organization:european council

  • EU to end ship patrols in scaled down Operation Sophia

    The European Union will cease the maritime patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from North Africa to Europe, but it will extend air missions, two diplomats said on Tuesday (26 March).

    A new agreement on the EU’s Operation Sophia was hammered out after Italy, where anti-migrant sentiment is rising, said it would no longer receive those rescued at sea.

    Operation Sophia’s mandate was due to expire on Sunday but should now continue for another six months with the same aim of deterring people smugglers in the Mediterranean. But it will no longer deploy ships, instead relying on air patrols and closer coordination with Libya, the diplomats said.

    “It is awkward, but this was the only way forward given Italy’s position, because nobody wanted the Sophia mission completely shut down,” one EU diplomat said.

    A second diplomat confirmed a deal had been reached and said it must be endorsed by all EU governments on Wednesday.

    The tentative deal, however, could weaken Operation Sophia’s role in saving lives in the sea where nearly 2,300 people perished last year, according to United Nations figures.

    From the more than one million refugees and migrants who made it to the bloc during a 2015 crisis, sea arrivals dropped to 141,500 people in 2018, according to the United Nations.

    Still, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, has said his country would no longer be the main point of disembarkation for people trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat and rescued by Sophia’s patrol ships.

    Rome called for other countries to open up their ports instead, but no other EU states came forward. Diplomats said countries including Spain, France and Germany signalled they were not willing to host more rescued people – most of whom are fleeing wars and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

    However, EU governments did want the mission to continue because they felt it had been effective in dissuading smugglers.

    The compromise discussion in Brussels did not discuss military aspects of the role of air patrols. But the new arrangement will involve more training of the coast guard in Libya, where lawlessness has allowed smugglers to openly operate sending people to Europe by sea.

    But it would be in line with the EU’s policy of turning increasingly restrictive on Mediterranean immigration since the surge in 2015 and discouraging people from risking their lives in the sea in trying to cross to Europe where governments do not want them.

    The bloc has already curbed operations of EU aid groups in the part of the Mediterranean in question and moved its own ships further north where fewer rescues take place.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/eu-to-end-ship-patrols-in-scaled-down-operation-sophia
    #opération_sophia #méditerranée #asile #réfugiés #sauvetage #missions_aériennes #migrations #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #mer_Méditerranée #sauvetages

    • Commissioner calls for more rescue capacity in the Mediterranean

      I take note of the decision taken by the EU’s Political and Security Committee with regards to Operation Sophia. I regret that this will lead to even fewer naval assets in the Mediterranean, which could assist the rescue of persons in distress at sea. Lives are continuing to be lost in the Mediterranean. This should remind states of the urgency to adopt a different approach, one that should ensure a sufficiently resourced and fully operational system for saving human lives at sea and to safeguard rescued migrants’ dignity.

      Whilst coastal states have the responsibility to ensure effective coordination of search and rescue operations, protecting lives in the Mediterranean requires concerted efforts of other states as well, to begin with the provision of naval assets specifically dedicated to search and rescue activities, deployed in those areas where they can make an effective contribution to saving human lives. Furthermore, I reiterate my call to all states to refrain from hindering and criminalising the work of NGOs who are trying to fill the ever-increasing gap in rescue capacity. States should rather support and co-operate with them, including by ensuring that they can use ports for their life-saving activities.

      Finally, the decision to continue only with aerial surveillance and training of the Libyan Coast Guard further increases the risks that EU member states, directly or indirectly, contribute to the return of migrants and asylum seekers to Libya, where it is well-documented, in particular recently by the United Nations, that they face serious human rights violations. So far, calls to ensure more transparency and accountability in this area, including by publishing human rights risk assessments and setting up independent monitoring mechanisms, have not been heeded. The onus is now on EU member states to show urgently that the support to the Libyan Coast Guard is not contributing to human rights violations, and to suspend this support if they cannot do so.

      https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/commissioner-calls-for-more-rescue-capacity-in-the-mediterranean
      #droits_humains #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye

    • EU to end ship patrols in scaled down migrant rescue operation: diplomats

      The European Union will cease the maritime patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from North Africa to Europe, but it will extend air missions, two diplomats said on Tuesday.
      A new agreement on the EU’s Operation Sophia was hammered out after Italy, where anti-migrant sentiment is rising, said it would no longer receive those rescued at sea.

      Operation Sophia’s mandate was due to expire on Sunday but should now continue for another six months with the same aim of detering people smugglers in the Mediterranean. But it will no longer deploy ships, instead relying on air patrols and closer coordination with Libya, the diplomats said.

      “It is awkward, but this was the only way forward given Italy’s position, because nobody wanted the Sophia mission completely shut down,” one EU diplomat said.

      A second diplomat confirmed a deal had been reached and said it must be endorsed by all EU governments on Wednesday.

      The tentative deal, however, could weaken Operation Sophia’s role in saving lives in the sea where nearly 2,300 people perished last year, according to United Nations figures.

      From the more than one million refugees and migrants who made it to the bloc during a 2015 crisis, sea arrivals dropped to 141,500 people in 2018, according to the United Nations.

      Still, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, has said his country would no longer be the main point of disembarkation for people trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat and rescued by Sophia’s patrol ships.

      Rome called for other countries to open up their ports instead, but no other EU states came forward. Diplomats said countries including Spain, France and Germany signaled they were not willing to host more rescued people - most of whom are fleeing wars and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

      However, EU governments did want the mission to continue because they felt it had been effective in dissuading smugglers.

      The compromise discussion in Brussels did not discuss military aspects of the role of air patrols. But the new arrangement will involve more training of the coast guard in Libya, where lawlessness has allowed smugglers to openly operate sending people to Europe by sea.

      But it would be in line with the EU’s policy of turning increasingly restrictive on Mediterranean immigration since the surge in 2015 and discouraging people from risking their lives in the sea in trying to cross to Europe where governments do not want them.

      The bloc has already curbed operations of EU aid groups in the part of the Mediterranean in question and moved its own ships further north where fewer rescues take place.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-sophia/eu-weighs-up-awkward-migration-compromise-on-mediterranean-mission-idUSKCN1

    • En Méditerranée, l’UE retire ses navires militaires qui ont sauvé 45.000 migrants

      Les États membres de l’Union européenne ont décidé, mercredi 27 mars, de retirer leurs navires militaires engagés en Méditerranée dans le cadre de l’opération militaire dite « Sophia », au moins temporairement. Depuis 2015, ces bateaux ont pourtant permis de sauver 45 000 migrants environ.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280319/en-mediterranee-l-ue-retire-ses-navires-militaires-qui-ont-sauve-45000-mig

    • #EUNAVFOR_MED Operation Sophia : mandate extended until 30 September 2019

      The Council today extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 30 September 2019.

      The Operation Commander has been instructed to suspend temporarily the deployment of the Operation’s naval assets for the duration of this extension for operational reasons. EU member states will continue to work in the appropriate fora on a solution on disembarkation as part of the follow-up to the June 2018 European Council conclusions.

      The Operation will continue to implement its mandate accordingly, strengthening surveillance by air assets as well as reinforcing support to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy in law enforcement tasks at sea through enhanced monitoring, including ashore, and continuation of training.

      The operation’s core mandate is to contribute to the EU’s work to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operation has also supporting tasks. It trains the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and monitors the long-term efficiency of the training and it contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. In addition, the operation also conducts surveillance activities and gathers information on illegal trafficking of oil exports from Libya, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the operation contributes to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and to maritime security in the Central Mediterranean region.

      EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015. It is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to migration. The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.

      Today’s decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure.

      https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/03/29/eunavfor-med-operation-sophia-mandate-extended-until-30-september-2

  • Au #Niger, l’UE mise sur la #police_locale pour traquer les migrants

    Au Niger, l’Union européenne finance le contrôle biométrique des frontières. Avec pour objectif la lutte contre l’immigration, et dans une opacité parfois très grande sur les méthodes utilisées.

    Niger, envoyé spécial.– Deux semaines après une attaque meurtrière attribuée aux groupes armés djihadistes, un silence épais règne autour du poste de la gendarmerie de Makalondi, à la frontière entre le Niger et le Burkina Faso. Ce jour de novembre 2018, un militaire nettoie son fusil avec un torchon, des cartouches scintillantes éparpillées à ses pieds. Des traces de balles sur le mur blanc du petit bâtiment signalent la direction de l’attaque. Sur le pas de la porte, un jeune gendarme montre son bras bandé, pendant que ses collègues creusent une tranchée et empilent des sacs de sable.
    L’assaut, à 100 kilomètres au sud de la capitale Niamey, a convaincu le gouvernement du Niger d’étendre les mesures d’état d’urgence, déjà adoptées dans sept départements frontaliers avec le Mali, à toute la frontière avec le Burkina Faso. La sécurité a également été renforcée sur le poste de police, à moins d’un kilomètre de distance de celui de la gendarmerie, où les agents s’affairent à une autre mission : gérer les flux migratoires.
    « On est les pionniers, au Niger », explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana, montrant les équipements installés dans un bâtiment en préfabriqué. Des capteurs d’empreintes sont alignés sur un comptoir, accompagnés d’un scanneur de documents, d’une microcaméra et d’un ordinateur. « Ici, on enregistre les données biométriques de tous les passagers qui entrent et sortent du pays, on ajoute des informations personnelles et puis on envoie tout à Niamey, où les données sont centralisées. »
    Makalondi est le premier poste au Niger à avoir installé le Midas, système d’information et d’analyse de données sur la migration, en septembre 2018. C’est la première étape d’un projet de biométrisation des frontières terrestres du pays, financé par l’UE et le #Japon, et réalisé conjointement par l’#OIM, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations – créatrice et propriétaire du système #Midas –, et #Eucap_Sahel_Niger, la mission de sécurité civile de Bruxelles.


    Au cœur de ce projet, il y a la Direction pour la surveillance du territoire (DST), la police aux frontières nigérienne, dont le rôle s’est accru au même rythme que l’intérêt européen à réduire la migration via le Niger. Dans un quartier central de Niamey, le bureau du directeur Abdourahamane Alpha est un oasis de tranquillité au milieu de la tempête. Tout autour, les agents tourbillonnent, en se mêlant aux travailleurs chinois qui renouvellent leur visa et aux migrants ouest-africains sans papiers, en attente d’expulsion.
    Dessinant une carte sur un morceau de papier, le commissaire Alpha trace la stratégie du Niger « pour contrôler 5 000 kilomètres de frontière avec sept pays ». Il évoque ainsi les opérations antiterrorisme de la force G5 Sahel et le soutien de l’UE à une nouvelle compagnie mobile de gardes-frontières, à lancer au printemps 2019.
    Concernant le Midas, adopté depuis 2009 par 23 pays du monde, « le premier défi est d’équiper tous les postes de frontière terrestre », souligne Alpha. Selon l’OIM, six nouveaux postes devraient être équipés d’ici à mi-2020.

    Un rapport interne réalisé à l’été 2018 et financé par l’UE, obtenu par Mediapart, estime que seulement un poste sur les douze visités, celui de Sabon Birni sur la frontière avec le Nigeria, est apte à une installation rapide du système Midas. Des raisons de sécurité, un flux trop bas et composé surtout de travailleurs frontaliers, ou encore la nécessité de rénover les structures (pour la plupart bâties par la GIZ, la coopération allemande, entre 2015 et 2016), expliquent l’évaluation prudente sur l’adoption du Midas.
    Bien que l’installation de ce système soit balbutiante, Abdourahamane Alpha entrevoit déjà le jour où leurs « bases de données seront connectées avec celles de l’UE ». Pour l’instant, du siège de Niamey, les agents de police peuvent consulter en temps quasi réel les empreintes d’un Ghanéen entrant par le Burkina Faso, sur un bus de ligne.
    À partir de mars 2019, ils pourront aussi les confronter avec les fichiers du Pisces, le système biométrique du département d’État des États-Unis, installé à l’aéroport international de Niamey. Puis aux bases de données d’Interpol et du Wapis, le système d’information pour la police de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, un fichier biométrique financé par le Fonds européen de développement dans seize pays de la région.
    Mais si le raccordement avec des bases de données de Bruxelles, envisagé par le commissaire Alpha, semble une hypothèse encore lointaine, l’UE exerce déjà un droit de regard indirect sur les écrans de la police nigérienne, à travers Frontex, l’agence pour le contrôle des frontières externes.

