The global establishment is going out of its way to increase the number of immigrants in Europe. If the governments of particular states such as Hungary, Poland or now Italy oppose these activities, they are internationally marginalized. And if an action goes counter to the plans of international organizations, they are trying to come up with new legal interpretations that will be binding on the parties concerned. All of which is only possible because the EU member countries have relinquished their sovereignty and transferred it to international institutions.
The Italian authorities, which are increasingly strongly opposed to the pressure from the UN and non-governmental organizations, are effectively counteracting the stream of African immigrants. Thus Italy has ceased to be the main migratory route to Europe, which is not accepted by the NGOs or international institutions. Still, events from the end of July related to the Italian ship Asseo Ventotto, as described below, make migration from Europe legal and even desirable.
In recent years, it was Italy that accepted most of the refugees. The new government has decided to take more decisive steps to stop this process, however. The first measure was the gradual closure of ports to non-governmental organizations transporting “refugees”.1) The second is to send undocumented immigrants back to Africa.2)
The resolve of the Italian authorities has triggered attacks by non-governmental organizations that have hailed the government’s representatives as fascists, simply because they want to pursue the will of voters and restrict immigration.3) Both the UN and the EU are questioning the legality of Rome’s actions. The Italian-Libyan cooperation is also under international pressure because it aims to redirect the refugees heading for Italy to Libya. The European Court of Human Rights has submitted the procedures for the prevention of migration in the Mediterranean to scrutiny.4)
The event from last month provides a precedent. On 30th of July, the Asso Ventotto, a ship owned by Augusta Offshore, the Italian oil and gas production company, picked up only 6.4 km from Libyan territorial waters a dinghy with more than a hundred immigrants, which was required by maritime law. Acting on the advice of the Libyan Coast Guard, the Asso Ventotto crew transported the rescued to the nearest port, i.e. to Tripoli. It was like throwing down the gauntlet to non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Sea-Watch or activists of Proactiva Open Arms, which suggested that the safest place for survivors would be Europe.5)6)
UN diplomats couldn’t agree more. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, stated on Twitter that the transfer of survivors to countries where human rights might be violated may constitute a violation of international standards.7) Thus, according to Grandi, immigrants which were picked up near Libyan territorial waters should be transported to countries where they will find a safe haven, to Italy, Greece or Spain, rather than to Libya, which is recognized by both the UN and the EU as a country dangerous for the survivors.8)
The Gefira Foundation has already proven that international institutions are seeking to manage the migration flow, and they maintain that this movement of people is “unavoidable, desirable and necessary”. 9) We expect the Italian government to continue to oppose the recommendations of global organizations, which will probably entail its isolation on the European political stage. The steps taken by the authorities in Rome will cause African smugglers to move from Libya to Morocco.10) The short distance from the Black Continent and the moral support from the UN and the EU will turn Spain into an ideal destination instead of Italy. Thus, the Iberian Peninsula will become the largest window for immigrants who want to get to Europe.
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|1.||↑||Salvini to demand closure of Italian ports to ‘international mission’ migrant ships, The Local 2018-07-08.|
|2.||↑||Italy vows to ‘send home’ undocumented immigrants, The Guardian 2018-06-01.|
|3.||↑||Italy minister blasts NGO for calling him fascist, bans ships, Reuters 2018-06-16.|
|4.||↑||Italy’s deal with Libya to ‘pull back’ migrants faces legal challenge, The Guardian 2018-05-08.|
|5.||↑||Italian rescue boat accused of breaking international law by taking more than 100 migrants back to Libya rather than into Europe, The Sun 2018-08-02.|
|6.||↑||Italian boat accused of breaking law by taking migrants to Libya, Digital Journal 2018-07-31.|
|7.||↑||UNHCR Italia, Twitter 2018-07-31.|
|8.||↑||UN says migrants’ return to Libya by Italian boat could be illegal, Euractiv 2018-08-01.|
|9.||↑||Mass-migration should be accepted by Western states according to the UN Secretary, Gefira 2018-06-04.|
|10.||↑||Facebook helps the African exodus to Europe, Gefira, 2018-01-03.|