In the first half of 2015 Latvia will assume the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Presidency will focus on the implementation of the Strategic Guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice (June 2014), as well as on the respective follow-up initiatives.
Today the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015 – setting out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months to make a real difference for jobs, growth and investment and bring concrete benefits for citizens.
The Foreign affairs (development) Council meeting of 12 December 2014 has adopted a number of conclusions in the field of migration and development cooperation emphasizing the positive migration and development circle and orientations to strengthen this relation.
As part of the implementation of the government agreement of October 2014 as well as of the new reception scheme, the reduction of available reception places for asylum seekers has been approved by the Council of Ministers of 11 December 2014.
Syria neighbouring States are increasingly affected by the number of refugees seeking sanctuary within their country. The European Commission is stepping up its assistance to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to contribute to address Syrian refugees’ needs.
The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting gathering all EU 28 Justice and Home Affairs national ministers took place on 4 and 5 December 2014. Managing migratory flows, the functioning of the Schengen area and acting on foreign fighters were the main migration related topics discussed.
On 4 December 2014, 22 Syrian refugees landed in Belgium for resettlement. 53 more are expected to arrive by the end of the year. Further resettlements of Syrian refugees are planned in 2015.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a case-law in relation to international protection and protection of human rights in the case of alleged persecutions because of an applicant's sexual orientation.
On 28 November 2014, the new State Secretary for Asylum Policy and Migration, Theo Francken, delivered the general policy note defining the main orientations and actions in the field of asylum and migration.
On the occasion of 25 November 2014 EP Plenary Debate on Migration, EU new Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, introduced the debate and presented the EU main orientations and policy fields for an integrated approach on migration and asylum
The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending Regulation (EU) No 604/2013, aims at clarifying Member States’ responsibilities for examining the application for international protection of unaccompanied minors
Since 13 November 2014 and until May 2015, Belgium is chairing the Committee of Ministers, the political decision making organ of the Council of Europe. Under the Belgian Presidency, migration and asylum will be part of the issues tackled.
On 11 November 2014, the European Commission has released its 6th bi-annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area covering the period from 1 May to 31 October 2014.
Eurostat published data on first residence permits issued to non-EU nationals. A residence permit represents an authorization issued by the competent authorities of a country allowing third-country national (non-EU citizens) to stay legally on its territory.
On 20 October 2014, the European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has opened an investigation into how Frontex ensures the respect of fundamental rights of migrants who are subject to forced returns from the EU to their countries of origin.
18 October is EU Anti-Trafficking Day. To mark the Eight EU Anti trafficking Day, the European Commission has published a package on Trafficking in Human Beings and civil society organizations have launched a European campaign against human trafficking and labour exploitation.
When18 October 2014
The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting gathering all EU 28 Justice and Home Affairs national ministers took place on 9 and 10 October 2014. A strategic approach and operational priorities have been defined to take action to better manage migratory flows.
The European Commission published on 26 September 2014 a handbook to help EU Member States take action against marriages of convenience between EU citizens and non-EU nationals in the context of EU law on free movement. The Commission prepared the handbook in close cooperation with Member States.
The joint European Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs shows that migration and mobility have a key role to play to address demographic decline and skills shortages in the EU.