FREE NEWS 11TH-12TH FEBRUARY

Justice and Home Affairs: Erdogan threatens to send refugees to the EU by plane and bus (EurActiv)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today (11 February) slammed EU and UN pressure to open Turkey’s borders to more refugees, threatening to send the millions already in the country to other states. “We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing. We will do the necessary,” Erdoğan told a business forum in Ankara. He also said he had previously told the European Union’s two top officials, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, that the time could come when Turkey would open the gates for migrants to travel to Europe. The statements confirm that the transcript of a conversation during the G20 meeting in Antalya last November, in which Erdoğan was quoted as threatening Europe with migrants, is true […]

Justice and Home Affairs: EU pressures Greece as hotspots are not yet operational (NewEurope)
The European Commission strongly recommended Greece to take urgent measures to improve conditions for asylum seekers upon their arrival in Europe. Athens has one month to react, given that the European Union hopes to send more refugees back to Greece.
For the moment only 1 out of the 5 foreseen Greek hotspots is operational, offering 12,342 reception places instead of the 50,000 places promised last October. Nevertheless, the EU said it hopes registration centres could be running in about 10 days. The EU plans to reintroduce Greece into the ‘Dublin system’, which allows governments send asylum seekers back to the first EU country they arrived in. This procedure was suspended for Greece in 2011 because of the enormous influx of migrants reaching the country […]

Migration: Erdogan to EU: ‘We’re not idiots’, threatens to send refugees (EuObserver)
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out against the EU on Thursday (11 February) and threatened to send millions of refugees in Turkey to the bloc’s member states, just as NATO agreed to deploy ships in the Aegean Sea to ease the migrant crisis.
In a speech in Ankara Erdogan confirmed an earlier leaked report in which he made clear to EU leaders late last year that he could open the gates for the estimated 2.7 million refugees to enter Europe. “We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. We will be patient, but we will do what we have to. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing,” Erdogan said in a speech, signalling Turkey was running out of patience […]

Migration: Nato to help Turkey and Greece ‘stem flow’ of refugees (EuObserver)
Nato will “immediately” move three naval ships to the Aegean Sea to help Greek and Turkish coastguards to “stem the flow” of migrants trying to get to Europe.
Nato head Jens Stoltenberg announced the decision in Brussels on Thursday (11 January), saying it was designed to “stem illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean” […]

Migration: Europe’s watchdog: Migrant crisis threatens Balkan stability (EuObserver)
The migrant crisis risks reigniting old tensions among the Western Balkan nations as EU-led policies fail to stem the flow of migrants, says Europe’s human rights watchdog.
Thorbjorn Jagland, who presides over the Council of Europe, said panic, the lack of a coordinated EU response, and national agendas have led Europe “to a very very dangerous point” […]

Migration: EU parliament calls for solidarity on refugees, more help for Greece (NewEurope)
A warning against trapping thousands of asylum-seekers in Greece has come from Claude Moraes, Civil Liberties Committee Chair in the European Parliament.
“It is important that including Greece in Dublin will not simply be used as a push-back for Member States as this would merely ring-fence Greece from the rest of the EU, trapping thousands of asylum-seekers and increase pressure on a country that is already struggling to respond to migratory flows,” he said. “Solidarity is essential. Member States must play their part in alleviating the pressures faced by Greece’[…]

Migration: No migrant swap deal, says Turkey (EuObserver)
Turkey has rejected a Dutch-led migrant swap deal, as Balkan nations threaten border clampdowns to stem the inflows of people.
The Netherlands, currently chairing the EU presidency, had proposed an annual resettlement of up 250,000 people from Turkey to member states in return for Ankara stopping people from crossing into Greece.
But Turkey’s ambassador to the EU Selim Yenel told the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday (10 February) the proposal would never work.
“Forget it. It’s unacceptable. And it’s not feasible,” he said […]

Global Europe: Major powers agree to plan for ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria (EurActiv)
Major powers agreed today (12 February) to a cessation of hostilities in Syria set to begin in a week, and to provide rapid humanitarian access to besieged Syrian towns.
But they failed to secure a complete ceasefire, and end Russia’s bombing campaign, which had been at the top of the gathering’s agenda.
Following a marathon meeting in Munich aimed at resurrecting peace talks that collapsed last week, the powers, including the United States, Russia and more than a dozen other nations, reaffirmed their commitment to a political transition when conditions on the ground improved.At a news conference, US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that the Munich meeting produced commitments on paper only […]

