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More EU aid possible amid Italian threat to stop migrant rescues

17.06.14 @ 09:25

The European Commission is open to requests for further financial assistance to member states under migratory pressure from people fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. “In 2014, the EC is ready to consider ...

Syrians and Russians top asylum demands to EU

25.03.14 @ 09:29

Syrians fleeing war and Russians topped the list of those asking for asylum in the EU last year. Figures released on Monday (24 March) from the EU statistical office, Eurostat, reveal Syrians top the list of asylum ...

Italy asylum conditions spark EU threat of legal action

19.12.13 @ 09:28

Poor detention conditions for asylum seekers in Italy sparked threats of legal action by the European Commission on Wednesday (18 December). A covert video circulated earlier in the week shows Italian authorities hosing ...

OpinionStop smugglers making a profit from migrants

18.12.13 @ 09:25

This year was a lethal year for migrants. In October, more than 360 people, migrants from Africa desperate to reach EU shores, drowned when their boat capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the single ...

OpinionNo more hiding of homosexuality

22.11.13 @ 09:08

The EU Court of Justice delivered on 7 November a judgment clarifying various aspects of EU asylum law in its application to claims by gay asylum seekers from countries where homosexuality is criminalised. The media ...

EU court backs asylum rights for gay people

08.11.13 @ 09:29

Gay people can seek asylum in the EU if they risk being jailed in their home countries, the EU's top court ruled on Thursday (7 November). The Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg said the existence of criminal laws ...

Migrant deaths prompt calls for greater EU-wide response

14.10.13 @ 09:28

The migrant and refugee boat tragedies off Europe’s Mediterranean coast have prompted Italy to step up border patrols and for Malta to ask for more assistance from member states and the EU. Enrico Letta, Italy’s prime ...

InvestigationPrivate security firms cash in on guarding EU borders

25.09.13 @ 09:25

A growing number of EU countries are using private security firms to guard migrant detention centres, raising questions about accountability if things go wrong. The UK contracts private security guards to manage closed ...

InvestigationPrivate firms put price tag on migrant suicides

23.09.13 @ 08:42

Private security companies operating UK-based immigrant removal centres (IRC) use formulas to calculate the profit loss incurred by detainees who commit suicide under their watch. A handful of immigrants, set for ...

InvestigationGaddafi-tainted firm scoops EU contract

19.09.13 @ 08:50

The EU’s newest IT agency has awarded a contract to a firm linked with the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s efforts to track, capture and torture people during the Libyan revolution. Tallinn-based EU-Lisa, which is to ...

Russians top EU asylum seekers

08.08.13 @ 16:21

The EU saw the highest number of asylum seekers come from Russia at the beginning of this year, with Syrians following closely behind. Recently-released Eurostat figures for the first three months of 2013 saw 8,435 ...

Growing racism spurs rise in extremist parties, commission says

18.07.13 @ 16:21

Creeping racism and xenophobia in Europe may contribute to an upsurge of far-right MEPs following European Parliament elections next May. Speaking to reporters in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, EU home affairs ...

EU moves closer to reimposing visas on Western Balkans

09.07.13 @ 09:24

The European Parliament’s lead negotiator has reached an agreement with member states to temporarily reimpose visa requirements for people coming from the Western Balkans. “The [European] commission is free to decide ...

EU countries reject Snowden asylum

02.07.13 @ 18:41

Six EU countries have said No to asylum for US leaker Edward Snowden, citing technicalities. Austria, Finland, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain all said on Tuesday (2 July) that the fugitive, who is currently ...

Asylum surge expected in ill-equiped Croatia

28.06.13 @ 17:00

An anticipated rise in asylum seekers is expected in an ill-equipped Croatia after it becomes the EU’s newest member state as of 1 July. US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Croatia’s reception centres are already ...

UN says EU border policy harms human rights

31.05.13 @ 09:29

EU border policies focus too much on security instead of human rights, a UN official has said. "Within EU institutional and policy structures, migration and border control have been increasingly integrated into security ...

Irregular migrant numbers to EU drop by half

19.04.13 @ 09:21

The number of people trying to get into the EU dropped by around a half in 2012, the EU's border agency said Thursday (18 April). The Warsaw-based Frontex says some 73,000 people were detected in 2012, down from around ...

Demand for forced labour increasing in EU

15.04.13 @ 16:45

The economic crisis is leading to a rise in the number of people being trafficked for sex, hard labour or organ donation, the EU commission said Monday (15 April,) but the vast majority of member states have failed to ...

Euro-deputies back suspending Balkan visa-free regime as 'last resort'

09.04.13 @ 09:55

A sudden increase in unfounded EU asylum claims from Balkan nations could see their visa-free regimes temporarily revoked, say euro-deputies. The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee on Monday (8 April) voted ...

EU asylum applications on the rise

25.03.13 @ 09:23

The number of people seeking asylum in Europe is on the rise, as conflicts and poverty force families to leave their home countries. The EU statistics office, Eurostat, said on Friday (22 March) the EU registered 330, ...

InvestigationTurkish limbo pushing Afghan refugees to EU

03.01.13 @ 11:31

Refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan in Turkey are caught in a legal limbo, pushing some into the arms of smugglers. Turkey does not give refugee status to anybody from Afghanistan or outside Europe. The ...

InvestigationLand border sealed, Greek police chief says

27.12.12 @ 08:39

A chief of police in a border town in northeastern Greece says irregular migrants are no longer crossing into the country from its land border with Turkey. Barbed-wire fences, landmines, thermal night vision cameras and ...

InvestigationFortress Europe: a Greek wall close up

21.12.12 @ 09:19

A 12.5-km-long fence rolled with barbwire runs across plots of garlic and asparagus on the Greek-Turkish border. For the small farming community at Nea Vyssa, the presence of Greek military and police is a welcome ...

Amnesty: migrant abuse in Greece is 'humanitarian crisis'

20.12.12 @ 09:27

The poor treatment of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece is a humanitarian disaster, says a report released on Wednesday (19 December) by Amnesty International. “Greece’s failure to respect the rights of migrants and ...

Police set to gain access to EU asylum data

17.12.12 @ 18:03

Euro-deputies in the justice and homes affairs committee voted on Monday (17 December) to support draft legislation that would allow law enforcement authorities access to a finger print database on asylum seekers. The ...

Balkan visa-free regime under scrutiny

06.12.12 @ 09:29

EU ministers of interior are set to discuss visa policy in Brussels on Thursday (6 December) with several member states wanting to reintroduce visas for passport holders from Western Balkan countries. Austria, Belgium, ...

Migrants set fire to Greek detention centre

24.11.12 @ 22:01

Over 500 undocumented migrants detained for the past three months at the Komotini police academy in eastern Greece have rioted and set fire to the premises. "The riots have stopped. It is not the first but it is the ...

Governments demand action on Balkan asylum claims

26.10.12 @ 09:28

Take control of asylum applications or risk losing the right for citizens to visit the EU without a visa EU justice and home affairs ministers warned Balkan countries on Thursday (25 October). But despite tough talk ...

OpinionPopulism in Brussels? How to solve the Balkan asylum crisis

24.10.12 @ 09:10

Is the EU edging closer to making a fundamental and strategic mistake by restoring the visa requirement for citizens of the Western Balkans? At this moment the interior ministers of six EU countries - Germany, Belgium, ...

EU border chief: 23,000 lives saved last year

11.10.12 @ 19:48

"Seventy-two people are [sic] dying in front of me," Ethiopian boat survivor Abu Kurke told EUobserver in Brussels on Thursday (11 October). Kurke is one of the nine people out of 72 who survived a tragic attempt to ...

EU lawmakers reinforce asylum seekers' rights

19.09.12 @ 17:47

MEPs have voted to reinforce asylum seekers' rights in the EU after four years of talks with member states. The decision, which came in the civil liberties' committee on Wednesday (19 September) and which will become EU ...

EU data row over police access to asylum seekers' fingerprints

07.09.12 @ 09:05

A row between the European Commission and the EU's data privacy chief has broken out over plans to give police access to biometric data from the fingerprints of asylum seekers. In a bluntly worded 20-page report ...

Greece to deport undocumented migrants

07.08.12 @ 16:40

Authorities in Greece rounded up 6,030 undocumented migrants in Athens over the weekend and arrested 1,525 of them for not meeting the legal conditions for residency in Greece. "Those arrested will be deported to their ...

Greece spooked by Syrian refugees

02.08.12 @ 18:13

The surge of Syrian refugees into Turkey has spooked Greece into deploying 1,881 additional guards on its border. "The deployment of the above border guards has begun today. They will be stationed there [in the Evros ...

Commission probes Italy asylum abuse allegations

20.07.12 @ 17:45

The European Commission is looking into allegations Italy is abusing the rights of asylum seekers by sending unaccompanied minors back to Greece. EU law requires member states to thoroughly process asylum claims and ...

Report: EU and Greece turn 'blind-eye' to racist violence

11.07.12 @ 09:28

Parts of central Athens, associated in many Europeans' minds with tourist cafes and world-class museums, have become "no-go" areas for migrants in fear of racist attacks. NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report out on ...

Italy trampling on asylum seekers' rights, NGOs say

06.07.12 @ 18:34

Italy's readmission agreement with Greece and its recently leaked secret migration agreement with Libya have roused concerns among a number of NGOs. A report released by Amnesty International on Italy and Libya on ...

Asylum seeker beaten to death in Malta

03.07.12 @ 16:48

The alleged beating to death of an asylum seeker by two soldiers in Malta has highlighted the country’s poor reception conditions. The Malian asylum seeker had escaped from Malta's Safi detention centre in August 2009. ...

MEPs: Schengen row mars Danish EU presidency

21.06.12 @ 07:51

Member states' decision to exclude the European Parliament from monitoring the EU's passport free area has blighted the entire Danish EU presidency, MEPs have said. Denmark's minister of justice, Morten Bodskov, ...

Police can probe asylum fingerprints, commission says

30.05.12 @ 18:00

The European Commission on Wednesday (30 May) proposed to allow law enforcement authorities access to Eurodac, a biometric database of asylum seekers. Set up in 2003, the database is a repository of asylum seeker ...

Cyprus worried about potential Syrian refugees

29.05.12 @ 21:32

The incoming Cypriot EU presidency is worried that Syrian refugees could arrive en masse in the island-nation and in the EU more broadly if the conflict gets worse. Cyprus, located around 170 km west of Syria, is ...

Bulgarian resources dominate Greek border assistance

22.05.12 @ 19:54

Bulgaria has devoted vastly bigger resources than Germany to help Greece manage its irregular migrant problem. An internal document sent by the Danish EU presidency to the EU Council in late April - and seen by ...

Greece struggling to manage asylum seekers

16.05.12 @ 17:42

Nearly 30,000 irregular border crossings were detected on Europe’s external borders in the last three months of 2011, the European Commission said on Wednesday (16 May). In its first annual report on the Schengen ...

EU-funded consortium unveils border-control robot

10.05.12 @ 20:12

An EU-co-financed project is aiming to mass-produce autonomous land vehicles designed to stop irregular migrants. Using a €13 million grant from the European Commission's research budget and €7 million of private ...

Greece opens first migrant detention centre

30.04.12 @ 09:28

Greece on Sunday (29 April) set up its first detention centre for undocumented migrants, composed of box homes, surrounded by high wire, and meant to house some 1,200 people Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis ...

Cyprus gets set to referee EU budget talks

25.04.12 @ 17:58

The incoming Cypriot presidency is getting ready to tackle the biggest and ugliest dossier in the EU - the money - amid problems in its own backyard. "It's the big bang in the EU because everything gets put on the table ...

Handcuffs and leashes await asylum seekers in Hungary

24.04.12 @ 17:24

Handcuffed and leashed, asylum seekers in Hungary often find themselves in deplorable conditions, says a report released on Tuesday (24 April) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "They are ...

Cuban exiles expose depth of Spanish budget crisis

13.04.12 @ 09:23

As EU politicians line up to say that Spain does not need a bail-out, Cuban exiles in the country say the crisis is so bad they wish they had stayed at home. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on a visit to Warsaw on ...

Nato among those accused of letting migrants die at sea

30.03.12 @ 10:40

Confusion, denial and ignored distress signals by Nato, warships and two fishing boats led to the death of 63 migrants (including children) on a boat which tried to cross the Mediterranean last year, according to a ...

Asylum seekers flock to EU safe haven

26.03.12 @ 09:29

Just over 300,000 asylum applicants registered in Europe last year, up from 259,000 in 2010, the EU's statistical office, Eurostat, revealed on Friday (23 March). The vast majority registered in France, Germany and ...

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