Europe

Amnesty: EU-Turkey refugee deal a disaster, must not be repeated

Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the "disastrous" EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.

Italian mayor blocks road to halt migrants

An Italian mayor has dumped a pile of earth on a road leading to a residential building to prevent migrants and refugees coming into his community, Ansa news agency reported on Monday.

Norway extends border checks to control migrant flows

Norway is extending temporary border checks until May to control the inflow of migrants, the government said Friday.

Balkan route countries look to plug last gaps in borders

Countries along the Balkan migration route agreed on Wednesday to seal the already hard borders and prevent a possible new surge of people trying to reach wealthy EU countries.

Sweden projects fewer asylum seekers in 2017

Swedish authorities expect a continued drop in asylum seekers this year, amid tighter border checks introduced by the European Union and individual European states.

Austria reports record arrivals over Alpine migration route

The inflow of migrants into Austria's Tyrolean mountains reached a record high last year, the local police chief said on Tuesday, warning that the region was facing mounting problems due to continued arrivals from neighbouring Italy.

Italy rescues over 1,500 migrants from Mediterranean over the weekend

Over 1,500 migrants were rescued from unseaworthy boats in the central Mediterranean off Libya at the weekend, Italy's Coastguard said Monday.

Aid workers save 1,600 in 'nightmare' scenes in the Mediterranean

There were more dramatic scenes in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday morning as rescue workers saved 300 people in the Strait of Sicily, the Italian coastguard told news agency Ansa.

Gauck calls for clear stance on Trump, commitment to Europe

German President Joachim Gauck has called on Europe to make clear its opposition to US President Donald Trump's entry ban for citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Seven independent Bosnian mayors to form "Movement for Europe" platform

The heads of seven municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina who won the October 2016 elections in their respective communities as independent candidates will form a new political platform called "A Movement for Europe" in an effort to offer an alternative to current political parties.

Tsipras warns of rightist surge ahead of "key" European elections

Europe is at an "important crossroads" with the strengthening of rightists ahead of polls in several "key" countries, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Tuesday in Belgrade.

Fire breaks out in Bulgaria's largest refugee camp

A fire erupted in Bulgaria's largest camp for refugees and migrants, forcing the evacuation of 500 people, private broadcaster bTV reported Tuesday.

More than 5,000 cases brought against Turkey since coup attempt

Thousands of applications have been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on abuses in Turkey since the attempted coup last summer, the court said Thursday.

Climate change to bring more floods, droughts to Europe, agency says

Europe must prepare for the consequences of climate change, including increased risk of both floods and droughts, as well as the easier spread of infectious diseases, the EU's environment agency said Wednesday.

Trump win causes right-wing hearts to soar at meeting in Germany

Looking west the day after US President Donald Trump's inauguration, European right-wing party leaders who had gathered for a convention in Germany on Saturday said they liked what they saw.

Le Pen hails birth of a "new world" at far-right conference

Leaders of Europe's established far-right parties were bullish about their parties' prospects at a conference in the German city of Koblenz on Saturday.

Hitler, Mussolini figures set up in Koblenz to protest European right

Protestors set up metre-high cardboard figures of notorious European fascist leaders to mark their disgust at a meeting of right-wing populist parties in the western German city of Koblenz on Saturday.

Dutch anti-Islam leader Wilders tells Germans to stand proud

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka 

Children open Danish city's cultural capital year

Thousands of children sang and danced Friday as the Danish city of Aarhus opened its year as European capital of culture,  an honorary title it shares with the port town of Pafos in Cyprus.

Russia rejects European court ruling to pay former Yukos shareholders

Russia's Constitutional Court has rejected a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to pay almost 2 billion euros (2.13 billion dollars) to former shareholders of the defunct oil company Yukos, state media reported Thursday.

Serbia struggles with river ice; Croatia hit by snowstorms

Two Hungarian icebreakers tasked to clear the Danube between Croatia and Serbia may be unable to continue downstream and the Croatian army could be asked to use explosives, according to news reports Tuesday.

