In 2015, affected by the war in the Middle East at the time, millions of refugees poured into the European Union, and most of them came to Germany. One of the largest migrations in recent times, known as the European refugee crisis, quickly raised German society’s concerns about its own security and stability. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke the famous phrase “We can do it” to appease the people who are full of anxiety. Four years have passed, and Merkel’s government is far from “done” in resolving the refugee crisis.
In mid-September, German Interior Minister Zehoff said in an interview with national media that the German government’s future plan is to receive one quarter of the refugees rescued in Italian waters each year. On September 23, the Ministers of Interior of Italy, France, Germany, Malta and the European Union’s rotating presidency, Finland, five countries, convened a meeting in Valletta, the capital of Malta. After the meeting, the parties announced a new agreement aimed at alleviating the pressure on refugee distribution in countries bordering the Mediterranean.
Maritime smuggling tortures Europe
With the domestic situation in Syria stabilizing and the closure of the Balkan channel, the number of refugees arriving on land in the EU by land has fallen sharply in the past two years. However, this traditional illegal immigration route from North Africa to Europe via the Mediterranean has not been effectively controlled in recent years, but illegal immigration activities have become more rampant.
Illegal immigrants, led by “snake heads”, sneaked into Europe on the simple boats such as rubber boats at the risk of losing their lives at any time. Many groups calling themselves humanitarian or non-governmental organizations use large ships to search for illegal immigrants in the area and bring them back to Europe safely. Due to geographical reasons, Italy and Greece are often the countries where these vessels prefer to dock.
In the 2018 Italian elections, the far-right party Northern Alliance became one of the ruling parties, with its leader Salvini as Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. Promoted by Salvini, Italy launched a tough anti-illegal immigration policy, saying no to almost all refugee rescue ships calling for calls at Italian ports. For this reason, other EU countries such as Italy and Germany have been bickering. The biggest quarrel came from the “Ocean Watch 3” incident in July this year.
At the end of July this year, German female captain Korat flew into the Italian island of Lampedusa in a rescue ship carrying dozens of illegal immigrants, defying the ban of the then Italian Minister of Interior Salvini. Port. It was subsequently arrested and placed under house arrest to assist in the judicial investigation of the crime of illegal immigration.
This “heroic act” of Korat quickly caused polarization in German public opinion. Supporters believed that the female captain was a humanitarian defender who saved lives. Opponents believed that this was nothing more than a criminal act to help illegal immigrants. Outer morals.
Illegal immigration affects EU solidarity
Since the establishment of the European Union, it has emphasized that member states can unite to solve problems in a coordinated way. However, EU member states can be described as tit-for-tat on the issue of refugees. In fact, the heads of EU member states reached a refugee resettlement agreement as early as 2015, but it has not been effectively implemented. Only a few illegal immigrants or refugees rescued ashore have been reasonably resettled in EU countries outside the country of landing.
Various countries are concerned that these illegal immigrants from North African countries will have an impact on their own security. In particular, Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary have rejected almost all refugee sharing arrangements within the European Union. And Denmark, located in northern Europe, has also shown extreme unwelcome to refugees. Not only has the parliament passed a bill that allows law enforcement to confiscate refugees’ property, thereby preventing a large influx of refugees into Denmark, but also politicians have proposed Refugees are sent to uninhabited islands for resettlement.
Recently, the Italian government has changed, and Italy’s refugee policy has been adjusted. On September 22, the Italian Ministry of the Interior allowed the non-governmental organization “Mediterranean Rescue” and “Doctors Without Borders” to co-operate the rescue ship “Marine Viking” carrying 182 refugees to dock in Messina, Sicily. It also includes a baby born only 8 days. This is the second time the Italian government has allowed the Ocean Viking to dock since the new government took office.
Previously, on September 14, the Italian government allowed the Marine Viking, which had drifted at sea for nearly two weeks and contained 82 refugees, to dock at Lampedusa. According to reports, it was the first time in almost 14 months that the Italian government provided a safe mooring for refugee rescue vessels.
Despite the openness of refugee policy, the new Italian interior minister still complains that these illegal immigrants have imposed a great burden on Italy, and that these people should not be burdened by the Italian society with the social pressure caused by illegal immigrants. It is for this reason that this meeting of the five Ministers of Home Affairs of Malta was convened.
Powers have to make concessions
Although the agreement reached by the five Ministers of Home Affairs has not been finally disclosed, according to the new Italian Minister of Home Affairs Lucana La Morgesse, the agreement is conceived as: within four weeks of immigration landing in EU countries, the Of different countries. The receiving country will process its asylum application and conduct a refugee qualification review before deciding to accept the refugee or repatriate it. Combined with the statement of the German Minister of the Interior, the media generally speculated that this distribution agreement would be difficult to get support from Eastern Europe and other EU countries that oppose refugees. Therefore, as the two largest EU countries, Germany and France had to lead the charge and receive most of the Illegal immigrants from Italy and Malta. According to the latest distribution case, Germany and France each receive a quarter of illegal immigrants, while the rest are accepted by Italy, Portugal and other countries.
It can be seen that the European Union is working hard to solve the problem of the distribution of illegal immigrants to the border, but illegal immigrants are constantly looking for new routes and “new lives.”
According to the European Border Management Agency, Snakehead is increasingly using the Morocco-Spain route to smuggle immigrants, and it is also trying to use immigrants to smuggle drugs in large quantities. Almost half of the drugs seized by the European Border Agency on the EU outer border were seized in Morocco and Spain, for a total of about 65 tons.