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US News Sea Rescue: Seehofer wants more participation of the EU countries

06:15  03 july  2020
06:15  03 july  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

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VITTORIOSA, Malta — Four EU countries on Monday agreed on a temporary scheme to relocate The text of the agreement has not been made public but German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer Rescue vessels found themselves stranded at sea , hoping that a country would open its gates and

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) makes the EU countries responsible for the sea rescue.

Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) drängt auf eine Lösung. © Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters-Pool / dpa Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) is pressing for a solution.

"Against the background of the expected increase in departures over the summer, we will need a broad participation in the coming weeks," says a paper from his ministry, about which Seehofer wants to advise on Tuesday at a video conference with his EU colleagues.

EU countries are called on to "support the Mediterranean countries in dealing with disembarkations after search and rescue operations". At the same time, Seehofer wants to avoid incentives for migrants to make their way to Europe.

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Seehofer and others see this as a window of opportunity to end intra- EU rows on migration. Seehofer previously said Germany would be willing to take one quarter of migrants rescued at sea as part of a ‘flexible solidarity’ deal that would not necessarily include all 27 members of the EU (excluding Britain).

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The situation in the Mediterranean, "in particular the life-threatening situation for those who try to reach Europe illegally by sea, (fills) us with great concern," says the discussion paper, which was sent to the others at the end of June EU countries was sent. Smugglers were still trying to use the rules of the sea rescue for their “unscrupulous business model”. Germany will preside over the EU countries in the next six months and can thus influence the political agenda.

For years the EU has not found a solution to deal with migrants rescued from distress. Mediterranean countries like Italy and Malta keep asking the other countries for help - but usually only a few countries agree to accept people. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Italy and Malta declared that they could no longer offer safe ports for the ships. Nonetheless, migrants from Libya and Tunisia keep heading for Europe.

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On the private rescue ship "Ocean Viking" 180 migrants have been waiting. The organization SOS Méditerranée said on Thursday that it had unsuccessfully requested five times a safe haven for the rescued in Italy and Malta.

Seehofer had agreed with his colleagues from Malta, Italy and France in Vittoriosa, Malta, in September last year, on a temporary solution for the distribution of boat migrants from the central Mediterranean. In addition, only a few countries such as Luxembourg, Ireland or Portugal always participated. In addition, the regulation has now expired.

In the paper, the Ministry of the Interior now emphasizes that it is a “European task” to prevent “further deaths in the Mediterranean” and to end the “inhumane business” of the smugglers. It mentions several measures to avoid attracting migrants.

For example, there should be closer cooperation with the police from countries of origin and transit with a view to human trafficking or illegal migration. In addition, Europe must do more to strengthen the «maritime external border protection» - «in particular to empower the coast guards of the North African Mediterranean countries so that they can fulfill their duty to rescue the sea in a professional manner while respecting human rights standards».

The EU has been supporting the Libyan Coast Guard since 2016 so that as few people as possible make their way to Europe. There have long been allegations that the coast guard is bringing migrants back to Libya from international waters and is taking tough action against the refugees and rescue organizations. Seehofer also wants rejected protection seekers to be sent back faster. Among other things, the EU countries should organize joint charter flights and promote voluntary return trips.

At the end of the paper, Seehofer asks his colleagues two questions: First, he wants to know what support they can imagine to fight smugglers or to protect the border. On the other hand, the conditions under which they would be willing to support the Malta mechanism - that is, to receive the rescued.

Finistère: An SNSM dinghy vandalized with a cutter .
The inflatable dinghy, used for rescue operations, is now unusable © SNSM Île Molène Facebook page The inflatable dinghy of the rescuers at sea in Molène has been larded with knives. VANDALISM - The inflatable boat, used for rescue operations, is now unusable Stupor and anger on the island of Molène in Finistère.

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