Thursday

14th Nov 2019

Asylum centres plan gains EU support

The UK proposal to set up refugee camps outside the EU to process asylum seekers before they enter Europe, is being generally supported by EU states, although legal and financial issues still remain.

Under the terms of the plan, asylum seekers arriving in EU countries would be sent to transit centres to have their claims for refugee status decided; if accepted they could continue their journey to the EU, if not, they would be returned home.

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The EU countries that are supporting this plan are seeking ways to set up pilot projects to examine how the system would work in practice.

But whilst this UK-inspired idea is being strongly pushed by three other EU states - the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria - Sweden expressed strong reservations on Thursday, 5 June, when EU justice and home affairs ministers discussed the plan in Luxembourg.

The involvement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has undoubtedly increased support for this controversial EU plan.

On Thessaloniki Summit agenda

Yet, various technicalities and legal issues still have to be addressed.

Besides the costs involved to move ahead with this project, agreements would also have to be sought with the countries willing to host such camps.

Moreover, there is concern of how these camps would be managed if they attract huge numbers of refugees. "It might end up like sticky paper", an EU source said.

EU heads of state will discuss this issue at the Thessaloniki Summit later this month.

Asylum seekers to wait in Croatia

British media have made controversial reports alleging that a secret camp for UK asylum seekers is being built in Croatia. According to The Observer, this is a pilot project that complies with London's initiative to crack down on rising levels of illegal immigration and could lead to a common EU policy on processing asylum claims outside the EU.

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Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act

"If evil is not defeated, it tends to expand", Natalia Magnitsky, the widow of a Russian anti-corruption activist, has said, as EU diplomats discuss human rights sanctions 10 years after his death.

Commission defends Breton's Atos over police data

The European Commission defended Atos for hosting EU police data, despite its own public guidelines that state operational and technical copies should not be entrusted to third parties. Atos former CEO Thierry Breton is set to become a European commissioner.

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Breton's firm hosted unlawful copy of EU police data

France's Thierry Breton is set to become the next European Commissioner for industrial policy. While he was CEO of IT giant Atos, the firm hosted unlawful partial copies of EU police data on behalf of the United Kingdom.

No large-scale disinformation detected in EU this year

The EU set up a 'Rapid Alert System' in March to allow national authorities in member states to inform the rest of the bloc of any large-scale disinformation campaigns. No alert has so far been triggered.

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