• The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.


    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.


    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

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    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.


    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

      In recent years, rising calls for deterrence have intensified the physical violence migrants face at the EU border. The externalization of the border through deals with sending and transit countries signals the expansion of this securitization process. Financial gains by international arms firms in this militarization trend form an obstacle for policy change.

      In March, April, and May of this year, multiple European countries deployed military forces to their national borders. This was done to assist with controls and patrols in the wake of border closures and other movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 crisis. Poland deployed 1,460 soldiers to the border to support the Border Guard and police as part of a larger military operation in reaction to Covid-19. And the Portuguese police used military drones as a complement to their land border checks. According to overviews from NATO, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands (military police), Slovakia, and Slovenia all stationed armed forces at their national borders.

      While some of these deployments have been or will be rolled back as the Corona crisis dies down, they are not exceptional developments. Rather, using armed forces for border security and control has been a common occurrence at EU external borders since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. They are part of the continuing militarisation of European border and migration policies, which is known to put refugees at risk but is increasingly being expanded to third party countries. Successful lobbying from the military and security industry has been an important driver for these policies, from which large European arms companies have benefited.

      The militarization of borders happens when EU member states send armies to border regions, as they did in Operation Sophia off the Libyan coast. This was the first outright EU military mission to stop migration. But border militarization also includes the use of military equipment for migration control, such as helicopters and patrol vessels, as well as the the EU-wide surveillance system Eurosur, which connects surveillance data from all individual member states. Furthermore, EU countries now have over 1,000 kilometers of walls and fences on their borders. These are rigged with surveillance, monitoring, and detection technologies, and accompanied by an increasing use of drones and other autonomous systems. The EU also funds a constant stream of Research & Technology (R&T) projects to develop new technologies and services to monitor and manage migration.

      This process has been going on for decades. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, and the subsequent creation of the Schengen Area, which coupled the opening of the internal EU borders with robust control at the external borders, can be seen as a starting point for these developments. After 2011, when the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ led to fears of mass migration to Europe, and especially since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the EU accelerated the boosting and militarising of border security, enormously. Since then, stopping migration has been at the top of the EU agenda.

      An increasingly important part of the process of border militarization isn’t happening at the European borders, but far beyond them. The EU and its member states are incentivizing third party countries to help stop migrants long before they reach Europe. This externalising of borders has taken many forms, from expanding the goals of EUCAP missions in Mali and Niger to include the prevention of irregular migration, to funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard to return refugees back to torture and starvation in the infamous detention centers in Libya. It also includes the donation of border security equipment, for example from Germany to Tunisia, and funding for purchases, such as Turkey’s acquisition of coast guard vessels to strengthen its operational capacities.

      Next to the direct consequences of European border externalisation efforts, these policies cause and worsen problems in the third party countries concerned: diverting development funds and priorities, ruining migration-based economies, and strengthening authoritarian regimes such as those in Chad, Belarus, Eritrea, and Sudan by providing funding, training and equipment to their military and security forces. Precisely these state organs are most responsible for repression and abuses of human rights. All this feeds drivers of migration, including violence, repression, and unemployment. As such, it is almost a guarantee for more refugees in the future.

      EU border security agency Frontex has also extended its operations into non-EU-countries. Ongoing negotiations and conclusions of agreements with Balkan countries resulted in the first operation in Albania having started in May 2019. And this is only a small part of Frontex’ expanding role in recent years. In response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the European Commission launched a series of proposals that saw large increases in the powers of the agency, including giving member states binding advice to boost their border security, and giving Frontex the right to intervene in member states’ affairs (even without their consent) by decision of the Commission or Council.

      These proposals also included the creation of a 10,000 person strong standing corps of border guards and a budget to buy or lease its own equipment. Concretely, Frontex started with a budget of €6 million in 2005, which grew to €143 million in 2015. This was then quickly increased again from €239 million in 2016 to €460 million in 2020. The enormous expansion of EU border security and control has been accompanied by rapidly increasing budgets in general. In recent years, billions of euros have been spent on fortifying borders, setting up biometric databases, increasing surveillance capacities, and paying non-EU-countries to play their parts in this expansion process.

      Negotiations about the next seven-year-budget for the EU, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, are still ongoing. In the European Commission’s latest proposal, which is clearly positioned as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund for strengthening member states’ border security, the Integrated Border Management Fund, has been allotted €12.5 billion. Its predecessors, the External Borders Fund (2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders (2014-2020), had much smaller budgets: €1.76 billion and €2.70 billion, respectively. For Frontex, €7.5 billion is reserved, with €2.2 billion earmarked for purchasing or leasing equipment such as helicopters, drones, and patrol vessels. These huge budget increases are exemplary of the priority the EU attaches to stopping migration.

      The narrative underlying these policies and budget growths is the perception of migration as a threat; a security problem. As researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz (Centre Delàs) writes, “the securitisation process also includes militarisation,” because “the prevailing paradigm for providing security is based on military principles: the use of force and coercion, more weapons equating to more security, and the achievement of security by eliminating threats.”

      This narrative hasn’t come out of the blue. It is pushed by right wing politicians and often followed by centrist and leftist parties afraid of losing voters. Importantly, it is also promoted by an extensive and successful industrial lobby. According to Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Assistant Professor in Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University), arms companies “establish themselves as experts on border security, and use this position to frame immigration to Europe as leading to evermore security threats in need of evermore advanced [security] products.” The narrative of migration as a security problem thus sets the stage for militaries, and the security companies behind the commercial arms lobby, to offer their goods and services as the solution. The range of militarization policies mentioned so far reflects the broad adoption of this narrative.

      The lobby organizations of large European military and security companies regularly interact with the European Commission and EU border agencies. They have meetings, organise roundtables, and see each other at military and security fairs and conferences. Industry representatives also take part in official advisory groups, are invited to present new arms and technologies, and write policy proposals. These proposals can sometimes be so influential that they are adopted as policy, almost unamended.

