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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe

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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
At the behest of the EU Greece is to install a "coastal surveillance system covering the whole sea border between Greece and Turkey"

The latest report from the Hellenic delegation to the Council of the European Union on "serious" deficiencies in the application of the Schengen acquis envisages the construction of a: "National Integrated Maritime Surveillance System (NIMSS)":

See: Schengen evaluation of Greece - 3rd Follow-up report on the implementation of the Action Plan on addressing the "serious" deficiencies identified in the 2015 evaluation on the application of the Schengen acquis in the field of management of the external borders (LIMITE doc no: 6311-17, pdf)

EU tells France: Take "immediate measures" to identify and deport migrants living in and around Calais: Commission: Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision setting out a recommendation on addressing the deficiencies identified in the 2016 evaluation of France (Pas-de-Calais) on the application of the Schengen acquis in the field of return (Commission LIMITE doc no: 26-17, pdf)

Are You Syrious (27.2.17, link):

Push them back

"We are witnessing a continuous silent game of pushbacks from Europe to refugees’ so-called “safe” home countries. Since certain destination countries such as Germany have announced the start of new deportations, the Greek asylum system is under more pressure. People are pushed back to Greece, the Greek Government is working on cleaning up the islands and speeding up deportations to Turkey, where detention centers often have very limited or no access to legal or medical support and overall living conditions are bad, and from Turkey they are more easily deported back to their countries of origin. European countries are updating their policies on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration. Austria is now granting the right of residence to refugees for three years, instead of the previous indefinite right of residence...."

Lesvos - arrests and deportations

"No Borders Kitchen issued a statement about police arrests in squats, targeting specific nationalities (that are very unlikely to be granted asylum). Following the European Commission report on the EU-Turkey deal (which says that 1,187 irregular migrants were returned from Greece to Turkey in the course of 2016 ) the Greek government wishes to speed up deportations from the islands"

SWITZERLAND: Transfers from Switzerland to Italy under Dublin regulations

"Every year Switzerland sends thousands of immigrants back to Italy since the Dublin accords call for asylum seekers to be handled by the first European country where they arrive or land, most often Italy and Greece. What is surprising is that the vast majority of the cases Switzerland wanted to refer to Italy were immigrants who were never registered (didn’t leave fingerprints) there. Under Dublin people can be transferred to another country even if they weren’t registered if proven they were previously there (ie. with a train ticket, receipts or the asylum seeker’s own statement), Swiss Info reports."

Senior Arab diplomat derides EU migrant discourse (euractiv, link):

"A distinguished Arab diplomat remarked that EU politicians and think tank representatives did not make use of keywords such as “Iraq” or “Islam” while discussing the Union’s relations with its neighbours and the refugee crisis for several hours.

Former UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told an audience in Malta on Monday (27 February) to look at the root causes of the unprecedented refugee crisis, which he said was triggered by destructive Western policies."

Migrant children endure horrors in Libya and Italy (euobserver, link):

"The UN's children's fund, Unicef, has said minors face shocking abuse in Libya and risk vanishing into crime and prostitution in Europe.

The Unicef report, out on Tuesday (28 February), said more and more children are arriving in Italy alone and required better protection to prevent them falling into the hands of criminals."

NGO rescues off Libya encourage traffickers, says EU borders chief (Guardian, link): "Head of Frontex calls for rescue operations in Med to be re-evaluated and says NGOs work ineffectively with security agencies."

See: Statewatch: EU agencies and officials accuse NGOs of assisting people smugglers off Libyan coast (16.12.16)

EU urged to end cooperation with Sudan after refugees whipped and deported (Guardian, link)

"MEP calls for inquiry as Ethiopian and Eritrean asylum seekers receive 40 lashes and $800 fines, while activists warn EU migration aid is emboldening Sudan.... The MEP Barbara Lochbihler, vice-chair of the European parliament’s sub-committee on human rights, said the EU should launch an inquiry. “The EU must voice clear criticism on the recent incidents, conduct a thorough investigation, try and help the people concerned, and draw the necessary conclusion: if projects such as Better Migration Management carry the risk for the EU to become complicit in human rights abuses, which I believe to be true, we should pull out immediately.”"

Greece: Migrants rescued off Kythira to be transferred to Piraeus (, link):

"A group of 41 undocumented migrants who were rescued off the coast of Kythira on Monday were to be relocated to Piraeus, authorities said on Tuesday."

Swedish asylum shelter in Vanersborg hit by blaze (BBC News, link)

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