    Frontex a en effet choisi le Niger comme partenaire privilégié pour le contrôle migratoire sur la route dite de la Méditerranée centrale. En août 2017, l’agence y a déployé son unique officier de liaison en Afrique et a lancé, en novembre 2018, la première cellule d’analyse de risques dans le continent. Un projet financé par la coopération au développement de l’UE : 4 millions d’euros destinés à ouvrir des cellules similaires dans huit pays subsahariens.
    L’agence n’a dévoilé à Mediapart que six documents sur onze relatifs à ses liens avec le Niger, en rappelant la nécessité de « protéger l’intérêt public concernant les relations internationales ». Un des documents envoyés concerne les cellules d’analyse de risques, présentées comme des bureaux équipés et financés par Frontex à l’intérieur des autorités de contrôle des frontières du pays, où des analystes formés par l’agence – mais dépendants de l’administration nationale – auront accès aux bases de données.
    Dans la version intégrale du document, que Mediapart a finalement pu se procurer, et qui avait été expurgée par Frontex, on apprend que « les bases de données du MIDAS, PISCES et Securiport [compagnie privée de Washington qui opère dans le Mali voisin, mais pas au Niger – ndlr] seront prises en considération comme sources dans le plan de collecte de données ».
    En dépit de l’indépendance officielle des cellules par rapport à Frontex, revendiquée par l’agence, on peut y lire aussi que chaque cellule aura une adresse mail sur le serveur de Frontex et que les informations seront échangées sur une plateforme digitale de l’UE. Un graphique, également invisible dans la version expurgée, montre que les données collectées sont destinées à Frontex et aux autres cellules, plutôt qu’aux autorités nationales.
    Selon un fonctionnaire local, la France aurait par ailleurs fait pression pour obtenir les fichiers biométriques des demandeurs d’asile en attente d’être réinstallés à Paris, dans le cadre d’un programme de réinstallation géré par le UNHCR.
    La nouvelle Haute Autorité pour la protection des données personnelles, opérationnelle depuis octobre 2018, ne devrait pas manquer de travail. Outre le Midas, le Pisces et le Wapis, le Haut Commissariat pour les réfugiés a enregistré dans son système Bims les données de presque 250 000 réfugiés et déplacés internes, tandis que la plus grande base biométrique du pays – le fichier électoral – sera bientôt réalisée.
    Pendant ce temps, au poste de frontière de Makalondi, un dimanche de décembre 2018, les préoccupations communes de Niamey et Bruxelles se matérialisent quand les minibus Toyota laissent la place aux bus longue distance, reliant les capitales d’Afrique occidentale à Agadez, au centre du pays, avec escale à Niamey. Des agents fouillent les bagages, tandis que les passagers attendent de se faire enregistrer.
    « Depuis l’intensification des contrôles, en 2016, le passage a chuté brusquement, explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana. En parallèle, les voies de contournement se sont multipliées : si on ferme ici, les passeurs changent de route, et cela peut continuer à l’infini. »
    Les contrôles terminés, les policiers se préparent à monter la garde. « Car les terroristes, eux, frappent à la nuit, et nous ne sommes pas encore bien équipés », conclut le commissaire, inquiet.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280219/au-niger-l-ue-mise-sur-la-police-locale-pour-traquer-les-migrants
    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #traque #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #EU #UE #Eucap #biométrie #organisation_internationale_contre_les_migrations #IOM

    J’ajoute à la métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    • Biometrics: The new frontier of EU migration policy in Niger

      The EU’s strategy for controlling irregular West African migration is not just about asking partner countries to help stop the flow of people crossing the Mediterranean – it also includes sharing data on who is trying to make the trip and identifying to which countries they can be returned.

      Take Niger, a key transit country for migrants arriving in Europe via Libya.

      European money and technical assistance have flowed into Niger for several years, funding beefed-up border security and supporting controversial legislation that criminalises “migrant trafficking” and has led to a sharp fall in the registered number of people travelling through the country to reach Libya – down from 298,000 in 2016 to 50,000 in 2018.

      Such cooperation is justified by the “moral duty to tackle the loss of lives in the desert and in the Mediterranean”, according to the EU’s head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini. It was also a response to the surge in arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants to European shores in 2015-16, encouraging the outsourcing of control to African governments in return for development aid.

      In April, as a further deterrent to fresh arrivals, the European Parliament passed a tougher “Regulation” for #Frontex – the EU border guard agency – authorising stepped-up returns of migrants without proper documentation to their countries of origin.

      The regulation is expected to come into force by early December after its formal adoption by the European Council.

      The proposed tougher mandate will rely in part on biometric information stored on linked databases in Africa and Europe. It is a step rights campaigners say not only jeopardises the civil liberties of asylum seekers and others in need of protection, but one that may also fall foul of EU data privacy legislation.

      In reply to a request for comment, Frontex told The New Humanitarian it was “not in the position to discuss details of the draft regulation as it is an ongoing process.”

      Niger on the frontline

      Niger is a key country for Europe’s twin strategic goals of migration control and counter-terrorism – with better data increasingly playing a part in both objectives.

      The #Makalondi police station-cum-immigration post on Niger’s southern border with Burkina Faso is on the front line of this approach – one link in the ever-expanding chain that is the EU’s information-driven response to border management and security.

      When TNH visited in December 2018, the hot Sunday afternoon torpor evaporated when three international buses pulled up and disgorged dozens of travellers into the parking area.

      “In Niger, we are the pioneers.”

      They were mostly Burkinabès and Nigeriens who travelled abroad for work and, as thousands of their fellow citizens do every week, took the 12-hour drive from the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou, to the Niger capital, Niamey.

      As policemen searched their bags, the passengers waited to be registered with the new biometric #Migration_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System, or #MIDAS, which captures fingerprints and facial images for transmission to a central #database in Niamey.

      MIDAS has been developed by the International Organisation for Migration (#IOM) as a rugged, low-cost solution to monitor migration flows.

      “In Niger, we are the pioneers,” said Ismael Soumana, the police commissioner of Makalondi. A thin, smiling man, Soumana proudly showed off the eight new machines installed since September at the entry and exit desks of a one-storey prefabricated building. Each workstation was equipped with fingerprint and documents scanners, a small camera, and a PC.
      Data sharing

      The data from Makalondi is stored on the servers of the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DTS), Niger’s border police. After Makalondi and #Gaya, on the Benin-Niger border, IOM has ambitious plans to instal MIDAS in at least eight more border posts by mid-2020 – although deteriorating security conditions due to jihadist-linked attacks could interrupt the rollout.

      IOM provides MIDAS free of charge to at least 20 countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Its introduction in Niger was funded by Japan, while the EU paid for an initial assessment study and the electrical units that support the system. In addition to the border posts, two mobile MIDAS-equipped trucks, financed by #Canada, will be deployed along the desert trails to Libya or Algeria in the remote north.

      MIDAS is owned by the Nigerien government, which will be “the only one able to access the data,” IOM told TNH. But it is up to Niamey with whom they share that information.

      MIDAS is already linked to #PISCES (#Personal_Identification_Secure_Comparison_and_Evaluation_System), a biometric registration arm of the US Department of State installed at Niamey international airport and connected to #INTERPOL’s alert lists.

      Niger hosts the first of eight planned “#Risk_Analysis_Cells” in Africa set up by Frontex and based inside its border police directorate. The unit collects data on cross-border crime and security threats and, as such, will rely on systems such as #PISCES and MIDAS – although Frontex insists no “personal data” is collected and used in generating its crime statistics.

      A new office is being built for the Niger border police directorate by the United States to house both systems.

      The #West_African_Police_Information_System, a huge criminal database covering 16 West African countries, funded by the EU and implemented by INTERPOL, could be another digital library of fingerprints linking to MIDAS.

      Frontex programmes intersect with other data initiatives, such as the #Free_Movement_of_Persons_and_Migration_in_West_Africa, an EU-funded project run by the IOM in all 15-member Economic Community of West African States. One of the aims of the scheme is to introduce biometric identity cards for West African citizens.

      Frontex’s potential interest is clear. “If a European country has a migrant suspected to be Ivorian, they can ask the local government to match in their system the biometric data they have. In this way, they should be able to identify people,” IOM programme coordinator Frantz Celestine told TNH.

      The push for returns

      Only 37 percent of non-EU citizens ordered to leave the bloc in 2017 actually did so. In his 2018 State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged a “stronger and more effective European return policy” – although some migration analysts argue what is needed are more channels for legal migration.

      Part of the problem has been that implementing a returns policy is notoriously hard – due in part to the costs of deportation and the lack of cooperation by countries of origin to identify their citizens. Europe has had difficulty in finalising formal accords with so-called third countries unwilling to lose remittances from those abroad.

      The Commission is shifting to “informal arrangements [that] keep readmission deals largely out of sight” – serving to ease the domestic pressure on governments who cooperate on returns, according to European law researcher, Jonathan Slagter.

      The new Frontex regulation provides a much broader mandate for border surveillance, returns, and cooperation with third countries.

      It contains provisions to “significantly step up the effective and sustainable return of irregular migrants”. Among the mechanisms is the “operation and maintenance of a platform for the exchange of data”, as a tool to reinforce the return system “in cooperation with the authorities of the relevant third countries”. That includes access to MIDAS and PISCES.

      Under the new Frontex policy, in order to better identify those to be deported, the agency will be able “to restrict certain rights of data subjects”, specifically related to the protection and access to personal data granted by EU legislation.

      That, for example, will allow the “transfer of personal data of returnees to third countries” - even in cases where readmission agreements for deportees do not exist.

      Not enough data protection

      The concern is that the expanded mandate on returns is not accompanied by appropriate safeguards on data protection. The #European_Data_Protection_Supervisor – the EU’s independent data protection authority – has faulted the new regulation for not conducting an initial impact study, and has called for its provisions to be reassessed “to ensure consistency with the currently applicable EU legislation”.

      “Given the extent of data sharing, the regulation does not put in place the necessary human rights safeguards."

      Mariana Gkliati, a researcher at the University of Leiden working on Frontex human rights accountability, argues that data on the proposed centralised return management platform – shared with third countries – could prove detrimental for the safety of people seeking protection.

      “Given the extent of data sharing, the regulation does not put in place the necessary human rights safeguards and could be perceived as giving a green light for a blanket sharing with the third country of all information that may be considered relevant for returns,” she told TNH.

      “Frontex is turning into an #information_hub,” Gkliati added. “Its new powers on data processing and sharing can have a major impact on the rights of persons, beyond the protection of personal data.”

      For prospective migrants at the Makalondi border post, their data is likely to travel a lot more freely than they can.

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/06/06/biometrics-new-frontier-eu-migration-policy-niger
      #empreintes_digitales #OIM #identification #renvois #expulsions #échange_de_données

      ping @albertocampiphoto @karine4 @daphne @marty @isskein

  • Europe’s deadly migration strategy. Officials knew EU military operation made Mediterranean crossing more dangerous.

    Since its creation in 2015, Europe’s military operation in the Mediterranean — named “#Operation_Sophia” — has saved some 49,000 people from the sea. But that was never really the main objective.

    The goal of the operation — which at its peak involved over a dozen sea and air assets from 27 EU countries, including ships, airplanes, drones and submarines — was to disrupt people-smuggling networks off the coast of Libya and, by extension, stem the tide of people crossing the sea to Europe.

    European leaders have hailed the operation as a successful joint effort to address the migration crisis that rocked the bloc starting in 2015, when a spike in arrivals overwhelmed border countries like Greece and Italy and sparked a political fight over who would be responsible for the new arrivals.

    But a collection of leaked documents from the European External Action Service, the bloc’s foreign policy arm, obtained by POLITICO (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OperationSophia.pdf), paint a different picture.

    In internal memos, the operation’s leaders admit Sophia’s success has been limited by its own mandate — it can only operate in international waters, not in Libyan waters or on land, where smuggling networks operate — and it is underfunded, understaffed and underequipped.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda" — Barbara Spinelli, Italian MEP

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    For the operation’s critics, the EU’s willingness to turn a blind eye to these shortcomings — as well as serious human rights abuses by the Libyan coast guard and in the country’s migrant detention centers — are symptomatic of what critics call the bloc’s incoherent approach to managing migration and its desire to outsource the problem to non-EU countries.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda,” said Barbara Spinelli, an Italian MEP and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament. “It has become an instrument of refoulement, legitimizing militias with criminal records, dressed up as coast guards.”

    Now the operation, which is managed by Italy and has been dogged by political disagreements since it began, is coming under increasing pressure as the deadline for its renewal approaches in March.

    Italy’s deputy prime minister, far-right leader Matteo Salvini, has said the operation should only be extended if there are new provisions to resettle rescued people across the bloc. Last month, Germany announced it would be discontinuing its participation in the program, claiming that Italy’s refusal to allow rescued migrants to disembark is undermining the mission.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.

    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The operation has cycled through a number of strategies since its launch: a campaign to destroy boats used by smugglers; law-enforcement interviews with those rescued at sea; extensive aerial surveillance; and training and funding a newly consolidated Libyan coast guard.

    But the success of these approaches is highly disputed, and in some cases they have put migrants’ lives at greater risk.

    The EU’s policy of destroying the wooden boats used by smugglers to avoid them being reused, for example, has indeed disrupted the Libyan smuggling business, but at a substantial human cost.

    As Libyan smugglers lost their wooden boats, many started to rely more heavily on smaller, cheaper rubber boats. The boats, which smugglers often overfill to maximize profit, are not as safe as the wooden vessels and less likely to reach European shores. Instead, Libyan smugglers started to abandon migrants in international waters, leaving them to be pulled out of peril by European rescue ships.

    Sophia officials tracked the situation and were aware of the increased risk to migrants as a result of the policy. “Smugglers can no longer recover smuggling vessels on the high seas, effectively rendering them a less economic option for the smuggling business and thereby hampering it,” they wrote in a 2016 status report seen by POLITICO.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    These overfilled rubber boats, which officials described as shipwrecks waiting to happen, also present a problem for the EU operation.

    International maritime law compels vessels to respond to people in distress at sea and bring the rescued to a nearby safe port. And because European courts have held that Libya has no safe port, that means bringing migrants found at sea to Europe — in most cases, Italy.

    This has exacerbated political tensions in the country, where far-right leader Salvini has responded to the influx of new arrivals by closing ports to NGO and humanitarian ships carrying migrants and threatening to bar Sophia vessels from docking.

    Meanwhile, Sophia officials have complained that rescuing people from leaking, unseaworthy boats detracted from the operation’s ability to pursue its primary target: Libyan smugglers.

    In a leaked status report from 2017, Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    The EU has also wilfully ignored inconvenient aspects of its policies when it comes to its collaboration with Libya’s municipal coast guard.

    The intention of the strategy — launched one year into the Sophia operation — was to equip Libyan authorities to intercept migrant boats setting off from the Libyan coast and bring people back to shore. This saved Europe from sending its own ships close to coast, and meant that people could be brought back to Libya, rather than to Europe, as required by international maritime law — or more specifically, Italy.

    Here too, the EU was aware it was pursuing a problematic strategy, as the Libyan coast guard has a well-documented relationship with Libyan smugglers.

    A leaked report from Frontex, the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war" — Rabih Boualleg, Operation Sophia translator

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli.

    “They were telling me that many of them hadn’t gotten their government salaries in eight months. They told me, jokingly, that they were ‘forced’ to take money from smugglers sometimes.”

    The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    “If the [on-duty] coast guard came,” Boualleg added, “they would just say they were fishermen following the rubber boats, that’s all.”

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    EU governments have, for the most part, simply looked the other way.

    And that’s unlikely to change, said a senior European official with close knowledge of Operation Sophia who spoke on condition of anonymity. For the first time since the start of the operation, Libyan authorities are returning more people to Libya than are arriving in Italy.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision" — Dimitris Avramopoulos, immigration commissioner

    “Europe doesn’t want to upset this balance,” the official said. “Any criticism of the coast guards could lead to resentment, to relaxing.”

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    The operation is limited by its mandate, but it has made progress in difficult circumstances, an EEAS spokesperson said. Operation Sophia officials did not respond to multiple interview requests and declined to answer questions via email.

    “The provision of training the Libyan coast guard and navy, as well as continued engagement with them have proven to be the most effecting complementary tool to disrupt the activities of those involved in trafficking,” the EEAS spokesperson said in an email.

    The spokesperson maintained that Libyan coast guards who are trained by Operation Sophia undergo a “thorough vetting procedure." The spokesperson also stated that, while Operation Sophia does advise and monitor the Libyan coast guard, the operation is not involved “in the decision-making in relation to operations.”

    *

    With the March deadline for the operation’s renewal fast approaching, pressure is mounting to find a way to reform Sophia or disband it altogether.

    When Salvini closed Italy’s ports to NGO and humanitarian ships last July, the country’s foreign minister turned to the EU to negotiate a solution that would ensure migrants rescued as part of Operation Sophia would be resettled among other countries. At the time, Italy said it expected results “within weeks.” Six months later, neither side has found a way through the impasse.

    “The fate of this operation is not determined yet,” European Commissioner for Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters last month, adding that discussions about allowing migrants to disembark in non-Italian ports are still underway among member countries.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision.”

    The political fight over the future of the operation has been made more acute by an increase in criticism from human rights organizations. Reports of violence, torture and extortion in Libyan detention centers have put the naval operation and EEAS on the defensive.

    A Human Rights Watch report published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    These human rights violations have been well documented. In 2016, the U.N. Human Rights Office said it considered “migrants to be at high risk of suffering serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, in Libya and thus urges States not to return, or facilitate the return of, persons to Libya.”

    Last June, the U.N. sanctioned six men for smuggling and human rights violations, including the head of the coast guard in Zawiya, a city west of Tripoli. A number of officials under his command, a leaked EEAS report found, were trained by Operation Sophia.

    An EEAS spokesperson would not comment on the case of the Zawiya coast guards trained by Operation Sophia or how the officers were vetted. The spokesperson said that none of the coast guards “trained by Operation Sophia” are on the U.N. sanctions list.

    The deteriorating human rights situation has prompted a growing chorus of critics to argue the EU’s arrangement with Libya is unsustainable.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground" — Tarek Megerisi, Libyan expert

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”

    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    The project, he added, is less a practical attempt to stop smuggling or save migrants than a political effort to paper over differences within the EU when it comes to migration policy.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”

    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-deadly-migration-strategy-leaked-documents

    Commentaire ECRE :

    Leaked documents obtained by @POLITICOEurope show that the #EU knew its military operation “Sophia” in the Mediterranean made sea crossing more dangerous.

    https://twitter.com/ecre/status/1101074946057482240

    #responsabilité #Méditerranée #mourir_en_mer #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #Frontex #EU #UE
    #leaks #sauvetage #externalisation #frontières

    –-----------------------------------------

    Mise en exergue de quelques passages de l’article qui me paraissent particulièrement intéressants :

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.
    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    In a leaked status report from 2017 (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-2017-2.pdf), Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    A leaked report from #Frontex (https://theintercept.com/2017/04/02/new-evidence-undermines-eu-report-tying-refugee-rescue-group-to-smuggl), the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters. “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli. The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-Monitoring-of-Libyan-Coast-Guard-and-Navy-Report-October-2017-January-2018.pdf) also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    A Human Rights Watch report (https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/01/21/no-escape-hell/eu-policies-contribute-abuse-migrants-libya) published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LY/DetainedAndDehumanised_en.pdf) the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”
    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”
    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    #flou

  • Action fiche of the #EU_Trust_Fund to be used for the decisions of the Operational Committee

    Discussions have been ongoing for a number of months about possible support to the Libyan coastguards for better patrolling and rescuing at sea. The situation remains critical also at the Libyan southern border, where authorities have very limited capacity.The European Council of 22-23 June has called for action. It specifically mentioned that "training and equipping the Libyan Coast Guard is a key component of the EU approach and should be speeded up"and that “cooperation with countries of origin and transit shall be reinforced in order to stem the migratory pressure on Libya’s and other neighbouring countries’ land borders”.Italy has come forward in May 2017 with a major proposal for integrated border and migrationmanagement in Libya which responds to the above mentioned priorities.

    The dual objective of this action is to improve the Libyan capacity to control their borders and provide for lifesaving rescue at sea, in a manner fully compliant with international human rights obligations and standards. This #Action_Fiche covers the first phase of support. Additional funding should be envisaged in 2018 for its completion (for which the current estimate stands at EUR 38 million).

    https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/t05-eutf-noa-ly-04_fin_11.pdf
    #Trust_Fund #Libye #frontières #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #gardes-côtes #gardes-côtes_libyens #contrôles_frontaliers

    La même chose, mais pour la #Maroc:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/763541

    • Support to Integrated border and migration management in Libya – First phase

      Summary

      The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of relevant Libyan authorities in the areas of border and migration management, including border control and surveillance, addressing smuggling and trafficking of human beings, search and rescue at sea and in the desert.
      Main objectives

      The specific objectives of the project are: 1) to enhance operational capacity of the competent Libyan authorities in maritime surveillance, tackling irregular border crossings, including the strengthening of SAR operations and related coast guard tasks; 2) to set up basic facilities in order to enable the Libyan guards to better organise their SAR, border surveillance and control operations; 3) to assist the concerned Libyan authorities in defining and declaring a Libyan SAR Region with adequate SAR Standard Operation Procedures, including finalising the studies for fully fledged operational rooms; and 4) to develop operational capacity of competent Libyan authorities in land border surveillance and control in the desert, focusing on the sections of southern borders most affected by illegal crossings.

      https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/north-africa/libya/support-integrated-border-and-migration-management-libya-first-phase_en
      #integrated_border_management

    • Support to Integrated border and migration management in Libya - Second phase

      Summary

      The Overall Objective of the programme is to develop the overall capacity of the relevant Libyan authorities and strengthen institutional reform in the areas of land and sea border control and surveillance; addressing smuggling and trafficking of human beings; Search & Rescue at sea (SAR); and on land contributing to a human response of the migration crises in respect of international and human right laws.
      Main objectives

      The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
      1. Capacity development and institutional strengthening of the relevant authorities (including #LCGPS and #GACS) covering all sea and land borders including the development SOPs of land and sea based SAR operations;
      2. Further development of the capacity and the integration of the LCGPS and GACS fleets by supply of new SAR vessels as well as an accompanying maintenance programme;
      3. Development of the MRCC communication network along the coast through a step by step approach;
      4. Further development of the land border capacity of the relevant authorities and the engagement through community based engagement and cross border programs, particularly in the West and South.

      Additional cross-cutting objectives of the activities will be:
      – The improvement of the operational cooperation between the relevant Libyan agencies and bodies as well as the cooperating with UN agencies and their partners on coordination of activities, information sharing, processing and SOPs;
      – The improvement of the human rights situation for migrants and refugees, particularly for women and children, including through ensuring that the Libyan authorities targeted by this action comply with human rights standards in SOPs in SAR operations;
      – The concern for the environment, in particular for the hygienic and living environment for migrants in the detention centres and for the reutilisation of oil and the maintenance protocols of the ships.

      https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/north-africa/libya/support-integrated-border-and-migration-management-libya-second-phase_en

  • ECRE Policy Paper : Bilateral Agreements : Implementing or Bypassing the Dublin Regulation ?