      This happened, for instance, when the the Commission decided to open up the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, a fund meant for peace-building and conflict prevention. The fund’s terms were expanded to cover provision of third party countries with non-lethal security equipment, for example, for border security purposes. The new policy document for this turned out to be a step-by-step reproduction of an earlier proposal from lobby organisation, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Yet, perhaps the most far-reaching success of this kind is the expansion of Frontex, itself, into a European Border Guard. Years before it actually happened, the industry had already been pushing for this outcome.

      The same companies that are at the forefront of the border security and control lobby are, not surprisingly, also the big winners of EU and member states’ contracts in these areas. These include three of the largest European (and global) arms companies, namely, Airbus (Paneuropean), Leonardo (Italy) and Thales (France). These companies are active in many aspects of the border security and control market. Airbus’ and Leonardo’s main product in this field are helicopters, with EU funds paying for many purchases by EU and third countries. Thales provides radar, for example, for border patrol vessels, and is heavily involved in biometric and digital identification, especially after having acquired market leader, Gemalto, last year.

      These three companies are the main beneficiaries of the European anti-migration obsession. At the same time, these very three companies also contribute to new migration streams to Europe’s shores through their trade in arms. They are responsible for significant parts of Europe’s arms exports to countries at war, and they provide the arms used by parties in internal armed conflicts, by human rights violators, and by repressive regimes. These are the forces fueling the reasons for which people are forced to flee in the first place.

      Many other military and security companies also earn up to hundreds of millions of euros from large border security and control projects oriented around logistics and transport. Dutch shipbuilder Damen provided not only many southern European countries with border patrol vessels, but also controversially sold those to Libya and Turkey, among others. Its ships have also been used in Frontex operations, in Operation Sophia, and on the Channel between Calais and Dover.

      The Spanish company, European Security Fencing, provided razor wire for the fences around the Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco, as well as the fence at Calais and the fences on the borders of Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and Greece leased border surveillance drones from Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These are Israeli military companies that routinely promote their products as ‘combat-proven’ or ‘battlefield tested’ against Palestinians.

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe. These are just a few examples of the companies that benefit from the billions of euros that the EU and its member states spend on a broad range of purchases and projects in their bid to stop migration.

      The numbers of forcibly displaced people in the world grew to a staggering 79.5 million by the end of last year. Instead of helping to eliminate the root causes of migration, EU border and migration policies, as well as its arms exports to the rest of the world, are bound to lead to more refugees in the future. The consequences of these policies have already been devastating. As experts in the field of migration have repeatedly warned, the militarisation of borders primarily pushes migrants to take alternative migration routes that are often more dangerous and involve the risks of relying on criminal smuggling networks. The Mediterranean Sea has become a sad witness of this, turning into a graveyard for a growing percentage of refugees trying to cross it.

      The EU approach to border security doesn’t stand on its own. Many other countries, in particular Western ones and those with authoritarian leaders, follow the same narrative and policies. Governments all over the world, but particularly those in the US, Australia, and Europe, continue to spend billions of euros on border security and control equipment and services. And they plan to increase budgets even more in the coming years. For military and security companies, this is good news; the global border security market is expected to grow by over 7% annually for the next five years to a total of $65 billion in 2025. It looks like they will belong to the very few winners of increasingly restrictive policies targeting vulnerable people on the run.

      #industrie_militaire #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières_extérieures #Operation_Sophia #Eurosur #surveillance #drones #technologie #EUCAP #externalisation #Albanie #budget #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund #menace #lobby_industriel #Instrument_contributing_to_Security_and_Peace #conflits #paix #prévention_de_conflits #Aerospace_and_Defence_Industries_Association_of_Europe (#ASD) #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #hélicoptères #radar #biométrie #identification_digitale #Gemalto #commerce_d'armes #armement #Damen #European_Security_Fencing #barbelé #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) #Elbit #Israel_Aerospace_Industries (#IAI) #Civipol #Safran #base_de_données


      Pour @etraces :

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe

    • GUARDING THE FORTRESS. The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union

      The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.

      This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.

      The report focuses on analysing the tools deployed by Fortress Europe, in this case through Frontex, to prevent the freedom of movement and the right to asylum, from its creation in 2004 to the present day.

      The sources used to write this report were from the EU and Frontex, based on its budgets and annual reports. The analysis focused on the Frontex regulations, the language used and its meaning, as well as the budgetary trends, identifying the most significant items – namely, the joint operations and migrant-return operations.

      A table was compiled of all the joint operations mentioned in the annual reports since the Agency was established in 2005 up to 2018 (see annexes). The joint operations were found on government websites but were not mentioned in the Frontex annual reports. Of these operations, we analysed those of the longest duration, or that have showed recent signs of becoming long-term operations. The joint operations are analysed in terms of their objectives, area of action, the mandates of the personnel deployed, and their most noteworthy characteristics.

      Basically, the research sought to answer the following questions: What policies are being implemented in border areas and in what context? How does Frontex act in response to migration movements? A second objective was to analyse how Frontex securitises the movement of refugees and other migrants, with the aim of contributing to the analysis of the process of border militarisation and the security policies applied to non-EU migrants by the EU and its Member States.


      Pour télécharger le rapport_

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

      For three years, Frontex has been chartering small aircraft for the surveillance of the EU’s external borders. First Italy was thus supported, then Croatia followed. Frontex keeps the planes details secret, and the companies also switch off the transponders for position display during operations.

      The European Commission does not want to make public which private surveillance planes Frontex uses in the Mediterranean. In the non-public answer to a parliamentary question, the EU border agency writes that the information on the aircraft is „commercially confidential“ as it contains „personal data and sensitive operational information“.

      Frontex offers EU member states the option of monitoring their external borders using aircraft. For this „Frontex Aerial Surveillance Service“ (FASS), Frontex charters twin-engined airplanes from European companies. Italy first made use of the service in 2017, followed a year later by Croatia. In 2018, Frontex carried out at least 1,800 flight hours under the FASS, no figures are yet available for 2019.

