In spring 2015, after the arrival and shipwrecks of thousands peoples on its coasts, the European Union (EU) adopted the "hotspot approach" and "processing centres",“new” tools and terminology supposedly able to address the poorly named “migration crisis”.
In order to exchange on these EU projects and their effects which can already be observed in a number of regions, the network members and their local partners organised on the 12th December 2015 in Calais an international public meeting entitled:“Hotspots and processing centres: The new forms of the European policy of sorting, encampment and externalisation of exiles” which brought together many activists and volunteers.
The information gathering and conclusions of this meeting shown that this approach consists essentially in a rushed and arbitrary sorting between a minority that can pretend to an international protection and/or to the relocation mechanism, and a majority of people intended to be deported.
This sorting facility aims to monitor and track migrants and does not have any legal basis at the European level nor democratic legitimacy thus far. Moreover, as shown in the Commission data concerning the number of asylum seeker relocated up to date (6 237 out of 160 000, less than 4% of the total ), this measure is far from adequate to address the failures of the Dublin Regulation and foster solidarity among EU member States concerning the reception of exiles. Finally, the hotspot facilities can only operate in a coercive way and evolve to the implementation of detention centres at the external borders of the EU as well as, (upstream), in the transit and origin countries of the people in migration.
In a context where the European migration policy becomes more and more severe, more externalised (signing of EU-Turkey declaration in March 2016, negotiations around a EU-Afghanistan agreement, “EU Migration Compact”…), where we witness once again the dismantling of the Calais slum and the edification of walls at the borders (Ceuta, Melilla, Evros, Calais and now at the Serbian-Hungarian border and at the Bulgaria-Turkish border…), the speeches of last December, sadly, have not lost their relevance.
The videos of the interventions are now available online:
Introduction by Emmanuel Blanchard – President of Migreurop, and Philippe Wannesson – Migreurop individual member.
The ‘processing centre’ of Agadez, Niger: European Union’s new externalisation tool , Amadou M’Bow, AMDH Mauritania – Vice-president de Migreurop.
The win-win logic: a negotiation at the migrants’ expense between European Union and Turkey , Nazli Bilgekay, Mülteci-Der, Turkey.
The Greek Islands: forced crossing point and tightened noose , Efi Latsoudi, Village de la Solidarité PIKPA, Greece.
Identification, relocation and deportation from Italy: the abuses of the hotspot approach , Sara Prestianni, ARCI, Italy.