In this week’s news highlights: World leaders back ceasefire in Libya; EU to change Operation Sophia; Refugees and migrants drafted to fight in Libya; Young Eritrean boy dies in Libyan detention center; Lack of asylum law in Tunisia puts asylum seekers in vulnerable position; UN ruling states that climate refugees should not be sent back; EU criticised for its asylum ploicy; EU Arms industries influence migration policies; Demonstation of Eritrean refugees in Slovenia; New EU migration policy might be on its way; Unrest at the Sudan-Eritrea-Ethiopia border; Sexual abuse worsened for Eritrean women in conscription after the independece war; Large share of the population has left Eritrea; And books show new perspective on migration and human trafficking.
During the Brussels event “EU Green Deal and NECPs” (National Energy and Climate Plans) organized by Carbon Market Watch, the central question was whether Europe is on the right path to becoming the first climate-neutral continent. In his opening speech, Diederick Samson, chief of cabinet for European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, spoke about the aspects of the Green Deal that stand out to him. He highlighted the Green Deal’s ambition (Europe carbon-neutral by 2050), comprehensiveness (it does not solely focus on climate) and justice (make the change in a fair and just manner). Samson compared the implementation of the deal with dancing the tango; various people and organisations on various levels in Europe need to ‘dance’ together to achieve the 2050 goal of a climate-neutral continent. However, at the conference it was noted that not all people nor all continents are invited to join this dance. While the deal pays attention to a “just transition” within Europe, it seems to be missing a concrete plan to help other continents to make the transition to carbon neutrality and neglects the people that are already affected by climate change.
In this last article of the year, it is time to look back at some of the events of the past year in the context of forced movement along the Central Mediterranean Route. In 2019, approximately 1,246 people died in the Mediterranean Sea, and even more on land, during their journey to safety. It was a year in which the European Union secured and externalised its borders, making it harder for asylum seekers to enter Europe. It was also another year in which migrants and refugees in Libya were facing inhumane conditions that continue to be unaddressed. Responsibility sharing was a main topic of discussion among EU member states. In addition, a new relocation system was put in place, Salvini made his exit as Italian deputy Prime Minister, and the criminalization of rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea did not stop NGOs from saving lives.