ICMPD - "Fortress Europe" in the offence State-controlled defence from refugees

Since 1993 in Vienna the Intenational Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is existing, which has big influence in state-controlled migration research. That institution has not attracted much attention till now. It has an important role in registration, analysis and closing of international refugee-movements and flight-routes. Also in developing a new, "near to home", european refugee-policy during and after the war in Kosovo, the ICMPD plays an important part. Enough, to take more concern in the ICMPD.

1. Development of the ICMPD and connections to other international organisations

After liquidation of the Eastern Bloc and the beginning of the war in Jugoslavia a new unit was formed, separated out of the IGC (Inter-governmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies in Europe, North America and Australia, head office in Geneva), the agency of coordination for the western refugee- and migration-policy (memberstates: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, USA and the UNHCR and IOM - international Organisation for Migration) The aim of this new unit - the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) - was to involve the central-, eastern- and above all the south-eastern countries in a general european policy on refugees. The headoffice of the ICMPD is in Vienna. (Adress: A-1040 Wien, Möllwaldplatz 4). The ICMPD has been founded on June 1st 1993 by swiss authorities, represented by the federal agency for refugees, and austrian authorities, represented by the ministry of interior. In the following years Hungary and Slovenia became members, Poland and the Czech Republic are preparing for membership. Currently 20 governments are supporting the ICMPD. The ICMPD is cooperating by contract with IOM (fields of engagement: international support for return programs, studies concerning flight and migration, Know-how about refugee-camps; in Kosovo the IOM transfered a part of the UCK into post-war "KosovoCorps"). The ICMPD-staff has diplomatic status since 1997. It is a multifuncional Think-Tank which has branches in eastern-european universities and influence in the international migration-sciences. In the last years the centre tried to develop migration-control and strategic advice above all on the Balkan.

In the end of 1997 the Austrian forum for migration-studies - AFM (Österreichisches Forum für Migrationsstudien - ÖFM) has been established by austrian and swiss representatives as three-year pilot-project of the ICMPD. Aims of ÖFM are to set up a documentation, information and research department to support all people that are working in the field of migration-research in german-speaking countries, above all in Austria. The ÖFM is financed by the Austrian Ministry of Interior and the Swiss foundation for population, migration and ecology. The headoffice of ÖFM is like the ICMPD on Möllwaldplatz 4, A-1040 Wien.

Since 1991 minister-conferences take place in Europe, which have the aim to tie up the central- and eastern-european countries to the Schengen and EU-policy. That structure of all-european conferences with a permanent secretariat in Vienna (ICMPD), various working-groups and an institutionalised all-european cooperation of public authorities, which are engaged in the field of refugee- and bordercontrol, is summarized under the term "Budapest Process". Currently representatives of 38 governments and 10 international organiziations are coordinated in that group. The following aims of the Budapest Process are mentioned in an official report: "the compilation of an inventory of the needs of the Central and Eastern European countries (e.g. training, computers, vehicles and communication equipment) and of possible offers from Western European sources and exploration of possibilities of additional financial assistance to improve border control and facilitate return programs. The emphasis is thus shifting towards measures to combat migrant trafficking, border control and readmission agreements". In the last years comittees of the Budapest Process changed their method of working. They do not only engage with "low intensity areas" of longterm adapting bordercontrol equipment, measures and laws against refugees to the western standards, but they start actions of coordinated search and deportations. The aim of the western population planers is not adjustment, but to pick up preventive measures which will keep away migrants and refugees form the beginning to reach their potential destination. This "new" understanding is based on the ethnic principle, that people should
mainly live where their "home" is, where their "race" is "at home", where their "soil" is.

