negotiations on Turkish accession to the bloc. It also provided for the resettlement in Europe of one Syrian refugee from Turkey for each Syrian returned to Turkey from Greece.

    The EU hailed it as a blueprint, but rights groups said it set a dangerous precedent, resting on the premise that Turkey is a ‘safe third country’ to which asylum seekers can be returned, despite a host of rights that it denies foreigners seeking protection.

    The deal helped cut crossings over the Aegean, but it soon became clear that other parts were not delivering; the centrepiece was an accelerated border procedure for handling asylum applications within 15 days, including appeal. This wasn’t working, while new movement restrictions meant asylum seekers were stuck on Greek islands.

    But for the EU, the deal was too important to be derailed.

    “The directions from the European Commission, and those behind it, was that Greece had to implement the EU-Turkey deal full-stop, no matter the legal arguments or procedural issue you might raise,” said Marianna Tzeferakou, a lawyer who was part of a legal challenge to the notion that Turkey is a safe place to seek refuge.

    “Someone gave an order that this deal will start being implemented. Ambiguity and regulatory arbitrage led to a collapse of procedural guarantees. It was a political decision and could not be allowed to fail.”

    Enter McKinsey.

    Action plans emerge simultaneously

    Fresh from advising Germany on how to speed up the processing of asylum applications, the firm’s consultants were already on the ground doing research in Greece in the summer of 2016, according to two sources working with the Greek asylum service, GAS, at the time but who did not wish to be named.

    Documents seen by BIRN show that the consultancy was already in “initial discussions” with an EU body called the ‘Structural Reform Support Service’, SRSS, which aids member states in designing and implementing structural reforms and was at the time headed by Dutchman Maarten Verwey. Verwey was simultaneously EU coordinator for the EU-Turkey deal and is now the EU’s director general of economic and financial affairs, though he also remains acting head of SRSS.

    Asked for details of these ‘discussions’, Verwey responded that the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – “does not hold any other documents” concerning the matter.

    Nevertheless, by September 2016, McKinsey had a pro bono proposal on the table for how it could help out, entitled ‘Supporting the European Commission through integrated refugee management.’ Verwey signed off on it in October.

    Minutes of management board meetings of the European Asylum Support Office, EASO – the EU’s asylum agency – show McKinsey was tasked by the Commission to “analyse the situation on the Greek islands and come up with an action plan that would result in an elimination of the backlog” of asylum cases by April 2017.

    A spokesperson for the Commission told BIRN: “McKinsey volunteered to work free of charge to improve the functioning of the Greek asylum and reception system.”

    Over the next 12 weeks, according to other redacted documents, McKinsey worked with all the major actors involved – the SRSS, EASO, the EU border agency Frontex as well as Greek authorities.

    At bi-weekly stakeholder meetings, McKinsey identified “bottlenecks” in the asylum process and began to outline a series of measures to reduce the backlog, some of which were already being tested in a “mini-pilot” on the Greek island of Chios.

    At a first meeting in mid-October, McKinsey consultants told those present that “processing rates” of asylum cases by the EASO and the Greek asylum service, as well as appeals bodies, would need to significantly increase.

    By December, McKinsey’s “action plan” was ready, involving “targeted strategies and recommendations” for each actor involved.

    The same month, on December 8, Verwey released the EU’s own Joint Action Plan for implementing the EU-Turkey deal, which was endorsed by the EU’s heads of government on December 15.

    There was no mention of any McKinsey involvement and when asked about the company’s role the Commission told BIRN the plan was “a document elaborated together between the Commission and the Greek authorities.”

    However, buried in the EASO’s 2017 Annual Report is a reference to European Council endorsement of “the consultancy action plan” to clear the asylum backlog.

    Indeed, the similarities between McKinsey’s plan and the EU’s Joint Action Plan are uncanny, particularly in terms of increasing detention capacity on the islands, “segmentation” of cases, ramping up numbers of EASO and GAS caseworkers and interpreters and Frontex escort officers, limiting the number of appeal steps in the asylum process and changing the way appeals are processed and opinions drafted.

    In several instances, they are almost identical: where McKinsey recommends introducing “overarching segmentation by case types to increase speed and quality”, for example, the EU’s Joint Action Plan calls for “segmentation by case categories to increase speed and quality”.

