segunda-feira, 25 de junho de 2018

Uma profunda e determinante crise na UE 2 . Dossier 2

Se a intenção do Mini Summit, organisado por Juncker e a Comissão em grande tensão com Tusk e o Conselho, além de “salvar” Merkel perante as tensões políticas internas (Seehofer) e “ganhar tempo” o para o Summit a 28, era a de confirmar uma união no processo de decisão de uma política conjunta da UE nas migrações, então, este mini summit foi um falhanço e um fiasco.

Merkel anuncia agora a possibilidade de acordos bi-laterais ou tri-laterais entre países da UE …
Será que a surpreendente e irresponsável proposta anunciada por Costa de trazer 75.000 imigrantes já faz parte desta visão de acordos bi-tri-laterais ?

'Operation Rescue Merkel'

By Mehreen Khan
June 25, 2018
Brussels Briefing / FT

Sunday's mini migration summit in Brussels was billed as the day for EU leaders to come to the rescue of Angela Merkel. In the event it was Italy’s prime minister who emerged claiming victory, having given the German chancellor's listing ship a wide berth.

“I’m very satisfied,” Guiseppe Conte tweeted after a four-hour meeting in the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters and his first major appearance among fellow EU leaders. 

The gathering of 16 leaders was Merkel's chance to win political breathing space at home, where she is under pressure to police the German border and reject asylum seekers who have already registered elsewhere.

Instead the conclusions were vague, divisions remained exposed, and it was Conte’s populists who claimed to have shifted the agenda ahead of a bigger summit showdown on Thursday. The FT has all the details.

The Italian law professor arrived with a 10-point plan promising a “paradigm shift” including demands that would fundamentally rewrite 25-years of EU asylum policy. A showdown was avoided, but otherwise the results were scarce.

In many ways, this is a political crisis rather than one driven by weight of numbers. Migrant inflows are a fraction of those during the peak year of 2015, down by 90 per cent on some measures. But it is the more hardline voices seem to be winning the day three years on.

Three men who weren't in attendance - Hungary's premier Viktor Orban, Horst Seehofer, Merkel's Bavarian coalition partner, and Italy's far-right Matteo Salvini - still enjoyed a pervasive influence on the event. "The Seehofer virus has affected the whole EU," Peter Müller writes in Der Spiegel.

One of few things leaders agreed on Sunday was external border policy, including the aim of building camps - or "processing centres" for asylum seekers - outside the continent. Those with a long memory will remember Orban demanding, back in 2016, that migrants be “rounded up or shipped out to "islands" or somewhere in North Africa.

A Franco-Spanish plan to have "hotspots” inside the EU is also gaining traction. The commission will come up with ideas on how to set up the centres in line with international human rights principles in the coming weeks. Italy is onboard.

On the most important issue for Merkel - namely dealing with the secondary movements of migrants once they are in Europe - leaders failed to grasp the nettle. Little wonder France and Germany are raising the idea of coalitions of the willing to compensate for the lack of an EU-wide solution.

Conte's most revolutionary proposal was to scrap the first country principle that has underpinned the EU's so-called "Dublin" system and the borderless Schengen area for the last two decades. That is likely to go absolutely nowhere. But it didn't stop the Italian talking up his masterplan during a 30-minute intervention.

"All of us spoke our mind," said Joseph Muscat, Maltese PM, whose government has clashed with Rome over rescuing refugee boats in recent weeks. "I think it has served our purpose that we can understand ourselves better next week."

Conte, for one, is looking forward to round two.

Merkel loses support, far right rises after migration row: poll

Alternative for Germany (AfD) party reaches new high in regular survey.

By           SAIM SAEED       6/24/18, 5:46 PM CET Updated 6/25/18, 8:46 AM CET

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party reached its highest level of support in a regular survey, while Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU alliance saw its numbers slump following an internal dispute over migration.

The poll, conducted by Emnid for Bild am Sonntag, found that 16 percent of the 2,336 people surveyed supported the anti-migration AfD — 1 percentage point more than the previous week’s poll and the highest percentage the pollster has recorded in favor of the party.

In contrast, the CDU/CSU fell by 2 percentage points to 31 percent, compared to the poll the week before. Disagreement over CSU leader Horst Seehofer’s plans for tougher migration policies provoked a standoff between the two parties that threatened to dissolve their long-standing alliance and cause a government collapse.

