Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (22 news stories and documents: 24.11.15)

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- Latest European Commission: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis (Updated on 24 November, pdf):

Summary: No more offers of "relocation" places in past two weeks, so still only 3,216 places offered to meet need for 160,000. This stasis is feeding into the new barriers (both physical and new "rules" limiting entry) being constructed and putting pressure on Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.

- Relocation offers by Member States (pdf): 14 Member States 3,216 places (out of 160,000).
159 (was 168 oreviously) people have been "relocated". There have been no more offers of relocation.

- Returns: since September (pdf) Joint Frontex Return flights: 608 (previously, 569) people have been returned, plus 153 from Italy (no change), none from Greece.

- "Hotspots: staffing in Greece and Italy (pdf)

- Member States' financial pledges since 23 September 2015, € million (pdf)

- Member States' Support to Civil Protection Mechanism for Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia (pdf)

See: Commission statistics ongoing: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis

- EU: Council calls for Summit with Turkey on migration: Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk to the EU heads of state or government for a meeting with Turkey (pdf): "I have now decided to call a meeting of the Heads of State or government of the EU with Turkey this coming Sunday (29 November). The meeting will mark an important step in developing our relations and contribute to managing the migration crisis."

EU-Turkey meeting on refugees likely as pressure builds on Greek border (, link): "Amid reports of a possible meeting soon between the European Union and Turkey on the refugee crisis, the pressure continued to mount on Greece’s northern border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where hundreds of migrants are stuck demanding passage."

- EU: Institute for Security Studies: Migration: new ‘ push’ and ‘ pull’ dynamics (pdf)

- EU: Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP): Crisis management missions outside EU looking for new migration roles: Germany/Netherlands: DE/NL Food for Thought-Paper Tapping the full potential of CSDP in the field of migration (13 November 2015, pdf):

"it must be clear that CSDP missions are a crises management instrument... CSDP Missions have encompassed a variety of approaches and tools for crisis management and stabilization. They range from the training of security forces and the support for the rule of law, to the provision of a military or civilian presence to safeguard elections or to monitor border arrangements and ceasefire agreements, to the fight against piracy or other forms of organised crime....

we should explore whether a horizontal CSDP mission specifically for migration issues, with its HQ in the EU itself, could serve to rapidly deploy expertise to third countries to assist in analyzing and addressing specific issues that affect migration flows into the EU."

- News (24.11.15)

IOM: 24 November 2015: (link): 858,805 arrivals in the EU: 712,159 to Greece and 142,695 to Italy. 3,548 dead/missing

UN slams new restrictions for refugees, migrants (, link): "About 1,000 refugees and migrants are stuck at the main crossing point into Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) from Greece as authorities deny entry to some nationalities in contravention of international law, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

“A new humanitarian situation is developing in Europe that needs urgent attention,” Adrian Edwards of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing. “All people have the right to seek asylum, irrespective of their nationality and to have their individual cases heard. Proper information needs to be provided to people affected by decisions at border points, and proper counselling needs to be available,” he said."

Mediterranean Migrants: Latest Developments (IOM, link): "Greece - IOM staff in Greece report a drastic decrease in the number of migrants and refugees crossing into Greece over the weekend. On Sunday, just 155 migrants arrived on the Greek islands by sea. Of these, 79 arrived in Kalymnos, 44 in Megisti and 24 in Lesvos. The remainder arrived in Chios and Kos." But see: Thousands of refugees arrive at Lesvos as weather conditions improve (, link, 24-11-15): "Thousands of refugees arrived at Lesvos island on Tuesday as weather conditions have improved"

Hampered by new border controls, migrants make case for asylum (DW, link): "As Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans pass through Balkan states, asylum-seekers from other nations remain stuck in Greece and protest against new border controls. Diego Cupolo reports from Idomeni refugee camp."

Migrants Protest After Macedonia Shuts Them Out (Balkan Insight, link): "Hundreds of migrants have been protesting for several days at Macedonia’s southern border with Greece against Skopje’s decision only to allow them to transit the country if they come from war-torn states.... Only refugees from countries affected by ongoing armed conflicts such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq who possess complete documents are currently being allowed to enter Macedonia.The Macedonian authorities followed the example of Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia, which are also on the Balkan refugee transit route, in an attempt to keep out what they regard as economic migrants. The Macedonian government is reported to have received written notice from Croatia and been informed by telephone by Serbia that Zagreb and Belgrade will send back migrants who do not come from conflict zones.... Some of the migrants told Macedonian media that they don’t have the money to go back and haven’t eaten for days.""

Danish government backtracking on EU asylum-seeker pledge (The Copenhagen Post, link): "Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has announced that Denmark will no longer be accepting 1,000 asylum-seekers from other EU countries, as was previously pledged, DR reports. "Rasmussen told the Venstre party meeting in Herning that the volume of asylum-seekers otherwise making their way to the country precludes Denmark from taking its share of EU asylum-seeker quotas agreed in September."

Greek PM to Meet with German and Turkish Premiers Over Refugee Crisis (Greek Reporter, link): "Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the refugee crisis very soon. This is according to German government deputy spokesperson; Georg Streiter though he did not provide a date or location, according to CNN Greece."

POLAND: Most Polish municipalities fail to set refugee quotas (Radio Poland, link): "No more than 66 out of 2,500 of Poland’s municipalities have declared willingness to take in refugees, writes daily Rzeczpospolita. "In total, the country’s administrative districts have set forth to welcome 435 asylum-seekers, including 113 families, 212 children and 27 singles, according to the results of a nationwide survey run by the Labour Ministry, released by the paper."

And see: PM Szydlo: we need to assess whether EU refugees decision was 'appropriate' (Radio Poland, link): "Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has announced that the government will debate whether the decisions taken by the EU to redistribute thousands of asylum seekers around the bloc are still the “right ones”."

POLAND: Poland to restore border checkpoints (Radio Poland, link): "'We seek to deploy border guards in places that have been phased out in recent years,' the minister said in an interview for Polish Radio. "As Blaszczak underlined, screenings would be put in place for all travelers entering EU’s passport-free zone, including European citizens – a step which will entail a targeted revision of the Schengen Borders Code."

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