Refugees, not migrants, says UN

March 5, 2016 4:46 PM
By Peter Morris, European Movement

EU-Turkey relations could suffer a blow after a Turkish court ordered on Friday (4 March) the takeover of an opposition newspaper, EUobserver reports: https://euobserver.com/foreign/132560 No official decision is expected to be made during an EU-Turkey summit on Monday (7 March) dedicated to the refugee crisis, due to the upcoming German state elections, diplomats told EurActiv Greece.

"For the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis, I can see a European consensus emerging," European Council president Donald Tusk wrote in his letters to EU leaders ahead of Monday's EU informal summit, according to EUobserver. A "comprehensive strategy" could reduce the flow of migrants "if loyally implemented", he wrote: https://euobserver.com/tickers/132558

The European Commission has announced the first projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, pledging €55 million to address the immediate needs of Syrian school-children in Turkey for access to formal education, and €40 million in humanitarian aid through the World Food Programme. See the Commission's press release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-584_en.htm

A UN official said Friday (4 March) that the overwhelming majority of people coming to Europe are not economic migrants, but people seeking refuge from war. He also criticised EU leaders for telling migrants not to come to Europe. EUobserver reports: https://euobserver.com/migration/132556

The European Commission has presented a detailed Roadmap of the concrete steps needed to return order to the management of the EU's external and internal borders. See the Commission's press release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-585_en.htm

The European Commission wants to lift all internal border controls by the end of the year, according to EUobserver. The plan is part of a broader effort to keep the passport-free Schengen zone from unraveling after eight EU states imposed checks amid a large inflow of migrants and asylum seekers: https://euobserver.com/migration/132557

Europe's largest business organisation, Business Europe, pledged on Thursday (3 March) to present a plan for an advanced European border system within a week to save the Schengen area, EUobserver reports. "We have to save Schengen. If it collapses, the internal market will collapse", president Emma Marcegaglia told members of the group, representing enterprises in 34 European countries: https://euobserver.com/migration/132545

With thanks to Peter Morris, European Movement in North East