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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
12-13.4.17
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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
Greece: Latest arrivals on 13 April show a big rise: 205 come in a day:
Greek Ministry figures (pdf): Lesvos: 46, Chios: 121 and Samos: 38.

Hungary: Calls for suspension of Dublin transfers and policy shift by Germany (AIDA, link):

"Following recent calls from ECRE and UNHCR for a suspension of transfers to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation, Germany announced steps to suspend transfers to the country on 11 April 2017."

Slovenia says tougher EU border checks ‘unacceptable’ (euractiv, link):

"Newly-introduced tougher checks on the EU’s external borders aimed at stopping suspected Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria are “unacceptable” and should be amended, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said."

See: Statements by Slovenia and Croatia (pdf):

Slovenia: "In Slovenia's view, checks carried out systematically on all persons crossing the external borders, including those enjoying the right of free movement under Union Law, without targeted checks as a basic principle for efficient border checks and without taking into consideration justified exemptions, is a disproportionate measure in relation to the pursued objective of the change. Additional doubts to the efficiency of the new provisions of Article 7(2) of the Code are related to the possible transitional period for border checks at air borders that are especially vulnerable part of the external borders."

Croatia: "the Republic of Croatia regrets that these measures are to be implemented not only at the European Union's external borders but also at internal borders between Member States fully applying the Schengen acquis and Member States not yet fully applying the Schengen acquis. The title of the Regulation itself implies its application at the European Union's external borders, not at Schengen borders. For that precise reason, all Member States should have been treated equally."

Greece: Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee on the follow-up to the concluding observations on Greece (Greek Helsinki Monitor, pdf):

"The three specific recommendations for which the HRCttee requested in 2015 from the authorities of Greece relevant information on their implementation so as to conducts in 2017 a follow-up are:

The State party should ensure that all allegations of unauthorized and disproportionate use of force by law-enforcement officials are thoroughly and promptly investigated by an independent authority, that the alleged perpetrators are prosecuted, that those found guilty are punished with sentences that are commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and that compensation is provided to the victims or their families....."

UK-EU: House of Lords Select Committee on the EU: External Affairs Sub-Committee Corrected oral evidence: Operation Sophia (pdf):

"Lord Horam: I think we should narrow it down a bit from this tour d’horizon, which is extremely interesting, and look from Europe’s point of view at the migration issues that Operation Sophia was trying to cope with. We are now trying to get better co-operation on the ground. Is that at all realistic, given the scenario?

Joseph Walker-Cousins: The chances of having any meaningful success as things are set up, under the political paradigm we have at the moment, are very limited. The EU and all its constituent parts and subordinate bodies now operating on the ground are being directed for political purposes to deal with the GNA.

Lord Horam: You think that is a mistake.

Joseph Walker-Cousins: The GNA are incapable as they currently stand of doing much."

Are You Syrious (12.4.17, link):

FEATURE: Europe’s response to Child Trafficking- ttoo little, too late.

"The relief efforts for Dunkirk after the devastating fire that leveled the camp are ongoing, however Calais Action released sobering information - 129 children still remain missing, most likely driven into the hands of traffickers lying in wait. Although we all anxiously wait for the recovery of these children, we know that the reality remains - that legislation targeting and marginalizing refugees only strengthens the power of evildoers...."

Rights of Child Ombudsman reports on Lesvos (News That Moves, link):

"Meetings were held with children and adolescents in eight shelters for unaccompanied minors, in a primary school, a secondary school, the informal school for refugee children at the open accommodation center of Kara Tepe, and at the Reception and Identification Center in Moria."

Refugee rescue group accuses EU border agency of conspiracy (euractiv, link):

"A Spanish NGO that has been rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean since 2016 accused the EU’s border control agency Frontex on Wednesday (12 April) of plotting to discredit private aid organisations in order to put off donors.

Allegations by Frontex that donor-funded rescue vessels may have colluded with traffickers at the end of last year prompted Italian prosecutors to begin an informal investigation into their funding sources.

“The declarations by Frontex and political authorities are intended to discredit our actions and erode our donors’ trust,” said Proactiva Open Arms head Riccardo Gatti."

