An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE
crossing the Med. Caroline Abu Sa’Da is General Director of its Swiss branch.
Juliano Fiori: SOS is very much a product of contemporary Europe. It’s a
civic response to refugees and migrants in the Med but also to nationalistic politics, or to the
return of nationalist movements to the forefront of Europeanpolitics. How, then, does SOS differ
from European humanitarian NGOs founded in past decades?
Caroline Abu Sa’Da: SOS is a European citizen movement. Besides our
search-and-rescue activities, we aim to give to the greatest number of
Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Oleksii Reznikov, had declared that a ‘major war
in Ukraine’ would lead to three to five million Ukrainian refugees ( Reznikov, 2021 ). This prediction was part of
Reznikov’s warning that a war in Ukraine ‘would plunge the whole of Europe
into crisis’ and his attempt to raise support among Europeanpolitical leaders in
the face of the Russian threats. Without referring to Reznikov’s prediction, the
Biden administration announced at the beginning of February 2022 that a Russian
With respect to Liberia, see 6 EuropeanPolitical Co-operation Documentation Bulletin, p. 295 (1990) and
regarding Chechnya, see Council of the European Union-General
Secretariat, Press Release 4215/95 (Presse II-G), p. 1 (17 Jan.
1995) and again Press Release 4385/95 (Presse 24), at 1 (23 Jan.
1995). Cited in Tadic Appeals jurisdiction decision, paras
a systematisation of contemporary state relations reflecting the
pre-eminence of sovereign states, whereas Wolff’s ideational
system became anachronistic, reminiscent of an old era of Europeanpolitical unity. As a result, Vattel introduces certain principles such
as liberty, independence, 15 equality, 16 or decisional autonomy. 17 These postulates negate authority
or control because ‘[t]he liberty of a Nation would not
actors play a key role in defining policy alternatives. Two strands of neo-functional thought are relevant in this respect –
functional and political spillover. From Ernst Haas’s early neo-functional
work in The Uniting of Europe to more contemporary revisions, the concept
of functional spillover has been an enduring centrepiece of neo-functional
theory (Haas 1957). The content, timing and nature of this functional spillover has been questioned yet it continues to be employed by integration theorists as an intervening variable between functional action and European