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Hungary and that mournful fence

Europe/Politics di

The hungarian government is building on Hungary-Serbia border a 4 m high and 175 km long fence in order to keep away the mounting influx of asylum-seekers, best known as “livelihood immigrants”. Hungarian institutions are running an obstinate and unfriendly policy on immigration issue. This provocative and hostile way of facing the situation reflects its pressure by changing asylum rules quite often recently. Billboards on Hungarian highways and buildings carry messages reading, “If you come to Hungary, you must respect our laws,” or “If you come to Hungary, do not take Hungarians’ jobs!” and so on. Are this slogans printed in arabic? Of course they aren’t: they’re printed in hungarian only, which cleares the meaning of what the government is expecting to achieve by hungarian locals.

Thus, immigrants, asylum seekers wich enter in hungarian territory from the Balkans, should expect to face the rejection of their requests in Hungary. The government has actually introduced a number of restrictive amendments which would expand the scope of “asylum detention”, accelerate asylum procedures so that a final decision could be taken within a few days, and limit the possibility to appeal. The regulation deprives virtually all applicants of individual assessment and fair procedure and thus puts tens of thousands at risk. As Amnesty International points out, Hunagry, definitely, dodges its obligations under national and international law to assist asylum-seekers.

 

Fact checking

Hungarian’s 175 km long border with Serbia facilitates human smuggling via land routes from the south and an enormous pressure on its reception infrastructure (financed by and large by EU funds). With 42, 000 applicants registered last year, Hungary was the recipient of the second largest amount of asylum claims per capita. So far this year the influx has already surpassed 80, 000, a number that rockets the country to the top of the EU list. And whereas in 2014 almost half of all irregular migrants came from Kosovo, around 80 per cent of this year’s migrants flee from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On May 19, Prime Minister, Victor Orban, roared his disappointment on EU’s allegedly permissive refugee policies, calling the Commission’s quota plan “idiotic and falsely”, by “depriving Hungary of the right to protect its national borders”. As a result, the European Council proclaimed the country a special case and the subsequent Justice and Home Affairs council in July accepted that Hungary – as the one and only member state – does not take part in any one of the EU’s newly established relocation and resettlement mechanisms.

A large scale public campaign, the “National Consultation on Migration and Terrorism” was launched and sent to 8 million Hungarians. Two notions, “migration” and “terrorism” arranged to create a dangerous, a hate-policy combine, supported by the idea of migrants that are grabing huangarian’s jobs. UN High Commission for Human Rights and the Council of Europe expressed grave concerns about the far right populist trend in the Hungarian immigration debate.

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Now, for truth sake, asylum seekers in Hungary, quite the 80 per cent of them, consider to leave the country once they receive an affermative response. Durin 2014, only 9 per cent of all cases were concluded by granting refugee status or subsidiary protection. (For comparison it was 35 per cent in the UK and 40 in Germany). Thus, what for is all this yelling about? Is this just some clear, and poor demagogic propaganda? Is Orban trying to gain some easy achievement using immigration emergency all across european countries?
What’s left to be said? Memory worths it all: hungarian revolution in 1956 created a wave of 200,000 immigrants who gained the respect, the solidarity and the welcome of other countries and people from all over the world. Ironic that in the country that helped bring about the fall of the Berlin Wall by removing its western barriers along the Austrian border in 1989, the idea of this outrageous fence is highly divisive and a symbol of rising worries across Europe about the country’s political future.

Iran, stop sanctions: geopolitical and economic effects

The Un resolution officially stops Teheran trade sanctions. “It’s the only chance to stop the nuclear program” the Us government said. While it’s an important commercial solution for Europe and Italy.

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Thanks to the UN resolution on 20th July, the Security Council has approved the end of sanctions against Iran. Go ahead, then, to the pact between the 5 + 1 and Teheran found in Vienna last 14th July. The document will come into effect no earlier than 90 days.

A historical agreement for the West in geopolitical and economic point of views. Geopolitical for the United States, as noted on July 23 by the US Secretary of State Kerry: “We could certainly expect Iran fall – he told the Congress -. But it was the best possible option. I hope that the Congress (addressing to the Republican Party, ed) approve because this is the only chance to stop the nuclear program and avoid the risk of a military clash,”he concluded.

