Tag Archives: Dimitris Avramopoulos

EU celebrates Migrants Day

On the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the European Commission and the High Representative made the following statement:

“The history of humankind is a history of migration. For thousands of years people have migrated from one place to another, for a variety of reasons, and continue to do so: Today, there are 258 million international migrants worldwide.

“On International Migrants Day, the European Union reaffirms its enduring commitment to protect migrants’ human rights, to prevent perilous irregular journeys and ensure opportunities for legal and safe pathways instead.

“In order to do this, we are working with all our partners around the world – countries of origin, transit and destination and international organisations. Migration requires global, cooperative alliances: No country can address migration on its own – neither in Europe nor elsewhere in the world.

“This is the core message of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will provide the global framework for improving migration management. It is by working together, in the spirit of shared responsibility, that we can jointly turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity.

“The European Union’s comprehensive approach on migration is built in the same vein: seeking to address the drivers of irregular migration; fighting against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings; ensure adequate protection for those in need, better manage Europe’s external borders, while enabling legal migration channels. For the benefit of all of us.”

At eve of the EU institutions celebration more than five thousand people came to the European Headquarters in Brussels  to protest against Global Compact for Migration, and imposition of migrants on local communities by the EU open-door policies.

 

Intense illegal migrants flows to Spain

Almost 400 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean this weekend as they attempted to make the crossing from Morocco to Spain, Spanish rescue services confirmed.

Spain faces a steady increase in sea arrivals which surged in recent months, especially after Italy started to close its ports for illegals.

On Saturday all together 395 people were rescued from nine boats in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, the two major sea crossings to Spain, the Spanish coastguard official said.

Two more people were rescued from a small boat on Sunday, they added.

Spain, which for the first time in years has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for refugees, has registered almost 21,000 migrants so far this year, almost more than in the whole of last year, according to figures compiled by the International Organisation for Migration.

The mortality rate for the crossing from Morocco is around one in 70, the IOM said, which is considerably lower than that between Libya and Italy, which is one in 19.

Refugee Day: Timmermans calls for EU asylum reform

“Every minute, every day, nearly 31 people are forcibly displaced. Today, more than 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, persecution, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change –25.4 million of them are refugees.

“More than 67 years after the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, its international principles remain more valid than ever. These principles are enshrined in the EU’s asylum acquis, and the EU remains committed to continue standing up for those who are in need of help.

“As a global player, we are working to tackle and solve the main crises through diplomatic means. As the leading global aid donor in the world, we provide humanitarian assistance and support to refugees, asylum seekers, displaced people, inside and outside Europe. We have shown unprecedented support during the migratory crisis of 2015 and 2016 by accommodating hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution, and we continue to provide protection to those in need: in 2017 alone, EU Member States granted protection to more than 538 000 people.

“Our support also reaches those displaced by long-standing conflicts, from Afghanistan to Colombia to the Horn of Africa, while responding to emerging crises, such as the displacement of the Rohingyas. It has given a lifeline to millions of Syrian refugees and their host communities inside the country and across the region.

“In this endeavour we work hand in hand with our partners around the world, certain that only a global response can match the challenge ahead. To this end we are building an ever closer relation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, responding to the plight of refugees worldwide and developing innovative solutions. For example, in November 2017, together we put in place an Emergency Transit Mechanism to evacuate those in need of international protection from Libya for further resettlement to Europe and have so far already helped over 1,600 people. These very same principles of solidarity, shared responsibility, multilateralism and engagement will be guiding us towards the adoption of the UN Global Compact on Refugees later this year.

“But challenges remain. We must continue our work together with our Member States to establish more legal and safe pathways and close the dangerous and irregular migration routes. Over the next two years, Member States have committed to resettle more than 50,000 of the most vulnerable persons and provide them with a new home in the EU. We must also reach, without delay, an agreement on the reform our Common European Asylum System based on the principles of responsibility and solidarity. And we must work harder to foster the integration of those who receive protection in the European Union and in particular the most vulnerable, such as women and children.

“In times of increasing divisive rhetoric against vulnerable people fleeing war and persecution, the EU is and will continue to protect those in need, and we will continue to endeavour to bring stability where there is conflict.”

The statement was jointly issued on the occasion of World Refugee Day by the following EU officials:

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission;

Federica Mogherini, Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President;

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy;

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development;

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs;

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management;

Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

Europol arrests travel ID criminal network

Europol reports arrests conducted by the Organised Crime Unit of the Hellenic Police (Greece) of 11 members of an international organised crime group involved in stealing and falsifying travel documents to facilitate for profit the movement of illegal third-country nationals through Europe.

During the course of this Europol-supported investigation, police officers identified members of the criminal organisation and the locations used to conceal the documents. The group stole documents from pedestrians, passengers on public transport and parked vehicles. The network also cooperated with others who illegally obtained travel documents belonging to third-country nationals. They then sold the documents on at prices based on the type of identity document, the country of issue and matching personal likeness of the original owner. Members of the group residing in France often forwarded genuine lost or stolen travel documents using international courier companies.

During an extensive operation in Attica, Greece, 11 members of the network were arrested, six of them Algerian nationals, three Syrian, one Tunisian and one from Palestine. Seven house searches were carried out and 939 travel documents were confiscated. 620 of these were recorded as lost or stolen in European databases. EUR 30000 in cash, a vehicle, forgery equipment, fraudulent documents, stamps, receipts for financial transactions and a large number of digital devices were also seized.

 

Frontex warns about migrant pressure

The European Union’s Mediterranean countries will remain under increasing pressure from African migrants attempting to reach Europe, the head of the EU’s border agency Frontex said on Tuesday (20/02/2017).

The EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos reminded about the EU efforts to protect Mediterranean borders in his tweet.

However Commissioner’s efforts have not convinced critics of migrant crisis resolution, MEP Diane James is not short of words about flaws of EU deals with African governments.

EU claims “relocation success”

6.09.2017. Brussels. Today the Commission is presenting four progress reports on actions taken under the European Agenda on Migration to better manage migration and protect the EU’s external borders. The package outlines progress made in the EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes and also reports on the roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, as well as on the progress made under the Partnership Framework on Migration and along the Central Mediterranean route.

“All EU actors have worked hard together to manage migration flows, to protect our external borders and to support the frontline Member States. We’re on the right track and the results can be seen on the ground. However, the challenges and risk factors of migration remain. So we must continue to improve our work to save lives, to put in place safe and legal pathways for those who deserve protection and to return those who have no right to stay,” – European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said.

When we speak of migration, we often say that we are facing a complex challenge, but we should never forget that we are dealing with the stories of hundreds of thousands of human beings. We are advancing towards a system to jointly and sustainably manage, in full respect of human rights, a situation which requires strong partnership, sharing of responsibilities, solidarity, and sustained commitment. We are finally on the right path – we need to continue to work with consistency and determination,” – EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said.

“When Europe works together in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, we make progress and achieve concrete results, both inside and outside the EU. We also see intra-EU solidarity: with the relocation programme delivering results and almost all registered applicants having been relocated from Greece and Italy. This success now needs to be sustained on all these fronts,”  – Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said.

 

Avramopoulos applies legal pressure to impose migrants on V4

The European Commission launched a legal case on against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in asylum seekers, ratcheting up a bitter feud within the 28-nation bloc about how to deal with migration.

The eurosceptic, nationalist-minded governments in Poland and Hungary have refused to take in anyone under a plan agreed by a majority of EU leaders in 2015 to relocate migrants from frontline states Italy and Greece to help ease their burden.

The Czech Republic, another ex-communist central European state, initially accepted 12 people but has since said it would not welcome more.

“I regret to see that, despite our repeated calls to pledge to relocate, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland have not yet taken the necessary action,” the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, told a news conference on Tuesday, June, 13.

Avramopoulos said the Commission was therefore launching  infringement procedures against the three, a way for the executive arm to take to task countries that fail to meet their obligations. It opens the way for months, even years, of legal wrangling before a top EU court could potentially impose fines.

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