This article will explore how does the EU help the migrants going towards the Western Europe, as well as the key challenges that occur during this process in many different geographic locations Europe wide. As a part of its support to the Western Balkans countries during the pandemic, the European Union sent blankets, mattresses and tents to accommodate migrants who are already in Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, a press representative of the European Commission announced in Brussels earlier in the previous week.
In addition to financial support to the Western Balkans and Moldova, the official said, it was part of assistance under the EU’s civil protection program during the pandemic. Slovakia, as it was also announced, is sending masks and disinfectants to Italy to support the suppression of the epidemic, while Austria will deliver gloves and disinfectants to Croatia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro, and Moldova will receive similar assistance. EU members offered Italy assistance in medical teams, doctors, nurses and nurses, as well as health care equipment.
And while the EU focuses onto how to help the Western Balkans, some other major problems establishes as the new hotspots of the migrants in their routes towards the Western Europe. Join Observer reported that some 400 who fled Libya are stuck on Maltese Captain Morgan boats, which are typically reserved for sight-seeing tourists. Malta has refused to allow them to set foot on dry land since April after claiming unsafe ports because of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Last week, Malta’s foreign affairs minister Evarist Bartolo said the island-nation is too small to accept arrivals and needs support from other EU states. “So far this year 1,500 irregular migrants have reached Malta – nearly half the total amount we had for whole of last year,” he said, in a statement. Furthermore, this portal brings an insight into the developments occurring in Malta, which are less known to European public. Over 30 boats in the central Mediterranean have been caught in the tug of war over disembarkation and relocation since last autumn. Of those 3,614 people were disembarked to Italy and another 700 in Malta. Many ended up in Germany. The current saga points to a bitter debate over migration and asylum throughout much of the EU as the European Commission struggles to find a response that appeases all 27 capitals.
The European Commission has proposed on June 3, “to top up support for refugees and host communities in response to the Syria crisis by a total of €585 million”. Out of the amount proposed today, €100 million will go to Jordan and Lebanon, who are hosting the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. €485 million will support refugees in Turkey in 2020 and continue the EU’s two flagship humanitarian programmes. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU has consistently supported refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan for many years. As the coronavirus threatens the most vulnerable, we cannot stop our lifesaving assistance. We are committed to helping the Syrian people and their host countries during these difficult times. EU humanitarian aid will help children attend school and support families in need.”
Towards the humane and effective repatriation policy
In line with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and based on the principle of giving preference to voluntary return — is essential to a comprehensive and sustainable migration policy. The EU is seeking to harmonise and support national efforts to better manage returns and to facilitate reintegration with the Return Directive (which lays down common standards and procedures for the return of non-EU nationals who are staying in the EU irregularly) as well as with the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Effective cooperation with non-EU countries on the basis of readmission agreements is also necessary to ensure that the return policy is efficient. The official website of the EU Commission states that so far, the Commission has been formally authorised to negotiate EU readmission agreements with Russia, Morocco, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the Chinese Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, Algeria, Turkey, Albania, China, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Nigeria.