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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
26.2-4.3.19
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Statewatch Observatory: The refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: a humanitarian emergency
ITALY: The measure of a minister: Salvini paints a racist death threat as a demand for security

A racist death threat directed at a young Senegalese man has been described by the Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini as a request for "security and legality."

New Danish assessment makes future uncertain for Syrian asylum seekers (The Local, link):

"An assessment by the Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) of the security situation in Syria’s Damascus province could affect refugees from that region who seek asylum in Denmark, and those already granted it.

For the first time since 2013, the Danish immigration agency does not consider the situation across all of Syria to automatically qualify refugees from the Middle Eastern country for temporary asylum status.

Specifically, this could affect the cases of persons from the Damascus province, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration stated in a press statement Thursday evening."

Drone Surveillance Operations in the Mediterranean: The Central Role of the Portuguese Economy and State in EU Border Control (Border Criminologies, link):

"While the Portuguese government does not currently have a single helicopter operating in order to control and fight forest fires that have caused more than 100 deaths in the past two years, much EU and national public funding goes into technology aimed at the control of racialized bodies and the observation of earth from space. At the same time, there is considerable concern among experts that surveillance technology used for military means and border security will be rolled out over the entire population in the future for general policing purposes. For this reason, it remains important to keep an eye on which technologies are receiving large public funds and what are its possible uses."

EU: Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM)

The Commission Services together with the EEAS (European External Action Service) have produced the latest: GAMM update (LIMITE doc no: 6363-19, 43 pages, pdf):

"GAMM UPDATE: 11 February 2019

This document provides an updated overview of the main external migration dialogues and processes implemented in the framework of the EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). The document is compiled for the information of the EU High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration by the responsible European Commission services, in association with the EEAS."

European Parliament briefing: Reform of the Dublin system (pdf):

"An agreement on the balance between responsibility and solidarity regarding the distribution of asylum-seekers will be a cornerstone for the new EU asylum policy. Although Parliament’s LIBE committee adopted its positon in autumn 2017, the Council has been unable to reach a position on the proposal."

February 2019

Europe’s deadly migration strategy - Officials knew EU military operation made Mediterranean crossing more dangerous.(Politico, link):

"But a collection of leaked documents from the European External Action Service, the bloc’s foreign policy arm, obtained by POLITICO, paint a different picture.

In internal memos, the operation’s leaders admit Sophia’s success has been limited by its own mandate — it can only operate in international waters, not in Libyan waters or on land, where smuggling networks operate — and it is underfunded, understaffed and underequipped.(...)

The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

For the operation’s critics, the EU’s willingness to turn a blind eye to these shortcomings — as well as serious human rights abuses by the Libyan coast guard and in the country’s migrant detention centers — are symptomatic of what critics call the bloc’s incoherent approach to managing migration and its desire to outsource the problem to non-EU countries."

ECHR: Unaccompanied migrant minors in detention (Factsheet, pdf): List of cases:

"“[I]t is important to bear in mind that [the child’s extreme vulnerability] is the decisive factor and ... takes precedence over considerations relating to the ... status [of] illegal immigrant.”

EU: Common European Asylum System legislation - still going nowhere fast

The Council's latest "progress report" on the seven pieces of legislation underpinning the Common European Asylum System has very little progress to report.

Nothing has changed on the Greek Islands (AYS Daily Digest 25/02/2019, link):

"Despite continuous claims by the Greek Government and EU authorities, and while still remembering embarrassing statements of the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras being proud of the living conditions of refugees on the islands, nothing there seems to change…

According to National Statistics 15,493 people are still on the facilities on the islands: 7252 on Lesvos, 1741 on Chios, 4294 on Samos, 1173 on Leros, 995 on Kos and 72 on other islands.

We learned to mistrust such statistics, especially while — on February 25th — they still state that no one is living in makeshift camps."


Statewatch Observatory: The refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: a humanitarian emergency

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