    Much of what McKinsey did for the SRSS remains redacted.

    In June 2019, the Commission justified the non-disclosure on the basis that the information would pose a “risk” to “public security” as it could allegedly “be exploited by third parties (for example smuggling networks)”.

    Full disclosure, it argued, would risk “seriously undermining the commercial interests” of McKinsey.

    “While I understand that there could indeed be a private and public interest in the subject matter covered by the documents requested, I consider that such a public interest in transparency would not, in this case, outweigh the need to protect the commercial interests of the company concerned,” Martin Selmayr, then secretary-general of the European Commission, wrote.

    SRSS rejected the suggestion that the fact that Verwey refused to fully disclose the McKinsey proposal he had signed off on in October 2016 represented a possible conflict of interest, according to internal documents obtained during this investigation.

    Once Europe’s leaders had endorsed the Joint Action Plan, EASO was asked to “conclude a direct contract with McKinsey” to assist in its implementation, according to EASO management board minutes.

    ‘Political pressure’

    The contract, worth 992,000 euros, came with an attached ‘exception note’ signed on January 20, 2017, by EASO’s Executive Director at the time, Jose Carreira, and Joanna Darmanin, the agency’s then head of operations. The note stated that “due to the time constraints and the political pressure it was deemed necessary to proceed with the contract to be signed without following the necessary procurement procedure”.

    The following year, an audit of EASO yearly accounts by the European Court of Auditors, ECA, which audits EU finances, found that “a single pre-selected economic operator” had been awarded work without the application of “any of the procurement procedures” laid down under EU regulations, designed to encourage transparency and competition.

    “Therefore, the public procurement procedure and all related payments (992,000 euros) were irregular,” it said.

    The auditor’s report does not name McKinsey. But it does specify that the “irregular” contract concerned the EASO’s hiring of a consultancy for implementation of the action plan in Greece; the amount cited by the auditor exactly matches the one in the McKinsey contract, while a spokesman for the EASO indirectly confirmed the contracts concerned were one and the same.

    When asked about the McKinsey contract, the spokesman, Anis Cassar, said: “EASO does not comment on specifics relating to individual contracts, particularly where the ECA is concerned. However, as you note, ECA found that the particular procurement procedure was irregular (not illegal).”

    “The procurement was carried under [sic] exceptional procurement rules in the context of the pressing requests by the relevant EU Institutions and Member States,” said EASO spokesman Anis Cassar.

    McKinsey’s deputy head of Global Media Relations, Graham Ackerman, said the company was unable to provide any further details.

    “In line with our firm’s values and confidentiality policy, we do not publicly discuss our clients or details of our client service,” Ackerman told BIRN.

    ‘Evaluation, feedback, goal-setting’

    It was not the first time questions had been asked of the EASO’s procurement record.

    In October 2017, the EU’s fraud watchdog, OLAF, launched a probe into the agency (https://www.politico.eu/article/jose-carreira-olaf-anti-fraud-office-investigates-eu-asylum-agency-director), chiefly concerning irregularities identified in 2016. It contributed to the resignation in June 2018 of Carreira (https://www.politico.eu/article/jose-carreira-easo-under-investigation-director-of-eu-asylum-agency-steps-d), who co-signed the ‘exception note’ on the McKinsey contract. The investigation eventually uncovered wrongdoings ranging from breaches of procurement rules to staff harassment (https://www.politico.eu/article/watchdog-finds-misconduct-at-european-asylum-support-office-harassment), Politico reported in November 2018.

    According to the EASO, the McKinsey contract was not part of OLAF’s investigation. OLAF said it could not comment.

    McKinsey’s work went ahead, running from January until April 2017, the point by which the EU wanted the backlog of asylum cases “eliminated” and the burden on overcrowded Greek islands lifted.

    Overseeing the project was a steering committee comprised of Verwey, Carreira, McKinsey staff and senior Greek and European Commission officials.

    The details of McKinsey’s operation are contained in a report it submitted in May 2017.

