Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 12 10.16


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 Refugee crisis: Council admits the EU has failed to respond on key areas


- "Frontex and Europol... report fatigue among Member States in responding to calls for experts"

- Some 'nationalities' are unable to register their asylum applications. Lodging of asylum applications is done according to nationality, giving priority to Syrians, Pakistanis and North Africans, while Iraqi and Afghani requests are not being dealt with."

Over a year ago the Council and the European Commission- belatedly - started to respond to the refugee crisis. Now a year on the Council, in a secret report to COREPER, recognises some of the failures and urges - for the umpteenth time - Member States to "do more":

See: Migration - Implementation (LIMITE doc no: 12730-16, pdf)

 EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 13-14 October 2016, Luxembourg: Background Note(pdf) Including: "Finding solutions to migratory pressures" (link) and document above.

Greece: More than 11,200 migrants stranded on Aegean islands (, link):

"Authorities say 162 migrants and refugees have arrived on Greece’s Aegean islands in the past 24 hours, raising the total number to 11,215.

Authorities say 38 arrivals were reported on Samos, 38 on Chios and 22 on Lesvos. The number of individuals sheltered on Samos has increased by about 40 percent over the past 10 days, officials say."

 Are You Syrious (11.10.16, link)

What the life in Calais camp looks like with demolitions and evictions on the horizon

"We still have no final confirmation of when the eviction will take place but many fear it could begin as soon as Monday — and still there is no plan for how refugees will be taken care of.

The organisation Help Refugees expresses a special concern for the camp’s most vulnerable refugees, namely, the unaccompanied minors, families, women and, especially, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, people needing special medical treatment, people suffering from severe mental health issues resulting from trauma and, finally, the elderly...."

Push-backs of refugees from Serbia to Macedonia

"Systematic push-backs of people from Presevo camp has been confirmed by both Serbian and Macedonian volunteers. Refugees who have been locked up for months in Presevo are allegedly being returned to Macedonia without a legal procedure, in groups of 30–40 people per day, most probably over the green border. Refugees who are still in Presevo say they are very afraid because they don’t have any information if they too will be pushed back to Macedonia."

For the first time there are now more than 15,000 refugees on the islands (official capacity is 7903)

"New arrivals: Samos: 88, Kos: 6, Kalymnos: 26, Megisti: 23, Chios: 39 and Lesvos: 22. Voluntary returns: 1"

 EU: Meijers Committee: Statement on behalf of the Meijers Committee During the Public Hearing on ‘The reform of the Dublin System and Crisis Relocation’ of 10 October 2016 By Ms. Nejra Kalkan, Executive Secretary (pdf):

"With regard to this proposal one may wonder:

Should we not establish a system that works with the interests of asylum-seekers and Member States which are in the frontlines – instead of coercing unwilling Member States and asylum seekers into cooperation? As long as the system is deemed to be unfair by the key players in Dublin and does not serve their interests, Dublin may be bound to fail, regardless of how much coercion is put into the system. That coercion is moreover problematic from the perspective of human rights.

Would we not call a builder of a house irresponsible if he or she would build more floors to a house whose foundations are, to say the least, shaky?"

See: Note on the proposed reforms of the Dublin Regulation (COM (2016) 197), the Eurodac recast proposal (COM (2016) 272 final), and the proposal for an EU Asylum Agency (COM(2016)271 final) (pdf)

 Viewpoint: Why Afghan refugees are facing a humanitarian catastrophe (BBC News, link);

"Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees in Europe, Pakistan and Iran are being forced to return home to Afghanistan by the European Union, UN agencies and governments in the region.

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is likely to be the result as the refugees - many of them destitute - return to what is effectively a countrywide war zone, with the Taliban attacking half a dozen provinces.

Moreover, the country's severe winter months are approaching, when essential supplies are even harder to obtain. The government in Kabul does not have the resources to help these refugees or resettle them as it focuses on the war, defending major cities and paying for the army's upkeep. .

The EU is likely to accept many Syrian refugees because it considers Syria a war zone, but the EU does not consider Afghanistan as a war zone even though the country is torn apart by war.

Previous definitions by the EU that Kabul and provincial capitals are safe havens no longer hold true with half a dozen provincial capitals under siege by the Taliban....

Similarly, Pakistan plans to repatriate 1.6 million registered and another one million unregistered Afghan refugees - many of whom have been living in Pakistan since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. .."

 African nations must halt migration, says Merkel (euobserver, link):

"Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has called on African leaders to stop migration to Europe and fight back against Islamic extremism.

She vowed to help with development aid and military equipment to ensure peace and prosperity in Africa....

Some EU leaders, including Merkel, have indicated they would like to strike Turkey-style deals with African nations, whereby they would agree to take back migrants in exchange for money and other favours, such as visa-free travel. "[emphasis added]

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