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by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to
Frontex, the EU's border agency,
has been heavily criticised for failing to provide adequate staff
and resources to its own Fundamental Rights Office, a problem
that "seriously hinders the Agency's ability to deliver
on its fundamental rights obligations."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (15-21.5.18) including: Germany to open "mass
holding centres" for asylum seekers; new EU proposals on
Visa Information System and Immigration Liaison Officers
RELEASE Last Rights Project announces the agreement and signing
of the Mytilini Declaration
(Lesvos, Greece, link):
"On the 11 May 2018,
following two days of discussions between experts from across
the world, the Mytilini Declaration was agreed. We believe this
is a landmark in establishing the rights of and duties toward
all those who experience suffering because of the death or disappearance
of their loved ones as a result of migrant journeys and we now
call upon all countries and international bodies to ensure that
these rights are respected and that the standards contained in
the Declaration are implemented as a matter of urgency."
Mytilini Declaration for the Dignified Treatment of all Missing
and Deceased Persons and their Families as a Consequence of Migrant
sends Special Report to Parliament on lack of Council legislative
"European Ombudsman Emily
O'Reilly has for only the second time during her mandate sent
a Special Report to the European Parliament, on her inquiry to
improve the accountability of the Councils legislative
The Ombudsman issued a number
of Recommendations to the Council of the EU in February, following
a year long inquiry, including that it systematically record
Member State positions both in its preparatory meetings and in
COREPER (ambassador) meetings; and that it draw up clear and
appropriate criteria for the classification of Council documents
as the current practice severely limits their timely accessibility.
The Council however failed
to respond to the Recommendations by the legal three-month deadline
on 9 May, and so given its importance for the democratic legitimacy
of the EU, the Ombudsman decided to call now on Parliaments
Europeans need to know
what their national governments are doing in Brussels, especially
when making new EU laws which affect their daily lives. Making
more information public would also help discourage national ministers
from blaming Brussels for EU laws they themselves
helped to shape and adopt.(...)
The Ombudsman found that the
Councils current practices constitute maladministration.
In particular, she criticised the Councils failure to record
systematically the identity of Member States taking positions
in preparatory bodies, and the widespread practice of restricting
access to legislative documents while the decision-making process
is ongoing (the so-called LIMITE marking)."
liaison officers network: Commission proposes EU-level coordination
The European Commission has proposed
introducing EU-level coordination of the existing network of
immigration liaison officers (ILOs), made up of some 500 national
officials who work in non-EU countries to gather information
and intelligence with the aim of "preventing and combating
of illegal immigration, facilitating the return of illegal immigrants
and managing legal migration."
changes asylum rules to fight camp overcrowding (ekathimerini, link)
approved legislation Tuesday that is designed to speed up the
asylum process for migrants, ease the overcrowding at Greek island
refugee camps and to deport more people back to Turkey."
EU: UK Select Committee on the European
Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations
"The UKs departure
from the EU places a question mark over its future participation
in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations.
As an EU Member State, the UK has influenced the development
and planning of all missions and operations, and has led the
EUs flagship antipiracy operation, EU NAVFOR Somalia (Operation
Atalanta). After Brexit, the framework for the UK to participate
in these missions and operations is unclear, and subject to negotiation.(...)
The Government has set out
high-level aspirations for co-operation with the EU on CSDP missions
and operations, including involvement in mandate development
and detailed operational planning. The level of influence
the Government seeks goes well beyond the scope of the existing
model for third country participation. Prospects for changes
to this model are uncertain."
BREXIT: A simple chart from
the Commission emphasising "third country" status for
the UK: Slide
on the EU/UK Possible Framework for the Future Partnership Discussions
(15 May 2018, pdf).
crisis: latest news from across Europe (10-14.5.18) including: Sudan's feared secret
police aid European migration policy; the rise of 'hostile environments'
for migrants; new report on externalisastion of EU borders
over proposed new Europol partners in Middle East and North Africa
The European Commission has proposed
agreements that would let policing agency Europol exchange personal
data with eight countries across the Middle East and North Africa
- but the political situation and lack of data protection rules
in many of them has raised the alarm amongst MEPs and human rights
Vows to Transform Hungary in Push Toward Illiberalism (Bloomberg, link):
"Hungarian Prime Minister
Viktor Orban said his new government would enact big changes
over the next four years and he saw no need to revisit his controversial
break with liberal democracy, which has roiled the ex-communist
nations relations with the European Union.
proposals foresee big boost for spending on security, migration
and border control
The European Commission has published
proposals for the EU's budget for 2021-27, with significant increases
foreseen in spending on internal security - with a proposal for
a 180% boost compared to the 2014-20 period - and on migration
and border management, with a 280% increase.
latest Council text of the proposed Regulation on borders and
"Delegations will find
hereafter the text of the proposal for the aforementioned Regulation,
as revised by the Presidency, based on the outcome of discussions
at DAPIX: interoperability of EU information systems on 17-18
April and 2 May 2018, as well as on delegations' written comments."
Government apologises to rendition victims
The British Government has today
apologised to Abdul-Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar for the
UKs role in their 2004 abduction, torture, and rendition
The apology, delivered today
in Parliament by the Attorney General Jeremy Wright, comes in
a letter from Prime Minister Theresa May to the family. It follows
a mediation with the Government and a personal meeting between
the Attorney General and the couple, in which they described
their ordeal to him.
European organisations call on Hungary to withdraw proposed laws
targeting groups working with migrants and refugees (pdf):
"The new Hungarian parliament
which will first assemble on 8 May is set to vote on draconian
and regressive legislation which could arbitrarily restrict fundamental
rights and freedoms of civil society. The proposed laws would
further undermine and stigmatise organisations working to defend
the human rights of migrants and refugees."
35 Update - 26 of the 35 remain detained - 7 face imminent deportation
Seven of the #Moria35 face deportation
on Thursday 10 May 2018. In a process fraught with procedural
violations, they have had their applications for asylum rejected.
After over a year of dehumanizing treatment, from Moria Camp,
to the vicious attack by the police, followed by nine months
of unjust imprisonment, they now face being sent to Turkish prison,
and likely deportation to the countries they fled.
Member States want "substantial changes" to Entry/Exit
System; questions over "red links" and the role of
A "non-paper" issued
by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU is seeking
Member States' views on a number of issues related to interoperability,
including proposals from national authorities for "substantial
changes" to the Entry/Exit System which "may lead to
significant delay in the start of operation of the system"
and "higher complexity and cost for development," but
with "no guarantee that they will deliver the desired result/effect."
action against Italy over its coordination of Libyan Coast Guard
pull-backs resulting in migrant deaths and abuse
Seventeen survivors of a fatal
incident in which a boat carrying migrants found itself in distress
off the coast of Libya filed an application against Italy today
with the European Court of Human Rights. The applicants included
the surviving parents of two children who died in the incident.
from Denmark and Spain cleared of human trafficking by Greek
court (The Local, link):
" A Greek court on Monday
cleared three Spaniards and two Danes of trying to help illegal
migrants enter Greece through the island of Lesbos while taking
part in Aegean rescue missions.
"The accusation has not
been proven," the judge said after the trial in the Lesbos
times call for new measures (Migszol, link):
"In the current situation,
we find that we, unfortunately, cannot function the way we used
to. We have no way of being in touch with detained asylum seekers,
and even if we did, we would risk becoming targets of state-sponsored
hate campaigns, also we would risk their personal safety during
the asylum procedure."
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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