Global Europe: Turkey may intervene in Syria: Erdogan (NewEurope)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is running out the patience and warned about launching a military operation in Syria. Erdogan also accused the UN of insincerity in asking Turkey to do more to help Syrian refugees, while “Iran-backed forces in Syria were carrying out merciless massacres”.
At a business forum in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan once again took a tough stance towards the handling of Syrian crisis and repeated said that his country could be forced to take action if the bloodshed did not stop there.
“We will show patience up to a point and then we’ll do what’s necessary. Our buses and planes are not waiting there in vain,” said Erdogan according to Reuters […]

Foreign Affairs: Partial Syria ceasefire agreed at talks in Munich (The Guardian)
A cessation of hostilities is to come into force in Syria within a week and humanitarian aid is to be delivered to besieged areas across the country in the next few days, the US, Russia and other powers said late on Thursday night at talks in Munich. There was no clear commitment to end Russian airstrikes, however.Galvanised by mounting international concern over the war, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said progress had been made towards implementing a nationwide “cessation of hostilities”, although it was not clear how this could happen unless Russia stops bombing civilians and mainstream rebels who are fighting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. Action against Islamic State would continue […]

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE NEWS 9TH-10TH FEBRUARY

Justice and Home Affairs: Legal experts cast doubt on new German asylum measures (EurActiv)
Berlin remains divided over the new asylum package for refugees, with the issue of family reunification continuing to split opinion. EurActiv Germany reports.Very few countries around the world enshrine the right to asylum in its constitution, yet Germany does. However, this right is set to be limited more and more. The ruling parties of Germany want to impose stricter laws such as deporting convicted foreigners and to only admit certain people into the country.
The bundle of laws approved last week by the German Cabinet, known as “Asylum packet II”, is set to be changed even more.Family Affairs Minister Manuela Schwesig admitted yesterday (8 February) that there had been a breakdown in the negotiations after the SPD complained that unaccompanied minors would be affected and would potentially be prevented from reuniting with their families. The party’s leader, Sigmar Gabriel, also commented at the weekend that he was not happy with the agreement […]

Refugee Crisis:National reluctance sinks EU’s refugee relocation plan  (EurActiv)
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker’s flagship plan to stem Europe’s migration crisis by redistributing refugees around the bloc risks crumbling, as EU states balk at sharing the burden, according to several diplomats and officials.Since adopting the scheme last September to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from frontline states Greece and Italy, European Union countries have moved at a snail’s pace, taking in just 500 people. Having pushed through his pet project for easing a crisis that saw more than one million people flood Europe’s shores last year, former Luxembourg premier Juncker last month vowed “not to give up” on the scheme […]

Migration: Greece struggles to hit EU migrant hotspot deadline (EuObserver)
Greece is struggling to get its refugee arrival screening zones finished by a 15 February deadline. EU demands to have the five so-called hotspots up and running on the Aegean islands is meeting local resistance.  On Monday (8 February), Greek minister for national defence Panos Kammenos said it would deliver on “a pledge to complete the work for the centres” by the deadline.
Greek daily Kathimerini reports that less than half the work at the proposed hotspots in Samos and Kos is completed. Work on the other sites in Lesbos, Leros and Chios is more advanced. Last week, the Greek government sent in the army to speed up the work […]

Migration: UN fears 100,00-150,00 refugees may need to flee Aleppo (NewEurope)
The United Nations warned on Tuesday that 100-150,000 civilians could flee, should the Syrian government proceeds with the encirclement of Aleppo, Reuters reports. The city, once home to 2 million people, still has an estimated 300,000 residents.
Approximately 15,000 refugees are already heading for the Turkish border, Anadolu agency reports. The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) has set up a refugee camp at the Bab al-Salaam border crossing, providing food for nearly 30,000 internally displaced refugees. The organization is beginning to provide temporary shelter.
Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces, backed by Russian jetfighters, have launched an offensive in the Aleppo area, which used to be the second biggest city in Syria. The advance could cut off civilians from supply lines in the rebel-held parts, through which most humanitarian aid passes through […]

Migration: Turkish PM in Brussels migration talks next week (EuObserver)
Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is set to meet leaders from a handful of EU states ahead of an EU summit in Brussels next week.
“The prime minister will be coming to attend the like-minded countries’ group meeting,” a Turkish government contact told EUobserver on Tuesday (9 February).
A similar pre-summit meeting was held last December with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Greece, France, Portugal, Slovenia and the Netherlands at the Austrian permanent representation in Brussels.
The Turkish contact said Davutoglu would be in Brussels next Thursday (18 February) to discuss wider issues on migration at the margins of the EU summit […]

