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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.7.16): migrants march to Serbia-Hungary
border, Council wants EU migration budget increase, new detention
centre to open in Spain.
calls to extend undercover policing inquiry remit beyond England
One of the targets
of exposed British undercover police officer Mark Kennedy has
taken the first steps towards legal action in an attempt to have
the remit of the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing expanded
to cover officers' activities outside England and Wales.
Arrest Warrant: judgments recognise that "certain Greek
prisons are failing to protect prisoners' fundamental rights"
this decision the Court has recognised that certain Greek prisons
are failing to protect prisoners fundamental rights and
that the Greek Government appears to be unable to bring about
the improvements that are needed to make these institutions safe."
Council of the European Union: New
EU "Returns" document & Turkey visa "benchmarks"
- EU Returns
Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a
European travel document for the return of illegally staying
third-country nationals (first reading) - Confirmation of the
final compromise text with a view to agreement (LIMITE doc no: 10638-16,
This draft Regulation
replaces the Maastricht era Council Recommendation of 30 November
1994. The Council reached its negotiating position on 23 May
2016 and the European Parliament did the same on 30 May. At the
trilogue meeting on 23 June a "compromise" text was
agreed. The parliament will formally adopt the measure at its
plenary session of 12-15 September.
will be valid for a single journey to the country of origin or
transit for refugees and migrants who have been found to be "illegally
staying" in the EU and is "essential for increasing
rates of return, which are unsatisfactory."
states that the 1994 Recommendation is not widely accepted by
authorities of third countries, for reasons including its inadequate
security standards - the unstated primary reason is that third
countries do not accept the idea of the return by the EU of maybe
thousands of its people who fled the country or who have transited
through it - and there is an understandable fear that most refugees
do not want to be returned to the country they have fled from.
It does not apply to the UK or Ireland.
- TURKEY: Visa
Working Party/Mixed Committee (EU/Iceland, Norway and Switzerland,
Liechtenstein): Summary of discussions: (LIMITE doc no: 11065-16. pdf)
a meeting held on 14 June 2016. For visa waivers with Turkey
to be agreed:
confirmed that there are still seven benchmarks to be fulfilled,
and gave a brief update on the ongoing discussions. This file
would be followed up at the next meeting, depending on the progress
No doubt there
may be a few more after the reaction to the coup.
relocation scheme "has clearly failed", says Italy's
Union's relocation scheme for refugees in Greece and Italy "has
clearly failed", the Italian interior ministry's head of
immigration, Mario Morcone, told a recent press conference hosted
by the Italian Council of Refugees. The most recent European
Commission report on the relocation scheme, published on 13 July,
records a total of 843 people being relocated from Italy to other
Member States since the scheme was put in place in September
2015. The Commission's aim is to relocate 6,000 people from Greece
and Italy per month.
See also: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.7.16)
"counter-extremism" plans denounced again
The UK government's
plans for countering "non-violent extremism" have again
been denounced, this time in a "pre-legislative scrutiny"
report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Despite announcing on a number of occassions that it will introduce
a Counter-Extremism Bill, the government is yet to do so - but
given the numerous problems with defining "extremism",
and the harsh criticism that has been directed at the Prevent
programme, it may be better for any such bill not to be published
of the European Agenda on Security: Questions & Answers (European Commission,
A useful summary:
"The European Commission adopted the European Agenda
on Security on 28 April 2015, setting out the main actions envisaged
to ensure an effective EU response to security threats over the
period 2015-2020. Since its adoption, significant progress has
been made in its implementation...
highlights the actions already completed as well as the steps
that still need to be taken as a matter of urgency in view of
the current challenges, to pave the way towards a genuine and
effective Security Union as proposed by the European Commission
on 20 April 2016."
compliance: the EU's new security agenda (pdf) by Chris Jones,
crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.7.16)
Council of the European Union: From:
Greek Delegation: Temporary
entry/exit of persons into/from the Greek territory (LIMITE doc no: 10008-26,
ask you to take note of the Joint Ministerial Decision dated
12.05.2016 and published on issue 1373/17.05.2016 of the Official
Journal... on the temporary entry/exit of persons into/from the
Greek territory via the sea ports of Kalymnos, Petra, Lesbos,
Agia Marina/Leros and Karlovasi/Samos and the airports of Karpathos
and Chios accordingly by the date of its entry into force (17.05.2016)
until the 31st of October 2016.
We therefore wish to inform you that according to the aforementioned
Decision, the relevant checks at the sea ports of Kalymnos, Petra,
Lesbos, Agia Marina/Leros and Karlovasi/Samos will be conducted
under the full responsibility of the Police Departments of Kalymnos,
Kalloni, Leros and Karlovasi/Samos. With reference now to the
airports of Karpathos and Chios, the relevant Police Department
of Karpathos and the Security Subdivision of Chios aretasked
to carry out those checks." [emphasis added]
racism update (IRR News Service, link): "Below we present
an update of racially motivated attacks and other incidents of
harassment that have taken place since the Brexit result, which
indicate the types of attacks taking place across the UK. But
of course, this account is in no way exhaustive."
Council of Europe: Secretary
General receives notification from Turkey of its intention to
temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf):
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn
Jagland, hasbeen informed by the Turkish authorities that Turkey
will notify its derogation from the EuropeanConvention on Human
Rights under the Conventions Article 15....
be no derogation from the following articles: Article 2 (Right
to life), Article 3(Prohibition of torture and inhumane or degrading
treatment or punishment), Article 4 para. 1(prohibition of slavery),
Article 7 (No punishment without law).It is important to note
that the European Convention on Human Rights will continue to
Government seeks to invoke Article 15 in order to derogate from
theConvention in individual cases, the European Court of Human
Rights will decide whether theapplication meets the criteria
set out in the Convention, notably the criteria of proportionality
ofthe measure taken.