    ECRE has published a Policy Paper analysing the recent bilateral arrangements between EU Member States on responsibility for asylum seekers and urging against attempts to disregard and undermine the standards set out in the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

    The “administrative arrangements” on asylum seekers have emerged as a German initiative in the course of 2018, predominantly driven by internal tensions within the ruling coalition on how to handle migration in the run-up to the June 2018 European Council meeting. They have been presented by Germany as an interim response to the political deadlock preventing the adoption of the CEAS reform.

    While some agreements such as the German-Portuguese arrangement adhere to and operate within the EU legal framework, others, namely the German-Greek and German-Spanish arrangements, bypass the rules set out in the Dublin system with the aim of quickly carrying out transfers. The effect of the latter arrangements is the neutralisation of crucial safeguards contained in the Dublin Regulation such as the right to a personal interview, the right to appeal, and the prevention of transfers when human rights risks arise.

    From a policy perspective, what both types of arrangements represent is a vision of the CEAS and of the CEAS reform strongly supported in Germany and certain other Member States whereby prevention and punishment of secondary movement is of prime importance, while tackling the underlying reasons for secondary movement receives less attention.

    However, ECRE argues that bypassing legal obligations through opaque informal arrangements with the pretext of a forthcoming political agreement on the reform of the CEAS not only undermines the credibility of the current and any prospective asylum package but also endangers the rule of law. Instead, compliance with the Dublin Regulation in line with fundamental rights should be pursued to ensure that individuals benefit from crucial procedural safeguards and that states allocate responsibility transparently and remain accountable.

    https://www.ecre.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Policy-Papers-05.pdf
    #Dublin #règlement_dublin #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    On parle notamment de l’#accord_bilatéral entre la #Grèce et l’#Allemagne
    #accords_bilatéraux

  • La facilité en faveur des réfugiés en Turquie a permis une réaction rapide dans un contexte difficile, mais des améliorations doivent être apportées pour optimiser l’utilisation des fonds, estime la Cour des comptes européenne.

    Selon un nouveau rapport de la #Cour_des_comptes européenne, la facilité en faveur des réfugiés en Turquie, qui soutient les réfugiés et leurs communautés d’accueil turques, a permis de réagir rapidement à la crise dans des circonstances difficiles. Les auditeurs affirment que les #projets_humanitaires ont aidé les réfugiés à subvenir à leurs besoins fondamentaux, mais que l’utilisation des ressources n’a pas toujours été optimale.

    https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/INSR18_27/INSR_TRF_FR.pdf
    #externalisation #accord_ue-turquie #aide_financière #Turquie #Grèce #UE #EU #Europe #facilité #humanitaire #argent

    Le #rapport de la Cour des comptes :
    https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR18_27/SR_TRF_FR.pdf

    • En 2016, on expliquait ainsi la « facilité »...
      GESTION DE LA CRISE DES RÉFUGIÉS. LA FACILITÉ EN FAVEUR DES RÉFUGIÉS EN TURQUIE

      En raison de sa situation géographique, la Turquie est un pays de premier accueil et de transit pour de nombreux réfugiés
      et migrants. Confrontée à un afflux sans précédent de personnes en quête de refuge, elle accueille actuellement plus
      de 2,7 millions de réfugiés syriens enregistrés et déploie des efforts méritoires pour leur apporter une aide humanitaire
      et un soutien – la Turquie a déjà consacré plus de 7 milliards d’euros à cette crise. L’UE est déterminée à ne pas laisser
      la Turquie seule face à cette situation. La Commission européenne fournit une aide humanitaire destinée aux réfugiés
      vulnérables qui ont fui la violence dans leur pays, et en particulier à ceux qui vivent hors des camps et ont besoin d’une
      aide immédiate, ainsi qu’à ceux qui ont besoin d’une aide médicale et d’un accès à l’éducation.


      https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/docs/20160420/factsheet_financing_of_the_facility_for_refugees_in_turkey_fr.pdf

    • 1.5 million refugees in Turkey supported by EU’s biggest ever humanitarian programme

      The #Emergency_Social_Safety_Net, the largest ever EU humanitarian programme, has now assisted 1.5 million of the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey.

      The EU funded programme, launched in September 2016, is the largest single humanitarian project in the history of the European Union.

      Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, visiting Turkey on the occasion said: “1.5 million refugees in Turkey are now able to meet their basic needs and live in dignity. The European Union, in cooperation with Turkey, is bringing a real change in the lives of the most vulnerable refugees. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Jointly with Turkey we will continue this support, focusing on making our assistance sustainable.”

      EU humanitarian assistance in Turkey continues to deliver tangible results for the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey. The Emergency Social Safety Net provides monthly cash transfers via a debit card to help refugees buy what they need the most, such as food, medicines, or paying the rent. Another flagship programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education, has surpassed its initial goals and now supports the families of more than 410,000 children who attend school regularly.

      The EU programmes will continue in 2019, with a focus on further supporting the most vulnerable and ensuring a sustainable transition from humanitarian aid to a long-term response. The EU humanitarian funding foreseen for 2019 is €640 million, out of which €80 million will be dedicated to support education in emergencies. This funding is part of the second tranche of €3 billion of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey for both humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance.

      Background

      The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey. The EU Facility has a total budget of €6 billion for humanitarian and non-humanitarian projects, of which €3 billion for 2016-2017 and €3 billion for 2018-2019.

      The Emergency Social Safety Net programme is implemented by the World Food Programme and the Turkish Red Crescent in close collaboration with the Turkish authorities. With financing from the EU of almost €1 billion to date, the refugees receive around €20 per person per month, plus quarterly top-ups to meet their basic needs.

      Another flagship initiative, the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) project, helps refugee children register for and attend school. The programme builds on the Emergency Social Safety Net. It provides cash assistance to vulnerable refugee families with children who attend school regularly.

      In addition to humanitarian assistance, the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey focuses on education, migration management, health, municipal infrastructure, and socio-economic support.

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1_en.htm
      #programme_humanitaire

  • UN experts: concern over EU’s attempts to seal borders, close protection space and disregard human rights and humanitarianism

    In September eight UN working groups, independent experts and special rapporteurs issued a statement highlighting serious concerns over the ongoing attempts to reform the EU’s migration and asylum systems. Their paper was addressed to the informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Salzburg in September, but remains relevant given the ongoing discussions in the EU on the Common European Asylum System and revamping of EU agencies such as Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

    The document was signed by the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity; Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

    See: Joint communication of Special Procedures ahead of the informal summit of EU heads of state or government in Salzburg on 19-20 September 2018 (OL OTH 64/2018, 18 September 2018, pdf): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/oct/un-joint-communication-eu-migration-asylum-proposals-18-9-18.pdf

    Selected quotes:

    "We would like to comment on three particular proposals elaborated by the European Commission based on the European Council’s conclusions, which are of utmost concern from a human rights perspective, namely: the creation of #regional_disembarkation_platforms, the establishment of controlled centres, and the strengthening of the border police and coast guard.

    ...Outsourcing responsibility of disembarkation to third countries, in particular those with weak protection systems, only increases the risk of #refoulement and other human rights violations. As similar models have shown elsewhere, external disembarkation and processing centres do not provide durable solutions and result in numerous grave human rights violations, including breaches of the non-refoulement obligation, torture and ill-treatment, confinement amounting to arbitrary or indefinite detention, and violations of the right to life. Furthermore, processes should be established to ensure that relevant actors be held to account if they fail to meet international standards.”

    -----

    “We are deeply concerned that in truth, the above-mentioned three proposals which are being discussed in the context of the reform of the common migration and asylum system are aimed at sealing borders, closing the protection space in Europe, and disregarding human rights principles and humanitarian concerns as central aspects at stake. Moreover, we are concerned that these measures are being proposed as a means to leverage political gain in response to the worrying rise of anti-migration and xenophobic hate speeches and stances, as reflected by increased acts and discourses of #violence and racism against migrants in various member States. In this respect, we urge the European Commission to lead efforts to counter negative anti-immigration discourses both at the political and social level in order to facilitate and improve the reception and integration of migrants in Europe.”

    -----

    “The EU and its member States should adopt a more thoughtful approach, and seek constructive, long-term, sustainable solutions, instead of adopting counterproductive and ineffective security policies which result in the criminalization and stigmatization of migrants.”

    -----

    “It is high time for the EU to accept the impossibility of sealing borders and the perverse incentives and paradoxes created by the current system, as well as the inevitability and added benefits of mobility. The EU must invest in the overall development of a coherent and robust migration policy that fully integrates the human rights of migrants as enshrined in both international and regional law. Measures intended to prevent migration, accelerate returns, and seal borders are not the solution, and only respond to misguided security concerns over the protection of migrants.”

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/oct/un-sr-eu-migration.htm
    #ONU #fermeture_des_frontières #EU #UE #droits_humains #humanitarisme #Europe #réfugiés #asile #migrations #plateformes_de_désembarquement #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation #push-back #droit_à_la_vie #hate_speech #xénophobie #racisme #mobilité #politique_migratoire
    ping @reka

  • The State of Israel vs. the Jewish people -
    Israel has aligned itself with one nationalist, even anti-Semitic, regime after another. Where does that leave world Jewry?
    By Eva Illouz Sep 13, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jewish-people-1.6470108

    Orban, left, and Netanyahu, in Jerusalem in July 2018. DEBBIE HILL / AFP

    An earthquake is quietly rocking the Jewish world.

    In the 18th century, Jews began playing a decisive role in the promotion of universalism, because universalism promised them redemption from their political subjection. Through universalism, Jews could, in principle, be free and equal to those who had dominated them. This is why, in the centuries that followed, Jews participated in disproportionate numbers in communist and socialist causes. This is also why Jews were model citizens of countries, such as France or the United States, with universalist constitutions.

    The history of Jews as promoters of Enlightenment and universalist values, however, is drawing to a close. We are the stunned witnesses of new alliances between Israel, Orthodox factions of Judaism throughout the world, and the new global populism in which ethnocentrism and even racism hold an undeniable place.

    When Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to align himself politically with Donald Trump before and after the U.S. presidential election of 2016, some people could still give him the benefit of doubt. Admittedly, Trump was surrounded by people like Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, who reeked of racism and anti-Semitism, but no one was sure of the direction the new presidency would take. Even if Trump refused to condemn the anti-Semitic elements of his electoral base or the Ku Klux Klan, which had enthusiastically backed him, and even if it took him a long time to dissociate himself from David Duke – we were not yet certain of the presence of anti-Semitism in Trump’s discourse and strategies (especially since his daughter Ivanka was a convert to Judaism).

    But the events in Charlottesville in August 2017 no longer allowed for doubt. The neo-Nazi demonstrators committed violent acts against peaceful counter-protesters, killing one woman by plowing through a crowd with a car (an act reminiscent in its technique of terrorist attacks in Europe). Trump reacted to the events by condemning both the neo-Nazis and white supremacists and their opponents. The world was shocked by his conflation of the two groups, but Jerusalem did not object. Once again, the indulgent (or cynical) observer could have interpreted this silence as the reluctant obeisance of a vassal toward his overlord (of all the countries in the world, Israel receives the most military aid from the United States). One was entitled to think that Israel had no choice but to collaborate, despite the American leader’s outward signs of anti-Semitism.

    This interpretation, however, is no longer tenable. Before and since Charlottesville, Netanyahu has courted other leaders who are either unbothered by anti-Semitism or straightforwardly sympathetic to it, and upon whom Israel is not economically dependent. His concessions go as far as participating in a partial form of Holocaust denial.

