Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 22.9.16


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EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Migration, security and fundamental rights: A critical challenge for the EU (Press release, pdf):


"it is vital that the reform of the EU’s border policy be further assessed to ensure its full consistency with the respect for the fundamental rights of those who enter and leave the EU.

Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: “The EDPS understands the need for the EU to better address the challenges of migration, borders and refugees. However, we recommend considering additional improvements in the revised proposals which will involve a significant collection of data concerning non-EU nationals whose freedoms, rights and legitimate interests may be significantly affected. Border management and law enforcement are distinct objectives and need to be more clearly distinguished. Refugees, asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and ordinary travellers may require separate considerations”.

The EDPS recommendations to enhance data protection in these proposals relate in particular to retention periods, the collection of the facial images of travellers requiring visas, the use of sensitive information such as biometric data, and to security measures.

In his Opinions, the EDPS draws attention to the role of eu-LISA and Frontex performing specific processing operations such as those related to statistics, as well as to the situations of minors when subject to the collection of fingerprints."

See also: EDPS Opinion on the First reform package on the Common European Asylum System (Eurodac, EASO and Dublin regulations) (pdf), EDPS Opinion on the Second EU Smart Borders Package Recommendations on the revised Proposal to establish an Entry/Exit System (pdf) and Commission Press release:Commission launches discussion on future framework for stronger and smarter information systems for border management and internal security (pdf)

 EU: Frontexit: A reinforced Frontex agency: EU turns a deaf ear to NGO’s warnings (pdf):

"More powerful than ever and enjoying complete impunity, the EU border management agency has a new name with a reinforced mandate. The European Union has indeed opted for an increase in the means allocated to deportation, control and external cooperation activities, with no regard for the rights of migrants and refugees....

Yet, the agency continues to put a number of rights at risk: first and foremost, the right to leave any country including one’s own; but also the right to seek asylum and the principle of non-refoulement, the right to personal data protection and the right to an effective remedy."

 Are You Syrious (21.9.16, link):

Greece: No Border Kitchen statement on Moria fire

"In a statement, the No Border Kitchen in Lesvos said “Moria camp is completely overcrowded, now housing double its intended capacity. The people are forced to stay in overcrowded tents or outside, there is not enough food or water, and hygienic conditions are very bad."

More than 5,777 people on Lesvos despite capacity for 3,500

"100 people were registered on Aegean Islands in the 24 hours up to 7:30 this morning?—?74 in Lesvos, 1 in Chios, 13 in Samos, 2 in Leros, and 10 in Rhodes.

The speedboat that landed in Rhodes had two Turkish families seeking protection from alleged political persecution in Turkey.

According to volunteers, one boat with 22 people landed on the north coast of Lesvos this morning and two other boats with 12 and 11 people respectively landed later during the day. More than 5,777 people are now on Lesvos, despite an official maximum capacity of only 3,500. The maximum capacity number has not been updated after the fire in the Moria camp.

The ferry that was supposed to accommodate more than 1,000 people in Lesvos will not arrive as planned, as the Greek shipping ministry has cancelled the tender. Bids are open until Friday."

Austria: Protest over Austria’s asylum policy on Saturday

"The ‘Platform for a human asylum policy’ will be holding a protest this Saturday, during the same time as the European asylum summit in Vienna. The organizers will protest against the Austrian emergency decree and upper limit on refugees and insist on the rights of refugees. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are willing to accept and help refugees, while the government is doing everything it can to stop refugees from entering the country."

Germany: Accommodation center set on fire this Monday

"Several right-wing protests against refugees have shocked Germany in the past few weeks. On Monday night, a still empty accommodation centre for refugees was set on fire in Bremen. 500 individuals spontaneously marched against right-wing violence on Tuesday night."

 NGOs: EU Failed In Lesvos (News That Moves, link):

"The fire at the overcrowded Moria detention centre in Lesvos is an indication of Europe’s failure to tackle the refugee crisis, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Greek branch of Medecins du Monde (MDM) said, in the aftermath of the blaze."

 Austrian election set for early December after 'gluegate' (The, link):

"Austria's parliament has approved December 4th as the new date for the presidential election re-run in a scandal-ridden race that could usher in the European Union's first far-right head of state."

 Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration (The Local, ch, link):

"Never has a proposed law diverged so far from the text of a publicly-voted referendum..

In its decision, parliament voted to maintain the free movement of people and its related bilateral agreements with the EU rather than implement fixed immigration quotas as voted for, in principle, by the Swiss people in the legally-binding 2014 referendum."

 Migrant deaths at sea signal Egypt becoming departure country (euractiv, link):

"A boat carrying up to 450 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean off Egypt’s north coast yesterday (21 September), drowning 42 people and prompting a search operation that rescued 163 passengers, officials said.."

 Report: Hungary could push for treaty change on migration (euobserver, link):

"Hungary's government might push for a treaty change to keep asylum rules in national competences if it wins a referendum on migration quotas on 2 October, Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag reported Wednesday (21 September).....

According to the paper, Hungary would propose exempting national migration rules from the common European policies."

 MEPs urge Sweden to end border checks (euobserver, link):

"Five MEPs from the European parliament’s civil liberties committee (Libe), who visited Sweden on Tuesday and Wednesday (20-21 September), urged it to end checks on the border with Denmark as soon as possible.

The head of the delegation, Portuguese Socialist Ana Gomes, said border checks were an exception to EU rules and must be a temporary solution....

Sweden reintroduced the borders last autumn after the arrival of a record number of refugees. Some 163,000 people were registered by the Migration Agency last year. EU rules say that a country can temporarily reintroduce borders as "a measure of last resort" when faced with a threat to public order and safety. "

 £100m of UK aid budget to be spent controlling immigration from Africa - Theresa May uses UN speech to outline plans to return Somali refugees and stop people trying to cross Mediterranean (Guardian, link):

"More than £100m of the UK aid budget will be spent on returning Somali refugees to the country they fled and encouraging people escaping war zones not to cross the Mediterranean under plans outlined by Theresa May in New York....

Her plans attracted criticism earlier in the summit over the suggestion that those fleeing war zones should stay and claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, rather than seeking sanctuary in European nations such as Britain."

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