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Taking Place in the EU: Immigration; Farms; the New Hold-up On Turkey

  • December 3rd, 2006
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced.pngHandling pressure for immigration; keeping track on the farming asset, and trying to determine whether Turkey will eventually get in, have been three of the recent preoccupations of the EU.

The crisis this year brought on by thousands of clandestine migrants arriving in Europe from Africa, by boat, has added urgency to two new policy documents made public by the European Commission in the last week.

These EC Communications deal with managing legal flows of migrants and policing activities against clandestine border-crossing.

They follow on from recent action on the migration issue.

Leaders of Southern European countries asked for help in dealing with illegal entry, at the October summit of the European Union in Finland; then, on 22.11.06 European government Ministers sat down at Tripoli in Libya with representatives of all African countries, to work on general solutions.

The European Union accepts that with its ageing population profiles it will want a migrant population (and workforce) this century, and it has determined that highly organised, legal immigration is the best answer.

The first of the two documents just published sums up many of the initiatives being favoured: formation of co-ordinating teams, to bring together services of the European Union in health, education, employment support, human rights and many other fields; liaison teams to work with African counterparts; and projects for assisting job mobility across borders, both within Africa and between Africa and Europe. There is also provision in Europe’s plans for best practice management of reception of illegal arrivals.

The second document deals with the immediate problem of clandestine border crossing, which is mostly by sea, but also by land, especially, at this time through Balkans countries. It proposes “new tools” for co-ordinated border control, including a coastal patrol network among national forces and a new European surveillance system.

Work contained in such Communications on the initiative of the European Commission is used in legislation enacted by the European Council and Parliament.

Information: (3.12.06)


Farming profiles in Europe are precisely given for each EU country in a set of just-published statistical reports. These come with an easy-to-read analysis, in English, one for each member country, highlighting especially the average size of agricultural holdings, a calculation of the livings obtainable per holding, changes in occupation of the land and its use for different kinds of agriculture, and details with a strategic bearing on economic production, e.g. levels of tractor use.

Complex statistical measures are used often in EU calculations for farm support, e.g. biological factors taken into account in creating differentiating measures for the assessment of the value of animals in different regions.

The present Farm Structure series is interested in viable farm size. For instance the document for Hungagy reports that 75% of agricultural land is cultivated by holdings of more than 50 ha, in Denmark, 53 % of land and 58% of livestock are in farms of 100 ha or more.

Reference: Statistics in Focus, Agriculture and Fisheries, October manuscripts 2006; ISSN 1562-1340, Catalogue no. KS-NN-06-018-EN-C; obtainable from:
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2 rue Mercier, L-2985 Luxembourg; (3.12.06)


Negotiations have been put on a back-burner for Turkey’s prospective entry into the European Union .

The European Commission has announced (29.11.06) the suspension of talks on eight out of 35 parts of the negotiating program.

The cause was a failure by Turkish authorities to follow agreed steps towards qualification to enter the EU, which would allow negotiations to be carried out.

Those requirements include guarantees on human rights and conformity with European social legislation, but the most immediate sticking point was their continuing refusal to permit shipping and aircraft from Cyprus, as an EU member state, to enter Turkish ports.

Turks complain that the Cypriot republic, dominated by its Greek community, does not reciprocate, and there has been scant progress in resolving the situation of the Turkish minority on the partitioned island.