The African Union criticizes the EU’s disembarkation platforms

The African Union (AU), with Egypt as the current chair state, is hoping to halt the plan to establish so called regional disembarkation platforms proposed by EU leaders during the summer of 2018. The Guardian’s article reveals that the AU member states, in their ‘common African position paper’, discourage African coastal states from any cooperation with Brussels as the EU’s proposition would go against international law and would cause a creation of “de facto detention centers”.

In June 2018, the European Council introduced the arrangements for processing refugees and migrants through the concept of controlled centers, created on the territory of EU states, and regional disembarkation platforms outside Europe which would be executed in close cooperation with relevant third countries, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Several African countries have already expressed their rejection towards the plans of the EU during the summit of the AU in July 2018. Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, sees disembarkation platforms as inappropriate and a counterproductive solution to the migration situation.

The leaked draft position of the AU notes that the proposal of the EU would create de facto detention centers where the basic human rights of refugees would be imperiled. The AU also observes that the establishment of the disembarkation platforms goes against international legal standards and that by such an implementation EU would bypass its competences.