The Commission is today recommending that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway phase out the temporary controls currently in place at some of their internal Schengen borders over the next six months. However an important number of irregular migrants and asylum seekers are still present in Greece and more efforts are needed to accelerate the processing of asylum applications, increase relocation and to ensure the resumption of Dublin transfers to Greece. The Commission therefore considers it justified that the Council allows the Schengen States concerned, as a last resort measure and only after having examined alternative measures, to prolong the current temporary internal border controls one last time for a limited period of six months.
During an official visit to Haiti after the appointment of a new Government, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimicaannounced a new EU aid package. The first of which is a special allocation of €18.5 million in response to Hurricane Matthew which hit the island in October 2016. The EU had also provided initial emergency relief last year when the hurricane struck the country. The second part of support through the signature with the Prime Minister S.E.M Jack Guy Lafontant is a €45 million agreement for the construction of the National Road #3, connecting Port-au-Prince to the northern town of Cap Haitian, the second biggest town and port of Haiti.
Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families. While EU and Member States’ legislation provide a solid framework for protection, the recent surge in arrivals has put national systems under pressure and exposed gaps and shortcomings. This is why the Commission is today setting out actions to reinforce the protection of all migrant children at all stages of the process. It is necessary to ensure that migrant children are swiftly identified when they arrive in the EU and that they receive child-adequate treatment. Trained personnel need to be available to assist children during their status determination and children should be provided with sustainable long-term perspectives through better access to education and health care. Child protection is a central priority in the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission will continue to support Member States’ efforts through training, guidance, operational support and funding.
Flollowing a meeting by the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday, in a statement the EU expressed its concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen and reaffirmed that a solution can be founf in political settlement. The data emerging from the statement underlined a catastrophic situation, with 17 million Yemenis who are suffering from food insecurity and lacking from foreign aid and 7.3 million people who are at serious risk. Concerning the situation among the children, more than 2.2 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition. Due to this situation the EU stressed the importance of secure access to all ports and condemned the attacks against civilians. In fine the EU called fro reopening Sana’a airport for commercial flights.
As provided last April by The European Agenda on Security, yesterday European Commission adopted a package of measure to tighten acquirement and control of firearms. Obviously, Paris attacks accelerated the approval. These proposed amendments, now need to be approved by the European Parliament and Council.
“The recent terrorist attacks on Europe’s people and values were coordinated across borders, showing that we must work together to resist these threats – President Jean-Claude Juncker said -. Today’s proposal, prepared jointly by Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Dimitris Avramopoulos,will help us tackle the threat of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. We are proposing stricter controls on sale and registration of firearms, and stronger rules to irrevocably deactivate weapons. We will also come forward with an Action Plan in the near future to tackle illicit arms trafficking. Organised criminals accessing and trading military grade firearms in Europe cannot and will not be tolerated,” he confirmed.
- This is the package of measures adopted by the College of Commissioners, in addition to the proposed revision about the EU Firearms Directive, which defines the rules under which private persons can acquire and possess weapons:
- A revision of the Firearms Directive, to tighten controls on the acquisition and possession of firearms;
- Stricter rules to ban certain semi-automatic firearms, which will not, under any circumstance, be allowed to be held by private persons, even if they have been permanently deactivated;
- Tighter rules on the online acquisition of firearms, to avoid the acquisition of firearms, key parts or ammunition through the Internet;
- EU common rules on marking of firearms to improve the traceability of weapons;
- Better exchange of information between Member States, for example on any refusal of authorisation to own a firearm decided by another national authority, and obligation to interconnect national registers of weapons;
- Common criteria concerning alarm weapons (e.g. distress flares and starter pistols)in order to prevent their transformation into fully functioning firearms;
- Stricter conditions for the circulation of deactivated firearms;
- Stricter conditions for collectors to limit the risk of sale to criminals.