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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
7-8.11.15


EU: "Lack of cooperation" by refugees to be met, if necessary, with coercive measures including forced fingerprinting and detention

Justice and Home Affairs Council, 9 November 2015: Draft Council conclusions on measures to handle the refugee and migration crisis (LIMITE doc no: 13738-15, pdf)

Paragrpah 3: to "speed up the relocation process" or designate for "return"..This is about fast track asylum procedure or detention to induce people to apply for asylum as soon as they arrive rather than move towards other Member States, using coercive measures if they refuse.

"Member States, to overcome the potential lack of cooperation of migrants as they arrive into the European Union, and while fully respecting the fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement, will make full use of all possibilities provided by the EU acquis, such as (1) asylum procedures at borders or transit zones; (2) accelerated procedures; (3) nonadmissibility of subsequent asylum applications by the individuals concerned; (4) coercive measures, including, as a last resort, detention for a maximum period necessary for the completion of underlying procedures"

"Coercive measures" also include: Fingerprinting by force: secret discussions on "systematic identification" of migrants and asylum seekers - Including "fingerprinting [with] the use of a proportionate degree of coercion" on "vulnerable persons, such as minors or pregnant women" (Statewatch)

Under paragraph 2 Greece and Italy will register people on arrival but move processing to their mainlands:

"Italy and Greece will substantially accelerate the preparatory steps for potential asylum seekers to be relocated. The Council supports Italy and Greece in their decision to register migrants before further handling their case on the mainland, in particular with Eurodac machines provided by Member States."

Para 7: "upscaling [by 1 December 2015] the Poseidon Sea Joint Operation in Greece within the current operational plan"

The shift of Poseidon operations on the Greece-Turkey border might save more lives but is also a precursor to blocking first and then sending people back to Turkey once it agrees to accept them.

See also: Concept paper on the deployment of European Migration Liaison Officers (LIMITE doc no: 13435-15,pdf): Known as "EMLOs" to gather information and intelligence and deals with returns and readmission.

The following countries have been designated to get EU EMLOs:

1. Egypt (regional mandate covering East and initially Horn of Africa)
2. Morocco
3. Lebanon (covering Syria)
4. Niger
5. Nigeria
6. Senegal (regional approach to be considered as regards reporting on neighbouring countries)
7. Pakistan (regional mandate covering also Afghanistan)
8. Serbia (regional approach to be considered for Western Balkans)
9. Ethiopia (regional mandate covering Horn of Africa, in particular Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, South Sudan)
10. Tunisia (covering Libya)
11. Sudan (regional mandate covering Horn of Africa, in particular Eritrea which cannot be covered through Ethiopia)
12. Turkey
13. Jordan

Only Pakistan and Turkey (not operative) have readmission agreements with the EU. [emphasis added throughout]

UN warns Cameron not to turn his back on refugees as winter nears (Guardian, link): "This is the moment our generation must act, says migration expert Peter Sutherland"

EU: Council of the European Union: Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council, 9 November 2015: Background Note (pdf) Discussing refugee crisis response. And B Points Agenda (French, pdf) for discussion and A Points Agenda: non-legislative (French, pdf), adopted without debate.

UNHCR: Winterization Plan for the Refugee Crisis in Europe: November 2015 – February 2016 (pdf)

Asylum Seeker's Death by Bulgarian Police Must Be Investigated (liberties.eu, link): "An asylum seeker is shot dead by police on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, but will justice come for the victim and his family? An Afghan man was shot down by a police officer and over 50 others were arrested near the Bulgarian – Turkish border in the evening of October 15, 2015. In connection with the incident, which took place near the town of Sredets, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee expressed the following position"

News (7-8.11.15)

Frontex to deploy forces on Greek-Albanian border (ekathimerini.com): "The European Union border protection agency Frontex says it will deploy forces along Greece’s border with neighboring Albania.Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri on Friday told Albanian television station Top Channel the agency wants to prevent migrants from attempting to reach Western Europe by traveling through Albania."

Greece: PM to visit Turkey for refugee talks (ekathimerini.com)

Sweden faces huge shortfall in refugee tents (The Local.se, link): "Sweden won't have enough tents to house record numbers of asylum seekers, with only 4,000 spaces available for an expected 50,000 refugees"

Czech volunteers heading for Lesbos to help migrants (Prague Monitor, link)

France to take in just 200 refugees in November (The Local.fr, link)

Greece: United Nations Predicts 5,000 Daily Migrant Arrivals in Europe Until February (Greek Reporter, link)

Norway: Shutting Norway border 'not off table': minister (The Local.no, link): "Norway’s government has not ruled out shutting the country’s northern border with Russia, after an extraordinary meeting held on Friday to discuss record refugee numbers"

Germany: Asylum activists arrested for anti-AfD protest (The Local.de, link): "Police clashed Saturday with activists who took to the streets of Berlin to shout down anti-migrant marchers of the populist nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD)".

Denmark and Sweden in refugee war of words (The Local.dk, link): "Sweden’s declaration that it can no longer guarantee refugees a roof over their heads has sparked a back and forth between Danish and Swedish ministers."

Austria: 'Majority' fear effects of refugee crisis (The Local.at, link): "Concern about the impact of the refugee crisis on Austria is growing, with 60 percent of people saying that the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants is a cause for fear and worry, according to a new survey."

German teachers union warns girls to stay away from refugee men (DW, link): "A teachers group in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt has garnered criticism after saying girls should be encouraged to stay away from male - often Muslim - refugees. Politicians have accused the group of fear-mongering. "

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