Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 9.5.16

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 Reports: Syrian woman shot at the Hungarian-Slovakian border


Via the Migreurop (link) mailing list, 9.5.16: "According to Hungarian language news sources (link), a 26-year old Syrian woman was shot this morning on the Hungarian-Slovakian border by the Slovakian authorities.

A 26-year-old Syrian was shot this morning on the Slovakian-Hungarian border. She was being smuggled in a car through the Vamosszabadi-Medve crossing. Vamosszabadi is also the location of one of the three open refugee camps in Hungary.

There were four cars, and close to Nagymegyer the Slovak customs authorities decided to stop the cars. Three of them stopped, and it turned out that they are carrying “illegal immigrants†(wording by the Slovak authorities). The driver of the fourth car decided not to stop and speeded instead. The customs authorities reacted with warning shots in the air, but when the driver did not care they shot at the car. The woman in the car was hit as well, and an ambulance had to be called. She was shot in the back and brought to the Dunajská Streda-hospital and operated, and now her situation is stable. All the people who were being transported have been handed over to the Ministry of the Interior.

At the same time, there is a huge traffic jam on the Hungarian-Austrian border as cars are being checked."

 EU: New asylum proposals: reaction and analysis

EU proposes Minority Report-style facial recognition for refugees (EurActiv, link): "The EU is planning wholesale changes to the bloc’s asylum law. In addition to a “fairer” distribution system for refugees and an extension of border controls within the Schengen area, the Eurodac fingerprint database, which is currently used to identify asylum seekers and irregular migrants, is to be enlarged.

The system is set to be supplemented with facial recognition software and personal data will be stored for a longer period of time, with the aim of ensuring that irregular migrants stay on the authorities’ radar; the information of underage refugees will also be kept. The upgrade will cost some €30 million."

Association Européenne pour la défense des Droits de l’Homme: Coercion and exclusion do not make an equitable asylum policy! The Commission’s «propositions» for a reform of asylum are either unacceptable or unrealistic (press release, pdf): "For the second time in less than a year, the European Commission has presented a “plan” bringing forward reform propositions to solve the European Asylum and Migration crisis.

In a note published today, AEDH observes that the European Commission is offering to organise the regression of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, in a bid to seek the support of Member States and stem the flow of people entering the European territory with the hope of finding protection there.

How far will the European Union go in denying its fundamental values and its history?"

See the English summary of AEDH's analysis (link).

Fairness and fines: European Commission presents Dublin overhaul (New Europe, link): "The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a “fairness mechanism”, a new asylum application system that aims to enforce solidarity among the EU member states.

The new system’s key element is the automatic establishment of each member state’s upper limit of asylum applicants it can process. This key number will show the indicative share of the total number of asylum applications made in the EU that each member state could be able to receive, in respect to each country’s size and wealth. Size of the population and Total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are equally weighted (50% each). If the total amount of asylum applicants being handled exceeds 150% of that number, all further asylum applicants (regardless of nationality) are to be relocated to other EU member states, according to the proposed system. This relocation mechanism for that country will remain in place until the number of applications is back below that 150% threshold.

The new system allows the EU to help determine when one member state is responsible for a disproportionate amount of applications, compared to other member states."

And: Commission Proposals for tougher Dublin system, more data collection under Eurodac and the birth of a new Asylum Agency

"The proposed reform of the Dublin Regulation will not revisit the responsibility criteria of the current mechanism, which in the majority of cases lead to Member States of first entry being designated as responsible for asylum seekers. The weight placed on the irregular entry criterion could be further exacerbated given that the 12-month time-limit, after which the responsibility of the country of entry ceases under the current rules, is to be removed. The proposal includes a “corrective fairness mechanism” of relocation, to be triggered in Member States facing particular pressure, similar to a reform proposed last September. Under that mechanism, asylum seekers will be subject to a relocation scheme from the country in question only after their claim has been deemed admissible, namely after the potential applicability of the “safe third country” concept has been ruled out in their case. Member States refusing to relocate asylum seekers will have to pay 250,000€ per person to the country in which he or she is relocated."

The proposal for new Eurodac legislation, along with the Commission's other proposals, can be seen here: EU opens door to visa waiver as part of legally "dodgy deal" with Turkey and plans Dublin III

See also: The Orbanisation of EU asylum law: the latest EU asylum proposals (EU Law Analysis, link)

 Map: Refugee camps in Northern Greece (link): lists 19 different sites on the Greek mainland.

 News (9.5.16)

FRANCE: Calais : un migrant pakistanais meurt percuté par une voiture sur la rocade portuaire [A Pakistani migrant dies after being hit by a car on the port bypass] (La Voix du Nord, link)

GREECE: Europe Day: 100 Refugees Tour Acropolis With Greek Minister (Greek Reporter, link): "Greek Culture Minister Aristidis Baltas will guide a hundred refugees around the ancient site of the Acropolis. The refugees – mainly families from hospitality centers of Eleonas, Athens center, and Schistos, Piraeus – will be the minister’s guests in the framework of events celebrating Europe Day (May 9)."

GREECE: Coast guard officers save 74 migrants of Lesvos, Farmakonisi (Ekathimerini, link): "Greek Coast Guard officers saved a total of 74 migrants off the islands of Lesvos and Farmakonisi over the past three days as the influx of people from neighboring Turkey ebbs.

The rescue efforts were relatively unhindered as weather conditons have been good."

MOROCCO-SPAIN: Marruecos blinda la playa de Beliones con vallas metálicas y efectivos de las Fuerzas Auxiliares[Morocco shields the Beliones beach with metal fences and troops from the Auxiliary Forces] (, link): "The collaboration between Spain and Morocco to halt the entry of migrants onto Spanish national territory has led the Auxiliary Forces of the neighbouring country to shield, with metal fences and barbed wire, the entire beach of Beliones."

NETHERLANDS: Former refugee boats now sail on calmer waters in Amsterdam (Dutch News, link): "A cruise around Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Graham Dockery took a different sort of tour of the city’s waterways, on a boat which had carried asylum seekers to Sicily."

POLAND: Kaczynski: Poland will not accept any refugees (New Europe, link): "Poland will not accept any refugees “because there is no mechanism (implemented by the EU) that would ensure security,” leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Saturday.

Kaczynski participated in PiS broadcast on YouTube on Saturday named “A Strong Poland in Europe.” The Polish conservative lawyer and co-founder of PiS said that Poland would also oppose European Commission’s proposals that would recommend a fine for every Member State which rejects to accept their share of asylum-seekers under the EU refugee-relocation programme.

Answering questions from internet users, Kaczynski said that “after recent events connected with acts of terror, (Poland) will not accept refugees because there is no mechanism that would ensure security…This is the position of the prime minister and the whole of PiS.”"

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