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EU: Council of the European Union: "Blue
Card", Qualifications and Resettlement
- Legal migration: Proposal
for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country
nationals for the purposes of highly skilled employment (LIMITE doc no: 8544-17,
pdf): The Council developing its negotiating position - with
138 Footnotes giving Member State positions
QUALIFICATIONS of REFUGEES:
for a Regulation on standards for the qualification of third-country
nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international
protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons
eligible for subsidiary protection and for the content of the
protection granted and amending Council Directive 2003/109/EC
of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals
who are long-term residents (LIMITE doc no: 8302-17, pdf):
The Council developing
its negotiating position - with 177 Footnotes giving Member State
for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council
establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation
(EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council (First
(LIMITE doc no: 8382-17, pdf): The Council developing its negotiating
position - with 173 Footnotes giving Member State positions:
to help reduce the risk of a large-scale irregular inflow of
third-country nationals and stateless persons to the territory
of the Member States, show solidarity with countries in regions
to which or within which a large number of persons in need of
international protection has been displaced by helping to alleviate
the pressure on those countries, and help achieve the Union's
foreign policy objectives, the regions or third countries from
which resettlement is to occur should fit in a tailored engagement
with third countries to better manage migration...."
EU-UK BREXIT: European
Council (Art. 50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations: European
Council (Art. 50) guidelines following the United Kingdom's notification
under Article 50 TEU (Press
release, pdf) and Guidelines official document: Special
meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) (29 April 2017) - Guidelines (Doc no: EUCO XT 20004/17,
See also: EU
Brexit guidelines: What's in the document, and what it really
EU: "Hotspots": Court of European Auditors:
hotspots are working, but critical issues remain, say EU Auditors (Press release, pdf):
EUs so-called hotspot approach for irregular
migrants arriving in Italy and Greece has helped to significantly
improve the registration, identification and security checking
of migrants. But more needs to be done as thousands of migrants
are still stranded on the Greek islands after their arrival,
according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors.
Many of those affected are unaccompanied minors, say the auditors,
and more should be done to help them.....
is no longer an option, and returns are slow. As a result, there
are still more migrants arriving at the hotspots than leaving,
and they are seriously overcrowded." [emphasis added]
summit to mull post-Brexit membership for a united Ireland
link): "EU leaders will discuss whether to back automatic
membership for Northern Ireland after Brexit if it ever reunifies
with Ireland, sources said yesterday (27 April). Ireland is expected
to ask the 27 European Union leaders to endorse the idea when
they meet in Brussels on Saturday (1 May) without Britain to
adopt guidelines for Brexit negotiations."
Invitation Letter to Article 50 European Council: "in
order to protect the peace and reconciliation process described
by the Good Friday Agreement, we should aim to avoid a hard border
between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. "
EU: Council of the European Union:
for a Directive amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination
of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative
action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual
media services in view of changing market realities - Guidance
for future work (LIMITE doc no: 8242-17, pdf): The Council working
out it negotiating position and 55 Footnotes with Member State
positions: "The Presidency text introduced a number of
changes to the definition of VSP services in Article 1(1)(aa)
with the intention of clarifying the definition and extending
its scope to cover more types of services, including the audiovisual
content on 'social media ' services."
Parliament Briefing: The Audiovisual Media
Services Directive (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.4.17) including: Libyan military to be linked
up to European surveillance systems
and refugees are "routinely abused by law enforcement officials
in the Western Balkans"
refugees in the Western Balkans who are trying to access the
territory of the EU "are being routinely abused by law enforcement
officials," who are "subjecting people to violence
and intimidation and denying access to asylum procedures to those
seeking international protection," says a new report by
Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Macedonian Young
Lawyers Association and Oxfam.
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22-24.4.17)
disadvantage" for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)
women in the criminal justice system
A new report
by Agenda and Women in Prison examines the experiences
of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in the UK's
criminal justice system, including their perceptions of court
procedures and practices, experiences of discrimination and racism
in prison from both staff and other prisoners, and the impact
on their families, for example through being separated from their
enforcement and forensics: Member States seek improved facial
recognition, handwriting analysis, mobile device examination
responses to a Council questionnaire on law enforcement agencies'
training needs with regard to forensics show that there is interest
in improving facial recognition, handwriting analysis, speech
and audio analysis, digital forensics and the examination of
mobile devices, amongst other things.
million for military research includes investigation into "swarming"
The EU's 25
million 'Preparatory Action on Defence Research' includes a project
on technology "to demonstrate that situational awareness
in a naval environment can be significantly improved" through
the use of unmanned vehicles, which will examine the possibility
of "swarming behaviours".
pays for "watch towers" on the Georgia-Turkey border
The recent newsletter
of the Eastern Partnership Panel on migration provides updates
from the first quarter of 2017 on relations between the EU and
the 'Eastern Partnership' countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,
Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. This includes events
such as the EU providing 3.4 million of "communication,
surveillance and detection equipment for the strengthening of
Georgias capabilities of guarding the green border with
Turkey," including "watch towers".
intelligence agency spied on Interpol and news organizations:
respected news magazine "Spiegel" has reported that
Germany's BND spied both on international police agencies and
media outlets for years. The latest revelations come as a result
of another spy scandal in the US.
Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, spied on Interpol,
the international police agency based in Lyon, France, as well
as national offices in dozens of countries, including the United
States, Austria and Greece, the German news magazine "Spiegel"
reported on Saturday.
cited documents it had viewed, reporting that the spying had
taken place over many years. It said the BND included the email
addresses and phone and fax numbers of police investigators in
its sector surveillance list..... The
BND also monitored the European police agency, Europol, which
is based in The Hague, the report said."
