The number of illegal refugees seeking to enter the EU countries is growing every day, but, unfortunately, the number of EU countries refusing to accept migrants is growing with it. Let me remind you that the new Minister of the Interior of Italy Matteo Salvini refused to accept the vessel with illegal migrants (629 people), thus provoking a violent reaction to the EU. Fortunately, two days later Spain decided to accept these people on board in Valencia.
Europe is going through the most serious migration crisis, caused by a number of armed conflicts and economic problems in the countries of Africa and the Middle East. And so far, one of the main problems remains unresolved: Who should save and host the migrants who have suffered the disaster?
It turns out that according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the captains of vessels should assist people at risk at sea. But what should happen after people are saved, and how this should be solved from a legal point of view, is not clearly stated in the document. So, no country is obliged to give permission to land on its shore to people on board a vessel that has been wrecked.
Most likely, Salvini’s decision will give a new impetus to the reform of the European asylum system. One of the compromise solutions may be an agreement to show solidarity with countries along the borders of the EU and share a burden of responsibility with Italy, Greece or Bulgaria. But how this will happen, the EU member states themselves must decide. In 2016, the European Commission has already made a number of proposals. So far none of them have been realized …
I hope that this time Europe will still be able to find a compromise – and right-wing populists who came to power in some EU countries will not be able to prevent it. After all, even the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who opposes the adoption of refugees by Europe, agreed to consider financial support.
While the EU countries are discussing the adoption and distribution of refugees, migrants are changing their usual routes. And nowadays the popular place is Spain. Here in recent months there has been an increased flow of migrants trying to get to Europe via the Mediterranean. In this situation, the proposal of the Spanish government to take in Valencia people who are aboard the vessel MS Aquarius was a nice gesture. But not all are going to follow the example of Spain.
I think that many are concerned about the decision of the Italian authorities on Aquarius. Since they clearly run counter to international norms and risk creating a dangerous situation for all countries. Therefore, it is time to regulate the standards for granting asylum and to ensure that all EU countries take part in this.