florian schneider on Thu, 14 Oct 1999 12:22:59 +0200

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Syndicate: more exclusion, more deportations, more controls



More exclusion, more deportations, more controls. This is how the
present developments in the European harmonisation process can be
summarised. Accordingly the antiracist perspective has to gain a
European outlook. Antiracist groups from different countries have taken
the EU summit in Tampere as a chance to organise protest in a
decentralised, but coordinated grassroots manner. In dozens of european
cities actions against Fortress Europe will take place on october 15th
and 16th, 1999. You can follow these events and the counteractivities in
Tampere as well on our website:


Tomorrow, the finnish presidency invites heads of government for a
special EU summit in Tampere dealing with "Justice and Home affairs".
Central theme to the EU summit in Tampere is asylum and migration
politics. Heads of government and foreign ministers are meeting in order
to tackle a new chapter of european integration: step by step they
intend to introduce an area of so-called "freedom, security and
justice". This is how it was formulated in the Amsterdam treaty, which
has come into force on may 1st this year.

No freedom but exclusion, no saftey, but more control and fear of
deportation. No rights, but more and more disfranchisement. This is what
this process entails for many refugees and migrants all across Europe.
They will be confronted with a rapid extension of fortress Europe, if
this harmonization process will be pursued. Up to now the cooperation in
Justice and Home affairs was regulated in an intergovernmental manner,
which means, there were no binding decisions and agreements. Now the EU
governments want to create a certain body of so-called union law, which
will determine every aspect of European affairs. This process is
intended to hinder governments - as for example the italian government -
to introduce their own programs of legalizing undocumented immigrants.

 This scenario becomes more clear, when considering the following three

1. External border controls: With the coming into force of the Amsterdam
treaty it was decided to integrate the Schengen Implementation Agreement
into the EU framework, in order to make sure, that the strict Schnegen
guidelines have to be adopted in the whole of the EU. This specifically
targets external border controls. The extensive armament of the border
police, a common visa policy, and the harmonization of the carrier
sanctions, i.e. fines for transport corporations, which bring
undocumented people or people with false papers across the border. In
january 1999 the german interior minister, Schily, handed over the
Schnegen handbook on external border controls to the embassies of the
aspirting candidates of EU membership: Poland, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and Cypress. They are obliged to introduce
the migrant specific political provisions of the Schengen EU states,
before entering the EU. This integration is aimed at shifting the
borders to the East, the above named countries are supposed to become
buffer states, which block migration furtheron to the East.

2. Intensification of internal controls: Since the 1st of may the EU
comission has got a right of iniative. Within four weeks of obtaining
these powers, they realized their new competences concerning one
decisive issue: They presented a decree for an EURODAC convention.
EURODAC, a europe wide fingerprint database, is supposed to collect
fingerprints of all asylum seekers in all EU states. According to german
plans everybody, who is found without legal papers, is supposed to be
registered as well. EURODAC is going to enable the identification of
refugees and illegalised migrants at any point, in any place all over
the EU. The goal is to deport those, who are identied by the EURODAC,
back to the country the country of first entry into the EU, which then
has to start the deportation process. EURODAC is without a doubt the
next step up in the systematic fight against the illegalised,
undocumented people, or sans papiers. Very specifically migrants shall
be prevented from fleeing into other countries, when they are threatened
with deportation.

3. Action plans for specific countries of origin: When the first ships
full of refugees from Iraq arrived at the italian coasts in 1998, the
first EU action plan was released. The central question was, how on one
hand the migration flux of Iraqi curds could be stopped and the routes
of flight could be broken up. On the other hand how deportations through
Turkey into northern Iraq could be enforced. Following this logic
further action plans concerning certain target countries (Afghanistan,
Somalia, Sri Lanka, Morocco) were worked out. Following the pattern of
the Iraq action plan they concentrate on the hindrance of flight and
search for better possibilities for deportations. All these action plans
are going to be discussed and passed during the Tampere conference.

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