Ten years after the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck killed an estimated 360 migrants, state-led search and rescue operations are persistently absent in the Mediterranean — despite the continuously high number of distress cases of persons attempting to cross in unseaworthy boats. In response, over the past 10 years, various non-profit actors have set up civil search and rescue operations. However, their operability and effectiveness fluctuate to a considerable degree depending on state actions. This is because European governments have been restricting and hampering civil search and rescue activities in various ways over the past years. In light of this, the present study examines the options for the German government to support civil search and rescue operations at the national and European level.
In its coalition agreement, Germany’s current government committed itself to an “active EU policy” and promised to shape Europe in a "constructive" way. The past year however was dominated by crisis management in the wake of Russia's war of aggression. The EU, in its support of Ukraine or in the area of energy policy, proved to be capable of fast and common action, though its room for manoeuvre was often limited to the crises. Its defence capabilities and decarbonization of the economy still present enormous challenges. Against this political backdrop, the fifth edition of the long-term study Actually European!? analyzes how German citizens assess their country’s role in the EU and what they expect from their government.