Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship at plenary session, week 03 2015, during his speak (EP Audiovisual Services, 13/01/2015).

Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, week 03 2015, during his speach (EP Audiovisual Services, 13/01/2015)

That the European Union is facing its big problem of exorbitant illegal immigration is not news. How can it be in a gigantic region of 28 countries spreading around the Old Continent? And most of all one of the top five coastline lengths in the world with some 70,000 km coasts bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and the Baltic Sea? The geography of the Union combined with its very high living standards makes Europe number one “wanna live” target for millions of people around the planet who are living under horrible regimes and conditions.

And of course Europe has always showed its humanitarian principles by providing help to the illegal immigrants found on abandoned vessels in the Adriatic, securing them a safe return or provide opportunities for better safer relocations or integration in the European society. One would believe that the EU is highly prepared for this and the mechanism is working like a Swiss watch. But sadly it does not seem to be the case. How else can it be explained that nearly 300 thousand people were caught last year trying to enter illegally the block?

The Commissioner for migration and home affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, revealed the above worrying figure to the European Parliament last Tuesday noting that “in 2014, more than 276,000 migrants arrived in the EU, representing an increase of 138 percent compared to the previous year”. He continued, “Smugglers are finding new routes to Europe and are employing new methods in order to exploit desperate people who are trying to escape conflict and war”. “Better coordination and a more comprehensive approach will help to address the roots of the current flows of irregular migrants and of smuggling,” he also stated.

What is most interesting here is to see what are those new “methods” that the illegal immigrants are using to make it to the Eden of the West, as the movie director Mr Gavras would describe. At the same time what is equally striking is why Europe in 2015 is not able to have the right “methods” to control and resolve the matter properly.

It was in the news earlier this week that thousands of poor immigrants join and organise through social media, to set off for what is for them a gateway to paradise but in reality it is a dangerous often inhuman smuggling of poor souls into rusty containers of Vessels that drift along the gigantic waves of the Mediterranean sea. So, Twitter and Facebook and Whatsapp are used by the victims of human trafficking and the criminal gangs that allure people that live in miserable conditions to embark on what is sadly for some the last trip of their lives. According to the reportage, the ruthless criminals even have price differentiation for “Economy Class” and “First Class” illegal immigrants that equals to a couple of thousand euros for the former, up to 10.000 euros for the wealthier.

Now, with the number of illegal immigration flow getting more than doubled in 2014, one might think that Europe is losing control. And it seems that is true. When Mr Avramopoulos urges for better co-operation what does he really mean? Obviously the number did not reach 138% since his arrival to the Commission in November, but what are the real gaps and how to cover them? It is always nice to throw some stats to the Parliament as food for thought but what is wrong with Frontex and particularly Triton, border policing organisations that the European citizen is annually paying dozens of millions of euros to?

Let’s not go too far. One big hole in the migrant smuggling to the EU was created in November, when Italy, by far number one “smuggling route”, decided to shut down Europe’s greatest search and rescue programme, Mare Nostrum for budget reasons. The programme that was operating for one year and was costing Italy some 9 million euros per month saved about 100,000 human lives in just one year. Now the EU aims to fill the gap via Frontex and its operation named Triton, which costs one/third of Mare Nostrum programme. Does this sound like a huge EU safety compromise?

Triton’s aim is to help Italy battle migrant smuggling and protect people’s lives in the water, by co-ordinating action in 18 Schengen states. The European Commission states in its Q&A on the issue published earlier this week: “The core objective of the Triton operation is to provide assistance to the Italian authorities’ efforts to ensure effective surveillance of the maritime borders and to provide assistance to any person on board a vessel in distress.” However, the EU itself understands that Triton cannot replace Mare Nostrum’s effectiveness and coverage: “However, this operation cannot and does not replace Mare Nostrum”.

Having Mare Nostrum erased from the map, combined with the new social media diffusion of the smugglers and their victims, it is only reasonable to expect that Mr Avramopoulos will come out in January 2016 to publish even worse stats. Europe should invest more time and money in this direction “yesterday”, to be able to have a “healthy” immigration flow inside.

If not, then besides the human lives lost in the Mediterranean sea we will also suffer from an accentuation of the far-right sirens that cause excruciating pain to all democratic European ears. Europe was never xenophobe. Look at France and so many other examples where people of different origins are integrated and living in harmony, despite all differences and cultural diversity.

The EU should not give the chance to Le Pen and the peer to exploit Europeans’ most shameful deep xenophobe B sides; that belongs only to the deep past.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Parliament sets conditions on EU-China investment deal

An EU Summit without purpose

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Intel @ MWC14: Our Love Story with Mobile – Transforming Wireless Networks

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Trump questions US – Europe kinship, approaches Russia

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

China invites the EU to a joint endeavor for free trade and order in the world

Spirit unlimited

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Davos: Why the global elites couldn’t find answers this year?

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

My unlimited China

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

The South China Sea Arbitration: Illegal, Illegitimate and Invalid

EU to lead one more fight against climate change at G7 summit

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

In China things are moving in the right direction

Has Germany rebuffed ECB on the banking union?

“Airbnb and YouTube are two great examples of a crowd based capitalism”, key stakeholders outline the boundaries of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Davos

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s