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"Friends of Putin" managed to unscrew the hands of Europe

"Friends of Putin" managed to unscrew the hands of Europe

29 2018 June
Tags: EU, Politics, Analytics, Migration, Refugees, Europe

The chairman of the new Italian government of "friends of Putin" Giuseppe Conte blasted the EU summit with his "anti-system diplomacy". "Conte dropped the bomb at the summit," "took the whole summit hostage" - in this way the press describes the behavior of the prime minister of Italy. Why did he behave this way and what did he achieve?

Giuseppe Conte, the head of the Cabinet of Ministers of Italy (the very one who was nicknamed the government of "Putin's friends"), became the main hero of his first summit of the European Union. It was thanks to him that during the event on Friday the EU countries reached an agreement on migration issues.

Negotiations were not easy: they lasted almost 12 hours, which was written on Twitter by the head of the European Council Donald Tusk. A stumbling block was the migration issue. Europeans could not come to a consensus, the agreement on migration was rewritten several times. As a result, they wanted to adopt the final declaration of the summit without mentioning the migration issue.

But this prevented the newcomer of the European forum. "Conte dropped the bomb at the summit," EUobserver said with reference to one of the Eurodiplomats. "European leaders have felt the bitter taste of anti-system diplomacy," the EURACTIV portal said, recalling that Comte leads a coalition government of two parties - the "League" and the "Five Star", which are considered extrasystemic and eurosceptic. The edition added that the Italian prime minister "took the entire summit hostage".

Conte said that if an agreement on the migration issue was not reached, he would veto the final resolution of the summit, which would torpedo all the results of the event. EURACTIV suggested that this behavior was inspired by the president of the United States Donald Trump, to a meeting with which he will soon leave and who recently blocked the final conclusion of the whole summit of the Group of Seven.

Be that as it may, the tough position of the Italian has borne fruit. As a result, the participants were forced to return to the discussion of the topic of migration, which lasted until about five o'clock in the morning. And a compromise was found after all.

Recall, the immigration crisis raging in Europe is not the first year. The peak of the crisis fell on 2015 year, when about 1,2 million migrants entered Europe. At the same time, Italy and Greece suffered most of all, due to their geographical position, they became a kind of "gateway to Europe" for refugees. This year the situation again began to worsen due to weather phenomena. Heat causes thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to break through to Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration, since the beginning of the year 194 611 people have arrived in Europe.

What did the leaders of the EU countries finally agree on? First of all, in Brussels they realized the importance of the agreement of the European Union and Turkey on the migration of 2016, which actually saved Europe from the disaster, but more than once was on the verge of failure. Following the results of the summit, it was decided that Turkey will be allocated a second tranche of 3 billion euros for its assistance in the refugees and cooperation will continue.

In addition, Europeans are committed to reaching similar agreements with African countries. EU leaders intend to agree on the creation of a platform for them in the depots - camps for refugees, which will prevent their illegal departure to Europe.

Nadezhda Arbatova, head of the department for European political studies at the IMEMO RAS, positively assessed the eagerness of European leaders to solve problems with illegal migration at distant approaches. "In Niger, such a center was created in its time. And this is the right direction. The EU can not digest migration flows. This is not just a financial burden, but it causes discontent among citizens, provokes the growth of populism, that is, there is a threat to the very European project, "she told the newspaper VZGLYAD.

The only problem is that the African countries themselves are not too eager to save the EU by creating such platforms. For example, Morocco on Thursday rejected such an idea. In addition, as the newspaper VZGLYAD wrote, exactly a year ago the Europeans decided that they had practically reached a similar agreement with Libya, but their joys turned out to be premature.

One of the most significant outcomes of the summit was the rejection of the Dublin agreement that migrants can apply for a residence permit in the first country they enter after an illegal crossing of the border, Arbatova said. "For the countries of the southern periphery, this is a matter of life and death. After all, it was Italy, Malta and Greece that took the brunt of it, "she said.

And this can be attributed to another major achievement of Giuseppe Conte, because it was Rome who was the main lobbyist of this decision. Italians have tried to promote this issue for many years, but it was only possible for the current government. As the Prime Minister himself stressed, "the main principle is recognized: anyone arriving in Italy comes to Europe". And this is exactly what for which Conte almost torpedoed the entire summit.

At the same time, many of the rest of the EU countries, especially such as Poland and Hungary, are not too happy with this decision, because they did everything they could to avoid receiving the migrants and opposed collective responsibility for it. However, for them there was some consolation: at the summit, in fact, the quotas for the EU states for the resettlement of refugees were abandoned - precisely what they wanted so much. Countries will now accept immigrants on a voluntary basis. And for these purposes on the territory of the members of the "united Europe" will create migration centers. As French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out, as part of the broader concept of "responsibility and solidarity."

But only the quotas were originally invented precisely because the countries of the "united Europe" voluntarily shared the burden with the same Italy and Greece and refused to accept a part of the refugees. Yes, and they quietly boycotted the quota. What will cause them to show goodwill now, remains a mystery.

The decision to create such camps was very important for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "An important issue is that those migrants who have reached the EU countries are not simply left to their own devices, do not scatter around the whole territory, but are kept in special centers while the issue of their future fate is being decided," Arbatova stressed. That is, the countries in whose territory such centers are located should control the movements of migrants there.

For Merkel this issue was important because within the country she is under tremendous pressure from partners in the ruling coalition on this issue. One of the key ministers, the head of the German Interior Ministry Horst Seehofer, in general, threatened her with the collapse of the ruling coalition if she did not solve the problem of the entry of illegal migrants into the country.

The procedure for rendering assistance to refugees in distress in the Sicilian Strait was also determined. As Tass reports, Conte noted that "operations (for salvation) now rely on the principle of sharing responsibilities and will be coordinated by countries jointly." "All ships must respect the laws and not interfere with the operations of the Libyan coastguard, mainly the ships of non-governmental organizations," said Conte.

The outcome document also contains an obligation to fund a fund for assistance to African countries, from where the majority of migrants arriving in Italy originate. Financing this fund was also one of Rome's requirements for the EU. "After this meeting (European Council), Europe is stronger and more solid," the Italian prime minister said.

Thus, the main beneficiary of the agreement can be considered exactly Conte. Nevertheless, as noted above, the rest of the countries also received their consolation prize. In this regard, Emmanuel Macron hastened to call the agreement reached a "European solution" to the migration crisis. The statement, to put it bluntly, is too loud. Despite a number of shifts in the migration problem after the summit, the main bonuses it gave to individual countries and leaders. As for the "united Europe" as a whole, everything is not so unambiguous.

The deputy of the German Bundestag Valdemar Gerdt ("Alternative for Germany") believes that the results of the summit are more formal. "At the moment of execution of these decisions, we will return to the old position. Purely media it was the right step to give still time to find not a compromise, but really the right decision. This is just a postponement of the problem, "Gerdt told VZGLYAD.

"The problem has to be solved radically. It's actually not in Europe, but in countries where the flows of refugees come from, "Gerdt said. "There it is necessary to implement programs that would allow people to stay on their land. One euro spent in the same Iraq or in Africa has an 20-fold effect. It would be worth thinking about creating training centers on the ground, an infrastructure that allows people to work, "the deputy believes.

In addition, the politician urged, not in words, but in practice to strengthen the European borders, so that they cease to be an open window for all comers. "There are no borders - there is no state. We can make many decisions, but if this problem is not resolved, then the refugees will go. The need will drive them here in the millions. This is a very serious test for Europe and the whole of civilization, "- concluded Gerdt.

Andrei Rezchikov, Nikita Kovalenko, Yana Belousova
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