From May 1st to 5th, Eritrean refugees cycled from Frankfurt to Brussels, for 452 kilometers. The ‘Ride4Justice’ started from Frankfurt, Koblenz, Köln, Aachen from there to Maastricht and finally to Brussels, to raise awareness about the inhumane conditions that refugees and migrants in Libya are trapped in. Torture, lack of food, water, and other abuse takes place in human trafficking warehouses and official detention centres alike. The cyclists arrived Sunday evening at the Maximilian Park in Brussels after the five-day bike ride. On Monday, hundreds joined them to take part in a demonstration in front of the European Commission buildings at Rond-Point Schuman.
On February 24th and 25th, in Sharm el-Sheikh, European and Arab League leaders took part in the first League of Arab States-European Union summit, presided by Donald Tusk, president of the European council and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian president. At the summit, several high-level EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian and British prime ministers, Giuseppe Conte and Theresa May, were present. Migration was one of the main topics that was discussed, with the EU interested in giving the Arab League a bigger role in curbing migration. The two blocs have agreed to hold the summit every three years in rotation, with the next gathering due in Brussels in 2022.
The European Commission’s plan to upgrade Frontex from a European agency with 1 500 employees into a complimentary European border and coast guard with 10 000 armed guards by 2020 has caused mixed reactions in the European Union. Under the proposal, €12.6 bn would be allocated to Frontex between 2019 and 2027, with the agency supporting national border patrols as well as coast guards and operating at the command of national authorities.