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Migration routes change, migrants' security does not

01.04.14 @ 09:32

It could have been just another attempted leap. But on 6 February, Desirée, a young Cameroonian, managed to cross the border and enter in Spain. According to what she told Spanish news outlet El Confidencial, it was her ...

InvestigationThe Migrants' Files: surveying migrants' deaths at Europe's door

31.03.14 @ 09:27

A tide of humanity — people on the run from Africa, the Middle East and Asia — is washing over Europe’s boundaries, and many don’t survive the journey. The plight of migrants only grabs the media spotlight ...

EU suspends Swiss talks on research and education

17.02.14 @ 09:54

EU-Swiss talks on EU-funded research and education programmes have been suspended following Bern's refusal to sign a reciprocal work permit deal with Croatia. “There was another round of negotiations due and we had said ...

EU wants investigation into Spanish border guard shootings

14.02.14 @ 18:08

The European Commission wants answers after Spanish border guards fired rubber bullets at migrants swimming to safety off the coast of the Ceuta, a Spanish-enclave in north Africa. At least 12 people are said to have ...

EU ElectionsEUobserver launches election series ahead of EU vote

11.02.14 @ 12:07

In recent years, a slew of parties has moved from the fringe to occupy central political debate across the EU - they are eurosceptic and hard-right and they are making mainstream politicians nervous. With the May EU ...

EU warns Switzerland after anti-migrant vote

10.02.14 @ 09:26

Swiss voters on Sunday (9 February) backed a call to cap migration from EU countries - a move which could trigger the exclusion of the wealthy Alpine country from the EU internal market. The vote passed by a razor-thin ...

Non-EU seasonal workers to get equal rights

06.02.14 @ 09:43

Foreign seasonal workers in the EU will have the same employment and social rights as their EU counterparts, under new rules adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday (5 February). MEPs in Strasbourg signed off on ...

MEPs pressure Belgium on Afghan asylum seekers in Brussels

23.01.14 @ 18:43

Two MEPs are seeking parliament-wide support to pressure the Belgian government not to expel Afghans living rough in a Brussels-city-centre church. The head of the parliament’s leftist GUE group, Gabi Zimmer, along with ...

UK to benefit from Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, study says

15.01.14 @ 16:03

A Swedish economist has said Bulgarians and Romanians who work in other EU states are likely to contribute more to the economy than they take out in benefits. A study published last week by Joakim Ruist, a research ...

Trapped inside Europe: Undocumented migrants unable to leave

14.01.14 @ 20:51

An unknown number of migrants in the EU are caught in a legal limbo, denied basic rights in some member states and unable to return to their home countries. Some attempt to go home but are apprehended at the borders and ...

EU spells out rules on migrant access to benefits

13.01.14 @ 17:49

The European Commission on Monday (13 January) outlined ways national authorities can prevent EU migrants from abusing state benefits while preserving the right to free movement. “The guide published by the commission ...

UK vows to control immigration as Bulgaria, Romania curbs end

02.01.14 @ 09:29

The UK has vowed to control immigration, as restrictions on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania are lifted throughout the whole of the EU. “We’ve already capped welfare and cut immigration and this ...

ReviewSaving migrants with cameras

31.12.13 @ 08:39

For a brief while in October it seemed the EU might be shocked into doing something about the recurring immigration horror on its southern coastline. Over 350 people drowned when a boat from Africa capsized near the ...

OpinionSmarter policies needed to end migrant deaths

17.12.13 @ 09:24

For several years I have been saying that migration can be summed up by a series of D words: demographics, disasters, demand, disparities and dreams. This year I am adding a new D: desperation. The world watched in ...

Mooted UK migrant cap would be 'illegal'

16.12.13 @ 18:22

The European Commission has said reported UK plans to cap the number of EU migrants entering the country to 75,000 annually would be illegal. “Any such restrictions would be illegal under the current rules,” European ...

EU countries offered €6,000 per head to take in refugees

04.12.13 @ 19:37

The European Commission is proposing to pay EU countries €6,000 for each UN-registered refugee which they agree to resettle. The idea, announced by the European Commission on Wednesday (4 December), is part of a package ...

ReviewBeloved Ashton

29.11.13 @ 09:27

It looked like it would be another humdrum year for Catherine Ashton. Full of: Where is she? What is she doing? Why does she never talk to press? Then she pulled the Kosovo-Serbia deal out of the hat. It passed under ...

UK asked to avoid 'hysterical' debate on migration

27.11.13 @ 18:43

EU commissioners on Wednesday told the UK to avoid "hysteria" and to be more factual after Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled proposals to tighten migrants' access to social welfare payments. "I would really applaud ...

Border agency accused of failing migrants' rights

26.11.13 @ 17:58

In her debut appearance at the European Parliament, EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly criticised the EU border agency Frontex for skirting its responsibilities on fundamental rights. O’Reilly told euro-deputies in the ...

Brussels on guard over UK's Romania, Bulgaria plan

25.11.13 @ 18:41

Reported UK plans to curb the future rights of Romanians and Bulgarians has put the European Commission on guard. Restrictions imposed on citizens from Bulgaria and Romania in eight EU member states - including the UK, ...

Wilders and Le Pen join forces on anti-EU group

14.11.13 @ 09:27

A political group uniting Europe's far-right and anti-EU forces has moved a step closer after Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders confirmed plans to work together ahead of next May's European elections. "Today is the ...

Greek special forces push back Syrian refugees, NGO says

07.11.13 @ 16:56

Armed special-op units in Greece are reportedly repelling asylum seekers and refugees in commando-like operations on its Turkish land border and out at sea. The allegations, gathered in around 90 anonymous testimonies ...

