Friday

22nd Jun 2018

Macedonia to face thousands of EU-bound migrants

Up to 3,000 migrants are expected to cross into Macedonia on a daily basis throughout the next several months, as the European Commission eyes court action against over a dozen member states for violating asylum rules.

The projected migrant figure, announced Tuesday (25 August) by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also comes amid demands by Hungary for the European Commission to dole out more border funds.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said large groups of people are arriving in Macedonia and then traveling to Serbia by train or bus.

“We are anticipating that this influx and this route is going to continue at the rate of up to 3,000 people per day”, she said.

The agency said around 10,000 people crossed into the Western Balkan country last weekend, many of them women and children.

Some 340,000 also crossed the Mediterranean this year in the hope of seeking refuge in Europe, with around 2,300 dying in the attempt.

The total represents around 0.07 percent of Europe’s population of 508 million people.

Hungary rush

Hungary’s bid to complete its 175km border fence with Serbia is also driving the push, noted Fleming.

Prime minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff on Tuesday told the daily Magyar Hirlap newspaper the EU’s €8 million pledge to help it with border management is not enough.

"The European Union distributes border protection funds in a humiliating way. Old member states have nicked the money from new members”, he was quoted as saying, reports Reuters.

The commission, for its part, says Hungary is slated to get €85 million from 2014 to 2020 from its border and asylum funds, and will soon disperse another €8 million from a separate emergency fund.

“We recently received a further request for funding for emergency assistance to deal with the crisis situation currently, which we are fast-tracking in order to provide in the shortest amount of time possible”, EU commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud said on Tuesday.

Court action

Meanwhile, Hungary, along with 17 other member states is on the European Commission’s hit-list for committing various violations against EU asylum laws.

The move follows expanded oversight powers on justice and home affairs areas by the commission since the start of December last year.

It means the EU body can take member states to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for not applying rules under the so-called Common European Asylum System.

“We already have 32 infringement cases open against various member states on the application of what are very new rules”, said Bertaud.

The Common European Asylum System is composed of the Dublin regulation, the asylum procedures directive, the reception conditions directive, the qualification directive, and the long-term residence directive.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are all under scrutiny.

Most of the cases involve the qualification directive, which establishes common grounds on granting international protection.

Ten cases are open on the long-term residence directive, seven on the asylum procedures directive, three on reception conditions, and two on the Dublin regulation.

Macedonia PM resigns, as EU comes to town

Gruevski ends 10-year reign, for now, urging opposition to respect April election date. EU's Hahn to decide if country ready for a fair vote.

Investigation

UK unlawfully copying data from EU police system

The British government is abusing EU travel security systems, making and using illegal copies of outdated information, and putting innocent people at risk of being red-flagged.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. EU closes deficit procedure against France
  2. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  3. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  4. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  5. EU adopts posted workers directive
  6. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI
  7. May passes Brexit bill after rebels accept compromise
  8. Pope: populists 'creating a psychosis' on migrants

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  2. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  4. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman Requests More Lending Transparency from European Investment Bank
  7. FIFARecycling at the FIFA World Cup in Russia
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  9. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and Reconciliation Is a Process That Takes Decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  10. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  11. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  12. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us