16 November 2017
Commission: Migration progress reports
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"Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "We are exiting crisis mode gradually"
The release reports that:
"Two years on, and with only around 750 persons in Greece and 3,100 in Italy left to relocate, the EU relocation scheme is successfully coming to an end. Over 31,500 persons have been relocated so far. Whilst almost all Member States have respected their legal obligations, the Czech Republic,Hungary and Poland have so far not taken any measure to address the grievances included in the Commission's reasoned opinion from July the infringement procedures therefore remain ongoing." [emphasis added]
The claim that "only around 750 persons in Greece" beg a recurring question. It is estimated there are between 55,00 - 60,000 refugees in Greece so what happens to tens of thousands of people held not to qualify for relocation?
The Progress report on the European Agenda on Migration (COM 669-17, pdf) says that:
"This instrument has been able to ensure that sufficient reception places are available on the mainland, modulating availability according to need up to a total of 40 000, as well as to contribute to the creation of capacity on the islands." [emphasis added]
There were 15,501 refugees on the Island (as of 14.11.17) suggesting that there are at least 55,501 in Greece.
The press release states:
"Under the EU-Turkey Statement, the Greek authorities need to step up the efforts and provide adequate resources to ensure effective returns to Turkey and deliver on this key element of the Statement. Only 1,969 returns have been carried out so far since March 2016." [emphasis added]
The Progress report notes that: "The result is that pressure on facilities and operations in the Greek islands remains high and continues to increase."
The: Joint Action Plan on the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement - Annex 2 (pdf)
- "Limit the risk of absconding
Increased patrolling by EL police officers would further limit the risk of absconding. The urgent application of an entry/exit system in the hotspots would also help to better monitor the migrant population and trace their whereabouts."
- Create sufficient detention capacity on the islands
710 places are currently available in pre-removal centres on the islands, 210 in Lesvos and 500 in Kos. There are still no detention facilities in Samos and Chios.
EL authorities need to urgently increase detention capacity so as to be able to increase the pace of returns."
From Italy and Greece by 14 November (Annex 6, pdf)
Relocated from Italy 10,265 and from Greece 21,238. Total relocated 31,503 from legal commitment of: 98,255.
Return rates from EU Member States (Annex 5, pdf):
The lowest return rates as a percentage of those ordered to leave in 2016 were:
Czeck Republic 10.37%
The highest were:
EU Member State average: 45.8%
"The EU remains confronted with unsatisfactory return rates due to inefficient enforcement of existing instruments at EU and national level and a common readmission policy which does not fully deliver."
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