Friday

24th Nov 2017

New York mayor attacks EU migration policy

  • Migrants arriving in Italy prefer to seek asylum in northern EU member states (Photo: Ben Philabaum)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday (21 July) said the EU has failed Italy when it comes to asylum seekers and migration.

Speaking at an event at the Vatican on climate change and human trafficking, De Blasio said the EU needs an immigration policy that helps member states cope with the thousands arriving by foot or by sea.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“I am deeply troubled by the lack of action by the European Union and the way that Italy has been left to fend for itself very unfairly”, he said, reports AP.

He said the EU is not showing solidarity with frontline states like Italy and Greece, where most of the migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat arrive.

"Europe can't decide to be unified some of the time and ignore important issues at other times”, he said.

His comments follow on the heels of an EU interior ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Some 150,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean in an effort to find safety and better lives in the EU since the start of the year.

Around 1,900 have died in the attempt with children, including an 11-year old diabetic from Syria this week, among the victims.

EU member states had promised to deliver on a European Commission plan to divide 40,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy over a two-year period, but fell short by almost 8,000.

The commission is to pay member states €6,000 for each relocated asylum seeker, but a handful of countries have rebelled, with Austria and Hungary flat-out refusing to take in anybody.

Spain, along with some other eastern European nations, agreed to significantly lower figures than originally proposed.

Madrid was supposed to take over 4,200 in the commission's original calculus, based on wealth and population size. But it ended up pledging just 1,300. Latvia is taking 200, down from around 500. Poland opted for 1,100 instead of 2,600.

Spain is upset, in part, because it is struggling to manage borders at its enclaves Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco.

Spain’s interior Jorge Fernandez compared the relocation plan to “a distribution of flood water between the rooms rather than plugging the leak”.

Poland and Latvia are fearful that Ukraine’s 1.2 million internally displaced people will rush to them for safety if a larger war with Russia breaks out.

Austria says it is already overstretched.

One way ticket

The relocation figures were announced in parallel to plans on how to best boot out all the unwanted migrants and anyone who doesn’t qualify for international protection.

Frontex, the EU’s border agency, will lead efforts to step up returns by helping member states screen people quarantined at centres known as "hotspots".

Hotspots are set up at the request of a member state whenever there is a surge in migrant arrivals.

The Warsaw-based agency, along with other EU agencies, will then be dispatched to “swiftly identify, register and fingerprint migrants”.

Frontex already helps organise joint-return flights when at least two member states are involved. The plan is to reduce it to one member state and to give it more money for the task.

“We will propose for 2016 a higher dedicated budget of €16.2 million to make sure the agency plays a key role in increasing the return of illegal migrants”, said EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos.

EU states fall short on asylum targets

EU states Monday fell short on pledges to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers and had to rely on non-EU states to hit a separate 20,000 target for resettling refugees.

EU calls for solidarity on migrant crisis

EU migration commissioner Avramopoulos has announced emergency aid for Greece, Hungary, and Austria, while asking member states to show "collective courage".

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

MEPs point finger at Malta

The European Parliament debated shady deals and rule of law in Malta after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the Commission wanted to avoid a "political fight".

Austrian privacy case against Facebook hits legal snag

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court but won't be able to pursue a class action suit in Austria, according to a non-binding opinion by a top EU court advisor.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

News in Brief

  1. Rwanda may resettle 30,000 migrants from Libya
  2. EU tax haven blacklist may include Turkey
  3. No UK 'capital of culture' city post-Brexit
  4. EU sets up natural disaster rescue team
  5. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  6. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  7. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  8. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  2. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  3. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  4. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  5. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  6. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  7. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  8. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya