The showdown between Salvini and Sea Watch is over…who won?

The showdown between Salvini and Sea Watch is over…who won?

The showdown between Salvini and Sea Watch is over…who won?

1) The German “captain” of a migrant-transfer ship was arrested for “resisting a war ship”, a charge which, according to media reports, carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

A strong precedent needs set in order to deter future shenanigans like this, but we are not positive it will happen. Already, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said saving lives was a humanitarian obligation and sea rescue should not be criminalized. “It is up to the Italian courts to clear up these accusations quickly.”

Hopefully, Italian courts are not as soft as Germany’s courts…or Mr. Maas.

2) Matteo Salvini appears to have accomplished his goal after saying he would only allow Rackete to dock when other European Union states agreed to immediately take the migrants.

“Outlaw arrested. Pirate ship seized. Big fine on foreign NGO. Migrants all redistributed in other European countries. Mission completed,” Salvini said in a tweet on Saturday.

3) The 40 African migrants on board were allowed to disembark and were taken to a reception center on the island. They are now in the EU to stay.

Media reports said France, Germany, Luxembourg, Finland and Portugal had agreed to resettle the illegals.

France’s interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said in a statement that the French authorities would take in 10 of the migrants. Finland will take in eight, while other numbers are not confirmed.

* On one hand, Salvini’s battle against the NGO transfer ships has highlighted their reckless and irresponsible actions. This was a battle that needed to be waged and Salvini stood tall. The NGOs must not be permitted to dictate Italy’s border policy.

There is no doubt that his strong actions have cut arrivals to Italy and curbed the activities of the NGOs. This was a must ‘first’ step. Italy and Europe must be grateful for Salvini’s actions.

** On the other hand, the 40 illegals are here to stay and will not be sent back to their countries of origin. This is a troublesome pattern. Whether in the Med or along the Balkan route, the overwhelming majority of illegal migrants are not being deported outside of Europe.

The V4 Report does not believe that shuffling migrants around the EU is a viable long-term solution. (This a goal of Merkel and Avramopoulos). In fact, it is counterproductive. The cycle just keeps repeating itself, especially when the migrants become aware that once they reach the EU that they will not be sent back.

*** But Salvini can only do so much without support from others, which we found lacking in this case. We were surprised at this, considering all the leaders in the EU who claim to be for secure borders. Why leave Salvini isolated regarding such a vital showdown?

In the meantime, without the structures or support to send the migrants back, Salvini did the next best thing for Italy by demanding that France and Germany take the migrants.

However, this is not a sustainable solution for the long term. Again, Salvini and Viktor Orban are doing what they can, but at some point, others have to step up. The next step must be to develop a permanent mechanism to deport the migrants outside of Europe instead of distributing them within Europe.

Why is this not on the table?

For this to happen, Salvini and Orban (first priorities for both) will need the support of others in Visegrad and Central Europe. The situation in the Balkans is unsustainable as well.

Instead of playing defense, we think it’s time for Salvini, Visegrad and others (including Croatia and Austria) to call for an emergency summit to address the need for an ongoing mechanism to deport the illegals who are roaming Europe back to their countries of origin.

They can start with Greece, where “all irregulars” are not being sent back to Turkey as stipulated in the deal with Turkey?

Once the migrants realize they will be sent back immediately, the demand for the smugglers and NGOs will dry-up fast. Just ask Australia.

**** The question is not whether the EU can stop mass migration, but whether they have the desire to stop it. Unfortunately, we suspect that Brussels, Paris, Berlin and many others leaders of the West EU bloc have a different agenda.