(link): Concern over Mayflower 400
no better way of forgetting something than by commemorating it."
(Said by Irwin in The History Boys Film 2006 (based
on the play by Alan Bennett))
To date, education
and history appear to have been framed to service a tourist attraction,
emphasizing the details of the 1620 journey and the make-up of
the passengers rather than its colonial character and context.....
To date [January
2017] neither include materials about colonialism, slavery or
the dramatic losses of Indigenous and African American lives
and cultures that occurred both prior to and after the landing
in late 1620. Moreover, it should be noted that Indigenous American
organisations are currently campaigning over water and land rights
and there are also campaigns over commemorations, such as Columbus
crisis: latest news from across Europe (20-21.4.17)
data exchange with the US military: Europol seconds liaison officer
for Operation Gallant Phoenix (link):
forces in the EU member states could be able to use fingerprints
and DNA traces collected by the US military in Syria and Iraq
in the near future. Intelligence services would also be granted
access.... Alongside Operation Gallant Phoenix, the US Government
has offered to set up a database on foreign fighters
for a number of EU member states and to compare this information
with the biometric data of incoming refugees. According to another
paper by the current Presidency of the Council of the European
Union, this is battlefield data from Syria and Iraq and
other conflict zones.
of the EU US Justice and Home Affairs Senior Officials
Meeting, Valletta, 1-2 March 2017 (LIMITE doc no: 7163-17, pdf) and Security
checks in case of irregular immigration - mapping exercise (LIMITE doc no 6717-17,
Council of the European Union: Relocations,
Eurodac & Skilled migrants
of Relocation Commitments (LIMITE doc no:, 8168-17, pdf):
The Note asks:
"How many applicants for international protection will
you be relocating from Greece and Italy over the coming five
months (May-September) and how many will you be relocating per
The latest 11th
Report on relocation by the Commission says that: "Right now,
Malta and Finland are the only two Member States so far on
track to meet their obligations in time for both Italy and
Greece." And records that since September 2015 only
11,339 refugees have been relocated out of 63,302 from Greece
(just 18%) and 5,001 of 34,953 from Italy (just 14%)
of colour copies of passport or ID documents in Eurodac (LIMITE doc no: 8221-17,
for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country
nationals for the purposes of highly skilled employment (LIMITE doc no: 8280-17,
76 pages, pdf): Latest Council negotiating position with 152
Member State positions in Footnotes.
Council of Europe: CPT
urges European states to hold persons in remand detention only
as a measure of last resort and in adequate conditions (link): "The
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) urges
the 47 Council of Europe member states to use remand detention
only as a measure of last resort and to provide remand prisoners
with adequate detention conditions. During visits to prisons
throughout Europe, the CPT has often found that remand prisoners
are held under very poor conditions and an impoverished regime....
In many European
countries the persistent problem of overcrowding in prisons is
due to a large extent to the high proportion of remand prisons
among the total prison population. In its annual report, published
today, the CPT stresses the need for member states to ensure
the use, to the extent possible, of alternative measures to pre-trial
detention such as provisional suspension of detention, bail,
house arrest, electronic monitoring, removal of passports and
judicial supervision." See: Annual report (pdf)
denounces the radicalisation of policies that violate fundamental
rights at Spain's southern border
published by the Andalucian Association for Human Rights (Associación
Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, APDHA) on 29 March
2017. Emphasis in original. APDHA denounces the radicalisation
of policies that violate fundamental rights at the southern border
- During 2016 deaths increased 34% at European coasts and 125%
at Spanish coasts
crisis: latest news from across Europe (19.4.17) including: Greek and Italian detention
centres massively overcrowded; child refugees in France face
daily violence; UK plans new express deportation system; and
statistics: weapons fired less in 2016 but are "gaining
compliance of members of the public"
The Home Office
recently published statistics on the use of tasers by police
forces across England and Wales during 2016. Overall, there has
been an increase in the number of times tasers were drawn by
police - reaching an average of 30 a day - but a small decrease
in the number of times they were actually fired, leading the
Police Federation to argue that "by virtue of possession
of a Taser, police officers are gaining compliance of members
of the public," thus justifying increased deployment of
the electroshock weapons.
Intelligence Community report 2016: "an unparalleled platform
for information-sharing and joint analysis"
Intelligence Community (AFIC) "has now reached an enhanced
level of maturity," according to the body's annual report
for 2016, and is an "unparalleled platform for information-sharing
and joint analysis with African countries" which has "captured
further attention from the key policy makers in Europe and Africa."
EU-funded project accused of data protection violations (EurActiv, link):
Romanian government has been accused of bias in its awarding
of EU funding to the countrys intelligence services. The
e-Governance project is also facing serious allegations that
it violates European and domestic laws on personal data protection.
policing: secret Garda report on Mark Kennedy's activities in
Ireland: Information Commissioner's decision
On 13 April 2017
the Irish Office of the Information Commissioner published a
decision ordering the Department of Justice and Equality to release
a 2011 report by An Garda Síochána (Ireland's
police force) on the activities of exposed undercover police
officer Mark Kennedy. A subsequent article in The Times,
based on the report, said that it shows "the gardaí
defended having a relationship with international police forces
that allowed spies to work here and defended keeping such arrangements
a secret from the government."
for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
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 Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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