News Online - current lead stories
Top 20 stories - See:
Statewatch News or: What's New (all new items) and: Refugee
Follow us: |
Support our work: Become
a "Friend of Statewatch"
EU-Turkey "dodgy" deal:
to speed up migrant transfer after Turkey deal (euractiv, link):
"Greece will speed up
the relocation of thousands of migrants from its overcrowded
islands to the mainland before the onset of winter after reaching
a deal with Turkey, a key ally in helping to tackle Europes
migration crisis, government sources said yesterday (11 December).
Athens persuaded Ankara last
week to accept migrant returns, including Syrian refugees, from
the mainland and not just from the Aegean islands as previously
agreed under a 2016 EU-Turkey pact, a government source told
The new agreement reached
during a strained two-day visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan aims to reduce the more than 15,000 people packed
into refugee camps on the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos
and Leros, another source said."
hidden world of private spies (Bureau of Investigative Journalism,
pdf link): "How Royal Bank of Scotland, British Airways,
Porsche and Caterpillar employed private security firms which
spied on protesters (...) And see: Surveillance
firms spied on campaign groups for big companies, leak shows
retention and the ePrivacy Regulation: Member State positions
A Council working paper obtained
by Statewatch prepared on the basis of responses to a
questionnaire issued by the Estonian Presidency shows the positions
of a wide number of EU Member States, and Europol, on the possibility
of including mandatory data retention rules in the ePrivacy Regulation.
detained in Bulgaria subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment
The European Court of Human Rights
has ruled that the three children of an Iraqi family detained
in Bulgaria were subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment.
The cell they were held in was run-down, dirty, had litter and
damp cardboard on the floor and "as there had been no toilet
in the cell, they had to urinate on the floor." They were
not given food or water for 24 hours and the youngest child's
milk was confiscated for 19 hours.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (7-10.12.17)
Council 14 December, 2017:
Council (14 December 2017) Draft conclusions (LIMITE
doc no 13862-17, pdf): Including:
"SECURITY AND DEFENCE
Further to its December 2016 and June 2017 conclusions, the European
Council reviewed progress in the field of security and defence,
- welcomes the establishment
of permanent structured cooperation and stresses the importance
of quickly implementing the first batch of fifteen projects;
it calls on participating Member States to deliver on their national
- calls for further work on the European Defence Fund, and in
particular the swift adoption in 2018 of the European Defence
Industrial Development Programme, in time to finance the first
capability projects in 2019;(...)
UK-EU-BREXIT: Justice and
Home Affairs: The Home Affairs Select Committee has started an
inquiry into: Home Office delivery of Brexit: policing and security
evidence to the Committee, 5 December 2017 (pdf)
and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 December 2017: Conclusions and
Outcomes and documents
discussed at the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 December
2017: eu-LISA, ECRIS-TCN, Freezing and confiscation, PNR Directive,
CSDP operations and JHA Agencies, Asylum Package, CEAS: Common
Procedures, Reception and Qualifications, Data Retention and
EU accession to ECHR.
training materials for Libyan Coast Guard come up short on human
"Respect and protection
of human rights are a negligible part of the EUs training
to the Libyan Coast Guard, as revealed by the training materials
the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) disclosed
in response to an access to documents request. From a total of
20 documents including a video released, only 0,5%
of the content is dedicated to ensuring the protection of human
militarisation: new online resource highlights the "shift
towards militarised policing taking place across each and every
A new online resource on police
militarisation has been launched by the organisation War Resisters
International (WRI), bringing together articles on a variety
of relvant topics and providing an interactive map that "can
be used to explore the militarisation of policing" in countries
across the globe.
Rights Agency: "discrimination, intolerance and hatred across
the EU" show failings in law and policy
A major new report from the EU's
Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows that "immigrants,
descendants of immigrants, and minority ethnic groups continue
to face widespread discrimination across the EU and in all areas
of life most often when seeking employment."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-6.12.17)
UPDATED: 5 December 2017: EU: Trilogue
on ETIAS: Regulation
establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation
System (ETIAS) and amending Regulations (EU) No 515/2014, (EU)
2016/399, (EU) 2016/794 and (EU) 2016/1624 (pdf): Four
column document giving the Commission proposal, the positions
of the Council and the European Parliament and "Compromise"
position for discussion in secret trilogue o/n 12 December 2017.
Frontex asks for greater access to databases under interoperability
by Frontex on its access to central EU systems for borders and
security (LIMITE doc no: 15174-17, pdf):
Frontex says it has less access
to data than national authorities. Thus it needs greater access
to check hird country nationals at external borders with "hotspot"
style roles of screening, registration, debriefing and fingerprintin
and its role in "returns"
Journeys Volume 3 Part 2: Improving Data on Missing Migrants (IOM link):
"This report, the third
volume in the Fatal Journeys series, focuses on improving data
on migrant fatalities. It is published in two parts. Part 1 critically
examines the existing and potential sources of data on missing
migrants. Part 2 focuses on six key regions across the world,
discussing the regional data challenges and context of migrant
deaths and disappearances.
