Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 8.2.16


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 EU: From Dublin to Athens: A Plea for a Radical Rethinking of the Allocation of Jurisdiction in Asylum Procedures (pdf) by Marcello Di Filippo, International Institute of Humanitarian Law: "The so called refugee crisis of 2015 had several effects, among which the definitive demonstration of the unsustainability of the Dublin system and the need of a radical change in the modalities of allocation of the competence for the exam of asylum claims in the EU. The same credibility of the EU is at stake, as well as the capacities of national governments to manage the relevant flows reaching the Schengen area.


This Policy Brief provides sound arguments both for supporting the demand for a new legal framework, and for the determination of new criteria which combines fairness, realism, solidarity, cooperation. A quota approach would be combined with a “genuine link” approach, thus trying to find a proper balance between the States’ interests and the point of view (and related behaviors) of asylum seekers, and also between the objections of human rights defenders and the concerns of European public opinion."

 News (8.2.16)

At least 33 refugees die as boats carrying them sink off Turkey’s Aegean coast (Daily Sabah, link): "At least 33 refugees have died on Monday when two boats carrying them capsized off Izmir, and Altinoluk coasts as Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Turkey to discuss the ongoing crisis with Turkish officials."

EU urges Turkey to open its borders to Syrians fleeing war-torn Aleppo (The Guardian, link): "The European Union has urged Turkey to open its borders to thousands of Syrians fleeing an onslaught by government forces and intense Russian airstrikes.

Turkey kept its Oncupinar border crossing closed on Saturday despite a significant increase in the number of arrivals to the European gateway in the past 48 hours.

As many as 70,000 people are expected to head for the border in the coming days, said Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of Turkey’s Kilis border province. There are already between 30,000 and 35,000 displaced Syrians on the Syrian side of the border being cared for by Turkey. Aid workers said the refugees were being directed to nearby camps."

FRANCE-UK: David Cameron says Calais refugee camps could move to Kent after EU exit (The Independent, link): "David Cameron has been accused of “scaremongering” about the impact of Britain leaving the EU on immigration to the UK.

The Prime Minister is to warn that exiting the bloc could cause a special arrangement where British border staff are allowed to check passports in Calais instead of Dover to be scrapped.

He is expected to say that such a change could cause refugee and migrant camps like the Calais “Jungle” to South East England."

FYROM Raises Second Wire Fence on Border with Greece (Greek Reporter, link): "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is raising a second wire fence on its border with Greece, in the neutral zone between Idomeni and Gevgelija.

This is a measure along the European Union’s efforts for stricter control of the migrant inflow towards central and northern Europe.

On Saturday the FYROM army started cleaning the area and raising a second barbed wire fence parallel to the existing one on the neutral zone in the border crossing point between Idomeni and Gevgelija."

Greece to have refugee registration centers open by Feb. 15 deadline (Daily Sabah, link): "Greece said on Monday it would have migrant registration centers running by next week, under pressure from EU partners threatening to sideline it from passport-free travel unless it does more to contain refugees.

European Union interior ministers have urged Athens to do more to control the influx of migrants, some threatening exclusion from the Schengen zone as the crisis increasingly divides bloc members."

GREECE: Brussels and Berlin Plan to Send Armed Forces to Greek-FYROM Border (Greek Reporter, link): "While struggling to handle the refugee crisis, the EU is considering imposing new and tougher measures in order to stop the refugee flow towards the rest of Europe. According to the Financial Times, the plan to strengthen the borders between Greece and FYROM is gaining popularity and has been discussed as an effective solution both in Brussels, Berlin and within the EU."

Migrants ‘deported' by Bulgaria rescued from freezing to death (Daily Sabah, link): " Villagers and security forces rescued 31 Syrian migrants, including 13 children, near Turkey's border with Bulgaria early Friday. Refugees were stranded in an area amid heavy rainfall and chilling temperatures when one of them managed to reach a nearby village to ask for help for those who could not advance due to heavy mud impeding their route."

Serbia Urges Unified Solution to Refugee Crisis (Balkan insight, link): "The world has to be united in its decisions on Syria - and Serbia will accept any European solution on the refugee issue, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a conference of world leaders in London dedicated to the Syrian crisis on Thursday."

Turkey and Germany agree on plan to ease refugee crisis (Al Jazeera, link): "Turkey and Germany have agreed on a set of measures to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis, including a joint diplomatic initiative aiming to halt attacks against Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

On Monday in Ankara, officials from the two countries added that they would push to curb illegal migration.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was in the Turkish capital for talks on how to reduce the influx of refugees into Europe, said after discussions with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that she was "not just appalled but horrified" by the suffering caused by Russian bombing in Syria."

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