Photos – Christmas time in Puteaux

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Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and Patron of the Patchwork Foundation, announced the winners of the MP of the Year Awards 2017 sponsored by KPMG at Speakers House on 15th November 2017

The award is for those MPs who have represented and work well with underrepresented, deprived and minority communities across the country.

Jon said: “I am honoured to be the Patchwork Foundation Labour MP of the Year. So many of my colleagues work hard to represent communities that are often excluded from the political process. I represent a very diverse Constituency but I try my best to ensure that all the different communities are assisted or given a voice. I promise to continue to work hard for all the people of Leicester South.”

Labour Party Leader Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP said: “I congratulate Jon Ashworth MP and all the 2017 winners of the Patchwork MP of the Year awards. The Patchwork Foundation works all year round to ensure young people from deprived and minority communities believe in themselves and understand the power they have to take part in our democracy.”

Siddiq Musa, KPMG Partner said: “KPMG is delighted to sponsor the Patchwork MP of the Year Awards for the fourth consecutive year. We fully support the Foundation’s drive to engage under-represented, deprived and minority communities with politics. The vote to leave the European Union brought into sharp relief regional inequalities which exist across the UK. These inequalities are felt most by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“As a firm, KPMG is committed to tackling social mobility. Our strong regional and national presence allows us to lead this debate in the business community.”

Photo: (left to right) Veronica Nall (Director: Strategy at Trade Sexual Health), Debbie Laycock (Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust), Caro Hart (CEO of LASS), Jon, Ken Coney (Board member, Trade Sexual Health), Wlad Jagiello (Health Promotion & Volunteer Coordinator, Trade Sexual Health), David Rowlands (Board member at LASS), Salim Khalifa (Director: Operations at Trade Sexual Health)

New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high.
Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Trade Sexual Health, Jon Ashworth MP met with volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.

National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.

Jon said: “I was delighted to visit Trade Sexual Health in Leicester and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.”

New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high.

Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Trade Sexual Health, Jon Ashworth MP met with volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.

National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.

Jon said: “I was delighted to visit Trade Sexual Health in Leicester and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.”

Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Early testing and diagnosis are key to combating this epidemic and we need to remove the stigma around HIV testing. There are now a range of testing options available, from postal tests, to GUM clinics, community sites and home testing.”

Find out more about National HIV Testing Week at
www.startswithme.org.uk

Emmanual Macron

Centrist independent on course for victory by 65% to 35% margin but Marine Le Pen’s defeat still marks historically high vote for France’s far right

The pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency in a decisive victory over the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, and vowed to unite a divided and fractured France.

Macron, 39, a former economy minister who ran as a “neither left nor right” independent promising to shake up the French political system, took 65.1% to Le Pen’s 34.9%, according to initial projections from early counts.

His victory was hailed by his supporters as holding back a tide of populism after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the US election.

 

Macron beats Le Pen in French presidential election – as it happened
Independent centrist Macron has defeated Marine Le Pen by 66.06% to 33.94% according to the French interior ministry

Addressing thousands of supporters in the grand courtyard of the Louvre, the vast Paris palace-turned-museum, Macron said he would defend France and Europe. He said Europe and the world are “watching us” and “waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places”.

 

He promised to unite a divided and fractured France, saying: “I will do everything to make sure you never have reason again to vote for extremes.”

Speaking of his meteoric rise and victory that was not forecast even a year ago, he said: “Everyone said it was impossible. But they didn’t know France!”

 

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France is electing a new president after five years of Socialist rule under François Hollande Neither of the candidates in the run-off is from a traditional party of governmen. Emmanuel Macron, 39, is standing as a centrist at the head of a party less than a year olMarine Le Pen, 48, is standing on a nationalist ticket, with the support of the far righ Nearly 48 million people are registered to vote but abstention is a real concer The last polling stations are due to close by 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT)

 

Inspectorate of Administration, up to 500,000 voters could be registered on two electoral lists. The President of the IDU questioned the Minister of the Interior about these dysfunctions, signaling a “democratic risk”.

