EU rejects Italian Immigration policies

The inhuman conditions that migrants face during their trips and their arrivals are evident to all. In the last hours a new sentence from the EU Court for human rights condemning Italy just came out. It condemns Italy because of the detention of three Tunisians migrants in terrible conditions in a detention centre in Lampedusa and because of their collective expulsion without consideration of  their personal situations.

Augusta, Italy Migrants wait to disembark from an Italian navy vessel in the Sicilian harbour of Augusta, Italy, August 23, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Immigration in Italy: arbitrary detentions and exspensive residency permits

Italy now has to pay back 10,000 euro for moral offense to the three Tunisian migrants Saber Ben Mohamed, Ben Ali Khlaifia, Fakhreddine Ben Brahim, Ben Mustapha Tabal e Mohamed Ben Habib Ben Jaber Sfar, who were detained in Contrada Imbriacola centre of detention in Lampedusa in 2011. A detention that has been considered unlawful by the Eu Court for human rights: migrants were not informed by the authorities on the reasons of their detention. There was not a real reason and so they were not able to file an appeal. The Court verified the conditions of the migrants in Lampedusa: there were no doors separeting the toilets and showers from the other rooms and water supplies were limited. The migrants had to sleep on the floor because of the overcrowding and they were not allowed to have any contact with the outside. In 2011, there were 55.298 arrivals because of the Arab Spring. In those months many Tunisian migrants have been expelled with simplified procedures without a specific identification of the single case. During their permanence the detention centre suffered a fire damage and migrants were allocated in a sport centre. From there the three Tunisians escaped and joined other 1,800 migrants in a protest in Lampedusa. After that demostration they were arrested by police. They spent four days on ships in Palermo before being definetely expelled between the 27th and 29 th of September 2011. Italy has also been recently condamned by the EU Court of Justice for the normative on residency permits for long permanence. The costs of the acts are between 80 and 200 euro. A cost considered excessive considering the objective of the EU directive and could create obstacles to the right exercise of rights: the minimum contribution imposed to the foreign citizen is eight times higher than the one required to an Italian citizen for the release of the Italian identity card (10 euro). That’s a sentence arrived after the appeal by CGIL and Inca asking for the cancellation of the contribution . In the sentence the EU Court of Justice reminded that the objective of the EU directive is integration. Foreign citizens have to contribute paying that amount to renovate their residency permits as the EU Court affirms.

Toward the  September 14 EU meeting

On the 14th September there will be an estraordinary meeting of the EU Council focusing on migration, international cooperation, comeback policies and traffic of migrants. Between the rise of walls in the EU, the dump of refugees between countries,  it is urgent a meeting between the EU Home Affairs ministers. In the last days, Frans Timmermans, first vice president of EU Commission, said from Calais that  Europe is able to face the migrants challenge. These challenges are not just an issue of Italy, Greece, France or UK. The European Union has to show itself unified and responsible. At the meantime, Angela Merkel requires solidarity between member states. There have been many meetings in the last months  and new tragedies are happening everyday, we hope is not getting nowhere fast. On the other side, encouraging signs come from EU citizens that show with facts their accuiellance to refugees, offering  hospitality in their houses as done, for instance, by many people in Iceland and by AirBnB for refugees in Germany (http://www.refugees-welcome.net/) .

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