Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 12.1.16

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


European Commission: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis: Brussels ( pdf) This This Commission Press Release is dated 5 September 2016, and list under this date on the Commission website but contains data dated 12 January 2016 - which made it quite hard to find.


Comment on the current situation: The relocation plan is simply not working, "returns" are at a standstill as are Member State pledges of finance for the Africa Trust Fund, Syria Trust Fund, Humanitarian aid to World Food Programme and UNHCR.

- "Relocations": Member States' Support to Emergency Relocation Mechanism (pdf): 17 Member States with 4,237 places offered - up 20 - out of 160,000 needed. Actual relocation: 190 from Italy and 82 from Greece: a total of 272, up 11 from 22 December.

Returns updated on 4 January 2016 since September (pdf): Total "returns" organised by Frontex: 683 no change from December, plus 153 from Italy (no change), none from Greece - same as three weeks ago.

State of Play of Hotspot capacity (pdf) In Lesvos: Frontex: 165 officers - up 34 (Debriefing, screening, fingerprinters and registration teams - Border Surveillance Officers, Advance Level Document Officer) 11 "hotspots" are planned but only three - Lampedusa (17 Frontex offcials) and Trapani (8 Frontex officials - up 4) in Italy and Lesvos - are operational.

- Finanical pledges: Member States' financial pledges since 23 September 2015, € million (pdf) Unmet pledges total: 2,224,890 euro unchanged since December.

Accepted Member States' Support to Civil Protection Mechanism for Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece (Communicated as of 12 January 2016) (pdf) Still many unmet needs

.See: Statewatch Compilation: Commission statistics ongoing since September 2015: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis

 UNHCR: Lesvos island snapshot - 11 Jan 2016 (pdf)

- Total arrivals in Lesvos (01 Jan 2015 - 11 Jan 2016): 512,470 
- Total arrivals in Lesvos during Jan 2016 12,452
- Average daily arrivals during Jan 2016 1,132

and Serbia: Inter-Agency operational Update: 21 December 2015 - 3 January 2016 (pdf)

"According to official statistics, 577,995 refugees and migrants expressed intention to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia in 2015 as at 31 December.... The practice of denying entry to refugees and migrants from countries other than Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq continued. As of 01 January, maximum 940 asylum-seekers are allowed to board per train, and a maximum of four train departures daily are provided from Šid in Serbia to Slavonski Brod in Croatia.".

Recorded daily arrivals in West Balkans (1 October - 7 January, pdf). It is notable that arrivals in Hungary greatly decrease in mid-October 2015

 IOM: Migrant Arrivals in Europe by Sea Reached 18,872 in First 11 Days of 2016 (link): "Migrant arrivals in Europe by sea averaged over 1,700 a day during the first 11 days of 2016, according to IOM. The period also saw the year’s first fatalities in the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy, a route that took the lives of almost 3,000 migrants and refugees in 2015."

Arrivals by Sea and Deaths in the Mediterranean 1 - 11 January 2016: Italy: 257. Greece 18,615 Deaths/missing 53

 EU refugee crisis: History repeating (euobserver, link): "Refugees and hostile public reactions are nothing new in Europe. People like Nobel Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen, who helped over 1 million people find shelter after WWI, should be a model."

 News (12.1.16)

ITALY: Migrants missing after being thrown into sea (The, link)

GREECE: Tighter Border Checks Leave Migrants Trapped in Greece (AP, link): "Syed Mohammad Jamil, head of the Pakistani-Hellenic Cultural Society, says about 4,000 Pakistanis could be stuck in Greece, mostly still on the islands, and about as many Bangladeshis."

GERMANY: German police arrest 211 after far-right riot in Leipzig (Guardian, link): "Hundreds of extremists break away from anti-refugee Pegida rally to smash windows and set fires in leftwing area of city"

EU migrant crisis: Germany sends migrants back to Austria (BBC News, link): "Germany has been sending an increasing number of migrants back to Austria every day since the beginning of the month, Austrian police say. Many had no valid documents, whilst others did not want to apply for asylum in Germany but in other countries, notably in Scandinavia, police said.... Most of those sent back to Austria are not Syrians, who usually get asylum. Instead, they are migrants mostly from Afghanistan as well as Morocco and Algeria, Austrian police said."

and see: Germany sends hundreds of migrants back to Austria every day (DW, link): "Germany has been refusing an increasing number of migrants at its southern border, Austrian authorities say. Hundreds of migrants have been sent back to Austria, from where many are trying to find new routes to Germany.... "The daily number of migrants being turned back has risen from 60 in December to 200 since the start of the year," David Furtner, police spokesman in the province of Upper Austria, told the news agency AFP."

FRANCE: Calais 'Jungle' residents defy bulldozers as police issue ultimatum to leave (Guardian, link): "Asylum seekers resist attempts by French government to move them from makeshift settlement to new ‘prison-like’ facility... the affected asylum-seekers are frightened by the new site, which they say resembles a prison and contains no communal areas – in contrast to the informal settlement, which has makeshift churches, mosques and kitchens." and Authorities Open Semi-Permanent Section Of Calais Migrant Camp (Sky News, video link): "Authorities in Calais have opened a semi-permanent section of the migrant camp known as the Jungle. It comes as both the Jungle camp - and another in Dunkirk - have significantly expanded in recent months. Sky's Europe Correspondent Mark Stone has visited both camps and sent this report."

FRANCE: France's asylum figures pale beside Germany's (The, link): "Nearly 80,000 people applied for asylum in France in 2015, a rise of a fifth compared with a year earlier but far fewer than the 1.1 million requests in Germany, figures showed Tuesday... Just under a third -- 31.5 percent -- of the 79,130 applications were successful, said Pascal Brice, the director general of the French agency for the protection of refugees. The highest number came from people from war-wracked Syria and from Sudan and Kosovo."

GREECE: LESVOS: Seven foreign NGO workers arrested on Lesvos for theft (, link): "Seven foreign nationals (three Britons, two Americans, a Dutchman and a Cypriot) working for nongovernmental organizations that are providing assistance for migrants and refugees on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos were arrested on Monday, the Athens-Macedonian New Agency has reported. According to the AMNA, the seven suspects face charges of allegedly stealing 335 life vests from a facility belonging to the Municipality of Lesvos. They are reported to have told police they wanted the life vests in order to construct mattresses for refugees staying at the registration camp in Morias."

Greece and Turkey to step up talks on refugee crisis (, link): "Greece and Turkey are planning a series of high-level bilateral meetings to discuss coordination of the ongoing migration and refugee crisis, as trilateral talks between Greece, Turkey and Germany, which were set for some time in early 2016, are likely to be called off, Kathimerini understands." and EU urges Turkey to do more, amid fresh talk of mini-Schengen (euobserver, link)

SWEDEN: Refugee influx weighs on Swedish towns (DW, link): "Sweden is struggling to cope with the arrival last year of one asylum-seeker for every 60 Swedes. Unease and support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are growing, as Richard Orange reports from Revingeby. "

GREECE-TURKEY: Greek coast guard detains two Turkish captains over refugee trafficking (, link)

SWITZERLAND: Proposal 'would expel 18,000 foreigners a year' (The, .

HUNGARY-GREECE: The right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said the EU should build a fence on the Northern Greek borders with Turkey, to stop refugees from entering the EU (New Europe, link)

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error