Government will inform the Secretary General about measures taken."
Professor of Law, University of Essex comments: "Emergency
derogation *can* be used to extend pre-trial detention and limit
fair trials. Turkey has invoked it before."
by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and
Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the declaration of the State of
Emergency in Turkey (link): "The declaration of State of Emergency
gives the executive far reaching powers to govern by decree.
Under the terms of the Turkish Constitution, core fundamental
rights shall be inviolable even in the State of Emergency. "
Also: ECHR Factsheet:
in time of emergency (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (20.7.16) including No visa waiver for
Turkey this year and Greece Prepares For Long Term Accommodation
data collection only lawful in serious crime cases, ECJ indicates
- Initial finding from top EU court backs David Davis and Tom
Watson and could have serious impact on snoopers charter
data from telephone calls and emails is legal only if law enforcement
agencies use it to tackle serious crime, the EUs highest
court has indicated.
finding by the advocate general of the European court of justice
(ECJ) in Luxembourg came in response to a legal challenge that
was brought initially by David Davis, when he was a backbench
Conservative, and Tom Watson, Labours deputy leader, over
the legality of GCHQs bulk interception of call records
and online messages.
of the most vociferous critics of the states powers to
collect data on its citizens, quietly withdrew from the case
after his appointment to the cabinet. Many had commented on his
involvement in the case at the EUs highest court after
he was appointed secretary of state for leaving the EU."
to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, a general obligation
to retain data imposed by a Member State on providers of electronic
communication services may be compatible with EU law- However,
it is imperative that that obligation be circumscribed by strict
Opinion (pdf) and: Human
Rights and National Data Retention Law: the Opinion in Tele 2
(EU Law Analysis, link): "he Advocate General goes beyond
endorsing the principles in Digital Rights Ireland: even regimes
which satisfy the safeguards set out in Digital Rights Ireland
may still be found to be disproportionate."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (18.7.16)
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS):
Data protection and Whistleblowing in the EU Institutions (Press release):
is the most effective incentive to encourage staff to report
wrongdoing at work said the European Data Protection Supervisor
(EDPS) today as he published his Guidelines on Whistleblowing
Procedures. Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Assistant EDPS, said:
procedures are meant to provide safe channels for staff or other
informants to report fraud, corruption or other serious wrongdoing
in organisations. Given that the information processed in whistleblowing
procedures is sensitive and that leaks or unauthorised disclosure
may have adverse consequences both for the whistleblowers and
the accused, special care must be taken over that information.
The EDPS Guidelines can help the EU institutions and bodiesto
mitigate the risks."
says coup was gift from God to reshape country, punish
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Fridays failed coup (15
July) was a gift from God, giving him the chance
to re-shape the country, and purge the countrys elite from
enemies, who accuse him of creeping Islamisation in the traditionally
a new Turkey after Fridays failed coup. He
has made clear that the country he plans would be different in
two fundamental ways: power would be concentrated in the hands
of the president, and the old secular elites would have a lesser
Turkey's Erdogan vows talks on death penalty for coup plotters
(DW, link): "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said
he'll discuss the possibility of capital punishment for those
involved in an attempted coup against his government."
See also: Council
conclusions on Turkey (18.7.16, pdf): there is a striking omission
of asylum or visa issues.
and class: the colour of struggle (IRR, link):
latest issue of Race & Class is devoted to black political
struggle in the UK 1950s-1980s.
Race and class:
the colour of struggle, 1950s-1980s, edited by Jenny Bourne,
brings together the voices of unsung political heroes of the
time, groundbreaking new research, and campaigning material from
the archives, providing readers with key resources on Britains
history of black anti-racist activism especially relating
to policing, racial violence, workers exploitation and immigration
controls. Those who speak from its pages mothers, workers,
students, exiles testify to the common experience of colonialism
and racism which made Black the colour of their fight."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (15.7.16): including:
Italy now the frontline and unaccompanied children.
Watch: Discrimination Dressed up as Neutrality in European Headscarf
Court of Justice of the European Union has been asked to interpret
this law in two cases, each about a Muslim woman dismissed by
a private sector employer because she wore a religious headscarf
at work. In the first cases to reach the Court of Justice on
the question of religious discrimination, national courts in
Belgium and France have asked whether the dismissals were direct
discrimination or whether exceptions to Directive 2000/78 allow
such dismissals. In our legal
briefing on the issue , we argue that the Court should rule that targeting
clothing because it is religious is direct discrimination not
allowed by EU law."
See also: Religious
discrimination in the workplace: which approach should the CJEU
(EU Law Analysis, link)
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers
meeting under the Slovakia Council Presidency, 7 July 2016
Borders fit for the future (pdf):
will discuss the implementation of the European Border and Coast
Guard Regulation as well as interaction of the new Agency with
attaches great importance to the Smart Borders project and is
committed to bringing it closer to reality. A proposal on the
EU Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is expected
to complete the picture in a not too distant future. Ministers
will discuss how the system should look like."
Asylum Policy, addressing common challenges (pdf)
Commissions legislative proposals, both those already adopted
and those expected in the nearest future, aim at improving many
aspects of the CEAS. One of the leading concepts of the proposals
has not been much solidarity between Member States on the refugee
the Common European Asylum System - the way ahead: The package
of asylum proposals submitted by the Commission is one of the
most important elements of the legislative work ahead."
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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