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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 reassures Turkey over its €3bn refugee package (euractiv, link):

"The EU’s €3billion package to help refugees in Turkey will have been fully assigned to projects by the end of the year, the bloc’s envoy said Tuesday (6 June).

All the funds, part of a deal with Turkey to tackle Europe’s refugee crisis, will be fully assigned by the end of 2017, said Christian Berger, the EU ambassador to Turkey."

European Parliament: Background Information for the LIBE Delegation on Migration and Asylum in Italy - April 2017 (pdf):

"Upon request by the LIBE Committee, this paper provides some information on the current situation of asylum and migration in Italy, focusing in particular on the “hotspots” and on the asylum procedures. The paper describes the applicable legislative framework, as recently amended, as well as its practical application."

Migration Minister says 20,000-25,000 refugees to remain in Greece if EU Turkey deal continues (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said that 20 to 25 thousands refugees will remain in Greece if the EU Turkey deal stands. At the same time, he expressed concern about the increasing influx of refugees and migrants on the Greek islands.

Speaking to Skai TV on Tuesday, Mouzalas said if the EU Turkey deal “fails, things will be difficult.” He noted that after the clearing up of Idomenti camp in North Greece last year, 25,000 refugees have been transferred in one way or another outside of Greece. “We have 10,000 people with right to relocation and 6,000-7,000 with the right to family reunion,” the minister said.

He admitted that there is a problem on the islands because of the influx of migrants and refugees and that the plan for small pre-accession centers should go ahead on all islands."

Commission readies sanctions against the Visegrad Four (euractiv, link):

"The European Commission warned yesterday (6 June) it could sanction member states that don’t follow EU quota rules for asylum seekers by opening infringement proceedings against them as early as next week.

The warning came after the Czech Republic said it would not take in more migrants, citing security concerns."

EU threatens sanctions in Czech asylum row (euobserver, link):

"The European Commission threatened to take governments to court on Tuesday (6 June) following an announcement by the Czech Republic to halt asylum seeker relocation from Greece and Italy.

Czech interior minister Milan Chovanec had earlier this week said that the country would withdraw from the legally binding EU scheme, over broader concerns linked to security and the "dysfunctionality of the whole system"."

Pressure builds in Italy after G7 leaders fail to tackle refugee crisis (Guardian, link): "Taormina summit did not prove a turning point, and populist movements are growing more vocal as elections approach."

European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights: Following ECCHR complaint: Inadmissibility interviews in Greek hotspots: EU Ombudsman probes work of European Asylum Support Office (Press release, pdf):

"The European Ombudsman will examine practices by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) at “hotspots” (reception centers) in Greece. The move comes in response to a complaint about the inadmissibility decisions taken under the EU-Turkey agreement. The complaint was filed by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) with the support of Brot für die Welt in April 2017."

European Parliament Study: International protection in Greece Background information for the LIBE Committee delegation to Greece, 22-25 May 2017 (pdf):

"Greece remains under pressure with a government-reported number of 62,200 refugees and migrants still present in its territory, of whom around 14,000 on the Eastern Aegean islands and around 48,200 persons on mainland Greece."

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 8-9 June 2017: Background Note (pdf):

"On Friday, ministers will take stock of the current situation on migration, in particular in the Central Mediterranean, and will discuss return policy. They will also touch upon the issue of improving the interoperability of information systems....

In the margins of the Council, the Mixed Committee (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) will take stock of work on the proposals on the SIS and on ETIAS. Exceptionally, the Schengen associated states will be present in the discussions on migration, return policy and information systems and interoperability.

Over lunch, ministers will discuss counter terrorism."
[emphasis added]

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Migration crisis in the Mediterranean: tangible improvements but additional efforts are needed (link):

"More than a year since the adoption of the EU-Turkey Statement, the implemented measures have delivered some tangible results with regard to the challenges underlying the refugee and migration crisis. While the situation in Greece has largely improved in terms of reception, registration and asylum processing, some outstanding concerns still persist and require further efforts and improvements, PACE Committee on Migration said today....

Adopting unanimously a draft resolution, based on the report prepared by Miltiadis Varvitsiotis (Greece, EPP/CD), the Committee stated that the reception conditions and asylum procedures in Italy, even if also improving, require urgent action. As with Greece, Italy has become a destination country and continuous mass arrivals risk saturating the country’s reception capacities. The question of return of rejected asylum seekers should be given immediate consideration; the large number of irregular migrants creates threats for the whole asylum system and social stability."

See: Report (pdf)

Czechs stop taking asylum seekers under EU quotas (euobserver, link):

"The Czech Republic will stop taking in asylum seekers under the EU quota scheme to distribute refugees who arrived in Greece and Italy, citing security concerns, the government said Monday (5 June). Prague protested the 2015 decision to share migrants, and has taken in only a dozen out of the 2,691 set by the quota. The Czech Republic holds elections in October and migration is a sensitive topic."

Are You Syrious (4.6.17, link)

Greece: Gaps are becoming bigger

"In Greece the situation in the governmental camps seems to worsen these days, even though this is hard to imagine. The announcement of some NGOs to leave the hotspot of Chios, this could be the case for some mainland sites too, as the budget is being cut. Another reason is, that they do not consider the situation as crisis anymore....

Obviously the Greek government is struggling with keeping even the bad conditions in some camps, as the bureaucratic part seems to be chaotic, the budget is being cut and there is no appropiate strategy to fit the needs of the people. The residents are the ones suffering because of this situation and living with this situation."


"10 people died in a car accident on Trakia Motorway. Bulgarian National Television reports (via Sofia Globe), that a 16 year old drove the van, in which 17 or 18 people were. The police assumes, that the driver maybe felt asleep and crashed into the tree. It is said, that this is the worst incident with refugees involved in Bulgaria."

20 people landed on Lesvos

"The Portuguese Maritime Police, on a mission in Greece, has detected 20 people, 10 of whom are children, said the National Maritime Authority (AMN). In a statement, the AMN said that the 20 peope were detected as they had landed on the Greek coast near Molyvos (Lesvos) after crossing the Aegean Sea. The Greek authorities have already been contacted to pick up the people, who are from Afghanistan and Iraq."

Expulsions based on nationality must not repeat, Deputy PM says (Prague Monitor, link);

"Expulsions of people from their homes just because of their nationality, religion or race must never repeat, Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Christian Democrat chairman (KDU-CSL) Pavel Belobradek said at the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft's congress today."

Report: Rate of deportations stagnating in Germany (DW, link)

"Germany's government is falling short of its goal to deport significantly more rejected asylum applicants, a newspaper reports. More than 8,000 migrants have been removed so far this year, compared with 25,000 in 2016."

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