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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
14-15.1.17
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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
Statewatch Analysis: Eighth report on relocation and resettlement: Commission welcomes increase in relocations and ignores harmful systematic effects (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:

In the eighth report on relocation and resettlement published on 8 December 2016, the Commission continued to welcome developments which are degrading Europe to ensure that the “emergency” its policies and the dysfunctional Schengen/Dublin system have predictably caused persists, particularly in frontline Mediterranean states (Greece and Italy). Over a year after the start of implementation of the EU Agenda on Migration, the EU Action Plan on Migrations and in particular the roll-out of the hotspot approach in Italy and Greece, mounting evidence shows that far from assisting frontline states, they are being punished for shortcomings in implementing a dysfunctional model designed to penalise them.

Mali/EU: Two returnees sent back to France as Mali rejects EU laissez-passer document

On 29 December 2016, the Malian government produced a statement announcing its refusal to recognise the validity of the EU laissez-passer document used to return two of its citizens, who were sent back to France following their arrival in Bamako on 28 December 2016. The Malian authorities also invited air carriers to refrain from transporting its citizens on the basis of recognition of the validity of such documents, noting that they will be made to fly them back to Europe.

Greece: 102 refugees land in Lesvos on Sunday (Eric Kempson, link):

"Two boats landed today on the north coast Lesvos first boat had 59 people on board and were taken to Moria camp in the south, The second boat had 43 people on board every one ok they will stay at skala Sykaminia tonight at stage two, we are expecting more boats the dirt track is very bad, great job by every one involved on both boats in very difficult conditions."

Opinion: Then it will no longer be my Europe: Europe would not be what it is today had it not taken in millions of refugees in the past (DW, link) by Krsto Lazarevic (27) was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and fled to Germany with his family as a child. Today he lives in Berlin:

"For years we have watched as one of the greatest refugee catastrophes since the end of the Second World War has built up in Syria, just a few hundred kilometers from Europe's external border. And we have acted as if it only affected adjacent neighbor states. When - 26 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall - a crack opened in the European fortress, fences were quickly erected: in the heart of Europe and even between EU member states. That was the first step towards getting rid of Europe....

And now Europe is in danger of falling apart because member states with 510 million citizens cannot come to an agreement on how to deal with 2 million refugees? Even though there are more than 65 million refugees in the world? If we allow that to happen, then much of what was achieved after the Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall will be lost. Then it will no longer be my Europe."

Italy: Large-scale expansion of detention centres for tougher migration control (ECRE, link):

"Following Italy’s change of government, a Circular outlining a stricter policy on migration control by the Head of the Italian Police was distributed to police authorities across Italy. One of the measures was large-scale use of detention to control irregular migration and promote returns to third countries.

The Circular echoes the latest position of the Ministry of Interior, which has committed to an expansion of detention centres (CIE) with reference to a target of one CIE in every Italian region. At the end of 2015, 7 CIE were operational across the country according to the Roadmap on Relocation."

Greece: Lesvos: Moria: Refugees, migrants reluctant to get on ship board or move to hotels (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"Refugees and migrants at the hot spot of Moria seem reluctant to be provisionally hosted on bord of the Greek Navy ship deployed for his purpose or to move to hotels leased by the UN Refugees Agency UNHCR.

So far, only 61 migrants, all males, have accepted the offer and went on board of “Lesvos”, the Greek Navy ship deployed to host refugees and migrants from the hot spot of Moria....

There are currently 400 beds available for refugees and migrants families in hotel and rooms to rent facilities leased by the UNHCR. Only just over 200 people have moved in from Moria. alone yesterday 15 of them.

Refugees and immigrants are reluctant also to move to the ‘shelters’ when they realize that they are a couple of kilometers away from the hot spot. They fear there could be delays in their asylum procedure. 25 people reportedly returned to Moria on Thursday when they realized the leased facilities were 10 km away."

Hungary: Alien police detention must be reinstated (Prime Ministers' Office, link)

"The Government has decided to reinstate alien police detention, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the press conference...

The Minister referred to the increased threat of terrorism and security risks as the reason for the measure, and in his evaluation, the pressure of migration weighing upon Hungary may increase in 2017. The Government asked the Interior Minister to make the necessary preparations for reinstating alien police custody urgently."

Greece: Lesvos mayor grants prize money to two fishermen who saved hundreds at sea (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Authorities on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos have announced that the money from the 2016 Olof Palme prize awarded to its mayor and his counterpart in Lampedusa in Italy, will be used to help two heroic fishermen whose boats sank under the weight of last week’s heavy snowfall.

Fishermen Kostas Pinteris and Thanassis Marmarinos are known around the world for having saved hundreds of refugees and migrants from drowning in the Aegean.

“The prize money belongs to the citizens of Lesvos,” said Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos, who received the award on Wednesday, adding that the humanity displayed by the two men set an example to the entire world.""

UNHCR calls for help for refugees facing European winter freeze (Link): "The UN Refugee Agency urges governments to do more to help and protect refugees and migrants battling freezing temperatures in Europe."

Aid workers say only four survivors recovered so far after vessel containing about 110 people overturned near Libya (The Observer, link):

"A migrant ship carrying around 100 people capsized in the frigid waters off Libya on Saturday and only four survivors had been rescued after hours of searching, aid groups have said.

Eight bodies were recovered, but poor conditions hampered the search, which was conducted 30 miles (50km) off Libya’s coast, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported. Flavio di Giacomo, Rome spokesman for the International Organisation of Migration, said four of the estimated 110 people on board had been rescued."

Non-refoulement: Is part of the EU’s qualification Directive invalid? (EU Law Analysis, link):

"The absolute character of the principle of non-refoulement – the ban on removal to an unsafe country – is widely acknowledged. Still, there is confusion and insecurity on this point with regard to the Qualification Directive, which defines how to determine if someone enjoys refugee or subsidiary protection status within the EU. "

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