    The EASO initially refused to release the report, citing its “sensitive and restrictive nature”. Its disclosure, the agency said, would “undermine the protection of public security and international relations, as well as the commercial interests and intellectual property of McKinsey & Company.”

    The response was signed by Carreira.

    Only after a reporter on this story complained to the EU Ombudsman, did the EASO agree to disclose several sections of the report.

    Running to over 1,500 pages, the disclosed material provides a unique insight into the role of a major private consultancy in what has traditionally been the realm of public policy – the right to asylum.

    In the jargon of management consultancy, the driving logic of McKinsey’s intervention was “maximising productivity” – getting as many asylum cases processed as quickly as possible, whether they result in transfers to the Greek mainland, in the case of approved applications, or the deportation of “returnable migrants” to Turkey.

    “Performance management systems” were introduced to encourage speed, while mechanisms were created to “monitor” the weekly “output” of committees hearing the appeals of rejected asylum seekers.

    Time spent training caseworkers and interviewers before they were deployed was to be reduced, IT support for the Greek bureaucracy was stepped up and police were instructed to “detain migrants immediately after they are notified of returnable status,” i.e. as soon as their asylum applications were rejected.

    Four employees of the Greek asylum agency at the time told BIRN that McKinsey had access to agency staff, but said the consultancy’s approach jarred with the reality of the situation on the ground.

    Taking part in a “leadership training” course held by McKinsey, one former employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told BIRN: “It felt so incompatible with the mentality of a public service operating in a camp for asylum seekers.”

    The official said much of what McKinsey was proposing had already been considered and either implemented or rejected by GAS.

    “The main ideas of how to organise our work had already been initiated by the HQ of GAS,” the official said. “The only thing McKinsey added were corporate methods of evaluation, feedback, setting goals, and initiatives that didn’t add anything meaningful.”

    Indeed, the backlog was proving hard to budge.

    Throughout successive “progress updates”, McKinsey repeatedly warned the steering committee that productivity “levels are insufficient to reach target”. By its own admission, deportations never surpassed 50 a week during the period of its contract. The target was 340.

    In its final May 2017 report, McKinsey touted its success in “reducing total process duration” of the asylum procedure to a mere 11 days, down from an average of 170 days in February 2017.

    Yet thousands of asylum seekers remained trapped in overcrowded island camps for months on end.

    While McKinsey claimed that the population of asylum seekers on the island was cut to 6,000 by April 2017, pending “data verification” by Greek authorities, Greek government figures put the number at 12,822, just around 1,500 fewer than in January when McKinsey got its contract.

    The winter was harsh; organisations working with asylum seekers documented a series of accidents in which a number of people were harmed or killed, with insufficient or no investigation undertaken by Greek authorities (https://www.proasyl.de/en/news/greek-hotspots-deaths-not-to-be-forgotten).

    McKinsey’s final report tallied 40 field visits and more than 200 meetings and workshops on the islands. It also, interestingly, counted 21 weekly steering committee meetings “since October 2016” – connecting McKinsey’s 2016 pro bono work and the 2017 period it worked under contract with the EASO. Indeed, in its “project summary”, McKinsey states it was “invited” to work on both the “development” and “implementation” of the action plan in Greece.

    The Commission, however, in its response to this investigation, insisted it did not “pre-select” McKinsey for the 2017 work or ask EASO to sign a contract with the firm.

    Smarting from military losses in Syria and political setbacks at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tore up the deal with the EU in late February this year, accusing Brussels of failing to fulfil its side of the bargain. But even before the deal’s collapse, 7,000 refugees and migrants reached Greek shores in the first two months of 2020, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

    German link

    This was not the first time that the famed consultancy firm had left its mark on Europe’s handling of the crisis.

    In what became a political scandal (https://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/bamf-skandal-im-news-ticker-jetzt-muessen-sich-seehofer-und-cordt-den-fragen-d), the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, according to reports, paid McKinsey more than €45 million (https://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/politik/Millionenzahlungen-Was-hat-McKinsey-beim-Bamf-gemacht-id512950) to help clear a backlog of more than 270,000 asylum applications and to shorten the asylum process.

    German media reports said the sum included 3.9 million euros for “Integrated Refugee Management”, the same phrase McKinsey pitched to the EU in September 2016.