Seehofer, who is also interior minister, on Monday agreed with Merkel to postpone his plans until after the upcoming European Council summit, in order to see whether the chancellor can reach an agreement with EU leaders.

Tajani: EU faces ‘last chance’ to tackle migration crisis

Divisions over asylum policy threatens ‘European dream,’ says European Parliament president.

By           GABRIELA GALINDO       6/25/18, 12:43 PM CET Updated 6/25/18, 12:47 PM CET

Europe is running out of time to agree on a “fairer and more efficient” migration policy, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani warned ahead of a summit of EU leaders this week.

“Our citizens are no longer willing to accept a defenseless Europe,” Tajani wrote in a op-ed Die Welt published Monday, a day after an emergency mini summit on migration failed to yield a breakthrough.

The EU needs to reform its migration policy to ensure it grants asylum to “those fleeing persecution and war,” evenly distributes asylum seekers across the bloc through an “automatic and compulsory” procedure, and takes a hard stance “against those who have no right to enter or stay in Europe,” the Parliament president wrote.

To persuade countries “unwilling” to get on board with a redistribution policy, Tajani said any new strategy must go hand in hand with plans to strengthen the bloc’s external borders and address the drivers of mass migration from North Africa.

To do so, the EU should invest “at least €6 billion” to close the Mediterranean route and increase cooperation with transit countries such as Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, as well as Libya, he wrote.

“In this way, only those who are entitled to protection under the resettlement projects administered by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees would come to Europe,” Tajani wrote. “These people would be safely resettled and fairly distributed among EU host countries, as is already the case in the camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.”

He also urged for the EU to make funding available for a “Marshall plan for Africa” in its next budget, saying the bloc needs to invest €500 billion over the next decade to tackle the root causes of migration and help conclude readmission agreements with countries of origin.

The EU also needs to develop a short-term strategy that curtails dangerous people-smuggling practices and ensures only those who are “really entitled to protection” safely reach Europe, Tajani wrote.

 “Without a credible European strategy, everyone will continue to act on their own,” Tajani wrote, warning that the “nationalization” of migration policies would spell “the end of the Schengen Agreement” and “the European dream.”

On migration, EU leaders unite around plan to forego unity

Differences unresolved after mini summit, but talks will continue at the European Council.

By           DAVID M. HERSZENHORN AND JACOPO BARIGAZZI         6/24/18, 10:35 PM CET Updated 6/25/18, 8:46 AM CET

An emergency mini summit Sunday of EU leaders seeking a common solution on migration yielded a breakthrough, of sorts: a general agreement to stop seeking an overall, common solution.

It was not exactly a failure, with leaders hailing new momentum in addressing the bloc’s most divisive political problem, and a commitment to continue their discussion at a regular EU summit later this week.

But the talks did not deliver any immediate prize for Germany’s Angela Merkel, who is under pressure at home, where her Bavarian coalition partners are demanding tougher border enforcement policies.

“Wherever possible we want to find European solutions, where this is not possible we want to bring those who are willing together and develop a common framework for action,” the chancellor said as she left the summit.

Other leaders were more blunt about the lack of any concrete outcome.

Pedro Sanchez, attending his first major EU meeting, said “everyone agreed on the need to have a European vision.”

“Today we didn’t take decisions,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters on his way out.

Still, that did not stop officials in the senior echelon of the European Commission, which hosted the mini summit, from quickly summarizing Sunday’s discussion into a potpourri of policy proposals and firing off an e-mail message at 9:18 p.m, urging the European Council to rewrite its draft conclusions on migration for the formal leaders’ summit later this week — the latest salvo in a running institutional fight over how best to manage the issue.

Merkel had arrived at European Commission headquarters stressing the need for “bilateral or trilateral agreements,” in the absence of a broader consensus among all 28 EU nations, which she plainly declared did not yet exist.

But after roughly four hours of discussions, she didn’t announce any new agreement like the deal she struck last week with President Emmanuel Macron, who agreed to take back any asylum applicants registered in France who cross illegally into Germany.

Merkel seemed intent on addressing Rome’s complaint that she puts her domestic imperatives ahead of Italy’s struggle to deal with a flood of migrants.

“We all agree that we have to stop illegal immigration and that we have to secure our borders, and that we are all responsible for all topics,” Merkel said as she left. “It can’t be that some countries only care about primary migration, and others about secondary migration.”