Denmark defends little-used law allowing seizure of refugee valuables

A controversial year-old Danish law that allows the seizure of assets from asylum seekers to make them pay for their stay has only been applied four times, according to a news report on Monday.

Croatia marks 25th anniversary of international recognition

Croatia celebrates the 25th anniversary of international recognition on Sunday, remembering January 15, 1992 when the member-states of the then European Community (EC) jointly recognised it as an independent state and when Germany, which played a key role in that process together with the Holy See, established diplomatic relations with Croatia.

Migrants shivering in Serbia find no warmth in Hungary, minister says

Hungary will not open its border to refugees and migrants facing bitterly cold conditions in neighbouring Serbia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a German newspaper.

Number of unaccompanied child migrants in Mediterranean doubles

The number of child migrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy without family more than doubled to 25,800 last year, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday in Geneva.

Massive snow storm triggers chaos across Germany

A massive snow storm triggered chaos in Germany on Friday, causing severe disruption to transport nationwide and leaving parts of the country without power amid hurricane force winds.

European Community recognised Croatia too late, FM says

Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier said on Wednesday the international recognition of Croatia 25 years ago was a very important event but that the recognition by the then European Community came "much too late", resulting in many lives lost, and that the recognition by the international community was primarily a result of the Croatian people's will.

Austria should cut asylum numbers by half, conservatives say

Austria ought to lower its upper limit for asylum applications it will process to 17,000 - just under half the 35,000 it had planned to this year - conservative Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner proposed Wednesday.

Report: UEFA suspends Partizan Belgrade over debts

European football's governing body UEFA has banned Serbia's multiple champions Partizan Belgrade from European competition over unpaid debts, the B92 news portal reported Wednesday.

Fine on Muslim parents for refusing daughters' swim lessons upheld

The European Court of Human Rights upheld Tuesday a decision of a Swiss court backing fines on Muslim parents who refused to allow their daughters to take part in mixed swimming lessons on the basis of their religion.

Thousands of migrants freeze along Balkan route, aid group says

Thousands of migrants in Greece and in the Balkans are suffering under the current freezing temperatures as local authorities have failed to prepare emergency measures, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Monday.

Stuttgart, "smog capital" of Germany, issues its first alert for 2017

The south-western German city of Stuttgart issued its first air pollution alert of the new year on Monday as a wave of haze settled over the area called the country's "smog capital."

Deep freeze across Europe threatens lives of refugees, homeless

The extreme cold that has claimed lives and caused travel chaos across parts of Europe was also posing a new danger to the thousands of vulnerable refugees stranded in Greece.

Below-freezing temperatures cause deaths in Poland, Czech Republic

Temperatures have plummeted to -25 Celsius in Poland and the Czech Republic, killing at least 12 people over the last two days, the authorities said Sunday.

Freezing cold sends shivers across Europe

Freezing conditions struck many parts of Europe on Saturday, causing several deaths in hundreds of weather-related incidents from France to Turkey.

2016 saw sharp drop in Mediterranean migrants, surge in deaths

The number of migrants who arrived on Europe's shores dropped by nearly two thirds last year, but the death toll in the Mediterranean jumped to 5,079, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the EU border agency Frontex said Friday.

Austria seeks to stop asylum applications on EU territory

The European Union should curb immigration by banning refugee applications on its territory and setting up asylum application centres outside the bloc, according to proposals put forward by Austria's defence minister.

Severe winter weather batters large parts of Europe

Parts of Europe faced chaotic travel conditions on Thursday as temperatures across the region plunged below zero amid heavy snowfalls, blocked roads, dozens of accidents and the worst coastal storms in a decade.

Over 1,100 migrants attempt to storm Spanish enclave in North Africa

More than 1,100 migrants attempted to storm the border fence of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco overnight, Spain's efe news agency reported on Sunday, citing the authorities.

Italy rescues nearly a thousand migrants from Mediterranean

The Italy coastguard has coordinated the rescue of around 900 people from three boats from the Mediterranean, local media reported Thursday.

