Europe's refugee conundra
Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, The Telegraph, Aug, 2015
One million migrants and refugees entered
Europe by sea and land in 2015 in “the
largest movement of people on the
Continent since World War II.”
(New York Times, 23 December, 2015)
The Calais "Jungle" New York Times, (28 Sept, 2016)
Bono: Hope is not lost, but is getting impatient. We should be too.
New York Times, (12 April, 2016)
Refugees need more humanitarian support.
For host countries migrants could also be a productive benefit
Shore up development assistance to sending countries before they spiral into anarchy
"Every element of the arrangement is politically, legally or morally problematic...but it is Europe's best option." [Economist, 12 March, 2016, p. 14, re the Turkey-EU deal]
Turkey-EU reach tentative deal on refugees Guardian, (8 March, 2016)
Turkey accepts one refugee returned from Greece for each one taken directly from Turkey to Europe, as quid pro quo for more funding, visa liberalization for Turks visiting Europe, and accelerated consideration of EU membership.
Crunch moment for EU migrant crisis: "Negative spiral of closed borders and independent policies" looms, emergency summit called Financial Times 29 Feb 2016
"Forming a more orderly queue" ( Economist, 6 Feb., 2016 )
1) Support allowing refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon to work, 2) Organized registration and processing of claims in Greek "hot spots," (3) more
authorized direct resettlement from Turkey to richer countries, (4) deals with source countries to facilitate return movement.
Germany to continue security operations in Afghanistan only
if arrival of refugees stopped. UK Independent, 3 Feb. 2016
Schengen border-free dream at an end?
So far, no, except at a few borders on main refugee routes. BBC 26 Jan. 2016
Schengen open border agreement partially suspended
BBC 15 Nov. 2015 / Wash. Post, Tages-Anzeiger (German) 16 Nov. 2015
More Afghans to Europe, esp. Germany and Switzerland (Nov. 2015)
Recent Taliban military successes in Kunduz, concerns about curtailment of Balkan transit routes, and acceleration of smuggling operations (also exporting opium from Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer) are said to have helped sharply increase the influx of Afghans to Europe. In Germany, a leading destination, some 30 thousand Afghan asylum-seekers arrived in October 2015, roughly equaling the nine month total from January to September. In Greece some 60 thousand arrived in October, double the September number, and second only to the entry of Syrians. German officials have warned that “not all” Afghan arrivees can expect to stay there. It is
also noted that Germany has contributed 2 billion Euros to “civilian projects” in Afghanistan and 54 German soldiers have been killed there since 2001, “the
biggest toll of any German deployment abroad since 1945.”
In the first week of November, some 650 Afghans entered Switzerland: three quarters seeking asylum by entering through its eastern borders, and one-quarter having been registered (but not accepted for asylum elsewhere in Europe). Afghans were also nearly three quarters of all asylum seekers arriving at those eastern checkpoints. According to one Swiss border agent, migrants hear through personal networks of delays in entering Germany, and head to Switzerland instead. The Canton of St. Gallen has emergency accommodations for 1,000 (fully occupied, however, as are currently most other currently available facilities in Switzerland). Recently, about 2 thousand Afghans per day have been reaching Germany.
Schweiz am Sonntag, “Flüchtlinge kommen via Deutschland in die Schweiz” (Nov. 7)
New York Times, “Afghans arriving in Germany…” (Nov. 10)
Tages Woche (Switz.) “ Flüchtlinge aus Afghanistan…” (Nov. 10)
Economist, 24 Oct, 2015: "Refugee realpolitik"
“ Angela Merkel's response to the migrant crisis is less emotional, and more risky, than it looks...less strategic vision than piecemeal reaction... Europe's most
powerful politician seems destined to be shaped by events rather than help shape them...a leader who will chance her way through crises... The Merkel paradox: that such a rational politician can
be so hard to predict.”
Greek islands likely to have migrants “no longer just passing through"
BBC, 24 Oct., 2015 "Inside Europe"
About 1,500 migrants per day have been arriving at the Greek island Samos, near Turkey. “Those describing themselves as Syrian...wait for up to three days to obtain
registration papers, and then head to Athens.” Others wait an average of 10 days in an “old military base” where over 1000 are housed in space intended for 200. “Those who can afford it stay in hotels.” The crowded conditions are contributing to poor sanitation, lack of cleaning facilities, “hygiene issues” and “health problems.” To reduce the migrant flow through Balkans, the EU plans to support processing and screening asylum seekers in Italy and Greece. Samos and four other Greek islands plan permanent reception centres by the end of November, and officials there are “worried about” the impacts “when vast numbers of migrants are no longer just passing through.”
Economist, 26 Sept, 2015: "Point taken, Mr. Orban"
Officials in Europe “struggle to gainsay” points made about mismanagement –“Greece merrily nods hundreds hundreds of thousands of refugees up to Europe”…Germany apparently "opens its doors one day" and tightens its borders the next… plans to redistribute 120,000 asylum-seekers start to "look irrelevant"…Spurred by such “awkward questions,” a “grand bargain may be in offing: strengthen the EU’s external borders…in exchange for smoother functioning” of the Schengen zone and “burden-sharing” of refugees. But, "the biggest task of all” remains: integrating the many already arrived migrants “who Mr. Orban says will undermine the civilizational roots of Europe. Here, if not elsewhere, Europeans must prove Hungary’s prime minister wrong.”
Alexander Betts, NY Times, op ed, 25 Sept, 2015)
(slide show, NY Times, 23 Sept, 2015)
Mayor of Hungarian border town, in video, encourages migrants in Serbia (enroute to Austria and Germany) to travel through Croatia and Slovenia instead of through Hungary (NY Times, 19 Sept, 2015)
Economist, 19 Sept, 2015: Shooting Schengen. Alterations in border restrictions can indicate wider change, as with the Berlin Blockade in 1948 and the the Austrian-Hungarian border-opening in 1989. New border controls by Germany and Austria could now presage the demise of the Schengen free-travel area in Europe. More..
Rushing the Channel Tunnel (NY Times, 30 July, 2015)
Refugee influx to Turkey (NY Times, 23 Sep, 2014)
See also here:
Contemporary migration travel (including trans-Medit. refugee flows)
This page last updated 10-Jan-2017