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

      The FASS flights are carried out under the umbrella of „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, which includes satellite surveillance as well as drones. Before the end of this year, the border agency plans to station large drones in the Mediterranean for up to four years. The situation pictures of the European Union’s „pre-frontier area“ are fed into the surveillance system EUROSUR, whose headquarter is located at Frontex in Warsaw. The national EUROSUR contact points, for example in Spain, Portugal and Italy, also receive this information.

      In addition to private charter planes, Frontex also uses aircraft and helicopters provided by EU Member States, in the central Mediterranean via the „Themis“ mission. The EU Commission also keeps the call signs of the state aircraft operating there secret. They would be considered „sensitive operational information“ and could not be disclosed to MEPs.

      Previously, the FOIA platform „Frag den Staat“ („Ask the State“) had also tried to find out details about the sea and air capacities of the member states in „Themis“. Frontex refused to provide any information on this matter. „Frag den Staat“ lost a case against Frontex before the European Court of Justice and is now to pay 23,700 Euros to the agency for legal fees.

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

      The confidentiality of Frontex comes as a surprise, because companies that monitor the Mediterranean for the agency are known through a tender. Frontex has signed framework contracts with the Spanish arms group Indra as well as the charter companies CAE Aviation (Canada), Diamond-Executive Aviation (Great Britain) and EASP Air (Netherlands). Frontex is spending up to 14.5 million euros each on the contracts.

      Finally, online service providers such as FlightAware can also be used to draw conclusions about which private and state airplanes are flying for Frontex in the Mediterranean. For real-time positioning, the providers use data from ADS-B transponders, which all larger aircraft must have installed. A worldwide community of non-commercial trackers receives this geodata and feeds it into the Internet. In this way, for example, Italian journalist Sergio Scandura documents practically all movements of Frontex aerial assets in the central Mediterranean.

      Among the aircraft tracked this way are the twin-engined „DA-42“, „DA-62“ and „Beech 350“ of Diamond-Executive Aviation, which patrol the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of Frontex as „Osprey1“, „Osprey3“ and „Tasty“, in former times also „Osprey2“ and „Eagle1“. They are all operated by Diamond-Executive Aviation and take off and land at airports in Malta and Sicily.

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

      In accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees, the EU Border Agency may not return people to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Libya is not a safe haven; this assessment has been reiterated on several occasions by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

      Because these „push-backs“ are prohibited, Frontex has since 2017 been helping with so-called „pull-backs“ by bringing refugees back to Libya by the Libyan coast guard rather than by EU units. With the „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, Frontex is de facto conducting air reconnaissance for Libya. By November 2019, the EU border agency had notified Libyan authorities about refugee boats on the high seas in at least 42 cases.

      Many international law experts consider this practice illegal. Since Libya would not be able to track down the refugees without the help of Frontex, the agency must take responsibility for the refoulements. The lawyers Omer Shatz and Juan Branco therefore want to sue responsibles of the European Union before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Frontex watches refugees drown

      This is probably the reason why Frontex disguises the exact location of its air surveillance. Private maritime rescue organisations have repeatedly pointed out that Frontex aircrafts occasionally switch off their transponders so that they cannot be tracked via ADS-B. In the answer now available, this is confirmed by the EU Commission. According to this, the visibility of the aircraft would disclose „sensitive operational information“ and, in combination with other kinds of information, „undermine“ the operational objectives.

      The German Ministry of the Interior had already made similar comments on the Federal Police’s assets in Frontex missions, according to which „general tracking“ of their routes in real time would „endanger the success of the mission“.

      However, Frontex claims it did not issue instructions to online service providers to block the real-time position display of its planes, as journalist Scandura described. Nonetheless, the existing concealment of the operations only allows the conclusion that Frontex does not want to be controlled when the deployed aircraft watch refugees drown and Italy and Malta, as neighbouring EU member states, do not provide any assistance.

      #avions #Italie #Croatie #confidentialité #transparence #Frontex_Aerial_Surveillance_Service (#FASS) #Multipurpose_Aerial_Surveillance #satellites #Méditerranée #Thermis #information_sensible #Indra #CAE_Aviation #Diamond-Executive_Aviation #EASP_Air #FlightAware #ADS-B #DA-42 #DA-62 #Beech_350 #Osprey1 #Osprey3 #Tasty #Osprey2 #Eagle1 #Malte #Sicile #pull-back #push-back #refoulement #Sergio_Scandura

    • Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation - webinar recording
      This webinar explored the trajectory and globalization of border militarization and anti-migrant racism across the world, the history, ideologies and actors that have shaped it, the pillars and policies that underpin the border industrial complex, the resistance of migrants, refugees and activists, and the shifting dynamics within this pandemic.

      - #Harsha_Walia, author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
      - #Jille_Belisario, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E)
      - #Todd_Miller, author of Empire of Borders (2020), Storming the Wall (2019) and TNI’s report More than A Wall (2019)
      - #Kavita_Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).

      #conférence #webinar

  • Affaire de la Caravane - 8 janvier, le suivi du procès

    En octobre 2014, alors que les travaux de déboisement dans la foret de #sivens avancent pour construire un barrage inutile et imposé, la repression est forte. Le nombre de blessés s’accumule. Le 7 octobre, un gendarme jette une grenade desencerclante à l’interieur d’une caravane oú sont refugié 4 personnes. L’une d’entre elle est grievement blessée. La scene est filmée et largement diffusée sur internet. Mais cela n’empechera pas quelques jours plus tard le drame que l’on connait sur la ZAD du Testet : un manifestant est tué par la gendarmerie et l’obstination du Conseil General du Tarn. Aujourd’hui, le 8 janvier 2019, a lieu au TGI de Toulouse le procés du gendarme qui a lancé la grenade dans la caravane. On fait le suivi du (...)