    The parallels don’t end there.

    Much like the contract McKinsey clinched with the EASO in January 2017, German media reports have revealed that more than half of the sum paid to the consultancy for its work in Germany was awarded outside of normal public procurement procedures on the grounds of “urgency”. Der Spiegel (https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/fluechtlinge-in-deutschland-mckinsey-erhielt-mehr-als-20-millionen-euro-a-11) reported that the firm also did hundreds of hours of pro bono work prior to clinching the contract. McKinsey denied that it worked for free in order to win future federal contracts.

    Again, the details were classified as confidential.

    Arne Semsrott, director of the German transparency NGO FragdenStaat, which investigated McKinsey’s work in Germany, said the lack of transparency in such cases was costing European taxpayers money and control.

    Asked about German and EU efforts to keep the details of such outsourcing secret, Semsrott told BIRN: “The lack of transparency means the public spending more money on McKinsey and other consulting firms. And this lack of transparency also means that we have a lack of public control over what is actually happening.”

    Sources familiar with the decision-making in Athens identified Solveigh Hieronimus, a McKinsey partner based in Munich, as the coordinator of the company’s team on the EASO contract in Greece. Hieronimus was central in pitching the company’s services to the German government, according to German media reports (https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-147594782.html).

    Hieronimus did not respond to BIRN questions submitted by email.

    Freund, the German MEP formerly of Transparency International, said McKinsey’s role in Greece was a cause for concern.

    “It is not ideal if positions adopted by the [European] Council are in any way affected by outside businesses,” he told BIRN. “These decisions should be made by politicians based on legal analysis and competent independent advice.”

    A reporter on this story again complained to the EU Ombudsman in July 2019 regarding the Commission’s refusal to disclose further details of its dealings with McKinsey.

    In November, the Ombudsman told the Commission that “the substance of the funded project, especially the work packages and deliverable of the project[…] should be fully disclosed”, citing the principle that “the public has a right to be informed about the content of projects that are financed by public money.” The Ombudsman rejected the Commission’s argument that partial disclosure would undermine the commercial interests of McKinsey.

    Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen responded that the Commission “respectfully disagrees” with the Ombudsman. The material concerned, she wrote, “contains sensitive information on the business strategies and the commercial relations of the company concerned.”

    The president of the Commission has had dealings with McKinsey before; in February, von der Leyen testified before a special Bundestag committee concerning contracts worth tens of millions of euros that were awarded to external consultants, including McKinsey, during her time as German defence minister in 2013-2019.

    In 2018, Germany’s Federal Audit Office said procedures for the award of some contracts had not been strictly lawful or cost-effective. Von der Leyen acknowledged irregularities had occurred but said that much had been done to fix the shortcomings (https://www.ft.com/content/4634a3ea-4e71-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5).

    She was also questioned about her 2014 appointment of Katrin Suder, a McKinsey executive, as state secretary tasked with reforming the Bundeswehr’s system of procurement. Asked if Suder, who left the ministry in 2018, had influenced the process of awarding contracts, von der Leyen said she assumed not. Decisions like that were taken “way below my pay level,” she said.

    In its report, Germany’s governing parties absolved von der Leyen of blame, Politico reported on June 9 (https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyen-german-governing-parties-contracting-scandal).

    The EU Ombudsman is yet to respond to the Commission’s refusal to grant further access to the McKinsey documents.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2020/06/22/asylum-outsourced-mckinseys-secret-role-in-europes-refugee-crisis
    #accord_UE-Turquie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #privatisation #sous-traitance #Turquie #EU #UE #Union_européenne #Grèce #frontières #Allemagne #EASO #Structural_Reform_Support_Service (#SRSS) #Maarten_Verwey #Frontex #Chios #consultancy #Joint_Action_Plan #Martin_Selmayr #chronologie #Jose_Carreira #Joanna_Darmanin #privatisation #management #productivité #leadership_training #îles #Mer_Egée #Integrated_Refugee_Management #pro_bono #transparence #Solveigh_Hieronimus #Katrin_Suder

    ping @_kg_ @karine4 @isskein @rhoumour @reka

  • Protéger et contrôler : les deux visages du #HCR

    Pour qui s’intéresse aux questions migratoires au travers des reportages des médias non spécialisés, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (#HCR) apparaît comme une ONG, alors qu’il s’agit d’une agence onusienne et que plus de 85% de son #budget provient de contributions étatiques. Son point de vue est ainsi régulièrement convoqué pour contrebalancer les discours hostiles aux réfugié·e·s. Pour le HCR, qui fait appel à la générosité du public, la #communication est d’ailleurs centrale.

