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Human rights groups denounce "racist" focus of G6 summit in Seville
16.10.17
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The interior ministers of Spain, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Poland, the so-called G6, and high representatives of Morocco and the European Union are meeting today (16 October) in Seville to analyse "the fight against jihadist terrorism and illegal immigration." The focus of the summit has led to protests from activists and NGOs who consider it "racist" and have said that it "turns migrants and racialised citizens into a threat."

According to a statement by the Spanish interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, the summit will examine "bringing order to the migratory pressure proceeding from Africa that the EU and the Mediterranean are experiencing." Officials will also discuss the fight against international terrorism amidst the "serious threat" that exists in the EU, Zoido said.

The European Commission's weekly calendar says that both Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs and Julian King, the Commissioner for the Security Union, will attend the meeting.

The theme of the summit has been questioned by human rights activists, who consider that "the link" between terrorism and migration generates "a malicious confusion".

Spanish president Mariano Rajoy initially announced that the summit would take place in Madrid in order to discuss "jihadism, terrorism and illegal migration," leading various groups - SOS Racismo Madrid, the Asociación Sin Papeles de Madrid, Ecologistas en Acción, Red Solidaria de Acogida and Caminando Fronteras, amongst others - to begin preparations for a "citizens' counter-summit," through which they planned to denounce what they consider a "racist meeting". However, a change of date for the G6 summit has prevented the counter-summit from taking place.

"As well as people viewed as Muslims, people facing the greatest danger are migrants and racialised individuals," emphasised Dánae García of SOS Racismo Madrid. "What they [governments] want is to carry out the same policies of criminalising migration, the further externalisation of frontiers and the criminalisation of any person that doesn't fit within their norms." García recalled that more than 2,000 people have died in the past year whilst attempting to reach Europe.

"The migrant/racialised population do not only find ourselves facing physical frontiers that impede our mobility, but also invisible frontiers in our day-to-day lives that are a constant reminder of the fact we don't belong to the nation-state project of the European countries," the organisers of the counter-conference highlighted.

Through the hashtag #CumbreCriminal (#CriminalSummit), social networks have been flooded with messages protesting against the focus of the meeting.

In July this year Seville also played host to a meeting of the G4, made up of France, Morocco, Portugal and Spain.

Sources

Protestas contra la cumbre del G6 impulsada por Rajoy por "vincular terrorismo y migración" (El Diario, 16 October 2017). Summary translation by Statewatch.

European Commission, CALENDRIER du 16 octobre au 22 octobre 2017

Arranca la cumbre del G-4 en Sevilla con la lucha contra el yihadismo como punto central de la agenda, ABCdesevilla, 3 July 2017

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