    #Ecologie #anti-repression #Ecologie,anti-repression

  • Sivens : le gendarme qui avait lancé une grenade et blessé une femme condamné à six mois de prison avec sursis
    mardi 8 janvier 2019 à 20:06 - Mis à jour le mardi 8 janvier 2019 à 21:59 Par Bénédicte Dupont et Suzanne Shojaei, France Bleu Occitanie et France Bleu

    Six mois de prison avec sursis, interdiction de porter et détenir une arme pendant six mois et 1.000 euros d’amende, condamnation plus clémente que les réquisitions prononcée ce 8 janvier par le tribunal correctionnel de Toulouse à l’encontre du gendarme ayant lancé une grenade dans une caravane à Sivens le 7 octobre 2014, blessant grièvement une zadiste. Le militaire n’aura pas d’inscription dans son casier judiciaire et va pouvoir continuer à exercer son métier. Le parquet avait requis huit mois de prison avec sursis, l’interdiction de porter et détenir une arme pendant un an et l’interdiction d’exercer une mission de maintien de l’ordre pendant trois ans.

    "J’ai fait une erreur « 
    L’affaire avait été éclipsée par une histoire similaire, bien plus dramatique : la mort trois semaines plus tard d’un jeune écologiste sur ce même site, Rémi Fraisse, tué par une grenade lancée par un gendarme là encore Cette fois, la victime, une femme de 25 ans à l’époque, militante anti-barrage avait eu la main grièvement atteinte par des éclats de plombs en caoutchouc. Ce 7 octobre 2014, la scène avait été filmée par l’un des quatre occupants de la caravane, elle a été diffusée pendant l’audience. Le militaire n’avait pas attendu que tous les zadistes sortent et avait lancé la grenade sur un matelas de la caravane. » Vous vous êtes senti menacé ?", a demandé le procureur. « Non, répond le gendarme de 49 ans, expérimenté. Je voulais la lancer à côté de la caravane pour leur faire peur. J’étais fatigué, on travaillait jour et nuit sur le barrage à Sivens. J’ai fait une erreur, c’était inapproprié. » (...)

    #violences_policières #Sivens

  • https://paris-luttes.info/proces-des-neuf-personnes-arretees-10941?lang=fr

    Ce mercredi 10 octobre avait lieu le procès de neuf personnes arrêtées et violentées lors du rassemblement organisé le 26 octobre 2017 en mémoire à Rémi Fraisse, mort trois ans plus tôt dans le Tarn lors d’une manifestation contre le projet de barrage de Sivens.

    Chose incroyable, une fois le mensonge du flic avéré par les images vidéo, son propre avocat commence par s’excuser auprès des personnes ayant subi des violences de la part des flics. Il se dit même gêné d’avoir à représenter un individu tel que son client et demande au tribunal de se rapporter à ses conclusions écrites. Il ne dira aucun mot pour la défense de son client !

    #justice #manifestation #sivens #quefaitlapolice

  • CheckNews | Est-il vrai que la grenade GLI-F4 qui a grièvement blessé un homme le 22 mai est déconseillée en raison de sa dangerosité ?

    Votre question : " Est-il vrai que les grenades offensives GLI-F4 du type de celle qui a grièvement blessé un homme à Notre-Dame-des-Landes, le 22 mai, sont d’un usage déconseillé pour le maintien de l’ordre ? En raison des nombreux dégâts qu’elles ont causé ces derniers mois ? "

    La #grenade qui a grièvement blessé, ce mardi, un manifestant sur la zad de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, en lui arrachant la main tandis qu’il tentait de la ramasser, selon les forces de l’ordre, est une grenade de type GLI-F4 (grenade lacrymogène instantanée). Sa spécificité, selon le communiqué de presse du ministère de l’Intérieur, est de produire un triple effet : "lacrymogène, sonore et souffle". Outre l’effet lacrymogène (gaz CS pulvérulant) et sonore (165 décibels à 5 mètres), elle produit en effet une forte explosion. Et est régulièrement mise en cause pour sa dangerosité. Il y a un mois d’un an, en août 2017, elle avait encore grièvement blessé au pied un jeune manifestant à Bure (Lorraine). Dans la foulée, en septembre 2017, une pétition dans Libération demandait son interdiction, ainsi que celle de toutes les grenades explosives, rappelant que les les grenades offensives de type OF-F1 avaient proscrites après le décès de Rémi #Fraisse, le 24 octobre 2014 à #Sivens.

    Plus gênant pour le ministère de l’Intérieur, la dangerosité de la GLI-F4 a été reconnue par les forces de l’ordre elles-mêmes, dans un rapport commun à l’IGPN (inspection générale de la police nationale) et de l’IGGN (inspection générale de la gendarmerie nationale), publié le 13 novembre 2014, soit quelques semaines après la mort de Rémi Fraisse. Ces grenades à effet de souffle, rappelait ainsi le document, "constituent le dernier stade avant de devoir employer les « armes à feu » telles que définies par le code de sécurité intérieure". Et d’expliquer, sans ambages, que ces "dispositifs à effet de souffle produit par une substance explosive ou déflagrante sont susceptibles de mutiler ou de blesser mortellement un individu, tandis que ceux à effet sonore intense peuvent provoquer des lésions irréversibles de l’ouïe (pour avoir un effet efficace, une intensité sonore de 160 db mesurée à un mètre est requise)". Avant de reconnaître que "quel que soit le moyen utilisé, comme il s’agit d’un dispositif pyrotechnique, une atteinte à la tête ou sur le massif facial ne peut jamais être totalement exclue".

