FNF Greece: Der EU-Türkei-Flüchtlingsdeal – Mehr Schein als Sein?

Seit Anfang der Woche ist der Flüchtlingspakt zwischen Europäischer Union und der Türkei in Kraft. Er sieht vor, dass alle „irregulären Migranten“, die seit Mitte März von der Türkei auf die griechischen Inseln übersetzten, in die Türkei rückgeführt werden. Offiziell soll das Abkommen verhindern, dass Flüchtlinge die lebensgefährliche Passage durch die Ägäis auf sich nehmen, um in Europa Asyl zu beantragen. Menschenrechtsorganisationen kritisieren das Vorgehen scharf und fordern eine Einstellung der Abschiebepraxis, da sie völker- und europarechtliche Standards verletze.

Des gilets de sauvetage abandonnés sur une plage de Lesbos © Frontex/Modification de l’image interdite / Modification of the image prohibited
Zurückgelassene Rettungswesten auf Lesbos © Frontex

Am Montag machte die europäische Grenzschutzagentur „Frontex“ ernst und schob erstmals Flüchtlinge von den Ägäis-Inseln Lesbos und Chios in die türkische Hafenstadt Dikili ab. Zugleich vermeldete die Europäische Kommission, dass deutlich weniger Schutzsuchende auf den griechischen Inseln angelandet seien, und sah sich somit in ihrem Vorgehen bestätigt. Anstatt der 1.000 avisierten Rückführungen in der ersten Woche des Deals wurden jedoch lediglich 202 Personen – 136 Flüchtlinge von Lesbos und 66 von Chios – zurückgeschickt. Bereits am Dienstag wurden die Abschiebungen dann komplett ausgesetzt. Was war geschehen?

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The Dutch EU Presidency: A bridge over troubled water

Halfway through the Presidency, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte revealed his thoughts on what still needs to be done by the end of his term at the helm of the European Council. Rutte spoke at a pre- EU Summit Briefing hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the ALDE Party. He chose to focus on his presidency’s main priority, the single market, but during the discussion it again became evident how overshadowing Brexit and the Refugee Crisis are for his Presidency. Not a single question was asked on the completion of the single market, even though the Prime Minister maintained an ambitious schedule for it. So far the Dutch Presidency has proved to act, in the words of the musician Paul Simon, as a bridge over troubled water. Continue reading

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte “cautiously optimistic” before EU Summit

Source: ALDE Party

March 17 and 18: European leaders and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu are meeting in Brussels to confer about a new deal on an ambitious resettlement program to tackle illegal migration into the EU. In an interview with FNF Europe, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, assesses the chances of such an agreement and outlines how the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU will help Europe meet its current challenges.


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Seen from across the Atlantic: European Politics in an Age of Migration

Asylum and border control policies currently stand at the forefront of debate in European politics. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s Transatlantic Dialogue Program hosted Angelika Mlinar, an Austrian Member of the European Parliament, to discuss the challenges posed by the refugee crisis and present solutions for a handful of the problems faced. Ms. Mlinar serves as Vice President for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party and is a member of the “New Austria and Liberal Forum” (NEOS) party. Her personal history growing up as a Slovenian in the Austrian state of Carinthia has motivated her politics and inspired her to stand up for those who are unjustly restricted in their daily lives. Continue reading

Comb, cushion, constitution: What can we offer refugees?

On 11-12 November EU and African leaders are meeting on Malta to take yet another stab at securing Europe’s borders and creating safer routes for refugees making their way to Europe. High on the agenda is how to reduce the refugee flows to Europe through better coordination with other Mediterranean basin countries.

In addition, EU Council President Tusk will focus on getting Member States to deliver on financial pledges and relocation decision made at the October crisis summit in Brussels. Meanwhile, the first refugees to be re-located from Greece and Italy are arriving elsewhere in Europe.

Credits: Stefanie Eisenschenk, Michael Gubi, Travis Nobles (Flickr)
Credits: Stefanie Eisenschenk, Michael Gubi, Travis Nobles (Flickr)

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Beyond a Europe of economic cooperation towards a Europe of solidarity – Liberal Breakfast with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg

When the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, was a student he spent several months at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Here, he enjoyed jumping into his car at the weekend and exploring his host-country and its neighboring states – only to discover that borders were completely closed down at events such as football games because border guards were busy following the live broadcast. Not to mention the sanitary shower his car had to pass in order to be allowed to drive through the Greek neighborhood. Continue reading