Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 6.6.16


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 Cyprus sidelined as Brussels scrambles to save Turkey migrant deal - Push to allow Turkish participation in European agencies worries Nicosia (, link)


"The European Commission has put new pressure on Cyprus in a bid to meet Turkish demands for quicker integration into the Brussels lawmaking machine.

After convincing Nicosia earlier this year to soften its opposition to Ankara’s EU membership bid in order to secure a deal with Turkey on stemming the flow of refugees into Europe, the Commission is now reviving long-frozen Turkish requests for participation in European rule-making bodies on issues such as maritime safety and industrial standards certification.

Diplomats said Cypriots have raised objections in several EU meetings over the last two months to the Commission’s efforts, which could lead to Turkish officials having input on European policy even though it is not an EU member."

 EU-Turkey readmission deal in doubt (euobserver, link):

"Authorities in Turkey have yet to ratify a key component in the migrant swap deal with the EU despite the European Commission saying otherwise.

People who are not Turks but who reside in the EU without proper papers and who entered EU territory from Turkey can now be sent back to Turkey under the terms of a bilateral readmission agreement for third country nationals.

The agreement is part of a bigger package to let Turkish nationals enter the EU’s Schengen travel zone without a visa.

The readmission accord was supposed to have entered into full force on 1 June. But a government spokesperson from Turkey told this website on Monday (6 June) that the law has yet to be ratified."

 Are You Syrious (link)

Another big refugee wave in the Balkans region

"While the so-called Balkan Route remains officially closed, more people are finding their way across the Balkans. More people are in Bulgaria as well as Serbia. In Belgrade, volunteers are asking for help while exhausted and dehydrated people are arriving in significant numbers. At the same time, Austria’s right wing politician suggests that the EUshould keep refugees offshore rather than allow them on to the continent. Meanwhile, no signs of peace in Syria."

The end of the EU-Turkey deal?

"German media, quoting Turkish pro-government media, are reporting that the deal between Turkey and the EU is suspended. The Turkish government threatened several times now that this would happen if the EU did not grant visa-free travel for its citizens, as it is set in the deal. The news about official suspension came from the “government close sources” of the newspaper Aksam and news agency AB Haber.... Turkey set the end of June as a deadline for the 28-member bloc to scrap visas. The EU officials claimed that it is nearly impossible to meet the deadline from the very beginning. At the same time, Turkish government claims they met the EU’s criteria for visa-free travel. Human rights activists, among others, claims the Turkey?—?EU deal is unacceptable and contrary to the international law."

 EU to put migration top of foreign policy agenda (euobserver, link):

A new proposal by the European Commission puts stemming the flow of migrants in the centre of foreign relations with some neighbourhood countries by providing financial incentives for them to stop people flowing into Europe.

The new communication by the EU executive, to be unveiled on Tuesday (7 June), suggests using visa liberalisation and trade policies with countries such as Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Niger and Ethiopia as bargaining chips to stem the flow of migrants....

critics warn that a similar attempt to tackle migration last year at the Valetta Summit with African leaders have yielded few results. "

Greece: Frontex denied help to refugees including 'unresponsive' baby (middleeasteye. link):

" Frontex denied aid to refugees including a baby and kept them floating in the sea off Greece for nearly two hours, according to aid workers.

Eyewitnesses told MEE that Frontex officers prevented aid workers helping 50 people as they landed on the northern shore of the Greek island of Lesbos early on Monday. Their tactic was to take them directly into detention "without any aid, even the injured," one aid worker said."

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