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    ISSN 1756-851X
    20 June 2018
 

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Resettlement of refugees: 11 Member States insist on using resettlement as "a tool for migration management and cooperation with third countries"

11 Member States are insistent on the need for a new scheme on the resettlement of refugees into the EU to be used as an instrument for trying to ensure that 'third countries' cooperate with EU policies on migration.

Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Greece, Malta, Austria and Ireland have "[stressed] the need to retain in the text the idea that resettlement is a tool for migration management and cooperation with third countries," according to a note distributed by COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives, made up of Member States' head officials in Brussels) in response to a Bulgarian Council Presidency note drafted at the beginning of this month.

Council bypasses Parliament on Europol personal data exchange deals with Middle Eastern and North African states

The views of the European Parliament on proposed agreements that would allow the exchange of personal and other data between Europol and eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa are to be ignored by the Council of the EU and the European Commission.

At the beginning of June the Council of the EU approved negotiating mandates that will be used by the European Commission in talks with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey

Council of the European Union adopts its negotiating mandate on the interoperable Big Brother database - making clear that it will not just cover third-country nationals

On 14 June the Council of the European Union adopted its negotiating mandate on two separate Regulations - borders and visas and police and legal cooperation - on the creation of a centralised database run by euLISA: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament (LIMITE doc no: 9670-18, 8 June 2018, pdf).

Italy to compile 'register' of Roma people: Matteo Salvini (The Local, link):

"Italian authorities are to carry out a census of Roma people with a view to deporting those without papers, according to new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini."

UK-NORTHERN IRELAND: Spycops infiltrated Bloody Sunday march organisers - renewed calls for NI inquiry

An undercover officer from a disgraced political policing unit infiltrated Northern Irish civil rights groups, including the Bloody Sunday march organisers.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (11.6.18-17.6.18)

Greece: Unbelievable: Non-Schengen nationals need passport for beach Tsamakia on Lesvos (Keep talking Greece, link);

"An organized beach on the island of Lesvos has introduced new practices that stun not only swimmers but also local media. Tsamakia Beach requests from visitors to show their passport at the entrance if they are from countries outside the Schengen zone. With a notice posted at the entrance, visitors are warned that will be not allowed to enter the beach without a passport. The warning is in English, French and Arabic."

And see: Lesbos Legal Centre (link)

"BIG BROTHER" LEGISLATIVE PROCESS GETS UNDERWAY: Council of the European Union: Improving security through information sharing: Council agrees negotiating mandate on interoperability (Press release, 14 June 2018, pdf):

EU: Massive funding increases proposed for internal security, border security and migration: full documentation

The European Commission has published its proposals for the EU home affairs budgets for the period 2021-2027, with the aim of increasing the internal security budget by €1.3 billion to €4.8 billion, and tripling the funding for border security and migration to €34.9 billion.

EU: Travel surveillance: 13 Member States have implemented the PNR Directive and 10 will apply it to intra-EU flights

The deadline for Member States to implement the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive, which mandates the surveillance and profiling of air passengers, was 25 May. So far 13 Member States have notified their implementing measures to the European Commission, and 10 of them will be making use of the option to monitor internal EU flights.

Press release: EU plans to include fingerprints in identity cards are unjustified and unnecessary

Proposals for mandatory fingerprints in national ID cards to "facilitate free movement" will affect 370 million people

London, UK, 11 June 2018 - The European Commission has published a proposal calling for the mandatory inclusion of biometrics (two fingerprints and a facial image) in all EU Member States' identity cards. The demands to include fingerprints are an unnecessary and unjustified infringement on the right to privacy of almost 85% of EU citizens, as explained in a new analysis published today by civil liberties organisation Statewatch.

EU-AFRICA: Post-Cotonou agreement: Declaration by the Togolese civil society

Message to the Togolese Presidency of the Central Group for the Negotiations of ACP countries

"The lack of coherence between the policies deployed by European Union countries and their commitments in relation to development aid within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to an exacerbation of inequalities within and between ACP countries. Inclusive political dialogue, egalitarian partnership, respect for human rights, for the rule of law and for democracy, presented as the fundamental values of the Cotonou Agreements, have hardly enabled a change in the relations of dependence between ACP countries and their former colonising powers."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5.6.18-10.6.18) including Lesvos, Greece: Persecuted Kurdish People in Lesvos Release Statement to Authorities and Danish PM proposes asylum camps outside the EU

BREXIIT: UK seeking to join interoperable "Big Brother" database

Sir Tim Barrow, Head of UK Representation to the EU in Brussels has sent a letter to the Council Presidency saying that the UK wants to opt into the proposed Regulation establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration): Letter to the Council (LIMITE doc no: 9238-18, pdf).

EU: ePrivacy? Not when it comes to "national security"

See: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications) - Progress report/Policy debate (LIMITE doc no: 9079-18, pdf): Council working on its negotiating position creates a massive loophole:

"Based on delegations comments, the Presidency has introduced several changes. The new text excludes activities concerning national security and defence from the scope of the Proposal. The proposed text adds new general public interests allowing for national or Union laws to restrict the rights and obligations laid down in the Proposal for the purpose of protecting data subjects or the rights and freedoms of others and the enforcement of civil law claims. Furthermore the Presidency has included a specific reference to safeguards offered by the GDPR." [ermphasis added]

UK: New counter-terrorism bill makes "thoughtcrime a reality" and extends sentences, offences and powers

The government has published a new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that would criminalise a number of acts concerning expressions of support for banned organisations; extend the maximum sentences for a number of existing terrorist offences to 15 years; extending "notification requirements" so that individuals convicted of terrorist offences are subject to a regime similar to convicted sex offenders; and give local authorities - not just the police - the power to refer individuals to the counter-radicalisation Channel programme, amongst other proposals.

EU: In battle for ePrivacy, Council of EU set to side with advertisers, telecoms and Big Data (Corporate Europe Observatory, link):

"Since the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into force, ePrivacy is now the new online data security frontier in the European Union. Corporate Europe Observatory’s new research shows how proposed rules are being watered down by EU member state governments in the Council of the European Union, following a deluge of industry lobbying."

UK: Police use of biometric technologies 'running ahead of the law' (Sky News, link):

"The police use of biometric technologies is "running ahead of the law", according to an independent commissioner."

Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material: Annual Report 2017 (pdf) and: Government response (pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council (First reading) (LIMITE doc no: 9596-18, 4 June 2018, pdf):

Comment: This doc shows European Parliament backtracking on resettlement of refugees from non-EU countries in light of Council red lines

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4-5 June 2018: documentation and coverage, including LIMITE documents on e-evidence and migration

On the link between visa policy and readmission, "most delegations expressed a preference for the negative incentives approach" - just the stick, as opposed to a combination of the carrot and the stick - while the Council also adopted conclusions on the development of European Integrated Border Management (EUIBM) and the use of the Schengen Information System for tracking suspected foreign fighters.

UK: Home Office: CONTEST: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism (90 pages, pdf)

See also: Terror strategy: MI5 to share information on UK suspects (Guardian, link):"Home Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed plans for MI5 to declassify and share information on UK citizens suspected of having terrorist sympathies. "Key" biographical data will be given to neighbourhood police, councils and the charity commission in London, Midlands and Manchester trial schemes."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.5.18-4.6.18)


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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