The second part of Fatal Journeys
Volume 3 makes five key recommendations that emerge from the
comparison of regions and innovative methodologies discussed
in both parts of the report."
Statewatch Analysis: Human rights violations at
Spains southern border: steps towards restoring legality
In mid-August 2014, a group of
around 80 people attempted to enter Melilla, a Spanish enclave
in North Africa, by climbing the three razor-wire topped fences
that divide the territory from Morocco. The majority remained
balanced atop a fence for around nine hours while some held onto
their perches for up to 16 hours, despite the suffocating
heat and the lack of food and water, as one news report
noted at the time. But regardless of how long they held on, as
soon as they came down from the fence they were all returned
to Morocco by officers from Spains Guardia Civil.
Although the Article 3 claim
was dismissed by the Court [ECHR], the other complaints were
accepted, and on 3 October the Court found that the Spanish government
had indeed violated the prohibition on the collective expulsion
of aliens (Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention
on Human Rights) and the right to an effective domestic remedy
(Article 13 of the Convention).
crisis: latest news from across Europe (30-11-17-04-12-17)
"Reflection paper" on the interoperability of JHA databases
poses fundamental questions
should always come in support of policies and user needs, not
the other way around. What is technically feasible might not
necessarily be legally justifiable or ethically desirable."
"We are concerned that repeatedly referring
to migration, internal security and fight against terrorism almost
interchangeably brings the risk of blurring the boundaries between
migration management and fight against terrorism."
How many terminals and how
many officials have or will have access to all the existing and
planned JHA databases? In 2003 the SIS alone could be accessed
from 125,000 terminals!
Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has published a "Reflection
Paper on the interoperability of information systems in the area
of Freedom, Security and Justice" (17 November 2017, pdf) which poses
fundamental questions for the Commission who will draft new measures
and the co-legislators (the Council of the European Union and
the European Parliament).
HQ of the Atlas Network's 38 Special Intervention Units to be
based at Europol
A Report from the
Council Presidency, dated 16 November 2017: Draft
Council Conclusions on the strengthening of the ATLAS Network (LIMITE doc no: 12583-REV-5-17,
pdf) seeks amongst other things to create a permanent ATLAS Support
Office based at Europol. The Network's: "Special Intervention
Units (SIUs) of the Member States may be called to intervene
in a variety of situations not necessarily linked to terrorism."
Memories of the Dead will not be erased with Black Paint
"In the night of the
24th of November 2017, by the harbour of Thermi on Lesvos Island,
unidentified persons vandalised the memorial that we had erected
there in 2013. It carries the names of those who had drowned
on their journeys to Europe. Two wooden paddles hold the plaque
with the names of the dead and the memorial looks out to the
sea, dedicated to those of all ages and backgrounds, whose lives
ended at sea."
EU: Council of the European
of Identity in EU Member States
on issues related to Registration of Identity - Updated assessment
of the replies (LIMITE
doc no:12004-REV-1-17, pdf): "Delegations will find enclosed
an updated version of the assessment of the replies to the questionnaire
related to Registration of Identity prepared by the Commission
services." And see: Previous
version (LIMITE doc no: 12004-17, pdf)
UNHCR: Arrivals in the Med
2017: 166,250: Italy 121,916, Greece: 27,245, Spain: 21,304,
Cyprus 1,062. And see: UNHCR
Europe monthly report (pdf):
In Greece, the conditions
on the islands have deteriorated further as a result of the increased
arrivals since August 2017 and the limited reception capacity.
The situation is most dire on Lesvos and Samos. On Lesvos, nearly
5,200 people are staying in a site with capacity for 1,400 at
the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) and the olive grove
next to Moria (at 31 October) while on Samos there are 1,584
people at the Vathy RIC site with capacity for 700.(...)
Europe (CoE) Commissioner
for Human Rights published a letter sent to the Italian
Minister of Interior requesting information on Italys maritime
operations in Libyan territorial waters, urging the Italian government
to clarify the kind of support they expect to provide to the
Libyan authorities and what safeguards Italy has put in place
to ensure that people intercepted or rescued by Italian Italian
vessels in Libyan territorial waters do not subsequently face
a situation contrary to Article 3 ECHR (prohibition of torture).
The Commissioner also requested information on the measures ensuring
that search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, including
those by NGOs, can continue to be carried out effectively and
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
In 2016 the Statewatch
website had: 1,007,460 users sessions and 112,089,510 hits
- 96,295 users sessions a month and 1,007,460 "hits"
regular e-mail list for new stories: Join
Statewatch news e-mail list
now holds more than 34,000 records (news, features, analyses
If you use this
site regularly, you are encouraged to make a donation
to support future research.
a non-profitmaking voluntary group founded in 1991, see: About
to News Online are welcomed, please get in touch.
website is hosted by the Phone Co-op:
not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the
views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible
for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link
does not constitute an endorsement.
registered under the Data Protection Act. Information supplied
will be not be passed to third parties. Registered UK charity
number: 1154784. Registered UK company number: 08480724. Registered
company name: The Libertarian Research & Education Trust.
Registered office: 10 Queen Street Place, London EC4R 1BE.
ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair
dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on
our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed
only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the
relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing
Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms
and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.