The day of this Thursday is presumed to be convulsed in Brussels. On the one hand there is the stealthy visit of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, which will step on the European institutions after six interventions by videoconference. His presence has caused the activation of endless protocols and almost manages to completely eclipse two of the most acidic topics that 27 Member States have on their agenda for this extraordinary summit: detailing the measures to promote green industry in Europe and specifying a common migration policy to strengthen border controls.
The European Union seems willing to buy a discourse that grows in the shadow of the far-right ideals that promote Hungary, Italy or Poland. These positions are now added to the demands of eight other countries, which ask for increased funding for protect external borders and reduce the number of asylum seekers.
The leaders of Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Latvia, Slovakia, Malta, Estonia and Lithuania have sent a joint letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the Council, Charles Michel. In the letter they assure that “the current asylum system is broken”, they lament the increase in arrivals and ask to expedite deportations. In addition, they recover the old debate of human traffickers.
This anti-immigration allegation criminalizes the work of NGOs that operate in the Mediterranean and calls for agreements with the countries of origin and transit to regulate the matter. In addition, it puts back on the table the role of the walls that “protect Europe and stop the irregular immigration”as expressed by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orbán. In the document, the signatories suggest the need to increase funds for build this kind of fences and reduce flows.
With these movements, the EU supports one of the harshest and most divisive discourses on migration in living memory. The construction of walls with public money, a controversy as old as it is immoral, continues to raise serious legal questions. “The situation is worrisome and requires urgent political attention,” the eight countries point out in the letter, to then focus on the border that separates Turkey and Bulgariagateway on the Balkan route, whose data increased last year by 150%.