    Les déclarations du HCR, destinées à être reprises par la presse, sont conçues pour ne pas heurter ses principaux donateurs. Ce sont donc ses #non-dits qui doivent être décryptés. Ainsi, en février 2020, en réaction à la situation dramatique des réfugié·e·s maintenu·e·s dans les #hotspots grecs, le HCR demandait une « action décisive pour mettre fin aux conditions alarmantes dans les îles de la mer Égée ». Mais le terme de hotspot ne figure pas dans le communiqué, le HCR lui préférant l’euphémisme « centre de réception » ; et, s’il en appelle aux responsabilités du gouvernement grec, il passe sous silence celles de l’Union européenne (UE), qui a inventé la « #solution_hotspot » en 2015, dont le HCR est lui-même partie prenante depuis l’origine. De même, pour expliquer, au début de l’année 2020, que « la #Libye n’est pas un pays sûr, ni une terre d’asile », la porte-parole du HCR évoque le contexte politique chaotique dans le pays.

    Mais elle ne fait aucune allusion aux efforts menés depuis des années par les pays européens pour empêcher les exilé·e·s de prendre la mer, les condamnant à être les otages des milices.

    Partagé entre sa mission et les injonctions de ses #bailleurs, le HCR ne peut être considéré comme un lanceur d’alerte, ni même un acteur humanitaire : sa présence dans les îles grecques comme en Libye tient à ce qu’il a été acteur du processus de #mise_à_distance et de #tri des exilé·e·s prôné par l’UE. Dès lors, ses cris d’alarmes, aussi sporadiques qu’inconséquents, n’offrent pas de secours véritable aux femmes et aux hommes que la #convention_de_Genève ne protège plus.

    http://www.migreurop.org/article2991

    #protection #réfugiés #asile #migrations #ONU #contrôle #externalisation #mots #vocabulaire #terminologie

    Pour télécharger la note de #Migreurop en pdf :
    http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/note_11_fr.pdf

    ping @rhoumour @karine4 @_kg_

  • Politiques du non-accueil en #Tunisie : des acteurs humanitaires au service des politiques sécuritaires européennes

    « La réponse est claire : c’est non […] Nous n’avons ni les capacités ni les moyens d’organiser [des] centres de rétention » [1]. C’est par ces mots qu’en juin 2018, Tahar Chérif, ambassadeur tunisien auprès de l’Union européenne, réitérait le refus de la Tunisie d’accueillir sur son sol des camps où seraient « stocké·e·s » les migrant·e·s dont l’Union européenne ne veut pas. Ce refus faisait suite à la proposition de la Commission européenne d’installer en Afrique du Nord des « plateformes de débarquement » pour les migrant·e·s secouru·e·s dans les eaux internationales, faute d’accord entre les États européens pour se répartir la charge de leur accueil, alors que l’Italie annonçait la fermeture de ses ports. Mais si la Tunisie, aux côtés des autres pays africains, rejetait haut et fort le plan de la Commission et continuait à soutenir que jamais elle ne consentirait à devenir le garde-frontières de l’Union européenne, cela fait en réalité longtemps qu’elle accepte divers outils destinés au contrôle des migrant·e·s d’Afrique subsaharienne [2] sur son territoire. Après l’échec de l’approche régionale des plateformes de débarquement, l’Union européenne semble avoir pris le parti de mettre en place des #arrangements de #contrôle_migratoire fragmentés et progressifs, dont la Tunisie est le candidat privilégié. À mesure que la situation sécuritaire en Libye se dégrade [3], elle semble en effet devenir la nouvelle cible de la stratégie européenne d’#externalisation_des_frontières, et accumule progressivement les ingrédients qui tendent à la transformer en #zone_de_contrôle_migratoire.