Three including child die in migrant smuggler crash in Serbia

Three migrants, including a child, were killed and 10 were injured when the vehicle smuggling them through Serbia overturned early Thursday, state television RTS reported.

How popular are the populists? France, Germany look to 2017 polls

France and Germany are set to hold major elections in 2017, as a swell of populist support poses strong challenges to traditional politics across Europe.

Europe's populist parties: The ones to watch in 2017

Across Europe, a brand of upstart politics that taps into populist discourse and anti-establishment feeling has been making steady gains. Here is a look at some key countries:

Mediterranean deaths reach record 5,000 as smugglers adjust tactics

New, riskier tactics by people smugglers have pushed the number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean to a new record of more than 5,000 this year, UN organizations said Friday in Geneva.

EU proposal would expand data collection at Schengen borders

The European Commission proposed expanding its criminal data bank system on Wednesday to help countries exchange more information on terrorism, cross-border crime and undocumented migrants.

Police bust gang that smuggled 10,000 migrants to Europe

Investigators have uncovered a Turkish gang that smuggled some 10,000 migrants to Western Europe in the past 10 years, the Austrian Interior Ministry said Monday.

Europe's satellite navigation system goes online

Europes's satellite navigation system and the bloc's bid to compete with the US-based Global Positioning System (GPS) went online Thursday, offering initial navigation services.

UN sounds alarm over horrors suffered by migrants detained in Libya

The breakdown of the Libyan justice system has left migrants in Libya facing torture, rape, slavery and death, the United Nations said in a report that urged the Libyan government to reform its detention centres.

US official warns of risk of terrorists arriving in S-E Europe

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter said in Croatia on Friday that the risk of terrorists arriving in the whole region was growing because of increased attacks on Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq and attacks on Aleppo, Syria.

EU deal brings visa-free access closer for Ukraine

Visa-free access for Ukrainian citizens to the European Union came within reach late Wednesday when EU lawmakers struck a deal to strengthen an "emergency brake" that could pause the access if needed.

Today's Europe is lacking forward-looking leaders, Pope Francis says

Europe today has no forward-looking leaders, according to Pope Francis, who hailed the postwar generation of politicians who laid the foundations of the European Union in an interview on Wednesday.

Turkish EU minister calls for opening of new accession chapters

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik called for the opening of two new accession chapters in Turkey's bid to join the EU, despite tensions between Ankara and Brussels.

European democracy damaged by migration crisis, says Hungary's Orban

European democracy is "tattered" because leading politicians failed to understand how their own people wanted the migration crisis handled, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday.

Europol: Islamic State planning new terror attacks in Europe

The Islamic State extremist organization is planning fresh terrorist attacks in Europe in the near future, European law enforcement agency Europol warned in a report published in The Hague on Friday.

Migrant count grows on eastern Greek Aegean islands

The number of migrants stranded on the eastern Greek Aegean Islands is still growing, the country's Migration Ministry said on Wednesday.

Survey: EU's Roma face lack of tap water, indoor toilets

Eighty per cent of Europe's Roma are at risk of poverty as EU member states fail in their efforts to integrate the minority group, a rights agency survey showed Tuesday.

Winter cold hits Greece's exposed migrants

A sharp temperature drop in Greece raised concern that thousands of migrants exposed to the cold may flee their inadequate shelters and seek new protection in city streets, local media reported Tuesday.

Police shut down 4,500 websites selling fake products

Police have shut down 4,500 websites selling fake goods as part of a worldwide crackdown on trademark piracy, European law enforcement agency Europol reported.

Eight migrants found dead off Malta, one in intensive care

Eight migrants died and one is intensive care in Malta after they were found in a floating dinghy between the Mediterranean island and Libya, according to press reports on Sunday.

European Space Agency lacks 400 million euros for Mars programme

The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to ask member states for about 400 million euros (420 million dollars) in additional funding for its Mars programme at a conference next week, spaceflight coordinator David Parker said Friday.