Migration: Immigration minister steps into French border controls row (The Guardian)
Britain’s immigration minister, James Brokenshire, has confirmed that the UK’s deal with France, which enables border checks to be carried out at Calais rather than Dover, is based on bilateral deals that have no direct connection with European Union membership.
But in a clash with Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, he has backed David Cameron’s claim that leaving the EU could put the arrangement at risk, saying there was already a “strong political dialogue over scrapping the juxtaposed border controls” […]

Migration: Merkel to plead with Turkey on migrants (EuObserver)
German chancellor Angela Merkel has begun a visit to Turkey to urge Ankara to limit the number of migrants travelling to the EU, 10 days before an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels. Meanwhile, humanitarian groups are urging Turkey to open its southern border to allow in tens of thousands Syrians who have fled Russian bombs in Aleppo.
European politicians are pressurising Turkey following the agreement of an action plan that included a €3 billion package to Turkey to improve the situation for refugees there (although the sums reportedly haven’t been transferred yet).
“This is a last-ditch effort by the [German] chancellor to push Turkey to get serious about the plan,” one senior EU diplomat said according to the Financial Times, adding that “the numbers [of migrants] are still high” […]

Global Europe: Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with refugees (EurActiv)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to flood Europe with migrants in November if European Union leaders did not offer him a better deal to help manage the refugee crisis, a Greek news website said yesterday (8 February). Publishing what it said were minutes of a tense meeting last November, the euro2day.gr financial news website revealed deep mutual irritation and distrust in talks between Erdoğan and the EU’s two top officials, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk […]

Global Europe: Turkey, Germany to involve NATO in monitoring Syrian refugee exodus (EurActiv)
Turkey and Germany plan to seek help from NATO allies in monitoring Syrian refugees trying to get to Europe across the Aegean Sea, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday (8 February). Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Davutoğlu said the matter would be jointly raised by the two countries at a meeting of NATO defence ministers on Thursday (11 February). “Turkey and Germany will together recommend to NATO … NATO becoming involved concerning the consequences of the flow of refugees from Syria,” Davutoğlu said.
“In particular, we will make a joint effort on the effective use of NATO’s observation and monitoring mechanisms on the border and in the Aegean,” he said, giving no further details […]

Data Protection: French watchdog orders Facebook to stop illegal data transfers to the US (EurActiv)
The French data protection authority on Monday (8 February) gave Facebook three months to stop tracking non-users’ web activity without their consent and ordered the social network to stop transferring personal data to the United States.
The French order is the first significant action to be taken against a company transferring personal data to the United States following an EU court ruling last year that struck down an agreement that had been relied on by thousands of companies, including Facebook, to avoid cumbersome EU data transfer rules. The transatlantic Safe Harbour pact was ruled illegal last year amid concerns over mass US government snooping and EU data protection authorities said firms had three months to set up alternative legal arrangements for transferring data […]

UK and Europe: Downing Street warns Brexit means more migrants (EurActiv)
A British EU exit could mean thousands of migrants landing on Britain’s shores “overnight”, the government said yesterday (8 February), stepping up the rhetoric in the campaign ahead of a referendum on membership.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said a “Brexit” could undermine a Franco-British bilateral agreement that allows Britain to carry out border checks on French soil, stopping many migrants.
“Should Britain leave the EU there’s no guarantee those controls would remain in place,” Cameron’s spokesman told reporters at a daily briefing.
“If those controls weren’t in place there would be nothing to stop thousands of people crossing the Channel overnight and arriving in Kent (southeast England) and claiming asylum,” he said […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE NEWS 6TH-8TH FEBRUARY

Justice and Home Affairs: Hollande, Merkel discuss the EU’s overlapping crises (EurActiv)
The two leaders were meeting in Strasbourg to discuss the preparations for the next European summit on 18-19 February. They had a private meeting before joining EU Parliament President Martin Schulz for dinner in a restaurant next to the Strasbourg Cathedral.They made no statements, and the scarce information that filtered through was made available by their collaborators.Merkel, who opened her country’s borders to Syrians fleeing civil war last summer, is under increasing pressure to limit the influx […]

Justice and Home Affairs: Merkel asks for better protection of EU’s external borders (NewEurope)
The EU need to better protect her external borders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday. Merkel, said that the protection of the EU’s external borders will contribute in the survival of the Schengen area. “We need to protect our external borders because we want to keep Schengen,” Merkel said. Failing to protect the Union’s external borders would jeopardize free movement of people which is the basis for the bloc’s wealth, the German Chancellor said according to Reuter’s news agency. Merkel said that EU’s protection of external borders is not turning out very well where the EU has sea borders, indirectly referring to Greece and Turkey […]

Migration: Austria threatens to step up border controls if Turkey does not accept refugees (NewEurope)
If Turkey does not take back refugees picked up at sea on their way to Greece, Austria has warned it will extend its border controls.As reported by the Reuters news agency, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann issued the warning during an interview published in the daily Oesterreich on February 7. Faymann said Turkey must make a decision by February 18, when EU leaders meet for a summit. It would not be a solution if Turkish border controls led to 10,000 refugees arriving at EU borders instead of 20,000, Faymann was quoted as saying […]

Migration: Merkel in Turkey for new refugees talks  (NewEurope)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other Turkish officials for talks on reducing the influx of migrants to Europe.
Turkey, a key country on the migrant route to Europe, is central to Merkel’s diplomatic efforts to reduce the flow. Her talks in Ankara Monday come as Turkey faces mounting pressure to open its border to up to 35,000 Syrians who have massed along the frontier fleeing an onslaught by government forces. Turkey, home 2.5 million Syrian refugees, says it has reached its capacity to absorb refugees but has indicated that it will continue to provide refuge […]

Migration: Thousands of Syrians stranded in ‘desperate situation’ on Turkish border (EuroNews)
Aid agencies warn of a “desperate situation” as tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a Russian-backed government offensive in Aleppo, head to the Turkish border.
Although Turkey has sworn to help, it has yet to open its frontier at Oncupinar, leaving thousands stranded.
Russian-backed Syrian government forces say they are closing in on Aleppo city and have severed the main supply line used by the country’s mainstream rebels.
Rebel-held parts of the city now face the prospect of a government siege. The tactic has previously had a disastrous effect on former rebel strongholds […]

Global Europe: EU pleads with Turkey to accept refugees fleeing Aleppo offensive (EurActiv)
Turkey has vowed to help the fleeing refugees, but has not opened its borders. Aid agencies have warned that they are facing a “desperate” situation as they wait for help.
“Turkey has reached the limit of its capacity to absorb the refugees,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN Turk. “But in the end, these people have nowhere else to go. Either they will die beneath the bombings… or we will open our borders.”We are not in a position to tell them not to come. If we do, we would be abandoning them to their deaths.” Turkey’s Oncupinar border crossing, which faces the Bab al-Salama frontier post inside Syria, remained closed on Sunday (7 February) as thousands of refugees gathered there for a third day waiting for the gate to open […]

Global Europe: London conference closes with €9 billion in pledges for Syria and region (EurActiv)
UK Prime minister David Cameron said the London conference for supporting Syria and the region raised more than $10 billion (€9 billion) – the largest amount of money ever raised in one day in response to a humanitarian crisis. The Supporting Syria and the Region conference gathered more than 60 countries, including 30 world leaders. Britain, Germany and Norway hosted the conference in London, along with the United Nations and Kuwait. “The situation in Syria is a close to hell as we are likely to find on this earth,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Cameron said the conference received pledges approaching $6bn for 2016 alone, and a further $5bn over the longer term to 2020. “It means millions of people will now receive life-saving food medical care and shelter in Syria and beyond,” said the prime minister […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS’ EVENTS: 08th FEBRUARY – 12th FEBRUARY

General events of the Council of the European Union and Calendar of Meetings (Committee Working Parties)

General events of the European Parliament

General events of the European Commission and DG Home

General events of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Main events in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) and External

08th February

European Parliament
The President’s Agenda: Official visit to Tunisia
Delegations: AFET delegation to Saudi Arabia and Qatar – SEDE delegation to ROME – 09:00 – 19:00 Legal Affairs mission to the Netherlands – 09:00 – 19:00 PETI delegation to Spain – 09:00 – 19:00 TRAN Delegation to Finland – 16:00 – 22:00 BUDG delegation to Turkey

09th February

European Parliament
The President’s Agenda: Official visit to Tunisia
Press Conference
10:00 – 10:30 “Why not vote CETA? Presentation of the study ‘Analysis of the conformity of CETA with the European Parliament’s 8 July 2015 Resolution on TTIP'”
Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak, 0A050 Maria ARENA (S&D, IT), Kathleen VAN BREMPT (S&D, BE) and Ferdi DE VILLE
Delegations: AFET delegation to Saudi Arabia and Qatar – SEDE delegation to ROME – 09:00 – 19:00 Legal Affairs mission to the Netherlands – 09:00 – 19:00 PETI delegation to Spain – 09:00 – 19:00 TRAN Delegation to Finland – 09:00 – 22:00 BUDG delegation to Turkey – 13:00 – 19:00 PECH Delegation to Guinea-Bissau

