GENEVA, 1 December 2015 – Unpredictable border restrictions and harsh weather are compounding the hardships and challenges for refugee and migrant children and women who now account for more than half of all arrivals by sea.
From the beginning of 2015 until November, over 876,000 people arrived across the Mediterranean on European shores. The proportion of women and children has continued to rise since the summer. In June, it was 27 per cent children and women; in November it increased to 52 per cent.*
European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 30 November 2015
The European Agenda on Migration adopted by the Commission in May 2015 set out the need for a comprehensive approach to migration management. Since then, a number of measures have been introduced – including the adoption of two emergency schemes to relocate 160,000 people in clear need of international protection from the Member States most affected to other EU Member States, and the endorsement of the Commission Action Plan on Return.
Summary of the situation
IOM Launches Updated Response Plan for Mediterranean and Beyond
Switzerland - IOM has released an update to its June 2015 response plan “Addressing Complex Migration Flows in the Mediterranean.” It includes a series of proposed interventions to be implemented through December 2016, some of which are already underway, others are still at the planning stage.
European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 27 October 2015
Progress following Western Balkans Route Leaders' Meeting
26 octobre 2015 – Le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, Antonio Guterres, a salué dimanche le consensus auquel sont parvenus plusieurs pays européens sur la gestion des réfugiés empruntant la route des Balkans.
« En tant que Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, il était vital pour moi que l'Union européenne reste une terre d'asile et que le caractère durable de la protection des réfugiés soit garantie en Europe », a déclaré M. Guterres lors d'une conférence de presse dans l'enceinte de la Commission européenne à Bruxelles.
26 October 2015 – As European leaders met this week to hammer out a 17-point plan of action on the Western Balkans migration route for refugees and migrants fleeing Syria and other strife-torn regions, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees commended the fact that a consensus had been reached.
Ljubljana, Slovenia | AFP | Monday 10/26/2015 - 19:59 GMT
by Bojan Kavcic with Rachel O'Brien in Zagreb
European countries facing an unprecedented influx of migrants on Monday cautiously welcomed new EU plans to help stem the crisis, following an emergency mini-summit at the weekend.
The European Union pledged to help set up 100,000 places in reception centres along the route through the Balkans, seeking to defuse seething tensions on its southeastern rim as tens of thousands of migrants head to northern Europe.
The past weeks have shown that the challenges currently faced along the Western Balkans migration route will not be solved through national actions. Only a collective, cross-border approach based on cooperation can succeed. This is why President Juncker convened the leaders of the countries concerned and most affected by the emergency situation along the Western Balkans route.
Brussels, Belgium | AFP | Sunday 10/25/2015 - 09:27 GMT
by Danny KEMP
European Union and Balkan leaders hold emergency talks on Europe's refugee crisis on Sunday amid threats from three frontline states to close their borders if northern EU countries stop accepting migrants.
The mini summit, called by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, groups the heads of 10 EU nations, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plus the leaders of Albania, Serbia and Macedonia.
10/24/2015 - 16:36 GMT
by Diana SIMEONOVA
Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia on Saturday threatened to close their borders if EU countries to the north stop accepting migrants, as European leaders prepare for emergency talks on the continent's worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said the three countries wanted a Europe-wide solution to the crisis but were not prepared to become a "buffer zone" for the tens of thousands of new arrivals.
Summary of the situation
Since the weekend, thousands of migrants faced tightened controls after Hungary closed key border crossing points. As a result, the flow of refugees and migrants diverted westwards to Croatia and Slovenia. On 19 October, refugees were stranded for hours under heavy rain as they waited at the Serbia-Croatia frontier, until Croatian authorities let in about 3 000 persons at nightfall. The refugees were held at the border as Croatian reception capacities are already running at full capacity.
Abstract The research described in this report was conducted to assess potential concerns among hesitant healthcare workers in Europe as part of an ECDC project entitled ‘Comprehensive expert opinion on motivating hesitant population groups to vaccinate’.
Croatia: The national service reports alert level 4 (out of 4) on Kupa river and alert level 3 on Korana, Kupa, Sava and Odra rivers.
Romania: The national service reports alert level 3 (out of 3) on Lotru and Sebes rivers.
Slovenia: The national service reports alert level 3 (out of 3) on Krka river and alert level 2 on Sava, Mura, Krka, Sotla, Ljubljanica, Ledava and Kolpa rivers and on many of their tributaries.
Refugees and migrants have continued to steadily enter Europe at levels not seen since World World II, primarily through Greece from Turkey, continuing north through Western Balkans and then onwards to Western Europe.
There is an urgent need to ensure children and their families are protected from the cold and rainy weather, improve child nutrition, and increase national capacities to effectively identify and address child protection risks and act in the best interests of children on the move.
Pledges confirmed since 2013: 96,688
Additional places/visas granted under other forms of admission: 14,074
Resettlement submissions to the USA: 19,646
TOTAL places made available to date: 130,408
Few issues arouse such strong passions as immigration, where concrete economic and social challenges overlap with the fundamental concept of national identity. It is thus not surprising that Europe is having difficulty in coming to grips with the current refugee crisis.
Berlin, Germany | AFP | Tuesday 9/29/2015 - 12:48 GMT
by Hui Min NEO with Nina LARSON in Geneva
Germany toughened rules Tuesday for asylum seekers from the Balkans as Europe struggled to cope with a record surge in migrants, with new figures showing more than half a million have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year.
Berlin added Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro to a list of so-called safe countries, so people claiming asylum from those conflict-free states can be deported more swiftly to free up resources for refugees from war-torn countries like Syria.