Member States still struggling with migration situation

The migrant situation continues to challenge a number of EU Member States, according to the latest issue of FRA’s monthly report on migration-related issues. Some reception facilities are in a poor state, and the lack of resources is testing Member States responses, putting migrant children particularly at risk.

Read the August 2017 monthly data collection highlights >>

Some of the main areas of fundamental rights-related concerns identified in the latest summary report include:

  1. A tightening of border policies is limiting access to asylum in some Member States. This includes shorter time frames for registering asylum applications. In addition, procedures are often lengthy with little access to counselling and information about rights and how to apply for asylum. 
  2. Some reception centres still face problems with overcrowding and conditions remain poor. The extreme summer heat in some regions also posed a problem due to a lack of protection from the heat. NGOs also reported alleged incidents of police violence and intimidation.
  3. Child protection remains a worry. Guardianship systems continue to be under-resourced and over-burdened in many Member States with unaccompanied children in particular being kept in poor conditions and being made to wait over 15 months to be interviewed in some instances. The number of children reported missing from reception centres also continues to be a concern.
  4. There were a number of notable legal and policy changes over the summer, several of them restricting asylum and migration rights. For example, Italy established six new migration hotspots. The EU’s Court of Justice also proposed dismissing attempts by Slovakia and Hungary to challenge the legality of the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy. The Court also ruled that Croatia was responsible for asylum applications of people who had passed through Croatia on the way to Slovenia and Austria. This reaffirmed the so-called Dublin principles which describe which Member States should process asylum applications. In addition, the European Commission and national interior ministries proposed a code of conduct for NGOs operating in the Mediterranean Sea around Libya that was criticised by NGOs.
  5. Anti-migrant incidents also continued to be reported in many Member States ranging from public demonstrations and campaigns against migrants, rising hate speech and hate crime including violent attacks. An international network of racist and far-right organisations also rented vessels trying to obstruct save-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea carried out by NGOs.

The European Commission asked the Agency to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The reports cover 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Due to the summer holidays, there is no information from Finland in this August overview.

FRA has published its migration overviews since September 2015. The next issue will focus on oversight of reception facilities.