Somali-born German arrested for smuggling migrants out of Italy

A Somali-born German was arrested Wednesday in Germany for allegedly heading a 13-man smuggling ring that helped migrants travel from Italy to northern Europe, Italian police said.

Germany urges dialogue as Turkey belittles EU vote on membership bid

An upcoming vote by EU lawmakers on Turkey's EU membership bid weighed on the minds of the leaders of Germany and Turkey on Wednesday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for dialogue and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissing the vote.

EU says tax officials can exchange bank account data across borders

Tax officials across the EU's 28 member countries will now be able to automatically share names and balances on bank accounts as part of the bloc's effort to fight tax evasion, according to new rules approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Obama on farewell tour: EU needs to be "cultivated and fought for"

The European Union is one of the world's greatest political achievements and should not be taken for granted, US President Barack Obama said Wednesday after his final bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel before leaving office.

More than 340 dead in series of Mediterranean shipwrecks

A string of four shipwrecks on the Mediterranean Sea have left at least 340 Europe-bound migrants dead over the last 48 hours, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday.

Google announces 24 million euros in European media project funding

More than 100 media groups and projects are set to share 24 million euros (25.7 million dollars) in grants handed out by internet giant Google Thursday in Berlin.

Cars in Europe pump out more CO2 than advertised, says tester

Vehicles on European roads pump out far more carbon dioxide (CO2) than advertised, the team of scientists who uncovered Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal reported in a study released Thursday.

EU car sales flat in October, as demands falls in Germany and France

The market for new cars was flat in the European Union last month, as demand fell in the bloc's two biggest countries, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported Thursday.

EU agency: Italy faced record sea migrant arrivals last month

Nearly 27,500 migrants arrived in Italy in October, an all-time monthly record fuelled by favourable weather conditions, the European Union's border agency Frontex said Wednesday.

EU proposes screening visa-free travellers to boost border security

Travellers who currently enjoy visa-free travel to Europe should face additional security checks, the European Commission said Wednesday, laying out new ideas to boost border security amid fears of terrorism and illegal migration.

Obama reassures Europe over NATO, Trump presidency

America isn't going anywhere, assured US President Barack Obama in Athens Tuesday, as he used his final international tour to soothe worries in Europe over the incoming administration of Donald Trump.

Swiss take countrywide bird flu precautions as virus route emerges

Poultry farmers across Switzerland have been ordered to feed their animals indoors to halt the outbreak of bird flu that has spread in several European countries, the Swiss veterinary authority said Tuesday.

Seven migrants dead, dozens missing, almost 900 rescued off Libya

Seven bodies were found and dozens of boat migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea were feared dead off the coast of Libya, a rescue charity and the Italian coastguard said Tuesday.

Avian flu brought to central Europe by birds migrating from Russia

An outbreak of avian flu in at least six European countries was likely caused by birds migrating from Russia, according to Germany's national animal health institute.

Study: Working poor on the rise despite economic recovery in Europe

Poverty among Europe's working population is on the rise despite the fact that economic recovery has been gaining traction in the 28-member bloc, a study released Monday by Germany's Bertelsmann Institute shows.

Cypriot leaders agree to further talks after days of negotiations

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Friday agreed to continue UN-backed talks aimed at resolving their decades-long political dispute later this month.

Sweden extends border checks to control migrant flows

Sweden said Wednesday it was extending temporary border controls until May to control the flow of migrants.

Johnson says Britain backs Serbia's EU membership bid

The visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday that although it was leaving the European Union, Great Britain would remain a friend of Serbia and would keep supporting Belgrade on its journey towards the EU.

850 Turkish cases brought to European human rights court since coup

Since Turkey's failed coup attempt in July, some 850 cases were filed at the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, many related to civil servants dismissed from their posts, a senior European official said Thursday.

Minister: Germany must push EU security integration after Trump win

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday that the US election win for Donald Trump means that Germany needs to make a stronger push for security integration in Europe.

