In January, Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis featured prominently astatine the World Economic Forum successful Davos. Among the assorted topics, helium was asked to remark connected was migration. “Greece has astir apt managed the migration occupation amended than astir different European countries,” helium said confidently successful an interrogation with CNN’s Richard Quest connected the sidelines of the forum. “We won a resounding triumph [in the elections] partially due to the fact that we succeeded successful managing the migration done a pugnacious but just migration policy.”
But this “tough but just migration policy” resulted successful the decease of much than 500 people, including 100 children, successful a azygous incidental of a migrant vessel sinking disconnected the Greek seashore adjacent Pylos connected June 14. The Greek coastguard has been accused of causing what is considered 1 of the worst maritime disasters successful the Mediterranean by attempting to tow the vessel to Italian territorial waters.
The Greek authorities person denied work and alternatively arrested 9 of the survivors, blaming them for causing the shipwreck. As Mitsotakis headed for Davos, the probe was closed and handed to the prosecution, aft requests by the survivors’ lawyers to see important grounds successful their defence were rejected.
The injustice and shocking disregard for quality beingness successful this communicative are not an aberration, but the culmination of a argumentation of systematic denial of extortion and usurpation of the rights of refugees. And they are besides reflected successful the caller migration pact the European Union has conscionable concluded.
The tragic stories of decease astatine European borders and the deficiency of enactment connected them bespeak the absorption successful which Europe is headed, agreed nether a far-right “law and order” emblem and racist anti-migrant policies. It is towards a acheronian aboriginal successful which quality rights will could travel to an end.
A racist EU migration pact
The contented of migration has ever been a utile governmental instrumentality and 1 of the cornerstones of the acold close successful Europe. But successful the past decade, the remainder of the governmental spectrum has besides progressively instrumentalised and gradually adopted it successful a hopeless effort to amended declining electoral fortunes. As a result, European migration policies person taken a crisp crook to the right, reflecting much and much intimately the acold right’s racist docket and a rhetoric of exclusion of non-Europeans.
The caller “Migration Pact” of the EU is simply a lawsuit successful point. The European Parliament and the European Council reached a provisional statement connected it 5 days earlier Christmas. Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, called it a “historic day”; quality rights organisations called it a “disaster”. On February 8, EU subordinate states approved it, and it is present pending last ceremonial endorsement by the EU Parliament and the European Council.
The regulations that the pact volition present volition screen each stages of the asylum process: from screening asylum seekers upon accomplishment and postulation of biometric information to rules for determining which subordinate authorities is liable for handling their applications. The provisions, which are meant to “fundamentally alteration however we woody with migration and asylum”, however, incorporate galore gaps which let for maltreatment and further strengthening of convulsive policies astatine EU borders.
Rights organisations person pointed retired that the pact tin usher successful the detention of asylum seekers, including families with children, successful prison-like facilities; pb to much unit by borderline authorities; and let deportation to unsafe 3rd countries.
It volition not supply a harmless and dignified way to the asylum-seeking process that could prevention lives and it volition not forestall tragedies similar the Pylos shipwreck from repeating. Instead, arsenic Amnesty International notes, the caller pact volition effect successful “a surge successful suffering connected each measurement of a person’s travel to question asylum” successful Europe.
Additionally, countries similar Poland and Hungary person rejected the relocation mechanism, nether which they would person to judge refugees. The pact gives them the alternate enactment to wage 20,000 euros ($21,550) per refugee; successful different words, they tin wage their mode retired of their obligations nether European and planetary law.
This means not lone that determination volition beryllium an adjacent heavier load enactment connected countries astatine the EU’s outer borders, but that basal ineligible norms connected the extortion of refugees are being eroded.
A acheronian aboriginal for Fortress Europe
Overall, the migration pact reflects a inclination wrong the EU to shrink the scope of planetary instrumentality to the constituent wherever it becomes irrelevant to those whom it was created to protect.
Failing to enactment successful spot a communal European asylum strategy with wide rules and regulations, not lifting the unit from entranceway countries, further militarising borderline control, and outsourcing the occupation of migration to 3rd countries bespeak the EU’s continuing effort to dodge its obligations nether planetary instrumentality towards asylum seekers.
The semipermanent effect of ignoring and downplaying planetary ineligible norms is the imaginable illness of the planetary global system, which would mean the extremity of the quality rights authorities arsenic we cognize it.
Another disturbing facet of Europe’s migration pact asylum argumentation is that it discriminates betwixt radical seeking asylum. The EU announced that its provisions volition not use to Ukrainian refugees. In different words, Brussels officially applies planetary instrumentality selectively; it openly declares that radical of a definite contention are deserving of a pathway to information and others are not.
This is each the much egregious considering that the migration pact is meant to support distant radical fleeing struggle and different crises successful Africa and the Middle East, which European countries are often straight progressive in.
By intelligibly and formally discriminating betwixt who is deserving of a harmless and ineligible way of asylum-seeking and migration and who is not, the EU is mounting a unsafe precedent. Discrimination implicit the close to petition extortion nether planetary instrumentality and the allocation of antithetic rights for antithetic groups opens the doorway to ineligible apartheid.
It appears the EU has appointed itself arsenic the arbiter of who has the close to beingness and dignity and who does not. This is evident successful its absorption to the warfare successful Gaza arsenic well.
Europe has turned a unsighted oculus to the accusations of genocide successful Gaza, arsenic European countries proceed selling weapons to Israel and parroting its outrageous statement astir “its close to self-defence” from a colonisation it occupies.
It is important to enactment present that among the astir fervent pro-Israeli forces successful Europe is the acold close which is utilizing the warfare successful Gaza to propulsion its agenda, beforehand ideas of taste war, and whitewash its anti-Semitism.
Support for the acold close is surging successful Europe and that is not due to the fact that of “illegal migration” arsenic immoderate EU officials, similar Ylva Johansson, commissioner for location affairs, person claimed. It is due to the fact that European “centrist conservatives”, similar Mitsotakis, person embraced the acold right’s docket for their ain constrictive governmental and economical interests.
This volition surely beryllium reflected successful the upcoming European parliamentary elections scheduled for June.
If determination is nary profound overhaul of the antihuman and inhumane absorption European authorities and policies are taking, the aboriginal of the EU looks precise dark. As it stands now, we are connected a consecutive way towards a Europe wherever the Viktor Orbáns, Geert Wilderss and Marine Le Pens volition person a overmuch stronger accidental astir what is connected the docket and what is not.
The views expressed successful this nonfiction are the author’s ain and bash not needfully bespeak Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.