PRESS REVIEW Migrants and refugees, Tunisia-Libya-Italia-EU

From May 9 to 13, 2011

After declarations of the European Commission’s president regarding a modification of Schengen agreement last week, a meeting of European minister of Interior was held this Thursday May 12, to discuss this question. All ministers agreed on the importance of protecting the freedom of movement in Schengen area. However, they were in favor of a possibility to establish temporary controls at interior borders. This measure is currently only an option in case of public disorder risk, but it would be possible apply it in case of weakness of one member state or in case of major and unexpected migratory pressure.

In Denmark, the government (extreme right wing and anti-immigration oriented) communicated its intention to establish permanent customs controls at its border with Germany and Sweden, in order to fight illegal immigration and organized criminality. This declaration is another questioning of Schengen agreement and seems to be strongly related to the debate raised by the Italian and French president.

In Italy, Roberto Maroni, disseminated a release concerning patrols boats and material destined for control immigration Italy gave to Tunisia. The Italian minister of Interior is glad for the good cooperation with Tunisia. Indeed, Tunisians authorities stopped a boat to leave this week, as it is planned in the Tunisia-Italy agreement of April 5, 2011 (as well as material equipment gifts). 350 migrants, including 122 minors, are still locked up in the detention center of Lampedusa. Tunisians who are among them, are sent back to Tunisia. For Italian speakers who wants to know more about the situation in Italy, see ARCI’s press review (links at the end of this document).

Concerning refugees fleeing Libya, they reached to 751 000, on May 9, according to an International Organization of Migration’s (IOM) report. 360 000 of them had crossed into Tunisia. Most of them had been repatriated, but, according to IOM estimation, they would be more than 4 600 to be stocked in a Libyan border country (mainly at Tunisian and Egyptian border). This week, Egypt imposed visas on Libyan nationals who want to cross in. However, considering the precarious situation of refugees arriving to the border, visas have been cancelled a few days later.

1-Espace Schengen : rétablir les contrôles sous certaines conditions

2-Guerre en Libye : réfugiés dans les pays frontaliers

3-Italie : expulsion des migrants tunisiens

1-Espace Schengen : rétablir les contrôles sous certaines conditions

Sud Ouest, le 13-05-11

Les frontières intérieures sous surveillance

Si tous les ministres de l’intérieur européens, réunis hier 12 mai à Bruxelles, se sont tous accordés pour préserver la libre circulation dans l’espace Schengen, ils sont aussi convenu qu’il pourrait être possible de rétablir les contrôles aux frontières intérieures « sous des conditions très strictes ». Ces contrôles, qui sont à présent uniquement possible en cas de risque de trouble à l’ordre public, pourraient à l’avenir être autorisés en cas de défaillance d’un État membre aux frontières de l’espace Schengen ou en cas de pression migratoire forte et inattendue. Lors de cette réunion le Danemark a affirmer son intention de rétablir des contrôles douaniers permanent pour lutter contre l’immigration illégale et la criminalité organisée.

Site des députés socialistes du Parlement Européen, le 11-05-11

Deux jours après la fête de l’Europe, ses fossoyeurs se déchainent

Le gouvernement danois (tendance extrême-droite) vient d’annoncer le rétablissement, d’ici deux à trois semaines, des contrôles douaniers à ses frontières avec l’Allemagne et la Suède, pour parer à des problèmes d’immigration. Cette décision vient une nouvelle fois questionner les accords de Schengen et fait fortement écho au débat sur le rétablissement des contrôles aux frontières nationales de la zone Schengen, porté par les gouvernements français et italien.

Nouvel Obs, le 11-05-11

Le Danemark va renforcer ses contrôles aux frontières

Site du CEPS, le 29-04-11

A Race against Solidarity: The Schengen Regime and the Franco-Italian Affair

There is a paper, realized by the centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) which examines the compatibility of the Italian and French measures with EU border legislation and legal principles as well as the foundations of the Schengen regime. It argues that the Franco-Italian affair illustrates a ‘race to the bottom’ on European principles of solidarity, loyal cooperation and fundamental rights.

