(by Patrizia Antonini)
BRUSSELS – The Orban model of anti-migrant walls holds the ground in Europe. The Union, traversed by fears of out-of-control flows and the threat of terrorist entry from Afghanistan, while the numbers of landings have already started to rise above pre-pandemic levels, is pressing to arm itself by raising fences. A dozen Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and the Slovak Republic) wrote to Brussels asking for funding “as a priority” and “adequately” physical border barriers, defined as “an effective protection measure in the interest of the entire EU” and the functioning of the Schengen area.
The last to get to work in chronological order, due to the inflows from Belarus, were Lithuania and Poland, but several EU countries can already boast barbed wire barriers, since the great migration crisis of 2015-2016. A request for disbursement sent back to the sender by the Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson, who from the EU Council to Luxembourg, while accepting the idea of Fortress Europe (“every country has the right to defend its borders as it sees fit, while respecting the acquis European Union “), rejected any hypothesis of Community funding. “There are already many other projects on the table”, she cut short.
The initiative instead found the public support of the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council, and in Italy it was immediately ridden by Matteo Salvini, in search of a comeback after the administrative beating: “If 12 European countries with governments of all colors they ask to stop illegal immigration, by any means necessary, so be it. Italy that says
To tell the truth, Rome has kept well away from the proposal of the twelve, preferring rather to urge Brussels on partnerships with third countries, in a letter together with the other members of the Med5 group (Spain, Malta, Greece, and Cyprus). “Further efforts are needed in collaboration with countries of origin and transit on issues of common interest”, with “tangible progress in funding” and “greater concreteness and certainty on the path” in a short time, “days or weeks”, wrote the Countries of the Mediterranean belt, also rejecting the hypothesis of unpacking the negotiations on the Pact for asylum, as proposed by the current presidency, more attentive to the aspects of security than to those of solidarity.
“The European Union must make up for the delay accumulated up to now, developing, quickly and with concrete actions, the commitments undertaken on the front of strategic partnerships with the main North African countries, starting with Libya and Tunisia”, insisted the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese, immediately reassured, or at least in part, by Johansson. “The action plans are almost all ready,” explained the Swede, admitting, however, that “EU funds are limited”. “We cannot spend more money than what has been allocated by the Member States”, warned the commissioner. in recent days divided between the attempts to obtain more commitments from the 27 for the resettlement of Afghan refugees at risk and the news of violent push-backs of refugees on the borders of Greece and Croatia. “The reports published on what is happening are shocking – clarified Johansson -. An investigation is needed, but what has been reported seems to indicate some kind of orchestration of violence at the external borders, and there seems to be convincing evidence of an improper use of European funds, which must be deepened “. Complaints about which Brussels now wants to see clearly: the “reputation of Europe” is at stake.
(by Patrizia Antonini)