“Countries that we consider liberal democracies like Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States have more restrictive laws than Italy, both incoming and outgoing.” Christina Fasoni, Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law at Lewis University, assesses immigration laws in the rest of the world.
But, is a tougher line towards immigrants now also adopted in the EU?
“Yes, even in Europe, there is an attempt to facilitate expulsions. In Denmark, for example, in 2021, a law was passed on the expulsion of asylum seekers and convicted illegal immigrants in third countries where such people may risk their lives, such as Uganda where it is not respected Human rights. This has led to protests by various NGOs, and there have been strong concerns within the Council of Europe.”
“The 47 countries (which became 46 after Russia’s exit) that adhere to the European Convention on Human Rights must be subject to a series of more secure rules. Article 4 of Protocol 4 prohibits collective returns, and therefore, asylum applications must be assessed individually. On the other hand, Article 3 prohibits the inhuman and degrading treatment that applies if the possibility of disembarking at safe ports is refused.”
Aside from Denmark, are there other cases of European countries setting restrictions?
“In the United Kingdom, former Home Secretary in the short government of Lietz Strauss was looking at the possibility of initiating mass expulsions of immigrants from France in small boats. In Finland, a country considered a beacon to democracies on the other hand, there has been debate about a wall to stop the arrival of Immigrants from Russia, in short, there is a widespread tendency in Europe to circumvent or abolish the rules.”
But Italy has special problems with France and Germany in matters of immigration …
“France and Germany are empowered by the fact that, in Europe, the rules of the Dublin Treaty are still in force and accuse us of not respecting them. In those countries, as well as in Denmark, migrants arrive secondarily, and therefore are not invested in the immediate management of the migration flow.”
Looking at the situation abroad, one wonders what is the difference between the wall separating the United States and Mexico and the wall separating Spain from Ceuta and Melilla? Why does the first make “more noise” than the second?
“From the point of view of the law, American and Spanish walls are walls in the same way. From the point of view of immigrant protection, nothing changes, there is just a different media hype. In the United States, then, there have been problems with family reunification and unaccompanied minors. Perhaps. It was Trump’s personality that caused the most noise, but the problem in Spain is that we don’t know what happens to African migrants trying to get in from the southern border. We don’t know if they are welcomed or rejected, but having a wall really is a violation of the rules international law “.
What do you think of France’s rejection of immigrants in Ventimiglia?
“France, according to the rules of the European Convention on Human Rights, cannot make a collective refusal at the border with Italy. There is, of course, a violation of rights. Those are the prohibited refusals.”
In this context, what is the role of Frontex?
Frontex must ensure border security. At the moment, it only has an oversight role and I’m afraid there will not be an update of the Frontex software that could help the Coast Guard in individual states. The point is that immigration, in the European Union, is seen as a problem that only concerns some countries and not others.”
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