After pushing countries on the continent for years to accept migrants in the midst of the refugee crisis, the leftist European Union (EU) is finally committed to curb immigration and the problems that come with it by pushing to start screening centers in Africa to decrease sea crossings.
Through a number of talks next week, approximately 10 EU leaders are slated to discuss ways to end the constant flow of migrants who have been launching off the shores of North Africa in boats, and the main plan on the table is to stop the boatloads from landing on southern European shores – a scheme that includes paying countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia to detain refugees in holding centers until they are found to meet asylum eligibility.
“The leaders will back the creation of ‘regional disembarkation platforms,’” the Associated Press (AP) reported, according to Breitbart News post. “Essentially, people striking out for Italy in unseaworthy boats could be taken back – for instance, to Libya if picked up by the EU-financed and trained Libyan coast guard – or transported to neighboring countries for screening.”
EU still trying to appease UN by through PC concerns
EU insists that one of the main goals behind the proposal is migrant safety.
“[The hosting nations’ migrant centers] should provide for rapid processing to distinguish between economic migrants and those in need of international protection, and reduce the incentive to embark on perilous journeys,” reads a draft statement obtained by AP that was written for the June 28–29 EU summit scheduled in Brussels, Belgium.
Despite Europeans across the continent complaining in recent years about their communities being flooded and taken over by problematic Muslim African migrants who made it to the shores of southern Europe, the UN continues to argue that tens of thousands arriving on the beaches are not inundating the continent – an issue that the UN is slated to bring up during the emergency migration talks to be held on Sunday in Brussels in preparation of the summit next week.
“It’s all happening as the number of people arriving in Europe by boat decreases,” AP’s Lorne Cook reported from Brussels. “The UNHCR says that if current trends continue, some 80,000 people will enter via the Mediterranean Sea this year – mostly in Italy, Greece and Spain – [which is] around half the number who arrived in 2017.”
UNHCR Europe Chief Sophie Magennis insists that the problem with migrants is only in the minds of Europeans who do not want to help migrants leave their “refugee crisis” so that they receive handouts and other forms of humanitarian aid in Europe.
“We do not have a crisis of numbers,” Magennis contended on Monday, according to AP. “We continue to have a crisis of political will.”
The document indicates that the plan for the centers would be worked out through a partnership between the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration, but no takers have apparently been found on the African continent to date.
“Both organizations have been discussing ways to handle sea arrivals inside the EU, but not in Africa, although they do work in Libya,” Cook noted. “No African country has yet agreed to take part, the EU’s top migration official said Thursday.”
Major pushback from Africa
Even though plans for the refugee holding centers appear to be moving forward, the EU has conceded that the idea has faced steep opposition North African leaders – a plan that was reportedly devised to prevent deaths at sea … and one that Italy rejects because it says it is more geared to help curb the collapse of the German coalition government than to alleviate the refugee crisis plaguing Italian shores.
“The European Union’s most senior migration official has admitted that no north African country has yet agreed to host migrant screening centers to process refugee claims,” the Guardian reported. “Details of an EU plan to prevent migrants drowning at sea emerged on Thursday after Italy criticized the agenda of an emergency summit for not offering enough to help it cope with arrivals.”
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stressed the objective of building partnerships to make the migrant centers in North Africa a reality, but he admitted that no country in Africa has agreed to be a host for the refugee screening centers.
“Unilateral measures on migration are just not the answer – not only would they not work, but they would also damage everything the European Union has built, and our Schengen area of free movement most of all – [so the EU wants to] intensify cooperation [with Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Niger and Morocco as we intend to create a] regional disembarkation scheme,” Avramopoulos declared, according to AP. “It has to be discussed with these countries, [but] an official proposal has not been put on the table.”
In actuality – despite EU optimism over the plan – many doubts remain as to whether it will come to fruition.
“The idea for offshore migrant processing centers remains sketchy, with numerous political, practical and legal questions unanswered,” the Guardian’s Jennifer Rankin and Patrick Wintour pointed out. “It remains unclear, for example, whether migrants on a rescue ship in European waters could be returned to a north African country.”
In fact, Tunisian Ambassador to the EU Tahar Cherif asserted that there is no way his North African coastal nation will even consider the proposal.
“The proposal was put to the head of our government a few months ago during a visit to Germany; it was also asked by Italy, and the answer is clear: no!” Cherif exclaimed, according to the Guardian. “We have neither the capacity nor the means to organize these detention centers. We are already suffering a lot from what is happening in Libya, which has been the effect of European action.”
The North African leader was content with dishing its migrant problem off onto his European neighbors across the Mediterranean to the north, while representatives from other nations claim that they simply don’t have the capacity.
“He said his country was facing enough problems with unemployment, without wishing to add to them, while Niger said its existing centers taking migrants out of detention camps in Libya are already full,” Rankin and Wintour noted.
Europe still bickering over its handling of refugees
Nations in southern Europe continue to argue about what is to be done with migrants once they wash up on their shores from across the Mediterranean Sea.
“Europe’s divisions over migration and the state of its inadequate asylum laws were exposed again last week by an embarrassing [disagreement] involving Italy, Malta and France over who should take responsibility for more than 600 people – including children and pregnant women – rescued from the sea off Libya,” an AP report posted by ABC News explained. “Spain eventually offered safe harbor to the rescue ship carrying them.”
As European countries become more and more laden with problems – including Islamic terrorism and violence – at the hands of Muslim migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, the EU has had to move to address the escalating and intensifying issue.
“Concerned that anti-migrant parties will exploit the divisions, the Europeans are looking to outsource the challenge, much as they did by persuading Turkey to tighten its borders,” the AP report stated. “Anti-migrant parties have been winning votes since over 1 million people entered the EU in 2015 – most fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq.”
Even ultra-leftist European leader, French President Emmanuel Macron, argues that something must be done in North Africa to address the social crises that unfold when migrants land on the shores of southern European nations.
“The problem didn’t start just a few kilometers off the Italian coast,” Macron impressed earlier this week, according to AP. “The answer [lies in working with] countries of origin and transit – whether that be in Africa or elsewhere.”
Some progress has already been made to take a bite out of the problem.
“On Tuesday, EU countries agreed to change the rules governing Europe’s passport-free travel zone, known as the Schengen area,” the AP report run on ABC News divulged. “The move will allow countries to carry out ID checks on people for longer than allowed under current rules. Ultimately, the EU’s aim is to promote action after a series of responses by individual countries – like building fences, deploying troops, introducing border checks or simply keeping them open – sparked confusion and tension among EU partners.”