The minister calls for "a confederation of those willing to help with a binding distribution mechanism" and guarantees a substantial contribution
The "Unreasonable bargaining for human lives" cannot be the solution, says Heiko Maas, the German Minister of the Interior, in justifying his proposal. He wants the distribution of those rescued at sea to be regulated in such a way that the usual long dramas no longer occur. In order to prevent days-long voyages of private sea rescuers in the future, he is looking for alliance partners in the EU, it is reported today.
For discussions in the public, where the topic of sea rescue is strongly polarized, will probably ensure that Maas has assigned Germany a pioneering role. The Auben minister speaks of an offer according to which Germany is ready, "make a substantial contribution", guarantee exists, "always take over a fixed contingent of rescued persons".
For a "Alliance of those willing to help"
Maas did not give a rough order for the contingent. It is also impossible to estimate how many will be in distress at sea in the coming weeks and months. Maas is first of all interested in an initial fundraising, from which he might also expect publicity for the SPD (erg. d. A.: In the last ARD-Deutschlandtrend, 72 percent of all respondents thought it was good, "that private initiatives are rescuing refugees from distress at sea in the Mediterranean"). In his interview with the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland, which has a rough reach, he sets out to counteract the impression that politics does nothing.
The inadequate reactivity and indecisiveness of the EU countries in the face of the emergency was recently made an ie by the confrontation between the NGO captain Carola Rackete and Italian authorities, which had a broad public impact.
In a press conference ten days ago, representatives of the NGO Sea-Watch spoke of being very disappointed with the German government and criticized that the EU as well as the German government had had enough time to find a solution for this situation ("If the rescued lose hope, we have a powder keg on the ship").
The SPD minister now counters this with a new determination: "We must now go ahead with the member states that are ready to receive refugees – all others are invited to participate". This "Alliance of those willing to help" is supposed to follow his plan to create a "binding distribution mechanism" will be created so that the dispute over the distribution of those rescued from distress at sea does not continue to cause drama.
At next week’s meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Helsinki, a decisive step forward should be made, demands Heiko Maas. If the substantial share that Germany is willing to take in the distribution of the rescued migrants is rough enough, this question should not be the major obstacle in the first place.
So far, there have always been countries that have joined in, for example Portugal, and the Benelux countries have also been allowed to join in. But also Italy and France repeatedly participated in taking over the rescued migrants.
Who will put a safe haven?
However, both countries also represent the major obstacle: the willingness to provide a safe harbor. Italy will continue with its categorical "No" Anything else would be a miracle, which even the Catholic Church there is not capable of. It should also be amed that France will maintain its position of not providing a safe haven, for example in Corsica. Macron will not be willing to build a new domestic front against him.
Who will step in: Malta? Spain? Portugal? There is no solution in sight via African countries, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco or Algeria. In part because this is tied to broader concerns – the human rights situation or domestic political difficulties – and to plans that are broader, namely the plan to set up hotspots there. There was opposition to this from Egypt and other countries. Who could also get excited about the proposal to provide safe ports of call for migrants who want to come to Europe.
The other major problem with which the initiative has to reckon are objections and fears of principle. They questioned whether the rescue at sea, which is supported by states, does not increase the risk of migrants and the businessmen who organize the departure from the Libyan coast with unfit boats.
Currently, no NGO ship is off the coast of Libya, as the last sole ship, the Alan Kurdi, has left its rescue mission "ended for the time being" has to be serviced in Palma de Mallorca. The "Alarmphone" currently reports emergencies in the agais.
As long as the situation off the coast of Libya remains relatively calm and the numbers of people rescued from distress at sea on the rescue boats remain in dimensions that have been common for a good year (cf. about this: Mediterranean route: fewer fled, many dead), there are prospects that the "Alliance of those willing to help" can come, which Maas proposes. Aming that a safe haven solution can be found.
How well will the alliance hold, however, if the numbers of migrants making their way across the Mediterranean and ending up in distress at sea increase significantly? Interesting were also the reactions in the public discussion, if it should be confirmed what experts claim: That the presence of NGO ships off the coast of Libya does not have any effect on the situation "Pull factor" represent.