Statewatch article: RefNo# 35786
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (30 news stories and documents: 27.11.15)
Statewatch News Online, November 2015
- European Commission: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis: Updated on 27 November (pdf)

- "Relocations" Member States' Support to Emergency Relocation Mechanism (pdf): 14 Member States 3,216 places (out of 160,000 needed), no change for three weeks... Only 159 people have been relocated: 129 from Italy and 30 form Greece - with major press coverage...

- Returns since September (pdf): Total "returns" organised by Frontex: 609 people (up 1) plus 153 from Italy (no change), none from Greece. Italy was the "Organising Member State" for two return flights to Nigeria. Returns flights have been to: Kosovo, Nigeria, Albania, Pakistan and Georgia.

- State of Play of Hotspot capacity (pdf) The Total Reception Capacity in Lesvos is: 700 (Moria) and next door: 780 (Kara Tepe) where there are: Frontex: 54 Officers (Debriefing, screening, fingerprinters and registration teams. Border Surveillance Officers, Advance Level Document Officer)

- Member States' financial pledges since 23 September 2015, € million: (Communicated as of 27 November 2015) Member States Africa Trust Fund Syria Trust Fund Humanitarian aid (pdf) The total Shortfall is: 2,227,660 euro. The total pledged by EU Member States is only 572,34 m euro.

- Member States' Support to Civil Protection Mechanism for Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia (pdf)

See: Statewatch Compilation: Commission statistics ongoing: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis

- EU-TURKEY: Background Note: Meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey: Brussels, 29 November 2015 (pdf)

The reason for this meeting is to get Turkey to agree to the EU-drafted Action Plan on migration to stop refugees arriving in Greece and for Turkey to activate the EU-Turkey readmission agreement "to ensure the application of the established bilateral readmission provisions and the return of economic migrants to their countries of origin." The country of origin for refugees arriving in Greece is Turkey. Given that the EU officially will only recognise people from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea as being in need of international protection and "relocation" in the EU thousands of refugees from other countries, especially Afghanistan, could be returned to Turkey.

In return the EU will offer money, moving towards a visa facilitation measure and to "re-energise" the EU accession process.

- News (27.11.15)

Attacks against Muslims on the rise after Paris strikes (DW, link): "Hatemongers in several European countries have been targeting Muslims after the Paris attacks. Advocates say people urgently need to develop strategies for reconciliation rather than demonizing Muslims en masse.... "Attacks against Muslims began the very same night of the Paris attacks," Yasser Louati of the Collectif Contre l'Islamophobie en France (Collective Against Islamophobia in France) told DW. The CCIF has received several reports and even pictures of vandalized mosques and restaurants owned by Muslims following the November 13 attacks in Paris, when militants killed 130 people, Louati said.""

Migrants at FYROM border crossing block trains (ekathimerini.com, link): "Migrants have over the last few days been protesting FYROM’s decision not to let them cross from Greece. Many migrants have camped on the railway lines connecting the two countries, which means that no trains have come in or out of Greece for the last week." and: Behind migrant protests, children live in limbo at Macedonia's border (DW, link): "With the Macedonian border closed to all but Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees, many children seeking asylum are stuck in a cold and dusty no man's land. Oscar Lopez reports from Idomeni, Greece."

Frontex to keep Piraeus office after protests (ekathimerini.com, link): "A meeting of Frontex’s management board in Warsaw, Poland, concluded with a decision to restructure the office in Piraeus but not to remove it after objections to the idea were raised by Greece and Cyprus." and see: Frontex to restructure its office in Greece (Frontex, link)

Mediterranean Migrants: Latest Developments (IOM, link): "Greece - Based on data gathered by the Hellenic Police and IOM field staff, IOM estimates that over 110,000 migrants and refugees have now arrived in Greece by sea since the beginning of November. The sharp decrease in the number of arrivals witnessed last weekend – only 155 crossed on November 22 and 336 on November 23 – has now reversed and numbers have again picked up. On 24 November some 3,516 people crossed and on 25 November 5,140." and Latest figures: 868,282 arrivals in the EU, 721,217 to Greece, 143,114 to Italy and 3,551 dead/missing

Norway border controls stop Syrians in Denmark (The Local.dk, link)

Sweden: 14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace (The Local.se, link)

Berlin and Vienna try to put brakes on refugee influx (euractiv, link): "The Austrian and German governments are looking for a way to reduce the influx of refugees. They want to satisfy everyone."

Member states deepen development aid diversion to refugees (euractiv, link): "The Global South is losing out, as EU members dig into their development aid budgets to meet the costs of their asylum policies."

BELGIUM: Asylum Secretary writes to Afghans considering asylum in Belgium (Flanders News, link): "The Belgian Asylum Secretary Theo Francken has written a letter advising Afghans not to seek asylum in Belgium. The letter has been posted on Facebook and follows a similar initiative last October in which the secretary of state addressed Iraqis thinking of applying for asylum here."

Calais refugee camp hit by another blaze (The Local, link): "Photos have emerged from a fire that swept through the New Jungle migrant camp in Calais, injuring two and burning down numerous tents over 250 square metres. The blaze marks the third at the camp in under a month."

CZECH REPUBLIC: Zeman in press: PM's stance on migration threatens Czech security (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka's stance on the migrant crisis threatens the security of the Czech Republic, President Milos Zeman told yesterday's issue of daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), calling the current migrant wave an organised invasion."

Czech, Slovak ministers agree to fund better border protection (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "The Czech Republic and Slovakia are ready to help finance the measures to secure the EU outer border in connection with the migrant crisis and terrorism threats, Finance Minister Andrej Babis told reporters after a meeting with his Slovak counterpart Peter Kazimir yesterday."

EU: Over 1,500 Czech volunteers helping refugees abroad (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "Over 1,500 volunteers from the Czech Republic have been helping the refugees abroad since early September, Zuzana Lenhartova, from the We Are Helping Fleeing People group, told CTK yesterday."

ITALY: 'We were abandoned': migrants tell of suffering in Italy's private shelters (The Guardian, link): "Hosting a refugee earns landlords €35 a day from the state, but asylum seekers report being left without gas, water and food"

Migrants: six kids dead in shipwrecks off Turkey (ANSAmed, link): "Six children have died in two migrant shipwrecks at dawn Friday off the Turkish coast, state-run news agency Anadolu reports. Two Syrian brothers ages one and four, Diven Halil Hussein and Beren Halil Hussein, drowned after their ship sank off Bodrum with 23 others on board, who were all rescued. Four other bodies of children were found after another ship carrying Syrian and Afghan nationals sank off Ayvacik in which 51 migrants were rescued."

When Sweden shut its doors it killed the dream of European sanctuary (Guardian, link): "Sweden has always welcomed refugees but the unprecedented migration crisis has forced it to shift ground: the high noon of social democracy has passed"

After Paris, is there a EU backlash against migrants? (CNBC, link): "A few months ago European leaders opened their arms, albeit reluctantly, to migrants coming into the continent from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa - but amid heightened concerns over the terrorism, there now appears to be is a growing backlash at the top against the newcomers."

Schengen: going, going… gone (Politico, link): "An optimistic experiment comes to a sad end. What next?"

Dijsselbloem - Refugee crisis could trigger 'mini-Schengen' (Reuters, link): "Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned that countries which fail to adequately guard Europe's borders and do not take in a fair share of refugees could find themselves outside the borders of a future "mini-Schengen" zone. In an interview in Belgian business dailies De Tijd and L'Echo on Friday, Dijsselbloem, who is also the chair of the euro zone group of finance ministers, said the EU's passport-free Schengen zone could not work if only a few countries gave shelter to refugees. "There are a few countries that are carrying the heaviest burden in the asylum crisis, taking in the most refugees," he told the papers, naming Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands."

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