EU leaders adopted the Declaration on measures to combat illegal migration through the Mediterranean sea. Unlike the previous empty declarations, this time specific measures promised. First, the “humanitarian repatriation” of migrants back to Africa, and secondly, the strengthening of border services of the neighbouring Libya. Opened after the fall of Gaddafi, the flow of Africans into the EU now needs to dry out.
On Friday the heads of state and government of the European Union agreed on a plan to suspend the flow of refugees heading across the Mediterranean sea, said the European diplomatic source on the sidelines of the held in the capital of Malta the informal summit community. The plan is not yet released, but unveiled the Malta Declaration on measures to combat illegal migration through the Mediterranean sea.
“And now all the moaning and screaming that from Libya to Europe in 2016 came 181 thousand migrants. But it’s not my responsibility, it is the responsibility of those who liquidated the regime in Libya”
At the beginning of the Declaration contains, as usual, a lot of pretentious words about commitment to the old liberal ideals. “We reaffirm our determination to act in full respect of human rights, international law and European values,” the leaders said.
The document does not without pride noted that thanks to the efforts of the EU, including cooperation with Turkey, last year on the Eastern Mediterranean route (through Greece and the Balkans) migration flow was reduced to one third of the level in 2015. However, while decreased the flow of illegal immigrants from the Middle East, gained momentum flow of illegal immigrants through the Central part of the Mediterranean sea – in the same last year this net profit by 181 thousand workers and the number of dead and missing at sea reached a new record in 2013. Hundreds of migrants have died during the first month of this year.
“We are determined to take additional measures to significantly reduce migration flows through the Central part of the Mediterranean sea and break the business model of the smugglers, while maintaining vigilance in the Eastern Mediterranean and on other routes” – quoted Declaration, “Interfax”. The leaders promised to intensify work with Libya as the main country of departure of migrants, as well as with other countries in North Africa and their neighbors South of the Sahara.
Among the activities planned under this action plan – training, equipment and support Libyan national coast guard, strengthening the joint with Libya and international organizations actions against smugglers carriers connecting Europol and the European border and coast guard, promoting socio-economic development of local communities in Libya, especially in coastal areas and on the Libyan land borders, migration routes, etc. Along with this promised that the European Commission is developing an updated plan for the repatriation of migrants not falling under the criteria of refugees. And it can be considered the main point in the Declaration.
For the implementation of the action Plan of Valletta, the EU will allocate additional money in the framework of official development assistance to Africa, whose budget for the current financial period is 31 billion euros. The European Commission has promised Libya already this year, an additional 200 million euros for migration-related projects.
The President of the national strategy Institute Mikhail Remizov believes that the decision to begin the mass expulsion of refugees means a fundamental reversal in Western policy. “A reversal of the European migration policy is inevitable. Given the political tilt to the right in various countries of both Eastern and Western Europe, it can not affect immigration policy,” – said Remizov newspaper VIEW.
“The first stage of tightening of immigration policy is changing the rules against illegal immigrants – the simplification of the procedures for their deportation. It is necessary to solve a number of issues. Where to deport them, when the unknown country their outcome? These issues can be resolved through agreement of the European countries with North African States, for example, and with other foreign countries bordering Europe about the possible admission of illegal immigrants, of course, in terms of support,” he said.
The second challenge is the tightening of the rules of humanitarian migration, he said. “To this point European countries are not yet fit. Today there are liberal rules not only from the point of view of obtaining refugee status, but also from the point of view of family reunification. If you do not take the crisis of recent years, the flow of humanitarian migration to reunite with families were the main source of pressure on these countries. Therefore, the second redoubt this struggle is the rules of humanitarian migration. And all that relates to labour migration, it started to adjust in the beginning of the two thousandth. In many countries there are very strict regulations in respect to labour migration” – reminded Remizov.
Agreed on “humanitarian repatriation”
The actual decisions of the summit shows the deal that the previous day in Rome concluded the Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni and his counterpart from Libya Faiz Sarraj.
As reported by RIA “Novosti”, the countries failed to agree not only about strengthening the coast guard of Libya, but also the beginning of a “humanitarian repatriation” of migrants back to the African coast. Moreover, Libyan authorities have promised to strengthen now not only the sea, but its land border, passing through the Sahara desert. “This Memorandum provides for the protection of the southern borders of Libya, through which seeps a huge flow of migrants, noted the Libyan Prime Minister. – In addition, it will help to ensure the repatriation of illegal immigrants on a humanitarian basis”. After reaching an agreement with Turkey, EU leaders are ready to sign a similar agreement with the internationally recognized government of Libya. The problem is that it controls only a modest part of the country.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert fico on the eve before departure for the summit, called themselves the Western countries guilty of grave situation in Libya, which caused migration problems. “Crying over spilled milk” in Libya is absolutely ridiculous. If tomorrow (at the EU) countries bearing primary responsibility for the situation in Libya, will speak on the migration issue, from anyone, at least from V4 countries (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary), they are on this subject something will hear,” said fico.
Take the money – just leave!
Slovak Prime Minister believes that politicians in Western Europe before you start bombing Libya, had to wonder if they have a plan B. “And now all the moaning and screaming that from Libya to Europe in 2016 came 181 thousand migrants. But it’s not my responsibility, it is the responsibility of those who liquidated the regime in Libya,” said fico, adding that “instead of cooperating with Gaddafi, killed him”.
All Libya was the center of attention of the Malta summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the summit acknowledged that clearly, Russia should participate in international efforts on the settlement in Libya. As Merkel said, “efforts are being made to unite, so that in the end really came a single government that controls all parts of Libya”.
Yesterday, just before leaving Merkel in Malta, the interior Ministry of Germany announced the launch of a new immigration program. The representative of the Ministry told “Izvestia” that from now on, the refugee who decide to return home before making a decision on granting him asylum, will receive €1.2 thousand In turn, those who refused to pay €800, provided that they will not appeal. For this purpose the government has already allocated for this year to €40 million. Experts believe that the way Merkel is seeking to score political points ahead of elections.