In one week, more than 45 million French will go to the polling stations to deposit their ballots in the ballot box. But could some of them vote twice?Legally not. French legislation provides for a sentence of six months to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros for any person who votes twice.Yet according to information from the World , several thousand French people would have received two electoral cards a few days before the election.

“Dishonored voters can vote twice, and there is a real risk of electoral fraud. It is all the more noticeable that this year the result looks very, very close »

IDU President Jean-Christophe Lagardecalled on Interior Minister Matthias Fekl to discuss these problems. “Whether it is neglect or voluntary action, and although it is difficult to assess their importance, these anomalies could constitute a democratic risk in the run-up to an election that is so decisive for the future of our Countries and our fellow citizens, “he wrote in a letter. “I want the minister to do his job and settle this situation by April 23”, the first round of the presidential, said Lagarde to Saturday’s Parisian , suggesting “an audit”.

Baptiste, 22, registered in December on the electoral rolls of the 17th arrondissement of Paris. A few weeks ago, he received his electoral map at home, but his parents, who live in a small village of 7,000 inhabitants in Mayenne, also received a card for him. “I called the mayor of the 17th arrondissement twice. Once I registered, and again after my parents received the card, each time I was confirmed that I was registered on the electoral rolls, “he told Le Figaro .

Why was he not removed from the electoral rolls of his former commune? “In the commune of my parents, they were the first to be surprised. They told me that not all town halls have the same management software. For example, they can not register online, “says the young man. He was not the only one to testify on the social networks of this error. Some have even expressed concern and are wondering how this can happen, says France Info in its article.

The consulting firm of the former Prime Minister organized for $ 50,000 the meeting of a Lebanese billionaire with the CEO of Total, and Putin.

“Let’s get to my consulting firm. I exercised this activity legally from 2012 to 2016. […] The list of my clients does not include any Russian companies, neither the Russian government nor any organization in this country and all the conferences I have given in Russia have been free of charge. On Monday, February 6, the candidate François Fillon defended himself vigorously against the bad trials which, according to him, are made to him.
But the Duck chained decidedly does not let go its prey. And the revelation of the day in its edition dated Wednesday, March 22 is still a little more fragile the image of François Fillon, already quite damaged. According to the weekly, François Fillon received 50,000 euros on behalf of his company 2F Conseil to organize in 2015 in Saint Petersburg a meeting between his client Fouad Makhzoumi, which owns an infrastructure company in the oil field, Patrick Pouyanné , The CEO of Total and … Vladimir Putin.
The weekly reminds that Patrick Pouyanné was formerly the director of cabinet of François Fillon when he was minister delegate of the Posts, the Telecommunications and the Space.
Certainly, the Russian government, as the CEO of Total are not then customers of 2F Board. Putin and Pouyanné appear here as the merchandise provided by the former Prime Minister. But Francois Fillon has indeed monetized his relationship with the head of the Russian State. A legal activity? This is what the candidate strongly asserts. But a dangerous mixture of genres for which aspires to serve the State and incarnate France.
Dangerous Liaisons

