Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (28 news stories and key documents (12.11.15)

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- Frontex: 540 000 migrants arrived on Greek islands in the first 10 months of 2015 (link) Frontex still putting out dodgy numbers: "Overall, the number of detections of illegal border crossings at the EU’s external borders between January and October stood at an unprecedented 1.2 million"

Frontex gets headline news with this kind of press release by its own admission it includies double-counting:

"Clarification: Frontex provides monthly data on the number of people detected at the external borders of the European Union. Irregular border crossings may be attempted by the same person several times in different locations at the external border. This means that a large number of the people who were counted when they arrived in Greece were again counted when entering the EU for the second time through Hungary or Croatia."

Whereas UNHCR reported: Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response - Mediterranean (infographic, link) 502, 840 arrivals (during the year to 29 October, 2015)

- Valletta Conference 11-12 November 2015: Update: Final texts and full documentation

- EU: Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government (12 November 2015, Valletta, Press release, pdf) there is nothing new except a growing urgency as "time is running out" to save Schengen. Council trying to set up another "special" Summit of 28 Member States and Turkey before year end:

But see: EU’s ‘indecent proposal’ angers Turkish minister (, link): "Turkish EU Minister Beril Dedeoglu has been left apoplectic after Brussels suggested “an inappropriate proposal” to Ankara that linked Turkey’s EU accession process with a solution to the refugee crisis.... During a dinner … a young person from the commission attempted to match the progress report to refugee issue. Something like ‘We could soften the content of this progress report if we sort out the refugee issue,’ was said. I swear I can’t even remember how I chided him...".

and Tusk reiterates that:

"it must be clear that without registration there will be no rights. If a migrant does not cooperate, there must be consequences. It is also clear that asylum seekers cannot decide where they will be granted asylum within the European Union."

- Reactions to Valletta Summit

Migration crisis: European and African leaders agree €1.8bn 'trust fund' (Guardian, link): "Compromise package in which African governments agree to cooperate on receiving deported migrants described as ‘lowest common denominator’"

Europe fund to tackle African migration 'not enough' (BBC News, link): "Senegal's President Macky Sall has described a $1.9bn (£1.2bn) European fund set up to tackle irregular migration as a good beginning but said more money was needed.... "The Senegalese leader also pointed to tax avoidance by multinationals that he estimated cost Africa billons of dollars. "We have sufficient resources in Africa… if we could combat tax evasion - that would stop us calling for aid. "Terrorism is an issue, wherever war is waged people flee - where there's less development people flee towards development," he said. "We have to look at migration serenely, take the drama out of it. And we have to tackle the traffickers.""

EU's migration cash for Africa falls short (euractiv, link): "The European Union’s efforts to stem the flow of refugees from Africa was undermined today (12 November) by member states who failed to match EU money for a €1.8 billion trust fund to the tune of €1.72 billion, raising just €78 million. EU and African leaders were meeting in Valletta, Malta, for a two-day summit in response to the migration crisis. €1.8 billion from the EU budget and European Development Fund was stumped up for the emergency trust fund, which will pay for measures to tackle the reasons refugees flee.

"For the Africa Trust Fund and our response to be credible, I want to see more member states contributing and matching the €1.8 billion the EU has put forward," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said as EU leaders signed the deal. But, at time of going to press, 25 of the 28 member states, and two non-EU donors Norway and Switzerland, had pledged a total of around €78.2 million matching funds, far short of what Juncker has called for...Civil society organisations have warned that, if they do pay into the trust fund, EU countries could divert development cash meant for schools and hospitals to checkpoints and barb wire. Sara Tesorieri, Oxfam's migration policy lead in Malta, said, "The EU Trust Fund for Africa must have a clear separation between development aid and security cooperation envelopes ? these have different objectives and do not belong in the same pot.""

Europe in 'race against time' to save open borders - EU's Tusk (Reuters, link): ""We must hurry, but without panic," he said after a summit with African leaders that will be followed by an emergency EU summit later on Thursday in Valletta to discuss migration and notably efforts to secure a deal with Turkey to slow departures."

