How to save Europe from an asylum seeker crisis and migrant crisis and How to fix the mistakes made in 2015 without making new mistakes

This is plan that if completed would save Europe and EU from the asylum seeker crisis and migrant crisis that exploded in 2015 due to the political choices made in some EU countries and by EU itself and that has continued since then in 2015-2018 and that has turned into a wide political crisis in many EU countries because the mistakes have not been owned up to by those who made mistakes and many of the mistakes have still not been corrected and some leaders still make irresponsible demands that would re-start a 2015 style crisis and deflect blame to others instead of correcting their own failed policies or claim that their political mistakes were the only possible choice in the situation.

Usually when a politician claims they had no other choice but do do what they did the politician is lying. Almost always in life and politics there several options with different consequences from those options in the terms of the effects on the lives of voters.

Using this plan would also stop secondary movement of asylum seekers and further lessen the amount of asylum seekers coming to EU that has already dropped thanks to border closures done by several countries and this plan would also remove the need for continuing those previous border closures or creating new border closures thereby saving Schengen and EU internal markets from disruption. Furthermore and most importantly completing this plan would ease the political crisis.

This plan also contains successful solutions used by individual countries that helped lower the number of arrivals and thereby prevented even worse political crisis and this plan also gives suggestions how countries could bring their laws and immigration and asylum processes to the minimum level demanded by EU directives thereby removing the pull factors that still cause some countries to still be more attractive than others to seek asylum.

The plan:

