"Rescue vessels not the cause for refugees to cross the Mediterranean Sea"

Dr. René Repasi in Nieuwsuur over reddingsschip Sea-Watch III

At the end of June, Captain Rackete had moored the Sea-Watch III in Lampeduse without the permission of the Italian authorities. For this action, she is being questioned by these authorities later this week. Dr René Repasi (Assistant Professor of International and European Union Law) states in Nieuwsuur that the action of Rackete may be legal on the basis of international (maritime) law.

According to Repasi, it is in the captain's power to decide whether an emergency is on board. If that is truly the case, there is a duty on a state to keep the port open for this ship. The Italian authorities also indicate that ships such as Sea-Watch III facilitate the illegal flow of immigrants. It was because of these rescue vessels that people made the crossing to Italy. According to René Repasi: "That is not correct, There is no evidence at all that immigrants make the crossing because these ships are active. Other reasons for making the crossing, such as safety or economic reasons, are of much greater importance. "

Assistant professor
Erasmus School of Law
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. René Repasi is Assistant Professor at Erasmus School of Law and acts as Scientific Coordinator of the European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG) of the Universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam since November 2014. Before his appointment at EURO-CEFG he used to work as Assistant Professor for EU law at the at the Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg, as researcher at the Institute for German and European Corporate and Economic Law at the chair of Professor Peter-Christian Müller-Graff and as lecturer for EU law at the University for Applied Sciences in Fulda (Germany). René Repasi studied law at the Universities of Heidelberg and Montpellier I. During his legal clerkship, he used to work for the European Commission and at the European Court of Justice in the cabinet of Advocate General Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott. He holds a PhD on 'The Impact of the Supremacy of Union law on the Private International law of the Member States' from the University of Heidelberg.

More information

More information can be found on the website of Nieuwsuur: