|Statewatch article: RefNo# 36630
|Statewatch News Online, June 2016
|- EU: Council of the European Union: Legal challenges to Turkey "deal", Entry-Exit and EU Border Guard
- EU-TURKEY "DEAL": Cases before the General Court of the European Union (LIMITE doc no: 9897-16, pdf):
"The three applications are directed against the European Council and request the Court to annul the "EU-Turkey statement" which was issued following the meeting of 18 March 2016 of the Members of the European Council and their Turkish counterpart (See press release 114/16 of 18 March 2016)....
The applications in Cases T-192/16 and T-257/16 state that they are brought on behalf of individuals who are nationals of Pakistan and who are currently staying at the "No Borders Refugee Camp", in Lesbos, Greece. The application in Case T-193/16 states that it is brought on behalf of an individual who is a national of Afghanistan and who is currently staying at the "Onofiyta Refugee Camp", in Athens, Greece."
- ENTRY-EXIST SYSTEM: Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the use of the Entry/Exit System (LIMITE doc no: 9910-16, pdf): Council Presidency addition and deletions for compromise on its negotiating position.
- EU BORDER GUARD: European Border Guard: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004, Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 and Council Decision 2005/267/EC - Progress report (LIMITE doc on: 9716, pdf):
"In the context of the second trilogue held on 7 June 2016 the Presidency, the Rapporteur and the Commission discussed the outcomes of the technical meeting and reflected upon possible compromises ... and had a first exchange of views on return"
and see: Correction (Not LIMITE, pdf)
- Are You Syrious: SPECIAL REPORT: Desperate situation in camps around Thessaloniki (link):
"After camp in Idomeni, Greek—Macedonian border, was relocated, a group of independent volunteers started traveling in the area of Thessaloniki, where most of government run camps are, in attempt to collecting information about the situation. Some of the camps are “new”, others have already existed before the closure of Idomeni. This is their report."
- ECRE: European Council on Refugees and Exiles: The slow unfolding of the EU-Turkey deal? (link):
"The first decision, handed on 20 May 2016, was hailed by several human rights organisation as proof that the EU-Turkey deal is unworkable and should cease to exist. “This decision goes to the heart of why the EU-Turkey deal was so deeply flawed to begin with,” Gauri van Gulik, Deputy Europe Director at Amnesty International stated. A European Commission spokesperson, however, defended the validity of the EU-Turkey agreement, stating that these decisions only mean that there would be no blanket or automatic returns of people to Turkey.
The past week was also marked by the first case related to the EU-Turkey deal to reach the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Three Greek lawyers cooperating with ECRE members Pro Asyl and the Greek Council for Refugees applied for interim suspensive measures at the ECtHR to stop the deportation to Turkey of a Syrian man persecuted by ISIS."
- European Court of Human Rights: Violation of the right not to be tried twice for the same offence and breach of the presumption of innocence in cases involving accusations of smuggling (pdf)
"In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Sismanidis and Sitaridis v. Greece (applications nos. 66602/09 and 71879/12) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried or punished twice) to the European Convention on Human Rights as regards Mr Sismanidis, and
a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 2 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time and presumption of innocence) of the Convention as regards Mr Sitaridis.
The case concerned the institution of proceedings against each of the applicants for smuggling despite the fact that the criminal courts had already irrevocably acquitted them of the same offence."
- UN chief headed to Greece over migrants (ekathimerini.com/, link):
"United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he will head to the Greek Island of Lesvos next week to assess the migrant situation and show his solidarity. Ban said Thursday his trip to Lesvos on June 18 was part of the effort to formulate a global response to the crisis which has seen hundreds of refugees and migrants dying in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempt to flee war and persecution in their home countries."
- Migrant spat brews between Austria and Hungary (euractiv, link):
"Hungary refused yesterday (9 June) to take back any of the several thousand migrants that Austria says should be returned under EU rules, adding to a brewing spat between the two neighbours.
“(It) is clear that Hungary cannot take back these migrants,” Defence Minister István Simicskó told a joint news conference in Budapest with visiting Austrian counterpart Hans Peter Doskozil.
“In order to take them back they would have had to begin their journey here. But… they crossed several countries before arriving in Hungary. They didn’t suddenly get here by magic, they crossed several safe countries”, including Greece, Simicskó said."
And: Hungary refuses to take back migrants from Austria (euobserver, link)
- ITALY: Italy/Ventimiglia: Statement by PHM Italy in solidarity with migrants in transit and the No Borders network (pdf):
"As the People’s Health Movement Italy, a network of activists working to promote health, we express full solidarity and political support to the migrants in transit who are blocked at the Italian-French border and to the activists of the international No Borders network, particularly with regards to the serious events which are taking place in these hours in the territory of Ventimiglia....
The visit by interior minister Alfano which took place just over three weeks ago contributed to making a situation which was already intolerable harsher, leading to the closing of the centre set up by the Red Cross near to the station, to an increase in police control activities and to the creation of a tent city below the bridge of a highway which runs along the river Roia."
- Greece returns 13 Syrian refugees to Turkey (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Greek authorities say they have returned 13 Syrian refugees to Turkey under an agreement between that country and the European Union to stop the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe....
The rate of returns has been slow after thousands applied for asylum. So far fewer than 500 people have been returned under the deal."
- Frontex: West Balkan Risk Analysis (pdf):
"The unprecedented massive flows of people along the Western Balkan route proved to be unmanageable for the border authorities involved. These flows also exposed clear limits of border controls in the absence of uniform EU-wide migration and asylum policies.
All contingency plans were designed with lower numbers in mind and with a presumption that the arriving people would not refuse to follow the existing procedure."
- News (10.6.16)
Italy: Over 2,500 migrants to arrive in Italy between Fri and Sat - MSF vessel docks in Palermo with 592 people in board (ANSA, link)
Europe looking to make more deals to keep out migrants as legal challenges loom (humanosphere.org, link): "Europe is making moves to decrease the number of migrants coming from Africa and the Middle East. At the same time, pending legal challenges may overturn the recent deal with Turkey that has helped to limit the number of Syrian refugees arriving in Greece. Two migrants filed suit against the deal with the top court in the European Union....“To say today that we have a solution to our problem, that we are going to simply duplicate the deal with Turkey, and we’re going to roll it out to all the other countries – sorry, that is not the way forward,” Guy Verhofstadt, head of the European Union’s Liberal bloc, told the AP"
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