End of Year Special Issue



In 2015, Europe’s conscience was stirred by unprecedented scenes of women, children and men showing extraordinary courage in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean and seek protection in Europe. Sadly, thousands of them lost their lives while undertaking these dangerous journeys.

In response, increasing numbers of citizens and residents of Europe opened their doors, and their hearts, to these refugees. ECRE members were there, throughout Europe, providing humanitarian relief, reception services, legal counselling and integration support. In ECRE’s secretariat, efforts were redoubled to hold leaders in Europe accountable and continue a push for fair and humane European asylum policies.

In this edition, we have collected some examples from our Weekly Bulletin during this eventful and challenging year. We will continue our work in 2016 to ensure that refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons are treated with dignity and respect. In the new year, we look forward to your continued participation, encouragement and support!

Deaths in the Mediterranean

300 people feared dead at sea» (12 February)
Another tragedy: 400 people feared dead at sea» (17 April)
Insufficient response to deaths in the Mediterranean» (24 April)
Mediterranean: the world most dangerous migratory route» (20 November)

ECRE's voice

Again, again and again» (15 April)
ECRE Ten-point plan to prevent deaths at sea» (23 April)
EU targets traffickers but fails refugees» (24 April)

European developments

Work starts on a new migration agenda» (6 March)
The European Agenda on Migration» (15 May)
Launch of EUNAVFOR Med» (26 June)
Proposal to resettle 20,000 refugees» (5 June)
EU Return Policy» (9 October)
Western Balkans Conference» (29 October)
Valletta Summit» (13 November)
November JHA Council» (13 November)
EU-Turkey deal» (4 December)
Eurostat third quarter statistics» (11 December)

ECRE's voice

ECRE Memorandum ahead of September JHA Council» (10 September)
Human rights left behind in EU-Turkey deal» (1 December)
Save lives and increase legal avenues» (16 December)



#EuropeSaysWelcome» (11 September)
Solidarity with refugees» (25 September)

ECRE has been mapping citizens' initiatives all over Europe to welcome refugees and provide basic services. You can access our list here (Mapping citizens' initiatives») If you participate in or are aware of other initiatives not included, get in touch with us at, with the subject line "Citizens' Initiatives". We look forward to hearing from you!



Increased number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan» (18 February)
Allegations of crimes against humanity in Eritrea» (12 June)
Indefinite conscription in Eritrea» (4 December)
Worrying security situation in Afghanistan» (11 December)

Access to protection in Europe

Spain approves law legalising push-backs in Ceuta and Melilla» (27 March)
Hungary passes restrictive asylum laws» (10 July)
Human rights violations on Western Balkans route» (10 July)
Hungary completes the border fence» (18 September)
Inhuman treatment of refugees and migrants in Czech Republic» (30 October)
Germany toughens asylum laws» (2 October)
Court orders improvements in Calais» (6 November)
Sweden tightens asylum law» (27 November)
Discrimination at the borders on the Western Balkans route» (27 November)
No shelter for asylum seekers in Belgium» (4 December)

ECRE's voice

A call for responsibility and solidarity» (28 August)
Killing of Afghan asylum seeker at Turkish-Bulgarian border» (19 October)
ECRE members call for safe and legal channels to the EU» (23 October)
Europe must recommit to its fundamental values» (18 November)


First steps in the relocation debate» (29 May)
ECRE concerned by June Council Conclusions» (3 July)
How to relocate asylum seekers? EP report» (10 July)
MEPs call for a binding relocation scheme» (17 July)
September JHA Council Conclusions» (17 September)
Current State of Play of Relocation Mechanism» (16 December)


The Italian "hotspot" example: ECRE in conversation with CIR» (2 October)
Worrying conditions in the "hotspot" in Lesvos» (30 October)
Disturbing trend in Italian "hotspot"» (20 November)
Current State of Play of "hotspots" implementation» (16 December)

ECRE's voice

ECRE on relocation and "hotspots"» (30 June)

ECRE Highlights

Morten Kjaerum is the new Chair of ECRE's Board »
Secretary General Michael Diedring leaves ECRE to become Director of EPIM »
ECRE's new video: What is ECRE? »

ECRE Publications

Common European Asylum System:
Information Note on the recast Asylum Procedures Directive »
Comments on the recast Dublin Regulation »
Information Note on the Regulation establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund »
Comments on the implementation of the Eurodac regulation »
Information note on the recast Reception Conditions Directive »
Comments on the proposal to establish a EU Common List of Safe Countries of Origin »

Projects and studies:
Working together with refugees diasporas in development » (ECRE and Danish Refugee Council)
Regional Protection Programmes: an effective policy tool? » (ECRE, Danish Refugee Council and CIR - Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati)
Reception and Detention Conditions of applicants for international protection in light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU »
A study on smuggling of migrants »


Asylum Information Database (AIDA)
Common asylum system at a turning point: refugees caught in Europe's solidarity crisis »
What’s in a name? The reality of First “Reception” at Evros »
Crossing Boundaries: The New Asylum Procedure at the Border and Restrictions to Accessing Protection in Hungary »
The Legality of Detention of Asylum Seekers under the Dublin III Regulation »
Asylum Statistics in the European Union: A Need for Numbers »
"Safe countries of origin": a safe concept? »
The legality of examining asylum claims in detention from the perspective of procedural rights and their effectiveness »

European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA)
Information Note on Dublin transfers post-Tarakhel: Update on European case law and practice »
Celebrating 30 years of the ELENA Network: 1985 - 2015 »

New members join ECRE

Since last January, ECRE welcomed 10 new members. Check out their websites and get to know the great work they do: 

  • SOLENTRA is a Belgian NGO linked to the Brussels University Hospital of the VUB. It provides mental health services to refugee and migrant children and their families. 
  • The Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) is a collective of lawyers, academics, civil society professionals and consultants in Turin, Italy. 
  • PIC is a Slovenian legal information centre. Giving legal advice to refugees about their asylum procedure but also about other rights is one of PIC’s important programmes. 
  • Mosaico is an organisation founded by refugees in Italy. They help refugees with their integration, raise awareness towards the public and do research and training. 
  • Our first Icelandic member is the Icelandic Red Cross. It provides direct assistance to asylum seekers and refugees. 
  • Amnesty International Sweden gives legal advice to asylum seekers and refugees. It also offers training in international refugee law and on the asylum system in Sweden and the EU. 
  • Pour une Planète sans Frontières combines the skills of lawyers and interpreters to help asylum seekers and migrants to access the law in France and advocate for their rights. 
  • Verein Projekt Integrationshaus supports asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Vienna, Austria with legal and social counselling, education, housing and care.   
  • Foundation is a Polish NGOs working directly with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, providing various types of support, including social and legal assistance and vocational trainings  
  • Oxfam Italia Intercultura was founded by Oxfam Italia NGOs and aims at facilitating the integration of migrant and refugee families and ensuring they fully access local services.  


Copyright © 2015 European Council on Refugees and Exiles, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list