    Mais si la Tunisie offre une meilleure image en termes d’accueil pour ces populations migrantes que la Libye, l’expérience vécue par les migrant·es semble tout autre. « Vivre en Tunisie, ce n’est plus possible. Je dois repartir en Libye ». En ce début d’année 2020, cette phrase est dans la bouche de plus en plus de personnes migrantes, pourtant venues trouver refuge en Tunisie après leur expérience libyenne. Alors qu’en Libye les affrontements reprennent de plus belle, comment peut-on donc expliquer que des dizaines, voire des centaines de personnes quittent un pays en paix et ayant la réputation d’être plus ou moins hospitalier [4], pour un pays en plein chaos et extrêmement dangereux pour elles ? C’est de cette question et du constat répété du « #non-accueil » des personnes migrantes sur le sol tunisien qu’est partie cette recherche de trois mois sur les politiques de gestions des migrations en Tunisie.

    Le présent rapport tente de documenter ces politiques de « non-accueil », tout en les inscrivant dans le contexte plus large des politiques d’externalisation des frontières de l’Union européenne et en accordant une attention particulière à la manière dont ces politiques, dans le contexte tunisien, mêlent étroitement registres #humanitaire et #sécuritaire.

    Ce rapport a été réalisé entre octobre et décembre 2019 en partenariat entre le Forum Tunisien des Droits Économiques et Sociaux et le réseau euro-africain Migreurop. Il s’appuie sur plus de 90 entretiens avec des personnes migrantes (35 entretiens avec des exilé·e·s basé·e·s en Tunisie représentant 16 nationalités différentes), et des représentant·e·s d’organisations et d’organismes locaux et internationaux, ainsi qu’avec des chercheurs et chercheuses, et des journalistes.

    http://www.migreurop.org/article2992.html

    Pour télécharger le rapport :
    http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/politiques_du_non-accueil_en_tunisie_f.pdf

    #rapport #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Migreurop #externalisation #centres_de_rétention #rétention #camps #détention_administrative

    –—

    Sur les #plateformes_de_désembarquement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/703288

    #disembarkation_paltforms #plateformes_de_débarquement

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    ping @_kg_ @isskein

  • #EU #Development #Cooperation with #Sub-Saharan #Africa 2013-2018: Policies, funding, results

    How have EU overall development policies and the EU’s overall policies vis-à-vis Sub-Saharan Africa in particular evolved in the period 2013-2018 and what explains the developments that have taken place?2. How has EU development spending in Sub-Saharan Africa developed in the period 2013-2018 and what explains these developments?3.What is known of the results accomplished by EU development aid in Sub-Saharan Africa and what explains these accomplishments?

    This study analyses these questions on the basis of a comprehensive desk review of key EU policy documents, data on EU development cooperation as well as available evaluation material of the EU institutionson EU external assistance. While broad in coverage, the study pays particular attention to EU policies and development spending in specific areas that are priority themes for the Dutch government as communicated to the parliament.

    Authors: Alexei Jones, Niels Keijzer, Ina Friesen and Pauline Veron, study for the evaluation department (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, May 2020

    = https://ecdpm.org/publications/eu-development-cooperation-sub-saharan-africa-2013-2018-policies-funding-resu

  • EU proposes to ’top up support’ for refugees in Turkey

    The European Commission on June 3 proposes to release a payment of €485 million ($545 million) for Turkey to support Syrian refugees in 2020.

    The institution presented a budget amendment on June 3 suggesting “to top up support for refugees and host communities in response to the Syria crisis by a total of €585 million.”

    €100 million ($112 million) will be allocated to Jordan and Lebanon, while Turkey receives the rest.

    The proposal reflects the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic “with no immediate end in sight of the Syrian crisis”, EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood Oliver Varhelyi explained in a statement.

    “The European Union continues to show strong solidarity with our partner countries Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, as well as with the refugees they are hosting”, he added.

    According to the plan, €485 million transfer will extend the functioning of two established programs in Turkey until the end of the next year.

    The program, #Emergency_Social_Safety_Net, provides monthly financial assistance to more than 1.7 million refugees.

    The other one, #Conditional_Cash_Transfers, helps over 600,000 refugee children to attend school.

