The image of Germany backing Italy in the tug of war with Paris was debunked within 48 hours. While on the one hand Berlin responded spade to France’s invitation to boycott the agreements made within the EU last June and not take charge of 3,500 migrants to be redistributed, on the other hand the German parliament is ready to vote for the disbursement of two million euros a year in favor of the German NGO United4rescue.
It is, to be clear, theNGO which will soon lead to the central Mediterranean Sea Watch 5, one of the largest migrant rescue vessels. And who will now be able to benefit from German public contributions.
The money allocated to NGOs
Even in Berlin it is financial time. It’s the first for the traffic light coalitionthe one that sees allies Spd, Greens and Liberals in support of the chancellor Olaf Scholz. As pointed out by Republicin the Budget Committee Bundestagthe lower house of the German parliament, the majority has decided to include a loan of two million euros for the next three years to United4rescue among the expenses.
From 2023 to 2026 the alliance created in 2019 and which sees the Evangelical Church of Germany as leader, will therefore be able to benefit from the funds made available by the new finance company. In fact, the approval of the amendment also in the next plenary session of the Bundestag appears obvious.
The NGOs have obviously already started to rejoice. Like their main sponsors. “It is a strong political signal – the leaders of United4rescue said in a statement – and it is an important boost in difficult times”.
After all, keeping the Sea Watch 5 at sea won’t actually be very simple. The ship cost a lot and the ordinary maintenance will also cost a lot. A public contribution was perhaps what the world of German NGOs had been hoping for for some time.
A political question
The two million Euros that the Berlin parliament is preparing to approve, in hindsight, will not even be so decisive for the activities of Sea Watch 5. Between private donations and allocations from other associations, the budgets of the NGOs go far over the two million promised by the Bundestag.
The real fact to underline is that politic. Allocating funds for ships operating in the central Mediterranean means supporting NGOs politically, even before economically. An image that clashes heavily with that of a Germany committed to giving solidarity to Italy and ready to contribute by welcoming the redistributed migrants.
Of course, the parties from the semaphore majority have made it clear that the timing of the funding is not connected to the current tug of war between Rome and the NGOs. To explain it on Republic is Lars Castellucci, responsible for migration policies of the SPD. “Timing has absolutely nothing to do – he said – with the current situation in Italy”. And in fact it is true: as mentioned, in Germany as in the Bel Paese it is time for finances and this is the time to decide how to spend the money.
However, there is a passage in the statements made by Lars Castellucci which can well describe the political idea of the current Berlin government on immigration. “Private missions – reads the interview – should become superfluous”. That is to say that the Bundestag is recognizing an important value in the operations of the NGOs, that of temporarily replacing the States and Europe. The meaning is clear: now finance the NGOs waiting to get the military ships back to sea again.
But how? “Through a mission supported and financed by the EU, which at the same time fights traffickers, exactly as happened in the days of Mare Nostrum”, added Lars Castellucci.
That is the same mission in which, once the migrants were rescued, the ships then set sail for Italy. However you look at it, it is evident that Germany does not seem willing to deviate from the current status quo: according to Berlin, migrants must land in Italian ports either with private ships or with state missions.
Perhaps the only point of convergence between the current German government and the current Italian executive is given by that reference by Castellucci herself to the “fight against traffickers”. The same principle enunciated by Giorgia Meloni in parliament in recent days.