InfoFlash dall’Europa – Aggiornamenti al 5.12.2018

Questa pagina contiene le news più recenti dall’Europa sui temi delle migrazioni. In essa Fondazione ISMU seleziona regolarmente le ultime novità in termini di proposte legislative, dichiarazioni, decisioni e azioni concrete da parte di Commissione europea, Parlamento europeo, Consiglio d’Europa, Consiglio Europeo, enti e soggetti della società civile su asilo, inclusione sociale, integrazione, dialogo interreligioso e sui molteplici aspetti concernenti il fenomeno dei movimenti migratori.

5.2.2019: Over the past two weeks…

(30/01) Sustainability: Commission presents a reflection paper on a more sustainable Europe by 2030. As part of the debate on the future of Europe, launched with the Commission’s White Paper of 1 March 2017, the Commission is today publishing a Reflection Paper on a Sustainable Europe by 2030. Announced as a follow-up to President Juncker’s 2017 State of the Union Address, today’s Paper forms part of the EU’s firm commitment to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. By reviewing the breadth of challenges for Europe and presenting illustrative scenarios for the future, the Paper seeks to steer the discussion on how these goals can be best achieved and how the European Union can best contribute by 2030. Building on what has been achieved in recent years, these scenarios highlight that further action is needed if the EU and the world are to secure a sustainable future in the interest of citizens’ well-being. Full press release here.

(29/01) Code of Practice against disinformation: Commission calls on signatories to intensify their efforts. The European Commission published today the first reports submitted by signatories of the Code of Practice against disinformation signed in October 2018. While the Commission welcomes the progress made, it also calls on signatories to intensify their efforts in the run up to the 2019 EU elections. Today, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla and the trade associations representing the advertising sector have submitted their first reports on the measures they are taking to comply with the Code of Practice on Disinformation. There has been some progress, notably in removing fake accounts and limiting the visibility of sites that promote disinformation. However, additional action is needed to ensure full transparency of political ads by the start of the campaign for the European elections in all EU Member States, to allow appropriate access to platforms’ data for research purposes, and to ensure proper cooperation between the platforms and individual Member States through contact points in the Rapid Alert System. Full press release here.

(24/01) The European Union and Ethiopia step up their partnership and cooperation. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed to discuss EU support to Ethiopia’s reform process and agree to an additional €130 million to support job creation. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu Negewo furthermore signed three new programmes to promote sustainable economic growth and job creation in the country for a total amount of €130 million.  The 3 new programmes signed today are part of the implementation of the ‘Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’, which aims to deepen the economic and trade relations between the two continents, in order to create sustainable jobs and growth. These financing agreements between the EU and Ethiopia support job creation (€50 million), sustainable energy (€35 million) and the establishment of agro-industrial parks in Ethiopia (€45 million). Full press release here.

(24/01) Asylum: Commission takes next step in infringement procedure against Hungary for criminalising activities in support of asylum applicants. The European Commission has today decided to send a reasoned opinion to Hungary concerning legislation that criminalises activities that support asylum and residence applications and further restricts the right to request asylum. On 19 July 2018, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning the new legislation. After analysing the reply provided by the Hungarian authorities, the Commission considers that the majority of the concerns raised have still not been addressed. Full press release here.

(23/01) Youth, entrepreneurship and better living conditions spearheads of new EU record assistance to Tunisia. The European Union has recently adopted a financial assistance package worth €305 million to Tunisia, which is the highest amount ever allocated under the European Neighbourhood Instrument. The European Union has recently adopted a financial assistance package worth €305 million, which is the highest amount ever allocated to Tunisia under the European Neighbourhood Instrument. This record financing reflects the EU’s strong ambition to create better chances for the Tunisian youth, facilitate a more flourishing and attractive business environment and enhance the capacities of local governments to improve the living conditions of local populations.  Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “Our commitment to the Tunisian society and our intention to support measures that will help young Tunisians find work and create their own businesses is clear.  Support to actions that will bring economic growth and provide more job opportunities is a top priority in our newly adopted assistance to Tunisia, worth €305 million, the highest amount ever for a single year. The adopted programmes will facilitate access to the job market for young Tunisians, boost entrepreneurial innovation and ensure that local communities are not left behind.” Full press release here.

(23/01) Commission reports on the risks of investor citizenship and residence schemes in the EU and outlines steps to address them. For the first time, the Commission has presented a comprehensive report on investor citizenship and residence schemes operated by a number of EU Member States. The report maps the existing practices and identifies certain risks such schemes imply for the EU, in particular, as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. A lack of transparency in how the schemes are operated and a lack of cooperation among Member States further exacerbate these risks, the report finds. Full press release here.

(18/01) European Union steps up cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire. The European Union is providing an extra €35 million in support for reforms and for vocational training and economic development policies in Côte d’Ivoire. Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, announced the extra funds at a meeting held with Marcel Amon-Tanoh, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, to coincide with the signing of the mid-term review of the National Indicative Programme. Commissioner Mimica said: ‘The extra €35 million reflects the good results achieved by Côte d’Ivoire in implementing its Development Programme. We want to back the continuation of key reforms in the country, especially in the sectors of public finance management, improving the business environment and trade. This support is what the Africa–Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs is all about.’ The new funding follows the mid-term review of Côte d’Ivoire’s National Indicative Programme. The new package comprises €29.3 million for the Good Governance and Development Contract, €5 million for the interim Economic Partnership Agreement and €700 000 for flanking measures. Full press release here.

(16/01) EU increases its humanitarian assistance – record budget adopted for 2019. As more and more people face humanitarian crises worldwide, the EU has adopted its highest ever initial annual humanitarian budget of €1.6 billion for 2019. From long-lasting conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, to the growing impact of climate change worldwide, humanitarian crises are worsening and conflict threatens aid delivery to those most in need. The biggest bulk of the budget will address the crisis in Syria, refugees in neighbouring countries and the extremely critical situation in Yemen. In Africa, EU aid will support people in regions affected by crisis in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Lake Chad basin, the Democratic republic of Congo suffering from an Ebola outbreak and in regions suffering food and nutrition crises, such as Sahel. In Latin America, EU funding will help the most vulnerable populations affected by the crisis in Venezuela and protracted conflict in Colombia. The European Union will also continue to provide assistance in Afghanistan and help Rohingya populations in both Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Europe, the EU’s humanitarian efforts will focus on people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. In view of the growing effects of climate change, the funding will help vulnerable communities in disaster prone countries to prepare better to various climatic shocks, such as droughts, floods and cyclones. Full press release here.

(16/01) Commission welcomes European Parliament’s position on InvestEU. The European Commission welcomes today’s vote by the European Parliament to agree its position on InvestEU, the proposed programme to boost private and public investment in Europe in the next long-term EU budget. The vote marks an important step towards the creation of the programme, which will bring together under one roof the EU’s financial instruments for investment in the European Union and should trigger at least €650 billion of investment. The Commission now calls on Member States to swiftly agree their position to be able to start the discussions between the three institutions. The Commission’s proposal for InvestEU builds on the success of the Investment Plan for Europe – the Juncker Plan – which has already mobilised over €371 billion of investments since its launch. By providing an €38 billion EU budget guarantee to support investment, the InvestEU Fund will crowd in public and private resources to boost investment across the EU in the 2021-2027 budget period. Full press release here.


(17/01) Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds. Governments interfering with courts or failing to tackle fraud and corruption will risk suspension of EU funds, according to a draft law endorsed by MEPs on Thursday. Assisted by a panel of independent experts, the EU Commission would be tasked with establishing “generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law” and decide on measures that could include suspending EU budget payments or reducing pre-financing. The decision would only be implemented once approved by Parliament and Council. Once the member state remedies the deficits identified by the EU Commission, Parliament and EU ministers could unlock the funds. Full press release here.

(16/01) EU fundamental rights under threat in several member states. The European Parliament denounces gender violence and discrimination, breaches of rule of law and hate speech in its assessment of fundamental rights in the EU in 2017. In a non-legislative resolution adopted on Wednesday with 390 votes to 153 and 63 abstentions, MEPs call on EU institutions to effectively assess member states’ respect for rule of law and condemn limitations imposed on freedom of speech, as well as violations against migrants and asylum seekers’ fundamental rights in some EU countries. Full press release here.

(24/01) Better work-life balance for EU citizens: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with the European Parliament. The Presidency of the Council and the European parliament today reached a provisional agreement on some key elements of the proposal for a Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers. The agreement still needs to be approved by member states. The aim of the proposal is to improve the access for working parents and carers to work-life balance arrangements, such as leaves and flexible working arrangements. The new directive will encourage men and women to take an equal share in family-related responsibilities. The new rules should also increase the take-up of family-related leaves and flexible working arrangements by men, thus making it easier for women to stay on the labour market. Parents and carers will be able to better reconcile their professional and private lives, and companies will benefit from more motivated workers. Full press release here.

(22/01) Wider reuse of public-sector data: presidency reaches provisional deal with Parliament. The EU is increasing the availability and reuse of publicly funded data. This will significantly contribute to the competitiveness of the European data economy and spur the development and uptake of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and many others. Today, the presidency reached a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament on new rules designed to increase the supply of data to support the economy and modern data-based society, and to promote the use of open data in the EU. The preliminary agreement still needs to be approved by the Council. Full press release here.

(22/01) Joint communiqué of the European Union – African Union ministerial meeting. Full text here.

(1/02) EIB – New co-funding opportunities on the agenda as Islamic Development Bank President visits the EIB. An Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) delegation, led by the Bank’s President, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, is visiting the European Investment Bank’s headquarters in Luxembourg to explore opportunities for co-financing new projects in Africa and Southern Mediterranean Countries. “IsDB and EIB, together with other Multilateral Development Banks, are key players in catalysing private investment in support of public policy goals. We need to strengthen our common efforts to support economic resilience and deliver on our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,” commented EIB President Werner Hoyer after the meeting. He added: “There is an acute need to support sustainable investment in many regions where we are both active. We can deliver more impact by bundling our respective strengths and working closely together. Today President Hajjar and I had very fruitful discussions on how to scale-up our partnership and increase co-financing in a number of areas, starting with improving the lives of the most vulnerable, in sectors like infrastructure, innovation, support for small enterprises, and support to refugees.” Full press release here.

(21/01) FRA – Recurring migrant deaths at sea, a grim reminder of need for solutions, says FRA. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights is extremely sad to learn of the reports of 170 migrants feared dead following two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. These deaths are on top of the nearly 2,300 people estimated to have died or gone missing at sea trying to reach Europe last year. Full press release here.

(15/01) EASO – EASO steps up operational support for Cyprus. In late December 2018, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) signed three new Operating Plans with authorities in Cyprus, Greece and Italy. The new Plans are updates of previous versions, and detail the support that the Agency will provide to the asylum authorities of the three EU Member States throughout 2019 in order to ensure that EASO continues to meet the operational needs of the authorities that request it. The Operating Plan for Cyprus, which has experienced a recent surge in asylum applications, was signed by the Executive Director of EASO a.i., Jamil Addou, on behalf of the Agency, and the Minister of Interior, Mr. Constantinos Petrides, on behalf of Cyprus. Full press release here.

(25/01) Italy urged to improve the protection of migrants and unaccompanied children against human trafficking and exploitation. Italy has taken additional measures to combat trafficking in human beings, according to a new report published today by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), but a number of issues continue to give rise to concern. The report assesses developments since the publication of GRETA’s first evaluation report on Italy in 2014 as regards the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The positive steps taken by the Italian authorities include amendments to the Criminal Code and the adoption of a law strengthening the protection of unaccompanied children, including child victims of trafficking. However, GRETA is concerned that recently adopted legislation excluding asylum seekers from access to reception centres risks leaving possible victims of trafficking without assistance. Full press release here.

(17/01) Concrete achievements in 2018 to ensure the protection of refugee and migrant children. The Special Representative is taking stock on concrete results achieved in 2018 in the implementation of the Council of Europe Action Plan on protecting migrant and refugee children in Europe (2017-2019). Today, he publishes a visual presentation of all actions achieved so far in protecting children in migration, including the relevant resources linked to the results. The Special Representative acknowledges the commitment and joint efforts of the different units dealing with migration at the Council of Europe. He extends his thanks to Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Serbia who contributed financially in the implementation of the Action Plan. He also expressed appreciation to Switzerland for the voluntary contributions to the PACE Campaign End Immigration Detention of Children and to Azerbaijan, Germany, Norway, San Marino, and the European Union for their voluntary contributions to projects covered jointly under the Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies. The activities carried out under the Action Plan have a special focus on unaccompanied and separated children aiming at ensuring access to rights and child-friendly procedures, providing effective protection from violence and enhancing integration of children who would remain in Europe. Full press release here.

(25/01) ECRE – Asylum Statistics 2018: Changing Arrivals, Same Concerns. Disparities in the way European countries grant international protection to people fleeing persecution and war persisted in 2018, according to asylum statistics made available by national asylum authorities. While EU institutions have emphasised a reduction of arrivals in Europe, figures confirm again more complex reality across the continent. Several countries (Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria) continue to witness a steady drop in asylum applications. In Italy’s case, the reduction was drastic, from 130,180 applications in 2017 to 53,500 in 2018. However, the number of people seeking asylum continue to increase in other countries (France, Turkey, Greece, Belgium and Slovenia. Full press release here.

(25/01) ECRE – Cameroon Forces Nigerian Refugees back to Violence. Since November, more than 80,000 Nigerians have been forcibly displaced in the north- east of the country, due to an upsurge in the on- going violent clashes between non-state armed groups and the Nigerian military. The situation for those who were forced to flee into Cameroon is alarming; Cameroonian authorities have denied refuge and forcibly returned civilians back across the border. An attack on the Nigerian town of Rann on January 14 which was reportedly executed by Boko Haram, forced more than 9000 people to flee into Cameroon. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said that buildings had been destroyed, looted and burned to the ground; “it was like a graveyard”. Full press release here.

(25/01) ECRE – Op-ed: A Multiple Hazard Area: Refugees and Their Lawyers in Danger. January 24 marks a significant – yet little known – date for human rights defenders and legal associations around the world. The International Day of the Endangered Lawyer commemorates a 1977 deadly attack targeting Spanish lawyers during the country’s transition to democracy, and seeks to bring visibility to the risks lawyers face during the exercise of their profession. Although the aim of the attack was the intimidation of specialists in labour law, its symbolism sharply highlights the broad challenges and dangers of modern refugee rights litigation. Full article here.

(22/01) Social Platform – One step ahead for Social Europe. Last week the European Parliament adopted the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (“EMPL”) report on the next European Social Fund (ESF+) by a considerable majority. The adopted text can be found here. The outcome of the vote is good news for a more social Europe and a welcome incentive for a more ambitious implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Parliament increased the overall ESF+ budget to €120,46 billion (an 19% increase compared to the original proposal by the European Commission), by doubling the resources for youth employment and by introducing a Child Guarantee of €5.9 billion. Funds allocated for the implementation of the future Health Programme under ESF+ got a 14.5% increase. Full article here.

(11/01) ECRE – A Contingency Plan for Disembarkation and Relocation. Following the latest incident of rescue ships stranded in the Mediterranean, this week’s Editorial takes the form of a presentation of ECRE’s Contingency Plan for Disembarkation and Relocation. ECRE relaunches its call for a European Contingency Plan on disembarkation and relocation. The plan should have two components: 1) Agreement among EU coastal states on a division of responsibility for disembarkation of rescue ships for an initial period of six months, renewable; 2) Agreement among EU non-Mediterranean states on a relocation framework for the same period, covering pledges and legal aspects. Full press release here.