This briefing paper constitutes SOLIDAR’s contribution to the European Commission’s consultation on the existing EU legal framework for the legal entry and stay of nationals of non-EU countries to EU Member States (legal migration) as part of the Fitness Check on EU legal migration legislation. The Fitness Check aims at assessing the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value of the legislation; identifying possible gaps and inconsistencies in the EU legislative framework and analysing whether it contributes to an effective management of migration flows.
As a result of the high pressure on Italy with regards to the migration flow and the lack of solidarity from other Member States, pointing the finger at NGOs undertaking search and rescue (SAR) operations has become the new trend.
After the arrival of more than 17,000 migrants and refugees in Greece, SOLIDAR considers it necessary to properly asses the current humanitarian situation in Greece and how to manage flows of migrants and refugees while fully respecting human rights and international obligations.
In this context, SOLIDAR together with Global Progressive Forum (GPF) and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) are organising the conference “#refugeeswelcome- ’Solidarity as the solution to the refugee crisis”, which will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece on 7-8 May 2017.
The Hungarian Government has recently submitted to the Parliament a bill on “reinforcing the legal border seal” with the declared aim of preventing illegal entry and movement of people of “unknown identity and motivation”. If adopted, the new rules will introduce tough criminal sanctions by authorising the police to push back every irregularly staying migrant and automatically detain all migrants entering transit zones for the entire duration of the asylum application procedure.
The increasing number of people in need of international protection perishing on their way to safety is a sinister reminder of the limitations of the current international protection regime. Entitlements to the rights recognised by international and regional protection systems, including under the EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS), are accessible only to those who manage to reach the physical borders of the host state.