By Elena Rozzi, ASGI

On 6 May 2017, a new legislation regarding the “Protection Measures for Unaccompanied Minors” (law n. 47/17) entered into force in Italy. It is the result of more than three years of advocacy efforts by Save the Children and other NGOs, that have hailed the approval of the so called Zampa law (proposed by Sandra Zampa, member of the Italian Parliament) as a historic moment for the protection of unaccompanied minors in Italy. At international level, UNICEF has commended the new law, indicating that it could serve as a model for other European countries. But is that really the case?

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Par Henri Labayle, CDREBruno Nascimbene, Université de Milan

   

Quoique largement circonscrite à la Belgique, l’agitation médiatique provoquée par l’arrivée à Bruxelles de Carles Puigdemont et de certains de ses proches soulève d’intéressants points de droit quant à leur situation sur le territoire d’un autre Etat membre de l’Union. Attisée par les déclarations imprudentes d’un secrétaire d’Etat belge à l’Asile et à la Migration, Theo Francken, cette présence a réveillé d’anciennes querelles entre les deux royaumes concernés tenant tout à la fois à la possibilité pour la Belgique d’accorder l’asile à l’intéressé (1) et, à défaut, de constituer un refuge face aux éventuelles poursuites intentées à son égard par les juridictions espagnoles (2).

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By Cristina Gortázar RotaecheNuria Ferré TradUniversity P. Comillas (Madrid)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on 3 October 2017 in the case N.D and N.T v. Spain (available only in French with a translation in Spanish) that the forced returns at stake amount to prohibited collective expulsions in the sense of article 4 of Protocol nº 4 ECHR and that there has also been a violation of article 13 ECHR in conjunction with the previous protocol.

This judgment is of fundamental importance for Spanish border controls at the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. The Spanish State Attorney is for that matter considering to ask the case to be referred to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR as explained by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.  N.D. and N.T. are certainly not isolated cases. They are the result of the Spanish legislation and practice on summary returns (devoluciones en caliente) to Morocco from Ceuta and Melilla. Actually, there is currently another pending case before the Court in Doumbe Nnabuchi v. Spain.

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Par Henri LabayleCDRE

Les querelles relatives à l’indépendance de la Catalogne ne sont pas indifférentes à l‘espace de liberté, de sécurité et de justice constitué par l’Union européenne. De l’appartenance de la Catalogne au Royaume d’Espagne dépend en effet son appartenance à cette Union européenne et donc son maintien dans cet espace ouvert à la libre circulation et à l’entraide répressive.

Quoi que prétendent les uns ou fantasment les autres, la question n’est pas une question d’opportunité mais, beaucoup plus simplement, de légalité. Légalité du processus entamé par les tenants de l’indépendance, surtout, mais aussi légalité des modalités selon lesquelles l’Union pourrait faire place à une Catalogne indépendante.

Faute de trouver dans le débat médiatique européen le rappel de quelques principes juridiques de bon sens, il n’est pas inutile de faire le point sur une crise inédite.

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By Anja Palm*, Istituto Affari Internazionali

 

On 2 February 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding (English Version**) on development cooperation, illegal immigration, human trafficking, fuel smuggling and reinforcement of border security (hereafter ‘memorandum’ or ‘MoU’), was signed between the Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni and Fayez al-Serraj, Head of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord.

Cooperation with Libya on migration and border control is not a new policy choice for Italy: during the 2000s numerous agreements focused on curbing migratory flows and enhancing readmission were concluded with the then Gaddafi regime. This partnership was nevertheless suspended in 2012 as a result of both the collapse of the Libyan government due to the outbreak of the civil war and the ECtHR judgment Hirsi Jamaa, which condemned Italy for violating the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of collective expulsions. Continue reading »

By Boldizsár Nagy, Central European University

On 7 March 2017, Hungary required by law the compulsory detention of every single asylum seeker in the transit zones at the border with Serbia. The tightening of the legislation met fierce resistance by UNHCR and other major actors. On 14 March, the European Court of Human Rights declared the detention of two Bangladeshi asylum seekers contrary to the European Convention in the case of Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary. The judgment of the court irritated the Hungarian Government which did not spare its criticism, not only towards the court but also towards the NGOs supporting the cause of asylum seekers and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee representing the respective two applicants in particular.

So the canyon between the European Union and its Member States, united for the maintaining of European (liberal) values, and the ruling party-alliance in Hungary, FIDESZ-KDNP, seems to widen day by day, as shown by the repeated discussion of the Hungarian situation in the European Parliament, for instance on 26 April 2017. Academic commentaries, for example by Maria Gil-Baso also point to the incompatibility of the new rules with EU law. Continue reading »