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The European Commission unveils its new ‘Agenda on Migration’

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The terrible challenge of thousands of migrants endangering their lives to cross the Mediterranean has increasingly shaken the international community in recent years.

The crisis involved a dramatic number of refugees fleeing war, terrorism and political chaos to surrender their life savings to trafficking networks to reach Europe's shores. European governments are deeply divided over how to respond to such humanitarian emergency and the European Union often appeared impotent due to difficulties in creating an effective European immigration policy.

Thanks to the new "Agenda on Migration" that has been unveiled yesterday, this trend could be reversed. In order to put in action effective response to the migration crisis affecting the Mediterranean, the European Commission has outlined a new plan describing the steps necessary to manage migration in all its aspects, both in the short and the long term. The Agenda constitutes a positive change in attitude towards the dramatic humanitarian crisis in the heart of the Mediterranean, as it appears increasingly evident that no European country can address such huge migratory pressures alone.

The EU Agenda on migration defines a European response, combining internal and external policies, and encompassing all actors, from countries to institutions, from international organisations to civil society, from local authorities to national partners outside the EU. The plan recognises that vulnerable people who are unable to live securely in their own countries should be provided with safe and legal routes to reach Europe and should be protected from smuggling networks.

The Agenda appreciates the need to enhance search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean reestablishing the levels granted under Italy's "Mare Nostrum" operation. Also, it confirms rises in funding assigned to the "Triton" operation in order to enlarge both the capability and the geographical scope of rescuing actions.

On 13 May 2015, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International Director for Europe and Central Asia said: "Today we have seen the European Commission take a first step in shifting its Fortress Europe attitude towards the refugee crisis, but it will need to be implemented expansively and with the full backing of all EU member states".

The Agenda acknowledges that "[s]ome member states have already made a major contribution to global resettlement efforts" but inserts that "others offer nothing - and in many cases they are not making an alternative contribution in terms of receiving and accepting asylum requests or helping to fund the efforts of others." According to the Commission's plan the number of relocated refugees assigned to each EU member state will take into account issues such as unemployment rate, GDP, population size, and number of refugees allocated in the past.

 Despite the Agenda represents a positive shift in the approach of the European community, the challenge to create an adequate European immigration policy by bringing together 28 extremely diverse national systems remains constrained by national politics, shaped by diverse culture and history.

Source: The Blasting News

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