One of the conferences after the installation of the Budapest Process - the "Extraordinary Conference of the Budapest Process on illegal migration in Southeast Europe" took place on Juni 29th and 30th 1998 in Budapest. 31 states took place in that conference, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Mazedonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. Further participants: European Council, European Commission, IGC, ICMPD, Interpol, IOM and UNHCR. In that conference the Balkan States (except the Federal Republic of Jugoslavia, which didn´t take part) have been obliged to destroy the "turkish-albanian" route, on which the "illegal movements" on land or "further accross the Adriatic Sea and Italy to Western Europe" are happening. The following measures have been concluded: installation of visa-duty and restriction of visa-giving also by South-East European countries; enforcement of so called complete controls on all borders, that means that on all check points all persons have to be controlled
individually; construction of monitoring of highways in the hinterland of the borders; installation of carrier sanctions against carriers, which are transporting "illegals"; development of a readmission system also between the states of South-East Europe; exchange of contact-policemen; intensification of criminal prosecution of illegal migrants and refugee smugglers; installation of national centres for fact compilations "about new migration routes, the means of transport used, document fraud, instances of trafficking and trafficking organisations". Each country has to send a regular report to the ICMPD in Vienna since August 15th 1998. The Western States are obliged to support the border police and authorities along the South-East European route with advice and to publish short-term reports about the development of "illegal migration and trafficking activities; to send experts for some time to "troublesome border crossings" and "at portions of the green and blue borders, that are particularly prone to illegal migration" with the mission to observe and advise the work of the border police; document-experts should be stationed on airports and harbours in South-East Europe which shall instruct the local police and travel agencies on identifying document fraud; and to improve equipment and training of border police.

2. New European refugee-policy

The main project of the ICMPD and its director Jonas Widgren towards government institutions is to make refugee and migration policy a kind of leading science in politology and to produce paradigmatic guidelines for almost all government departments: The cause of everything that happens in the world, from population increase to ecological catastrophes, is said to be the worldwide migration stream, that is a challenge for the security of the West. The international refugee policy becomes a main sphere of policy, meanwhile geo- and military policy, ecology and internal security, foreign policy and development aid is subordinated. Interested governments shall be supported in elaborating political measures to anticipate "migration movements from East to West and from South to North". All in reconsideration of "how integration can happen and how to handle emigration - without provocating xenophobia in destinated countries but in cooperation with countries of origin". The ICMPD operates like a defensive plant against migration, for protecting the western countries of refugees against migration. To reduce flight movements and to smash flight routes different governments aim at the development of preventive measures like the elaboration of studies and statistics. How the construction of "organised trafficking crime" (which plays an important role in Austrian politics) is connected to the work of ICMPD and AFM has to be explored in future. The decisive contribution of the european struggle to ban the problem of refugees for the Kosovo War 1999 and for future conflicts is neither the concrete prevention of migration nor the delegation of that to military and relief organizations. It is the rediscovery of the "right for home" which is specified as combat against causes for flight. It is based on the ethnic conception, that human beings have their roots in their native country. To go somewhere else could mean dissatisfaction. This kind of refugee policy prevents the thought of living somwhere else in peace. The idea is that people belong to the place of "their origin". A life of freedom in another country is accepted under these circumdstances only as an interim solution. The interim solution of a refugee camp becomes a longterm solution more and more. "Near to home"-placement in refugee camps as possible near of "regions of crisis" shall secure, that "uprooting of protection seekers from their home and culture will be worked against and that return will be facilitated" (from a working paper for the responsible EU-Council Commission in March 1999).
At the beginning of 1999 the Amsterdam Treatee came into force, in agreement of the EU-summit of Amsterdam from June 1997. To become the most important European task the refugee policy of the particular states shall be combined step by step. As a result the coordinated foreign and refugee policy on the EU-level shall be withdrawn from the control of judicial powers. To organize a cooperation between judicial power and departments of interior in the European Union basically new, they create a common "space of freedom, security and law". The questions of asylum and migration policy is largely suspended from direct parliamentary control. These authorities shall be concentrated upon a small group of migrations-experts policy within the council. The common regulation of migration by the external borders, was intended of the Schengen treatee. Now it is completed by the concentration of decision making bodies in EU. The defense against refugees enacted in the Schengen Area has not become invalid: it includes the visa-duty for people from more than 130 countries, the punishment of carriers that are transporting passengers without sufficient travel documents, the installation of prisons for refugees in transit areas of airports, collecting and central administration of data about hundreds of thousand Non-EU-Citizens, improved border control with helicopters, vision by night equipment, speedboats, dogs, controls in a 30 kilometer border zone, controling irrespective of suspicion on railway stations and in trains, the contribution of the population to the observation of the border zone, financing and supporting of trainings for the border authorities of the eastern and south-eastern neighbour states. In Poland for example the
European Union is already financing cars for border guards, the improvement of border control facilities and the construction of a new central station for the border police in southeast Poland in the village Ustrzyki Gorne near of the border of Poland, Ukrain and Slovakia.