  1. Everyone must be registered as asylum seekers in the first EU country they enter by the first country’s authorities and if they decide to not request asylum in that country then they must be returned to their country of origin as illegal immigrants immediately. This practice of registering everyone as asylum seeker in the first EU country they enter will make sure the huge flows that followed irresponsible actions by Greece and Italy in 2015 will NOT repeat.Greece and Italy left many people unregistered and therefore encouraged and enabled secondary movement of unregistered asylum seekers further into EU with the main destinations being countries with generous welfare and large acceptance rates for asylum applications like Germany and Sweden. Also Greece and Italy not registering everyone caused more people to come through these countries so in addition to harming other EU members with massive secondary movements Greece and Italy harmed themselves because Greece’s Tsipras and Italy’s Renzi made totally irresponsible political choices for their country and for EU.  (Background: Italy: saved 170 000 people at sea in 2014 but only registered 70 000 of these as asylum seekers meaning Italy pushed 100 000 to other EU countries in 2014 Italy Is Allowing Migrants Who Survive the Voyage to ‘Disappear’ Into Europe and Italy continued this policy in 2015 until France was forced to act in June 2015 and to close the border for migrants trying to come from Italy to France either to seek asylum in France or to go through France to other countries French court backs controls on Italian border it is also worth noting that France does NOT accept asylum requests at it’s border and this is completely reasonable policy since Italy is SAFE country and according to Dublin agreement Italy is responsible or asylum claims and it is Italy’s political failure to register everyone that even allows people to try to seek asylum elsewhere Obstacles to accessing the asylum procedure on the French-Italian border Background: Greece: Over 800 000 people came through Greece in 2015 and Greece ONLY registered 11 000 of these as asylum seekers . This behaviour by Greece and Italy in 2015 of just waiving people through was what enabled, caused and encouraged the rush of over million asylum seekers to Europe in 2015 because Italy itself and Greece itself are not that attractive because they do NOT provide the level of generous welfare that other countries like Germany and Sweden provide and one can not get a free apartment with the rent paid by government like one can get in Germany and Sweden)
  2. Asylum seekers must be placed in closed areas assigned to them as allowed by the Reception conditions directive : Article 7 “area assigned to them by member state”  until their asylum applications have been decided. Other option is to have closed residences. The current policy of Italy and many other EU countries including Germany of letting asylum seekers hang out freely in their cities and travel freely wherever they want and do whatever they want even if it includes hanging out in the cities in the middle of the night is an irresponsible political choice by politicians that have made it because it causes increased crimes including many very serious crimes, disturbances and enables secondary movement of registered asylum seekers and unregistered asylum seekers to other EU countries and also causes removals of FAILED asylum seekers to be impossible when they can disappear to other EU countries or to live in underground economy. Asylum seekers committing rapes like has happened in many countries and even killing children as has happened in Germany is a consequence of a politicians political decision to allow asylum seekers to hang out freely wherever they want since under EU directive all asylum seekers could be in a closed area assigned to them while their asylum claim is processed or in a closed residence. In addition to all the other problems this failure to put asylum seekers into closed areas assigned to them or closed residences is also a pull factor making Italy more desirable and making Germany more desirable pulling more people to try to come to Italy and onward to Germany. Also DETENTION can be used for those asylum seekers who might danger public order, who might danger national security, who might abscond, to verify identity etc.
  3. Failed asylum seekers must be sent effectively to their home countries. Currently LESS than a THIRD of failed asylum seekers are successfully removed from EU “An economic migrant who survives the journey across the Mediterranean has a 73 per cent chance of remaining in the EU even if served with an order to leave, official statistics show“. This failure is leading to many economic migrants to come to EU from SAFE countries. This is also causing marginal asylum seekers to come to EU from countries where there is some conflict but only some of people are given asylum or subsidiary protection so this failure to remove failed asylum seekers leads to even people who really have no right to receive asylum or subsidiary protection coming to EU to try whether their story is accepted and they are given asylum or subsidiary protection because they calculate that they could stay even as failed asylum seekers. The current way many EU countries let failed asylum seekers hang out freely in their cities with many failed asylum seekers also committing crimes and only give a piece of paper saying in essence “please leave” is totally irresponsible political choice from each government that let’s failed asylum seekers hang around freely, such countries are for example Germany and Italy and Sweden. Removing failed asylum seekers will start succeeding when asylum seekers are kept in closed areas assigned to them during the asylum process. Once the asylum seeker receives a REJECTION of his asylum claim in the closed assigned area they should be moved to DETENTION as allowed under Article 8 of Reception conditions directive until REPATRIATION or DEPORTATION is successful. Putting failed asylum seekers in detention also will cause many more to go home through voluntary return programs when the choice is voluntary return vs detention when the choice now is voluntary return vs hanging out in Europe.
  4. EU must create a clear safe country list including many SAFE countries from which Italy currently receives asylum seekers including Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Guinea,Ghana whose claims can be REJECTED in an expedited manner.
  5. To return economic migrants such as the ones in point 4 but also FAILED asylum seekers from Afganistan, Somalia and Iraq which all have large peaceful areas which should lead to most asylum claims being rejected because “internal flight” was possible EU needs to demand ALL countries take their citizens back with a passport and even without a passport if their nationality has been determined, destroying or hiding ones passport and refusing to apply for another passport should not be a reason to get to stay in Europe. Countries need to take their citizens back even when the person being returned does not want to go because they would rather stay in Europe. Countries that refuse to take their citizens back should be put in a visa boycott whereby no visas to any EU country will be issued to their nationals so the elite of said countries has an interest in lobbying their government to take failed asylum seekers and economic migrants back quickly and easily. All EU countries should agree that failed asylum seekers and economic migrants will not be given residence permits in other categories because giving residence permits anyway encourages more asylum seekers and economic migrants to come to EU.
  6. EU countries need to STOP giving away longer residence permits for asylums and subsidiary protections than what is the minimum specified in EU directive. The minimum for asylum is 3 years residence permit and minimum for subsidiary protection is 1 year residence permit. Some countries give much longer residence permits and these also attract more people to them and to Europe in general. For example Finland gives 4 year residence permits for people getting Subsidiary protection which is 400% of the minimum specified in the EU directive. Even Sweden has cut the duration of residence permits to 3 years for asylum and 13 months for subsidiary protection. All EU countries should give the EU directive minimum to remove pull factors.