Riot police stop refugees returning to Dunkirk camp destroyed by fire (Guardian, link): "Homeless families prepare for night on streets, refusing to sleep in cramped sports halls they say are unsuitable for children."

European Commission: 11th report on relocation and annexes

Relocation and Resettlement: Steady progress made but more efforts needed to meet targets - Today, the Commission adopted its eleventh progress report on the EU's emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, assessing actions taken since 2 March 2017 (Press release, pdf):

"Whereas some Member States (Luxembourg and Portugal) are steadily progressing on their obligations for Greece and Italy, others (Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovakia) are relocating on a very limited basis. Whilst Austria has announced it will start relocating soon, others (Hungary and Poland) are still refusing to participate in the relocation scheme at all. So far, only two Member States (Malta and Finland) are on track to meet their obligations for both Italy and Greece in time."

Eleventh report on relocation and resettlement (COM 212-17, pdf)

Annex 1: Greece (pdf): Formally pledged: 19,603, Effectively Relocated: 11,339, Commitment legally foreseen in the Council Decisions: 63,302, % of legal commitment effectively relocated: 18%

Annex 2: Italy (pdf): Formally pledged: 10,659, Effectively Relocated: 5,001, Commitment legally foreseen in the Council Decisions: 34,953 % of legal commitment effectively relocated: 14%

Annex 3: (pdf): Relocations from Italy and Greece by 10 April 2017:

Annex 4: (pdf): Resettlement State of Play as of 10 April 2017, under 20 July 2015 Conclusions and under the "1:1 mechanism" with Turkey (in application since 4 April 2016)

A European Agenda: On security: State of play: April 2017(pdf): In same press release on terrorism and organised crime...

European Commission:

Protecting all children in migration: Commission outlines priority actions (Press release, pdf): "Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families."

The protection of children in migration (COM 211-17, pdf)

Implementation of the Action Plan on UAMs (2010-2014) (SWD 129-17, pdf)

Returns diplomacy: levers and tools (EU ISS, pdf):

"‘The EU has three main sources of leverage which it can put behind returns bargains: access to the single market (visa and trade concessions), its overseas spending (EU development aid and investment support) and diplomatic engagement.’"

Frontex: Arrival of migrants in March: Italy remains under pressure, Greece up from previous month (link):

"Italy remained under migratory pressure last month. The number of migrants arriving through the Central Mediterranean route in March rose by more than one-fifth to 10 800. This brought the total for the first three months of the year to nearly 24 250, almost 30% higher than the figure from the same period of 2016...

Better weather also helped boost the number of migrants arriving on the Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean to 1 690. This was up almost a half from February but only 6% of the figure from a year ago, when the EU-Turkey statement came into effect in the second half of the month.

Syrians, Iraqis and Pakistanis accounted for a majority of the detections on the Eastern Mediterranean route."

Italy: Migrants: 27,000 reported landings in 2017, up 35% on 2016 (ANSA, link):

" ROME, APRIL 12 - A reported 27,000 migrants have landed in Italy in 2017, up 35% on the same period last year, when a record 181,000 arrivals were overall recorded, according to data updated Tuesday and released by the interior ministry.

The majority of migrants hailed from Bangladesh (3,521), Nigeria (3,397) and Guinea (3,320).

Unaccompanied minors were 3,557, according to the data. Asylum seekers reallocated to other countries were 4,438, under a relocation program.

Despite a constant flow of arrivals, the number of migrants staying at reception centers was down to 175,480 people from the 176,554 registered on December 31 last year."

Hundreds of refugees missing after Dunkirk camp fire - About 900 people in temporary accommodation but 600 still unaccounted for, including unaccompanied children (Guardian, link):

"Hundreds of refugees and migrants are missing and facing a night in the open after a large fire ripped through the Dunkirk camp where they were living, destroying the wooden huts and leaving the site uninhabitable.

Officials spent Tuesday trying to find new shelter for the estimated 1,500 people who had been displaced. It is feared that the destruction of the country’s only official migrant camp will result in asylum seekers returning to sleeping rough along the coast near the Channel ports."

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