Wednesday

19th Jan 2022

Analysis

Europe must stop falling into the ISIS trap

The EU does not need to become a counter-propaganda machine - but finding and providing the right facts will be the only way for Europe to stop falling into ISIS' polarisation trap.

News in Brief

  1. Michel to miss Strasbourg plenary due to Covid contact
  2. Kaczyński wanted for questions on political spying
  3. Blinken and Lavrov meet on Friday to discuss Ukraine
  4. Lobbyists had 613 meetings with MEPs on digital services act
  5. Breivik appeals for parole, 10 years after Norway massacre
  6. German chancellor takes tough stance on Russia pipeline
  7. MEPs keen to speed up green-transition fund for poor
  8. Political crimes reach two-decade high in Germany

Opinion

A war on immigration in Europe?

Europe is politically weak because its opponents know that nothing makes the European Council more nervous than a few thousand migrants trying to cross an external EU border. And these opponents, act accordingly. Lukashenko, for example.

Feature

Raped in front of husband - the story of one refugee

I dread evenings. This is when all bad things happen. When your house is raided by militants, when you are physically or sexually assaulted, when your daughter's very life is threatened.

Feature

EUobserver's Top 10 stories of 2021

From the Mediterranean to Minsk, from Covid to climate change, EUobserver has proudly broken original stories on the EU institutions in 2021 - under our ethos of 'Independent. Investigative. Influential.'

MEPs to grill Denmark for pushing Syrians to EU states

MEPs are taking the EU-lead to hold Denmark to account for stripping Syrians of residency rights. Although aware of the problem, the European Commission has other priorities while the issue has not been raised at the Council, representing member states.

Exclusive

EU states press for more detention, in asylum overhaul

Austria is citing hybrid-attacks to detain rejected asylum seekers for up to 20 weeks along Europe's frontier borders, while Poland wants to limit people's access to international protection at the borders.

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Recognised refugees going hungry in Greece, say NGOs

Thousands of recognised refugees and others in Greece are said to be going hungry. The issue has been brewing for months by a Greek government that appears to be using hunger as an asylum deterrence for others.

Amnesty: Belarus forces 'beat migrants seeking EU asylum'

Amnesty International documented numerous beatings by Belarus guards of migrants after being forced back into Belarus from EU states. The NGO spoke to 75 people lured to the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia from Belarus.

Belgian impasse leaves asylum seekers on snowy streets

Asylum seekers have been sleeping in the streets, some for weeks, in the Belgian capital Brussels - as the government grapples over the lack of capacity to accommodate them despite months of debate over the issue.

EU skirts pushbacks, suggests people seek asylum in Belarus

The EU Commission presented a proposal to allow relaxing EU asylum laws in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia for six months. It says all rights will be respected - but deflected questions on whether a Polish law on pushbacks complies.

Lead MEP wants 'mandatory relocation' in EU asylum law

Spanish centre-left MEP Juan Lopez Aguilar chairs the European Parliament's civil liberties committee and is the lead on the crisis regulation, a bill presented by the EU commission last September as part of its migration and asylum pact.

Latest News

  1. Tomorrow MEPs can end EU animal export horror show
  2. A EU-Africa 'equal partnership' must tackle past and present
  3. Metsola becomes youngest EU Parliament president
  4. EU navies to hunt pirates in West Africa
  5. Von der Leyen's pharma texts should be public, MEP says
  6. 'Hundreds' of Russian mercenaries in Mali, EU confirms
  7. Euro countries start haggling on fiscal rules
  8. New doubts raised on tracking ads ahead of key vote

Frontex implicated 'to some extent' in violations, says officer

Jonas Grimheden is the EU's border agency Frontex fundamental rights officer. Almost seven months into his job he says the agency "could be seen as being implicated or supportive of fundamental rights violations". His recommendations have yet to be implemented.

Too early to 'de-escalate' Belarus crisis, says EU official

EU senior officials say Belarus needs to do much more than move migrants and asylum seekers into a shelter. They want UN aid agencies to have unhindered access to people stranded in Belarus. Poland is still refusing any humanitarian aid.

People helping migrants 'increasingly persecuted in EU'

A new report has found a dramatic increase in the number of criminal and administrative cases against people who help migrants. The report comes as a number of sea-rescue activists face up to 25 years in prison in Greece.

Minsk using migrants to 'divert focus from domestic crackdown'

Belarus authorities in late July launched a crackdown against civil society, says exiled Belarus youth leader Vorykhava. She said the regime in Minsk is now using the migrant border crisis to divert international attention away from repression inside the country.

EU Commission: laws allowing Belarus pushbacks need changes

Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have introduced national laws, under states of emergency, allowing authorities to turn back people into Belarus. The European Commission is set to ask for some of those rules to be amended.

Greek minister says extra border monitoring may 'break law'

Despite evidence of illegal pushbacks, Greece's migration minister Notis Mitarachi says judicial oversight already exists to ensure authorities do not abuse migrants at the border, amid claims the creation of another independent system on top could violate rule of law.

Revealed: EU migration plans for Morocco, Libya and others

Leaked commission documents, dated earlier this month, outline draft migration proposals on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. They also provide insights into bilateral moves by individual EU states.

Most lawmakers unhappy with lead MEP's asylum bill

Sweden's centre-right MEP Tomas Tobé is steering the core bill on migration and asylum through the European Parliament. But his draft proposal has been met with resistance from liberal left leaning MEPs, possibly creating another political deadlock.

Opinion

Europe's deadly border policies

EU institutions and states abdicated their responsibilities for search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean, deputising Libya to take their place, withdrawing naval assets from high-seas corridors, and obstructing, even criminalising, NGO groups, writes the European director of Human Rights Watch.

Opinion

How to break the political deadlock on migration

We propose a mandatory solidarity mechanism that allows for flexible options. Every member state will have to contribute in one way or another - through either relocation, return sponsorship or capacity-building measures, writes EPP rapporteur Tomas Tobé MEP.

EU states want more Belarus sanctions

EU heads of state and government on Friday, at a summit in Brussels, demanded more sanctions against Belarus "as a matter of urgency" and want the European Commission to tweak rules governing borders to tackle "state-sponsored smuggling".

Analysis

Commissions's new migration pact still seeking 'landing zone'

Last October, the European Commission gave an optimistic outlook on the adoption of its migration and asylum pact. EU commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas said its pact on migration was lowering the landing gear - suggesting agreement was possible.

Poland doubles troop numbers on Belarus border

Poland doubled the number of troops to 6,000 on its Belarus border, amid an ongoing standoff with stranded migrants - at least seven of whom have died as temperatures start to plummet.