    The funding is part of 2016 EU-Turkey deal, meant to stop irregular refugee flows and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

    The EU had pledged €6 billion ($6.5 billion) aid for the refugees.

    According to EU’s latest data, all operational funds have been committed, €4.7 billion ($5.3 billion) contracted and €3.4 billion ($3.8 billion) disbursed.

    In previous communications, the EU promised to pay €4 billion ($4.5 billion) by 2020.

    If the current proposal is approved by the European Parliament and the EU member states, the €485 million will top up the €4 billion.

    The full €6 billion amount is expected to be paid by 2025.

    Turkey currently hosts 3.58 million Syrian refugees, more than any country in the world.

    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-proposes-to-top-up-support-for-refugees-in-turkey-155326
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #EU #UE #Union_européenne #Turquie #aide_financière #réfugiés_syriens #Liban #Jordanie #accord_UE-Turquie #budget #2020

    ping @rhoumour @karine4 @isskein

  • Chronique Monde | #Mauritanie. Un partenariat européen au goût amer

    La Mauritanie fait figure d’exception au Sahel pour sa relative stabilité. Contrairement à d’autres États de la région, ce pays grand comme presque deux fois la France, à cheval entre le Maghreb et l’Afrique subsaharienne, n’a pas connu d’attentat terroriste depuis 2011. Dans ce contexte, Nouakchott est devenu un partenaire de choix dans le cadre de la lutte internationale contre le terrorisme et l’immigration irrégulière. Face à de tels impératifs, le respect des droits humains sur place passe largement au second plan.

    Tour d’horizon des droits humains

    Depuis le 1er août 2019, la Mauritanie est dirigée par Mohamed Ould El-Ghazaouani. Même si son élection au premier tour est contestée par l’opposition, elle marque la première transition présidentielle pacifique de l’histoire politique mauritanienne. Lors de son investiture, Amnesty International a qualifié de « déplorable » le bilan en matière de droits humains laissé par son prédécesseur, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, citant notamment l’esclavage, les discriminations raciales ainsi que les atteintes à la liberté d’expression, d’association et de réunion.

    Même si l’esclavage a été officiellement aboli en 1981, criminalisé en 2007 et élevé au rang de crime contre l’humanité en 2012, sa pratique touchait environ 43000 personnes en 2016. Dans le même temps, Haratines et Afro- Mauritanien-ne-s restent largement exclu·e·s des postes de responsabilité et donc moins susceptibles de faire valoir leurs droits économiques et sociaux. Depuis l’indépendance, la quasi-totalité des pouvoirs politiques, militaires et économiques est détenue par les Beydanes, une communauté elle-même extrêmement hiérarchisée.

    Celles et ceux qui s’attaquent à ces questions sensibles s’exposent aux représailles de la part de l’État. L’exemple le plus parlant est celui du blogueur Mohamed Ould Mkhaïtir, condamné à mort en 2014 pour « apostasie » après avoir dénoncé l’usage de la religion pour légitimer les pratiques discriminatoires dont est victime la communauté dite des forgerons. Sa peine a depuis été réduite à deux années de prison et il vit actuellement en exil après avoir été libéré en juillet 2019.

    Une tradition d’hospitalité remise en cause

    La Mauritanie est à la fois un pays de transit pour les réfugié-e-s et les migrant-e-s qui se rendent en Afrique du Nord et en Europe et un pays de destination pour celles et ceux à la recherche d’emplois saisonniers dans les secteurs de la pêche et de l’industrie minière ou d’une protection internationale. Signataire de la Convention relative au statut des réfugiés, la Mauritanie a ouvert ses portes en 2012 à plus de 55000 réfugié-e-s malien-ne-s installé-e-s dans le camp de Mbera situé non loin de la frontière malienne.

    Cette politique d’accueil doit néanmoins être nuancée à la lumière de l’externalisation des frontières européennes. L’#Union_européenne (UE) a fait pression sur la Mauritanie pour qu’elle signe en 2003 un #accord_de_réadmission avec l’Espagne qui l’oblige à reprendre sur son territoire non seulement ses nationaux, mais également les ressortissant-e-s de pays tiers dont il est « vérifié » ou « présumé » qu’ils ou elles auraient transité par le territoire mauritanien. Un #centre_de_rétention avait été mis sur pied à #Nouadhibou avec l’aide de l’#Espagne. Il est aujourd’hui fermé (voir VE 135 / décembre 2011 : https://asile.ch/chronique/mauritanie-nouvelle-frontiere-de-leurope).