But in addition to policy issues in the Arab world, solutions are also commercial. Executive Vice President and General Manager of Saras (Italian oil refining company) Dario Scaffardi, in a summit on business and finance, as well as underlining the benefits that the decline in oil prices has already resulted in the international market, has reported that, following the end of the embargo, his group has been contacted by Iran, got back to be the protagonist of the international market of crude oil. The return to oil production from Teheran “will carry a million barrels of crude oil per day on the market once the sanctions removed. With the possibility of adding 0.5-1 million barrels quickly enough, “said the manager of Moratti family factory.

On the Italian front, also, next 4th and 5th August, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gentiloni Economic the Minister of Economical Development Federica Guidi will travel to Iran together with representatives of Italian largest industrial groups. The goal is getting back to a significant foreign trade with Teheran. In fact, before the revolution of 1979, Europe was the first import and export partner of the former Persia. In the early 1990s, this primacy went to Russia, which, in addition to geopolitical relations of friendship, made meaningful investment on oil and gas.
Giacomo Pratali

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Libya: close to National Unity Governement

Tobruk and other factions have signed the agreement. United Nations are waiting for Tripoli’s reply.

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Tobruk, Zintan, Misurata and other faction delegates have signed in Morocco the political agreement “to create a Libyan National Unity Government” on 3rd July Friday early morning , as reported by United Nations. After several months of negotiations and the threat of International sanctions, Bernardino Leon, Un Special Representative, has achieved expected outcome from these peace talks and from fourth draft. International Community are waiting for Tripoli’s General National Congress choice for next Monday.

“Libya needs a broad-based agreement to launch its reconstruction in security”, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said. “Refusing to accept this responsibility would be grave. In the immediate future Italy will multiply its efforts to ensure that a unified position is reached rapidly on the political agreement submitted by the United Nations”, he concluded.
Giacomo Pratali

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Foreign Fighters: EU increasingly involved in the fight to terrorists.

consiglio-dei-ministri-dellunione-europea BRUSSELS: – In order to allow the best implementation of its priorities  for preventing and combating terrorism,  the Council was recently asked  to authorize the EU Commissione to sign, on behalf of the Union, the  Council of Europe’s Convention regarding the Prevention of Terrorism,  and its Additional Protocol.
Let’s start with a clarification necessary to non-experts: the European  Council, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe  are totally different things. The European Council is  a purely political  institution, which does not hold any legislating power. It consists of the Heads of State or Government (who participate depending on the framework of national laws) and only adopts a policy agenda of the Union.
The Council of the European Union, together with the European Parliament, is instead the body responsible for lawmaking, in the co-decision procedure. It consists of the individual national ministers, who meet each others in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcertain “formations“, according to the subject to be discussed, and legislate on the basis of groups and subgroups within the Board, which consist of officers and directors of individual government departments, competent for items to be discussed.
The Council of Europe is an international organization totally alien to the European Union, which aims to promote democracy, human rights, the European cultural identity and the search for solutions to social problems in Europe. It is composed by 47 Member States and was created in 1949.
This mandatory digressione is useful to understand that the adoption of the Additional Protocol to the Convention is an important step forward in the view of a stronger European response to terrorism, in particular against the threat posed by the in-famous “foreign fighters”. The protocol implements some provisions of resolution 2178 (2014) of the UN Security Council on Consiglio-dEuropaterrorists foreign fighters, such as the criminalization of activities such as travel to third countries for terrorist purposes (eg to receive training) or participation in terrorist groups’ actvivities or training for the purpose of terrorism. The Convention requires all Parties to designate permanent contact points to facilitate the rapid exchange of information about persons suspected of traveling abroad for terrorist purposes.
So far, the European Union has not signed the Convention and its additional protocol, but has implemented some of their provisions in the 2008 Framework Decision on Terrorism, which will be updated in 2016. Since the Protocol is an addition to the Convention, the Commission intends to sign both at once, to open the way for the implementation of their provisions. We look forward to the EU Council, in its “Justice and home affairs” formation. We hope it will give the green light to the signing of a document that will hinder even more growth and power of the subversive terrorist networks.

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Domenico Martinelli
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