In a joint statement, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claim that thousands more refugees and migrants could be at risk of dying in the Central Mediterranean, if the European Commission’s plan for a Code of Conduct for NGOs is improperly conducted. The Code of Conduct for NGOs was first announced by the European Commission on 6 July 2017, as part of an EU Action Plan, which aims to support Italy and reduce migratory pressure of illegal migrants along the Central Mediterranean Route. In the first six months of 2017, Italy received over 82,000 migrants, which has stretched its capacities to the limit.
As the official number of migrants travelling from North Africa to Italy and Malta has spiked again after a relatively calm period in 2016, an urgent political response has been requested to assist Italy and Malta in stemming the flow of economic migrants from North Africa. While the situation for refugees fleeing persecution and seeking asylum is altogether different from that of economic migrants, who are seeking a better life in Europe, the distinction between the two often escapes the public. The number of economic migrants that have arrived in Italy is 85,000 so far in 2017 and over 2,000 people have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean. The relocation of economic migrants has fallen far below the agreed figures of 160,000.
On 1 May 2017, the new Europol regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/794), which was adopted by the European Parliament on 11 May 2016, came into force, taking effect in all member states. This regulation updates Europol’s powers and enables it to step up efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime.
Over the past three months, the EU has seen several significant developments in the broad field of European security. In this paper, Patrick Keatinge reflects on the developments in the Ukraine crisis and the Arab winter, and examines the European Union’s response to both of these situations. The author goes on to look at the implications of these developments for Ireland and for the EU as a whole.
At a summit on migration in Valetta, Malta, on 11-12 November, European and African Heads of State and Government and international organisations came together to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation between the European Union and Africa, in order to address the current challenges of migration.