  7. EU countries need to remove categories of protection which are national and given EASIER than asylum or subsidiary protection because these are a pull factor. Italy has their own category of “humanitarian protection” and Italy gave in 2017 over 20 000 of these to people who were not eligible for asylum or subsidiary protection. This way Italy attracted more asylum seekers to come to Italy and to Europe. Most of these 20 000 could have been sent back home instead if Italy only followed the EU directive minimum requirements of giving asylums and subsidiary protections.
  8. The 2015 rush of millions was caused because the road from Greece and Italy to rest of Europe was open because of open borders and because both Italy and Greece allowed people to come freely, move freely north towards Germany and other welfare countries and failed in registering most people coming (with Greece failing totally and intentionally by registering only 11 000 asylum applications in 2015 when over 800 000 people went through Greece). This situation was ended in early 2016 by border closures by Austria and Slovenia which stopped people coming through when also Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia closed their borders and that crashed the arrival numbers to Greece almost 90% after word spread that the route from Greece to Germany was closed. The Turkey deal by Merkel a little bit later was just political smokescreen to hide the fact that border closures had solved the problem because Merkel had demanded borders to stay open all through 2015 and even in early 2016 Merkel was angry at Austria and Slovenia for planning border closures. Creating Mandatory and automatic EU relocation system for asylum seekers would cause a repeat of 2015 style rush to Greece and Italy because this would lead to EU providing the way to around EU with most ending up in EU countries with generous welfare like Germany and Sweden and many ending up in Eastern Europe bitter that they did not get to Germany and Sweden. Also Spain would become a new destination because it would make Spain a Greece/Italy style way north through EU relocation when right now Spain is acting responsibly by registering asylum seekers and returning failed asylum seekers quite efficiently. So NO mandatory and automatic EU relocation.
  9. Furthermore creating an automatic and mandatory EU relocation system for asylum seekers would be a WRONG CHOICE because it would send the signal that Europe is open for asylum seekers to come by millions. The temporary burden sharing EU relocations agreed in two parts in 2015 for a total of 160 000 to be completed 2015-2017 were part of the reason that so many people came to Greece and Italy because it was a signal that one could get through those countries. The first part of the asylum seeker burden sharing relocations was agreed in 27th of May 2015 and the biggest rush of asylum seekers to Greece started after this decision so that was one of the reasons for so many people coming because it sent signal and news around origin and transit countries that the way to Germany and other welfare countries was open. In the end only about 30 000 people were burden shared from Greece and Italy because ELIGIBLE asylum seekers ran out because those were syrians and eritreans and Greece had allowed everyone to go through until border closures by Austria and Slovenia in early 2016 and Italy had allowed eritreans to go north until France closed the border with Italy in June of 2015.
  10. Setting up EU centers in Africa would be a WRONG CHOICE. There are over 100 million people in Africa from those nationalities who usually get asylum if they get to EU so starting to give away asylums in Europe from EU asylum centres in Africa would cause millions to come ask for asylums from those EU centres in Africa and millions getting it and coming to Europe. The host countries also would be the target of new inter-Africa migratory flows with new smuggling routes and huge pressure to host millions while their claims would be processed. NO EU centres in Africa giving out asylums for Europe because there would be millions of applicants and millions would be accepted and come to EU.
  11. Italy has been right in one thing: STOPPING the NGO ships from worsening the situation by essentially being a continuation of the smuggling operation by waiting on the libyan coast and by now encouraging people to risk their life in Sahara and go to Libya so people could risk their life paying smugglers a fortune and getting into dinghies that are capable of only going a short distance to the NGO ships waiting at the Libyan coast and then giving a ride to Italy. People should and MUST be saved at sea but saved people should be taken to African ports and then given either a flight home by IOM in case of people who are from safe countries and are therefore clearly economic migrants and those who might have an asylum claim need to taken to safe existing UNHCR refugee camps in Africa where they can live in safety. EU needs to provide funding for sea rescues, operations at african ports, to flights home for economic refugees, to transport to UNHCR refugee camps for people needing safety and funding for the UNHCR refugee camps. Once it is safe to return home from UNHCR refugee camp EU should provide funds to a rebuilding fund that could provide grants to people returning home to live first 6-12 months before finding work and also funds to rebuilding their homes.
  12. Taking resettlement refugees from the refugee camps is ineffective and for each 1 resettlement refugee EU countries take they could help 100 refugees in the camps so funds should be directed to the camps to improve conditions, improve schools, provide chances and incentives (like tariff freedom and tax freedom when exporting to EU) for jobs and provide those return back home funds and rebuilding their home funds once situation is safe in the countries from where es have come to the camps.
  13. EU should discourage sending children alone to seek asylum. Right now EU countries give residence permits to unaccompanied children much easier than to adults and this causes people to send their children alone on dangerous trips where many are killed or raped. EU should stop his policy that causes people to send their kids alone and instead create partnerships with children’s homes in the origin countries where children can be returned with EU providing funding for the children’s homes and checking out the conditions regularly and where children can live until they are 18 years old.
  14. EU countries need to start DEPORTING convicted criminal immigrants more efficiently and also do deportations to countries that have large SAFE areas but still some conflict areas like Somalia, Afganistan and Iraq.
  15. Germany an Sweden and other welfare countries have to stop providing so generous welfare and stop providing a free apartment for individuals who have been given asylum and instead provide housing in housing centers where many people live in the same room that would fulfil the minimum requirements in EU directives and international treaties so that Germany and Sweden are not such magnets and coming to EU itself is not as desired. Providing less welfare and not providing a free apartment will also encourage integration into the job market as has happened in those EU countries which do NOT have generous welfare and which do not provide free apartments.
  16. In those cases where the situation in the country where asylum seekers fled becomes safer after they have been given either asylum or subsidiary protection those protections should be discontinued in clear examples where there is no longer need for protection such s holidying in a country they fled, sending kids to school into a country they fled. Protection should also be discontinued if it is clear that the country people fled is now safe and the people have NOT integrated in Europe by learning the local language, finding work or studying.

 

Since Italy is threatening to destroy the whole summit let’s list Italian demands and why they are a REALLY BAD IDEA:

-Demand to create a mandatory and automatic EU relocation of asylum seekers from Italy to around EU (would also apply to Greece and Spain) aka  “those arriving in Italy arrive in Europe.” would cause Italy and Greece to be as attractive ways to enter EU to seek asylum as in 2015. In 2015 open borders and Italy and Greece NOT registering most going through as asylum seekers led to over million coming to Europe because they could reach European welfare countries like Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Denmark etc. through Greece and Italy. In the INSANE demand  by Italy for automatic and mandatory EU relocation of asylum seekers EU would provide the travel around EU from Italy and Greece that open borders and government failure to register people by Italy and Greece provided in 2015. In addition Spain would also receive a massive rush of people coming through the Gibraltar straight, to Canary islands and to spanish enclaves in Africa called Ceuta and Melilla because while Spain currently registers everyone and thereby stops secondary movement, does NOT provide generous welfare and efficiently returns failed asylum seekers to many countries the EU relocation system demanded by Italy would also make Spain into a shortcut to EU welfare countries for most people with many also ending up in Eastern European countries. Greece and Italy would be magnets for asylum seekers for asylum seekers using them as shortcuts to elsewhere in Europe just like in 2015.

-reception centers in third countries aka setting up EU centers in origin and transit countries of asylum seekers in Africa to give out asylums in Europe would cause millions to apply causing huge flows of people to those countries hosting the EU centres and since over 100 million people in Africa are from nationalities that usually get asylums in EU countries millions would get asylum in Europe from the EU centres in Africa thereby causing million to come to Europe and further inflaming the political situation in many EU countries.

Here is a list what Italy could do itself to stop the flow of asylum seekers to it

-stop letting asylum seekers hang out freely in italian cities and instead place them in closed assigned areas while their asylum claim is processed

-stop letting failed asylum seekers hang out freely in italian cities and place them in detention until they can be sent back home with the detention also boosting voluntary returns when hanging out in italian cities is no longer an option.

-stop giving over 20 000 humanitarian protection statuses per year like Italy did in 2017 to people who are mostly economic migrants and only Eu directive minimum by having categories of asylum/refugee for persecuted people who are persecuted by their government and subsidiary protection for vulnerable people like mothers with children from countries in war.

-consider people coming from safe countries to have manifestly unfounded applications and reject the applications and return them quickly instead of letting them stay in Italy for a long time.

-register everyone thereby removing one of Italy’s pull factors which is that Italy hs not registered everyone thereby enabling secondary movement of unregistered asylum seekers.

 

Please make responsible decisions to save EU and Europe and reject irresponsible and short-sighted populist demands by Italy and avoid causing further and worse fractures in the base of EU than what the political failures by Greece, Italy, Germany and EU itself caused in 2015.

 

M. Lindfors

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *