7 September 2014: The “Return Integration 2” Project, to support up to 80 citizens of Algeria, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, and Peru who want to return within the next six months to live in their home countries, is now underway. The Project (AP2013, Az. 3) is being implemented by CIR, in partnership with Oxfam Italian and CISP – the International Committee for People’s Development. Departures are anticipated through March 2015.
5 September 2014: The deadline for participating in the “Fammi Vedere” (“Show Me”) short film competition on asylum rights, sponsored by CIR with support form SIAE, is September 30th. The competition is directed at those interested in telling the story of refugees and asylum seekers through the language of cinematography. CIR’s President Roberto Zaccaria will present “Fammi Vedere” at the 2014 Prix Italia in Torino.
4 September 2014: Following a meeting on September 2nd in Berlin with his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced that “(t)here is German support for Frontex Plus. Its recognition of Italy’s large undertaking. Today is an important day; after France’s support, we now also have Germany’s. Europe is taking over patrolling its Mediterranean border”.
29 August 2014: The Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) greeted the recent news that Italy’s “Mare Nostrum” search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean will be supplanted by “Frontex Plus” with caution. “The risk is that of a return to putting more emphasis on defending the EU borders rather than on the need to ensure that persons seeking protection have safe access to Europe, and rescue to prevent new deaths at sea”, stressed CIR’s Director, Christopher Hein.
28 August 2014: Tiscali Italia has published an article by Giovanni Maria Bella whose subject is Operation “Mare Nostrum” and the new “Frontex Plus” initiative, announced on 27 August by Italy’s Interior Minister Angelo Alfano. Among those interviewed for the article, entitled “Humanitarian Associations’ Doubts about Europe’s Real Will”, was CIR’s Maria de Donato, head of CIR’s Legal Department.
Read the article (in Italian) here:
27 August 2014: Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano stated today in Brussels that “’Mare Nostrum’ will be substituted by ‘Frontex Plus’; we have set forth the bases to undertake this operation”. His statement followed a meeting with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström. According to the Interior Minister, two concrete results were reached at the meeting in Brussels: the birth of “Frontex Plus” with the strengthening of the broader defense of Europe’s border, and that boats used by smugglers be will be destroyed to prevent them from being reused. The hope, Alfano explained, is that the new approach will start by the end of November, and that all EU countries will contribulte to strengthening the budget of the operation, even with naval and air craft for border surveillance.