EU vurderer å outsource patruljering av Middelhavet til Egypt og Tunisia for å hindre båt-immigrantene i å nå EUs sydligste land. Det er Italia som foreslår å flytte ansvaret og jobben til de nord-afrikanske landene.

Under the proposals tabled confidentially by the Italian government, the EU would cut deals with North African countries to fund and train their navies in search-and-rescue missions for the tens of thousands of people being trafficked from Libya to Italy. Once rescued, the migrants would be taken to the ports of the country saving them or sent back to their countries of origin.

“This would produce a real deterrent effect, so that less and less migrants would be ready to put their life at risk to reach the European coasts,” said an Italian government document outlining the scheme and obtained by the Guardian.

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Italia vil ha slutt på dette.

Italia sier at det er nødvendig med en radikal endring i hvordan man skal håndtere masseimmigrasjonen i form av småbåter fra Afrikas kyst. Problemet er økende.

Forslagene ble diskutert i forrige uke av EUs innenriksministre i et møte i Brussel og det ble også debattert med EU-kommisjonen. De ønsker å ha en løsning før mai måned.

Flyktningeleire i Nord-Afrika og Midtøsten har også blitt diskutert. Sammen med disse vurderer man europeiske asylsøkerkontorer i samme regionen. Dette for å holde dem ute av Europa og ute av menneskesmuglerens klør.

Men Europas regjeringer er så langt ikke enige om hverken hvis eller hvordan dette skal gjøres.

Storbritannia vil ikke ha asylsøkerkontorer utenfor EU fordi dette vil kreve en enighet om å fordele flyktningene på de 28 landene. (Vi tenker oss at Sverige sikkert ivrer for den tanken). Østerrike støtter et slikt system nettopp fordi deres byrde vil bli lettere. 

The controversial moves for dealing with the refugee flow are being pushed most actively by Italy, in the frontline of the often catastrophic events in the Mediterranean. France and Germany are also supportive.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council who chairs EU summits, confirmed in remarks to the Guardian and five other European newspapers last week that such policy initiatives were being discussed behind the scenes.

“This is an idea,” he said, when asked about reception centres being established outside the EU. “We have to have strong and responsible control in places where we want to have such camps.”

He is to travel to North Africa shortly on his first joint trip with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief foreign policy coordinator.

“The current situation is so serious that a radical change in the EU perspective is required,” the Italian proposal said. “We have to make all possible efforts to prevent the departure of migrants from the southern shores of the Mediterranean. One viable option is a gradual and direct involvement of reliable third countries in the maritime surveillance and search and rescue activity.”

It said contacts with the Egyptian and Tunisian authorities were being explored, but that “EU member states and relevant EU institutions and agencies have to take adequate, quick and effective actions … The objective should be to share such a heavy burden with those third countries.”

Italia reddet 170.000 immigranter i 2014. I de to første månedene i år ligger dette antallet an til å fordobles. Situasjonen er akutt slik Italia ser det.

The paper called for new “ad hoc operations” where third countries such as Egypt and Tunisia would deploy naval units to “intervene and rescue migrants in distress at sea. Afterwards, they could take them to their own ports.”

Europe would have to finance the policy and supply “technical assistance”, the paper said.

“It is clear that a joint diplomatic action towards the governments of Egypt and Tunisia by main member states and EU as a whole is crucial.”

Hvorfor Egypt og Tunisia vil være interesserte i å ta på seg denne jobben og raskt få overfylte flykningeleire (Trandum er et luksushotell i forhold) langs kysten er foreløpig et ubesvart spørsmål. Og hva med Libya hvor IS allerede kontrollerer flere havnebyer?   

Hvor stor vil den finansielle kompensasjonen bli? Dette er ikke en midlertidig situasjon, men et permanent problem all den tid Afrikas befolkning vil øke med flere milliarder i årene som kommer. Hvor mye er europeere villige til å betale for å holde folk utenfor grensene?

“There has been a lot of proposals but no details about what they mean,” said William Spindler, a spokesman in Geneva for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Given the situation in the Mediterranean, we need to explore all the available options. But it’s not a fully developed plan. Some countries are very reticent.”

While some EU countries are not keen to “Europeanise” migration policies, the proposals would also run into tough resistance in the European parliament.

Ska Keller, a leading German Greens MEP and spokesperson on migration issues, said of of the Italian demand: “This proposal raises major concerns. The underlying motive is to ensure that the EU can wash its hands of the problem by ensuring that rescued refugees are dealt with by countries like Egypt and Tunisia and that they never become the responsibility of an EU jurisdiction. Paying North African countries to deal with the issue is yet another cynical proposal.”

Man skulle likt å vite hva Ska Kellers motforslag er. Alle er enige om at noe må gjøres både av hensyn til Europas fremtid og ikke minst den høye risikoen for drukningsdød som immigrantene utsetter seg for. Å stanse dem før de forlater Afrikas kyst må da være det mest humane?  

The Guardian