THE FUTURE OF EUROPE DEPENDS ON A CORRECT IMMIGRATION POLICY!
AN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
AN OPEN LETTER TO the EU: LEADERS, the PARLIAMENT and the CITIZENS
THE FUTURE OF EUROPE DEPENDS ON A CORRECT IMMIGRATION POLICY!
By Professor Peter P. Groumpos,
Emeritus Professor, University of Patras, Greece
Member International Hellenic Association
The European Union (EU) today is looking for a new comprehensive European immigration policy intended to establish a balanced approach in dealing with both regular and irregular immigration based on solidarity, which must be a key objective for the EU. It wants to develop a new approach to better manage all aspects of migration. Its aim is to combat illegal immigration and smuggling of immigrants, save lives and secure its external borders, while attracting talent and skills.
The problem under consideration is very complex and difficult. It has become a direct threat to the future of the EU because, for the last 10 years, immigration of people to the EU has turned the whole process into a fuzzy and uncertain “illegal”movement of people.
Therefore, this becomes a very challenging task. But not an unsolvable one.
HERE IS A CLEAR AND PRACTICAL PROPOSAL.
The world, in 1994, with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), arrived at an agreement for the international migration of people within and between less developed and more developed regions. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, with improved means of transportation and communication, international migration has been growing in notonly magnitude but also scope, complexity and impact. The UN has subsequently addressed this problem and came up with a number of declarations (1995, 2000, 2011, 2013, 2015……).
However, it is clear that a comprehensive EU immigration policy must be adopted. The EU Parliament and the EU leaders must consider seriously this proposal.
EU member states need human skilled-resources and highly skilled people, for various reasons.
On the other hand, people from all over the planet wish to immigrate to a new country especially to the EU and away from their own, seeking a better life.
THEREFORE the proposal:
The EU countries in need of labor should announce the number of “immigrants”and the type of skills they wish, these immigrants to have. They should send an announcement with job descriptions to the relevant foreign consulates around the world. In this way the EU countries will attract the best and most qualified people to bring into their country.
Potential immigrants can apply to the relevant foreign Consulate and, if selected by the corresponding country, they could get their families and go to their selected country as legal immigrants with all the rights they deserve. The procedures are known – it must be examined if any improvements are needed. Certainly, with the advanced IT available this information could be reached by anyone interested to immigrate to an EU country. Applications could be even lodged electronically. There would be no need for potential immigrants to move to Turkey or any country in North Africa in order to try to enter the EU illegally, pretending to be refugees.
In the interim:
Regarding refugees in Turkey, they could all receive a temporary asylum for up to 1-2 years, while those wishing to immigrate to the EU or other countries around the world (e.g. USA, Canada, England, Russia, Australia, South America, Middle East, New Zeeland, Norway, etc.) could follow a similar procedure: they apply to the relevant foreign Consulates in Turkey. (Note: due to the large number of refugees in Turkey the EU countries should consider increasing the number of their consular offices in the various cities in Turkey). The EU would assist refugees in Turkey for two years by managing and overseeing this process. A similar procedure should be followed for all illegal refugees in Greece, Italy and other countries. Finally, this new EU immigration policy should stop, immediately, any illegal immigration. Also, no funding by the EU should be provided to any NGOs.
A legal distinction of immigrants is needed.
The EU needs to create a CLEAR legal framework for an immigration policy. CLEAR means, primarily, a clear distinction between a refugee, an immigrant, an illegal immigrant and an intruder-invader. After identifying and categorizing them, with clear definitions and fast procedures, a decision should be taken how to proceed with each case. An international legal framework does exist however, it does not seem that the basics of the Geneva Convention are understood. It must also be examined whether any improvements are necessary, especially following known circumventions. Regarding the Marrakesh Agreement: it does not have the consent of many EU Member States (Hungary, Poland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia) nor was it voted in the UN by many countries such as: USA, Russia, England, Israel, Switzerland, Serbia, Australia, Brazil and others. It should be noted that this is a text NOT binding on anyone. It just proclaims some general principles of international behavior towards the “flows” of illegal immigrants. The Marrakesh Pact clearly encourages illegal immigration. Greece and many other countries have the right not to abide by the Marrakesh Agreement and to protect their own borders at any cost.
The clear legislation.
Therefore, the EU could have a clear legislation and policy towards refugees and immigrants. In addition, there is something fundamental: refugees and immigrants should come as friends – and they have to behave as friends.
Illegal immigrants and invaders, on the other hand, have the opposite characteristics: they do NOT come as friends, nor do they behave like friends. It is clear that this is the result of the confusion you have condemned Europe to: that you have not distinguished friends (refugees, immigrants) from non-friends (illegal immigrants, intruders-invaders).
Any country that does not comply with the new EU immigration policy will have to face heavy penalties and sanctions. This will apply to all countries and mainly to Turkey which cannot continue to play games with refugees or threaten and bully Europe.
Have the EU citizens ever been asked for today’s immigration chaotic policies?
Since the Marrakesh agreement have not been approved by many governments all around the world, a fundamental question is raised: for an agreement, that affects the lives of each EU citizen and life of whole countries, should it be ratified by the EU parliament and/or by how many parliaments of EU member states? To the best of my knowledge that even if some parliament have ratified the Marrakesh agreement, it is nonbinding nature. In addition, the pact has increasingly come under fire from many people across the world.
It is very important to note that Germany’s parliament voted to back a contentious UN (Marrakesh) pact aimed at promoting cooperation to deal with migration around the world. The vote was 372 (out of 709) parliamentarians vote for supporting the pact, with 153 against and 141 abstentions. While giving their support to the global treaty, parliamentarians called on the government to ensure that it did not “restrict the national sovereignty and the right of Germany to decide its migration policy itself”. Therefore, every country has the same right!
If these procedures are not adopted soon by the EU and applied to immigration, then the European vision of achieving European integration would become an unreachable dream. Let me remind you of what Jean Monnet said “The co-operation of nations, however important, does not solve anything. What needs to be achieved is to merge the interests of the European peoples and not just to maintain the balance of those interests.” This remains relevant to this day and reflects the course of European integration.
It should also be clear that the EU needs to help:1) In stopping all the unjustified wars and 2) Create programs and opportunities to promote regional sustainable growths in developing countries. This would result to slow down the movement of people towards Europe.3) To clearly understand and define the climate immigrants and their special needs.