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
EU: Asylum: AIDA 2016 Update: Hungary & Serbia (AIDA, link):
"Today AIDA is launching the first of a series of updated country reports from 20 European countries. The reports provide an updated and thorough overview of statistics, legal and policy frameworks and practices in the areas of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and rights of recognised beneficiaries of protection.
Country reports on Serbia and Hungary are released today, while another 18 reports will follow during the next months. The AIDA database offers an in-depth understanding of country-specific developments but also enables comparative research through common structure. Our reports reveal the persisting lack of coherence and common standards across Europe, from most worrying measures to best practices for the first time extending their scope to integration questions such as residence rights, access to citizenship and family reunification, says Minos Mouzourakis, AIDA Coordinator.
The first two reports on Serbia and Hungary are illustrative examples of some of the most problematic policies and practices across Europe. At the same time, they reveal a cross-border perspective of interlinked problems."
The reports: Hungary and Serbia (links to pdfs)
EU: Foreign Affairs Council: Council conclusions on Libya (pdf)
Adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 February 2017. Including:
"The EU condemns human rights violations and abuses against migrants and urges Libyan authorities to redouble their efforts to improve the protection and promotion of human rights, especially in migrant detention centres"
"Recognizing the need for Libyan ownership in helping to address irregular migration flows and saving lives, the EU will continue its activities through different complementary and coordinated activities in the context of Seahorse Mediterranean Network, European Border and Coast Guard Agency and CSDP, in accordance with international law.
In line with the Malta declaration, the EU will give further priority to the provision of training, equipment and other support, with priority given to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and other relevant legitimate Libyan agencies."
And see: factsheet: EU-LIBYA RELATIONS (pdf)
EU: Commission provides 12.5 million emergency "migration management" funding to Greece and Bulgaria
The European Commission has awarded Greece 3.9 million "to help improve reception conditions on the Greek islands" and Bulgaria 8.6 million, via the International Organisation for Migration, to "enhance the protection of unaccompanied children, carry out voluntary returns and provide reintegration support as well as assistance, information and counselling to migrants."
Libyans intercept at least 1,131 migrants off western coast in a week - coast guard (Reuters, link):
"TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's coast guard intercepted at least 1,131 migrants near the western city of Sabratha over the course of a week, a spokesman said on Saturday.
Ayoub Qassem said 431 migrants had been intercepted on four inflatable boats off Sabratha's coast on Thursday and some 700 had been picked up on Jan. 27 from three wooden vessels in the same area.
"The illegal migrants are from various sub-Saharan countries and include a big number of women and children," Qassem said of those intercepted on Thursday.
Those intercepted on Jan. 27 also included migrants from Syria, Tunisia, Libya and the Palestinian territories, he said, and smugglers had attempted to block the coast guards from taking those migrants from their boats."
Italy-Libya memorandum of understanding on migration and development: English translation
Press release: the EU and Italy de facto violate the principle of non-refoulement
At the informal Summit held at La Valletta on 3 February, the European Union confirms its policy of agreements for the closure of borders. Italy seconds the EU requests and concludes a shameful agreement with Libya.
The new foreign policy of the EU Commission and Council: development funds instrumentally used as bargaining chips to reach agreements and partnerships with third countries in order to repel migrants and refugees.
ASGI strongly condemns this shameful policy of the EU and the Italian Government to conclude agreements with third countries. The EU betrays basic rule of law principles and infringes the democratic basis for the peaceful coexistence of citizens says Lorenzo Trucco, lawyer and president of the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI).
EU: Commission: Member States' Relocations (2.2.17, pdf): 8,692 relocated from Greece out of 63,302 places allocated and 3,205 relocated from Italy of our 34,953 places allocated. Overall 22,453 places pledged out of 160,000 needed.
EU: Commission: EU has concluded readmission agreements with the following third countries (pdf) covering 17 countries, including nine in Europe.
GREECE-TURKEY: Ankara says Greece has forcefully sent thousands of migrants back to Turkey (Hurriyet, link):
"Turkey stated on Feb. 3 that Greece had forcefully sent thousands of migrants back to Turkey via the River Maritza in recent months.
Officials from the Directorate General of Migration Management, which works under the Interior Ministry, said that Greece sent back more than 3,000 migrants to Turkey in the past four months.
The officials requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.
They said Greece was not abiding by the readmission agreement between Turkey and Greece, while also disregarding international laws on human rights."
Turkey: Greece forcefully sent more than 3,000 refugees, migrants back (Keep Talking Greece, link):
"Ankara alleges that Greece has forcefully sent more than 3,000 refugees migrants back to Turkey in the past months violating the Turkish-Greek readmission agreement and the EU Turkey Deal. According to Turkish officials, the migrants were sent back to Turkey through the Evros river (Maritsa in Bulgarian, Meric in Turkish), the natural border between the two countries in the north. Turkish news agency Dogan reports, furthermore, that the migrants were tortured by Greek police officers who also seized their personal belongings before putting them on boats and pushing them back to where they came from."
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