OpinionThe Mediterranean Sea: A migration border

30.10.13 @ 16:16

The recent shipwrecks in Lampedusa have shown that the only tools the EU and its member states have for dealing with the arrival of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea are strict migration controls. This is ...

EU virtual border scheme based on 'creative' figures

28.10.13 @ 18:32

A European Parliament civil liberties report suggests the European Commission used misleading arguments to back its billion-euro plus proposal to finger print non-Europeans on visit to the EU. “It’s really amazing that ...

Analysis'EU voters have not warmed to immigration'

24.10.13 @ 09:24

The European elections are still seven months away, but fears of what they will show about the state of the EU already loom large. French Prime Minister Francois Hollande said they could lead to "regression and ...

Le Pen launches plan to unite the far right

23.10.13 @ 17:23

Europe's far-right parties are set to contest next year's European elections on a common manifesto, according to French National Front leader Marine Le Pen. At a press conference in the Strasbourg Parliament on ...

German immigration increases at record speed

22.10.13 @ 18:42

Over seven million foreigners were living in Germany at the end of 2012, corresponding to about eight percent of the overall population, the federal statistics office Destatis said Tuesday (22 October). The increase in ...

Security trumps privacy, EU court says

17.10.13 @ 17:44

Ensuring protection against the fraudulent use of passports outweighs personal privacy concerns about mandatory fingerprinting, the European Union's top court said Thursday. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on ...

Italy and Malta say 'No' to Frontex rules in sea rescue operations

16.10.13 @ 17:34

A handful of Mediterranean member states are against proposed EU rules on how to save migrants out at sea. Despite calls for greater EU support by their heads of state, Italy and Malta say the European Commission does ...

Welfare tourism 'neither widespread nor systematic' in Europe

14.10.13 @ 16:13

EU citizens move from one member state to another overwhelmingly for work reasons and not to claim welfare, an EU study said Monday (14 October). The European Commission study is an attempt by Brussels to bring some ...

EU 'mentors' helping Libya stop unwanted migrants

14.10.13 @ 09:30

The EU is building up a team of heavily-guarded men to help Libya stop unwanted migrants and to collect intelligence. The operation, Eubam Libya, currently boils down to 40-or-so EU countries' experts and EU officials. ...

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 ...

InvestigationEU looks to 'hybrid drones' for legal shortcut on migration

14.10.13 @ 09:22

Hybrid aerial surveillance drones are being considered by the EU border agency, Frontex, for future operations with member states. The kit, so-called optionally piloted aircrafts (OPA), can carry a pilot but can also be ...

MEPs approve EU border surveillance system

10.10.13 @ 14:45

MEPs on Thursday (10 October) gave the green light to a new European Border Surveillance system, Eurosur, due to go live early in December. The system is meant to co-ordinate border surveillance among member states ...

Lampedusa: EU commission keen to upgrade border agency

08.10.13 @ 22:19

The European Commission is pushing EU countries to vastly increase the resources of Frontex, its Warsaw-based border control agency, in reaction to the Lampedusa deaths. The commissioner in charge, Sweden's Cecilia ...

Italy grants citizenship to Lampedusa dead

07.10.13 @ 09:27

The death toll of the shipwreck near the Italian island of Lampedusa reached 194 over the weekend, as divers recovered more bodies from the sea. The search continues, with about 200 migrants still missing, while 155 ...

EU after Lampedusa tragedy: More border surveillance

04.10.13 @ 09:28

Up to 300 migrants are feared dead after a boat caught fire near Lampedusa and the Italian coast guard failed to spot it in time. Italy is holding a day of mourning on Friday (4 October) after more than a hundred bodies ...

Investigation'Virtual borders' scheme to track every non-EU citizen

02.10.13 @ 09:27

The European Commission wants to fingerprint anyone who enters the EU under its "smart borders" proposal, but critics say it is too costly, disproportionate, and risks violating numerous privacy rights. The commission ...

OpinionHow to reap the benefits of migration

02.10.13 @ 09:23

This week, for only the second time in its history, the UN General Assembly will convene to focus on international migration. It does so at a critical moment. New UN data last month showed that the number of ...

InvestigationSecurity industry is shaping EU legislation

01.10.13 @ 09:02

EOS is a Brussels-based non-profit outfit that represents the business interest of some of the EU’s most powerful and largest security and defence companies. BAE Systems, EADS, Finmeccanica, G4S, Thales and 38 other ...

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 ...

Dutch call for 'code orange' on EU labour migration

19.08.13 @ 09:29

Dutch social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has called on the EU to focus on the "negative consequences" of labour migration from Romania and Bulgaria at a time when new studies show the fear of massive influxes to ...

EU commission warns Malta on migrant boat

06.08.13 @ 13:58

The European Commission Tuesday (6 August) warned Malta that it would be in breach of international law if it refused to let a tanker full of rescued migrants dock. "It is first and foremost important to save the lives ...

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 ...

Irregular border-crossings halved, EU commission says

04.06.13 @ 09:28

Irregular migration into the EU fell to its lowest level since 2008, the European Commission revealed Monday (3 June). A total of 13,600 irregular crossings were reported at the EU's Schengen borders in the last three ...

AgendaRussia summit and Latvian euro membership top bill this WEEK

03.06.13 @ 13:00

EU leaders will travel to Yekaterinburg on the Kazakhstan border for the latest EU-Russia summit on Monday and Tuesday (3-4 June). The EU's four-person team will be led by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and ...

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 ...