Πέμπτη, 1 Οκτωβρίου 2020

WHAT IMMIGRATION POLICIES DOES EUROPE DESERVE?


By Professor Peter P. Groumpos, Emeritus Professor, University of Patras Member of IHA

Many believe that the European Union (EU) is today a strong economic and political union on the World Chessboard. They take it for granted, looking at the Euro, the figures and the statistics and till recently the climate of confidence. But how true is such a version? Many, question it, especially after the departure of England, a country that was one of the founding members of the EU. Are they worried not so much about leaving as much about the reasons for BREXIT? Really:

How many understand why England left without calculating the cost of this exit? Are the English people so “stupid”? How many Europeans are able to think it through? What will be the next Member State to follow the path of England? 

I believe it is worthwhile someday to conduct a sincere historical review of European integration. But this will be done another time of the near future.

The Maastricht Treaty created the European Union, officially established on 1 November 1993. This Treaty is based on three pillars: the European Communities, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and cooperation in the field of justice. and Home Affairs (JHA). In view of the enlargement of the Union, the necessary adjustments were made by the Treaty of Amsterdam to ensure a more efficient and democratic functioning of the Union. One of the main characteristics of the EU was the introduction of the “decision procedures”, which strengthened the role of the European Parliament in decision-making and new forms of cooperation between the EU member states. in the fields of defense, justice, external borders and home affairs. But other changes were needed. Thus in 2000 the Treaty of Lisbon, was signed, knowing also as the Lisbon Strategy extending Parliament’s full legislative power to more than 40 new areas, including agriculture, energy security, immigration, justice and EU funds. In other words, for the first time, the democratic foundations of the Union were defined, which were based on the principle of democratic equality, the principle of representative democracy and the principle of participatory democracy. All this, no doubt, aspired to make the EU a prosperous community of states, and one of the strongest and most prosperous economies in the world.

Sure, those were nice words. But, unfortunately, it was to be proven to this day that they are just words. In fact, before even 4-6 years had passed, everyone agreed that the Lisbon Strategy, was going to a complete failure. Indeed, in 2009, Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish Prime Minister who held the rotating EU Presidency, declared the strategic failure of the Lisbon Strategy. Failure, in fact, which was therefore predictable and predictable. However, the worst thing is that, the extension of this failed approach continued after 2010 and I dare say that it continueseven today, 20 years after its official signing. 

I will not go into further analysis of this failure but will move on to the issue of Immigration and Asylum. This is because consultations are taking place these days all over Europe. The EU wants to develop a new approach to better managing all aspects of migration. Its aim is to combat illegal immigration and smuggling of migrants, save lives and secure the EU’s external borders, while attracting talent and skills. I’m afraid it will stay in big words again. Here is WHY.

First, a deep problem is revealed in decision-making processes. I will not go into details but will remind the leaders of the EU Member States and all EU citizens, of the Dublin I, II, III and IV treaties. They started in 1990 and today (after 30 years!) we are still discussing HOW the EU will legislate a proper and functional framework for immigration! It cannot rely on the German Presidency either. Since the interests of rich different Member States (thus including Germany) will not allow a correct and effective framework to be established.

Secondly, an unacceptable hypocrisy by the EU Member States is revealed. Immigration plagues Europe even before 2010, but neither the states nor the EU. they have given examples that they know what they really want. The most cynical want cheap hands and as-as a demographic solution. The warm-blooded want to drive everyone away. Both the merciful and the human rights activists are willing to suffer anything, even the “illegal immigrants”. But this suffering should not touch them.

Third, the EU was characteristically slow to understand that it is not Greece’s fault to bear all the burdens of immigration. Especially, as this is further complicated by the involvement of Turkey and the Greek-Turkish disputes in this issue. Not more or less, the EU for many years it was difficult (or did not want) to understand that the Greek-Turkish borders are also European-Turkish borders.  EU seems now to realize something after the sad episodes of last January on the Evros river (Greek-Turkish borders), but it probably does not want to accept it completely.

Fourth, the insidious involvement of NGOs with the unlimited help of the EU, Turkey, big business and wealthy people. Shocking facts have come to light recently about the way in which dozens of members of four NGOs facilitated “slave traders” «slave traders’ circuits» to reach the shores of the Greek islands in boats full of “illegal immigrants”. The accused, all foreigners, have been brought to justice, facing heavy charges for their actions. And it is not just the four NGOs that are illegally promoting illegal immigrants. Most NGOs do this either overtly or covertly and insidiously. Recently  “illegal immigrants” on the island of  Lesvos set fire at the camp ofMoria. (a camp that was crated with money of European citizens). The camp was totally destroyed. Lesvos was declared a state of emergency for the next four months, after the fire and the incidents that led to total destruction in the refugee camp in Moria.    In Lesvos went urgently the Vice President of the Commission, Mr. Margaritis Schoinas.

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