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IMMIGRATION

Deported ‘super student’ to return to Denmark

Marius Youbi, a Cameroonian engineering student at Aarhus University who gained national attention when we he was deported for working too much, is on his way back to Denmark.

Deported 'super student' to return to Denmark
A dejected Marius Youbi left Denmark last month but now will return for a new job. Screenshot: DR/YouTube
The 31-year-old was forced to leave the country last month after the Recruitment and Integration Authority (Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration – STAR) revoked his residence permit. 
 
Yourbi was found to have spent 16 and a half hours a week in a cleaning job, taking him around an hour and a half over the limit permitted for international students. As a result, he was asked to leave the country despite petitions and rallies supporting his cause. 
 
While Yourbi’s case was held up as an example of a broken immigration system, it turns out his absence from Denmark will be short-lived. 
 
Local newspaper Herning Folkeblad reported on Tuesday that Yourbi has been hired as an engineer by the Ikast company KK Wind Solutions. With the new job comes a permanent residence permit that will allow him to resume his life in Denmark. 
 
“It is really great news. I cannot even describe how happy I am,” Youbi told Herning Folkeblad. 
 
His permit will run through 2018 and can be renewed if he is still employed by a Danish company. 
 
Youbi’s case first grabbed national headlines in December, when he was told to leave the country by January 8th.
 
After Aarhus University agreed to move the student's exams forward, Youbi then aced three tests in one day, with just 48 hours to prepare. All three exams resulted in a '12' grade, the Danish equivalent of an A.
 
A spokesman for his new employer said that by offering Youbi a job, they had secured a young talent. 
 
“First of all we feel like Marius should be allowed to finish his education. Secondly, with this job offer we have gotten an advance on a recruitment that would have almost certainly happened later anyway,” Henrik Lykke Christiansen told Herning Folkeblad. 
 
Youbi said he anticipates returning to Denmark within two weeks. 
 

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POLITICS

How the EU aims to reform border-free Schengen area

European countries agreed on Thursday to push towards a long-stalled reform of the bloc's migration system, urging tighter control of external borders and better burden-sharing when it comes to asylum-seekers.

How the EU aims to reform border-free Schengen area
European interior ministers met in the northern French city of tourcoing, where president Emmanuel Macron gave a speech. Photo: Yoat Valat/AFP

The EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson, speaking after a meeting of European interior ministers, said she welcomed what she saw as new momentum on the issue.

In a reflection of the deep-rooted divisions on the issue, France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin – whose country holds the rotating EU presidency – said the process would be “gradual”, and welcomed what he said was unanimous backing.

EU countries backed a proposal from French President Emmanuel Macron to create a council guiding policy in the Schengen area, the passport-free zone used by most EU countries and some affiliated nations such as Switzerland and Norway.

Schengen council

Speaking before the meeting, Macron said the “Schengen Council” would evaluate how the area was working but would also take joint decisions and facilitate coordination in times of crisis.

“This council can become the face of a strong, protective Europe that is comfortable with controlling its borders and therefore its destiny,” he said.

The first meeting is scheduled to take place on March 3rd in Brussels.

A statement released after the meeting said: “On this occasion, they will establish a set of indicators allowing for real time evaluation of the situation at our borders, and, with an aim to be able to respond to any difficulty, will continue their discussions on implementing new tools for solidarity at the external borders.”

Step by step

The statement also confirmed EU countries agreed to take a step-by-step approach on plans for reforming the EU’s asylum rules.

“The ministers also discussed the issues of asylum and immigration,” it read.

“They expressed their support for the phased approach, step by step, put forward by the French Presidency to make headway on these complex negotiations.

“On this basis, the Council will work over the coming weeks to define a first step of the reform of the European immigration and asylum system, which will fully respect the balance between the requirements of responsibility and solidarity.”

A planned overhaul of EU migration policy has so far foundered on the refusal of countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to accept a sharing out of asylum-seekers across the bloc.

That forces countries on the EU’s outer southern rim – Italy, Greece, Malta and Spain – to take responsibility for handling irregular migrants, many of whom are intent on making their way to Europe’s wealthier northern nations.

France is pushing for member states to commit to reinforcing the EU’s external borders by recording the details of every foreign arrival and improving vetting procedures.

It also wants recalcitrant EU countries to financially help out the ones on the frontline of migration flows if they do not take in asylum-seekers themselves.

Johansson was critical of the fact that, last year, “45,000 irregular arrivals” were not entered into the common Eurodac database containing the fingerprints of migrants and asylum-seekers.

Earlier, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser suggested her country, France and others could form a “coalition of the willing” to take in asylum-seekers even if no bloc-wide agreement was struck to share them across member states.

She noted that Macron spoke of a dozen countries in that grouping, but added that was probably “very optimistic”.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, hailed what he said was “a less negative atmosphere” in Thursday’s meeting compared to previous talks.

But he cautioned that “we cannot let a few countries do their EU duty… while others look away”.

France is now working on reconciling positions with the aim of presenting propositions at a March 3rd meeting on European affairs.

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