    Dans un article d’août 2017, le journal de la gendarmerie, l’Essor, semblait, de son côté, peu confiant dans l’avenir de la GLI-F4, eu égard à sa dangerosité. Évoquant un appel d’offre, à l’époque, de plusieurs millions d’euros sur des grenades, l’auteur expliquait que cette commande, divisée en cinq lots, "ouvre la porte, pour les gendarmes mobiles, à l’équipement d’une nouvelle génération de grenades, appelées à remplacer petit à petit les grenades lacrymogènes instantanées, les GLI F4. [...] Concrètement, ces grenades lacrymogènes et assourdissantes ne contiendront plus d’explosif". Et l’Essor d’en déduire que "ce changement était envisagé depuis quelque temps. Dans un avis daté du 24 novembre 2016 sur le projet de loi de finances pour 2017, la commission de la défense du Sénat remarquait ainsi que des études « sont en cours sur l’évolution des grenades en dotation au sein des escadrons de gendarmerie mobile, en coordination avec la police nationale. L’objectif de ces études est le remplacement des grenades GLI F4 par des grenades assourdissantes lacrymogènes sans explosif ». Rappelant que même si leurs conditions d’utilisation ont été encadrées (nécessité d’un binome), "les #GLI restent en sursis. Des associations contestent son usage, estimant que le #TNT contenu dans ces grenades est susceptible de tuer".

    Une inquiétude confirmée par le Défenseur des droits : "Le renforcement du cadre d’utilisation de cette grenade doit être salué mais la dotation dans les opérations de maintien de l’ordre d’une arme présentant une telle dangerosité, eu égard à sa composition, reste problématique", estime un rapport de l’institution, publié en janvier 2017.
    Autre signe, enfin, de leur dangerosité, la France est le dernier pays en Europe à utiliser les grenades explosives. « L’étude d’exemples pris dans les pays voisins a permis de confirmer la spécificité française, seule nation d’Europe à utiliser des munitions explosives en opération de maintien de l’ordre avec l’objectif de maintenir à distance les manifestants les plus violents », explique le rapport commun de l’IGPN et de l’IGGN.
    L. Peillon

    #NDDL #maintien_de_l_ordre #gendarmerie #luttes #manifestations

  • De Creys Malville à Sivens : Vital Michalon et Rémi Fraisse (Rediffusion) | France Culture

    Le 31 Juillet 1977, sur le site dédié à la centrale nucléaire Superphenix, et le 25 octobre 2014, sur le site promis au barrage de Sivens, Vital Michalon et Rémi Fraisse, militants écologistes sont tombés sous les grenades offensives de la gendarmerie. Souvenirs de leurs proches.
    "La mort de Rémi Fraisse nous a tout à la fois bouleversé, nous a relancé et nous a peut-être remis en action."

    #violence_d'état #militer #radio #Sivens #barrage #centrale

    Déjà signalé lors de la 1e diffusion ici :

  • Mort de Rémi Fraisse : les juges confirment le non-lieu, les questions demeurent

    Concernant le délit d’homicide involontaire, qui concernait cette fois la responsabilité de la hiérarchie, de manière beaucoup plus laconique, les juges soutiennent que « la chaîne de commandement n’a commis aucune faute caractérisée » et réfute les arguments des parties civiles, non sans quelques contradictions. Car, d’une part les juges soutiennent qu’il n’est pas de leur ressort de juger du bien-fondé de la décision administrative de garder un terrain vide. En même temps, elles assurent plus loin que le désengagement des gendarmes de la zone était une solution plus périlleuse que le maintien des troupes sur place. Enfin, concernant les contradictions dans les consignes données aux forces de maintien de l’ordre, les juges considèrent qu’elles ont été levées au vu des différentes auditions. En conclusion, « il ne résulte pas de charges suffisantes contre quiconque » pour le crime de violences ayant entraîné la mort comme du délit d’homicide involontaire.

    Voir aussi l’article mis à jour de mediapart : « Les juges délivrent un non-lieu : l’affaire Rémi Fraisse est enterrée »


    #Sivens #Testet #GPII #Remi_Fraisse #Violences_Policières #Impunité #permis_de_tuer

  • Les juges délivrent un non-lieu : l’affaire #Rémi_Fraisse est enterrée

    Rémi Fraisse © DR Les juges d’instruction de #Toulouse ont rendu une ordonnance de non-lieu pour clore le dossier de la mort de Rémi Fraisse à #Sivens, après que toutes les demandes de sa famille ont été rejetées. Un enterrement judiciaire qui suit les réquisitions du parquet. Mediapart publie le document.

    #France #Barrage #Bernard_Cazeneuve #gendarmerie #grenades #Justice #violences_policières

  • #Sivens : les chiffres qui montrent une #Justice à deux vitesses

    Trois ans après la mort du militant écologiste #Rémi_Fraisse, aucun gendarme n’a été poursuivi. La quasi-intégralité des plaintes déposées par les opposants au barrage ont été classées sans suite par le parquet d’Albi, alors que des dizaines d’entre eux ont été jugés et condamnés.

    #France #Barrage_de_Sivens

  • Lettre à Rémi Fraisse : La vie continue, le combat pour elle aussi

    Dimanche 22 octobre se tenait une journée pour les trois ans de la mort de Rémi Fraisse. Robin, bléssé lors de la manifestation à #Bure le 15 août dernier a écrit une lettre afin qu’elle soit lue lors de ce rassemblement. Nous la reproduisons ici.

    #Ecologie #Répression #Resistances #arme #assassinat #sivens #testet #Ecologie,Répression,Resistances,arme,assassinat

  • [Gaillac - 22 oct] 3 ans après : Rémi Fraisse on n’oublie pas

    Dimanche 22 octobre, rdv à #gaillac pour un départ groupé vers #sivens en Hommage à Rémi Fraisse Le rdv initial est à 10 h30 à Pique Rouge (Gaillac) pour un départ groupé en voiture à la Maison de la Forêt (impérativement par la D 999 en raison du rallye des côtes du Tarn qui interdit de passer par la D32 qui va de Gaillac à Barat). Début des interventions entre 14h et 14h30 suite au pique-nique. Le temps pour chaque intervention est limité à 5 mns.

