September 4, 2009
The Swedish Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, Mr. Tobias Billstrom, presented to the European Parliament the priorities of the Swedish Government during the last LIBE Committee.
Firstly, the Swedish Minister recalled to the audience the growing importance of well-managed immigration policies, maintaining the idea that if EU wants to achieve the Lisbon strategy’s goals, bearing in mind the demographic challenges as well, it is necessary to open up to legal migration. Then, Mr. Billstrom highlighted the need for more cooperation and coordination between Member States and with third countries in order to: countering irregular migration in a balanced way and in the respect of fundamental rights of migrants, making asylum policy more efficient, reforming the Eurodac regulation and the Dublin System.
It followed an exchange of views with MEPs. The debate’s keywords were, as usual: burden sharing, solidarity, exchange of information, harmonisation, implementation, and so on. Some MEPs defended the Italian push-backs of migrants to Libya, others condemned them. But everybody seemed to agree on the fact that EU does not act enough on immigration and asylum issues in order to coordinate the Member States. I wonder if it would not be better to raise the issue of cooperation lacking against national authorities rather than blaming upon the European Community at every turn.
Unsurprisingly, when it came to Mr. José Luis Lopez Da Mota, President of the College of Eurojust, to talk about the last report on Eurojust, he stated that “it is just not possible to promote coordination when Member States do not make the effort to cooperate among themselves”. According to Mr. Da Mota, Eurojust receives more information from open sources than national authorities. Despite the fact that organised crime harm the EU budget as well as European society, Member States keep not to give enough information to their judicial cooperation unit.
The common area of freedom, security and justice is relatively new and much work has to be done. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that neither proclaiming every time the same keywords, nor complaining against European Union when something is not working, will bring the solutions that we need.Mauro Striano