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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe

AUSTRIA-European Commission: Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on addressing the deficiencies identified in the 2015 evaluation of the application of the Schengen acquis in the field of Return by Austria (LIMITE doc, pdf):

"Austria should:

(1) improve the collection and provision of data and statistics in the field of return policy...

(3) review the current law and practice as regards the procedural rights and treatment of unaccompanied minors belonging to various age-groups to make the rules clearer both for the minors and for staff dealing with them in the return procedure.

(4) bring the rules on the maximum period of detention fully in line with the return acquis (the maximum period should not exceed 18 months)...

(7) make the facilities and detention regime at Rossauer Lände and Hernalser Gürtel more suitable for detaining irregular migrants; ensure that the open regime is the general rule (and consider the amendment of the PAZ centres’ in-house rules accordingly) and that detainees in solitary confinement are not denied the right to visits and outdoor exercise.

(8) find a more appropriate solution for holding returnees in pre-removal detention that have special medical needs either in ordinary hospitals or in suitably equipped specialised detention centres for returnees.

(9) review the monitoring system to allow for monitoring of the in-flight phase when commercial flights are used for forced returns..."

EU-Afghanistan: the EU is trying to "return" refugess there: See: Foreign Affairs Council (26.10.15): Adopted Conclusions (link) include:

"The European Union stands firm in its commitment to Afghanistan and its people in this critical phase. The past months have seen a serious security situation, renewed terrorist attacks with record numbers of civilian casualties, and the concomitant internal displacement and exodus of thousands of Afghans, putting mounting pressure on the region and the European Union."

News (27.10.15)

Hungary: Greece Must Apply The “Hungarian Model” To Tackle Immigration Crisis (Hungary Today, link): "Hungary’s foreign minister has proposed for the “Hungarian model” to be applied in Greece because the immigration situation is “unmanageable” without the protection of the European Union’s external borders. Speaking on the state-run Kossuth Rádió and all-news channel M1 on Tuesday morning, Péter Szijjártó also blasted the EU for “hypocritically” failing to launch proceedings against Greece."

Refugee crisis: time to move from words to deeds (GUE/NGL, press release, link): "GUE/NGL MEPs called for respect for human rights, responsible action and for EU peace-making initiatives in countries at war during this morning's debate on the latest Council meeting and meetings of government leaders on the refugee crisis,"

Calais: Hunt for driver after refugee hit-and-run (The, link): "A refugee was killed and three others injured after a car knocked them down in a hit-and-run in Calais, northern France. Police are hunting for the driver who remains on the run."

NGOs fear that development funds are getting spent on barbed wire (euractiv, link): "While EU ministers met yesterday (26 October) in Luxembourg to discuss “policy coherence” for development, NGOs expressed concerns that EU monies are increasingly being spent on border security, rather than fighting poverty and inequality."

Greek Minister Rejects Criticism Over Allowing Transit of Migrants (WSJ, link): "In interview, Yiannis Mouzalas criticizes Europe’s slow response to influx... “Greece can guard its borders perfectly and has been doing so for thousands of years, but against its enemies. The refugees are not our enemies,” Yiannis Mouzalas said in an interview.... “In practice what lies behind the accusation is the desire to repel the migrants,” said Mr. Mouzalas. “Our job when they are in our territorial sea is to rescue them, not [let them] drown or repel them.”"

We are watching the death of open frontiers in Europe (Daily Telegraph, link): "The endless wave of migrants - for which we have utterly failed to prepare - will unleash extremist politics throughout the Continent "

Balkan migrant route plan full of caveats (euobserver, link)

Hungary Ministry of Defense paid own company $40 an hour to build border fence (Budapest Beacon, link): "Hungary’s Ministry of Defense awarded a HUF 2 billion (USD 7.4 million) no-bid contract to build the 175 km long fence along the Serbian border. The Ministry of Defense Electronics, Logistics, and Asset Management company (Honvédelmi Minisztérium Elektronikai, Logisztikai és Vagyonkezelo Zrt.) reportedly billed the Ministry of Defense for a range of services related to the construction of the border fence at hourly rates ranging from $40 to over $137"

1990s Albanian Refugee Route Could Reopen (Balkan Insight, link): "Refugees heading for Western Europe could start using a route from Albania to Italy previously used by tens of thousands of Albanians after the Communist regime collapsed in the 1990s."

Bulgarian Police Arrests 106 Illegal Immigrants Across Country (, link): "Bulgarian police arrested 106 illegal immigrants across the country in the past 24 hours, the press service of the interior ministry informed on Tuesday. A total of 54 foreign citizens were detained on the territory of Sofia in three separate police operations. None of the arrested foreigners in the capital was in the possession of identity documents. Only two of them identified themselves as being Syrian citizens, all of the remaining claiming to be from Afghanistan.... Nineteen of them presented documents from the State Agency for Refugees (DAB), while the remaining nine had no identity documents."

Swiss to vote again on immigration curbs (The Local, ch, link): "Voters in Switzerland will go to the polls again to decide whether immigration curbs approved by the population in February 2014 should be implemented."

Sweden: Massive Malmö migrant camp to be shut down (The, link): "More than 200 mostly Roma migrants who have been living in a shanty camp on the outskirts of southern Sweden's largest city have been told they're being evicted from the site."

Bavaria slams Austria for unchecked refugee flow (The, link): "Bavaria's state premier has blasted Austria for waving on thousands of refugees to Germany without informing local authorities and has called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to intervene."

Former Hungarian PM again courts controversy with barbed statements on migrants (, link): "Former Prime Minister Péter Boross has made another controversial statement on the refugee situation only two months after calling immigration “an issue of race and ethnicity”,"

Fly, don't walk, EU will urge Balkan migrants (euractiv, link): "The European Union plans to persuade refugees to wait in Greece for paid flights to other countries offering asylum, rather than risk dangerous winter treks through the Balkans, EU officials said on Monday"

Berlin seeks to deport more failed Afghan refugees (euractiv, link): "The German government wants to deport more rejected Afghan refugees as part of a European readmission agreement. European Parliament President Martin Schulz supports the idea." Statewatch comment: There is no readmission agreement with Afghanistan.

Slovenia: Measures announced for faster refugee registration (Slovenian Times, link) "Slovenia will introduce a series of measures to speed up refugee registration and reduce the burden on its security forces and the locals in the border area affected by the refugee flow... Authorities in Slovenia will take a series of steps to speed up registration of refugees arriving to the country, including by performing some of the registration on trains which arrive from Croatia, said Interior Ministry State Secretary Boštjan Šefic.... This will be coupled with measures to reduce the burden on police, including by bringing in private security guards for some of the security tasks. Around 50 to 60 security guards are expected to start work as early as today. Customs agents will also be brought into the registration centres" and see: Slovenia to use private security firms to help with migrant flows (Reuters, link)

Report: Germany to send police to Slovenian border amid migrant influx (DW, link): "Germany plans to send police to Slovenia to assist authorities, a German newspaper has reported. Slovenia is struggling to cope with refugees as Croatia diverts the flow of migrants to north."

UN: At least 120,000 displaced in Syria in past month (SFgate, link): "The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the people fled their homes in the Aleppo, Hama and Idlib governorates between Oct. 5 and Oct. 22."

The Illegality Industry: Notes on Europe’s Dangerous Border Experiment (Border Criminologies, link)

Violence in Syria Spurs a Huge Surge in Civilian Flight (New York Times, link)

Life in Lesbos: "The Children's Feet Are Rotting - You Guys Have One Month and Then All These People Will Be Dead" (The Huffington Post, link)

"Refugeeism", the ideology of Fortress Europe (INFOaut, link)

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