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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe

EU seeks autonomous drones, "data fusion" and "enhanced command and control centres" for border control

The EU has made €24 million available for research into autonomous drones, "data fusion" and "enhanced command and control systems" in order to improve the surveillance of Europe's borders and "to support missions ranging from surveillance to detection of marine pollution incidents, and including early identification and tracking of illegal activities and illegal communication."

Italy: Interior ministry circular on the "relocation" procedure

On 6 October 2015, the interior ministry sent a circular to the prefetti [government envoys responsible for security] outlining the provisional measures for international protection adopted for the benefit of Italy and Greece, including the start of "relocation" procedures. These instructions are in response to the decisions of the European Council meetings held on 14 and 22 September 2015.

Asylum seekers "in clear need of protection", belonging to nationalities whose recognition of international protection is above 75% according to the last quarter's Eurostat data, may enter the "relocation" procedure.

European Commission: Progress following Western Balkans Route Leaders' Meeting: Second Contact Points Video Conference (pdf):

"Frontex and the Commission insisted on the importance of the relevant countries responding to the proposed operational plans from Frontex to enable Frontex to deploy its teams by mid-November in Greece and Croatia."

Europe must act now on refugee deaths (IRR, link):

"As borders become militarised zones, and internal policing of refugees and migrants intensifies, the IRR continues to monitor asylum- and migration- related deaths.... In the absence of an effective accountability mechanism, it is up to us to call EU states to account. When state responsibility is engaged following a death, why do we not know even the names, ages, nationalities of a large number of the dead? Is anyone held accountable, and if not, why not? The IRR will continue to monitor deaths in order to help campaigners in their demands for structures of accountability for the deaths inside Europe, caused by Europe’s response to refugees and migrants."

News (5.11.15)

Agence Europe reports: "To date, only 116 people have been relocated from Italy (86) and Greece (30 Iraqis and Syrians travelled to Luxembourg on 4 November) to other EU countries. Member states have pledged 2,314 places (of the 160,000 planned), following an announcement by France, the Commission said on Wednesday 4 November." [emphasis added]

Bulgaria Border Security System 'Out of Service over Unpaid Electricity Bills (, link): "State-of-the art border monitoring equipment has been installed at the Bulgarian-Turkish border but it is "out of service. Police have no money for electricity," German magazine Der Spiegel's website notes."

A Europe without walls and frontiers our vision, says PM Tsipras (ANA, link)

Swedish mobile app tries to put out asylum fires (The, link): "Following a string of suspected arson attacks on temporary refugee accommodation in Sweden, a new neighbourhood watch app is hoping to spark communities into action to prevent future damage."

Spanish navy ship rescues over 500 refugees from fishing boat off Libya (The, link): "A Spanish navy frigate rescued more than 500 migrants off the coast of Libya on Thursday as the small wooden fishing boat they were packed into sailed adrift."

Refugees must take 'Austrian values' course (The, link): "Austria’s minister for foreign affairs and integration, Sebastian Kurz, will present a 50 point integration plan for recognised refugees next week - which will include a special course to teach them “Austrian values”. and Possible charges for refugee convoy activists (The, link)

Pussy Riot member: Czech Republic treats refugees like criminals (Prague Monitor, link): !The Czech Republic is treating refugees like criminals, Maria Alyokhina, member of the feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot, said after her visit to the refugee detention facility in Bela-Jezova on Tuesday. Alyokhina, 27, called the arguments of the Czech government to justify the existence of the facility "absurd and xenophobic." "Such a camp should not have existed on Czech soil at all. Refugees gain nothing from a stay there expect for a psychological harm," Alyokhina told CTK after the visit. "The refugees were detained without knowing where they were and where they were placed. They received all information in Czech that none of them can understand," she added".

Hotspots: Europe Debates Initial Reception Centers for Refugees (Spiegel Online, link) "Angela Merkel is hoping that a proposal for more reception centers in areas where refugees land at Europe's external borders will ease the influx into Germany. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon."

Western Balkans route still preference of most refugees (euractiv, link): "The steady stream of refugees through the Balkans continues - while the national governments of their desired destinations are tightening their asylum laws in reaction"

EU predicts 3 million more migrants could arrive by end 2016 (AP, link)

Parallel realities: refugees seeking asylum in Europe and Hungary's reactions (, pdf)

Ahead of PM, Schulz visit, refugee load grows on Lesvos (, link): "Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Parliament President Martin Schulz are due on Thursday to visit Lesvos, which has received more than half of some 600,000 refugees and migrants who have arrived in Greece this year" and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he witnessed migrants and refugees reaching Lesvos by dinghy shortly after landing on the island to inaugurate a fast-track registration center.(link)

UNHCR (link): 752,072 arrivals, 608,970 in Greece and 140,200 in Italy, and 3,440 dead/missing.

EU and Africa to clash on readmissions (euobserver, link): "EU negotiators, led by Pierre Vimont, the former head of the EU diplomatic service, are more interested in implementation of existing readmission agreements to help send people back. “There is no secret that the Africans are looking for opportunity for legal migration, work permits and these kinds of things, while the Europeans are focusing more on returns and readmission”, one EU official told this website."

Sweden to tap Hungary's EU relocation quota (euobserver, link): "Sweden, one of the main destination of migrants coming to Europe, is to ask the EU to relocate asylum seekers to other member states"

Viktor Orbán blames left-wing for European refugee crisis (Budapest Beason, link).

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