Council of the European Union
JHA COUNSELLORS Meeting n°245706 Justus Lipsius h15:00 Room 35.6
Political and Security Committee (PSC) Meeting n°243177 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.6
JHA COUNSELLORS Meeting n°245475 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.2

10th February

European Parliament
The President’s Agenda: Official visit to Tunisia
Delegations: AFET delegation to Saudi Arabia and Qatar – ITRE delegation to Ljubljana – SEDE delegation to ROME – 08:00 – 19:00 PECH Delegation to Guinea-Bissau – 09:00 – 19:00 PETI delegation to Spain – 09:00 – 19:00 TRAN Delegation to Finland – 09:00 – 22:00 BUDG delegation to Turkey

Council of the European Union
Coreper I Meeting n°243179 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.7
Coreper II Meeting n°243174 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.6
Political and Security Committee (PSC) Meeting n°243178 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.4

11th February

European Parliament
08:40 – 18:00 ITRE delegation to Ljubljana – 09:00 – 19:00 TRAN Delegation to Finland

12th February

European Parliament
08:50 – 14:00 ITRE delegation to Ljubljana

Council of the European Union
Political and Security Committee (PSC) Meeting n°245712 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.7

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FREE NEWS 3TH-4TH FEBRUARY

Justice and Home Affairs: EU approves €3 billion migration fund for Turkey (EurActiv)
European Union countries approved yesterday (3 February) funds for Turkey to help refugees and migrants in the country in exchange for Ankara ensuring fewer of them venture out towards Europe.
All 28 EU countries signed off on the proposal at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday after Italy dropped its opposition to the plan, which was first approved in November.
The bloc’s executive European Commission welcomed the decision.
“Turkey now hosts one of the world’s largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU,” said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement […]

See also: EU finalises €3bn fund for Turkey refugees(EuObserver)
After much bickering among member states and the European Commission, the 28-country bloc agreed Wednesday (3 February) on the financing details of the refugee facility for Turkey, designed to improve conditions for refugees and migrants.
The facility, agreed last November in exchange for Ankara’s help in stemming the influx of people into Europe, is aimed at delivering humanitarian assitance to refugee camps in Turkey.
Details on the financing have been holding up the project.
The biggest contributor is Germany, on €427.5 million. The UK gives €327.6 million. France contributes €309.2 million […]

Justice and Home Affairs: EU and US agree data ‘Privacy Shield’ (EuObserver)
The European Union and the United States have agreed on new rules that will allow American companies like Google or Facebook to process personal data from European citizens. The deal will replace the so-called Safe Harbour agreement which was annulled by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last year.
The European Commission announced the deal at a press conference in Strasbourg on Tuesday (2 February) […]

Justice and Home Affairs: MEPs’ migration debate turns into ‘stress test’ of European values (EurActiv)
We are on a stress test of our European values, Bert Koenders, Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister admitted in the European Parliament yesterday (2 February), following a 5-hour debate on the ongoing migration crisis, in which more than 150 statements were made.
Koenders, representing the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU, Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn spoke to MEPs, and answered their questions, during the marathon session. Lawmakers expressed views ranging from welcoming refugees to closing the EU’s borders, kicking Greece out of the EU’s borderless Schengen area, and punishing Central European EU members for being reluctant to share the refugee burden by depriving them of EU funding. UKIP MEPs said the developments illustrated that it was a good occasion for the UK to leave the EU […]

Justice and Home Affairs: The EU-US data deal that isn’t (EuObserver)
The European Commission is broadly relying on promises from the US authorities that they will protect the fundamental rights of EU citizens on a data transfer deal that has no legal text.
Details of how the new EU US Privacy Shield will work in practice remain vague as threats emerge of a possible legal challenge in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. The deal, announced after two years of talks, replaces a loophole-riddled Safe Harbour agreement that was declared invalid by the EJC last October following media revelations of a US-led global digital dragnet.
Some 4,000 US firms had relied on Safe Harbour for 15 years, with hundreds having made false claims they adhered to the pact.
It will take weeks before the new deal launches, meaning the companies will now have to sign up to other transfer regimes or face possible fines […]

Migration : EU support in response to the Syrian crisis (NewEurope)
Leaders from around the world are scheduled to meet in London on February 4 to attend a conference aimed at raising $9bn for Syrian refugees.
Ahead of the conference, the European Commission issued a Fact Sheet outlining the EU’s response to the Syrian crisis, which has become the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
Over €5bn from the EU and member states has been donated collectively in humanitarian, development, economic and stabilisation assistance, according to the Commission.
The EU’s support goes both to Syrians in their country and to refugees and their host communities in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq […]

Migration: A third of migrants sailing to Greece are children: UNICEF (EurActiv)
Children now make up over a third of the migrants making the perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece, the UN has said, as two more babies drowned off Europe’s shores.
For the first time since the start of the migrant crisis in Europe, there are also now more women and children crossing the border from Greece to Macedonia than adult males, according to UN children’s agency UNICEF, in a report on Tuesday (2 February).
The figures emerged as Europe struggles with its biggest movement of people crisis since World War II,
with more than a million people fleeing war, violence and poverty risking life and limb to reach its shores last year[…]

UK and Europe: Obama phones Cameron: ‘Stay in EU’ (EurActiv)
US President Barack Obama waded into the boiling debate over Britain’s European Union membership on Tuesday (2 February), telling Prime Minister David Cameron his country was best served inside the 28-country bloc.
Obama spoke with Cameron by phone and “reaffirmed continued US support for a strong United Kingdom in a strong European Union,” according to the White House.
Obama’s intervention comes as Cameron attempts to secure face-saving concessions from Brussels, ahead of an expected UK referendum on EU membership in June.
Washington has long backed Britain playing a central role in the world’s largest economic bloc, warning the “special relationship” could be at risk if Britain were to leave […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE NEWS 1TH-2TH FEBRUARY

Justice and Home Affairs : Germany set to house refugees in hotels long-term (EurActiv)
Due to a lack of space, Berlin is looking at alternative means of housing refugees, with German media reporting that Angela Merkel’s government is negotiating a multi-year contract worth some €600 million with a hotel chain. EurActiv Romania reports.
According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Berlin Senate is in talks with the Grand City Hotels group and is targeting a solution that will house 10,000 refugees. According to the newspaper’s sources, the offer on the table currently stands at €50 a night, or €18,000 a year, for each refugee.
The proposed deal will be “all inclusive” and include care, integration and orientation in German society. Since the shortage of beds is going to be a long-term problem for the German authorities, they are prepared to spend €600 million on what is hoped will be a long-term solution […]

Justice and Home Affairs: Nobel Prize laureate Orhan Pamuk: The EU forgot its values (EurActiv)
Internationally acclaimed Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has accused the European Union of turning a blind eye to the state of democracy in Turkey because of its cooperation in the migration crisis, local media reported yesterday (31 January).
“They have forgotten all their values,” Pamuk told the Hurriyet newspaper in an interview, referring to the EU, adding that the fight against the Islamic State group and the migrant crisis had “tied Europe’s hands”.
Brussels reached an agreement with EU hopeful Turkey in November to encourage Ankara to keep refugees inside its territory, after a mass influx of migrants crossed into the EU last year, stoking tensions in several member states […]

Migration: Austria introduces fast-track repatriation for immigrants (NewEurope)
Austria, Germany, and Sweden have received more refugee applications per capita. Now governments are taking steps to ensure fast and efficient repatriation of those not entitled to international protection.
Austria’s Interior Minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, announced on Saturday a plan for the deportation of 50,000 asylum seekers over three years, bringing down the refugees in the country to 37,500, down from 90,000 in 2015, DW reports. Sweden announced last Tuesday, January 26, a similar program for the repatriation of 80,000 rejected applications.
The Austrian plan entails a fast track 10-day deportation procedure, financial incentives for returnees, more charter flights, and information campaigns in the country of origin […]

Migration: Malta issued 7,000 Schengen visas to Algerians, European Commission to investigate (NewEurope)
European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos has confirmed that authorities in Malta have been requested to provide information about the 7,000 Schengen visas reportedly issued over an 18-month period.
“On the basis of this information, the Commission will assess whether those practices are in line with the relevant Union law,” he said.
Avramopoulos’ statement is in response to a European Parliamentary question asked by French MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier. She asked: “The Maltese press recently reported on a similar case involving Algerian nationals who had obtained Maltese visas in order to travel to other Schengen Area countries without spending more than a few hours in Malta […]

Migration: EU police issue warning on lost child refugees (EuObserver)
More than 10,000 child refugees are missing in the EU, with authorities fearing criminal gangs may be exploiting a large number for sex work and slave labour.
The EU’s police agency Europol on Sunday (31 January) told British newspaper The Observer that thousands vanished after having been registered with state authorities […]

