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    ISSN 1756-851X
    26 March 2019
 

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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (19-25.3.18) including:

  • Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees
  • UK: “Utter failure” of Home Office has led to serious problems with every part of the immigration detention system
  • Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks

EU: "Policing in a Connected World": Council looks to help police deal with "Novel Actionable Information"

A recent document produced by the Romanian Presidency of the Council takes up the issue of "Policing in a Connected World" and calls for the establishment of new networks and tools so that police forces across the EU can better make use of the "Novel Actionable Information" generated by the "explosion in the number of digital devices used, each generating more data, more diverse and complex types of data, and connections between data."

UK: House of Commons Library briefing: Brexit: contingency planning and powers (pdf):

"This briefing looks at emergency planning in the UK and specifically at the how emergencies are defined, how the Government may deploy its emergency powers to deal with them, and how this relates to no-deal planning."

Brexit and Extending EU Membership: The Legal Issues (EU Law Analysis, link) by Professor Steve Peers:

"This blog post was updated following the approval of the official decision extending EU membership. (...)

Apart from the legal issues directly related to the extension, next week is likely to see a number of crucial votes relating to the UK’s imminent and future relationship with the EU. Time will tell what indirect effect they may have on the length and circumstances of the UK’s extended EU membership – and in particular whether the UK government and parliament is able to agree upon a way forward in the event that the withdrawal agreement is not approved."

EU: Names of national authorities that drafted "interoperability" plans published following Statewatch complaint

The names of the authorities that made up the EU high-level expert group on information systems and interoperability, which was responsible for outlining the plans that have led to the interconnection of EU policing and migration databases, have been published by the European Commission following a successful complaint by Statewatch.

Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees (Doctors Wiithout Borders, link):

"Thousands of people remain trapped in overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary Greek island camps three years after the implementation of the European Union-Turkey deal, said Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today, calling on European leaders to immediately evacuate children and other vulnerable people from these locations.

The European Union (EU) and Turkey deal, signed three years ago today, is a set of policies aimed at preventing refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers from crossing irregularly from Turkey to Greece. These policies now trap about 12,000 men, women, and children in unsafe and degrading conditions in five Greek island camps, where they have little access to basic health services and suffer widespread misery."

Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks, warn trade union and human rights group

Andalusia, 16 March 2019 - The General Work Confederation (Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT) and the Andalusian Association for Human Rights (Asociación Pro-derechos Humanos de Andalucía, APDHA) have said in a press conference that the consequences of the recent agreements between Spain and Morocco on migration will have serious consequences for the human beings risking their lives in the Mediterranean.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (13-18.3.19) including:

  • Italy delivers 50 off-road vehicles to fight irregular migration in Tunisia
  • 45 migrants drowned between Morocco and Spain
  • Human rights organisation propose "fair and predictable rescue system" for the EU

EXCLUSIVE: EU in talks with Egypt and other states over police data-sharing (Middle East Eye, link):

"European Union officials have begun talks with counterparts in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Turkey, about proposed data-sharing deals that would allow Europol to exchange personal information about suspects with local law enforcement authorities."

Background and documentation: Warnings over proposed new Europol partners in Middle East and North Africa (Statewatch News, 14 May 2018)

EU: Security Union: new measures agreed to introduce biometric identity cards and a new database for convicted non-EU nationals

MEPs approved this week new measures that will introduce mandatory fingerprinting for national identity cards and a controversial new database to make it easier for the authorities to find information on any previous criminal convictions handed down against non-EU nationals. The Parliament also agreed its position for a revamped Visa Information System that will permit the profiling of all short-stay Schengen visa applicants.

EU: Saving lives in the Mediterranean: human rights organisations propose plan for "a fair and predictable rescue system"

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have sent an action plan for "a fair and predictable rescue system in the Mediterranean Sea" to Carmen Daniela Dan, the internal affairs minister of Romania, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-12.3.19) including:

  • Council Presidency: "progress" in migration cooperation with Libya should be repeated across North Africa
  • Criminal investigation against Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno closed
  • Bulldozers demolish migrant camp in Italy

UK: Policing: use of force against children increases and disproportionately affects ethnic minorities

The use of force by police officers against children has increased significantly in recent years and disproportionately affects those who are black or from other ethnic minority groups, according to a new report by the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE).

EU: Open letter to MEPs: oppose mandatory fingerprinting for national identity cards

An open letter from five NGOs calls on MEPs in the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) to oppose the introduction of mandatory fingerprinting for national identity cards, as required by the proposed Regulation on strengthening security standards for identity cards and residence documents.

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, Brussels, 7-8 March - documentation

Final press release (pdf) Background Note (pdf) "B" Points agenda for discussion (pdf) "A" points:legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) an "A" Points non-legislative adopted without discussion, pdf)

EU:  Identity cards: there is still time to oppose the EU's 'fingerprinting Regulation'

On 11 March the European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) will vote on the proposed 'fingerprinting Regulation', which will make it mandatory for all national identity cards in the EU to include two fingerprints and a biometric photograph.

EU: NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex's respect for fundamental rights

The Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights has expressed "serious concerns about the effectiveness of Frontex's serious incident reporting mechanism," saying that it should be revised and that the border agency must "take additional measures to set up an effective system to monitor respect for fundamental rights in the context of its activities."

The inadequacy of the serious incident reporting (SIR) mechanism is raised in the latest annual report of the Consultative Forum (pdf), which is made up of nine civil society organisations, two EU agencies and four UN agencies and other intergovernmental bodies. It was established in October 2012 to provide independent advice to the agency on fundamental rights.

EU: Commission promises transparency for all groups influencing EU policy

The European Commission has agreed to publish documents on the work of a high-level group that shaped the EU's military research programme and has said that any future such groups should be subject to the same transparency rules as other Commission-appointed expert bodies.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.2-4.3.19) including:

  • Officials knew EU military mission made migration more dangerous
  • Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) update report
  • Common European Asylum System legislation - still going nowhere fast

GREECE: Athens: suspicious death of a Nigerian man in Omonia police station

On Tuesday 26 February several anti-racist collectives and migrant associations organised a demonstration in downtown Athens to demand truth over the death of Ebuka Mamashoubek, a 34-year old Nigerian father-of-two, at the police station of Omonia.


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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