Something remarkable appears to be happening when it comes to public concern about immigration - British attitudes appear to be undergoing a turnaround.
The Council formally adopted revised EU rules on Schengen visas, which will make it easier for bona fide travellers to obtain a visa for short stays, whilst maintaining security standards and reducing irregular migration risks.
BRUSSELS – Antonio Vitorino, the IOM Director General and Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, attended a lunch with EU Ministers participating in the first Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg after the European Parliament elections to discuss the challenges ahead on asylum and migration.
Lithuania to grant asylum to 2 or 3 migrants rescued from Mediterranean
Migration department of Lithuania has published its annual report on main migration trends of 2018
The armed forces said that with good weather conditions prevailing, departures of migrants from Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria had increased in the past two days, resulting in 12 migrant boats arriving in Sicily, Sardinia, and Lampedusa.
2018 marked a decrease of 74 thousand first-time applicants across the EU-28 in comparison with the year before, fell from 655 thousand to 581 thousand. Almost four in five (79 %) of the first-time asylum seekers were less than 35 years old. Germany accounted for 28 % of all first-time applicants in the EU Member States, France 19 %, Greece 11 %, and Spain 9 %.
Depending on where the immigrants came from – from inside or outside the EU – there were differences in attitudes. All countries reported more positive attitudes towards EU immigrants. However, with the exception of Sweden and Hungary, negativity towards non-EU immigrants had also decreased. Europeans saw immigrants as having a positive effect on culture, while the majority of Europeans said immigration had a negative effect on crime.
A focus on improved data will enable IOM to combat fake news and hate speech with solid facts and evidence. A dedicated Europe section on the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre website has just been launched, and it was presented on Friday at a side event at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regional Forum on Sustainable Development. Regional Director Argentina Szabados stressed the importance of the portal, noting that “in times of fake news, a rise of populism, spread of negative stereotypes and violent hate crime, there is greater need than ever for genuine facts and reliable figures to give a true picture of what migration is and how it shapes our world.” There are 78 million international migrants in Europe, more than one third of the global total. The new Europe section was authored by the Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, a European Commission initiative to provide scientific evidence for EU policymaking in migration and demography related fields.
IOM and key partners launched a three-year regional project in Suva, Fiji today (26/03) to help Pacific Island governments to address multi-faceted challenges associated with climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation in the region. The project – Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region – has received seed funding from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) and will target Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu. The main objectives of the project are to support a regional human security-based response to climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation, ensure that migrants and communities benefit from safe labour migration where appropriate, and contribute to the evidence-base of good practices.
According to the study, visa liberalisation led to an immediate increase in short-term travel to the countries of destination from visa-free countries and made it easier for third country nationals to travel to the EU and Norway to explore employment opportunities and request residence permits. Ukrainian nationals received the highest number of residence permits. In 2017, their main country of destination was Poland with 545 000 permits issued for remunerated activities, followed by Czech Republic and Italy. Although several Member States adopted additional or new measures to counter irregular migration, such as setting up joint police investigations, the study confirms that there is little evidence of a link between visa liberalisation and the facilitation of irregular migration or any increase in smuggling or trafficking in human beings.
Ahead of the March European Council, the Commission is today taking stock of progress made over the past 4 years and setting out the measures still required to address immediate and future migration challenges.
In 2018, the number of detections of illegal border crossings reached its lowest level in five years, but migratory pressure remained relatively high at the EU’s external borders, according to the Frontex Risk Analysis for 2019 report that was released today The total figure fell 27% from the previous year to 150 114 and was 92% below the peak of the migratory in 2015. This was in large part due to the dramatic fall in the number of migrants on the Central Mediterranean route, where the number of detections plunged 80% to 23 485. The Western Mediterranean became the most frequently used route into Europe. The pressure on Spain has been rising over the last years, and the number of detections in 2018 reached 57 034, double the number from 2017. The number of departures from Morocco increased five-fold.
Net migration of EU migrants to the UK has dropped to its lowest level for almost a decade, as eastern European citizens choose to leave or stay away. The Office for National Statistics said that net migration from EU countries had dropped to 57,000 people in the year to September 2018, its lowest level since 2009. Migration to the UK from outside the EU, however, rose at a much faster rate. Total net migration remained broadly unchanged from a year ago, but the figures mask a shifting pattern since the Brexit vote. Over the year, 627,000 people arrived in the UK while 345,000 people left. Net migration from countries outside the EU was the highest since 2004, with the net addition of 261,000 migrants from the rest of the world, part of a steady increase in non-EU immigration over the past five years.
