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    ISSN 1756-851X
    16 November 2018
 

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UK draft withdrawal agreement - documentation: The UK government has published its proposed draft withdrawal agreement for leaving the EU.

Full-text of the draft withdrawal agreement, bookmarked into parts, titles, chapters and annexes: Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community - 14 November 2018 (pdf) See key sections.

EU: ENAAT: (European Network Against Arms Trade): Joint statement The risks of the new EU Defence Fund (pdf): signed by 42 NGOs including Statewatch:

"To conclude, there could be potential benefits from the pooling together military research and development, such as savings from reducing duplication. However, the proposal as it currently stands clearly says it is not substituting EU for national funding and encourages EU Member States to continue increasing their own spending.(...)

In this remembrance period of the First World War, and of the terrible effects of what were disruptitive technologies at that titime, like chemical gas and tanks, we urge the media and EU decision-makers alike to ask whether the establishment of the European Defence Fund is a good way to achieve peace and security."

EU: Never Missing an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: The Council Legal Service Opinion on the Commission’s EU budget-related rule of law mechanism (verfassungsblog.de, link):

"As illiberal rot spread throughout the Union, eating away first at one government and then at another with centralizing autocrats destroying the rule of law in plain sight, history will show that both the European Council and the Council of Ministers failed to act and, in the end, deferred to national autonomy instead of defending the Union’s fundamental values. The EU is facing an existential crisis because Member governments refuse to recognize that the common values are the cornerstones of their common project." [emphasis added]

EU: European Commission (13 November 2018): Brexit preparedness: European Commission proposes visa-free travel to the EU for UK nationals in a no deal scenario – if the UK also grants reciprocal visa-free travel to all EU citizens (pdf) :

"It would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. In the scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this would apply as of 30 March 2019. (...)

This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visafree travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (6-12.11.18) including:

  • analysis of the Greek-German Administrative Arrangement on Asylum-Seekers;
  • Council Presidency calls for action on "secondary movement" of refugees

UK spy agencies knew source of false Iraq war intelligence was tortured (Middle East Eye, link):

"British intelligence agencies fed questions to the interrogators of a captured terrorism suspect whom they knew was being seriously mistreated in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and ministers then relied upon his answers to help justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

EU: Publication of: The Administrative Arrangement between Greece and Germany on asylum-seekers (RSA, link):

"The Administrative Arrangement between Ministry of migration Policy of the Hellenic Republic and the Federal Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Germany has been implemented already to four known cases. It has been the product of bilateral negotiations that occurred after German Chancellor Merkel faced another political crisis at home regarding the handling of the refugee issue."

ECHR-SPAIN: Applicants in trial related to banned group ETA had justified fears about judges’ lack of impartiality at trial

"In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Otegi Mondragon and Others v. Spain (applications nos. 4184/15 4317/15 4323/15 5028/15 and 5053/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights."

EU set to test AI guards to protect external borders (euractiv, link):

"An EU-funded project is developing an ‘intelligent control system’ to test third-country nationals who reach the EU’s external borders, including a sophisticated analysis of their facial gestures.

The Intelligent Portable Border Control System, iBorderCtrl, is a series of multiple protocols and computer procedures which are meant to scan faces and flag ‘suspicious’ reactions of travellers who lie about their reasons for entering the Schengen area."

EU: Europol foresees key role in "the EU travel intelligence architecture"

The EU policing agency Europol sees itself having a major role in the future "EU travel intelligence architecture", according to a report on the October meeting of the EU's 'Informal Working Group on PNR' (Passenger Name Record).

Statewatch Analyses: New analyses: Biometric identity cards; Undercover policing; Criminalisation of solidarity; EU migration policies in Morocco; from GAMM to "Partnerships"

Over the last fortnight Statewatch has published five new analyses looking at a series of crucial issues in the EU and beyond: proposals for biometric identity cards across the EU; European networks for coordinating undercover policing; decriminalising solidarity movements through the regularisation of migrants; the effects of EU migration policies on the ground in Morocco; and migration: from the "carrot and stick" to the "stick" in Africa.

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Invitation to Launch of Statewatch Library & Archive The Statewatch Library & Archive is being launched on Thursday 22 November 2018 at May Day Rooms in London: 18.00 -20.00 Map: 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH If you would like to come to the Launch please send us an email with "LAUNCH" in the subject line to: office@statewatch.org

Speakers: Chair: Ann Singleton (Co-Chair of Statewatch), Welcome from May Day Rooms: Jakob, Jay Bernard (Documentalist) via video Tony Bunyan (Director of Statewatch) Zak Suffee (Library Volunteer), Aidan White (Founder and President of the Ethical Journalism Network)

Hungary’s top court clears journalist who kicked refugees (euractiv. link):

"The Supreme Court in Hungary, a country known for its tough stance on migration, has cleared of all charges the camerawoman who kicked refugees live on camera at the Serbia-Hungary border in 2015."

ITALY: Beyond closed ports: the new Italian Decree-Law on Immigration and Security (EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy, link):

"Whilst the number of arrivals to Italy is at the lowest level registered in the past few years, the phenomenon of migration has reached the dimension of an emergency in the internal public debate, with the Decree-Law on Immigration and Security representing a major downturn in the architecture of the Italian system of protection."

UK: Watchdog rules force used on father who died after after Beckton police stop was ‘proportionate’

"An investigation into the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, who died a week after being restrained by police in Beckton found the use of force by officers was proportionate."

Statewatch Analysis: Decriminalising solidarity by promoting the regularisation of migrants (pdf) by Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo (Osservatorio Solidarieta Carta di Milano):

"The criminalisation of people and organisations that lend assistance to immigrants in Europe is an expression of the closure of legal or humanitarian entry routes and the growing difficulty of residing legally. The distinction between “economic migrants” and asylum seekers, the restriction of possibilities to enter to find employment and of the scope of the “European” right to asylum, and finally the agreements with third countries to externalise collective refoulement practices, produce a proliferation of cases resulting in illegality."

CROATIA-BOSNIA: The violent reality of the EU border: police brutality in the Balkans (OpenDemocracy, link):

"As we write this article, refugees are being beaten, robbed and traumatised by Croatian police, while they attempt to claim asylum in the EU. Their clandestine journeys from Bosnia through to Italy, via Croatia and Slovenia, are referred to by refugees here as “the game”."

EU: European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2018 on the rise of neo-fascist violence in Europe (pdf)

"1. Strongly condemns and deplores the terrorist attacks, murders, psychological violence, violent physical attacks and marches by neo-fascist and neo-Nazi organisations that have taken place in various EU Member States..."

Trilogue on interoperable centralised database starts on borders and asylum aspects


Top reports

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project:

Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values - under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane."

How the EU works and justice and home affairs decision-making (pdf)

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI/Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society (pdf) by Ben Hayes

Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan

Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial complex (pdf) by Ben Hayes

The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan


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