    #Ecologie #Répression #Ecologie,Répression

  • #Bure : « Juste avant que mon pied saute, j’ai vu une grenade exploser à hauteur de tête »

    Restes de la grenade GLI F4 qui a blessé Robin, recueilli par des manifestants. Un jeune homme a été grièvement blessé à Bure par une grenade lancée par les gendarmes, le 15 août. Il risque de perdre son pied. Les manifestants décrivent des scènes d’une extrême violence, mais la préfecture de la Meuse réfute ces accusations. De simples « informations circulant sur les réseaux sociaux », selon elle.

    #France #Cigéo #Ecologie #libertés_publiques #Sivens

  • https://tantquilyauradesbouilles.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/bouilles-hebdo-estival-mi-juillet-mi-aout

    Juste avant le break estival (à passer pourquoi pas du côté de Bure ?) une bonne nouvelle dégotée lors de notre lecture quotidienne du recueil des actes administratifs du Tarn (page 89 et suivantes) : un arrêté préfectoral à propos de la ré-habilitation de la zone humide du Testet…début des travaux fin août.
    Et aussi du côté de Val Tolosa, une nouvelle victoire juridique pour les opposants !
    Enfin, les dernières news juridiques avec le départ du procureur Dérens vers d’autres cieux et la réaction de B. Viguié : Le procureur Dérens peut-il bénéficier tranquillement d’une promotion ?

    #Sivens #zone_humide #ZAD_du_Testet

  • #Notre-Dame-des-Landes : les méthodes innovantes de la médiation

    Les médiateurs nommés par le gouvernement organisent des réunions d’examen de controverse pour démêler l’écheveau de décennies de batailles pour et contre l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Les opposants se rassemblent ce week-end à côté de la #ZAD.

    #France #Démocratie_environnementale #Ecologie #Sivens

  • Le parquet requiert un non-lieu : l’affaire #Rémi_Fraisse étouffée

    Rémi Fraisse © DR Le procureur de Toulouse requiert un non-lieu pour clore le dossier de la mort de Rémi Fraisse à #Sivens, après que toutes les demandes de sa famille auprès de la #Justice ont été rejetées. S’il rend hommage au jeune homme, le magistrat estime qu’aucune faute pénale ne peut être retenue contre qui que ce soit. Les juges d’instruction doivent bientôt rendre leur ordonnance.

    #France #Barrage #Bernard_Cazeneuve #gendarmerie #grenades #violences_policières

  • Derrière le clash Mélenchon-Cazeneuve, une affaire #Rémi_Fraisse étouffée

    La polémique entre #Jean-Luc_Mélenchon et #Bernard_Cazeneuve ravive les souffrances de la famille de Rémi Fraisse, alors que toutes leurs demandes auprès de la justice sont rejetées, la dernière voici quelques jours seulement.

    #France #Barrage #gendarmerie #grenades #Sivens #violences_policières

  • Une nouvelle plainte relance l’affaire Rémi #Fraisse

    Rémi Fraisse. © DR Une plainte pour « faux témoignages » visant des #Gendarmes_mobiles vient d’être déposée par la famille de #Rémi_Fraisse. Aucune mise en examen n’a été prononcée après la mort du jeune homme en 2014 à #Sivens, et l’enquête s’achève. Un gendarme mobile vient en revanche d’être poursuivi pour « violences volontaires » après avoir blessé une jeune fille avec une #grenade sur le même site.

    #France #Alimi #Barrage #gendarmerie #grenade_offensive #Justice #maintien_de_l'ordre #manifestations #Tarn #Testet #violences_policières

  • #Notre-Dame-des-Landes : possible coup d’arrêt au chantier de l’aéroport

    Le rapporteur public de la cour administrative d’appel de Nantes va demander lundi 7 novembre l’annulation d’arrêtés préfectoraux autorisant les travaux de l’aéroport. Par ailleurs, trois associations font valoir que le droit des habitants de la #ZAD à un procès équitable et à un recours effectif n’est pas garanti.

    #France #Justice #libertés_publiques #Sivens

  • Retour sur le procès du barrage de #Sivens

    Le jugement que le tribunal administratif de Toulouse vient de rendre, suite à l’audience du 24 juin 2016, est extraordinaire au moins pour deux raisons. Rappelons-en les termes : la déclaration d’utilité publique (DUP) est annulée. La déclaration autorisant la dérogation à la loi sur des espèces animales protégées est annulée. La déclaration autorisant le déboisement est annulée. Mais, concernant la demande d’annulation de la déclaration d’intérêt général (DIG), le juge a prononcé un non-lieu à statuer (non examen de la demande au motif que la DIG était abrogée).

    Ce jugement est extraordinaire en cela qu’il donne tort à la préfète et au préfet qui ont signé les autorisations, tort aux 43 conseillers généraux qui se sont alignés sur la position de #Thierry_Carcenac leur président au département, tort à la CACG, à la fois experte en analyse des besoins en eau et fabricante de barrage, tort aux quelques producteurs de maïs qui escomptaient profiter à moindre frais de l’investissement public, tort à l’État qui a envoyé police et armée.

    Le corollaire de tout ceci étant que ce jugement donne raison aux opposants, aussi bien à ceux qui ont d’abord instruit la contre-expertise, qu’à ceux qui ont occupé le site pour retarder les machines et donner le temps à la justice de se prononcer. C’est en quelque sorte un début de réhabilitation des occupants, qui furent parfois tenus pour délinquants au point d’être condamnés en justice. C’est aussi un encouragement pour d’autres luttes, en cours ou à venir.

    Mais le jugement est extraordinaire aussi en cela que le juge a refusé de statuer sur la demande d’annulation qui avait trait à la DIG (Déclaration d’intérêt général).

    Précisons ici que si la DUP se rapporte au projet en général, à son utilité, et aux opérations immobilières qu’il présuppose, la DIG se rapporte plus précisément à sa mise en œuvre concrète.

