A few hours after Sweden had decided to deport about 80,000 people who are not entitled to asylum, Finland chose the path of repatriation as well, to face migrants emergency. Helsinki plans to repatriate about 20,000 people. This decision arrived two days before the law that will allow Denmark to confiscate the assets of the refugees to meet the costs of hospitality and service enters into force. In the meantime, the leader of the Dutch social democratic party Diederik Samsom is working on a plan that will bring together a group of countries willing to accommodate between 150 thousand and 250 thousand refugees a year from Turkey in exchange for accelerated returns. A project that receives strong criticism from humanitarian organizations. Amnesty International defined it as Europe’s “moral bankruptcy. Yet, people who are close to the presidency itself take distance, explaining that Samsom “is not a member of the Rutte government and is speaking in a personal capacity”.
During the same hours, EU sources recall Commission’s recommendation – at the summit of the leaders that took place in December – to set up a scheme of humanitarian readmission on a voluntary basis within the framework of the EU-Turkey Action Plan. The latter should be launched once statistics show that the arrivals have actually decreased. In the truth of the situation, it is a way to point out that Ankara has not been left alone. On the other hand, we should remember, international conventions forbid rejection. “People who ask for asylum are entitled to a full procedure.” The repatriation of irregular migrants from Greece to Turkey is a different case. On the basis of the bilateral agreement between Athens and Ankara, it is possible also for those who have passed through Turkey, but come from other countries. Frontex data estimate that in December, 60% of economic migrants arrived to the EU mixed up with the refugees.
Commission spokesman Natasha Bertaud recalls that “repatriation is one of the cornerstones of the EU migration policy. We do not want to give the impression that Europe is an open door. People who have no right to remain in the EU must be repatriated”. This is the framework in which we should read also the news that arrive from Stockholm and Helsinki. The Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman warns that the country is preparing to expel from 60 to 80 thousand migrants. According to government estimates, about 45% of the 163 thousand applications for asylum the country received in 2015 have little chance to get a positive answer. It is precisely this share of migrants that is going to be repatriated. Considering that the procedures will last for months, however, the operations should begin in early 2017, with charter flights for two hundred people a day. Expulsions that Sweden would like to do together with Germany: Ygeman said to have already discussed it with the German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere.
Finland is organizing the same actions. According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Finnish Paivi Nerg, estimates indicate that about 20 thousand of the 32 thousand asylum applications introduced in 2015, that is, about 62% of the total, are likely to be rejected. They are considering also the possibility to develop transit centers for those who will be deported. In any case, both Finland and Sweden will attempt to encourage voluntary repatriation. Marine Le Pen rejoices: “What we call ‘immigrant crisis’ – FN leader said at the convention in Milan – has unveiled the essential infamy of the Schengen and it is decreeing its end. I am delighted again because of this breakdown, the Schengen goes against the interests of the Europeans.”