We should all shout: “J’Accuse”

Europe, the Dublin Convention and migratory flows: what we should all be indignant about.

Photo by ALEXANDRE LALLEMAND on Unsplash

Being ordinary citizens in 2022 means living in a constantly changing world or, in other words, it means living a reality full of growing problems and issues to be solved. Indeed, in these two years of pandemic, each of us has experienced, obviously with the appropriate differences, what it means to face the difficulties of life. However, often, one is so focused on oneself that forgets the greater sufferings, namely the pain that can surround a people in a much more rooted way or the despair that drives people to abandon everything in order to seek an only imagined hope. Yes, we all know what we are talking about when the subject of migration flows is mentioned. We all feel ouraged looking at yet another picture of the inflatables, loaded with people with exhausted faces, landing on our shores. Yet, we only have the courage to whisper that fateful question, which pushes us to ask: “But where is Europe?”.

Being Italian in 2022 means being also European citizens, which adds immense value to our rights and offers us countless possibilities. In fact, if our community has managed to overcome the difficulties of recent times, at the social and economic level, it was only thanks to the European Union and the shared liabilities Memeber States have decided to face. Believing in the European Community means believing in a future of stability and collaboration. However, in order to foster a rightlful process of growth, we must at the same time remember that there are still some dark aspects to solve, such as the pure solidarity between nations that times to times still seems distant. So why don’t we shout a shared “J’accuse”, as Emile Zola did in 1898 against the French government? We shall namely address against those selfish and wrong policies that drag our community down, making people open their eyes to achieve real justice.

Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash

As the former president of the European Parliament David Sassoli pointed out in a recent interview with the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”, a great regret of part of the current European ruling class is thus the fact that there is still no shared strategy on the redistribution of migrants. Its dossier still seems particularly hot and never openly discussed by the institutions, such as the Internal Affairs Council. Thereafter, an agreement between the Ministers of the Interior of the Union remains far away. The idea of full solidarity between Member States is still an utopia, while the reception centres of the first port states, such as Italy and Greece, can no longer support the number of people landed on the coast. At the same time, at borders such as the Belarusian or the Polish one, people who seek help are even used as a political weapon, to the detriment of any common sense or human right.

To make things worse, as far as European countries are involved, it is often enough to find a cooperation agreement with Libya and Tunisia to feel a clearer conscience and to know that some measures have been taken against this terrible humanitarian crisis. Thanks to its wealth, the Union can afford to send funds to these countries in exchange for a guarantee, namely the insurance these governments will, with the appropriate provisions, prevent departures from the African coast and will manage the illegal routes. Of course, at first this strategy that can bring adavantages, but at what price? We know well how migrants are received in these North African countries and we know where despair can lead. People won’t stop if they still have hope.

Photo by Marco Oriolesi on Unsplash

So what to do? The famous Dublin Convention is in my opinion the first step we shall consider, as, according to many, it must be reviewed. Indeed, it defines “the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an international protection application”, or, briefly, it states that first-port countries have the responsibility to deal with asylum applications, no matter how many people are involved. Formally, the Convention would reduce the number of migrants “in orbit”, which means displaced from one state to another, or prevent double asylum applications, but if we open our eyes, we will recognize that they are more the negative aspects than positive ones.

So why can we not reach a system that can actually provide fair and efficient help? Why should we force these people, after the immense journey faced, to suffer once against just because of Western selfishness? Our humanity should urge us all to be indignant at the lack of protection of migrants, which we should feel morally obliged to offer, at the lack of correct analysis protection application or at the deaths at sea? Here is what our “J’accuse” is: an accusation directed at the carelessness of politics.

I am an Italian student who tries every day to improve her English. I really like writing and studying in this language, also to be able to reach more people. However, I still often run into mistakes. So, if while reading my article you have found some, do not hesitate to contact me, either though a comment or private note!



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Annalisa Vibio

Annalisa Vibio


Hi 🙋‍♀️ I am an university student of Economics 📚 interest in geopolitics, journalism ✒ and creative writing, willing to share my everyday experiences 📖