Nonetheless, the diverging priorities of different EU nations were on clear display at the meeting.  Tsipras, lending support to Italy as a fellow frontier country, urged leaders to recognize that secondary movement — in which asylum seekers cross internal EU borders after making their initial application — is not a concern for Greece. “Our northern borders are unilaterally closed,” he said inside the meeting, according to a Greek official.

‘European vision’
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who arrived declaring he would deliver a “completely new proposal,” left without addressing the press. Other leaders said his proposal, which focused on easing the burden of frontier countries, was well-received but would require more study.

“The prime minister presented his plan in the meeting, and there are many things that were included in the conversation, and others he just shared with us his views, his opinion,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said. “And of course we just received that proposal and we are going to study it.”

Sanchez, attending his first major EU meeting, said “everyone agreed on the need to have a European vision.”

But if there was agreement on the need for a European vision, there was also recognition that it was virtually impossible to achieve unanimity, particularly among Central European nations like Hungary and Poland that adamantly refuse to accept refugees as part of an EU relocation system.

EU leaders have been struggling for the better part of three years to resolve seriously divisive disagreements over refugee and migration policy.

The EU mini summit was called at the behest of Merkel, who faces an acute crisis at home over tough new border control policies being pushed by Horst Seehofer, her interior minister and the leader of her coalition partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Merkel bought herself time in the crisis by convincing Seehofer to wait until after the European Council this week so she could pursue a broader, European solution. But her plan for a mini summit caused yet another brouhaha because the Commission initially put forward a draft leaders’ statement that infuriated Italy, and prompted Conte to threaten to boycott the gathering. At Merkel’s urging, the draft text was dropped, and Conte agreed to attend.

Partnerships of the willing
After Sunday’s meeting there appeared to be consensus, at least among most of the 16 leaders who attended, that the challenges would be better tackled with partnerships among willing nations, rather than waiting for unanimity among all 28. That suggested a watershed realization: At times the best way to preserve EU unity may be to forego seeking EU unity.

“Smugglers and refugees cannot choose in which of the European member states they turn in their asylum applications” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel

One senior official who attended Sunday’s meeting said Merkel’s position was remarkably altered from 2015, when she pushed hard for an all-EU solution to the migration crisis.

“This time Merkel was not in the position of coming here with an European solution because she had first to settle the situation at home,” the official said. “It’s something that leaders start to feel.”

Instead, Merkel stressed the need to strengthen partnerships with countries outside the EU, citing the EU agreement with Turkey, which she characterized as a success.

“We want to develop further agreements with countries of origin,” Merkel said. “Member states will divide up the work; some will do the work for all of Europe.” She also called for greater control of external and internal EU borders.

“Smugglers and refugees cannot choose in which of the European member states they turn in their asylum applications,” she said.

But it was Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who summed up Sunday’s mini summit best. “The issue,” he said, “is still not solved.”

Vassili Golod and Andrew Gray contributed reporting.

Commission pushes Council to revise migration plan

Brussels institutional rivalry colors debate ahead of EU summit.

By           FLORIAN EDER AND DAVID M. HERSZENHORN   6/25/18, 4:38 AM CET Updated 6/25/18, 10:40 AM CET

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez alongside Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during a summit on migration issues at EU headquarters in Brussels on June 24 | Yves Herman/AFP via Getty Images

If at first you don’t crush your institutional rival, try, try again.

EU leaders exited a mini summit on migration on Sunday without issuing any formal joint statement. Instead, they emboldened the European Commission to make another power play.

Commission officials quickly summarized the mini summit into a proposal to amend the Council’s draft conclusions for the regular EU leaders’ summit to be held later this week.

An e-mail with the Commission’s new, proposed wording was fired across the Rue de la Loi shortly after 9 p.m. It will likely be received as intended — as a stink bomb that despite its odious (to the Council) origins also includes a serious set of policy proposals, which cannot be entirely ignored or discarded.

Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr, acting on behalf of President Jean-Claude Juncker, stirred controversy last week by proposing a draft leaders’ statement for the mini summit that was clearly intended for the same purpose: to supplant the draft conclusions on migration issued to national capitals just a day earlier by Council President Donald Tusk.

16 leaders attended the mini summit (Tusk wasn’t among them) and found a “plate in which everyone should find something to his taste.”

