Europe & the Mediterranean migrants

A brief timeline of the recent events

Rescue operation
Photo Credit: Noborder Netwrok

As an increasing amount of people looks for asylum by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, Europe, Italy, and their policy come back on the newspapers’ front pages.

18th October 2013
Mare Nostrum starts.
A recent boat disaster, in which 300 people drowned, caused the beginning of a most humanitarian action. The search and rescue operation aims to the rescue of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
They leave from the North Africa to reach the Italian coasts.

28th October 2014
The official borders controls meet in Brussel to talk about new treatments for the migrants in Europe. It seems necessary to rethink the migration policies in general.
The main objectives are to rescue more lives and to dissuade people from leaving their country.

The British Foreign Office minister, Baroness Anelay, has said that search and rescue operations may encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing. She has defined them an “unintended pull factor” for the migrants.

Michael Diedring, the secretary general of the European Council for Refugees, has judged this argument “morally shocking”. He has said that whether we are not able to solve the reasons for this journey, we should save the people who face such a dangerous crossing.

31st October 2014

Over this year, nearly 150,000 migrants – especially people from North Africa and the Middle East - have been rescued by Mare Nostrum. However, about 3,000 crossers have drowned in the same period.

1st November 2014
The operation Triton is launched by Frontex, the EuropeanUnion agency for external border security. It will take place in the Strait of Sicily, between Tunisia and Sicily, and it will have a third of the budget in comparison to Mare Nostrum.

“That kind of system is not finalized just to control the border” - said Marco Borracceti, professor of Law at the Universityof Bologna, during a phone interview - “but to safeguard human rights”.

Valerio Landri, the director of the diocesan charitycommunity in Agrigento - a city on the west of Sicily, near the island of Lampedusa – is worried about the decision made: “Europe doesn't accept the logic of the humanitarian operation with the aim of rescuing hundreds, thousands of migrants that in any case will leave from the Libyan coast. I fear many people will die in the sea”.

Triton may not be a definite solution for the migration problem in the Mediterranean, as it has already raised many doubts in Italy, the nation that is most involved.