No seguimento dos acontecimentos dos últimos dias relacionados com a problemática dos migrantes ilegais no Mediterrâneo, o Diplomata recupera aqui algumas informações:
- Segundo a polícia italiana, morreram mais de 800 pessoas no naufrágio de Domingo. Só este ano, o número de mortes no Mediterrâneo neste tipo de acidentes já chegou aos 1800 e conseguiram chegar à Europa cerca de 31 mil imigrantes, dos quais, 21 mil foram para Itália. As autoridades daquele país referem que 90 por cento das embarcações que lá chegam são provenientes da Líbia.
- O Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para os Refugiados refere que em 2014 morreram 3500 pessoas a tentarem atravessar o Mediterrâneo, enquanto cerca de 200 mil pessoas foram resgatadas. De acordo com a mesma agência, em 2014 conseguiram chegar à Europa via Mediterrâneo 165 mil refugiados, contrastando com os 60 mil em 2013.
- De acordo com uma fonte do Alto Comissariado para os Refugiados, estima-se que neste momento estejam cerca de 300 mil pessoas do outro lado do Mediterrâneo à espera de atravessar para a Europa.
- Segundo dados do Eurostat, a UE recebeu em 2014, 626 mil pedidos de asilo, tendo dado resposta positiva a 45 por cento desses, embora com diferentes estatutos. O número de pedido aumentou cerca de 200 mil em relação a 2013. Os sírios foram quem mais pediram asilo à UE em 2014 (122 790), mas o maior aumento percentual foi da Ucrânia. Duas situações que se explicam pelas crises que ambos os países atravessam.
- Em termos de vigilância europeia e coordenada, está neste momento em curso a operação Triton, mas tem poucos navios e recursos e um orçamento reduzido, de apenas 3 milhões de euros por mês. A UE tem estado sobretudo a dar apoio à Itália, país que em Outubro de 2013, na sequência da tragédia de Lampedusa, lançou a operação de resgate Mare Nostrum. Na verdade, quase toda a estratégia da UE de vigilância ao Mediterrâneo passa pelo apoio à Itália, estando este país a desempenhar o principal papel, o que tem implicado elevados custos para os cofres italianos. A operação Triton não tem sido mais do que um apoio à Itália.
- Lançada em Novembro do ano passado, a Triton é coordenada pela agência de controlo de fronteiras, Frontex, que apelou aos Estados-membro que contribuam para este esforço. No entanto, passaram alguns meses e a Triton continua com uma expressão tímida no Mediterrâneo central.
- Na passada Segunda-feira, um dia depois da tragédia de Domingo, os ministros dos Negócios Estrangeiros e do Interior dos 28, aprovaram por unanimidade um plano de acção de 10 pontos:
- Reinforce the Joint Operations in the Mediterranean, namely Triton and Poseidon, by increasing the financial resources and the number of assets. We will also extend their operational area, allowing us to intervene further, within the mandate of Frontex;
- A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels used by the smugglers. The positive results obtained with the Atalanta operation should inspire us to similar operations against smugglers in the Mediterranean;
- EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO and EUROJUST will meet regularly and work closely to gather information on smugglers modus operandi, to trace their funds and to assist in their investigation;
- EASO to deploy teams in Italy and Greece for joint processing of asylum applications;
- Member States to ensure fingerprinting of all migrants;
- Consider options for an emergency relocation mechanism;
- A EU wide voluntary pilot project on resettlement, offering a number of places to persons in need of protection;
- Establish a new return programme for rapid return of irregular migrants coordinated by Frontex from frontline Member States;
- Engagement with countries surrounding Libya through a joined effort between the Commission and the EEAS; initiatives in Niger have to be stepped up.
- Deploy Immigration Liaison Officers (ILO) in key third countries, to gather intelligence on migratory flows and strengthen the role of the EU Delegations.
Entretanto, ontem, os líderes europeus aprovaram a seguinte "statement", no qual reforçam o plano de acção dos 10 pontos e formlizaram novas medidas de combate a migração ilegal no Mediterrâneo:
1. The situation in the Mediterranean is a tragedy. The European Union will mobilise all efforts at its disposal to prevent further loss of life at sea and to tackle the root causes of the human emergency that we face, in cooperation with the countries of origin and transit. Our immediate priority is to prevent more people from dying at sea.
2. We have therefore decided to strengthen our presence at sea, to fight the traffickers, to prevent illegal migration flows and to reinforce internal solidarity and responsibility. Given that instability in Libya creates an ideal environment for the criminal activities of traffickers, we will actively support all UN-led efforts towards re-establishing government authority in Libya. We will also step up efforts to address conflict and instability as key push factors of migration, including in Syria.
3. We today commit to:
Strengthening our presence at sea
a) rapidly reinforce EU Operations Triton and Poseidon by at least tripling the financial resources for this purpose in 2015 and 2016 and reinforcing the number of assets, thus allowing to increase the search and rescue possibilities within the mandate of FRONTEX. We welcome the commitments already made by Member States which will allow to reach this objective in the coming weeks;
Fighting traffickers in accordance with international law
b) disrupt trafficking networks, bring the perpetrators to justice and seize their assets, through swift action by Member State authorities in co-operation with EUROPOL, FRONTEX, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and EUROJUST, as well as through increased intelligence and police-cooperation with third countries;
c) undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers;
d) at the same time, the High Representative is invited to immediately begin preparations for a possible CSDP operation to this effect;
e) use EUROPOL to detect and request removal of internet content used by traffickers to attract migrants and refugees, in accordance with national constitutions;
Preventing illegal migration flows
f) increase support to Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Mali and Niger among others, to monitor and control the land borders and routes, building on current CSDP operations in the region, as well as on regional cooperation frameworks (Rabat and Khartoum processes); step up dialogue with the African Union at all levels on all these issues;
g) reinforce our political cooperation with African partners at all levels in order to tackle the cause of illegal migration and combat the smuggling and trafficking of human beings. The EU will raise these issues with the African Union and the key countries concerned, with whom it will propose the holding of a summit in Malta in the coming months;
h) step up cooperation with Turkey in view of the situation in Syria and Iraq;
i) deploy European migration liaison officers in key countries to gather information on migratory flows, co-ordinate with national liaison officers, and co-operate directly with the local authorities;
j) work with regional partners in building capacity for maritime border management and search and rescue operations;
k) launch Regional Development and Protection programmes for North Africa and the Horn of Africa;
l) invite the Commission and the High Representative to mobilise all tools, including through development cooperation and the implementation of EU and national readmission agreements with third countries, to promote readmission of unauthorised economic migrants to countries of origin and transit, working closely with the International Organisation for Migration;
m) while respecting the right to seek asylum, set up a new return programme for the rapid return of illegal migrants from frontline Member States, coordinated by FRONTEX;
Reinforcing internal solidarity and responsibility
n) rapid and full transposition and effective implementation of the Common European Asylum System by all participating Member States, thereby ensuring common European standards under existing legislation;
o) increase emergency aid to frontline Member States and consider options for organising emergency relocation between all Member States on a voluntary basis;
p) deploy EASO teams in frontline Member States for joint processing of asylum applications, including registration and finger-printing;
q) set up a first voluntary pilot project on resettlement across the EU, offering places to persons qualifying for protection.
4. The EU institutions and the Member States will work immediately on the full implementation of these orientations. The Presidency and the Commission will present next week a roadmap setting out work up to June.
5. The European Council looks forward to the Commission Communication on a European Agenda for Migration, in order to develop a more systemic and geographically comprehensive approach to migration. The European Council will remain seized of the situation and will closely monitor the implementation of these orientations. The Council and the Commission will report to the European Council in June.