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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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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
Visegrad Four slam ‘blackmail’ by Brussels on migrants (euractiv, link):

"Leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland (the Visegrád Four) rejected yesterday (28 March) what they called Brussels’ use of “blackmail and diktat” over planned resettlements of migrants across the EU.

Long opposed to sharing the burden of hosting mainly Syrian refugees, the four eastern EU states ruled out any links between accepting them and future disbursements of EU funds."

Austria says wants exemption from EU migrant relocation system (, link):

"Austria will seek an exemption from having to accept more asylum-seekers under an EU relocation system, it said on Tuesday, arguing that it has already taken in its fair share during Europe's migration crisis.

The move is a new blow to the system that would cover only a fraction of migrant arrivals to the European Union and that has barely been implemented because of opposition led by Eastern European countries including Poland and Hungary."

And see: Austria will double the amount it pays refugees who volunteer to leave (The, link)

Are You Syrious (29.3.17, link)

FEATURE: Europe’s silent plan for sending people off to danger unravels with mass deportations

"20 Afghan nationals have been gathered in one of Sweden’s 5 detention centers in Kållered, outside Gothenburg, for tonights’ deportation. The detention center had been shut down for visitors since the night before but protesters had gathered outside, lighting candles and holding signs. Reportedly, the protesters were outnumbered by the police even though hundreds of both local people and those who had traveled from different parts of the country have gathered during the day."


"At least 811 lives were lost since the beginning of the year in the sea, on the dangerous way to Europe, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado reports."

Hungarian detention centres ready to imprison hundreds

"A statement by the interior ministry said the country’s prison service installed 324 shipping containers at two camps, all for the purpose of detention of everyone except the unaccompanied minors under the age of 14. As announced, all asylum-seekers entering Hungary as well as those already in the country will be confined in camps while their applications are processed. That includes the several hundred people who have so far been lodged in refugee camps inside the country. That means that they face relocation to the border detention camps."

Katainen: For cohesion as well as migration, solidarity is not a one-way street (euractiv, link):

"Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen reminded the Visegrád countries today (28 March) that the solidarity they expect from the EU’s cohesion policy also applies to the refugee crisis."

UPDATED: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 27-28 March 2017 Brussels:
Press release: Final 27-28-3-17 (pdf) Agenda "B" Points (for discussion) Agenda "A" Points (Non-legislaitve, adopted without discussion

EU should stop delivering visas to African officials over migrants: Germany (New Europe, link):

"The European Union should consider restricting visas for senior officials from African and other states which refuse to take back illegal immigrants from Europe, Germany’s interior minister said.

Thomas de Maiziere said in Brussels the EU needed to use all the levers at its disposal to ensure countries cooperated with Europe’s efforts to deport those arriving who were not entitled to asylum.

Last Thursday, Thomas de Maiziere appeared in front of the German parliament to argue for a new draft law that would impose stricter rules on asylum seekers. De Maiziere said that the German public would only support Germany’s generous asylum policies if the government enforced deportation regulations and protected German society against potential threats from migrants."

Hungary ‘ready to detain all migrants’ (euractiv, link):

"Hungary said yesterday (27 March) it was ready to begin detaining asylum-seekers in camps on its southern border with Serbia after passing a law this month that has drawn criticism from rights groups and the UN.

Hungary’s parliament approved on 7 March the systematic detention of all asylum-seekers in camps on the border composed of converted shipping containers."

The Trauma of Facing Deportation (NYT, link): "In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country."

EU Commission Should Call Out Hungary’s Asylum Abuses (HRW, link): "Top EU Official Should Use Visit to Press Budapest to Comply with International Law."

EU worried migrants will shop around for best return deal (Politico, link): "The amount of financial incentive offered by EU countries varies considerably."

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