H/T: Atlas (Thank you Pamela)
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, was re launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean in July, with the new network of relations endorsed at the Marseille Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs in November. The Partnership now includes all 27 member states of the European Union, along with 16 partners across the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East.This re-launching aimed to infuse a new vitality into the Partnership and to raise the political level of the strategic relationship between the EU and its southern neighbours. While maintaining the acquis of its predecessor, the Barcelona Process, the Union for the Mediterranean offers more balanced governance, increased visibility to its citizens and a commitment to tangible, regional and trans-national projects.Excerpt from the Barcelona – Euro Mediterranean Declaration of 1995: http://euro-med.dk/conferenceThe Euro Mediterranean Declaration was agreed upon by the EU, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel and comprises:Comprehensive political partnership, among other things about:
- Establishing a free trade area and economic integration to begin by the year of 2010
- Considerably more money for the partners
- Cultural partnership.The EU Offers the Populations of 9 Muslim Countries Free Movement of Goods, Services, Capital and People into the EU.
In return for concrete political and economic changes the EU offers partners´integration into the expanded internal market of the EU and the possibility to obtain free movement for goods, services, money and people.Association agreements have been made with all partner countries except Syria – which will be offered association in 2009. (Abstract of the 6. Euromediterranean Foreign Minnister Conference in Naples 2-3 Dec. 2003). http://euro-med.dk/partnership
A controversial taxpayer-funded “job centre” opened in Mali this week is just the first step towards promoting “free movement of people in Africa and the EU”.Brussels economists claim Britain and other EU states will “need” 56 million immigrant workers between them by 2050 to make up for the “demographic decline” due to falling birth rates and rising death rates across Europe.The report, by the EU statistical agency Eurostat, warns that vast numbers of migrants could be needed to meet the shortfall in two years if Europe is to have a hope of funding the pension and health needs of its growing elderly population.It states: “Countries with low fertility rates could require a significant number of immigrants over the coming decades if they want to maintain the existing number of people of working age.“Having sufficient people of working age is vital for the economy and for tax revenue.”The report, by French MEP Francoise Castex, calls for immigrants to be given legal rights and access to social welfare provision such as benefits.Ms Castex said: “It is urgent that member states have a calm approach to immigration. To say ‘yes’, we need immigration … it is not a new development, we must accept it.”
The proposals include the creation of a “blue card” system, based on the American green card, that provides full working and welfare rights.Blue card holders would be entitled to move freely across the EU, setting up home in any of the 27 member states.
Last night Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatchUK said: “England, with Holland, is already the most crowded country in Europe.
“As it is, we have to build the equivalent of seven cities the size of Birmingham over 25 years for the immigrants the Government already expects.
“Yet again the ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy of the EU produces absurd results. These would be ridiculous proposals if they were applied to the Britain.
“The Government must ensure that these work permits are not valid for the UK.
“Higher levels of immigration are the last thing we need with a recession approaching.”
And Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: “When ministers are talking tough about efforts to control immigration, they need to provide a clear explanation that national policy is not being undermined through the backdoor in Brussels.”
The UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage attacked the move as “an outrage”. He said: “The sooner Britain gets back control of immigration policy, the better.”
The proposals – part of the Africa-EU Partnership signed in Portugal last December – also warns of the negative effects of mass immigration and calls for “better integration of African migrants”.
It calls too for a compassionate approach to the eight million illegal immigrants already living in the EU.
It states: “Irregular migrants must not be treated like criminals. Many risk their lives seeking freedom or the means of subsistence in Europe. As long as the EU has a higher standard of living than those countries to its south and east, the temptation to come will exist – especially if there are jobs to be had.”
The declaration calls on the EU to assist African governments to set up migration information centres “to better manage labour mobility between Africa and the EU”.
The first was the job centre opened in Bamako, capital of Mali, on Monday. Other centres are expected to open soon in other west African states and later in north Africa.
Yesterday the Daily Express revealed that, in an apparent contradiction of immigration policy, thousands of migrants – like Kanoute Tieny from Mali – are being given up to £5,500 in grants by the EU to return home to Africa.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to implement an EU-wide immigration plan by the end of the year when he stands down as head of the Council of the European Union.
This body implements policy proposed by the European Commission and discussed by the European Parliament.
French immigration minister Brice Hortefeux has represented all the 27 EU states, including Britain, in a succession of whirlwind tours through west Africa to help create a strategy.
Last night the Home Office said the UK had nothing to do with this EU plan.
A Border Agency spokesperson said the initiative is aimed at promoting legal migration routes in the Schengen area of the EU which the UK opted out of. The area includes most but not all member states.
CAIRO — Muslims activists from 26 European countries have come together to launch the first rights council to enlighten European Muslims about their rights, monitor rising Islamophobia and defend Muslim rights in European courts of law. “We think European human rights groups are not doing enough to defend the rights of Muslims,” Ali Abu Shwaima, the director of the Islamic Center in Milano, told IslamOnline.net on Monday, December 21.
“Therefore we though that we need this new council, especially that all laws and constitutions in Europe respect freedom of religion and oppose all forms of discrimination and racism.” The Council for European Muslims Rights was launched Sunday, December 20, in the Belgian capital Brussels.
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