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    ISSN 1756-851X
    16 February 2019
 

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Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high (euobserver, link);

"The rate of rejection of would-be asylum seekers has reached a record high in Italy, according to figures released by the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). It says some 24,800 asylum applications in Italy were denied in the last four months. It noted rejected asylum applications went from 17,500 from October 2017 to January 2018, to almost 25,000 between October 2018 and January 2019."

EU: EP civil liberties committee against proposal to give Frontex powers to assist non-EU states with deportations

The European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) has agreed its position for negotiations with the Council on the new Frontex Regulation, and amongst other things it hopes to deny the border agency the possibility of assisting non-EU states with deportations.

World Health Organisation report: "No public health without refugee and migrant health"

"The Report on the Health of Refugees and Migrants in the WHO European Region is the first WHO report of its kind, creating an evidence base with the aim of supporting evidence-informed policy-making to meet the health needs of refugees and migrants and the health needs of the host populations."

EU: Migration and asylum: European Court of Auditors to examine "hotspots" in Greece and Italy

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is to conduct an audit of the "hotspots" set up in Greece and Italy, which "will assess whether support for Greece and Italy has achieved its objectives, and whether the asylum, relocation and return procedures have been effective and swift."

EU: New criminal records database for non-EU nationals is "disproportionate and discriminatory".

A new EU database for holding information on convicted non-EU nationals is "disproportionate and discriminatory", says an analysis (pdf) published today by Statewatch.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-11.2.19) including:

  • How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers upon Entry
  • Libya: Parallel forces under interior ministry dominating decision making in Tripoli
  • Spain: APDHA, EntreFronteras and the Andalusia Union of Journalists call for an end to the information blackout at the southern border

Government permission to travel: “Authority to Carry” (Papers, Please!):

"A white paper on the use of PNR and API data (airline reservations), published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in January 2019, lays out more starkly than ever before the goal of governments around the world: a permission-based system of government control and prior restraint in which a common carrier must receive “Authority to Carry” with respect to each passenger, before allowing them to board any flight."

EU: "Interoperable"databases or rather the creation of a centralised Justice and Home Affairs database: First two measures agreed between the Council and the European Parliament - full text of Regulations

Police cooperation, asylum and migration: Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) and amending [Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Eurodac Regulation],] Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of law enforcement], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ECRIS-TCN Regulation] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] (326 pages, pdf): Four column document with the Commission proposal, the Council position, the European Parliament position and the a agreed "compromise" text.

Borders and visa: Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation]xx (437 pages, pdf). Four column document with the Commission proposal, the Council position, the European Parliament position and the a agreed "compromise" text.

See: Statewatch Observatory: Creation of a centralised Justice & Home Affairs database is "a point of no return"

Fusion Centres in Six European Countries: Emergence, Roles and Challenges (pdf):

"In the six European countries that this report covers, namely Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK), there are different contexts that lead to the establishment of their respective fusion centres. The current contexts in which they function are also different, particularly concerning their mandate and their organisational structures. The provided selection of fusion centres and their descriptions are based on the responses to the call for contributions issued by ICCT among members of EENeT, focusing on exactly these points."

UK: Liberty calls for ban on 'predictive policing'

"Police forces in the UK should abandon their tests of computer programs to predict where crimes are likely to happen and whether individuals are likely to re-offend, human rights pressure group Liberty says today. According to the group, at least 14 forces in the UK are testing or in the process of developing ‘predictive policing’ systems based on machine-learning algorithms."

SPAIN: APDHA, EntreFronteras and the Andalusia Union of Journalists call for an end to the information blackout at the southern border

- They consider it a priority to guarantee compliance with the right to life, that rescues respect the legal requirements and that the right to information is preserved
- They denounce the fact that the rescued and deceased persons have remained completely invisible

LIBYA: Minister: Parallel forces under interior ministry dominating decision making in Tripoli (Libya Observer, link):

"The Interior Minister of the Presidential Council, Fathi Bashagha, said there are armed groups and forces that are by name operating under the ministry, but in reality they are executing their own agendas away from the government's orders.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (29.1-4.2.19) including:

  • Summit of the Southern European Union Countries – Nicosia Declaration
  • An “Informal” Turn in the European Union’s Migrant Returns Policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa
  • An average of six deaths every day in the sea in 2018

France's top court upholds police use of controversial crowd control weapon (RFI, link):

"France’s highest court, the Council of State has rejected calls to suspend the use of controversial non-lethal munitions that have been linked to several serious injuries at Yellow Vest protests, a day ahead of Act 12 of nationwide demonstrations."

EU: New report examines widespread deployment of automated decision-making systems in policing, employment, social security and more

A new report by Algorithm Watch says that automated decision-making systems of one kind or another are in use in "almost all aspects of daily life" across the EU.


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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