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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
8..2.17
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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
EU: REFUGEE CRISIS: Commission: 9th report on relocation and resettlement

• Press release: Relocation and Resettlement: Member States need to build on encouraging results (pdf):

"Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "The past months have seen progress on both relocation and resettlement....

However, significantly increased commitment and delivery is still needed from other Member States, in particular those who still have not started to carry out relocations at all."

Comment: The targets for relocation within the EU were set in September 2015 and are still way off being met and only a minority of Member States are regularly taking part. Moreover the new monthly targets for relocation from Greece and Italy are not being met with refugees continue to arrive.

Ninth report on relocation and resettlement (COM 74-17, pdf)

• Annex 1: Greece (pdf)
• Annex 2:
Italy (pdf)
• Annex 3:
Resettlement (pdf)

Are You Syrious (7.2.17, link)

AUSTRIA: ‘Europe is not yet closed enough’ — and we conclude this because people still risk lives to come

"Austria’s Defence Minister wants to forge a new military alliance and strengthen cooperation with countries along the so-called “Balkan route” to prevent refugees crossing Austria’s border illegally.

He said that the EU’s deal with Turkey to tackle the migrant crisis is no longer reliable and that “we must be prepared in case the government in Ankara opens the floodgates again”."

50% more arrivals that in February 2016

"The number of people who arrived in Italy searching for a refuge in 2017 is close to 10,000: 2,500 have arrived between February 5 and 6. Today, the count has stopped at 9,359, that is 50% more than this time last year (6,030 by February 2016).
They come mainly from Africa: Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia and Morocco."

The Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration condems the agreement reached by Libya and Italy

“The EU betrays basic rule of law principles and infringes the democratic basis for the peaceful coexistence of citizens” says Lorenzo Trucco, lawyer and president of ASGI.

In their statement, they claim that through these agreements, the EU and Italy de facto violate the principle of non-refoulement, as they require third countries to forcibly block the passage of people in clear need of international protection. They also demand that Italy stops repatriating people to countries of origin where their fundamental rights are not respected."

European Security Initiative (ESI):

The Malta Plan – a humane EU border and asylum policy is possible (pdf)

On solid ground? Twelve facts about the EU-Turkey Agreement (pdf)

EU: Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU): Opinion of Advocate-General: According to Advocate General Mengozzi, Members States must issue a visa on humanitarian grounds where substantial grounds have been shown for believing that a refusal would place persons seeking international protection at risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment (pdf):

"It is irrelevant whether or not there are ties between the person concerned and the requested Member State."

New stats on asylum homes torched in Sweden in 2016 (The Local.se, link):

" Police believe that almost 100 fires at housing centres for asylum seekers in Sweden last year were deliberate, Swedish public broadcaster SVT reports.

At least 112 blazes occurred at asylum accommodation centres, or planned accommodation centres, across Sweden in 2016, according to national police statistics. Of those, 20 fires turned out to be caused by accident or carelessness.

Police believe that 92 of the fires were started deliberately, 37 by residents in the homes. In two cases other suspects have been identified, but in 53 of the investigations the culprit is still unknown.

"We suspect that a large part of these 53 fires were started by third parties," Ola Stoltz, a senior officer within Sweden's national police organization Noa."

EU: Thirteen European nations meet about possible migration uptick (ekathimerini.com, link):

"The interior and defense ministers of 13 European nations are meeting in Vienna on ways to prepare for a possible uptick in migrant flows once winter is over.

Convened by Austria's interior and defense ministers, Wednesday's meeting includes counterparts from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia, Kosovo and Greece."

See also: Austrian defence minister seeks new alliance to protect borders (The Local.au, link): "Austria’s Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) has said he wants to forge a new military alliance and strengthen cooperation with countries along the so-called “Balkan route” to prevent migrants and refugees crossing Austria's border illegally. "

Amnesty: Migrants deprived of rights on French-Italian border - Authorities don’t respect people’s rights, NGO said (Politicom link)

‘Trump’s Muslim ban is racist and illegal. The same could be said of UK charter flights’ (The Justice Gap, link):

"It is right to be outraged at Trump’s Muslim ban. It is vital we continue to respond with outrage to any attempt to normalise it. But in the UK we must also use this political moment to reject the xenophobic moral panic in our own public discourse and to direct outrage at the violence inflicted by our own immigration policies.

Charter flights – planes privately hired by the Home Office to carry out forcible mass deportations – are one of the most invisible incarnations of this violence. Departing from undisclosed locations, the only people on board are those being deported and the private, unaccountable security enforcement personnel ‘escorting’ them. Charter flights are designed to escape inconvenient public scrutiny (such as commercial passengers witnessing use of excessive force); and activists recently organised two weeks of action protesting their use."

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