Escalation of Push-backs from Bulgaria’s borders

Commentary from Diana Radoslavova – Director of Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria Since the beginning of 2022, more than 150 reports of unlawful practices of forcible repulsion of asylum-seekers from the territory of Bulgaria, the so-called push-backs, have been received by the „Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria“ (CLA) and…

Bulgaria: Migrants Brutally Pushed Back at Turkish Border

(Brussels) – Bulgarian authorities are beating, robbing, stripping, and using police dogs to attack Afghan and other asylum seekers and migrants, then pushing them back to Turkey without any formal interview or asylum procedure, Human Rights Watch said today. “Bulgarian authorities are brutally and summarily pushing back migrants and asylum seekers across the land border with Turkey,”…

Pushed beyond the limits. Urgent action needed to stop pushbacks at Europe’s borders

“The scale and normalisation of pushbacks at Europe’s borders requires urgent and concerted action by governments and parliamentarians”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a Recommendation to member states’ governments and parliamentarians outlining the widespread occurrence of pushbacks and related human rights violations at land and sea…

Commentary – Externalization, Returns and Border Control – the Migration Agenda of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council

by Radostina Pavlova, Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria Bulgaria has assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU at a pivotal moment in European policy making in the area of migration and asylum. Thus, there is truth to the words of Jean-Claude Juncker spoken before the European Parliament Plenary on January 17,…

Humanitarian safe passages still a chimera in the EU

By Borislav Dimitrov, boryslav.p@gmail.com On March 7th, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in the case of X and X v État belge (Case C-638/16 PPU) that Member States are not required, under the Visa Code Regulation (the “Visa Code”) and European Union (EU) law in general, to grant a humanitarian…

NGOs report widespread push-back practices and denial of access to state territory to asylum seekers in Central and Eastern Europe

In the beginning of 2017 the Hungarian Helsinki Committee published the report “Pushed Back at the Door: Denial of Access to Asylum in Eastern EU Member States” describing push-back practices in 5 countries from Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The report found that the increased border control and…

Recent Developments at the Bulgarian Border

By Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria* By virtue of its geography, Bulgaria is likely the most important land border of the European Union with regards to recent migration flows and Europe’s efforts to keep asylum seekers off the continent’s territory. It borders both Turkey, where millions of refugees reside and which is…