15 EU countries propose outsourcing migration management

15 EU countries propose outsourcing migration management

Migration management remains a crucial and controversial issue in the European Union. In a recent twist, fifteen member countries, led by Denmark, have proposed outsourcing this management, taking the pact between Italy and Albania as a model. This agreement seeks to transfer people rescued at sea to Albania, considered a “safe third country.” The proposal, sent in a letter to the European Commission, reflects growing concern about irregular migration flows and the need to find “innovative” solutions.

The Initiative and its Proponents

The letter, signed by Denmark, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and Romania, calls on the European Commission to explore more bilateral agreements similar to those existing with Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt. Although the majority of the signatories belong to governments of the European People’s Party and some allies with the extreme right, it also includes socialist and liberal governments. The initiative was promoted by Denmark under the leadership of social democrat Mette Frederikssen, who governs in coalition with the right after renouncing her left-wing partners.

Rescue on the High Seas and the Current Situation

The current context of irregular immigration in the EU is alarming. Maritime Rescue recently rescued a canoe with 171 occupants, including one deceased, 280 kilometers southwest of Gran Canaria. This event underscores the urgency of effective and humane immigration management.

The Proposal of the Group of 15 Countries

The Ministers of the Interior of these fifteen countries argue that current migratory flows are “unsustainable.” They propose expanding agreements with third countries and creating a high seas rescue mechanism to transfer migrants to a safe place outside the EU. This model, similar to the pact between Italy and Albania, has yet to be implemented and has faced legal challenges. However, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has described it as an “example of innovative thinking based on sharing responsibilities with third countries.”

Looking for Innovative Solutions

In addition to outsourcing, the letter asks for a more effective return policy, since the current return rate does not reach 30%. They propose sending migrants to third countries while they wait for deportation, which could imply a review of the concept of a “safe third country.” They also urge a tougher response to the instrumentalization of immigration, such as attempts orchestrated by Belarus.

Compliance with Legal Obligations

Ministers stress that all new measures must be implemented in full compliance with international legal obligations, including the principle of no immediate returns and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. They ask the Commission to propose the legislative changes necessary to implement these measures.

Originally Appeared Here