Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 13 10.16


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EU: €67 million for maritime surveillance drones

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) wants drones, and lots of them. The agency has made more €67 million available for unmanned aircraft that will fulfil "the various maritime surveillance needs in general, including fisheries, illegal immigration, anti drug trafficking, etc." as well as "other public purposes on an emergency basis."


In documents published at the end of July, EMSA says it is looking for a company or companies to provide three different types of drone to monitor "the different operational domains": medium-size, long-endurance drones; "larger size RPAS services with 'long endurance' and with a comprehensive set of sensor capabilities"; and drones with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) abilities.

EU-TUNISIA RETURNS DEAL? The EU and Tunisia start negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission (Press release, pdf):

"The Commission and Tunisia today began parallel negotiations in Tunis on an agreement to facilitate the process of issuing short-stay visas and an agreement to establish procedures for the readmission of irregular migrants....

the agreement on the readmission of irregular migrants should lay down the procedures to be followed by both sides in order to clarify, simplify and speed up cooperation in this area...."

See: Communications from Commission and EEAS (JOIN 46-16):Renforcer le soutien de l'UE à la Tunisie (pdf)

 No quick return to Schengen (DW, link):

"Germany, Austria and Denmark have called for an extension of "temporary" Schengen border restrictions as a new report warns such measures will be expensive.

The European Commission's hope to restore the Schengen system's border-free internal travel by the end of the year is looking bleak. As interior ministers met in Luxembourg Thursday, the overriding view was that it's not feasible to drop the emergency measures by mid-November when they are scheduled to end."

 Cut funds to states that turn away refugees, Italy urges EU (euractiv, link):

"Eastern states that continue to refuse to take in refugees to help frontline countries in Europe’s migration crisis should have their EU funding cut, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday ..

Italy is the main destination for the waves of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Africa. It is housing 160,000 asylum seekers out of more than 460,000 refugees who have reached its shores from North Africa since the start of 2014, Ministry of the Interior data shows.

Of 39,600 refugees due to be relocated from Italy under an EU quota plan, so far only 1,300 have been moved, according to the European Commission."

 GREECE: Hotspots on Aegean islands overcrowding growing

Overall the number of refugees ("Guests") on the Greek islands at 12 October was 15,192 and the capacity in detention/hotspots was 7,450. There were 162 arrivals that day

Latest Greek government figures: 5,895 "guests" are being held on Lesvos, where there is capacity for 3,500 people. On Chios, 4,190 "guests" are being held in a camp intended to hold 1,100; on Samos there are 2,089 people in centres designed to hold 850; and on Kos 1,889 in a 1,000-person centre. Leros is the only island not suffering from overcrowding, with 724 "guests" being held in a space able to accommodate 1,000. Rises in all centres except Leros.

See: Summary statement of refugee flows at 12-10-16 (pdf)

 Are You Syrious (12.10.16, link)

Greece: 515 people have arrived on Samos since the beginning of October

"162 people were registered up to 7:30am this morning —22 in Lesvos, 38 in Chios and 102 in Samos. Samos is now at 245% of its capacity with 2,089 guests and is quickly becoming one of the busiest islands in terms of arrivals, with 515 people arriving since the beginning of October, compared to 436 in Chios and 127 in Lesvos. One sixth of this year’s total arrivals in Samos took place this month alone.

According to volunteers, one boat with 42 people reached Chios and one boat with 38 people reached northern Lesvos today."

Germany: 579.000 asylum applications still pending

"FAZ reports that in the first three quarters of 2016, 213.000 asylum seekers came to Germany compared to 890.000 in 2015.

More than 660.000 applied for asylum in 2016 until the end of September, 117% more than during the same period last year?—?the majority of those applying for asylum this year came to Germany in 2015.

The process is still very slow and by the end of September there were still 579.000 pending applications?—?100.000 more than during the summer. However, in the first nine months of 2016, 462.314 applications have been processed, 165% more than during the same period last year, and the last September week was the first one with more closed than new applications."

Over 1,000 refugees sleep in the streets of Belgrade

"IOM says some 4,992 migrants were stranded in Serbia as of the 5th of October, while UNHCR counted 5,800, including over 1,000 people sleeping in the streets of Belgrade.

The number of people sleeping rough in Belgrade could be much higher than official UNHCR numbers, as the Miksalište centre, which provides food, clothing, medical and psychological help for refugee families, says that today alone, 26 adults and 382 children used their services."

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