BERLIN (Own report) – While the EU is sealing itself off by fortifying borders, including in North Africa, it is establishing a system of “concentric circles” of refugee camps, write Berlin’s government advisors in a recent analysis on the German-European policy of warding off refugees. In the future, “EU refugee policy” will most likely be characterized by the “synergy of border fortifications, camps and quotas,” according to the analysis published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Since some time, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (Frontex) has been considerably enhanced. The EU Commission has called for increased deployment of drones and satellite surveillance systems to seal the borders. Admission quotas would de facto eliminate the right of asylum for individuals. Above all, the EU is establishing a system of camps in “concentric circles” extending from the EU’s center of prosperity all the way to North Africa and Syria. These camps can “easily” be transformed into “detention centers,” warns the SWP, making reference to the detention “hot spots” in Greece. These “hotspots” had recently placed the EU in direct conflict with aid organizations, the United Nations and the Pope. Detention centers for refugees, built with EU financing, also exist in Libya and Turkey.
Concentric Circles of Camps
But above all, as the SWP points out, the camps, with their varying functions, are playing “a growing role in the EU’s refugee policy.” They represent an “image of concentric circles.” “The camps in the cities and communities of EU member countries form the innermost circle,” explains the SWP, referring to the facilities for the centralized accommodation of refugees. “The new facilities in the border regions” of EU countries form “the second circle,” which “facilitate a speedier identification of those not requiring asylum, as well as their deportation.” In Germany, these “reception centers” are located in Bamberg and in Manching (near Ingolstadt). In the meantime, not only are they housing newly arrived Southeast European refugees with no perspective of obtaining asylum, because they come from so-called safe nations of origin, but also refugees, particularly Roma, who have been living in Germany for years, according to the Bavarian Refugee Council. They have been torn out of their social settings, “bunked down here in close quarters, and palmed off with non-cash, lowest quality handouts” – with the ultimate objective being to “massively raise the pressure to induce them to emigrate.” Children are regularly affected. “The child’s welfare seems to be of little concern.” “Isolation in camps” prevents the refugees from having “contact to volunteers.” Even “access to counseling” is “seriously impeded.” The “reception centers” are increasingly becoming “laboratories of forced emigration,” in which the refugees are “systematically prevented from exercising their rights and defending their interests.” The Bavarian Refugee Council has initiated a petition to close these detention centers.
Isolated and Mishandled
“The current and planned refugee camps outside the EU” form “the fourth circle,” according to the SWP. This refers, for example, to camps in Turkey, where refugees are being detained prior to deportation. Amnesty International reports that in Turkish detention centers some of which have been built with EU aid, refugees are not only being held with no contact to the outside world but are also being mishandled. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) However, refugees in Libyan detention camps are suffering under much worse conditions. Recently, militias standing guard killed four refugees with machineguns, during their desperate attempt to escape, and wounded twenty others. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had declared that Berlin wants to begin to “cooperate” with Libya, along the lines of the deportation deal with Ankara. “Currently, extraterritorial camps in a conciliated area of Syria are in discussion,” reports SWP.
This is grave. Already “the detention of asylum seekers in Greece has raised the question of human rights,” reminds SWP. It is “unclear, whether in closed facilities applicants for asylum will have access to adequate legal counseling and the opportunity to appeal a negative decision.” “It is just as unclear, how long their incarceration will last.” In addition to humanitarian aspects, it should also be considered that “political radicalization can result” in the camps “due to a lack of perspectives.” “The camps could also be misused for recruiting combatants.” Finally, the foundation of the modern refugee system of protection is in jeopardy. “The elaboration of the processing system for refugees, as is guaranteed by the UNHCR, is reliant not only upon the contents of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees,” explains SWP, “but also on the national practice of those countries” implementing the convention – or not. The philosopher Giorgio Agamben considers that, under the pretext of a state of emergency, these camps are being used to suspend rule of law, thereby ultimately ushering in a permanent state of despotism. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) In Europe, this takes place in four concentric circles extending from the Middle-European center of prosperity all the way to the EU’s neighboring countries.