Tag Archives: Isabelle Ioannides

INEX Report and Interview with Frontex Director Laitinen

A final report prepared as part of the INEX Work Package 3 “Value Dilemmas of Security Professionals” has just been released.  The Report is entitled “Ethical Security in Europe? Empirical Findings on Value Shifts and Dilemmas across European Internal-External Security Policies.”  The report’s authors are Dr. Matteo Tondini and Dr. Isabelle Ioannides.  The report contains extensive empirical findings and policy recommendations that are based primarily on two case studies: “the recent interception of migrants in the Central Mediterranean Sea undertaken by the Italian authorities” and “the implementation of anti-terrorism/radicalisation measures in the Netherlands and the UK.”

The report contains a significant amount of information which will be of interest to anyone concerned with migrant interdiction practices in the Mediterranean (and elsewhere).  I will try to post a few summaries of some portions of the report in the coming days, but in the meantime I wanted to call attention to an interview that was conducted in May of this year by Dr. Tondini with Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen as part of the research project.  A transcript of the interview is included in the report. [INEX Laitinen Interview 12May2010]

In the interview Mr Laitinen said that contrary to the information contained in the Human Rights Watch Report of 21 September 2009, Frontex had no involvement in the 18/19 June 2009 incident where Italian and Libyan authorities jointly intercepted and returned a group of migrants to Libya.  He noted that the recent agreements between Libya and Italy had closed the central Mediterranean migration route and that it is therefore now “the right moment for the Agency to intervene, with the aim of consolidating the results achieved so far … The only way of doing this is to cooperate with neighbouring countries such as Libya.”  And while Mr Laitinen stated that the “respect of fundamental rights is a crucial part of the European border control service” he also stated that “the right of boat people to claim asylum or other forms of protection outside [Member States’] territorial waters is not yet acknowledged Europe-wide.”  In response to this latter point, Dr. Tondini pointed out that it is the position of the Italian government that if an asylum claim is made on board an Italian vessel, the asylum seeker is supposed to be transported to Italy for the purpose of making a formal claim.

(Thank you to Matteo Tondini for sharing the Report.)

Click here for the final Report.

Click on this link- INEX Laitinen Interview 12May2010 -for the transcript of the Interview.

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Filed under Analysis, Data / Stats, European Union, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, Reports