- EU-AFRICA: Valletta Summit: Final texts


and VALLETTA SUMMIT, 11-12 NOVEMBER 2015: Declaration - Final (pdf)

See: Remarks by President Donald Tusk at the press conference of the Valletta summit on migration (pdf)

EU Commission: A European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (pdf): "made up of €1.8 billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF), to be complemented by contributions from EU Member States and other donors. To date, Member States' contributions amount to around €78.2 million" The Member States are meant to match the Commission's contribuition... and List of Member State donors and contributions in Alphabetical order (as at 11/11/2015) (pdf)

- Refugee Crisis May Threaten Development Aid to World’s Poor (, link): "As the spreading refugee crisis threatens to destabilize national budgets of donor nations in Western Europe, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday appealed to the international community not to forsake its longstanding commitment for development assistance to the world’s poorer nations."

- News (12.11.15)

Europe gears up to fight refugee smugglers (euractiv, link)

EU Leaders Consider Meeting with Turkey’s President on Refugees (, link): "Leaders of EU member states on Thursday discussed a possible meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later this month to seek his help in alleviating the worst migrant crisis in Europe since World War II, AFP reported."

Swiss refugee total to 'clearly' exceed forecast (The, link): "The original forecast of 29,000 asylum seekers arriving in Switzerland in 2015 will be "clearly exceeded" according to the Secretary of State for Immigration."

Swedish police stop arrivals from Denmark (The, link): "Police on Thursday began carrying out ID checks on passengers crossing the Øresund Bridge from Denmark to Sweden after the latter reinstated border controls."

Czech Republic: PM: Refugee readmission will be hard for Germans (Prague Monitor, link) "It will be difficult for Germany to return Syrians to the countries where they entered the EU, in view of the persisting problems with refugee registration in the countries concerned, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in Malta yesterday."

EU expected to heap more pressure on Greece over refugees (, link): "The document also suggests that Turkey is not intentionally ushering migrants toward Greece, whereas Athens is deemed to be purposely moving these arrivals on toward the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Commission’s note also says Greece needs to agree to joint patrols with Turkey in the Aegean and the opening of some of the chapters in Ankara’s EU accession negotiations."

Exclusive. Federica Mogherini (EU foreign policy chief): “We need to build opportunities, not walls, with Africa” (, link)

Germany to toughen restrictions on Syrian refugees (euractiv, link): "Germany wants to send more Syrian refugees back to other EU countries, an idea supported by many in the CDU, but heavily criticised by the SPD"

Sweden reintroduces border controls (euobserver, link): "Sweden is to impose temporary border controls to try to manage the flow of refugees, which is putting the country’s infrastructure under stress.The decision was announced Wednesday evening (11 November) and will be effective Thursday at noon for a 10-day period which could be extended for 20 days"

Slovenia erects fence to 'channel' migrants (euobserver, link): "Slovenia has started building a fence on its border with Croatia, in efforts, the government said, to “prevent the dispersal of refugees and to steer them towards controlled entry points.” The installation of 1.5 km worth of an 1.8-metre high razor wire structure began early on Wednesday (11 November) morning near the easterly villages of Rigonce and Razkrizje." and see: Slovenia to Build a Fence on Its Border With Croatia (total-croatia-news, link): "Slovenian Prime Minister announces the construction of a fence on the Croatian border. At certain sections of its border with Croatia, Slovenia will set up technical barriers, including fences, in order to better control the expected inflow of refugee who have recently started moving from Greece, confirmed Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, reports Jutarnji List on November 10, 2015."

Germany's Schäuble likens migrant wave to 'avalanche' (DW, link): "German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has compared the refugee crisis to an avalanche that could engulf Europe. He appealed for greater solidarity in the issue, although there a few signs of that emerging."

Refugees opting for Bulgaria route exposed to violence (DW, link): "Asylum-seekers with limited funds or fears of sea travel are bypassing Greece for a land route through Bulgaria, but the risks remain high. Diego Cupolo reports from Dimitrovgrad, Serbia."

EU, Africa discuss migration crisis plan (neweurope, link): "Amnesty International has warned the summit could reinforce the idea of a “Fortress Europe”. In an interview with AFP, the group’s acting director, Iverna McGowan, said the approach “can lead to an outsourcing of human rights abuses and is quite worrying”."

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