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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
17.5.17
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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
Italian commission says more controls needed on aid groups rescuing migrants (Reuters, link):

"An Italian parliamentary commission said on Tuesday more controls needed to be imposed on humanitarian organisations that are taking an increasingly significant role in rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean.

In a series of non-binding recommendations, the commission also said that Malta and Tunisia should do more to help Italy tackle the huge numbers of migrants who are using Libya as a springboard in search of a better life in Europe.

The Senate Defence Committee launched the inquiry earlier this year amid accusations that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were colluding with people smugglers to help with search and rescue operations close to the Libyan coast.

In their conclusions, parliamentarians said no NGO groups were under investigation, but they called for them to be put under greater scrutiny, saying their ship crews and financial backers should be registered with authorities.

They also suggested that police should travel aboard NGO vessels -- something most humanitarian groups have rejected."

EU: Commission takes first steps against Hungarian asylum law - for the second time

Following the passing of draconian new asylum legislation in Hungary, the European Commission has taken the first step in initiating infringement proceedings against the country by issuing a "letter of formal notice" - just as it did in December 2015, with the same warning that if no response is received in two months then "the Commission may decide to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure," which can ultimately end up in the European Court of Justice.

Frontex: minutes of all Management Board meetings, May 2014-February 2017

Minutes from all the meetings of the Management Board of Frontex held between May 2014 and February 2017, obtained through an access to documents request to Frontex.

DENMARK: Concerns about tightening of family reunification rules in Denmark, but good progress of diversity in policing (ECRI press release, pdf):

"Strasbourg, 16.05.2017 – The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fifth report on Denmark in which it analyses recent developments and outstanding issues and makes recommendations to the authorities.

ECRI welcomes the Danish authorities support to civil society organisations working with integration, including newly-arrived refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection during the migration crisis. The Council of Europe´s anti-racism body also notes positive steps to increase diversity in policing by recruiting more officers from ethnic minority backgrounds and to address the social marginalisation of members of the Greenlandic Inuit community residing in Denmark.

However, the report criticizes Danish policies vis-à-vis refugees, namely new rules for family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, including an extension to three years of the normal waiting period before a family can be united. This goes against ECRI´s previous recommendation to address the issue as a matter of priority through a wide-ranging reform."

See: ECRI report on Denmark (fifth monitoring cycle) (pdf) and: ECHR: Danish chairmanship of the Council of Europe to weaken the European Convention on Human Rights (ECRE, link)

IRELAND: Irish Refugee Council 2016 Impact Report (link)

"The Irish Refugee Council’s 2016 Impact Report, published on 13 May, highlights the growing diversity of Ireland’s refugee community and the variety of issues they face while attempting to move on with their lives."

Migrant in Greece: 'It is very dangerous here' (BBC News, link):

"Many migrants in the port of Patras, Greece, are prepared to take huge risks to try to reach Italy. BBC News spoke to one of them, 17-year-old Mustafa."

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