EU: A tougher new era for the migrants

 

Antonio Guterres

Since 2011  « Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere »
« We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before, » declared the UN High Commissionner for Refugees António Guterres.
While most refugees stay in the closer countries of their fled home, only a few part make the journey to our countries. « Almost nine out of every 10 refugees (86 per cent) were in regions and countries considered economically less developed. A full quarter of all refugees were in countries ranking among the UN’s list of Least Developed nations. » Among those who manage to reach the entrance of Europe, many finally stay in Turkey « which in 2014 became the world’s top refugee-hosting nation with 1.59 million Syrian refugees at year’s end »
These people are forced to flee to seek protection and only a small percentage of them arrive to the Schengen Zone, directed by the treaty Schengen-Dublin which supposedly regulates the free movement and the asylum-seekers subject.
On the contrary, this treaty is used to charge the only countries directly concerned by the arriving migrants (Italy, Greece) to host them and treat their asylum application. However, by applying the discretionary clause at article 17 of the treaty, the final destination country could take care of these aspects.
Regarding the EU Commission proposition for quotas, it has been rejected. But faced with the tragedy of the numerous drowned people in the Mediterranean see, everyone accorded to take some migrants on a volunteer basis. We thus see a general discourse where every state alleges it has already done a lot; countries only willing to protect their border against the migrants; and everywhere in-construction walls.
Sometimes, there are even border controls within the Schengen zone to prevent the free movement of the migrants, like at the french-italian border between Vintimille and Menton.
Nevertheless there as been a general consensus about:
The aid intended for the non-UE countries, principally to help with the overcrowded refugees camps close to the countries in crisis.
The almost military measures to prevent the passage through the Mediterranean sea with air and sea forces in a operation named Nav Force Med.
Finally, it looks like this – all these refugees drowning in the Mediterranean sea, squeezed in camps or dying in the desert- is quite sad and dramatic. But don’t let them come into our countries. Italy, Greece and Malta can still dream about any solidarity.

M.O.
Translation from french by Kevin Fernandez

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