The European Union is proposing to repatriate one million irregular migrants by 2017. And pending deportation they can be detained in centers for up to 18 months, including children, even though the majority of member states don’t provide for restrictive measures against minors. Precisely for this reason, and to avoid possible obstacles, Brussels is calling on governments to pass national legislation paving the way for the detention of migrant children.
The new measures are part of a plan devised by the European Commission to try to put an end to migration flows, which will be discussed at the European Council on March 9 and 10. These are just recommendations, and as such are not mandatory for member states. However, it’s sufficient to imagine what will happen in the coming months. And one can bet that, pressed by the important elections, there will be a few governments willing to immediately apply the new guidelines.
And despite their threats, Brussels has still not adopted sanctions against the states that refuse to accept asylum seekers entering Greece and Italy. The plan devised by the European Commission proposed relocating 160,000 refugees by September. But only 13,546 have been relocated, including 3,936 from Italy and 9,610 from Greece. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he and Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos have not ruled out actions against defaulting states, but he quickly added, “We are not there yet.”