    Parallèlement, la Mauritanie a reçu entre 2007 et 2013 huit millions d’euros dans le cadre du #Fonds_européen_de_développement afin d’« appuyer et de renforcer les capacités de gestion, de suivi et de planification des flux migratoires » à travers notamment la révision du dispositif pénal relatif aux migrations.

    Résultat : la politique migratoire s’est durcie durant la présidence Aziz. Les autorités ont multiplié les contrôles aux frontières, placé en détention et renvoyé de force des milliers de personnes et soumis certaines d’entre elles à des tortures et mauvais traitements.

    L’ensemble de ces mesures a contribué à déplacer les routes migratoires vers le désert du #Sahara et la #Méditerranée_centrale. Le nombre d’arrivées dans l’archipel espagnol des #Canaries en provenance des côtes mauritaniennes a chuté de 30 000 à moins d’un millier entre 2006 et 2015.

    Cette dynamique est néanmoins en train de s’inverser à mesure que la #Libye apparaît comme une zone de plus en plus inhospitalière. Cette reconfiguration préfigure une recrudescence des naufrages dans l’#Atlantique faute de voies migratoires sûres. Le 4 décembre 2019, une embarcation de fortune partie de #Gambie a sombré au large de #Nouadhibou provoquant la mort d’une soixantaine de personnes.

    https://asile.ch/2020/04/17/chronique-monde-mauritanie-un-partenariat-europeen-au-gout-amer
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UE #EU #aide_au_développement #développement #coopération_au_développement #contrôles_frontaliers #routes_migratoires
    via @vivre
    ping @rhoumour @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste « externalisation » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765327

    Et la métaliste aide au développement et conditionnalité de l’aide :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

  • Il Rapporto annuale 2020 del #Centro_Astalli

    Il Centro Astalli presenta il Rapporto annuale 2020: uno strumento per capire attraverso dati e statistiche quali sono le principali nazionalità degli oltre 20mila rifugiati e richiedenti asilo assistiti, di cui 11mila a Roma; quali le difficoltà che incontrano nel percorso per il riconoscimento della protezione e per l’accesso all’accoglienza o a percorsi di integrazione.

    Il quadro che ne emerge rivela quanto oggi sia alto il prezzo da pagare in termini di sicurezza sociale per non aver investito in protezione, accoglienza e integrazione dei migranti. E mostra come le politiche migratorie, restrittive, di chiusura – se non addirittura discriminatorie – che hanno caratterizzato l’ultimo anno, acuiscono precarietà di vita, esclusione e irregolarità, rendendo l’intera società più vulnerabile.

    Il Rapporto annuale 2020 descrive il Centro Astalli come una realtà che, grazie agli oltre 500 volontari che operano nelle sue 7 sedi territoriali (Roma, Catania, Palermo, Grumo Nevano-NA, Vicenza, Trento, Padova), si adegua e si adatta ai mutamenti sociali e legislativi di un Paese che fa fatica a dare la dovuta assistenza a chi, in fuga da guerre e persecuzioni, cerca di giungere in Italia.

    https://centroastalli.it/il-rapporto-annuale-2020-del-centro-astalli
    #Italie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #statistiques #chiffres #rapport #2019 #précarité #précarisation #protection_humanitaire #décret_salvini #decreto_salvini #accueil #femmes #marginalisation #Libye #externalisation #ceux_qui_n'arrivent_pas #arrivées #torture #santé_mentale #mauvais_traitements #traite_d'êtres_humains #permis_de_séjour #accès_aux_soins #siproimi #sprar #CAS #assistance_sociale #vulnérabilité #services_sociaux #intégration

    Synthèse du rapport :
    #pXXXLIEN2LIENXXX

    Rapport :


    https://centroastalli.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/astalli_RAPP_2020-completo-x-web.pdf

    ping @isskein @karine4