Executive Summary for September 13th

We review the latest news on refugees, including the first Syrian to be deported from Greece under its reformed asylum system, a report calling for the U.K. to speed up resettlement and a newly proposed E.U. budget that will cut funds to eastern European countries.

Published on Sep. 13, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

First Syrian Refugee to be Deported From Greece Under New System

A Greek appeals panel has upheld a ruling to expel a Syrian refugee, who arrived in late July, back to Turkey.

This is the first deportation under Greece’s newly reformed asylum system that makes it easier to deport Syrians under the European Union-Turkey migrant deal.

Deportations to Turkey have largely come to a standstill because Greece’s previous appeals system was “mostly staffed by independently appointed lawyers and refugee specialists” who deemed Turkey an unsafe third country for asylum seekers, reports the Guardian.

However, the newly reformed three-man appeal panels are now made up of a “two-to-one balance” of government- and independent-appointed members, a decision that has drawn criticism from humanitarian agencies.

“This ruling takes for granted that a Syrian will be fully protected in Turkey, and hence is fundamentally flawed. The new appeals committee should not have deemed Turkey a safe country for Syrians when all evidence suggests that international safeguards and protections continue to be flouted,” John Dalhuisen, Europe director for Amnesty International, told the Guardian.

“With lawyers and international monitors still denied entry into the closed camps to which this man could be sent, any suggestion that Turkey has suddenly overhauled its inadequate asylum system remains in serious doubt.”

U.K. Must Speed up Syrian Resettlement Program to Meet Target, Report Says

Britain’s target to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 will not be possible if it does not speed up the process and also secure suitable housing and school places, according to a new report from the National Audit Office.

The program has been a success so far, with the government reaching the interim target of resettling 1,000 people by Christmas 2015, according to the report.

However, the NAO warned more refugees must be resettled each quarter in order to achieve the overall target of 20,000 people by 2020.

Local authorities are under pressure “to find over 10,600 childcare and school places and nearly 5,000 homes over the course of the programme as well as social and community support services,” Meg Hillier, the chair of the Commons public accounts committee told the Guardian.

Additionally, the report found that the government has not released official figures for the total estimated cost of the program. The NAO estimated the cost to be $1.59 billion (£1.12 billion) by 2020.

E.U. to Reduce Funding for Eastern Europe to ‘Increase Migration Budget’

E.U. governments on Monday approved a budget proposal for next year that will cut funding to poorer eastern European countries while increasing the migration budget in order to address the ongoing refugee crisis, reported Reuters.

The 2017 funding proposal “will result in a nearly 25 percent spike in migration and security payments compared with this year’s budget,” making the total migration budget for next year $5.8 billion (5.2 billion euros), according to the Council of E.U. governments.

The funds will go toward “reinforcing external borders, resettling asylum seekers and integrating migrants, while another 2.2 billion euros would be for action outside the E.U. to address the causes of refugee flows,” Reuters reports.

The least developed countries in the E.U., mostly in the east, will witness a reduction in development funding by nearly 24 percent year-on-year.

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