Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (20 stories and documents, 14.10.15)

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- UPDATE: EU: MED-REFUGEE SUMMIT: New European Council: 15-16 October 2015: Draft Conclusions (LIMITE doc no 11140-15, pdf)

Previous versions: European Council: 15-16 October 2015: Draft Conclusions (LIMITE doc no 11139-15, pdf) and European Council (15-16 October 2015) - Draft conclusions (LIMITE doc no:1137-15, (pdf)

- Spain: Impunity for border control killings in the Canary island: No charges in case involving Guardia Civil patrol boat which sank dinghy near Lanzarote in 2012

On 13 October 2015, El Diario newspaper reported that the third instruction court in Arrecife shelved the case involving the sinking of a dinghy by a Guardia Civil patrol boat in December 2012 which resulted in a Moroccan boy's death and the disappearance of six other passengers.

- Frontex: 710 000 migrants entered EU in first nine months of 2015 (link) Frontex gets headline news with this kind of press release but are they accurate?

"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."

This is why the Frontex figures always exceed those of IOM and UNHCR: Mediterranean Arrivals Near Record 600,000 (IOM, link) and October 2 (UNHCR) refugee and migrant arrivals in Greece are expected to hit the 400,000 mark soon, despite adverse weather conditions. Greece remains by far the largest single entry point for new sea arrivals in the Mediterranean, followed by Italy with 131,000 arrivals so far in 2015.With the new figures from Greece, the total number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean this year is nearly 530,000"

- EU: SUMMIT ON THE MED: Council President Tusk invitation letter to Heads of State Summit: 15-16 October, 2015:
"Even if the influx of refugees slows down during winter, we must be ready for spring and the threat of bigger waves flowing to Europe".(pdf)

"Let us be clear about one thing. The exceptionally easy access to Europe is one of the main pull factors. In this context we should consider:

1. The future of the Dublin system, which is now in force - whether to keep it as it is or to look for alternatives;
2. The specific role of hotspots in light of different opinions as to their character and purpose;
3. The strengthening of our external borders, including a possible EU border guard."

- News (14.10.15)

Immigrant kids may soon be 'de facto' Italians (The, link): "Italy’s Lower House has backed new legislation granting citizenship to babies born in Italy to foreign parents. Children born to immigrant parents in Italy have to wait until they turn 18 before being eligible for citizenship. But the new bill, which has now been passed to the Senate, would grant citizenship to babies born to foreign parents in the country if at least one of the parents has a long-term permit to stay."

SNCF to show 'humanity' to ticketless refugees (The, link): "French rail operator SNCF has been forced to deny suggestions it is allowing refugees to travel en masse for free on trains across France after a leaked memo to staff provoked anger from those on the right"

EU Satisfied with Greece’s Processing of Refugees (Greek Reporter, link): "after the cooperation between Greek authorities and the Pakistani embassy, repatriation flights will start immediately"

Three People Missing After Shipwreck off the Coast of Lesvos (Greek Reporter, link) and see: Video Showing Coast Guard Officers Threatening Immigrants (Greek Reporter, 31 January 2015)

EU border guards to be considered as migrant crisis intensifies (FT, link): "The proposal is one of a series of hardline measures being considered by EU leaders in order to toughen the EU’s border controls, which range from more guards to increased use of deportations, and even biometric testing — encompassing everything from fingerprinting to eyeball scanning."

International Migrants Day - 18 December 2015 (UNHCR, link)

The snarling dud of May (The Economist, link): "Higher migration levels means lower public-sector borrowing figures and is one of the reasons why migration to Britain is a good thing."

Migrant crisis: Germany considers 'transit zones' on borders (BBC News, link): "Germany is considering setting up "transit zones" on its borders, where migrants would be kept while their asylum claims are assessed."

Commission: German transit zones only temporary (euobserver, link): "German government plans to establish transit zones for registering people seeking protection will have to be temporary and can only lead to a limited reintroduction of border checks, the European Commission said on Tuesday (13 October). Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure from the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of her Christian Democrats (CDU), is mulling the idea of setting up transit zones along the German border. The idea, opposed by Merkel’s coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), is that the transit zones would facilitate the processing of migrants who are coming from safe countries, and are therefore not in need of international protection."

Watchdog: Czech refugee camp offers 'worse conditions' than prisons (DW, link): "Migrants in a Czech refugee center were "debased in front of their children," according to human rights official Anna Sabatova. The conditions violate international conventions, she said after visiting the facility." and: Ombudsman criticises conditions in refugee facility (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "The Living conditions of refugees in the detention facility in Bela-Jezova, central Bohemia, are very bad and their children live there worse than Czech prisoners, Ombudsman Anna Sabatova told reporters yesterday."

Tusk: 'Easy access' to EU is main lure for migrants (euobserver, link)

Refugees themselves, Iraqis volunteer to help others reach safety in Germany (UNHCR, link): "SALZBURG, Austria, Oct 12 (UNHCR) – Childhood friends Hussein and Jaffa fled war ravaged Iraq together, crossing seven borders and the Aegean Sea to seek refuge in Europe. As they seek asylum in Austria, they decided to help those following in their tracks.Donning fluorescent jackets, they volunteer in a makeshift camp on the Austrian side of a bridge to Germany, helping 1,000 or so foot-sore refugees to get hot food, medical care, tents to sleep under and warm clothes to beat the autumn chill."

European Council President Donald Tusk told Turkey yesterday (13 October) that it could win concessions from the EU, such as visa-free travel, if it successfully reduces the flow of refugees reaching Europe (euractiv, link): "Three EU Commissioners are due to visit Ankara today, ahead of Thursday's (15 October) EU summit."

Brussels wants Hungary’s answers over migrants crackdown (euronews, link)

Lesvos, Greece: The refugee boats keep coming, but we’re making a difference - How a University of Melbourne Law student was moved by a harrowing image to help out on the frontline of Europe’s refugee crisis (, link)

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