    Take the case of Hungary. Under the government of Viktor Orban, the country shows troubling signs of legitimizing anti-Semitism. In 2015, for example, the Hungarian government announced its intention to erect a statue to commemorate Balint Homan, a Holocaust-era minister who played a decisive role in the murder or deportation of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews. Far from being an isolated incident, just a few months later, in 2016, another statue was erected in tribute to Gyorgy Donáth, one of the architects of anti-Jewish legislation during World War II. It was thus unsurprising to hear Orban employing anti-Semitic tropes during his reelection campaign in 2017, especially against Georges Soros, the Jewish, Hungarian-American billionaire-philanthropist who supports liberal causes, including that of open borders and immigration. Reanimating the anti-Semitic cliché about the power of Jews, Orban accused Soros of harboring intentions to undermine Hungary.

    Whom did Netanyahu choose to support? Not the anxious Hungarian Jewish community that protested bitterly against the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Orban’s government; nor did he choose to support the liberal Jew Soros, who defends humanitarian causes. Instead, the prime minister created new fault lines, preferring political allies to members of the tribe. He backed Orban, the same person who resurrects the memory of dark anti-Semites. When the Israeli ambassador in Budapest protested the erection of the infamous statue, he was publicly contradicted by none other than Netanyahu.

    To my knowledge, the Israeli government has never officially protested Orban’s anti-Semitic inclinations and affinities. In fact, when the Israeli ambassador in Budapest did try to do so, he was quieted down by Jerusalem. Not long before the Hungarian election, Netanyahu went to the trouble of visiting Hungary, thus giving a “kosher certificate” to Orban and exonerating him of the opprobrium attached to anti-Semitism and to an endorsement of figures active in the Shoah. When Netanyahu visited Budapest, he was given a glacial reception by the Federation of the Jewish Communities, while Orban gave him a warm welcome. To further reinforce their touching friendship, Netanyahu invited Orban to pay a reciprocal visit to Israel this past July, receiving him in a way usually reserved for the most devoted national allies.

    The relationship with Poland is just as puzzling. As a reminder, Poland is governed by the nationalist Law and Justice party, which has an uncompromising policy against refugees and appears to want to eliminate the independence of the courts by means of a series of reforms that would allow the government to control the judiciary branch. In 2016 the Law and Justice-led government eliminated the official body whose mission was to deal with problems of racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, arguing that the organization had become “useless.”

    An illustration depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Auschwitz. Eran Wolkowski

    Encouraged by this and other governmental declarations and policies, signs of nationalism multiplied within Polish society. In February 2018, president Andrzej Duda declared that he would sign a law making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having collaborated with the Nazis. Accusing Poland of collusion in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities would be from now prosecutable. Israel initially protested the proposed legislation, but then in June, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, signed an agreement exonerating Poland of any and all crimes against the Jews during the time of the German occupation. Israel also acceded to Poland’s move to outlaw the expression “Polish concentration camp.” Moreover, Netanyahu even signed a statement stipulating that anti-Semitism is identical to anti-Polonism, and that only a handful of sad Polish individuals were responsible for persecuting Jews – not the nation as a whole.

    A billboard displaying George Soros urges Hungarians to take part in a national consultation about what it calls a plan by the Hungarian-born financier to settle migrants in Europe, in Budapest. ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

    Like the American, Hungarian and Polish alt-right, Israel wants to restore national pride unstained by “self-hating” critics. Like the Poles, for two decades now, Israel has been waging a war over the official narrative of the nation, trying to expunge school textbooks of inconvenient facts (such as the fact that Arabs were actively chased out of Israel in 1948). In order to quash criticism, Israel’s Culture Ministry now predicates funding to creative institutions on loyalty to the state. As in Hungary, the Israeli government persecutes NGOs like Breaking the Silence, a group whose only sin has been to give soldiers a forum for reporting their army experiences and to oppose Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians or the expropriation of land, in violation of international law. Purging critics from public life (as expressed in barring the entry into the country of BDS supporters, denying funding to theater companies or films critical of Israel, etc.) is an expression of direct state power.

    When it comes to refugees, Israel, like Hungary and Poland, refuses to comply with international law. For almost a decade now, Israel has not respected international conventions on the rights of refugees even though it is a signatory of said conventions: The state has detained refugees in camps, and imprisoned and deported them. Like Poland, Israel is trying to do away with the independence of its judiciary. Israel feels comfortable with the anti-democratic extreme right of European states in the same way that one feels comfortable with a family member who belches and gossips, losing any sense of self-control or table manners.

    More generally, these countries today share a deep common political core: fear of foreigners at the borders (it must be specified, however, that Israelis’ fears are less imaginary than those of Hungarians or Polish); references to the nation’s pride untainted by a dubious past, casting critics as traitors to the nation; and outlawing human rights organizations and contesting global norms based on moral principles. The Netanyahu-Trump-Putin triumvirate has a definite shared vision and strategy: to create a political bloc that would undermine the current liberal international order and its key players.

    In a recent article about Trump for Project Syndicate, legal scholar Mark S. Weiner suggested that Trump’s political vision and practice follow (albeit, unknowingly) the precepts of Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar who joined the Nazi Party in 1933.

    “In place of normativity and universalism, Schmitt offers a theory of political identity based on a principle that Trump doubtless appreciates deeply from his pre-political career: land,” wrote Weiner. “For Schmitt, a political community forms when a group of people recognizes that they share some distinctive cultural trait that they believe is worth defending with their lives. This cultural basis of sovereignty is ultimately rooted in the distinctive geography… that a people inhabit. At stake here are opposing positions about the relation between national identity and law. According to Schmitt, the community’s nomos [the Greek word for “law”] or sense of itself that grows from its geography, is the philosophical precondition for its law. For liberals, by contrast, the nation is defined first and foremost by its legal commitments.”

    Netanyahu and his ilk subscribe to this Schmittian vision of the political, making legal commitments subordinate to geography and race. Land and race are the covert and overt motives of Netanyahu’s politics. He and his coalition have, for example, waged a politics of slow annexation in the West Bank, either in the hope of expelling or subjugating the 2.5 million Palestinians living there, or of controlling them.

    They have also radicalized the country’s Jewishness with the highly controversial nation-state law. Playing footsie with anti-Semitic leaders may seem to contradict the nation-state law, but it is motivated by the same statist and Schmittian logic whereby the state no longer views itself as committed to representing all of its citizens, but rather aims to expand territory; increase its power by designating enemies; define who belongs and who doesn’t; narrow the definition of citizenship; harden the boundaries of the body collective; and undermine the international liberal order. The line connecting Orban to the nationality law is the sheer and raw expansion of state power.

    Courting Orban or Morawiecki means having allies in the European Council and Commission, which would help Israel block unwanted votes, weaken Palestinian international strategies and create a political bloc that could impose a new international order. Netanyahu and his buddies have a strategy and are trying to reshape the international order to meet their own domestic goals. They are counting on the ultimate victory of reactionary forces to have a free hand to do what they please inside the state.

    But what is most startling is the fact that in order to promote his illiberal policies, Netanyahu is willing to snub and dismiss the greatest part of the Jewish people, its most accepted rabbis and intellectuals, and the vast number of Jews who have supported, through money or political action, the State of Israel. This suggests a clear and undeniable shift from a politics based on the people to a politics based on the land.

    For the majority of Jews outside Israel, human rights and the struggle against anti-Semitism are core values. Netanyahu’s enthusiastic support for authoritarian, anti-Semitic leaders is an expression of a profound shift in the state’s identity as a representative of the Jewish people to a state that aims to advance its own expansion through seizure of land, violation of international law, exclusion and discrimination. This is not fascism per se, but certainly one of its most distinctive features.

    This state of affairs is worrisome but it is also likely to have two interesting and even positive developments. The first is that in the same way that Israel has freed itself from its “Jewish complex” – abandoning its role as leader and center of the Jewish people as a whole – many or most Jews will now likely free themselves from their Israel complex, finally understanding that Israel’s values and their own are deeply at odds. World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder’s August 13, 2018, op-ed in The New York Times, which was close to disowning Israel, is a powerful testimony to this. Lauder was very clear: Israel’s loss of moral status means it won’t be able to demand the unconditional loyalty of world Jewry. What was in the past experienced by many Jews as an inner conflict is now slowly being resolved: Many or most members of Jewish communities will give preference to their commitment to the constitutions of their countries – that is to universalist human rights.

    Israel has already stopped being the center of gravity of the Jewish world, and as such, it will be able to count only on the support of a handful of billionaires and the ultra-Orthodox. This means that for the foreseeable future, Israel’s leverage in American politics will be considerably weakened.

    Trumpism is a passing phase in American politics. Latinos and left-wing Democrats will become increasingly involved in the country’s politics, and as they do, these politicians will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued American support of Israeli policies that are abhorrent to liberal democracies. Unlike in the past, however, Jews will no longer pressure them to look the other way.

    The second interesting development concerns Europe. The European Union no longer knows what its mission was. But the Netanyahus, Trumps, Orbans and Morawieckis will help Europe reinvent its vocation: The social-democrat bloc of the EU will be entrusted with the mission of opposing state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, and above all defending Europe’s liberal values that we, Jews and non-Jews, Zionists and anti-Zionists, have all fought so hard for. Israel, alas, is no longer among those fighting that fight.

    A shorter version of this article has originally appeared in Le Monde.

    • Eva Illouz : « Orban, Trump et Nétanyahou semblent affectionner barrières et murs »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/08/08/eva-illouz-israel-contre-les-juifs_5340351_3232.html?xtor=RSS-3208
      Dans une tribune au « Monde », l’universitaire franco-israélienne estime que l’alliance du gouvernement israélien avec les régimes « illibéraux » d’Europe de l’Est crée une brèche au sein du peuple juif, pour qui la lutte contre l’antisémitisme et la mémoire de la Shoah ne sont pas négociables.

      LE MONDE | 08.08.2018 à 06h39 • Mis à jour le 08.08.2018 à 19h18 | Par Eva Illouz (directrice d’études à l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales)

      Tribune. Un tremblement de terre est tranquillement en train de secouer le monde juif. Lorsque le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, choisit de soutenir Donald Trump avant et après l’élection présidentielle américaine de 2016, certains pouvaient encore donner à ce dernier le bénéfice du doute. Certes, Trump s’était entouré de gens comme Steve Bannon dont émanaient des relents antisémites, certes, il refusait aussi de condamner sa base électorale sympathisante du Ku Klux Klan, mais personne n’était encore sûr de la direction que prendrait sa nouvelle présidence.

      Les événements de Charlottesville, en août 2017, n’ont plus permis le doute. Les manifestants néonazis commirent des actes de violence contre des contre-manifestants pacifiques (tuant une personne en fonçant dans la foule avec une voiture), mais Trump condamna de la même façon opposants modérés et manifestants néonazis.

      Le monde entier fut choqué de cette mise en équivalence, mais Jérusalem ne protesta pas. L’observateur indulgent (ou cynique) aurait pu interpréter ce silence comme l’acquiescement forcé du vassal vis-à-vis de son suzerain : de tous les pays du monde, Israël est celui qui reçoit la plus grande aide militaire des Etats-Unis.

      Cette interprétation n’est désormais plus possible. Il est devenu clair que Nétanyahou a de fortes sympathies pour d’autres dirigeants qui, comme Trump, front preuve d’une grande indulgence vis-à-vis de l’antisémitisme et dont il ne dépend ni militairement ni économiquement.
      Une statue à Budapest

      Prenons l’exemple de la Hongrie. En 2015, le gouvernement y annonça son intention de dresser une statue à la mémoire de Balint Homan, ministre qui joua un rôle décisif dans la déportation de 600 000 juifs hongrois. Quelques mois plus tard, en 2016, il fut question d’ériger à Budapest une statue à la mémoire d’un des architectes de la législation antijuive durant la seconde guerre mondiale, György Donáth....

  • For an open migration policy to end the deaths and crises in the Mediterranean

    The current crisis surrounding migration is not one of numbers – migrants’ crossings of the sea are at their lowest since 2013 – but of policies. The drive towards closure and the politicisation of migration are so strong after years of tension that the frail bodies of a few thousand migrants arriving on European shores are triggering a major political crisis throughout the EU.

