Brussels to explore reception of migrants outside EU

European Council calls  the Commission to “swiftly” explore the concept of “regional disembarkation platforms”, in close cooperation with relevant third countries as well as UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should operate distinguishing individual situations, in full respect of international law and without creating a pull factor, the conclusions of the meeting of heads of states and governments read.

In order to “definitively break” the business model of the smugglers, preventing tragic loss of life, the EU Council considers necessary to eliminate the incentive to embark on dangerous journeys along Mediterranean. The new approach to the problem is based on shared or complementary actions among the Member States to the disembarkation of those who are saved in Search And Rescue operations.

The new strategy of reception of illegal migrants outside the EU territory reminds experts an Australian systems, functioning both direction – saving lives of illegal migrants in sea, and the same time protecting national borders.

However Italian Interior minister Matteo Salvini announced his interest to see the EU passing for concrete actions, namely against those NGOs who help  smuggling illegal migrants in Europe: “STOP human traffic, stop helping accomplices! #stopinvasion!”, he wrote in his microblog.

The discussion over the text of conclusions about migration went through the last night, representing a challenge to reconcile positions of Italy, and southern European countries at forefront of migration flows, and Visegrad Four group, supported by Austrian upcoming presidency, insisting that instead of the change of Dublin regulation and relocation of migrants through the EU, the support and solidarity among member-states can be introduced on goodwill basis. The reform of Dublin is left to next EU Presidency to deal with. Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has already announced a number of initiatives to curb illegal migration.

Anna van Densky, from EU Council, Brusssels

#Barroso: Demons and Temptations

barroso

Raised this week by OLAF chief Emily O’Reilly issue of former president of European Commission Jose-Manuel Barroso employment at Goldman Sachs is much broader ethical problem than it seems at first glance. It can hardly be resolved just by formal application of Commission’s Code of Conduct as it is not a unique case, but rather typical for men at power.

The phenomenon of former presidents and prime ministers eager for employment is relatively new. Clearly in times of Pompidou and Mitterrand, when senior figures were seen as the most appropriate for positions of leadership the issue of a new job after the term was not existent. Moreover the physical condition didn’t always allow to serve until the end of mandate, ending in ostentatious funeral.
Nowadays the situation has drastically changed, as politicians end term too young to enjoy calm of domestic environment behind geranium, like German chancellor Schroder, who left office of at age of 54 or British PM Blair, leaving office the same age, and this year PM Cameron even younger at 50.
Clearly just scorning those as Schroder who couldn’t resist temptation and accepted employment at Russian state company Gazprom, or Blair working as adviser for Kazakhstan president, – will not help much in preventing the others to follow their path. A lot of ink has been spilled on shaming Blair for deal with ‘despot’, selling his ‘unique personal experience and insights’ for 5 million pounds a year to demons. In vain.
However a petition of protests launched by European Commission staff denouncing Barroso’s engagement with Goldman Sachs has been rapidly attracting signatures reaching 80 000 in a few weeks. The indignant Europeans disagree with continuation of payment  of 15 000 euro a month pension for a ‘fat cat’ serving US bankers interest. It looks the former president of EC will face dilemma, but would simple annulation of pension to Portuguese eurocrat serve a lesson for the others in future?
The issue of ‘after life’ of high ranking civil servants will become even more pertinent in upcoming decade with a new wave of strikingly young politicians like Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, assuming office at age of 27 or Marion Le Pen, entering French National Assemble as MP at age of 22.
 
If not engaging in broader public debate to work out new rules for young generation of politicians to set clear framework of ‘life after life’ the repercussions might come  in the most primitive form of rejection of young for positions in power, returning to old good gerontocracy Brezhnev-Juncker style.
Something to contemplate about: is the only life style for youth to sing about love? 
AMOREM CANAT AETAS PRIMA!