Overview on several European countries

Here you will find some short overviews on the particular situation in several European countries:

Austria > Overview

Austria is part of the EU and has therefore very similar asylum laws to other EU countries. Still, lots of details differ between the countries as asylum laws are steadily modiefied. Especially since the strong refugee movement in summer 2015, constant changes of the legal situation in Austria have happened. The information on these pages gives you a general overview of the situation in Austria and concentrates on the basic legal structure. This information should support you as a guideline and for preparation. If possible, check for the most up-to-date detail informations with local legal aid or contact us if you have specific questions.

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Bulgaria > Overview

The Bulgarian government is actively searching for Bulgaria to join the Schengen area. Consequently, even more restrictions will be imposed on the asylum seekers to organize a better life freely and humanely.
First, this means building new detention and “reception” centers as well as intensifying the border control coordination.

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Croatia > Overview

Like with other countries in the area of Western Balkans, Croatia has been for most of recent history a country of emigration. During the war following the breakdown of Yugoslavia, there were both a lot Yugoslav refugees coming to Croatia, as well as leaving Croatia.

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Cyprus > Overview

After a war between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots the island is divided into the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus.

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Denmark > Overview

In the end of 2015 there has been an introduction of more strict rules regarding the length of a permit to stay for refugees, the conditions for people seeking asylum in Denmark, as well as the regulations of family reunification. Among other initiatives, tent camps for asylum seekers have been established. On the 4th of January 2016 Sweden introduced border control between Denmark and Sweden. The same day the Danish government symbolically introduced a temporary border control at the Danish- German border, consisting of 'random samples'. Many of the new regulations seem to be made to intimidate people to stay away from Denmark.

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Germany > Overview

Usually refugees or non-EU migrants are able to obtain temporary or permanent residence in Germany only by applying for asylum or through marriage. It’s more or less impossible – except for a few highly qualified experts and specialists – to get papers concluding a labour contract. Already since 2014 but with another peak point after the incredible "summer of migration" in October 2015 many more people than before applied for asylum in Germany. This lead to a few changes, especially concerning accommodation (the first weeks and months especially people have to stay in first reception centers that are very often overcrowded) and the duration of asylum procedures that varies a lot depending of the country of origin.

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Greece > Overview

Greece is one of the major countries where people are entering the European Union through the Turkish-Greek borders (at land and sea). The EU has put a lot of pressure on the Greek government to close these external borders and invested into its closure by sending Frontex – officers of a specialized EU-border agency – and by funding “border security”. Despite increasing difficulties to cross the border, until today Greece remains one of the main transit countries for migrants trying to enter the EU.

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Hungary > Overview

For many refugees and migrants Hungary is a transit country to Central and Northern Europe. Crossing the border (in the east via Ukraine, in the south from Greece via Serbia) a serious risk of illegal push-back (“refoulement”) is given, even if a person applies for asylum. A high percentage tries to continue the journey after having been registered. Many are later deported back to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation. In fact, the recognition rates for single groups (in particular Somalis) tend to be high in comparison to other European countries. This is, however, contrasted by the harsh social conditions.

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Italy > Overview

"Welcome to Italy" guide (April 2017): you can read and download all the versions of the guide in the "printings" section or directly here below:
 
English language:    long/web version       short/print version
 
Italian language:      long/web version       short/print version
 
French language:    long/web version       short/print version
 
Arabic language:     long/web version       short/print version    
 
Farsi language:       short/print version
 

 

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Latvia > Overview

Latvia is a transit country, through which migrants mostly are going to Scandinavia. Majority of the asylum seekers come from Russia, Afghanistan and Georgia. Latvia’s recognition rate is not high (44,7 %) and country receives low number of asylum applications (in 2010 – 61, 2009 – 52, 2008 – 51, 2007 – 34). This is related to obstacles reaching the territory or asylum procedure. There is a high risk, that foreigners are forced to return or deported.

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Lithuania > Overview

Of all Baltic States Lithuania has the highest number of asylum seekers (in 2009 – 449, in 2010 – 503), but compared with Europe as a whole the number is small. For many migrants and refugees Lithuania is a transit country to the “old” member states of the EU.  

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Lithuania > Overview

Of all Baltic States Lithuania has the highest number of asylum seekers (in 2009 – 449, in 2010 – 503), but compared with Europe as a whole the number is small. For many migrants and refugees Lithuania is a transit country to the “old” member states of the EU.  

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Morocco > Overview

Traditional country of emigration, Morocco has become, in recent years, a transit country to Europe as well as a host for a growing number of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers mainly from sub-Saharan African countries.
With the tightening of control measures at the border areas of southern Europe, these migrants are stranded in Morocco for an indefinite period.

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Netherlands > Overview

People can apply for asylum in the Netherlands. However, like everywhere in Europe, it is increasingly difficult to be granted asylum.

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Romania > Overview

Romania is part of the European Union, but not part of the Schengen zone. Therefore, there are border controls between Romania and neighbouring EU countries.

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Serbia > Overview

Serbia is one of the main transit-countries for migrants on the way to EU-countries. Traditionally it is a country of emigration. It is not used to receiving immigrants, especially from outside of Europe. It is therefore difficult to integrate and find work.

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Slovakia > Overview

Slovakia is a little country in the middle of Europe. Despite its membership in the European Union, persons in need of international protection still do not choose Slovakia as a destination country. Slovak immigration politics take into account the national security on the first place. This and other factors may cause that Slovakia is rather transit than destination country for foreigners.

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Spain > Overview

Since 2006 ninety percent less migrants have been coming to Spain than in previous years. This is due to the drastic control at the external borders, as well as to the agreements Spain concluded with African countries to prevent people from immigrating.

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Sweden > Overview

Sweden has been quite successful in portraying itself as a humanist and just country, whereas at the same time pursuing tough and inhumane Migration- and Asylum politics.

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Switzerland > Overview

Switzerland is not a member of the EU but it is part of Dublin II. In addition, Switzerland hasn’t repealed its boarders. Because Switzerland is so small, almost the entire territory is considered as boarder regions. The rail traffic going through (in and out) Chiasso, Geneva, Basel, Kreuzlingen/Konstanz and Buchs/Feldkirch is frequently controlled, as well as the high ways and feeder roads. Train stations are also as much as possible avoided by undocumented persons.

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Ukraine > Overview

For most refugees and migrants from Asia and Africa Ukraine is mainly a transit-station on their way to other European countries. For migrants from Usbekistan or Moldova (and other citiznes of former soviet union) Ukraine is also a country to find labour.

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