Global attention has focused on Greece's brush with financial collapse over the past few weeks. But meanwhile, one of the other great crises facing Europe has continued out of the spotlight, with a steady stream of migrants arriving in Athens.
Amnesty International today (7 July) accused Balkan countries of mistreating migrants passing through their territories on the way to the European Union, saying people fleeing war were being "shamefully let down", and denouncing “failing EU migration policies”.
EU leaders agreed that 40,000 migrants would be relocated from Italy and Greece to other EU countries over the next two years. Another 20,000 would be resettled from outside Europe to EU member states,
EU leaders openly quarrelled yesterday (25 June) during the first day of the EU summit over the distribution of migrants from Italy and Greece, and were unable to adopt summit conclusions over a wording controversy.
The EU launched a naval operation against human traffickers in the Mediterranean today (22 June). Dubbed "EUNAVFOR Med" its mission is to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used to smuggle refugees to Europe.
EU foreign affairs ministers will today (22 June) agree on an intelligence gathering operation, the first phase of the bloc’s response to the burgeoning migration crisis in the Mediterranean, but military action against people smugglers will depend on the support of Libya’s National Unity Government and the United Nations.
The UN rights chief yesterday (15 June) called for the European Union to take bolder steps to address its swelling migrant crisis, insisting the bloc could easily take in one million refugees. The announcement coincides with today's meeting of EU interior ministers who find it difficult to re-distribute 40.000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other countries of the Union.
An international rescue fleet plucked almost 5,900 migrants from rickety boats making the perilous sea crossing for North Africa to Europe on Saturday and Sunday (6 and 7 June), Italy's coastguard said.
As the global number of displaced people reaches its highest level since WW II, developed countries must assume their responsibilities and deal with the causes of mass migration, writes Michael Adamson.
Europe is seeking United Nations Security Council approval to seize vessels used to traffic migrants across the Mediterranean from Libya, though Russia has signaled it would not allow destruction of the vessels.
The European Commission said yesterday (4 May) that it had no intention of adopting Australia's model of turning back boats with immigrants. The reaction was prompted by a statement made by Australia's right-wing premier, Tony Abbott, who said his country and the EU were in talks over the issue.
The EU is planning to act against human traffickers in the Mediterranean. But the plight of refugees can only be relieved when its foreign policy engagement is strengthened, write Ronja Kempin and Ronja Scheler .
EU lawmakers Tuesday (28 April) demanded the bloc share the burden of accepting asylum seekers, as the pressure on southern European countries from migrants crossing the Mediterranean showed no sign of easing.
The Juncker Commission presented Tuesday (28 April) new proposals to strengthen the link between security and development in the external actions of the European Union, two fields of action which were largely kept separate in the previous commission.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the Mediterranean had become "a sea of tears" as he joined Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini aboard a navy ship yesterday (27 April) to highlight the plight of migrants risking their lives to reach Europe.
One of the messages the EU heads of state and government are expected to deliver at their extraordinary summit today (23 April) is that the Union cannot absorb any more mass arrivals of migrants, as they risk undermining it economically, and destroying it politically.
EU leaders gathering in Brussels today (23 April) will consider launching a military operation against human traffickers in Libya, held responsible for the deaths of thousands of migrants this year in the Mediterranean, a draft statement showed.
European Union leaders who decided last year to halt the rescue of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean will reverse their decision today (23 April) at a summit hastily convened after nearly 2,000 people died at sea.