Created: Monday, 07 December 2015 20:54
Written by Tom Vickers
Refugees and migrants continue to struggle for entry to Europe, driven by war, repression and poverty created by imperialism. European states are attempting to reassert control, extending the repressive apparatus at Europe’s borders while increasing surveillance and reducing migrants’ rights within Europe. Tom Vickers reports.
Fortress Europe reorganises its defences
At the end of October representatives of 11 EU and Balkan states agreed a 17-point plan including: reception centres to house 100,000 newly-arrived refugees and migrants in Greece and along the western Balkans route; increased deportations and cooperation with governments receiving deportees in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Pakistan; additional assistance from the UN refugee agency; increased surveillance and registration of migrants by Frontex, the EU’s border agency; coordinated action between Europol, Interpol and local police against people smugglers; and an agreement that states will no longer facilitate the movement of migrants to the border of another country.
This plan is a reconsolidation of the arrangement by which those who cannot be kept out of Europe altogether will be contained in a peripheral zone, away from the main imperialist states of western Europe. In line with this, on 10 November the German Interior Ministry announced Germany would be renewing its use of the Dublin Regulation to return Syrian refugees to the first EU country where they were registered. The reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November again called these arrangements into question, with officials from Poland, Slovakia and the German state of Bavaria expressing new reservations, and sections of the media claiming spurious links between refugee movements and the Paris attacks.
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