The move infuriated the Italian government, which was angered at the content of the text, as well as Council officials, who were annoyed by the substance of the statement but also the incursion onto their turf. The Commission text was torpedoed at the behest of German Chancellor Angela Merkel after Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte threatened to boycott the mini summit.

But not for long.

The Commission’s summary largely revived the statement, proving that Selmayr, who has a running if unspoken rivalry with Tusk’s chief of staff, Piotr Serafin, is not a man who accepts defeat easily — if at all.

The Commission stepped in to host the mini summit after Tusk declined to do so, citing his unwillingness to preside over any gathering that does not include all 28 EU leaders. But with Merkel under pressure at home from her Bavarian coalition partners and eager to shift the conversation to Brussels from Berlin, Juncker saved her day.

The Commission also proposed an array of steps directed at so-called secondary movements — migrants who register in one EU country, but then end up crossing into another.

In the end, 16 leaders attended the mini summit (Tusk wasn’t among them). There, they found a “plate in which everyone should find something to his taste,” Juncker said, according to one participant. And it was that plateful of migration policy bounty that the Commission summarized in its proposal to the Council.

Among the tasty morsels: a pledge of an additional €500 million for the EU’s Africa Trust Fund, money for the next tranche in the €3-billion facility for refugees in Turkey, and a plan for “reception,” or “welcome,” or “disembarkation” centers outside the EU for processing migrants who are rescued or intercepted at sea.

According to the summary, which was seen by POLITICO, leaders would support “the development of regional disembarkation possibilities in line with international law and in close cooperation with UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] and IOM [International Organization for Migration].”

Also included in the Commission proposal was a plan to strengthen EU border patrol operations, with 10,000 additional guards deployed by 2020.

The Commission suggested the following language: “The European Council welcomes the Commission’s intention to swiftly propose a further strengthening of the European Border and Coast Guard, enabling it to deploy 10,000 border guards by 2020, strengthening its powers in the field of return and enabling it to fully operate in partner countries outside the EU.”

Nothing like proposing a statement in support of your own policy initiative.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte | Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AFP via Getty Images

And, in an added bit of grandstanding, the Commission also proposed setting an ambitious target for increasing the numbers of returned illegal migrants: “The European Council calls on the member states to take immediate action to achieve an EU return rate of at least 70 percent by the end of 2019.”

The target comes with an explanation: “More also needs to be done to ensure a reinforced, more coherent and effective common European return policy. The European Council therefore welcomes the intention of the Commission to swiftly make a legislative proposal to this effect.”

The Commission also proposed an array of steps directed at so-called secondary movements — migrants who register in one EU country, but then end up crossing into another.

These include a revision of the “Reception Conditions Directive,” making it possible for countries to deny housing and money for asylum seekers they’re technically not responsible for, and to impose residency restrictions by ordering migrants to live in a specific place. In addition, an asylum qualifications regulation would allow sanctions on those who are found in an EU country where they don’t have the right to stay — for example, by restarting the clock on the five-year waiting period needed to get EU long-term resident status. And a reinforced Eurodac fingerprint database would facilitate returns at the border.

So far, the Council has had little success in building consensus for the revision of the so-called Dublin Regulation on asylum procedures.

All these pieces of legislation have been agreed in trilogues with Parliament, but were put into the freezer by EU ambassadors last week, POLITICO’s Brussels Playbook reported.

The Commission’s proposal also urges that the conclusions state that the “European Council calls for the adoption by the end of July of five of the seven proposals to reform the Common European Asylum System which are already close to conclusion” and for “adoption of the remaining two proposals by the end of the year.”

So far, the Council has had little success in building consensus for the revision of the so-called Dublin Regulation on asylum procedures, and in that sense the Commission proposal may be inviting the Council to set itself up for failure.

The Council seems unlikely to take the bait. A Council official said, “At this stage, no substantial change is foreseen in terms of our draft EUCO conclusions on migration.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker waits for the arrival of EU leaders ahead of an informal EU summit on migration | Yves Herman/AFP via Getty Images

The official focused primarily on the consensus among leaders attending Sunday’s mini summit on strengthening the EU’s external borders.

“It’s positive that the discussion at today’s mini summit confirms that the main focus of our actions should be on protecting the external borders,” the official said. “This reflects the emerging consensus, which has been built step by step since September 2015. It’s for Europeans to decide who enters European territory.”

As for the Commission’s continuing invasion of Council territory, there was no further comment on what sort of tougher border enforcement might be in development.

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