The larger number of refugees who have been in Serbia for a long time, some for a year, decided to return to Greece, said Info Park from Belgrade. They are tired of waiting for a decision on whether their international protection will be granted and they lost all the hope; in 2017 Serbia has only approved 3 international protection statuses, so returning to Greece for them seems like a chance to live in a better conditions. Despite the fact that current conditions in Greece are bad, refugees consider that from there it is easier to reach some of the EU countries where they will have better chance to obtain international protection. 

    The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has largely accepted the Wikström Report, which deals with the reform of the EU asylum system and proposes changes to the Dublin Decree. President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani had said in his statement last week that it was time to accept the fact that the current system of the Dublin Decree did not work and was dishonest and ineffective. One of the main principles underlying the report is the necessity for the participation of all Member States in the division of responsibilities and the reduction of disproportionate burdens carried by the bordering Member States, mainly Italy and Greece, with the largest number of refugees.

    According to the new proposal, the first EU member to which the refugees arrives would no longer be automatically responsible for considering their case, but the responsibility would depend on the existing links that a refugee can have in some other Member State (eg family members has lived or studied there before). It has also been suggested that access to certain EU funds is limited to countries that will not participate in solidarity distribution. Although this proposal is not yet near adoption, the Welcome Initiative! stresses that this moment is important because EU institutions open up space for questioning the policies that have been so far lacking solidarity and endangering numerous lives.

    One year has passed since the Joint way forward, an agreement between the EU and Afghanistan was signed. This agreement allows EU countries to deport people back to Afghanistan. Non-governmental organizations monitoring the situation in Afghanistan point out that both the EU and the Afghan governments have not assessed the security situation and the particular situation in Afghanistan which is getting worse. Similarly, the recent report by Amnesty International on the state of affairs confirms prior said, which clearly shows that returns to Afghanistan are very dangerous.

    Disturbing news come from Hungary, where public authorities have been fighting against non-governmental organizations for a long time, limiting their space and ability to act. Thus, last week, after more than twenty years of action, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee was forbidden to access to police detainees, detention centers and prisons. This action closed space for non-governmental organizations that monitor protection of human rights practice indoors which now leaves even greater room for their violations and further deterioration of the conditions in which people in detained institutions stay.

    On the occasion of the third anniversary of their existence, activist network Alarm Phone issued “In Solidarity with Migrants at Sea! The Alarm Phone 3 years on ” publication in which they reflect on current experience in their work, giving political analysis of the situation in the Mediterranean, and through interviews with activists, people on the move and those who have survived the passage through the Mediterranean, strive to show more clearly how important it is to be directly involved in the support and struggle for freedom of movement. From October 2014 to October 2017, Alarm Phone activists provided support to 1840 people in the Mediterranean and witnessed the emergence of a more rigorous border regime of the European Union, for which many have lost their lives while searching for security. 

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