Horst Seehofer has managed to illustrate the inhumanity and futility of Europe’s return policy with a “joke” about the deportation of 69 people on his 69th birthday. The numbers no longer match: one of the group committed suicide after being returned to Afghanistan. He was a young man who had arrived in Germany as a child and had lived there for eight years, “returned” to a town he’d never been to.
People in need of protection still face substandard living conditions in Regional Centres for Procedures and Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in Bucharest and Giurgiu, Romania. Fact-finding visits conducted between 18 and 22 June 2018 looked at conditions prevailing in the two centres, as well as the situation in the Otopeni Public Custody Centre.
The European Council agreed to explore the idea of “regional disembarkation platforms” with the aim to “break the business model of smugglers” by safely disembarking people rescued at sea in relevant third countries to be processed to distinguish between irregular migrants and those in need of international protection. One version of the idea has been proposed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
At the Summit on 28 June the EU’s Member States have managed to discuss and reach some agreements on migration without the whole of the EU blowing up. Although the first verdicts are that nothing much has been decided reading between the lines of the European Council Conclusions there are some interesting developments – and not all negative.
1) European strategies not whole-of-EU agreements