EU: Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (13-19.11.18)


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EU: Rebooted Schengen Information System rules adopted by Council

The Council of the EU has adopted three new regulations that will extend the scale and scope of the Schengen Information System II (SIS II). The rules cover the use of the system for police and judicial cooperation; border checks; and "for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals".

Germany opens new military camp in Niger(Deutsche Welle, link):

"German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday opened a new Bundeswehr camp in the Niger capital of Niamey.

"Niger, like Mali and the other countries of the Sahel region, is part of the European neighborhood, a neighborhood facing unending challenges," von der Leyen said. Niger "is a valuable, reliable and determined partner in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration in the region."

During her visit, von der Leyen handed over 53 military transport vehicles to Niger Defense Minister Kalla Moutari as part of an "upgrade initiative" aimed at bolstering the country's military capabilities.

Germany is also developing other defense-related projects in Niger, including building an officer training school and expanding the military section of the capital's airport."

ITALY: Salvini Decree Approved by Italian Senate, Amid Citizen’s Protests and Institutional Criticism (ECRE, link):

"On November 7, the Italian Senate approved the new Decree-Law on immigration and security, introducing significant amendments and restrictions to the current asylum framework, prompting protests in the capital and opposition from institutions and organisations.

The law includes amendments in qualification and reception provisions, abolishes the humanitarian protection status and restricts access to accommodation in SPRAR (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) hosting facilities. Several detention and procedure-related amendments also predict significant changes in asylum standards and living conditions, while the decree includes provisions that make expulsion of aliens and citizenship revocation easier.

On Saturday, several thousand protesters participated in a march organised in Rome against the decree, which has been dubbed as the “Salvini decree” in reference to Matteo Salvini, the Interior Minister who is behind it. The protesters targeted the Minister’s hostile stance on migrant and refugee rights which has been prevalent amid wider anti- EU rhetoric."

Are You Syrious (15.11.18, link):


"A total of 81 people continue to refuse to disembark a commercial container ship in the Libyan port of "Misrata, claiming that Libya is too dangerous.

They were picked up by the vessel, which was loaded with cars, late on Friday after they were spotted on a flimsy raft out at sea. Only 14 people have been evacuated so far, according to IOM. Those that remain on board are protesting their return to Libyan detention centres. They have been on board now for six consecutive days.

MSF have been providing medical care on the vessel. They report there is a seventeen-year-old Sudanese boy on board whose brother and friend died in the hands of smugglers in Tripoli." (...)

Vulnerable refugees’ transfer to Greek mainland continues (, link):

"More than 600 asylum seekers have been moved from Samos, Lesvos, Chios and Kos to the mainland since Saturday, as part of the Migration Policy Ministry’s ongoing operation to ease overcrowding on the islands ahead of winter.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 16,500 asylum seekers considered vulnerable have been included in the operation."

Statewatch comment: Official Greek Ministry figures (13.11.18) show there are still 19,409 reugees on the Greek islands - including 9,428 on Lesvos and 5,228 on Samos.

Cruel European migration policies leave refugees trapped in Libya with no way out (AI, link);

"Findings published by the organization today highlight how EU member states’ policies to curb migration, as well as their failure to provide sufficient resettlement places for refugees, continue to fuel a cycle of abuse by trapping thousands of migrants and refugees in appalling conditions in Libyan detention centres.

“One year after video footage showing human beings being bought and sold like merchandise shocked the world, the situation for refugees and migrants in Libya remains bleak,” said Heba Morayef, Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty International."

The effectiveness of the right to family reunion of refugees: An analysis of the K. & B. ruling of the CJEU (EU Law Analysis, link):

"how must the Member States deal with applications for family reunification by beneficiaries of international protection which are lodged after this three months period? This is essentially the question in Case C-380/17 K. & B., that was submitted to the Court of Justice of the EU (the Court) for a preliminary ruling by the Council of State – the Dutch court of highest instance in immigration matters."

EU auditors praise refugee assistance to Turkey despite irregularities (euractiv, link):

"The Facility for Refugees in Turkey “swiftly” addressed people’s needs, stated a report by the European Court of Auditors published on Tuesday (13 October), but stressed there were some irregularities in tracking the EU funds."

Two people die after boat capsizes off coast of Turkey (RTE, link):

"Two people, including a child, have died after their boat sank off Turkey's western coast. The Turkish coastguard said that a search was underway to find 10 others.

It said one migrant had been rescued after two others swam to shore not far from the coastal town of Dikili in Izmir province.

Initial testimonies from the survivors revealed that the boat was carrying 15 migrants, 14 Afghans and one Iranian, the coastguard said in a statement."

Six EU countries – and counting – back out from the global migration pact (euractiv, link):

"Bulgaria has become the sixth EU country after Hungary, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia to signal that it will not sign the global migration agreement at a ceremony in Morocco in December.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 UN member nations except the United States, which had backed out last year."

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