Migration: Germany pressures refugees and EU migrants to integrate (NewEurope)
The German government continues to toughen its refugee and now migrant policy, as German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles said on Sunday that refugees and migrants who deny being integrated in the German society must not have access to the German labor standards.
German public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, reported that the left-centre Minister wrote in a guest piece for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” newspaper […]

Migration: Swedish police halt planned anti-migrant rampage (EuObserver)
Sweden’s uneasiness with the migrant crisis reached a new level over the weekend after dozens of men were stopped by the police Friday night (29 January) in Stockholm as they planned to attack young migrants.
About 100 men dressed in black gathered on Sergels Torg, a square near the capital’s main train station, and handed out leaflets inciting people to attack migrants.
“It’s enough now,” said the leaflet, which accused the growing number of refugees in Sweden of bringing criminality […]

Global Europe: Canada offers EU example in integrating Syrian refugees (EurActiv)
While EU politicians are still bickering over their share of the burden of refugees in Europe, Canada is seeking ways to rapidly integrate 25,000 Syrians into its society.
Speaking to journalists in Brussels last week, David Manicom, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, explained how his country managed to address the refugee crisis by building up permanent structures and institutions.
The government in Ottawa is committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February 2016. The number is small compared to the number of people arriving in Europe, but the total population of the North American country is only around 36 million […]

Global Europe: Refugees in Middle East ‘need jobs and schooling’ to ease migration crisis (EurActiv)
Europe will resolve its migration crisis only by giving people fleeing the Middle East new reasons to stay there, such as legitimate jobs, schooling and a future, the UK’s international development secretary has said.
Justine Greening said: “So many refugees are now having to confront the fact they may be refugees for a long time. Their first choice is to stay close to home, and to return to Syria, but we have got to make that choice viable.”
A conference in London on Thursday (4 February) aims to map out a new way to get a grip on the situation. The conference, bringing together heads of state, foreign ministers and the UN panoply, is an implicit acknowledgement that the countries bordering Syria – primarily Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey – are being overwhelmed by refugees […]

Global Europe: Syria fund to help keep refugees in Macedonia and Serbia (EurActiv)
The Syria trust fund, used to help Syrian refugees and overstretched host communities in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, will also be used to help keep in place the migrants who made it to Macedonia and Serbia, an EU official said on Monday (1 February).
EU officials briefed the Brussels press ahead of the Supporting Syria and the Region conference to be held in London on 4 February.
“The European Union will be playing a major role in this conference, because we can, and because we need to”, an EU official told the press. He pointed out that the Syrian war had affected the EU both with the refugee crisis and with terrorist attacks.
An official said that the so-called EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, also known as Madad fund, which the EU established in December 2014, would also help keep refugees in Macedonia and Serbia. The Arabic name of the Trust Fund ‘Madad’ broadly means providing aid and help jointly with others […]

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS’ EVENTS: 01th FEBRUARY – 05th FEBRUARY

General events of the Council of the European Union and Calendar of Meetings (Committee Working Parties)

General events of the European Parliament

General events of the European Commission and DG Home

General events of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Main events in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) and External

 

01th February

European Parliament
Plenary session in Strasbourg                                                                                                            07:00 – 23:00 Debates: Resumption of session and order of business;European Central Bank annual report for 2014;Negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA);Commercial relationship between EU and China and market economy status; Sustainable development provisions of the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement;Mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy; One-minute speeches (Rule 163).
The President’s Agenda Paris/ Strasbourg h10:00 Meeting with French President François Hollande – Élysée Palace – h16:00 Meeting with Mario Draghi, President of European Central Bank (ECB) – Louise Weiss building, 15th floor, President´s office – h17:00 Opening of the Plenary
19:00 – 21:00 Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Strasbourg, Winston Churchill, 200:
• EASO – European Asylum Support Office – discussion with the candidate selected by   the Management Board in view of his appointment as new Executive Director for EASO
• EU-US Safe Harbour – discussion on the state of play with Věra JOUROVÁ,  Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (19.45-21.00)

Council of the European Union
Informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers Amsterdam
JHA COUNSELLORS Meeting n°245600 Justus Lipsius h14:30 Room 35.6
JHA COUNSELLORS Meeting n°245596 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 35.8

Court of Justice of the European Union
14:30 Hearing C-135/15Area of Freedom, Security and Justice – Nikiforidis – Court of Justice – Grand Chamber – Grande Salle Palais – Level 2