2-Guerre en Libye (et en Syrie): réfugiés dans les pays frontaliers

Associated Press, le 11-05-11

Egypt cancels visa requirement for Libyans

Egypt’s government has decided that Libyan citizens no longer need to get visas before entering in the country. Mohammed Abdel-Hakam, Egypt’s ambassador to Libya, described the move as a humanitarian gesture, taking into account the difficulties Libyans are having getting to embassies or consulates in Libya. Around 100 000 Libyans have crossed into Egypt since the beginning of the Libyan crisis.

La presse de Tunisie, le 09-05-11

L’Egypte impose le visa pour les Libyens

Le Caire a annoncé hier (8 mai) que les libyens qui veulent entrer en Egypte devront désormais faire une demande de visa, ce qui va rendre plus difficile l’arrivée dans le pays de libyens qui fuient le conflit. Ils sont plusieurs milliers à avoir fui en Egypte et en Tunisie depuis le début du conflit.

Site de l’OIM, le 10-05-11

IOM RESPONSE TO THE LIBYAN CRISIS External Situation Report | 10th May 2011

According to IOM, as of 9 may, 751,207 persons have left Libya : 365,070 went to Tunisia, 270,839 in Egypt, 61,244 to Niger 23,513 to Chad, 18,151 to Algeria, and 2,800 to Sudan. IOM estimates that 4,680 persons are waiting, in need of evacuation at the Libyan borders. Some 2 631 refugees are waiting for evacuation at the Tunisia/Libya border.
Since 7 May, Egyptian immigration authorities have started to impose entry visa requirements on Libyan nationals. The visa can only be obtained from the Egyptian Consulate in Benghazi. This rule excludes individuals in need of medical attention.

The Guardian, le 10-05-11

Lebanese police send fleeing Syrians back to face Assad regime’s violence

Syrians attempting to flee across the Lebanese border to escape the violence of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad are being returned to an uncertain fate by Lebanese security forces, according to local residents.

The New York Times, le 05-05-11

Trapped in Another Country’s War

Pictures of migrants blocked in Misrata.

3-Italie : expulsion des migrants tunisiens

ANSA, le 10-05-11

Immigrazione: a Lampedusa 137 tunisini

Dans le centre de rétention de Lampedusa (toujours appelé centre d’accueil par l’ANSA, 350 migrants dont 122 mineurs sont enfermés, parmi lesquels 137 tunisiens. Les renvois vers la Tunisie étaient suspendu depuis jeudi 5 mai mais on repris cette semaine.

Migrants at sea, le 09-05-11

Tunisia Stops Migrant Boat From Leaving Tunisia for First Time

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Saturday, 7 May, that Tunisia had for the first time blocked a migrant boat from departing Tunisia pursuant to the terms of the 5 April 2011 agreement with Italy (as well as patrol boats which would be transferred to Tunisia in the coming week).

The Guardian, le 03-05-11

Migrants bring new life to a village in southern Italy

The mayor of a village in Calabria told the government it was ready to accommodate its share of the newcomers from abroad.

Ministero dell’ interno, le 29-04-11

Immigrazione, Maroni: «L’accordo con la Tunisia funziona»

Dans un communiqué du ministère de l’intérieur italien Roberto Maroni, se félicite des résultants obtenus et des effort fait pas la Tunisie depuis l’accord du 5 avril, lors d’une cérémonie de remise de 4 vedettes. Les bateaux seront sous la seule responsabilité des autorités tunisiennes. Ce n’est pas le premier cadeau de la l’Italie à la Tunisie depuis le 5 avril, puisque elle a déjà reçu un certain nombre d’équipements servant au contrôle des clandestins en mer.

Revues de presse d’ARCI/ARCI’s press review/ Rassegne stampa (ARCI)

Le 13-05 :

Le 12-05 :

Le 11-05 :

Le 10-05 :

Le 8/ 9-05 :