Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe


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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents

 Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meeting under the Slovakia Council Presidency, 7 July 2016 provide minimalist background documents:


Schengen Borders fit for the future (pdf):

"Ministers will discuss the implementation of the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation as well as interaction of the new Agency with neighbouring countries....

The Presidency attaches great importance to the Smart Borders project and is committed to bringing it closer to reality. A proposal on the EU Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is expected to complete the picture in a not too distant future. Ministers will discuss how the system should look like."

European Asylum Policy, addressing common challenges (pdf)

"The Commission’s legislative proposals, both those already adopted and those expected in the nearest future, aim at improving many aspects of the CEAS. One of the leading concepts of the proposals is solidarity."

Comment: There has not been much solidarity between Member States on the refugee crisis.

"Reforming the Common European Asylum System - the way ahead: The package of asylum proposals submitted by the Commission is one of the most important elements of the legislative work ahead."

 UNHCR (15.7.26): 239,879 arrivals in 2016: 158.927 in Greece, 79,124 in Italy. 2.944 dead/missing

 Migrant Detention in Bulgaria: Numbers and Graphs (Detained, link):

As part of the Who Gets Detained? project, over the course of 10 months starting in August 2016, the team of the Center of Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria collected statistics on the number and characteristics of the people who end up behind the walls of the closed centres for foreigners, and of those who are arrested and found to be “illegal” and are issued deportation and/or detention orders

See: Who gets detained? Increasing the transparency and accountability of Bulgaria’s detention practices of asylum seekers and migrants (pdf, link)

 Unaccompanied Minors in Greece (Nrew That Moves, link):

"Almost half of people currently in camps in mainland Greece are under 18 years old, according to data made public by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

Since the operation to pre-register asylum applications began, 45% of the total of those pre-registered have been identified as being under 18 years old of age, according to Kathimerini.

According to UNCHR data, 524 unaccompanied children and 426 separated children have been identified during the pre-registration exercise."

 A year on, no business as usual at Austrian border (euractiv, link):

"It’s holiday season at Nickelsdorf on Austria’s border with Hungary as families hit the highway. But although the huge numbers of refugees seen here a year ago have gone, things are far from normal.

Police officers in fluorescent jackets in the July sunshine stand at the border. They wave through the car with the bikes on the back, but the van with the tinted windows is pulled over and checked. Since 1 July, checks have even been stepped up, causing major traffic jams at this border — a frontier within Europe’s Schengen zone where until recently, goods and people could pass freely."

 Italy the new Greece on migration frontline: Frontex - EU-Turkey migration deal has slowed migrant flows to Greece (politico, link):

"Italy has overtaken Greece to become the country on Europe’s migration frontline, with about 750 people arriving per day, the head of the EU border control agency Frontex said on Tuesday.

Around 50 migrants per day arrive in Greece, which used to be the main point of entry for migrants."

 Are You Syrious (link)

SPAIN: Victory and solidarity for refugees and migrants as “migrants prison” is shut down!

"Subsequent to a protest movement, the Barcelona City Council has barred the re-opening of the local “Foreigners Prison,” on both technical and safety grounds. This humanitarian victory would have been impossible without the work of volunteers and activists!""

Around 1,200 refugees remain in Belgrade, putting local aid efforts under heavy strain.

"The asylum center Krnjaca is full to capacity; as a result the number of refugees who sleep outside every night is only increasing, averaging around 150–200 per night. Info Park, Refugee Aid Serbia, Covekoljublje, Caritas and Jesuit Refugee Service are all in collaboration to support aid initiatives in the park. The numbers in the park are almost equal to last year’s high point in August."

HUNGARY: 10,000-strong army to “manage” Hungarian border.

"Despite massive international criticism on the deplorable treatment of refugees by Hungarian authorities, Hungarian officials have moved forward on a massive military and police initiative to repel any refugees trying to enter from Serbia. Around 10,000 military and police are being mobilized.

Human Rights Watch researchers have decried the abuse of refugees, stating, “Hungary is breaking all the rules for asylum seekers transiting through Serbia, summarily dismissing claims and sending them back across the border.”"

Austria to deport rejected applicants by military plane.

"In an interview with Die Welt, Austrian interior minister, Wolfgang Sobotka says that the 37,500 asylum request limit will not be reached in 2016. Sobotka is firmly opposed to the harmonisation of asylum across Europe.

Austria is going to deport 14 rejected asylum applicants next week to Bulgaria, using a military C-130. Government plans to deport 50,000 rejected asylum applicants by the year 2019. One flight hour of the plane costs 11,800 Euro. Critics from the Green Party say that the money could be instead invested in integration programmes. The government argues that the flight hours are included in the yearly flight hours quota."

 European Parliament: Migration: MEPs assess refugee camps in Calais (Press release, pdf):

"A delegation from the civil liberties committee went to Calais in northern France yesterday to assess the situation of people gathering there with the aim of crossing the Channel. The delegation, led by Portuguese S&D member Ana Gomes, visited facilities for migrants and refugees and met with representatives from local authorities,"

 EPIC & EPIM: EPC Policy Update for the European Programme for Integration and Migration (pdf)

 News (15.7.16)

Calais mayor says UK border deal must be part of Brexit talks (euobserver, link): "The mayor of the French port city Calais has demanded that a 2003 border deal between France and the UK allowing both sides to carry out immigration checks on each other's territory be renegotiated as part of Brexit talks. Natacha Bouchart told this website on Wednesday (13 July) that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created an opportunity to shift the burden of thousands of migrants living in a camp around Calais on to the British authorities."

Greece’s island refugee camps strain under EU-Turkey deal deadlock - Moria is a symbol of mounting frustration for asylum seekers (FT, link)

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