    One epicentre of this crisis is in Italy, where Matteo Salvini, the country’s new far-right Interior Minister, is preventing NGOs from disembarking rescued migrants. Such was the case with the 629 people on board the Aquarius.

    Another is Germany, where the governing coalition led by Angela Merkel is at risk as the hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has threatened to turn back refugees at the German borders. The European Council summit on 28 June 2018 promises to be rife with tensions. As EU member states will most probably continue to prove unable to offer a common response to migrants once they have arrived on European shores, they will reinforce the policy they have implemented since 2015: preventing migrants from crossing the sea by outsourcing border control to non-European countries.
    The consensus of closure

    This policy of closure has had horrendous consequences for migrants – such as the subjection to torture of those who are intercepted at sea by the Libyan coast guard, which has been equipped, trained and coordinated by Italy and the EU. Despite this, it has gathered growing consensus. Faced with the politicisation of migration which has fuelled the rise of far-right populist parties across Europe and threatens the EU itself with disintegration, even humanists of the centre left and right ask whether these inhumane policies are not a necessary evil.

    Would it not be better for migrants to “stay home” rather then reach a Europe which has turned its back on them and which they threaten in turn? Whispering or shouting, reluctantly or aggressively, European citizens increasingly wish migrants would simply disappear.

    Powerful forces driving migration, failed policies

    This consensus towards closure is delusional. Policies of closure that are completely at odds with the dynamics of migration systematically fail in their aim of ending the arrivals of illegalised migrants, as the record of the last 30 years demonstrates.

    Ever since the European states consolidated freedom of movement for European citizens in the 1990s all the while denying access to most non-European populations, the arrival of “undesirable” migrants has not stopped, but only been pushed underground. This is because as long as there are strong “push factors” – such as wars and economic crisis, and “pull factors” – such as work and welfare opportunities as well as respect for human rights, and that these continue to be connected by migrants’ transnational networks, state policies have little chance of succeeding in durably stemming the migration they aim to restrict.

    Over the last 30 years, for every route states have succeeded in closing, it has only been a matter of time before migrants opened several new ones. Forced to use precarious means of travel – often controlled by criminal networks, migrants’ lives were put at growing risk. More than 30,000 migrants are recorded to have died at sea since the beginning of the 1990s. A sea which has connected civilisations for millennia has become a mass grave.

    Fear breeds more fear: the vicious cycle

    These policies of closure, often implemented by centre governments allegedly in the aim of preventing the further rise of anti-immigrant sentiments, ultimately contributed to them. Despite the spectacular military means deployed by states to police borders, illegalised migration continued, giving European populations a sense that their states had “lost control” – a feeling that has only been heightened in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

    Migrants’ illegalisation has led to unjustifiable status inequality within European societies, allowing employers to pull salaries down in the sectors in which precaritized migrants are employed. This has lent to working classes the impression that migrants constitute an unfair competition.

    Policies of closure and discrimination thus only generate more fear and rejection of migrants. The parties which have mobilised voters on the basis of this fear have left unaddressed – and in fact diverted attention from – the rising unemployment, social insecurity, and inequality amongst Europe’s “losers of globalisation”, whose resentment has served as a fertile ground for anti-immigrant sentiments.

    In this way, we have become trapped in a vicious cycle that has fuelled the rise of the far-right.
    Towards an open migration policy, de-escalate the mobility conflict

    Over the years, the Mediterranean has become the main frontline of a mobility conflict, which has intensified in the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings and European debt crisis. Since then, both the factors spurring migrants’ movement towards Europe and those leading to the drive to exclude them have been heightened.

    The lack of solidarity within the EU to respond to arrivals in so-called “frontline states” in southern and eastern Europe have further fuelled it. As long as the same policies continue to be applied, there is no end in sight to the political tensions and violence surrounding migration and the worrying political trends they are nurturing.

    A fundamental paradigm shift is necessary to end this vicious cycle. 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.

    State policies can only create a legal frame for human movement to unfold and thereby partly organise it, they cannot block it. Only a more open policy would allow migration to unfold in a way that threatens neither migrants themselves nor European citizens.

    With legal access to Europe, migrants would no longer need to resort to smugglers and risk their lives crossing the sea. No longer policed through military means, migration could appear as a normal process that does not generate fear. States could better detect individuals that might pause a threat among migrants as they would not be pushed underground. Migrants’ legal status would no longer allow employers to push working conditions down.

    Such a policy is however far from being on the European agenda. For its implementation to be even faintly imaginable in the medium term, the deep and entangled roots of the mobility conflict must addressed.
    Beyond the EU’s incoherent and one-sided “global approach”

    Today, the EU claims to address one side of the mobility conflict. Using development aid within its so-called “global approach to migration”, it claims to tackle the “root causes” that spur migration towards Europe. Researchers however have shown that development does not automatically lead to less migration. This policy will further have little effect as long as the EU’s unfair trade policies with the global south are perpetuated – for example concerning agriculture and fishing in Africa.

    In effect, the EU’s policy has mostly resulted in the use of development aid to impose policies of migration control on countries of the global south. In the process, the EU is lending support to authoritarian regimes – such as Turkey, Egypt, Sudan – which migrants are fleeing.

    Finally, when it has not worsened conflicts through its own military intervention as in Libya, the EU has proven unable of acting as a stabilizing force in the face of internationalised civil conflicts. These are bound to multiply in a time of intense competition for global hegemony. A true commitment to global justice and conflict resolution is necessary if Europe wishes to limit the factors forcing too many people onto the harsh paths of exile from their countries and regions, a small share of whom reach European shores.
    Tackling the drivers of migrant exclusion

    Beyond its lack of coherence, the EU’s so-called “global approach” suffers from one-sidedness, focused as it is on migration as “the problem”.

    As a result, it fails to see migration as a normal social process. Furthermore, it does not address the conditions that lead to the social and political drive to exclude them. The fact that today the arrival of a few thousand migrants is enough to put the EU into crisis clearly shows the limits of this approach.

    It is urgent for policy makers – at the national and local levels, but also researchers, cultural producers and social movements – to not only morally condemn racism and xenophobia, but to tackle the deep forces that shape them.

    What is needed is a more inclusive and fair economic system to decrease the resentment of European populations. In addition, a positive vision for living in common in diverse societies must be affirmed, so that the tensions that arise from the encounter between different people and cultures can be overcome.

    Crucially, we must emphasise the commonality of fate that binds European citizens to migrants. Greater equality and solidarity between migrants and European citizens is one of the conditions to defend all workers’ conditions.

    All in the same boat

    Addressing the entangled roots of the mobility conflict is a challenging agenda, one which emerges from the realisation that the tensions surrounding migration cannot be resolved through migration policies only – and by policy makers on their own for that matter.

    It charts a path worth following collectively as it points in the direction of a more open migration policy, but also a more just society. These are necessary to bring an end to the unbearable deaths of migrants at sea and end the vicious cycle of closure, violence, and politicisation of migration.

    Policies of closure have failed to end illegalised migration and only fuelled the rise of the far-right and the disintegration of Europe. If Europe is to stop sinking, it must end the policies that lead to migrants’ mass drowning in the Mediterranean. The NGOs being criminalised and prevented from disembarking migrants in Italy are not only saving migrants, but rescuing Europe against itself. Whether we like it or not, we are all in the same boat.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/charles-heller/for-open-migration-policy-to-end-deaths-and-crises-in-mediterranea

    #tribune #Charles_Heller #solution #alternatives #migrations #asile #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #fermeture #ouverture_des_frontières #décès #morts #mourir_en_mer

    • Une politique migratoire plus ouverte pour moins de morts en Méditerranée

      La fermeture des frontières a coûté la vie à plus de 30 000 migrants qui tentaient de parvenir en Europe. Cette vision politique a favorisé la montée de l’extrême droite qu’elle prétendait combattre. Il est donc temps de changer de paradigme et d’adopter une nouvelle approche.

      Le sommet du Conseil européen du 28 juin n’aura que confirmé ce que tous savaient déjà. Face à la montée des partis d’extrême droite et à la menace de désintégration d’une Union européenne (UE) incapable d’offrir un accueil solidaire aux migrants arrivés sur le sol européen, la seule solution envisageable semble être de les empêcher à tout prix de pouvoir y mettre pied en externalisant le contrôle des migrations (1). Malgré la documentation de nombreux cas de tortures parmi les migrants interceptés par les gardes-côtes libyens financés, équipés, et coordonnés par l’Italie et l’Union européenne, ce soutien a été réitéré (2). Des ONG, qui ont courageusement déployé leurs bateaux pour combler le vide mortel laissé par le retrait des secours étatiques, sont sommées de laisser les Libyens faire le sale boulot, criminalisées, et interdites d’accès aux ports italiens. Chaque jour, la mer charrie son lot de corps sans vie.

      Il serait illusoire de penser que cette énième crise pourra être résolue par les mêmes politiques de fermetures qui échouent depuis plus de trente ans. Celles-ci n’ont pas mis un terme aux arrivées des migrants désignés comme indésirables, mais les ont seulement illégalisées. Tant qu’existeront des facteurs qui poussent les populations du Sud global sur les chemins de l’exil - guerres, crises économiques - et des facteurs d’attraction vers l’Europe - travail, Etat social, respect des droits humains - et que les réseaux transnationaux de migrants relient les continents, les politiques de fermetures ne parviendront pas à réduire durablement les migrations (3). Pour chaque route que les Etats ferment, plusieurs nouvelles voies seront bientôt ouvertes. La liste répertoriant plus de 30 000 migrants morts en mer depuis le début des années 90 ne cessera de s’allonger (4).

      Ces politiques de fermeture, souvent mises en œuvre par des gouvernements prétendant lutter contre la montée de sentiments anti-immigrants, n’ont fait que les renforcer. En dépit des moyens militaires spectaculaires déployés par les Etats pour contrôler les frontières, la migration illégale s’est poursuivie, confortant chez les populations européennes le sentiment que leurs gouvernements avaient « perdu le contrôle ». L’illégalisation des migrants permet aux employeurs de baisser les salaires dans les secteurs où sont employés des migrants précarisés, et des ouvriers en ont tiré la conclusion que les migrants sont une concurrence déloyale. Les partis, qui ont mobilisé les votants sur la base de sentiments anti-immigrés, n’ont offert aucune réponse à la hausse du chômage, de l’insécurité sociale et des inégalités qui ont généré un profond ressentiment parmi les « perdants de la globalisation » en Europe (5). Ceux-ci ont été d’autant plus réceptifs aux discours haineux. Nous sommes ainsi prisonniers d’un cercle vicieux qui a encouragé la montée de l’extrême droite et qui a perpétué les politiques de fermetures.

      Au fil des ans, la Méditerranée est devenue la principale ligne de front d’un conflit de mobilités qui s’est intensifié à la suite des « printemps arabes » de 2011 et de la crise de la dette européenne. Depuis, tant les facteurs qui amènent les migrants à venir vers l’Europe que ceux qui poussent à leur exclusion se sont intensifiés. Le manque de solidarité entre Etats européens a attisé le rejet des migrants. Tant qu’on appliquera les mêmes politiques de fermeture, il n’y aura pas d’issue aux tensions politiques et à la violence qui entourent les migrations, et aux inquiétantes tendances politiques qu’elles nourrissent. Le seul horizon de sortie de cette crise permanente est une politique migratoire ouverte (5).

      Citoyens et dirigeants européens doivent se rendre compte que la question n’est pas de savoir si les migrants vont exercer leur liberté de mouvement en franchissant les frontières, mais quel en sera le coût humain et politique. Les politiques des Etats ne peuvent que créer le cadre légal pour les mouvements humains, donc les organiser en partie, mais en aucun cas les bloquer. S’il existait des voies d’accès légales à l’Europe, les migrants n’auraient plus besoin de recourir aux passeurs et de risquer leur vie. En l’absence d’une gestion militarisée, la migration apparaîtrait pour ce qu’elle est : un processus normal qui n’engendre aucune peur. Les migrants disposant d’un statut légal, les employeurs n’auraient plus les mains libres pour dégrader les conditions de travail. Une telle politique est bien loin d’être à l’agenda européen, et suscite de nombreuses peurs. Pour qu’à moyen terme sa mise en place soit envisageable, il faut s’attaquer aux racines profondes et enchevêtrées du conflit de mobilité.

