Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 9.2.16


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 Where is the EU going?


Turkish PM in Brussels migration talks next week (euobserver, link):

"Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is set to meet leaders from a handful of EU states ahead of an EU summit in Brussels next week... A similar pre-summit meeting was held last December with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Greece, France, Portugal, Slovenia and the Netherlands at the Austrian permanent representation in Brussels...

Turkey is hoping to get visa restrictions on its nationals lifted in October. The EU wants to start returning people this summer who transited through Turkey to claim asylum in the EU but are not entitled to international protection.... Nato will discuss possible support for patrolling the Aegean, after the idea was raised by Germany and Turkey on Monday.... outstanding political issues remain, with some member states, particularly in the east, reluctant to accept Muslims" and

Turkey, Germany to involve NATO in monitoring Syrian refugee exodus (euractiv, link): "Turkey and Germany plan to seek help from NATO allies in monitoring Syrian refugees trying to get to Europe across the Aegean Sea, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday (8 February)." and:

National reluctance sinks EU's refugee relocation plan (euractiv, link): "European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker's flagship plan to stem Europe's migration crisis by redistributing refugees around the bloc risks crumbling, as EU states balk at sharing the burden, according to several diplomats and officials.... some countries are setting unacceptable conditions by refusing Muslims, black people or large families, with Eastern European states the worst for discriminating on religious or racial grounds." [emphasis added]

 Women's Refugee Commission: No Safety for Refugee Women on the European Route (link):

" There is virtually no consideration of gender-based violence along the route to ensure safe environments, identify survivors and ensure that services are provided to them.

Protection risks for women, girls and other vulnerable groups are present at every stage of the European refugee migration; and at every point where risk could be mitigated, the opportunity to do so is squandered."

 European Parliament study: Reception of female refugees and asylum seekers in the EU Case study Germany (pdf):

"Upon request by the FEMM Committee, the reception of female asylum seekers in Germany is examined. The research is provided for the delegation of FEMM Members to a refugee camp in Munich/Germany. It presents both the EU and the German legal framework concerning the reception of (female) refugees. Attention has been paid whether gender-sensitive asylum application procedures and reception conditions are provided in practice in Germany."

 GERMANY-TURKEY: Angela Merkel visits Turkey in bid to galvanise refugee crisis response (Guardian, link):

"German chancellor vows to take refugees directly from Turkey into Europe and calls for Nato patrols in Aegean as she meets Recep Tayipp Erdogan. Angela Merkel has promised to take refugees directly from Turkey into Europe and called for Nato patrols in the Aegean on her second visit to Ankara in three months as she desperately tried to enlist Turkey’s help in easing the refugee crisis, the biggest threat to her power at home and the stability of the European Union....

The four-page record of a meeting between Erdogan and Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the presidents of the European commission and the European council, in the Turkish resort of Antalya in November, paints a picture of an EU prostrate before a Turkish leader who treats their offers, pleas, and arguments with derision."

Turkey and Germany agree on plan to ease refugee crisis (, link): "Turkey and Germany have agreed on a set of measures to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis,... 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 Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's prime minister...

Davutoglu said the two countries' security forces would increase efforts to thwart illegal migration and combat smuggling groups. The two leaders would also be trying to get NATO's involvement in the refugee issue, Davutoglu said. He said they would seek the use of NATO's observation capabilities at the border with Syria and in the Aegean Sea....

Turkey has since started to require Syrians arriving from developing countries to apply for visas, in an effort to exclude those who aim to continue on to Greece. Turkey has also agreed to grant work permits to Syrians as an incentive for them to stay in Turkey, and has announced plans to increase coastguards' capabilities and designate human smuggling as a form of organised crime - which would bring stiffer punishments." [emphasis added]

and see: Germany, Turkey want Nato help to police coast (euobserver, link): "Germany and Turkey are seeking Nato help to police the Turkish coast guard along the Aegen Sea to clamp down on people smugglers."

 Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Pass 76,000; Deaths Top 400 (IOM, link):

"IOM estimates that over 76,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea through the first six weeks of 2016. The daily average of nearly 2,000 arrivals is nearly ten times the daily average of a year ago.

Through 8 February, IOM has recorded 409 fatalities on Mediterranean routes: 319 of the dead or missing were on the Eastern Mediterranean route connecting Turkey to Greece and 90 on the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy.

During the same period in 2015, only 69 migrants and refugees died or went missing in the whole Mediterranean."

 News (9.2.16)

Greece: Rush to get hot spots ready meets more resistance (, link): "Defense Minister Panos Kammenos vowed Monday that Greece would comply with European Union demands and have more refugee hot spots ready next week despite growing resistance to such projects on Kos and in other parts of Greece.... The army has met considerable local resistance on Kos. Kammenos blamed local Mayor Giorgos Kyritsis and “70 to 80” locals. He accused them of representing “interests that work with far-right organizations” that seek to exploit migrants and, as such, are against the creation of the camps...

Sweden arrests 14 people suspected of planning attacks on refugees (, link): "Police in Sweden on Tuesday arrested 14 people suspected of planning attacks on refugees, local media reported. The suspects were detained in Nynashamn, a town around 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Stockholm, on charges of preparing and inciting assaults and arson, the Aftonbladet newspaper said."

Germany: Legal experts cast doubt on new German asylum measures (euractiv, link): "Berlin remains divided over the new asylum package for refugees, with the issue of family reunification continuing to split opinion. EurActiv Germany reports. Very few countries around the world enshrine the right to asylum in its constitution, yet Germany does. However, this right is set to be limited more and more. The ruling parties of Germany want to impose stricter laws such as deporting convicted foreigners and to only admit certain people into the country."

Turkey-EU: Turkish envoy: The EU should not tell us to open our borders when it is closing its own (euractiv, link): "EXCLUSIVE / The refugee crisis can only be solved if the international community finds a solution to the Syrian crisis, which has become an international civil war, said Turkish Ambassador Selim Yenel, in an interview with EurActiv."

Frontex chief: Turkey should make life more difficult for the human-traffickers (New Europe, link): "Executive Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, gave an interview to German magazine Spiegel on February 3, saying that the Turkish government is not doing enough to limit the refugee influx

Germany: Slim asylum chances for 40 percent of refugees in Germany: report (DW, link): "The number of Syrians coming to the EU from Turkey has decreased considerably in January, according to a German newspaper. More Iraqis and Afghans are fleeing to the bloc, but have slim chances of receiving asylum."

Frontex: Invitation for Industry and Academia (Frontex, link): "Workshop on projects/ideas for developing border security products/technologies/solutions: research and development projects aimed at developing new products, technologies, solutions for border security and using financial sources other than EU financing (e.g. Industry’s/Academia’s own funds). The objective of the workshop is to continue the bridging endeavours, initiated by Frontex, between the border guard community and the evolving world of research and development and to contribute to border security solutions with end user’s feedback."

Sharp condemnation of Danish asylum laws (link): " GUE / NGL works for a more cohesive refugee policy in the EU. Here from a delegation trip in the group to a refugee camp in Calais in France last month.... The Danish government's new asylum tightening is clearly Convention unconstitutional, says the People's Movement against the EU group in the EU parliament in a single protest.

Czech Republic: Attackers set refugee center on fire in Prague hours after anti-Islam rally (, link)

Greece: Interior Minister Kouroumblis: Some EU countries have an inappropriate and irresponsible attitude (ANAmpa, link): ""We rescued 130,000 people that were in the waters," he underlined adding that Greece had to offer shelter and transport to these people."They had promised to give us 200 identification machines and they have sent us only 100 and voices wanting Greece out of the Schengen zone continue to exist in Europe," he noted while referring to the islanders he said that they should be awarded the Nobel prize because they "saved Europe's dignity.""

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