L’article (en anglais) de Ben Hall dans le Financial Times, « With Salvini on the rise, Europe’s refugee policy is ever more adrift » vaut le détour. Il résume bien l’impasse humanitaire en Méditerranée et critique la paralysie des gouvernements européens face à la crise migratoire. Cette crise est principalement due à l’inefficacité du système actuel d’asile européen basé sur le Règlement Dublin. Pour encourager l’instauration d’un mécanisme d’attribution automatique des personnes sauvées en Méditerranée ou arrivant directement aux frontières européennes en Grèce, en Italie ou en Espagne, il suggère l’instauration rapide d’un système de compensation financière pour les États qui s’engageraient à participer au mécanisme d’attribution automatique.
Forum Asile poste l’article de Ben Hall dans son intégralité ci-dessous.
With Salvini on the rise, Europe’s refugee policy is ever more adrift. Financial incentives are needed to convince countries to share the migrant burden
“Men Jump Ship as the World Looks on in Alarm” the headline might read. It was a cruel irony that at the very moment Matteo Salvini’s far-right League bailed out of Italy’s coalition government last week, at least 15 desperate migrants leapt from a Spanish rescue vessel into the waters off Lampedusa and tried to swim ashore.
As interior minister, Mr Salvini has closed Italian ports to rescue boats and pushed through legislation allowing €1m fines for those that dock without permission. He barred entry to the Open Arms, operated by a Catalan non-governmental organisation, which had picked up scores of migrants from rickety boats off the Libyan coast. For nearly three weeks, the Open Arms and its miserable passengers were stuck at sea waiting for permission, from somewhere, to make landfall. In the end, an Italian prosecutor ordered it to dock.
But Mr Salvini, perpetually on the stump, was defiant, saying it proved his determination to end Italy’s role as “the refugee camp of Europe”. The plight of the Open Arms — adrift and at the mercy of a populist leader — is a perfect metaphor for the EU’s own lack of direction. Three years after the migration crisis, the bloc still lacks a common asylum policy. It is stuck with a system that puts an intolerable burden on frontline states, poisoning relations between EU members and corroding the solidarity that underpins integration. More than 800 migrants are thought to have drowned so far this year, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. If Europe cannot protect migrants at sea “it has lost its soul, as well as its heart”, David Sassoli, the new president of the European Parliament, lamented this month.
The EU has outsourced migration control to authoritarians in Egypt and Turkey, and warlords in Libya, where migrants have been detained unlawfully for months or even years in appalling conditions. Migrant camps in Greece, which shoulders the greatest burden, are overflowing and unsanitary. After the EU ended naval patrols under Operation Sophia in March, on the basis that they were encouraging smugglers to send migrants out to sea, it has fallen to NGO ships to save men, women and children from drowning, even though they cannot unload them in European ports. Italy is not alone in seeking to deny entry to rescue ships. Malta and France have also refused them permission The heart of the problem is the EU’s Dublin regulation, which obliges asylum seekers to make their initial claim in the first EU country where they set foot.
Most clandestine migration into Europe is across the Mediterranean, which puts a huge strain on its southern states. But an alternative requires burden-sharing, which many EU members, especially in central and eastern Europe, have refused to accept on the grounds that they have little experience of mass migration or multiculturalism. An attempt this summer by France, Germany and Finland, the holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, to assemble a coalition of states to share out migrants rescued at sea recruited only five other countries. Italy snubbed the meeting. Mr Salvini called it a flop. Italians understandably feel they were abandoned by the EU during the 2014-16 crisis when 500,000 irregular migrants arrived in the country. While the EU helped negotiate a deal with Turkey to stop the flow into Greece, Rome had to do much of the work itself to close off the route from Libya. But sympathy for Italy has dwindled along with the numbers.
The country has received some 4,300 migrants across the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the UNHCR, a sixth of Greece’s total and only a quarter of Spain’s. And while France failed to pull its weight during the earlier crisis, it received 120,000 asylum seekers last year, twice as many as its neighbour. The numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe are a fraction of what they were three years ago — 43,000 so far this year, the UNHCR says. Even this flow remains politically explosive. Resolving it must be a top priority for the new European Commission and European Parliament. It will mean financial incentives for those countries that agree to share the burden and a reduction in EU budget payments for those that don’t. The situation demands common asylum rules and processes and more effective ways of sending failed asylum seekers and economic migrants home. If north African states are to act as Europe’s southern border police, better safeguards are required. Mr Salvini’s domestic popularity has rocketed thanks to his use of the migrants issue and Europe’s failure to provide a continental solution to a continental problem. If his opponents and former coalition allies cannot unite to stop him, Europe may be about to get its first far-right national leader since Hitler and Mussolini.
Voir aussi en fin d’article la vidéo de Ben Hall résumant la situation en Méditerranée.