      Si l’Europe veut limiter les raisons qui poussent de trop nombreux êtres humains sur les chemins de l’exil, elle doit s’engager fermement en faveur d’une justice globale et de la résolution des conflits. C’est-à-dire réformer complètement la prétendue « approche globale de la migration » (6) de l’Union européenne qui, prétextant s’attaquer aux « causes profondes » des migrations, a surtout imposé aux pays du Sud l’externalisation des contrôles migratoires en leur faisant miroiter l’aide au développement. Bien plus, obsédée par la migration comme « problème », elle n’apporte aucune réponse aux conditions qui mènent à l’exclusion des migrants par l’Europe. Un système économique plus juste et inclusif permettrait de désamorcer le ressentiment des populations européennes. Une vision positive de la vie en commun dans des sociétés marquées par la diversité, de vaincre les tensions nées de la rencontre entre peuples et cultures. Il est vital d’insister sur la communauté de destin qui lie les citoyens européens aux migrants : plus d’égalité et de solidarité entre eux est l’une des conditions pour défendre les droits de tous les travailleurs.

      Une politique migratoire ouverte ne suffira ainsi pas à elle seule à surmonter les tensions entourant les migrations, elle devra être accompagnée d’une transformation profonde de notre monde. Mais pour se sauver du naufrage, l’Europe doit urgemment abandonner les politiques de fermeture qui sont la cause des dizaines de milliers de noyades en Méditerranée et ont attisé la montée de l’extrême droite. Les ONG aujourd’hui criminalisées font bien plus que sauver des migrants, elles sauvent l’Europe d’elle-même. Que nous le voulions ou non, nous sommes tous dans le même bateau.

      http://www.liberation.fr/debats/2018/07/03/une-politique-migratoire-plus-ouverte-pour-moins-de-morts-en-mediterranee
      #économie #illégalisation #extrême_droite #populisme #politique_migratoire #capitalisme #libéralisme #fermeture_des_frontières #ouverture_des_frontières #Charles_Heller

  • Intéressant changement de #titre (+ photo... et de contenu ?) dans un article de AP où il était question de #performance de l’#armée autrichienne à la frontière...


    L’article et le titre que je suppose originaux sur un tweet :
    Austrian police, army perform border closure exercice
    https://twitter.com/ProfImogenTyler/status/1011730607309754368

    Le titre est devenu :
    On both sides of Atlantic, migrants meet hostile reception

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/austrian-police-army-perform-border-closure-exercise-56163013

    #Autriche #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières

    • Giochi con le frontiere

      Mille tra poliziotti e soldati, finti profughi che «assaltano» il confine. L’Austria organizza una mega esercitazione anti migranti al confine con la Slovenia. Una prova muscolare alla vigilia del suo turno di presidenza Ue. Mentre nel Mediterraneo resta incerto il destino dei profughi (veri) che si trovano sulla Lifeline


      https://ilmanifesto.it/edizione/il-manifesto-del-27-06-2018
      via @albertocampiphoto

    • Persisting migration impasse in Germany leads to Austrian border protection exercise

      The recent European Council meeting has been a key place to find such a solution. The European Council released its conclusions this morning, which Günther Oettinger, the European commissioner for budget and human resources and CDU politician, hailed as a “genuine breakthrough” which the CDU will recognise “as a big step in the right direction”. On leaving the summit, Chancellor Merkel agreed that the EU agreeing on a common text was a “good signal” but acknowledged that “we still have a lot of work to do to bridge the different views”.

      In light of the internal German debates, Austria undertook a larger scale border patrol training exercise, additionally it was the inaugural outing of a new border police unit ‘Puma’. Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the FPÖ party said the exercises were, “to prepare ourselves for all developments and send a clear signal that there will no longer be a loss of control and free passage like in 2015.” He added, “The reasons for this are the debate about intra-European border closures, triggered by Germany, as well as current developments on the refugee routes in the Balkans.”

      Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the ÖVP party said of the apparent moves for harder borders, “I want to cooperate so that it will not come to that. We must ensure that illegal migrants no longer make it to the European Union in the first place, because then we would not need intra-European border controls.”

      https://www.ecre.org/persisting-migration-impasse-in-germany-leads-to-austrian-border-protection-ex

  • Liquid Traces - The Left-to-Die Boat Case on Vimeo

    https://vimeo.com/89790770

    Pour ne pas oublier, les protagonistes surtout, et le remarquable travail d’enquête des auteurs au sein du groupe « Forensic Architecture » du Goldsmiths Institute à Londres

    Directed by Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani, 17 min, 2014

    Liquid Traces offers a synthetic reconstruction of the events concerning what is known as the “left-to-die boat” case, in which 72 passengers who left the Libyan coast heading in the direction of the island of Lampedusa on board a small rubber boat were left to drift for 14 days in NATO’s maritime surveillance area, despite several distress signals relaying their location, as well as repeated interactions, including at least one military helicopter visit and an encounter with a military ship. As a result, only 9 people survived.

    In producing this reconstruction, our research has used against the grain the “sensorium of the sea” – the multiple remote sensing devises used to record and read the sea’s depth and surface. Contrary to the vision of the sea as a non-signifying space in which any event immediately dissolves into moving currents, with our investigation we demonstrated that traces are indeed left in water, and that by reading them carefully the sea itself can be turned into a witness for interrogation.

    #mourir_en_mer #migrations #asile #crie_d_etat

    • Avec un très long texte paru dans Open Democraty, qui vient éclairer utilement la vidéo :

      Time to end the EU’s left-to-die policy | openDemocracy
      http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/charles-heller-lorenzo-pezzani/time-to-end-eu%E2%80%99s-lefttodie-policy

      Time to end the EU’s left-to-die policy
      Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani 25 June 2014

      Researchers participating in the reconstruction of the 2011 “Left-to-die boat” case in which 63 migrants lost their life under NATO’s eyes, summarize three years of inconclusive demands for disclosure and justice. As the European Council addresses the EU’s long-term migration policy, they say deaths of migrants at sea will continue short of ending the EU’s policy of closure towards non-European migrants.

      Two years ago, we published a report on what came to be known as the “left-to-die” boat case.

      Two years ago, we published a report on what came to be known as the “left-to-die” boat case. Co-authored with the architectural office SITU Studio, the report used imaging, mapping, and modelling technologies in order to produce a visual and spatial picture of how, in March 2011, sixty-three migrants lost their lives in the Central Mediterranean while attempting to reach the small Italian island of Lampedusa from the coast of Libya.

  • The Gambia is now free and democratic so Europe is pushing its migrants to go home

    Gambians were among the top nationalities leaving West Africa for Italy in 2016. In total 11,929 Gambians arrived last year. But because they have a new democratically-elected government, European countries are now looking to increase the returns of Gambian migrants. A Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion has already met at the European Council to discuss a draft agreement on returns between the EU and the Gambia.

    The potentially explosive levels of frustration already hold true for returnees from Libya. Since March 2017, the International Organisation for Migration has sought to voluntarily return Gambians home from Libya. In August, it identified 1,979 Gambians living in Libya.


    https://qz.com/1114660/italy-is-pushing-gambian-migrants-to-return-now-yahya-jammeh-is-out-of-power-but

    #Gambie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #accord #pays_sûr #réfugiés_gambiens #OIM #IOM #retour_volontaire
    cc @isskein

  • Returning migrants to The Gambia: the political, social and economic costs

    Gambians were among the top nationalities leaving West Africa for Italy in 2016. In total 11,929 Gambians arrived last year. But because they have a new democratically-elected government, European countries are now looking to increase the returns of Gambian migrants. A Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion has already met at the European Council to discuss a draft agreement on returns between the EU and the Gambia.

    By September 2017, 1,119 Gambians had been returned. When a focus group of 15 were questioned in a recent study, they said that they returned because of the gravity of their situation in detention centres in Libya, and to a degree, by the hope that things would be different in the new Gambia.

    https://theconversation.com/returning-migrants-to-the-gambia-the-political-social-and-economic-

    Avec ce commentaire de Emmanuel Blanchard (reçu via la mailing-list migreurop):

    Article intéressant notamment par les informations et statistiques qu’il donne sur l’enregistrement et le rapatriement, par l’#OIM, des Gambiens détenus en #Libye.
    Expulsions depuis l’Italie semble aussi de plus en plus nombreuses (l’auteure ne donne pas de chiffres) et augmenteront encore, selon toute vraisemblance, dans les prochains mois.

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés_gambiens #statistiques #chiffres #Italie

  • Statewatch News Online: EU: Migrant smuggling tops EU crime priorities - restricted document shows extent of police operations
    http://statewatch.org/news/2017/oct/eu-migrant-smuggling-action.htm

    "Preventing the arrival of immigrants with no legal rights to the EU is more important, in terms of EU policy priorities among member states, than fighting terrorism and online child pornography.

    Erkki Koort, who chairs an internal security group at the European Council, representing member states, told MEPs on Tuesday (10 October) that fighting “the facilitation of illegal migration” involves more EU states than any other crime.

    “For the upcoming [EU policy] cycle, the areas with the biggest number of member states participating are first [against] the facilitation of illegal migration,” he said.

    Human trafficking ranked second, followed by synthetic drugs and then more conventional narcotics like cannabis and cocaine. Koort then listed weapons trafficking and child sexual exploitation as near the bottom of the priorities. Other big ticket issues included value-added tax fraud, which followed child sexual exploitation."

    See: Migrant smuggling tops EU crime priorities (EUobserver, link)

    The EU policy cycle on serious and organised crime

    The EU policy cycle on serious and organised crime was first set up in 2010, having emerged from the Belgian-led ’Project Harmony’ aimed at enhancing cross-border police cooperation in the EU. It has become increasingly formalised and better-funded in recent years, with the establishment of an acronym-heavy management system based around Europol and the Council of the EU, in particular the Standing committeee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI).

  • How #McKinsey quietly shaped Europe’s response to the refugee crisis

    Germany has paid McKinsey 29.3 million euros, the equivalent of nearly $34 million, for work with the federal migration office that began in October 2015 and continues to this day. The office also brought in two Europe-based firms, #Roland_Berger and #Ernst_&_Young.

    Among McKinsey’s projects has been the development of fast-track arrival centers with the capacity to process claims within days. The company’s work on migration issues also has taken its consultants to Greece and Sweden. This year, McKinsey submitted a bid for a project with the United Nations.

    Experts in international law said the German case illustrates risks associated with McKinsey’s input. Today, asylum decisions handed down by the federal migration office come faster but are leaving an increasing number of migrants with fewer rights, above all the right to family reunification, triggering hundreds of thousands of appeals that have created a new backlog — not in asylum centers, but in German courts.