Wednesday morning, Le Monde added new elements to this information of the Duck. The daily also had access to the contract of lobbying signed between 2F Conseil and Fouad Makhzoumi. It is, “writes Le Monde,” accompanied by an unambiguous object, which contrasts with the mission of general interest and neutrality assigned to the elected representatives of the Republic: to exploit for commercial purposes the address book of The former Prime Minister of Nicolas Sarkozy ”
The daily reminds mainly the pedigree of the Lebanese entrepreneur. He was involved in a corruption scandal in Britain, having recruited in the 1980s a conservative elected Jonathan Aitken, who became John Major’s defense minister. Forced to resign in 1995, he was sentenced to prison for “perjury” in 1999. And Le Monde recalled that François Fillon went to Beirut to meet Eastern Christians in December 2014, invited by Rich customer.
Finally, among the many offshore companies opened by Fouad Makhzoumi, one of them attracts particular attention. She is a resident of Panama and is co-chaired by the Lebanese billionaire and two relatives of the Bashar al-Assad regime. “Salim Hassan, close to Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s father and Khaled Hboubati, a Syrian entrepreneur who remained close to The current Syrian president, “according to Le Monde.
“False and False Uses” In the other case that poisons Fillon, the Penelopegate, Le Canard enchaîné and Le Monde give us news of the investigation. According to the Wednesday weekly, the investigators suspect the spouses of having fabricated fakes. They got hold of a statement that Penelope only worked for 30 hours at the Revue des deux mondes. Which was hired to perform 151 hours. As a parliamentary assistant, Penelope Fillon was already supposed to work 151 hours with her husband. The two jobs would therefore have exceeded the maximum authorized by the Assembly (180 hours).
Le Monde also reveals that the two spouses are now under investigation for false and false use and aggravated scam. According to the newspaper, in addition to the false statement mentioned by Le Canard, the investigators seized “sheets, signed by Penelope Fillon, [which] included various calculations of hours worked”. Documents they suspect were made by the two spouses a posteriori.
“All the documents, without exception, that were transmitted to the court or seized by it are strictly authentic documents,” said the lawyer of the couple Fillon, Pierre Cornut-Gentille, in a statement. “The alleged facticity of the documents has by no means been attested” and “it is pure rumors”, denounced the lawyer, who deplores “a new violation of the secrecy of the investigation”.

March 28 2017

Le leader d’En marche! s’efforce de dissiper les doutes sur sa capacité à réunir une majorité s’il était élu président.

Le règlement intérieur a changé. Jusqu’alors ouvert à tous les ralliements – de droite, de gauche, du centre, des écolos et d’ailleurs -, Emmanuel Macron a sérieusement durci les conditions d’accès à son mouvement politique En marche!. «Tous les soutiens sont les bienvenus, mais aucun soutien ne m’empêchera de réformer ou d’avancer. Un soutien vaut une voix, pas une investiture, pas une participation à la campagne et pas une modification de notre programme», a-t-il mis en garde lors d’une conférence de presse convoquée dans l’urgence mardi.

» Lire notre enquête – Hollande-Macron: «Je t’aime, moi non plus»
Ces derniers jours, les adversaires d’Emmanuel Macron ont instillé le doute sur sa capacité, s’il était élu en mai, à rassembler une majorité derrière lui lors des prochaines élections législatives. «Il ne faut pas penser que la prochaine élection présidentielle va régler la crise. Elle risque au contraire de l’aggraver puisque Emmanuel Macron ne pourra compter, dans le meilleur des cas, que sur 100 à 120 députés, expliquait ainsi la semaine dernière un ministre fidèle au chef de l’État. Il devra bien s’appuyer sur quelqu’un pour réunir une majorité.» L’idée en vogue au PS consiste à parier sur l’après-présidentielle pour tenter de s’imposer comme la force d’appui parlementaire indispensable à Emmanuel Macron.

«C’est le vieil appareil socialiste qui essaye d’organiser sa survie, assure l’un de ses proches. Si le PS perd des élus, il perd les subventions qui vont avec et se retrouve menacé de disparition.» D’où la contre-attaque d’Emmanuel Macron et le durcissement des conditions d’entrée chez En marche!.

Grandes manœuvres socialistes – Finie la tolérance sur la double appartenance possible à son mouvement politique et à un autre parti. «Chacun de nos candidats sera investi sous la bannière de la majorité présidentielle et non d’une étiquette ancienne et devra se rattacher politiquement et administrativement à cette majorité», a-t-il expliqué. De quoi flécher directement les subventions publiques liées aux mandats vers les caisses d’En marche!.

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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