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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
4.6.17
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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
Far right raises £50,000 to target boats on refugee rescue missions in Med (The Observer, link):

"Aid charities have saved more than 6,000 from drowning this year. Now anti-Islam ‘Identitarians’ are crowdfunding to pay for vessels to chase them down...

Far-right activists are planning a sea campaign this summer to disrupt vessels saving refugees in the Mediterranean, after successfully intercepting a rescue mission last month.

Members of the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant “Identitarian” movement – largely twentysomethings often described as Europe’s answer to the American alt-right – have raised £56,489 in less than three weeks to enable them to target boats run by aid charities helping to rescue refugees..."

Twenty million in camps around the world: Migrant nation (Le Monde Diplomatique, link):

"Most places that house people on the move, for whatever reason, were set up in a hurry and meant to be temporary. The reality was quite different."

And see: The aid business (Le Monde Diplomatique, link)::

"In a world where everything must make a profit, refugees and aid to them are seen as just another opportunity for entrepreneurship."

Greece: Court acquits man who protested police brutality against migrant (ekathimerini.com, link):

"An Athens appeals court on Thursday acquitted an Athens resident who was arrested after challenging a group of police officers over their treatment of a migrant man.

Petros Kapetanopoulos was charged with resisting authority, attempting to free a prisoner and giving a false statement when he challenged officers of the DIAS motorcycle squad for using violence against a man who was already in handcuffs....".

Are You Syrious (1.6.17, link):

Feature

It took 90 innocent lives to convince German government that Afghanistan is not safe country. On Thursday afternoon, day after the big attack in Kabul, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that all the group deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers are suspended.

Until yesterday, Germany argued that much of Afghanistan is safe.

However, the German foreign ministry announced that they will reassess security in Afghanistan by July. Until then, Germany would carry out only “voluntary repatriations and deportations of violent extremists and criminals in individual cases,” Merkel said."

Turkey

"According to reliable sources, about 300 Syrian Kurds (some, if not all, registered) were illegally deported from Turkey to Syria on Thursday. They were being held in an army camp in Van (Eastern Turkey). Their phones were confiscated, but one of them managed to inform brother in Germany."

Greece

"This month, 717 arrivals were registered to this island. At the same period of time, 533 people were registered at Lesvos and 680 at Samos. In total, during May, 2090 people arrived in Greece, which is the highest number since November 2016....

Since the EU-Turkey deal was signed, more than 34.000 people were registered as new arrivals to Greece." [emphasis added]

Migrants: meeting of police chiefs from 9 countries June 7 (ANSA, link):

"Police chief Franco Gabrielli on June 7 will meet in Lampedusa with his counterparts from France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia and Slovenia to discuss immigration, terrorism and organized crime.

It will be the first meeting of the European Relationship for Mediterranean Security (Ermes), a gathering attended by representatives of nine countries on the Mediterranean to promote wider cooperation.

The meeting will take place in the conference hall of the airport of Lampedusa. (ANSAmed)"

EU/Greece: Pressure to Minimize Numbers of Migrants Identified As ‘Vulnerable’ (HRW, link): "European Pressure Affecting People with Disabilities, Others at Risk."

EU: Council of the European Union: New EASO Regulation & SIS:Returns, biometrics and "inquiry checks"

New EASO Regulation: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010: State of play and guidance for further work (LIMITE doc no: 9563-17, pdf): 4-column document with present state of play in trilogues and sets out issues where there is disagreement between the Council and the parliament:

"the Presidency started negotiations with the European Parliament in January 2017. To date, four informal trilogues have taken place on 7 February, 8 March, 21 March and 2 May (continued on 11 May). In preparation for these informal trilogues, numerous
technical meetings with the European Parliament have taken place.... See the attached 4-column table (Annex II) including the text agreed in political trilogues."

See also European Court of Auditors report: Migration hotspots are working, but critical issues remain, say EU Auditors (Press release, pdf):and Full report (pdf)

SIS & Returns, biometrics and "inquiry chexcks": Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals (First reading) & Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks... Policy debate / Progress report (LIMITE doc no: 9595-17, pdf):

"This package is composed of three separate proposals, in order to respond to the different degrees of participation in the SIS of several groups of States (the so-called 'variable geometry')...

These proposals contain a series of measures aimed at maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of the system – which is the most used of the IT systems in the area of freedom, justice and security in the EU – by technical enhancements, focusing on end-users and giving access to more national authorities and EU agencies. In particular, more categories of data, including biometrics, would be inserted, including for search purposes, and new types of alerts, including alerts on return decisions, would be inserted...

Chapter IX of the proposal on police cooperation (15814/16) introduces a new form of check, the 'inquiry check', besides the existing 'discreet check' and 'specific check'." [emphasis added]

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