Europe approves new cheaper space rocket as competition for US

Funding has been fully approved for developing the new Ariane 6 launch rocket, the European Space Agency (ESA) said in Paris on Wednesday.

EU ups 2016 growth prospect but sees Brexit, Trump uncertainty ahead

The eurozone economy is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent this year, the European Commission predicted Wednesday, raising its earlier forecast by 0.1 per cent, while lowering estimates for the coming year, largely due to "political uncertainty."

EU official: Turkey must decide if it is serious about EU membership

Turkish backsliding on issues of rule of law and fundamental rights raise questions about Ankara's desire to join the European Union, the bloc's top official for membership talks said Wednesday, as the bloc issued its latest progress report.

Hungary's Orban fails to push through anti-immigration reform

Hungary's fiercely anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday failed to push through a constitutional reform rejecting the resettlement of asylum seekers on its soil.

Austria wants neighbours to prepare for end of Turkey refugee deal

Austria wants Central and Eastern Europe to coordinate police and military policies in case the EU-Turkey migration deal disintegrates, Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said Monday.

Plenkovic: Croatia has made good contribution to CoE in 20 years of its membership

In the 20 years of its membership in the Council of Europe Croatia has made a good contribution to the oldest European organisation that promotes democracy, human rights protection and the rule of law in Europe, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Zagreb on Monday.

Report: Germany mulls sending Mediterranean migrants back to Africa

Germany's Interior Ministry would consider sending migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea back to Africa, a spokesman said in comments published Sunday.

10 migrants dead, more than 2,200 survivors in Mediterranean rescues

Ten bodies were recovered and more than 2,200 people were saved in Saturday migrant rescue operations in the central Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said.

Juncker: EU powerless against authoritarian slide in Poland, Hungary

The European Union is powerless to act against the slide towards authoritarianism being seen in Poland and Hungary, the head of the bloc's executive, the European Commission, admitted in a Saturday interview.

Armed smugglers forced migrants onto boat that sank, survivor says

People smugglers in Libya pushed reluctant migrants onto a boat at gunpoint before it sank, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported Friday, one day after some 240 people were reported dead or missing in two major Mediterranean shipwrecks.

Study: Orban's Hungary is undermining EU's founding values

Hungary's government is undermining democracy in the country as well as the European Union's founding values, according to a new report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) released on Friday.

Almost 250 feared dead after migrant shipwrecks in Mediterranean

Nearly 250 people were feared dead in new shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea, bringing the number of dead or missing migrants on that route to a record 4,220 for this year, UN organizations said Thursday.

Turkey threatens to stop refugee deal before end of the year

Turkey will end its refugee deal with the European Union before the end of December if the EU does not soon ease visa restrictions for Turks, Ankara's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

Around 77,000 refugees stuck in south-eastern Europe

Approximately 77,000 refugees are stranded in south-eastern Europe since the Balkan route into Europe was closed at the beginning of the year, according to the latest update from German security authorities.

Amnesty criticizes Italy over forced fingerprinting of migrants

Italy is using increasingly brutal methods to implement European Union recommendations to register all incoming boat migrants, humanitarian organization Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday.

Sweden extends ID checks from Denmark to curb refugee flow

Sweden on Wednesday announced a three-month extension of identity checks for travellers from Denmark to Sweden as part of measures to reduce the flow of migrants.

Pope to Europe: Don't take in more refugees than you can integrate

Pope Francis warned European governments on Tuesday not to take in more asylum seekers than can be integrated into their societies.

IOM: 2016 migrant death toll in Mediterranean nears 4,000

Almost 4,000 migrants have died so far this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday.

Prague sends police to help Serbia, Macedonia stop migrants at border

The Czech Republic on Monday deployed 55 police officers to Serbia and Macedonia to block migrants from making their way north to the European Union.

Report: Survivors tell Italian police 51 migrants missing at sea

Fifty-one migrants are missing in the Mediterranean Sea, people who were travelling with them told Italian police after being rescued, the ANSA news agency reported Thursday.