Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 8.11.16


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 Hungary migrant ban narrowly fails in parliamentary vote (Guardian, link):


"Vote on proposal to bar migrants from being resettled in the country falls just short of two-thirds majority needed.

Hungary’s parliament has narrowly failed to pass a plan proposed by the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to ban the resettlement of migrants in the country.

The proposed constitutional amendment got 131 votes in the 199-seat parliament – a majority of 65.8% but just short of the two-thirds majority needed to make the change. Opposition parties boycotted the vote."

 Greece: Ministry statistics of refugee "guests" (7.11.16, pdf)

On the islands: Number of refugee "guests": 16,187, Capacity 8,204 and 98 arrvials by 0730.

 The Swiss go for British-style standoff with Brussels over EU migration (New Europe, link):

"The sovereigntist right wins this battle, but at what cost?

Switzerland is moving towards a British-style confrontation with the EU after the Swiss Parliament moves to give the Swiss preferential access in its labour market over EU citizens.

The EU has made clear that Switzerland cannot gain access to the Single Market without agreeing to free movement of people. 25% of the residents of Switzerland are foreign nationals. Bern hopes it is possible to broker a deal under which a current resident of Switzerland – Swiss or EU citizen – will have preferential access to its job market.....

The Swiss Parliament decided on Monday to give Swiss citizens preference in its labour market, succumbing to pressure from the nationalist right. Under the new law, companies will declare job vacancies to authorities before and local job centres of any vacancies. If they hire foreigners, they may be made to account for their “failure” to hire locally. The rule is supposed to apply only in sectors with higher than the average unemployment."

 Why Cooperating with Libya On Migration Could Damage the EU’s Standing (HRW, link):

"The EU and Italy have a hidden agenda in training Libyan naval forces to intercept smugglers.

Italy and the Netherlands began training Libyan coast guard and navy officers on Italian and Dutch navy ships in the Mediterranean earlier in October. The training is part of the European Union’s anti-smuggling operation in the central Mediterranean with the goal of enhancing Libya’s “capability to disrupt smuggling and trafficking… and to perform search-and-rescue activities.”

What might sound like a straightforward and even laudable initiative is actually fraught with legal and ethical questions."

 Are You Syrious (7.11.16, link):


"There were 98 new arrivals on Greek islands today. This adds to the number reached this weekend with over 15 000 people stuck in five “hot spots” in east Aegean islands. The numbers are well over the staggering 15 000 count which was reported in the news and, according to official data there are now 16 187 people in the camps on the islands. These camps became overcrowded long time ago, with the capacity for 8 204 people they now hold almost a double of that number."

No Border Kitchen Lesvos reports on increased repression on the ground

"The repression detailed in report is much felt on the ground, with reports of police violence coming from Lesvos where No border kitchen claims that they are being harassed more and more in last couple of weeks by the police and even physically attacked (by plain clothes person who would have not identify himself as police). They even reported that police entered into the new social center and picked up everybody that was not “European looking” and brought them to the police station. Still, No border kitchen says “Luckily everybody got out of the police station and Camp Moria quite fast and despite the repression our work goes on."

German legal system under pressure

"Pressure is piling up on the legal system in Berlin. While in 2015 they dealt with 2343 asylum requests/legal processes, the first 10 months of this year already mark 6908 cases. Lately, most of the asylum seekers were only provided with the subsidiary protection. A judge told Tagesspiegel these processes could take years and burden the justice system. The refugees have no costs in the process, either Berlin covers it of BAMF, depending on the outcome. Due to this, they predict no family reunification until March 2018."

 EU-Turkey migrant deal risks collapse, warns Austria (euobserver, link):

"The EU's migrant swap deal with Turkey risks collapse amid a sharp upsurge of tensions between the two sides, Austria's defence minister has warned.

Hans Peter Doskozil urged the EU to develop contingency plans. "As the deal between the EU and Turkey is turning more and more fragile and the first cracks are becoming visible, we must make sure that we are ready to act," he told reporters on Monday (7 November)."

 IOM: 2,026 migrants returned to homelands in October (, link);

"Thousands of migrants have left Greece and returned to their home countries within the framework of an assisted voluntary return and reintegration program operated by the International Organization for Migration, the agency said Monday.

According to the IOM, 2,026 migrants were repatriated in October, bringing the total number of returns so far this year to 15,954.

The majority of those who returned to their homelands were Albanians (1,153), followed by Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Georgians, Algerians, Iranians and Moroccans."

 Europol supported a high level expert meeting in Rome to discuss migrant smuggling (link):

"On 3 November 2016, Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre together with the Italian authorities organised an expert meeting in Rome focusing on migrant smuggling networks operating from North Africa on the Central Mediterranean route....

All participants concluded that effective action against migrant smuggling relies on joint cooperation among origin, transit and destination countries, as well as on a swift information exchange between law enforcement partners. It was also emphasized throughout the session that the timely exchange of information between affected partners could contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon and enable a more efficient response to the rapidly developing situations. To facilitate this, an informal network of experts from the relevant stakeholders is expected to establish under the coordination of the Italian Authorities."

See also: European Migrant Smugling Centre - EMSC (link)

 FRA: 4 persistent migration challenges needing urgent action (Fundamental Rights Agency, link):

"Protecting unaccompanied children, tackling violence and hate crime, improving safety in reception centres and more support for local communities; these are four persistent challenges that need addressing urgently, as identified in the latest FRA summary report on migration-related fundamental rights."

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