Tag Archives: Immigration

MEPs welcome Israel Immigration Minister

Brusssels 14.06.2022 Today the Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi addressed the European Parliament Conference on “Ukrainian humanitarian crisis: Current EU efforts and the Israeli experience” welcoming Israel’s Minister for Immigration and Absorption, Pnina Tamano Shata, who visited Brussels for a conference and series of meetings with the Members of the Parliament (MEPs).

“Let me start by warmly welcoming Minister Tamano-Shata to Brussels. I would also like to express my appreciation for MEPs Antonio Lopez-Isturiz and Bert-Jan Ruissen and also the President of the European Parliament, for not only hosting this event, but for your dedication to EU-Israel partnership. And many thanks also for Rabbi Margolin for not only organising this event, but for your commitment to foster and protect Jewish life in Europe and beyond” Olivér Várhelyi underlined.

“It is my pleasure to address you today on this timely topic “How the EU and Israel align in their support to Ukraine. We are living in turbulent times. In addition to the socio-economic challenges of the COVID pandemic, we are now facing the consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“The war is back on our continent, with immense suffering to the Ukrainian people and massive destruction of the country. We do not yet know how this conflict will be resolved. We do not yet know what the casualties and the damage are going to be. But we do know that the human suffering it has caused is enormous…” Commissioner said.

“The State of Israel, from its very founding, has always been a nation of immigrants and refugees.the State of Israel was established as the State of the Jewish People, many of whom arrived as refugees in the last century after war world tow ,many of them survived the Holocaust. In fact, it was these immigrants and refugees who built the state” Minister Tamano-Shata said.

“Therefore, a cornerstone of every Israeli government is our duty to help immigrants and refugees who are eligible to become citizens under the Law of Return. And I am thankful that over the past months, I have been able to continue to carry out this national mission’ the Minister continued.

“In the personal level, These days, more than ever, I feel deeply that it is a great privilege to be one of the decision-makers in the government working to provide extensive humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees escaping the war zone”.

Meeting with Commissioner Varheyli, the European Parliament Vice-President Nicola Beer, cross-party MEPs and Ambassadors from the EU, Israel and Ukraine, the Minister underlined the role played by Israel in helping refugees from Ukraine feel at home.

The co-organiser of the event the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across the European continent has played a prominent role in enhancing the visit of the Israel Minister. The EJA efforts were highly appreciated by the Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

EU diplomacy focus on Belarus

Brussels 15.11.2021 “First, we are going to have the Foreign Affairs Council. After [this] we are going to have the meeting with the Ministers of the Eastern Partnership. And after this, we will have the Jumbo meeting with Foreign and Defense Ministers to start talking about the Strategic Compass” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell at doorstep of the meeting of the ministers in Brussels.(Image: Europa building, archive)

“On the Foreign Affairs Ministers Council: we are going to review the whole set of problems starting certainly with the situation in Belarus. Yesterday, I had phone calls with my Polish [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau], Lithuanian [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis] and Belarusian Minister [Vladimir Makei] also with the Secretary General of the United Nations [António Guterres] in order to prepare the meeting. We had the opportunity to share with the Secretary General of the United Nations how things are going on the ground. I talked to the Belarussian Minister to tell him that the situation was totally unacceptable that humanitarian help has to be provided. And that we have to think about how we can solve the problem starting by stopping the [migration] flow. Stopping the flights. This is almost done.

“During these days we have been talking with countries of origin and transit. My colleague [Vice-President Margaritis] Schinas is in Bagdad. And I think that from my point of view, the inflow of things are becoming under control. But we have to provide humanitarian assistance to these people and to prevent any kind of hybrid attack against the European Union border. This is something that will take an important part of our meeting.

“But there are many other issues. The situation in the Western Balkans, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there are tendencies which are undermining the unity of the country and hampering its development, and its way towards the European Union. The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina also. And in general, the situation in the Balkans, which is not especially good.

“The Sahel will also be part of our work today. Last night, there was another attack in Burkina Faso. 20 more people dead, killed. Our security starts in the Sahel and we had to engage more with the region.

“We will talk also about the situation in Varosha, in Cyprus, in Syria; but mainly in Sudan and Ethiopia. We have to try to avoid [an] implosion of the country. The situation in Ethiopia is becoming worse by every moment and we will try to avoid the implosion of the country”.

Poland votes border wall construction

Brussels 29.10.2021 Poland Parliament has voted to build a border wall with Belarus to block an influx of migrants who are illegally entering Poland. Thousands of people – mostly from the Middle East and Asia – have tried to cross Poland’s border in recent months.

The European Union accuses Belarus’s government of driving the rise, in retaliation for sanctions against its regime.

The 5.5m (18ft) wall will cost €353m (£297m; $407), and some critics say it is a waste of money.

The legislation will be pass to Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, who is expected to sign it into law without delay.

The wall – equipped with motion sensors and a monitoring system – will cover about half the length of Poland’s 400km (250 mile) border with Belarus. The government plans to build it rapidly by summer 2022.

Cannes festival contaminated by politics

The Cannes festival 2019 demonstrates a further shift of the VII Art into politics, being used as a tool to shape political preferences of the spectators, abandoning even formal frame of neutrality, and preoccupation with artistic creations.

At the press conference introducing this year’s festival jury, its president Alejandro González Iñárritu, ceased an opportunity to criticize President Trump, and another jury member Alice Rohrwacher denounced film industry for failing to meet gender equality standards, and promote female film-makers.  Subsequently, the times of art uniting people are gone, contaminating the festival with toxic emanation of political struggle. From universal language of images, the film industry has openly transformed itself into a tool for political use, promoting agenda of specific groups of interest.

The first Mexican-born president of the Cannes jury,  Iñárritu, expressed concern at rise of populism, including Trump’s ascendance to power, and added that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US president’s anti-immigration policies.

According to Alice Rohrwacher to be a woman-film director is similar to “survival a “shipwreck”. However, in spite of being plagued with so many political concerns, the 72nd Cannes film festival gets underway with movies presentations.

Every year, the Cannes Festival invites filmmakers from all over the world to give their own interpretation of the contemporary world, sketching a world map of cinema. In 2018, more than 120 countries were represented.

Italian chopped alive by Nigerian migrants

Italian teenager Pamela Mastropietro who was murdered by Nigerian migrants last year was likely dismembered alive media reports.

The gruesome details occurred in  the testimony from Vincenzo Marino, a key witness in the trial of Nigerian drug dealer Innocent Oseghale accused of murdering the girl.

Mastropietro had become estranged from her family addicted to drugs after a brief relationship with a man from Romania her mother claims.

Marino claims to have overheard Oseghale  admitting the murder during the detention.

The dismembered corpse of the 18-year-old Mastropietro was found in a number of suitcases last February and psychiatrist and criminologist Alessandro Meluzzi has alleged that the murder was associated with Nigerian organized crime gangs.

An extraordinary cruelty of killing of the girl led to allegations of ritualistic cannibalism that is known to be practiced by Nigerian crime gangs that are operating across Italy and Europe.

Today at the ministry I met Alessandra and Stefano, the parents of Pamela Mastropietro. The process in which the Nigerian Oseghele is accused is under way. I ask justice for this poor girl, those who committed such a hideous crime must rot in prison, without concessions.” wrote Interior minister Matteo Salvini in his Twitter micro blog.

UK to reveal post-Brexit immigration policy

UK will outline its post-Brexit immigration policy next week, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced, confirming the release of publication awaited by Britons and foreigners.

The new strategy will prioritize high-skilled workers and give the European Union citizens the same rights as to those from elsewhere after Britain leaves end March 2019. The policy will meet businesses interests to attract employees from overseas but at the same time keep promise to control the UK borders.

 

Salvini trades barbs with Sefcovic

This week started with Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini trading barbs with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic concerned with the political situation in Italy and the rise of Salvini’s League party. “It is the umpteenth attack by Europe on Italy, on the League and on the government,” Salvini  responded.

“Now they are taking an interest in us, but for years the EU bureaucrats ignored our country’s requests for help to stop the arrivals and saddled us with 700,000 immigrants” – Salvini continued “It would be better if he apologizes and shuts up“.

Sefcovic, who announced this week that he is seeking the nomination of the European Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats to be the next Commission president, said that “we are all worried” when asked by ANSA* new agency about the political situation in Italy and the rise of the League. “I have been to Italy many times and I was always impressed by how this great, important European country was honestly pro-EU,” Sefcovic said to ANSA. “It’s truly a new situation for us. “We have to ensure that, in the future, Italy returns to being the great G7 country that is strongly pro-EU again”.

*Italian news agency ANSA receives funds of European Commission.

Socialist MEP Kyenge on trial for dabbing Lega ‘racist’

Member of European Parliament (MEP) Cecile Kyenge from Socialist group and Italy‘s first black minister, went on trial this month for calling the anti-migrant League party “racist“.
Kyenge trail is launched by League leader Matteo Salvini after
Socialist politician said the League was a “racist” party, during a public event in Parma.
The League, while pursuing a crackdown on flows of illegal migrants and human trafficking, has always denied racist blames.
Sending Kyenge to trial in January, preliminary investigations judge Stefania Di Rienzo said defendant had implicitly compared the League to the Nazis.

 

Austrian Presidency challenges EU

Borders, migration, the MFF, and enlargement were key issues in a debate with Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on the EU work programme for the rest of 2018.

During its six-month presidency in the Council, the Austrian government intends primarily to promote stronger protection of the EU’s external borders, in order to safeguard open internal borders in the long term, boost competitiveness, promote the development of “high-tech made in Europe” and pursue an active neighborhood policy, including integrating the Western Balkan states into the European Union, in the long term.

“We want to build bridges, in the interests of Europeans and of our European Union,” said Mr Kurz.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the leaders of the major political groups urged Mr Kurz to pursue work on asylum reform, the euro area and the creation of a European monetary fund. Priority should also be given to discussing proposals for the EU’s new long-term financial framework in the Council, in order to reach an agreement with Parliament before the EU elections in May 2019, they added.

UK opens settlement scheme for EU citizens

EU citizens will be able to apply for settled status in three easy steps for less than the price of a passport, under plans outlined by the Immigration Minister today, June 21. 

“EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. They are our friends, family and colleagues and we want them to stay. “This is an important step which will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need to continue working and living here. “We are demonstrating real progress and I look forward to hearing more detail on how the EU will make reciprocal arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU” – Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said.

EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status. Caroline Nokes confirmed that those applying under the scheme will only need to complete three key steps. They will need to prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.

 The Minister also announced the planned fee for people applying under the scheme. It is proposed that an application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.

The Home Office will check the employment and benefit records held by government which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic.

Those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point. From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.

 The draft Immigration Rules which have been published today providing details of the scheme, deliver on the citizens’ rights agreement with the EU reached in March this year, which also guarantees the rights of UK nationals living in the EU.

 The new online application system will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The Government will provide support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer, and continues to work with EU citizens’ representatives and embassies to ensure the system works for everyone.

The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.

 The Home Office will continue to engage with stakeholders, including employers, local authority representatives and community groups, about the detailed design of the scheme before the Rules are laid before Parliament.

The European Parliament representative to Brexit negotiations MEP Guy Verhofstadt expressed his concerns about EU citizens rights to vote in the UK:

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