02th February

European Parliament                                                                                                                      Plenary session in Strasbourg
08:30 – 12:00 Debates: Establishment of a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work; Commission decision adopted on the Corporate Tax package
12:00 – 12:30 Formal sitting Address by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia
12:30 – 14:30 VOTES followed by explanations of votes: Rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code);Amendments to the 1998 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution on heavy metals; Amendments to the 1998 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution on persistent organic pollutants; Eurojust and Ukraine Cooperation Agreement; Eurojust and Montenegro Cooperation Agreement;  Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz; Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Florian Philippot; Establishment of a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work; Mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy
15:00 – 23:00 Joint debate: Refugee emergency, external borders control and future of Schengen; Respect for the international principle of non-refoulement; Financing refugee facility for Turkey; New Strategy for gender equality and women’s rights post-2015; Commission action to comply with judgment in Case T-521/14 Sweden vs. Commission (obligation to establish criteria for endocrine disruptors); Transparency and control of clinical trials.
The President’s Agenda Strasbourg h8:10 Official welcome of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia – Louise Weiss building, Protocol Entrance – h8:15 Meeting with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia – Louise Weiss building, Floor 0, Protocol Room H060 – h12:00 Chairing of the Plenary: Address by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia – h15:00 Meeting with Willi Does, President of Emmaüs Europe – Louise Weiss building, 15th floor, President´s office

Council of the European Union
Informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers Amsterdam 01/02/2016
Political and Security Committee (PSC) Meeting n°243170 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.6
JHA COUNSELLORS Meeting n°245632 Justus Lipsius h14:00 Room 50.4

Court of Justice of  the European Union
09:00 Opinion C-47/15 Area of Freedom, Security and Justice – Affum – Court of Justice – Grand Chamber – Grande Salle Palais – Level 2

03th February

European Parliament
Plenary session in Strasbourg
09:00 – 12:00 KEY DEBATE: Preparation of the European Council meeting of 18 and 19 February 2016
12:00 – 12:30 Formal sitting Address by Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
12:30 – 14:30 VOTES followed by explanations of votes: EU-Moldova Association Agreement: safeguard clause and the anti-circumvention mechanism; EU-Georgia Association Agreement: anti-circumvention mechanism; Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, based on petitions received, notably Petition 924/2011; Objection pursuant to Rule 106: Authorisation of genetically modified soybean FG72; Objection pursuant to Rule 106: Authorisation of genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788; Objection pursuant to Rule 106: Authorisation of genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788; Objection pursuant to Rule 106 on emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 6); Negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA); New Strategy for gender equality and women’s rights post-2015
15:00 – 23:00 Debates:2015 progress report on Serbia; European integration process of Kosovo; Electoral process in Haiti; Situation in Libya;Situation in Venezuela; UN convention on transparency in Treaty-based investor-state arbitration; Ending sexual harassment and violence against women in public spaces
The President’s Agenda Strasbourg:h9:00 Chairing of the Plenary: Preparation of the European Council meeting of 18 and 19 February 2016 – Council and Commission statements – h11:25 Official welcome of Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria – Louise Weiss building, Protocol Entrance – h11:30 Meeting with Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria – Louise Weiss building, Floor 0, Protocol Room H060 – h12:00 Chairing of the Plenary: Address by Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

Council of the European Union
Coreper I Meeting n°243173 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.74
Coreper II Meeting n°243171 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.6
Political and Security Committee (PSC) Meeting n°245580 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.4

04th February

European Parliament
Plenary session in Strasbourg                                                                                                            09:00 – 11:50 Debates: Insularity condition ;The role of local and regional authorities in the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF);Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135) Human rights situation in Crimea, in particular of the Crimean Tatars;Bahrain: the case of Mohammed Ramada; The case of the missing book publishers in Hong Kong
12:00 – 14:00 VOTES followed by explanations of votes:Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135); 2015 progress report on Serbia; European integration process of Kosovo;Situation in Libya;Insularity condition ;The role of local and regional authorities in the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); Humanitarian situation in Yemen ;Systematic mass murder of religious minorities by ISIS
15:00 – 17:00 Debates: Railways and public services in the Danube and Adriatic macro-regions;Introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pet animals across Member States.
The President’s Agenda London h9:00 Conference: “Supporting Syria and the Region, London 2016”- h19:00 Meeting with Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
09:00 – 11:30 Committee on Budgetary Control Strasbourg, Louise Weiss, N1.3

Council of the European Union
Informal meeting of defence ministers Amsterdam 04/02/2016
Coreper II Meeting n°243172 Justus Lipsius h10:00 Room 50.6

05th February

European Parliament
The President’s Agenda London h11:00 Speech at the London School of Economics (LSE)4

Council of the European Union
Informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers – Gymnich Amsterdam

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment