A movement of German towns is arguing they can help alleviate the crisis on their own and has volunteered to bring in more asylum seekers. The focus is on ending sometimes deliberately slow, inhumane and inefficient border management procedures, which lead to squalid, overcrowded camps such as Moria, where people can be left in limbo for years. The European Union unveiled Wednesday a long-delayed proposal to overhaul the bloc’s migration and asylum policy and to establish a compulsory system across the 27-member bloc to handle migration. Until the end of the Second World War, most migration was within and out of Europe. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. It borders Greece and Bulgaria, so in many ways it became the EU's … EU polarisation over migration is not new. Brussels – As 2021 begins with a promising COVID-19 vaccine in sight, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) encourages the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) to advance an ambitious, forward-looking reform of European migration policy that engenders recovery from the pandemic and long-term resilience. Second, there should be an honest conversation on European values and identity. But Europe’s anti-migration hardliners are having none of it. And while national governments dither even over the humanitarian taking-in of refugee children made homeless at Moria, local communities are responding at the grassroots level. 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The key concern of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech republic is that refugees must be kept in “hotspots” or camps outside EU territory while asylum claims are processed, although – so far, at least – no one seems to favour Priti Patel’s bizarre scheme for sending asylum-seekers to Ascension Island in the south Atlantic. EU polarisation over migration is not new. Many countries are struggling to cope with the crisis. Europe’s relentless arguments over border controls, asylum claims and mandatory or voluntary “solidarity” hide a darker discussion and a deeper divide. Europe has been a crossroads of human mobility since ancient times. Greek ministers told the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee in July that reports of officials using violence and even shooting at migrants were "fake news," underlining the … Hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing war or seeking new lives have flooded into Europe. LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal started consultations Tuesday with other European Union countries to find common ground for a new policy on migration… But more subtle forms of prejudice abound. Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, is hoping that these and other changes will convince EU governments to view migration not as an evil but as an asset that has “defined our societies, enriched our cultures and shaped many of our lives”. Throughout history, the region has been a central part of global migration systems which its States helped to establish and shape, mainly through mercantilist and colonial expansions. Brussels, 01/15/21 As 2021 begins with a promising COVID-19 vaccine in sight, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) encourages the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) to advance an ambitious, forward-looking reform of European migration policy that engenders recovery from the pandemic and Rights agencies and NGOs warn that the pact may weaken protection for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Meanwhile, net migration from outside the EU has gradually increased for the past six years as … Portugal and Italy introduced temporary amnesty schemes for refugees while others fast-tracked work permits or allowed asylum seekers to work throughout their application process. Open Arms boat rescues 265 migrants in Mediterranean The humanitarian ship is seeking a port of safety for migrants its crew rescued from the Mediterranean Sea. Gatwick immigration detention centre closed due to staff Covid cases Published: 8 Jan 2021 Keeping Biloela family locked up on Christmas Island cost Australia $1.4m last year European Union home affairs ministers on Thursday began the process of repairing the bloc’s broken migration policy, just weeks after the tragic devastation of the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos. Several measures have been taken to manage the crisis as well as to improve the asylum system. Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint: Commission Recommendation on an EU mechanism for Preparedness and Management of Crises related to Migration (Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint) 23 September 2020 Finding consensus for a common EU policy on migration has eluded the bloc for years. Third, Europe needs to acknowledge the urgency of rebooting relations with African states and other emerging countries. Germany and Sweden welcomed many of the 1.5 million refugees fleeing Middle Eastern wars five years ago, but the bloc’s eastern states looked the other way. Mark Lowen, Turkey correspondent 2014-19: Syria's war shot Turkey to the front of the migration story. Portugal also wants to reach a comprehensive migration agreement with countries along the Mediterranean Sea’s southern rim, from where many migrants cross to the EU. But its plan is already being greeted with suspicion by more hardline anti-migrant countries like Austria and Hungary. The migration discussion is entangled in Europe’s dismal record on racism, the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and the continent’s complex post-colonial relations with its southern, especially African, neighbours. defined our societies, enriched our cultures and shaped many of our lives, A movement of German towns is arguing they can help alleviate the crisis on their own. Promoting effective returns. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. Europe’s progressives, on the other hand, worry that the commission proposals pander too much to the far right. Securing agreement on a new, more sensible and saner migration management system will be slow and painful. EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson may say she wants to take the drama out of migration and make the the policy a “normal one”. There is no easy response. UK illegal immigration news with EU migrant crisis updates, Syrian refugee pictures and updates, plus stories from Germany and on Trump's immigration ban. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to … Also at risk is the EU’s global reputation. On values, although earlier attempts to impose sanctions on Budapest and Warsaw for breach of EU values are stuck, the EU executive is pursuing closer scrutiny of rule of law violations. As the author Hanif Kureishi wrote in 2014: “The immigrant has become a contemporary passion in Europe, the vacant point around which ideals clash.”, • Shada Islam is a Brussels-based commentator on EU affairs, Available for everyone, funded by readers. These rules also apply to EU citizens, as freedom of movement will also end on this date. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Which countries are migrants from? Later they blocked EU efforts to introduce a system of quotas for redistributing refugees among the 27 member states. The recent denunciation by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, of “Islamic separatism” or the nomination of an EU commissioner to “promote the European way of life”, viewed by many as a dog whistle to the anti-migrant camp, are more difficult to call out. The European commission’s plan calls for faster pre-entry screening and quick returns of those who fail to quality for asylum. 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