    Ainsi donc, le projet de barrage est jugé incohérent et par conséquent annulé, alors que le chantier qui le met en œuvre échappe au jugement, et n’est pas jugé illégal par le tribunal. Si bien que nous nous trouvons dans une situation paradoxale.

    C’est ici qu’il convient de modérer son sentiment de triomphe : le non-lieu sur la DIG met quasiment hors d’examen par la justice les exactions, les destructions, toutes les violences d’État qui ont accompagné les travaux. Les responsabilités seront plus difficiles à établir, les dommages ne seront pas chiffrés, les réparations difficiles à obtenir.

    L’accord signé entre l’État et le département en décembre 2015 a soldé le conflit de Sivens, apuré le contentieux financier et prononcé l’abrogation de la fameuse DIG, abrogation que le Collectif Testet et FNE (France Nature Environnement) avaient eux-mêmes demandée dès novembre 2014.

    La victoire n’est totale que pour ces deux associations, lesquelles, juste après la mort de Rémi Fraisse, ont habilement manœuvré, à l’instigation de Ségolène Royal, à la fois pour faire abandonner le projet de barrage initial et pour aménager une sortie de crise aux principaux responsables du désastre.


    Article d’@Anarchosyndicalisme ! n°151 Oct-Nov 2016

  • Mais où est donc passé le clown à Vaour ?

    "Il faut chasser la bêtise parce qu’elle rend bête ceux qui la rencontrent.”
    Bertolt Brecht

    #Vaour, petit village qui se situe dans le #Tarn à une vingtaine de kilomètres de #Sivens, est réputé pour son festival du rire subventionné, entre autres, par le Conseil départemental du Tarn. Sivens, quant à lui, est réputé pour son projet inutile de barrage, déclaré illégal par le tribunal administratif, un barrage pour une poignée d’intéressés soutenus par la FNSEA et ses milices. C’est aussi le symbole d’un entêtement de l’État et des Conseils départementaux du Tarn et du Tarn et Garonne, caractérisé par des violences policières sans précédent se soldant par la mort d’un militant écologiste et pacifiste.

    Crime de lèse-majesté à Vaour le 3 août 2016

    Lors de la soirée d’inauguration de ce festival du RIRE, au moment de la prise de paroles des officiels et plus précisément de celle de #Thierry_Carcenac, sénateur et toujours président du Conseil départemental du Tarn, des petits plaisantins ont déroulé une banderole sur laquelle était écrit NON AU BARRAGE. Le roitelet a été joyeusement hué par une partie des festivaliers présents. Pourtant, « Ce n’était pas le moment de faire de la politique » disent les élus effarouchés, les organisateurs subventionnés et autres grabataires d’un PS moribond. Mais c’est quand le moment de rappeler que le tribunal administratif a annulé :

    – la Déclaration d’utilité publique (DUP) du projet de barrage de Sivens (arrêté inter-préfectoral du 2 octobre 2013 des préfets du Tarn et du Tarn-et-Garonne),
    – l’autorisation de défrichement (arrêté du préfet du Tarn du 12 septembre 2014),
    – la dérogation à la loi sur la protection des espèces protégées (arrêté du préfet du Tarn du 16 octobre 2014) [1] ?

    Carcenac en s’appuyant sur ces arrêtés et en s’entêtant pour réaliser ce projet inutile agissait en toute illégalité. C’est donc quand le moment de la libre expression ?

    Sur convocation, au seul moment des élections ? Les élus effarouchés, les organisateurs subventionnés et autres grabataires d’un PS moribond ont-ils oublié que, suite à l’attentat de Charlie Hebdo, des millions de personnes manifestaient pour la liberté d’expression ?

    Qui peut légitimement s’exprimer ? Seulement les gens d’ici, pas « ceux venus d’ailleurs pour foutre la merde » disent les pro-Carcenac. Pire, ces petits plaisantins ont entarté le président : récidive caractérisée d’un crime de lèse-majesté, un acte très grave. Pour tous ces bien-pensants, l’entartage n’est pas le moyen de ridiculiser une personne publique, au discours fallacieux. Ce n’est pas un acte contestataire comme une lettre d’insultes qui vous explose sur la tête et vous dégouline dans le cou, ce serait un acte violent !?

    Qui est violent ?

    Leur mémoire vacille. Se rappellent-ils :

    – que le président du Conseil départemental a engagé 450 000 € de l’argent des contribuables pour des gaz lacrymogènes, des flashballs, des hordes de gendarmes ? (Source : L’âge de faire n°92 déc. 2014 « 450 000 € pour la castagne, 0 € pour le débat »)
    – que par son entêtement et sa collusion avec l’État, Thierry Carcenac est responsable des violences policières et de la mort d’un jeune écologiste pacifiste ?
    – de son comportement indigne à l’égard de la famille de Rémy Fraisse et de sa phrase tristement célèbre « Mourir pour des idées, c’est une chose, mais c’est quand même relativement stupide et bête »

    Vaour au pays des Soviets

    Ces élus effarouchés, ces organisateurs subventionnés et autres grabataires d’un PS moribond demeurent compatissants, les arguments ne leur manquent pas : « Thierry aurait pu chuter, repartir mécontent et supprimer sa subvention à l’Eté de Vaour ». Carcenac n’a même pas à prononcer cette menace, certains membres zélés du Conseil municipal veulent se fondre en excuses auprès du roitelet, leur pote : c’est leur choix au risque de s’infantiliser et d’être la caution de l’oligarchie locale qui nous gouverne.

    Pire, ils ont même imaginé des sanctions à l’égard des joyeux acteurs du jour le plus drôle de l’été de Vaour. Le psychodrame touche à l’indécence, c’est Vaour au pays des Soviets. Tout ceci est ridicule mais aussi inquiétant. Inutile de personnaliser, nous étions nombreux à organiser cette action, à huer Carcenac et maintenant bien plus encore à soutenir cet acte d’expression populaire.

