EU
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
17.09.2015


Migrant crisis: UN 'shocked' over clashes in Hungary (BBC News, link): "UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is "shocked" after Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon to force migrants back from its border.Mr Ban said such treatment of asylum seekers was "unacceptable". Hundreds were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border on Wednesday, trying to breach a razor-wire fence."

Commission ready to drop mandatory quotas for refugees (euractiv, link): "European authorities are prepared to drop the idea of a mandatory scheme to redistribute 120,000 asylum seekers around the bloc, in favour of a voluntary system favoured by Eastern European states, officials said on Wednesday (16 September)."

Report from Lesvos (3) by Fiona O'Malley: "Before going to Lesvos, I assumed the worst things I would see would be a direct result of general apathy and a lack of resources: stuff like people being forced to walk huge distances, people sleeping in the streets, people going without food, water, clothes, and so on. I didn’t expect to see much deliberate abuse, and certainly did not expect to personally witness abuse perpetrated by state actors. However, on a number of occasions I witnessed abuse carried out by the Turkish coastguard and spoke to refugees, journalists and volunteers who had been subjected to or witnessed abuse carried out by both the Turkish and Greek coastguards."

Greece: We're raising £1,000 to give food, water & shelter to refugees in Lesvos because everyone should be entitled to basic human rights (Crowd funding, link)

Electronic tagging may await rejected asylum seekers (euobserver, link): "Rejected asylum applicants who refuse to leave the EU may end up being electronically tagged before being sent back home. The plans are part of a larger effort by the European Commission to quickly dispatch those not entitled to EU residency.... The details are outlined in a 13-page draft internal commission communication paper, seen by this website.... If no other solution is found, “returns must be enforced”, with “electronic surveillance” and “semi-closed facilities” as alternative measures to just locking people up, the paper adds. " [emphasis added]

Europe's refugee crisis: Is Frontex bordering on chaos? The Bureau investigates the EU's frontline border agency (BIJ, link): "Later today as Frontex director, Fabrice Leggeri is questioned in front of MEPs, the Bureau is publishing the results of a three-month investigation into this little understood, and rarely scrutinised European agency. We have examined its €143m a year accounts and other open source material such as contracts, tenders, speeches, technical reports, as well as interviewing senior officials, politicians and analysts."

CoE Secretary General questions Hungary over human rights (link): "Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will write to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about new legislation adopted in the context of the migration crisis. “I am concerned about a series of recent amendments to legislation in Hungary which will, among other things, allow the Government to declare a ‘state of crisis’ caused by mass immigration."

France 'won't hesitate' to install border controls (The Local.fr, link): "France will "not hesitate" to follow Germany in bringing back border controls over the refugee crisis if it becomes necessary in the coming weeks, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday."

Austria: Spielfeld prepares for thousands of refugees (The Local.at, link): "Spielfeld in Styria looks set to become the new entrance point for thousands of refugees crossing the border from Slovenia, after Hungary closed its entire border with Serbia and made it illegal for migrants to enter the country."

Germany: Refugee numbers back up despite border checks (The Local.de, link): "The migrant influx into Germany has risen sharply again, days after the introduction of border controls, with police counting 9,100 irregular entries Wednesday, up from about 6,000 the previous day. Federal police said Thursday that "almost all came from Austria", with about 2,000 arriving on trains Wednesday and the rest by road or on foot, three days after Germany introduced passport checks on borders Sunday."

Bulgaria sends troops to guard border with Turkey (ekathimerini.com, link): "Bulgaria is sending more soldiers to strengthen controls along its border with Turkey and avoid a refugee influx that has overwhelmed its neighbours, Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev said on Wednesday." and Bulgaria Ready to Deploy 1000 Troops to Turkey Border over Migrant Pressure (novinite.com. link) also: Thousands of Migrants Entered Croatia from Serbia in 24 Hours (novinite.com. link)

800 migrants are walking to Bulgaria from Istanbul (standartnews.com, link): "The migrants want to reach the borders with Bulgaria and Greece and then being transferred to Europe, but the Turkish security forces did not allow them to travel by bus from the bus station. So they decided to go on foot."

Czech military bracing itself for border control (Prague Post, link): "APCs and other equipment may be deployed to Czech-Austrian border"

Hungary behaviour 'unacceptable' says Gentiloni - 'Unsustainable in the long run' says Italy FM (ANSA, link): ""If I have to make a prediction I don't think the current Hungarian position is sustainable in the long term because, as I repeat, you can't choose what you like from Europe and refuse the rest". Hungary said Thursday it might accept migrant quotas if a new EU force was set up to control borders, reinforcing Frontex."

Walls and violence will not solve migrant crisis: EU Commissioner (Reuters, link): "Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto lashed out at those criticizing Hungary’s handling of the clashes.... Szijjarto said the European Union's common refugee policy had failed to tackle the crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people fleeing poverty, war and persecution in the Middle East, Asia and Africa pour into the continent... He said the EU should establish a common force without delay to protect Greece's borders, to which Hungary would provide a "massive national contribution" in the form of police, money and soldiers." [emphasis added]

Bulgarian public figures launch open letter to govt over refugees (focus-fen.net. link): "Big group of Bulgarian artists releases an open letter to the Bulgarian government in connection with the refugee wave:. 100 signatories, is backed by prominent Bulgarian intellectuals and artists.... It says that the European Christian civilisation is facing new difficult challenges and threats with unpredictable consequences because of the millions of refugees heading at Europe and it is naïve to calm ourselves down that the matter in point concerns only refugee waves inspired by humanitarian reasons. In connection with the tragic events and catastrophic threats, the declaration calls the ruling power to come out with clear and explicit position defending the national interests"

Denmark to voluntarily take 1,000 EU refugees (The Local.dk, link): "Ahead of Thursday's EU top meeting in Brussels, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that the country will voluntarily offer to take in an additional 1,000 refugees."

Hungary has been shamed by Viktor Orbán’s government by George Szirtes (Gaurdain, link): "As a 1956 refugee I deplore Orbán’s policy of fear. He doesn’t represent the thousands who care about those crowded at the Hungarian-Serbian border"

New migrant restrictions on France, Austria borders (DW, link): "Traffic between the Austrian city of Salzburg and Germany has been halted on the orders of the German authorities, according to Austrian state rail. Germany has also boosted controls on part of its border with France."

EU Fundamental Rights Agency: FRA steps up migration work in response to ongoing tragedies (link): "FRA is conducting a large-scale research project on the fundamental rights impact of the collecting, storing and using the biometrics data collected in the three large-scale IT systems (Eurodac, the Schengen Information System and Visa Information System) established to exchange personal data in the area of asylum and borders." and On 3 September FRA will publish its latest report, The cost of exclusion from healthcare – the case of migrants in an irregular situation.

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