"Ultimately in a future comprehensive contract the question has to be cleared, if the concept of constitutional state which has been developed in Europe in totally different contexts of administrative law and the model of rights which can be enforced upon the legal form is really suitable for the field of refugees as singular instrument. In his opinion, instead of individual procedures of decision an extended procedure of limitation of admission should be introduced, which by the way could be combined relatively easy with mechanisms of division of charges which have to be newly developed", Manfred Matzka, leading official in the Austrian ministry of interior in that time, is writing in the "Strategy paper on migration and asylum policy", which had been produced during the Austrian EU-Presidency in 1998. The individual right for asylum is becoming political granted limited grace.

The Austrian strategists on migration are developing conceptions of a standardized European area of asylum and migration that are characterized by closure and control and by an efficient and coordinated deportation policy. The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which regulates an international contract demanding the protection of refugees, created in 1951, is thrown away as unnecessary "ballast" (Manfred Matzka). This convention is based on the political basis of non-stationary human rights: the foreground of it is not the right to live in a specific location on earth, but the right to live without persecution and be protected by the state. For the Austrian planners the world is not anymore a "concert of nations" but rather a classification of demographic areas around the European centre. The policy of the EU states has to be orientated in the future on that areas - divided in "contentric circles". The authors of the Austrian "strategy paper on migration and asylum policy" are writing down the continuation of a history that was made by culprits. The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees was established after the Second World War, after the results of twelve years German und Austrian regional planning. It was an attempt, to create an international valid law, to prevent a catastrophe, like it was before and during the Second World War the closure policy of all countries against refugees from the german sphere of influence. The new strategy planners proceed now that the Convention wasn´t directed at asylum seekers, that took refuge from ethnic motivated violence. This hypothesis is the heart of the aspired european New-construcition of the refugee right. It shall guarantee, that in future "ethnic" refugees shall have only temporary limited toleration (like for example Kosovo-Albaniens), instead of sueing for asylum by law. Perhaps it is no accident, that exactly that states, that have produced the biggest refugee movements half a century ago, now are projecting new strategies of
population technic. The aim of the new european defense policy is not directed to refugee streams but on the reform of legal, political, military instruments for the foreign policy of the EU as a new world power. The breaking of international treatments is accepted consciously. Priority interest is to bring together military, economic, humanitarian, diplomatic and legal measures for the enforcement of european interests against other states. That is world power policy. Criticism for example of the breaking of the Convention is too less, because the interests in power policy are in any case stronger than in individual human rights.

What the technocrates of refugee defense are projecting as a vision of regional planning for tomorrow has already been realized by western governments, relief organizations and militaries. The GFK has practically been put out of force by UN protecting areas and NATO protectorates. What shall be "protected" are constructed ehtnic collectives in protection areas and protectorates. Ethnically clean inside, outside barbed wire and NATO guards. That new "internethnic conflict management" doesn´t aim to remove the local reasons for flight but the refugees themselves. The example Kosovo shows that strategy. Austria and Germany attached great importance on deporting all Kosovo-Albanians back to the "Kfor-protectorate". As a basis for determining the number of "ethnic Albanians" in european countries, a statistics of the (ICMPD - International Centre for Migration Policy Development) in Vienna was taken. In fact the ICMPD admits that a clear ethnic identification is difficult, because the majority of the migrants came with Jugoslavian passport, but it bases their proceedings on the supposition, that somebody is simply definable as Kosovo-Albanian. Any difference of migrants is cancelled from the beginning. The only criterion is ethnic determination - "ethnic membership".

Literary tips: Helmut Dietrich, Harald Glöde, Kosovo - der Krieg gegen die Flüchtlinge (the war against refugees); Berlin, February 2000, Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration; Verlag Libertäre Assiziation VLA

Jungle World Nr. 34, August 16th 2000; Dossier "Kerne und Kreise - Intime Integration; Kerneuropa entwickelt sich zum Zentrum einer neuartigen Herrschaftsordnung (Cores and circles - intimate integration - the ET developes to the centre of a new order of domination)"

Platform for a world without racism: www.no-racism.net
Email: fewor@no-racism.net
Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration: www.ffm-berlin.de
Jungle World: www.jungle-world.com

International Centre for Migration Policy Development: www.icmpd.org
Austrian Forum for Migration-Studies - AFM (österreichisches Forum für
Migrationsstudien): www.oefm.org

At least a request: groups and persons, that have more information about the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) please send
these to the platform for a world without racism. We had just few information sources about ICMPD.

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