Migration News Sheet Summary April 2006
Issued on 06/04/2006
The new issue focuses on the position of the “old” Member States on the question of whether or not to grant free movement to workers of the “new” Member States on 1st May 2006
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MNS Summary April 2006
The April issue again focuses on the position of the "old" Member States on the question of whether or not to grant free movement to workers of the "new" Member States in Central and Eastern Europe on 1st May 2006. Only Ireland, Sweden and the UK have already granted them free movement. Two more will follow and most of the others will maintain restrictions while granting more facilities to enter their respective labour markets.
News from the European Court of Justice includes the Advocate General's Opinion as to whether the refusal to renew the residence permit of a Turkish worker who is in possession of a work permit of unlimited duration amounts to discrimination, a ruling that the Belgian authorities' interpretation of what amounts to sufficient resources to obtain a right of residence is too restrictive and an application by the European Parliament challenging the so-called asylum procedural Directive formally approved by the Council last year.
At the national level, there is information on, amongst other matters, calls by the xenophobic and nationalist party in Denmark for more immigration restrictions, the strict conditions imposed by Greece on third-country nationals wishing to obtain long-stay status and the outlines of a new UK immigration policy that will further facilitate the entry of workers whose manpower is needed by the UK economy and remove the welcome mat for unskilled third country migrants.
On irregular migration, there is considerable coverage of the recent events and tragedies off Mauritania and the Spanish Canary Islands as well as the reaction and responses of the governments concerned. There is also information on the increasing precariousness of long-stay irregular migrants in France and on the voluntary repatriation programme in Belgium.
The section on asylum and refugees includes articles on:
Information on racism/discrimination covers increasing xenophobia in France; anger of North African community in France after unprovoked killing of one of their members; protests by Poles against German advertisement portraying them as thieves and against a German magazine for describing Auschwitz as a "Polish concentration camp"; arson attacks against Jesuits for expressing support for asylum-seekers; attempted murder of a nine-year old girl in Russia, apparently because of her mixed Russian-African descent; refusal of a Muslim woman in the Netherlands to shake hands with men is upheld; affirmation by a British University lecturer that blacks are less intelligent than whites.
The last section on "Other Issues" covers a vast range of events and developments in the month of March, such as the proposal for a European integration contract, the on-going controversy concerning the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by a Danish daily; the allegations of European States' connivance with the US policy of "extraordinary rendition"; fear in the Czech Republic that Muslims may one day try to force Europeans to change their life-styles; ruling by the French Supreme Court that Sikhs must remove their turbans to take identity photographs; a new proposal for a citizenship test, put forward by Hesse, which many Germans are unable to pass; unusually high voter turnout among immigrants in the Netherlands contributes to major victory by the opposition Labour Party; confirmation that bombings in London and Madrid were home-grown plots, not imported from abroad.