    On assiste à la preuve éclatante que, faute d’un positionnement politique clair, le Conseil municipal dérive comme des petits soldats affolés, perdus en rase campagne. Quand un Conseil départemental vote une subvention à une municipalité ou à une association achète-t-il aussi son silence ? La peur de perdre ce subside doit-elle faire taire la libre pensée et son expression ? Tout cela est affaire de conscience, ces questions sont fondamentales.

    Par ricochet, elles posent la question du contrôle des élus par le peuple car il est utile de leur rappeler que la subvention attribuée par une collectivité n’est que l’argent des contribuables. Les roitelets se l’attribuent à tort comme de l’argent pour les proches.

    Si ces élus effarouchés, ces organisateurs subventionnés et autres grabataires d’un PS moribond ne manquent pas de courage, Il ne leur reste plus qu’à rééditer les pin’s de SOS racisme « Touche pas à mon pote » et les vendre à la prochaine édition pour financer la tournée des festivals de Thierry Carcenac.

    Nous félicitons les acteurs, de ce jour le plus drôle de l’Eté de Vaour 2016, de leur impertinence envers la bien-pensance, comme il sied à tout bon festival du rire.

    Comité des Acrobates du Rire remède à la Constipation des Élus Niant l’Autodérision en pays Cordais

    [1] Pour plus de précision sur les aspects juridiques voir l’article « Retour sur le procès du barrage de Sivens »

    Article d’@Anarchosyndicalisme ! n°151 Oct-Nov 2016

  • #sivens : les miliciens attaquent au couteau des participantes à l’hommage

    On pourrait penser, de loin, que l’embrasement de la vie politique et sociale tarnaise (d’octobre 2013 à mars 2015) avait pris fin avec l’expulsion de la #ZAD du #testet le 6 mars 2015. Force est de constater que non, les #milices qui défendent les intérêts mafieux des porteurs du projet de barrage continuent d’agresser les [&hellip

    #Agressions_&_violences #fnsea #Front_National #Rémi_Fraisse #tarn #violences_policières

  • Rémi Fraisse : à #sivens, un hommage au couteau

    Alors que le projet de barrage a récemment été déclaré illégal par la justice, des agriculteurs pro-barrage menés par une élue locale ont pourtant agressé les personnes venues rendre rendre hommage à Rémi Fraisse.

    #Ecologie #Répression #Resistances #testet #Ecologie,Répression,Resistances

    • Un hommage à #Rémi_Fraisse perturbé par les pro-barrages : insultes et coups de couteau.
      Publié le octobre 23, 2016
      On reproduit le récit ci-dessous tel que reçu et on le commente dans la foulée.

      « Aujourd’hui a eu lieu un rendez-vous à Sivens pour commémorer la mémoire de Rémi Fraisse, suite à un appel ayant circulé sur les réseaux sociaux. La petite centaine de personne y ayant répondu a souhaité se rendre dans le calme sur les lieux du drame, après un pique nique partagé bon enfant à la maison de la forêt. Une quarantaine de pro-barrage, stationnant en bas de la route descendant de la maison de la forêt a tenté de l’en empêcher. Appréhensions.
      La tension est vite montée avec invectives et bousculades de part et d’autres. Faut dire que leur stupidité et leur indécence, en ce jour particulier, étaient choquantes. Dans le face à face, l’un d’entre eux a poignardé à trois reprises des jeunes filles, qui s’en sont sorties miraculeusement quasi-indemne physiquement mais fortement choquées.
      Les gendarmes sont alors arrivés pour nous séparer mais une fois de plus, on sentait bien que c’était nous les méchants. Ils sont restés sourds et muets à la demande d’aide des jeunes filles. Evidemment, le type au couteau a pu s’éclipser sans problème.
      La petite cérémonie improvisée sur le lieu de la mort de Rémi a ensuite été pertubée par les pro-barrages et le tracteur de l’un d’entre eux, stationnant à proximité. Lamentable. »

      D’après nos informations, tout ceci s’est déroulé en présence de Mr Jougla, président de la FDSEA 81 et de Mme Puibasset, adjointe à la mairie de Lisle sur Tarn, tous deux des habitués de ce genre d’opérations. On retrouvait à leurs côtés la poignée d’excités qui ont fait régner la terreur autour de la ZAD pendant la période d’occupation. On va suivre de très très près cette affaire, qui aurait pu tourner au drame, et on vous tiendra informés. N’hésitez pas à nous envoyer vos témoignages…


  • Assassinat de Rémi Fraisse : 2 ans déjà - des rassemblements en mémoire

    Sivens,Deux après, nous revenons à l’endroit où nous nous étions soulevés contre un projet de barrage absurde. Où un jeune homme a été tué par les forces dites de l’ordre. Nous aurons plus que jamais la tête haute, après le jugement du tribunal administratif qui a rendu le projet illégal en reprenant les arguments qui étaient ceux des opposants.Nous y rendrons hommage à tous ceux qui se sont impliqués sans attendre que la justice aille dans le sens de leur engagement.Au premier rang desquels Rémi Fraisse. Au-delà des larmes, nous lancerons l’alarme contre les attaques en cours, celle de Notre-dame-des-Landes notamment, où se retrouvent des logiques mortifères comparables, mais aussi des raisons de ne pas baisser les bras. Rendez-vous au parking du Leclerc de #gaillac dimanche 23 octobre à 11h30 pour (...)

    #Ecologie #Répression #sivens #toulouse #Ecologie,Répression

  • L’Etat veut lancer le défrichage de la #ZAD de #Notre-Dame-des-Landes

    L’État prévoit « quelques travaux » de défrichage dans les prochaines semaines sur la ZAD de Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Cette annonce intervient une semaine après un rassemblement massif où des milliers d’opposants ont prêté le serment de revenir défendre la zone à la moindre amorce de travaux.

    #France #agriculture #Climat #Ecologie #François_Hollande #Sivens #Vinci