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‘Repatriation increased’: the EU’s vigilance over the migrant emergency

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in the file immigration It seems that the big news arrived today from Stockholm. First the statements of the Dutch Minister of the Interior, Eric van der Burgh, who opened up the possibility of a wall between Turkey and Bulgaria. This is the possibility previously mentioned by the Austrian chancellor yesterday. Carl NehammerAccording to which the boundary should be sealed. “Sources in Vienna later confirmed that the European Union should take responsibility for building the wall separating the Bulgarian and Turkish territories“.

Now the words of the Swedish Home Minister himself have been added, Maria Mallmer Steinegardin favor of working immediately to increase i Repatriation. An announcement that is not secondary, considering that Sweden is the current president of the European Union. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the words of the Swedish minister were added to the words of the chair of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

“Migration is a European challenge to which we must provide a European response – said the Senior Executive Director in Europe – in the past year we have seen increased demands on our migration management. Geopolitical instability, demographic trends and climate change are adding to the pressures. The European Union has seen a marked increase in the number of irregular arrivals. on routes across the Mediterranean and the Western Balkans, the highest numbers since 2016. Migration management is also high on the list of issues for which citizens expect a strong response from the EU.”

“We need to use all the tools to increase returns”

We need to move from words to deeds regarding the return of migrants who do not have the right to stay in Europe, because the current numbers are insufficient and prevent some Member States from managing the new arrivals.This is how Maria Malmer Stenegaard first appeared in the statements that followed the Council of European Interior Ministers.

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The words of a government at the helm of the European Union for the next six months carry significant weight. First, because the European rotating presidency has recognized the status difficulty in which there are different community governments.

Certainly not an obvious circumstance. Very often, in fact, the countries of Northern Europe, not directly involved in the migratory flows that come from the Mediterranean routes, have somehow questioned the existence ofEmergency. Even when the rate of decline in Italy seemed very high, tangible solidarity did not always come from Brussels or from EU governments.

In this sense, the Swedish government can dictate a change of pace, acknowledging the serious difficulties experienced by those who are forced to live with the phenomenon of immigration more than anyone else. “All tools must be used – added the Swedish Minister of the Interior – to achieve the goal of increasing repatriations. Whether they are diplomatic, commercial or legal tools as well as development aids“.

Ursula von der Leyen echoed him again. “He said we must intensify cooperation with partners to improve migration management and repatriation. In our external financing, we are significantly exceeding the 10% target for immigration-related spending.”

Why is Stockholm pressing for repatriation?

Thus, the rotating presidency of the European Union will work in the next six months to reach a an agreement on repatriation. Perhaps the Swedish choice is related to reasons related to domestic and foreign policy.

On the domestic front, the Stockholm government is called upon to provide important answers to the voters who voted for it precisely in the wake of the failure of the Swedish model. centre-right majority, buoyed by the external support of the party Swedish Democrats (to the right of the domestic political scene), he focuses on a tough crackdown on illegal immigrants and on policies capable of making it more difficult for other immigrants to enter.

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On the external front, however, the issue of repatriation has been at the center of European debate for years. In the latest migration plan presented by the European Commission, return policies occupy a key place.

Stockholm announced, on the eve of the start of the semester of its presidency, through its ambassador in Brussels that it did not have the approval of a new membership regulation on the management of the migration phenomenon on its agenda. Indeed, a new plan cannot be approved before 2024. However, Sweden intends to make a mark by working towards clearer and more effective rules on returns.

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