Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 12.2.16


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 EU: The Deadly Treatment of Refugees in Europe (Rolling Stone, link): "Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, governing since the November 13 Paris attacks over an indefinite state of emergency, insists that refugees "destabilize our societies." Katie Hopkins, a UK tabloid "columnist" and a devout Trumpist, has written, "These migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit 'Bob Geldof's Ethiopia circa 1984,' but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb." Masked thugs in Stockholm randomly beat refugee children; the encampment in the French town of Calais has been raided by anti-refugee goons; a German anti-Islam group, PEGIDA, has staged rallies all over the continent. Europe might not have a common refugee policy, but it's certainly developing a common ethics."


 EU: Europol-Frontex cooperation agreement: "The cooperation between the Parties aims at supporting the Member States of the European Union in preventing and combating cross-border criminal activities in the areas of crime referred to in Article 3, improve integrated border management and facilitate the operational cooperation of Member States' authorities at the external borders."

Article 3 says: "The cooperation as established in this Agreement shall... relate to relevant areas of crime within the mandate of both Parties at the date of entry into force of this Agreement in particular facilitation of illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, terrorism, and other cross-border criminal activities," as well as: "related criminal offences deemed as the criminal offences committed in order to procure the means of perpetrating the criminal acts referred to in paragraph 1, criminal offences committed in order to facilitate or carry out such acts, and criminal offences committed to ensure the impunity of such acts"

See: Agreement on Operational Cooperation between the European Police Office "EUROPOL") and the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union ("FRONTEX") (pdf)

 UK: London, Monday 15-Thursday 18 February 2016: Refugee Week at Queen Mary University School of Law (pdf): Sessions refugees on legal assistance, access to education and recognition of qualifications; lectures; film screening.

 GREECE-EU: Be ready to completely stop the migrant flow, Austria tells Macedonia (euractiv, link): "Austria told Macedonia today (12 February) to be ready to "completely stop" the flow of migrants across its southern border from Greece and said it would do the same on its own frontiers within months."

 News (12.2.16)

FRANCE: Half of 'Jungle'camp to be bulldozed and up to 1,000 people moved (The Guardian, link): "France intends to bulldoze half of the makeshift “Jungle” camp in Calais and authorities have given one week’s warning to between 800 and 1,000 migrants and refugees to leave a seven-hectare southern section of the site.

The Calais prefect, Fabienne Buccio, told Le Monde she intended to reduce the size of the camp by about half.

“The time has come to move on, no one must live in the southern part of the camp, everyone must leave this section,” she told Agence France-Presse, estimating that some 800 to 1,000 migrants would be affected."

EU designates Turkey as ‘safe’ to return refugees; Erdogan escalates civil war against Kurds (undercoverinfo, link): "This month the European Commission released a document that designated Turkey as a ‘safe third country’ to which thousands of refugees could be returned. Plans are underway to ensure that all refugees not eligible for relocation in Europe will be returned to Turkey."

EU-NATO: Opinion: Using a hammer to crack a nut (DW, link): "Germany and Turkey have made a plea for NATO's assistance in the refugee crisis. The alliance was asked to help track down smuggler gangs. But that is not a job for a military alliance, writes DW's Barbara Wesel."

EU imposes border demands on Greece (euobserver, link): "EU states have piled the pressure on Greece to sort out its frontiers or risk extending internal controls throughout the passport-free Schengen zone for up to two years. Ministers on Friday (12 February) issued Athens some 50 demands following EU Commission criticism that Greece had "seriously neglected its obligations" on border management when it came to migrant inflows.... Greece voted against the Schengen report in an economic and financial affairs council. Both Bulgaria and Cyprus abstained. Everyone else backed the report."

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