EU: immigration stories…just don’t blame the EU

More of too-familiar pictures of illegal immigrants seem to fill the newspaper pages recently. As IHT reports, there has been a nasty accident when no EU country wanted to send a ship to save 27 men from Africa floating in the middle of the sea. But note, no EU COUNTRY.

There is one paragraph I love in particular:

“Malta, Spain and Italy, meantime, complain that the EU’s external border control agency, Frontex, has not dispatched enough planes and rescue boats to help them cope with the influx of migrants.”

This is just hypocrisy. The EU still has problems with member states getting serious about funding it properly, let alone establishing something as delicate emergency forces. Take a look at the so called EU Rapid Reaction Forces. Not operational. Shit, it’s the same story all along. Not because of the EU, but national resistance of sharing resources. Only after major disasters (see Bosnia, Kosovo), governments regret and open wallets. Then take a look outside the EU. It takes months to compose a peacekeeping mission even to send soldiers to Darfur or Somalia. But it takes minutes to criticize.

The EU has not dispatched…The EU is not buying helicopters, or planes, or boats. The EU helps with coordination and financial assistance (coming from member states anyway). Blame Spain, blame Poland, Slovenia, Finland, but not the EU!

To finish on a sarcastic note and take a paragraph from the beginning of the sam article:

“The EU has responded to the crisis by creating a rapid reaction force of 300 border guards, translators and physicians to help national authorities cope with the growing tide of illegal migrants. Yet so far the force has not been operational.”

This should read. The Council of Ministers, where states are represented, decided at the certain point (probably during the summer with many immigrants on the Spanish, Italian and Maltese TV) to finally combine these 300 people. No timeline set, because someone didn’t like the fact that the commander will be Italian and not Greek. No forces sent so decision not implemented and the unit not operational.

It’s not about EU, it’s about the consistency of national governments.

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4 thoughts on “EU: immigration stories…just don’t blame the EU

  1. I agree with you Marko. But the bright side is that it is now at least generally acknowledged that European cooperation in this area is absolutely essential.

  2. Sure, that is the optimistic view and in fact at least heads are turning to the EU. Also in the case of Energy and Environment. This is positive.

    Of course, the nice statement on TV have to be followed-up by deeds and committments. If there only would be a recipe for delivery!

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