    “We’re not used to seeing business consultants brought into the process,” said Minos Mouzourakis of the Brussels-based European Council on Refugees and Exiles. “McKinsey and others developed a system for more efficient management of asylum cases to make sure that the backlog of cases could be cleared. This led to a substantial number of decisions being taken, but with a significant drop in quality.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-mckinsey-quietly-shaped-europes-response-to-the-refugee-crisis/2017/07/23/2cccb616-6c80-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html
    #Allemagne #privatisation #consulting #Grèce #Suède #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure #accélération_des_procédures #fast-track #management

    via @isskein

  • E.U. Needs to Offer Work Visas to Bring Migration Under Control

    A European “coalition of the willing” offering migrants legal channels could restore some sanity to floundering migration policy, says Mattia Toaldo from the European Council on Foreign Relations. A breakthrough may be closer than it seems.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/06/26/e-u-needs-to-offer-work-visas-to-bring-migration-under-control

    #visas #migrations #asile #réfugiés #travail #visas_de_travail #alternatives

  • Challenge mounted to Court judgment on opposing access to the documents concerning the EU-Turkey deal of 18 March 2016

    On 28 February 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rejected three applicants’ cases requesting access to the documents held by the Council of the European Union concerning the EU-Turkey deal of 18 March 2016. The Court argued that:

    “the three actions as inadmissible on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. In particular, the General Court held that the EU-Turkey Statement did not relate to an act of the
    European Council nor of any other body, office or agency of the Union and hence that the actions fell outside the Court’s jurisdiction.” [LIMITE doc no: 9148-17, pdf) [emphasis added]

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/may/eu-cjeu-eu-turkey.htm
    #accord_UE-Turquie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #transparence #juridiction
    cc @i_s_

  • Pipelines and Pipedreams : How the EU can support a regional gas hub in the Eastern Mediterranean | European Council on Foreign Relations
    http://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/pipelines_and_pipedreams_how_the_eu_can_support_a_regional_gas_hub_in_7276

    Où l’on reparle de la « guerre du gaz » ou « guerre des pipe ».

    Large natural gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean have raised hopes that the region could serve EU energy needs, helping it to fulfil its goals of energy diversification, security, and resilience.
    But there are commercial and political hurdles in the way. Cyprusʼs reserves are too small to be commercially viable and Israel needs a critical mass of buyers to begin full-scale production. Regional cooperation – either bilaterally or with Egypt – is the only way the two countries will be able to export.
    Egypt is the only country in the region that could export gas to Europe independently because of the size of its reserves and its existing export infrastructure. But energy sector reforms will be needed to secure investor confidence in this option.
    There are now two options for regional export: to build a pipeline that connects Israel and Cyprus to southern Europe, or to create a network of pipelines into Egypt, from which gas could be liquefied and exported.
    The EU should explore regional prospects by strengthening its energy diplomacy, developing more projects of common interest, working to resolve the Turkey-Cyprus dispute, and incentivising reforms in Egypt.

    #gaz #europe #guerre_du_gaz #russie #europe #tubes #pipelines #pipedreams (nouveau mot-clé)

  • Commission statement on the management of flows of persons at the borders between Slovenia and Croatia

    President Juncker met on 29 April in the margins of the European Council the Prime Ministers of Slovenia and Croatia, Miro Cerar and Andrej Plenković, on the management of flows of persons at the borders between Slovenia and Croatia and they stated the following:

    “We had constructive talks in a solution-oriented spirit.

    We agree that EU law reinforcing the controls at the #Schengen borders and the security of our Union must be applied and implemented. In this context, we welcome the fact that Croatia will have full access to the Schengen Information System by 27 June 2017.

    The Commission stands ready to and will assist Slovenia and Croatia in providing effective and non-bureaucratic short and long-term solutions for the implementation of the systematic checks at the borders. Slovenia and Croatia both consider the Commission’s technical guidelines as very helpful and as a very good basis for their further cooperation.

    Slovenia and Croatia agree that they will notify the Commission – in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code – of the decision to carry out targeted checks whenever the waiting time at specified land border crossing points between the two countries is longer than 15 minutes.”

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-1182_en.htm?locale=FR
    #frontières #Slovénie #Croatie #contrôles_aux_frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation #fermeture_des_frontières

    • Slovenia: Amendments to Aliens Act enables state to activate closure of the border

      Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has already been confronted twice with a mass influx of refugees and migrants. The first time was during the war in ex-Yugoslav Republics when 60,000 refugees (equalling 3% of the Slovenian population) found shelter in public and, mostly, private dwellings for several years. The second time was at the occasion of the unprecedented “humanitarian corridor” (analysed in The Peace Institute publication Razor-wired: Reflections on migration movements through Slovenia in 2015) during the 2015-16 European-wide migratory movements, when approximately 500,000 persons transited through Slovenia, but with less than 200 claiming international protection on its territory.

      http://rightsinexile.tumblr.com/post/160207148697/slovenia-amendments-to-the-aliens-act-enable-the

  • Je crois qu’on tient le complot de l’année: Russia may organise migrant sex attacks in Europe to make Angela Merkel lose German elections, EU experts sensationally claim
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2400317/russia-may-organise-migrant-sex-attacks-in-europe-to-make-angela-merkel-lo

    The secret services in Russia and Syria may encourage refugees to carry out orchestrated sex attacks on German women in a sick bid to oust Angela Merkel from office, it’s been claimed.

    The startling claim was made by an expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations, who said the foreign powers could work together in a bid to destabilise Germany in the run up to next year’s election.

  • Gun lobby diluting new EU gun control law | Germany | DW.COM | 21.10.2016
    http://www.dw.com/en/gun-lobby-diluting-new-eu-gun-control-law/a-36116139

    Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is among the parties diluting the EU’s new gun control law, devised in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. Semi-automatic weapons are likely to remain legal.

    The European Commission’s attempts to ban the most dangerous semi-automatic weapons, such as AK-47 assault rifles, are being watered down thanks to pressure from a pan-European alliance of gun associations, according to documents leaked to “Der Spiegel” magazine.

    The Commission’s proposal, drawn up in the wake of last year’s terrorist attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, is due to be finalized over the coming weeks by the European Parliament, the Commission, and the European Council. But France, Italy, and some Eastern European states are against re-categorizing semi-automatic guns from “license required” to “banned,” according to “Der Spiegel.”

    Similarly, the proposed limit on the number of rounds allowed in a semi-automatic magazine was raised from six to 21 when the draft was revised in April, the magazine reported.

    Major European gun-makers like Germany’s Sig Sauer and Heckler & Koch (who did not respond to a DW request for comment), Austria’s Glock, and Italy’s Beretta, are all said to be involved in lobbying parliamentarians to water down the proposals, as are gun clubs in various countries.
    Frankreich Satirezeitschrift Charlie Hebdo (picture-alliance/dpa/G. Roth)

    Guns bought on the black market were used in the Charlie Hebdo massacre

    Legal market feeding illegal market

    They appear to have been successful: among political parties apparently won over by the gun lobby is Germany’s governing conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), one of whose European parliamentarians, Hermann Winkler, wrote to the German Shooting and Archery Federation (DSB) in June this year to reassure them that “legal gun-owners would not be punished for their social engagement by the directive.”

    Asked to respond by DW, the EU Commission would not condemn the lobbying directly, but urged legislators to pass the proposal quickly “and support the Commission’s high level of ambition ... in particular with regard to the assault weapons ban.”

    The proposal is “imperative” for “ensuring the security of our citizens,” industry policy spokesperson Lucia Caudet told DW in an email. “Once agreed, our proposal will make it harder to acquire firearms in the European Union, allow better tracking of legally held firearms, thus reducing the risk of diversion into illegal markets, and strengthen cooperation between Member States.”

    But pro-gun associations, such as the DSB and the Austrian IWÖ, argue that new regulation will only burden legal gun-owners and do nothing to hinder terrorists, who buy their guns on the black market anyway.

    And CDU politicians agree with them. “From our point of view, the biggest problem in the spread of weapons is the still-uncontrollable spread of illegal weapons,” CDU MEP Andreas Schwab told DW. “And the Commission hasn’t made any suggestions on that. The idea that we can ban all the semi-automatic weapons and the world would be a better place, that’s not an idea that’s close to reality.”

    But as far as German peace activist Jürgen Grässlin is concerned, this oversimplifies the problem. “If you look at different shootings, they always get their guns from completely different sources,” he told DW.

    The Islamist attackers in Paris, both at the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015 and later in November that year, did indeed get their assault rifles on the black market. But Anders Breivik, the far-right extremist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, had a gun license and bought a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun legally.

    Germany has comparatively tight gun laws, in part because of restrictions brought in following school shootings in Erfurt in 2002 and Winnenden in 2009 - in both cases, the guns used were licensed and used in sports clubs. “Sports shooters, who have the necessary technical knowledge and reliability, they now have to make sure that only they have access to them,” Schwab explained. “That’s why we tightened the storage responsibilities.”
    Norwegen Anders Behring Breivik im Gericht (picture-alliance/dpa/I. Aserud)

    Breivik bought his semi-automatic weapons legally

    But regulations could still be tightened further - for instance, by not allowing ammunition to be stored in private homes, or by introducing biometrically secured “smart” guns, which can only be unlocked with the thumbprint of their legal owners.

    Sluggish politicians

    “But these are only measures that treat the symptoms, not the root of the problem,” said Grässlin. “There’s this unbelievably phony pseudo-concern that breaks out after every shooting. The politicians say, ’Right, now we’re going to tighten the laws.’ ... And then a few months go by ... It’s been a year since the massacre in Paris and the politicians have turned to other issues, and suddenly they’re open to the pressure from the gun associations and shooting clubs.”

    Schwab was loathed to accept that the gun associations had “lobbied” him. “The sports clubs explained that they want to practice their sports and accepted the regulations about the storage of weapons,” he said. “For us it was important that the clubs that look after their weapons carefully don’t fall under a general suspicion.”

    “There’s no doubt that the approach taken by the EU Commission was going in the right direction,” said Grässlin. “But if the pressure of the ’weapons lobby,’ ... is suddenly brought to bear, then we have a comparable situation to the one in the US, where the National Rifle Association defines what politics can do. And that’s unacceptable, when you see what’s going on around the world with school-shootings and terrorism.”

  • Drone Strikes and Counter-Terror Wars: Legal Perspectives and Recommendations for European States | ICCT
    https://icct.nl/event/drone-strikes-and-counter-terror-wars-legal-perspectives-and-recommendations-fo

    The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) have both conducted research leading to multiple publications which addressed legal issues surrounding drone strikes and in particular compliance with European human rights obligations. As the involvement of European States in counter-terrorism wars is growing in complexity, these challenges will only become more pressing.

  • Mapping the Yemen conflict | European Council on Foreign Relations

    http://www.ecfr.eu/mena/yemen

    pas encore vu dans le détail mis prometteur. Lien signalé par l’ami Gresh en 2015 (j’ai du retard dans l’archivage...)

    Yemen’s president recently returned to the country after nearly six months in exile, but the conflict appears far from reaching a tidy conclusion, growing, if anything, more complicated by the day.

    President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the country by the Houthis - a Zaidi Shia-led rebel group targeted in six wars by the central government - and their new-found allies in the Yemeni Armed Forces, including many key backers of the country’s former leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh. This prompted an ongoing, Saudi-led military campaign aiming to restore Yemen’s internationally-recognised government to power, and now President Hadi and his Prime Minister and Vice President Khaled Bahah have returned to the port city of Aden.

    Rather than being a single conflict, the unrest in Yemen is a mosaic of multifaceted regional, local and international power struggles, emanating from both recent and long-past events. The following maps aim to illustrate distinct facets of this conflict, and illuminate some rarely discussed aspects of Yemen’s ongoing civil war.

    #yémen #cartographie

  • Croatian PM rules out border fence

    Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told reporters that there is no need for the country to build any border fences in order to handle the migrant crisis. He was speaking after last week’s European Council in Brussels.

    https://www.neweurope.eu/article/croatian-pm-rules-border-fence
    #murs (pas de -) #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Croatie
    cc @daphne @albertocampiphoto @marty

  • Europe tries to buy its way out of the migration crisis

    This week’s European Council meeting was dominated by reactions to Britain’s referendum result, but on Tuesday EU leaders took a decision that has far-reaching consequences for people forced or wishing to migrate from more than a dozen countries in Africa and Asia.
    Under the Partnership Framework with third countries, which the council adopted, 16 countries of origin and transit for migrants will be pressured to cooperate with the EU’s goals on curbing migration. Their compliance is to be rewarded with various “incentives” including development aid and trade deals. Non-cooperation will be met with unspecified “negative incentives” – presumably the withholding of aid and trade.

    https://www.irinnews.org/fr/node/258942
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #UE #EU #Union_européenne #politique_migratoire