In Southern Europe, reactions to the EU Commission’s proposal are mixed. In Spain in particular, there is little enthusiasm for the fact that key positions of the country have not been taken into account. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE party (“Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party”) is preparing for tough negotiations in Brussels and has asked the three relevant ministries (interior/exterior/migration) to analyse the proposal beforehand. In Italy, on the other hand, the reactions are more positive.Continue reading
The mood was tense when Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson appeared before the press on Wednesday 23 September with their migration pact. “Nobody will be satisfied,” predicted the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, foreseeing reactions to the more than 300-page proposals, even before the Visegrád heads of government, as expected, began their chorus of critics on Friday.
While human rights and migrant organisations in particular widely criticised the pact, as in their opinion it was too much focused on restrictive migration prevention, not only Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, but also Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz signalled that they would not easily agree on the proposals.Continue reading
On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency and faces a major agenda. [Part 3]
Hardly any other topic has been as intensely debated in recent years as the future of the EU’s asylum and migration policy. The refugee crisis of 2014 and 2015 has clearly demonstrated the need for pan-European solutions for all parties involved. Yet despite this acknowledgement, the Member States have still not been able to agree on a fair and effective distribution key and clear responsibilities within the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). During its Presidency, Germany should therefore devote a great deal of political capital to disentangling the positions that have been deadlocked for years.Continue reading
Das Kräftemessen zwischen Italiens populistischer Regierung und der EU geht in die nächste Runde. Vergangene Woche sorgte der stellvertretende Ministerpräsident Luigi Di Maio (5-Sterne-Bewegung) mit der Drohung für Aufsehen, Italiens Beitrag zum EU-Budget auszusetzen, sollte keine rasche Entscheidung über die Umverteilung von Flüchtlingen in der EU erzielt werden. Ob sich mit solchen Drohungen dauerhaft europäische Solidarität erzielen lässt, ist äußerst fraglich.
While European member states are struggling to handle reception, equitable resettlement, and integration of refugees, numerous citizens across the European Union take action and come together to help fellow human beings.
Over two years have passed since the biggest refugee crisis hit Europe since World War II. Still today, it is important for all countries involved to continue exchanging best practices and to enhance their cooperation. Countries of the Middle East and North Africa, especially Jordan, Lebanon and Libya, are among the most experienced countries in the world regarding migration and refugees. Yet, they are facing major problems to implement integration and humanitarian policies. Libya for instance has become the most important transit country for refugees towards Europe since 2011.