The number of applications for international protection in European member states has fallen below pre-crisis levels, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) says. According to findings in their latest report entitled; ‘EU+ asylum trends 2018 survey’, there has been a considerable drop in the recognition rate of applications over the last three years. EASO states that EU+ countries had registered 634,700 applications in 2018. This represented a 10% drop on 2017 and a third year decline following the major demand for international protection applications in 2015.
The European Migration Network (EMN) published today on World day of social justice, a study on the labour market integration of non-EU nationals into the labour markets of 25 European Union (EU) Member States. Persisting unemployment gap: The effective integration of migrants into the labour markets of EU countries is a key challenge. While unemployment rates have been decreasing steadily since 2014, the gap between unemployment rates of third-country nationals and that of native and EU-born remains. The study, “Labour Market Integration of Third-Country Nationals in EU Member States”, focuses on first generation migrants legally staying in EU countries, who have the right to work. "We found that the three most common obstacles to labour market integration of migrants in most EU countries relate to the accreditation of job qualifications and assessment of skills, discriminatory behaviours in recruitment processes, and insufficient language skills,” said Ave Lauren, National Coordinator of EMN Estonia. “However, the migration influx in 2014-16 set labour market integration high on the political agenda and triggered policy changes. Most EU countries continue working to address these and other integration challenges", added Ave Lauren. Tackling the unemployment gap: Key learning points of the study include: 1. integration programmes are more successful with long-term structural national funding; 2.setting clear targets for the impact of integration measures rather than the effectiveness of implementation helps identify good practices and evaluate initiatives; 3. the private sector is a valuable complement to public sector integration measures; while the public-sector focuses on providing skills to find employment (such as how to search for a job), the private sector focuses on measures integrating migrant workers to workplaces, such as training and enhancing intercultural relations. Background: The study is the result of a collaboration of migration and asylum experts representing EMN contact points across the EU. The European Migration Network (EMN) is a Europe-wide network consisting of National Contact Points (NCPs) in the Member States and Norway, providing information on migration and asylum. The EMN was officially set up in 2008 by the European Commission on behalf of the European Council in order to satisfy the need of a regular exchange of reliable information on migration and asylum related issues on a European level. More information: EMN study “Labour Market Integration of Third-Country Nationals in EU Member States”; One pager of the study; Executive summary ; Full text . Country reports: labour market Integration studies in your country; World day of social justice (United Nations).
For the fifth consecutive winter, bitter sub-zero temperatures pose health and life-threatening challenges for the conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine. The elderly, comprising 30 per cent of those affected, suffer most. The humanitarian community is striving to provide winterization assistance to the most vulnerable people in Ukraine’s Eastern Conflict Area. As part of the effort, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania – is distributing electric heaters and cast-iron stoves to the residents of the small towns. These settlements along the contact line suffer from shelling, lack of vital infrastructure, restrictions of movement and mine contamination. Over 500 households, including single parents, families with three and more children, people with disabilities and the elderly received this essential assistance that will help them endure the harsh winter. Recently, humanitarian agencies called for USD 162 million to respond to the humanitarian situation of an estimated 3.5 million people in eastern Ukraine.
According to the first “Report on the health of refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region”, released by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, migrants and refugees are likely to have good general health, but they can be at risk of falling sick in transition or while staying in receiving countries due to poor living conditions or adjustments in their lifestyle. International migrants make up only 10% (90.7 million) of the total population in the WHO European Region. Less than 7.4% of these are refugees. In some European countries, citizens estimate that there are 3 or 4 times more migrants than there really are.
There is extensive media attention given to migration from North Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean. The BBC has called attention to the likely larger and more deadly flow of migrants across the Sahara, citing data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2015 there were 6,000 traffickers in the Agadez region of Niger who transported some 340,000 migrants across the Sahara to Libya. The migrants were eventually bound for Europe. They came from all over West Africa to Agadez, long a center of the cross Sahara trade.
IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, convenes in Paris this week (15-16 January), the world’s first International Forum on Migration Statistics, with partners Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
IOM Vilnius provides free consultations to foreigners on legal and practical issues related to arriving and living in Lithuania.
Migrant crisis: Austria sets asylum claims cap and transit limit. Officials say 80 asylum applications will be accepted each day, and a maximum of 3,200 people will be allowed to travel through Austria.
Immigrants living in Britain illegally will face abrupt eviction from rental properties under new laws designed to make Britain a tougher place to live in, the government will announce as it redoubles its response to the Calais migrant crisis.