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    ISSN 1756-851X
    16 October 2018

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Hungary's homeless fear they are Viktor Orbán's next target (The Guardian, link):

"Many countries have struggled to deal with the issue of homelessness but Hungary may be the first to put a constitutional ban on living on the streets. From next week, being homeless in Hungary will violate the constitution."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (3-14.10.18) including: Fears growing in 'unbearable' and overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece as winter approaches, The "hotspots" experiment: removing human rights from the equation and the contested Mediterranean

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 11-12 October, Luxembourg: Press release (pdf) See also: "B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points agenda legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and "A" Points agenda non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf)

EU: The European Border and Coast Guard: The Justice and Home Affairs Council is discussing: Policy debate: Doc no; 12768-18 (this is not a LIIMITE document, pdf) which includes proposals for:

"strengthening the cooperation with third countries by giving the agency a wider scope for action (not limiting it to neighbouring countries);

- supporting Member States on a technical and operational level with return operations; Agency staff can communicate directly with third countries."
[emphasis added]

Some "concerns" have been expressed as to the mandate of the standing corps of 10,000 officers.

EU: European Council: Updated Draft Conclusions: European Council meeting (18 October 2018) – Draft conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 11837-18, pdf)

EU:  Reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is in a mess

- disagreement amongst Member States blocking adoption

The Austrian Presidency of the Council has produced a report on the state of play in the while trying to agree its negotiating position: From: Presidency To: Permanent Representatives Committee/Council (LIMITE doc no: 12420-18, pdf). There are no fewer than six previous versions.

Each of the seven measures are held up because a minority of delegations (Member States) in the Council are opposed to changes made or proposed unacceptable changes to the Council's original, agreed, negotiating position on which trilogue talks are based.

On its part the European Parliament - after many trilogue meetings - stands by the agreement reached in June on three measures: the Qualifications Directive, Reception Directive and the Resettlement Regulation.

Greek court orders inquiry into use of EU migrant funds (euobserver, link):

"Greek Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou on Monday ordered an investigation of how €570m of EU funds for migrant aid was spent after the sacked head of hotspot reception centres, Andreas Iliopoulos, indicated in a newspaper interview that EU funds for migration were being mismanaged. Iliopoulos was responsible for reception centres on Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos and in Evros, northern Greece. He was dismissed last week."

And see: Prosecutor launches probe into alleged mismanagement of EU Funds for refugees (Keep Talking Greece, link)

EU: The next phase of the European Border and Coast Guard: towards operational effectiveness (EU Law Analysis, link):

" Two years after the establishment, in record time, of the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG), the Commission’s new proposed Regulation opens the way for a standing corps of 10,000 border guards, with its own equipment and greater executive powers."

EU: Asylum: Austria and Denmark announce their "vision for a better protection system in a globalized world"

A paper published by the Austrian interior ministry and the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration declares that "migration and asylum policy will shape Europe's future", arguing that "many citizens have lost trust in their governments' ability to deal with the challenges of irregular migration" - trust which will only be restored by "an alternative, unifying vision".

UK: 'Stopped and searched up to three times a day' - new report says (StopWatch, link):

"The controversial gang matrix, is counterproductive. It leads to continual, heavy-handed policing of young black men and boys labelled as 'gang nominals'. According to a hard-hitting new report published today (Wednesday 19 September) from stop and search campaign group StopWatch."

EU: Meijers Committee: Note to the Presidency of the Council concerning the General Secretariat draft policy paper on legislative transparency (pdf):

"On 13 July, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU circulated a draft policy note to the Members of the Council with proposals for reform of the policy on legislative transparency (document 11099/18 LIMITE). An initial discussion on these proposals was held at the Coreper meeting of 18 July. On 20 July, Agence Europe reported on the substance of the document. On 24 August, the document was published on the website of Statewatch (...)" See:Document 11099-18 LIMITE (pdf)

European Council: 18 October 2018: Migration, internal security and Big Brother database: European Council meeting (18 October 2018) – Draft guidelines for conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 11816-18.pdf) target migration, disinformation and the interoperable centralised database.

EU: On the fifth anniversary of the Lampedusa shipwreck that took 368 lives: Save the Aquarius, Save Lives - Joint NGO Letter (Human Rights Watch, link):

"Five years to the day after the Lampedusa tragedy in which at least 368 people died, rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea are more vital than ever. It is alarming that the last rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean may be forced to stop operating. We call on European leaders to ensure the Aquarius can continue to save lives at sea."

Global Counterterrorism Forum: New 'Terrorist Travel Initiative' to expand global biometric watchlists

The USA and Morocco, acting as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), launched on 28 September the 'Terrorist Travel Initiative' designed to identify and address "potential weaknesses and gaps in a country’s capacity to watchlist, share information, and utilize that information for screening purposes."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.9-2.10.18) including: Lesvos refugee camp at centre of Greek misuse of EU funds row; migrant aid worker convicted for tweet in France; Frontex begins testing drones

Press release: UK intelligence agency admits unlawfully spying on Privacy International (Privacy International, link):

"The UK's domestic-facing intelligence agency, MI5, today admitted that it captured and read Privacy International's private data as part of its Bulk Communications Data (BCD) and Bulk Personal Datasets (BPD) programmes, which hoover up massive amounts of the public's data."

Morocco navy fires on migrant boat, one dead: local officials (France 24, link):

"Morocco's navy on Tuesday fired on a boat carrying migrants which refused to respond to its orders, leaving a Moroccan woman dead and three other people wounded, local officials said."

CROATIA: Criminalising solidarity: Are You Syrious? statement on politically motivated, unjust guilty verdict for our volunteer

This past March, AYS volunteer Dragan Umicevic approached a police control near the Croatian border to alert police to a family of asylum seekers huddled in a field near Strošinci, already on Croatian soil. A few days later, he was shocked to find himself facing charges of aiding and abetting the asylum seekers’ “illegal crossing” of the Croatian border - despite the fact that he had never laid eyes on the family before and hadn’t even communicated with them directly beforehand.

EU-USA Meeting: Draft agenda of the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Senior Officials Meeting (Vienna, 25-26 September 2018) (LIMITE doc no: 11859-18, pdf). Includes access to electronic evidence and "Cambridge Analytica"

Aquarius migrant rescue ship heads for Marseille despite revoked registration (France 24, link):

"The Aquarius migrant rescue ship is headed for the port of Marseille with 58 people on board and will seek authorisation to dock from the French government, the vessel's operators said Monday, after the ship's registration was revoked."

And see: Charities plea for help after Aquarius migrant rescue ship's flag revoked - Operators claim Panama deflagged vessel after pressure from Italian government (Guardian, link)

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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