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07_Migration: Afghans brave rough seas to cross from Turkey to the Lesvos, Greece ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis        

Migration represents challenges and opportunities for Europe. Learn how the EU deals with immigration, asylum and the migrant crisis.

06_Migration: Refugees arrive on the shores of the island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis        

Over the past few years, the EU has been facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II. Read on to learn more.

05_Migration:Hungary. Refugees walking along railway tracks soon after crossing the border. ©UNHCR/Mark Henley        

Statistics can help in grasping the extent of Europe’s refugee crisis. Discover the latest numbers highlighting various aspects of this unprecedented situation.

04_Migration: Greece's Hellenic Coast Guard approaches a boat containing 43 Syrian refugees in the Mediterranean sea, off the coast of Lesbos, Greece. © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell        

The migration crisis has exposed shortcomings in Europe’s asylum system, compelling the EU into action. Learn about Parliament’s response to the crisis.

03_Migration: Najah, a 22-year-old refugee from Syria, attends an English course organised and supported by the UNHCR in Leros, Greece, with her 11-month-old daughter Amenah. © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis        

In 2016 1.2 million people applied for asylum in the EU. Learn more about the European Parliament’s role in the integration of refugees.

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Refugee integration: Transcending borders        

The increased migration flows to Europe and the thousands of refugee children currently missing throughout Europe show the limits of the current EU asylum system. Swedish ALDE member Cecilia Wikström presents her report on the reform of the Dublin regulation, which clarifies which EU country is responsible for processing asylum seekers, to the civil liberties committee on 9 March. Today she will outline her main proposals during a press conference starting at 11 CET.

MEPs Kashetu Kyenge and Roberta Metsola, co-authors of a broad migration report, address concerns over sending refugees back to Turkey and other points.
       

Is it time for a new approach on migration? Italian S&D member Kashetu Kyenge and Maltese EPP member Roberta Metsola are calling for a comprehensive strategy including having binding targets for resettlement in each member state. MEPs debate and vote on their report on Tuesday 12 April from 8.30 CET. The two MEPs also answered questions about migration posed by our fans on Facebook. Watch the video to see what they had to say on issues such as the refugee crisis and the EU-Turkey agreement.

FB ITW with MEP Pabriks_        

What's involved in reinforcing the EU's external borders? On Wednesday 6 July MEPs approved plans to set up an EU border control system aiming to secure the EU’s external borders and to restore the functioning of the Schengen area. Our Facebook followers had the chance to ask all about it during our live interview with Parliament's lead negotiator Artis Pabriks, a Latvian member of the EPP group. Read on to find out what he had to say and watch the interview.

A mother and her baby rescued after crossing the sea in search of a safe life ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis        

EU border force Frontex, estimates that the number of people landing on Europe's shores fell by two-thirds in 2016. A drop in arrivals on Greece’s islands contrasts however with record numbers of migrants reaching Italy. With over 5,000 people killed or missing, the UN reports that 2016 was the deadliest year ever for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. In meetings with Commission, Council and UNHCR representatives on 12 January, civil liberties committee MEPs shared their views on the crisis.

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©European Union - Frontex        

The influx of irregular migrants continues to pose a challenge to Europe. According to Frontex 13,800 people had to be rescued in the central Mediterranean in the last week of May alone. The EU is working on different ways to manage migration better. The European Commission presented a new plan to address the root causes of migration in plenary on 7 June, which was debated by MEPs. Read on for an overview of upcoming initiatives.

Award-winning French photojournalist Marie Dorigny travelled to Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Germany from December 2015 to January 2016 at the request of the EP seeking to capture on film the plight of women refugees ahead of this year's International Women's Day. © Marie Dorigny / European Union 2015        
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A reform of EU migration and asylum policies and procedures needs to include gender-sensitive measures to ensure the safety of women seeking asylum, many of whom travel with young children and other dependents, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday.

interview with Constance Le Grip        

Life in a refugee camp can be hard, especially if you are a woman or a child. A delegation from the women's rights committee visited camps and centres for refugees around Athens on 3-4 November to assess their situation. Following the mission we spoke to the head of the delegation Constance Le Grip, a French member of the EPP group. She called on EU countries to live up to their commitment to take in more refugees, especially women and children.

A torn Syrian passport seen on the Greek side of the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where more than 12000 refugees, mainly from Iraq and Syria, are waiting to cross and continue their journey towards Western Europe.  © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis        

This week's EU-Turkey summit which aimed to reach a comprehensive deal on tackling the refugee crisis was debated by MEPs on Wednesday morning. During the keynote debate MEPs stressed that international asylum rules must be respected and also voiced their expectations for next week's EU summit. Some 132,000 people entered Europe by sea in the first two months of this year.

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01_DAY1 (LIBE)_Turkey: MEPs assess response to refugee crisis        

Gülhan was a physics student in Syria when the civil war put paid to her promising future. Now 32 she has already spent four years living at Osmaniye refugee camp in southern Turkey, an existence that has become routine for her and her three young children. The conflict in Syria has resulted in the world's largest humanitarian disaster since World War II and last week two EP delegations led by Sylvie Guillaume and Jean Arthuis visited some of those whose lives have been upturned by the conflict.

Parliament President Schulz on Turkey's request for an additional €3 billion in aid and on linking the refugee crisis to the country's EU accession talks.
       

“For the benefit of refugees we need to cooperate with Turkey,” EP President Martin Schulz said following a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Monday 7 March. They discussed the refugee crisis, border controls, visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens as well as press freedom in Turkey, ahead of a meeting with the EU heads of state and thwe Turkish government in Brussels to discuss measures to stem the flow of migrants.

Image of a Syrian refugee camp        

Turkey plays a crucial role in the refugee crisis: not only is it hosting more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees but also most of the one million migrants who reached the EU last year passed through the country. MEPs have called on EU countries to deliver on the €3 billion refugee facility for Turkey. As the EU searches for the best approach to tackle the crisis, two delegations from the civil liberties and budgets committees travel to Turkey this week to assess the situation on the ground.

MEP Brando Benifei (S&D, IT), Parliament's rapporteur on the topic        

With Europe experiencing the largest influx of migrants since World War II, one of the major challenges is how to integrate them into the labour markets. Not only would a job help migrants to provide for themselves, but also to integrate more easily. Parliament's employment committee discussed the opportunities and challenges with experts on Thursday 18 February. Read on to find out what they and MEPs had to say.

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Infrared image of vessel on surveillance eqquipment © European Union 2015 - Frontex        

The EU military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean is about to enter its next phase. After gathering intelligence and setting up the structure, the operation will now focus on arresting traffickers and disabling smugglers vessel. The details of the operation were discussed by MEPs during a meeting of the security and defence subcommittee on 22 September.

EPlenary live: debate on refugee crisis with Presidents Juncker and Tusk        
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The real divide revealed by today’s migration challenges to the EU is between “pros”, who want to use the EU to solve these challenges, and “antis”, who want to use them to dissolve the EU, argued many MEPs in Tuesday’s debate. Most deplored EU member states’ slowness to deliver on their pledges to pay for more help for refugees, and more manpower to process them at EU borders. The €2.3 bn shortfall is the same as it was two months ago, noted Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.