Spanish authorities systematically and often violently expel refugees and migrants at the border with Morocco. This long-standing practice of push-backs at the external borders of the European Union (EU) is unlawful. Automatic expulsions violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) today ruled in Strasbourg.

In response to the migration crisis that affected Europe in the summer of 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision in order to help Italy and Greece deal with the massive inflow of migrants. The decision provides for the relocation from those two Member States to other EU Member States, over a period of two years, of 120 000 persons in clear need of international protection. That mechanism is actually a proportionate means of enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis.

The Court of Justice of the European Union decided in case Tsegezab Mengesteab v Germany (C-670/16) that an asylum seeker may rely in legal proceedings on the fact that the Member State has become responsible for examining his application because of the expiry of the three-month period within which that Member State may request another Member State to take charge of him.

The European Commission has awarded an additional € 6.48 million in emergency assistance to improve reception conditions in accommodation centers in the Greek islands of Lesvos (Kara Tepe) and Chios (Souda). With this funding the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will provide services such as food, water and sanitation supply and help ensure protection for vulnerable migrants as well as education and healthcare.

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