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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
profiles to be included in the Schengen Information System?
terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels this year and last, EU
and national officials began another round of discussions on
how to increase information-sharing amongst law enforcement authorities
across the continent. Amongst a flurry of proposals included
in a new "roadmap" on information exchange is a suggestion
to include DNA profiles in the Schengen Information System, the
EU-wide policing and migration database.
The roadmap was drawn up in May 2015 within the Council and received
political approval from national justice and interior ministers
at the JHA
Council meeting in June 2016 (pdf): 'Theme 3' is "optimal use
of European information systems", under which can be found
item 11: "enhance the effectiveness of using the Schengen
Information System (SIS)."
to enhance information exchange and information management including
interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area (LIMITE doc no: 9368-REV-1-16,
of the European Union: From: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator:
terrorist fighter returnees: Policy options (LIMITED doc no: 14799-16,
and risk analysis: Latest figures suggests that of the total
number of European FTFs, around 15-20 % have died in theatre,
30-35 % have already returned and 50 % are still in Syria and
Iraq (ie between 2.000 and 2.500 Europeans).... There are largely
two categories of returnees: those in the majority that will
drift back, and those who will be sent back on specific missions,
which are of most concern.....
changed Daesh communication focus in the West (no longer on building
the Caliphate, territory, call not to travel to Syria or Iraq
but instead staying home and committing attacks in the West),
using returnees in our communication strategy to discourage future
jihadi travellers from going to Daesh held territories may be
See also: Islamic
State changing terror tactics to maintain threat in Europe (Europol press release, link) and Report (pdf)
joins forces with counter-terrorism experts to undermine online
terrorist propaganda (link):
pieces of terrorist and violent extremist online content have
been assessed for the purpose of referral to online platforms
during a two-day concerted action coordinated by Europol, in
collaboration with representatives from dedicated units in Belgium,
France, the Netherlands and Romania. The processed content was
in nine different languages and hosted by 35 online platforms.
The final removal of the referred material is a voluntary activity
by the concerned service providers, taken in reference to their
own terms and conditions. ":
See also: Analysis:
Policing the internet: from terrorism and extremism to content
used by traffickers to attract migrants and refugees (Statewtch, pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (6-12-16)
implementation of the hotspots in Italy and Greece: a study (Press release, link):
is an experiment, a pilot model of registration and identification
at the points of arrival that selects between people seeking
asylum and people to be returned. Yet the hotspots currently
apply practices and standards that are inadequate and disrespect
fundamental rights says Aspasia Papadopoulou Senior Policy
Officer at the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).
What we are witnessing in Italy and Greece is the consequence
of an EU pressure shifting responsibilities to the national level,
says Aspasia Papadopoulou. If the hotspots are to become
permanent then we would have to see fundamental improvements
including standards and safeguards there is a need for
independent monitoring by international organisations, NGOs,
or bodies like the Ombudsman.
is part of a project led by the Dutch Council for Refugees, in
partnership with ECRE, the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR),
the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and ProAsyl that aims to
support monitoring of hotspots in Greece and Italy and the strengthening
of legal assistance provision by local NGOs." And see Report (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Policies in the making: Exit-Entry
System, EU Agency for Asylum & EURODAC and LEA access
- EES: Proposal
for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 2016/399 as regards
the use of the Entry/Exit System - Preparation of further steps (LIMITE-14700-16, 157
pages, pdf): Council developing its position prior to trilogue
meeting with the European Parliament:
- EU Agency for
for a Regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum and
repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010 (LIMITE doc no 14855-16, 93 pages, pdf):
136 Footnotes and number of Member State positions
- EURODAC and
LEA access: Proposal
for a Regulation on the establishment of 'Eurodac' for the comparison
of fingerprints... and on requests for the comparison with Eurodac
data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol
for law enforcement purposes (LIMITE doc no 14710, 94 pages, pdf):
Including Member States' positions: And includes: It's OK to
use coercion on vulnerable persons and minors "if permitted
under national law":
EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs
Ministerial meeting of 5 December 2016 (Press release, pdf) Including: "Both
sides confirmed the completion of their internal approval
procedures for the EU-U.S. Data Protection "Umbrella"
Agreement, and welcomed this important step for strengthening
data protection in law enforcement cooperation across the Atlantic.
On that basis, the U.S Attorney General will now make the necessary
designations under the Judicial Redress Act to allow the swift
entry into force of the Agreement" [emphasis added]
crisis: latest news from across Europe (2-5-12-16)
To Mainland Against EU-Turkey Deal (News That Moves, link):
Ta Nea: Greek Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas stressed
that the EU-Turkey deal does not include an option for transferring
asylum seekers on the islands to the mainland and if the government
does so it may lead to the agreement failing.
why asylum claims take so long to process, the Minister replied,
We have 13,000 asylum applications in the islands, 50,000
applications on the mainland. We have a new asylum service that
has existed for only three years in Greece, while the same services
in France and Germany have fifty years of experience. I do not
claim that our asylum service operates perfectly, but we are
law enforcement data deal gets go-ahead from European Parliament
Parliament has voted strongly in favour of the EU-US 'Umbrella
Agreement' that, in theory, provides for the protection of personal
data exchanged for law enforcement purposes. Attempts left and
liberal MEPs to have the text rejected and to seek the European
Court of Justice's opinion on its compatibility with the Charter
of Fundamental Rights were rejected. The
agreement is unlikely to provide what it promises.
seeds of post-Brexit racial violence lie in government policy (OpenDemocracy, link):
every utterance shouted alongside a specific racist attack was
already a dominant ideological policy position. The hostile environment
that Theresa May promised the country in 2012 has certainly become
one on the ground."
VIOLENCE and the BREXIT STATE (pdf) by Jon Burnett (Institute
of Race Relations)
Charter: why journalists (and the rest of us) should be afraid (The Conversation, link):
the passing of the Act we have taken a step into a new world
of permanent surveillance that was not deemed necessary in 30
years of The Troubles, four decades of the Cold War
or during two world wars. Home secretary Amber Rudds comment
that it is world-leading legislation is worthy of
Orwells doublethink. One might ask, what part of the world
are we leading exactly: North Korea, Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia?"
might: Commission proposes 5.5 billion per year for defence
research and equipment
Commission proposed on Wednesday (30 November) a 5.5 billion
'European Defence Fund' that would provide EU funds of 500
million per year for military research and development and 5
billion per year "from national contributions" for
"Member States to develop certain assets together to reduce
their costs." The Commission wants the EU to "demonstrate
that it can act as a provider of hard as well as soft security".
crisis: latest news from across Europe (30-11-16 and 1-12-16)
EU: European Council: 15-16
December 2016: Draft
guidelines for conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 13936-16,
On Migration: "assess
and reaffirm its commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey
Statement and assess progress on the compacts with the five
selected African countries in terms of arrivals and returns,"
"assess progress on the
reform of the Common European Asylum System, including
on how to apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity
in the future, on the basis of a report from the Presidency."
Regarding Members States the
Council has to try and appease those against "responsibility
and solidarity in the future", while hoping the European
Parliament will unblock discussions on the Qualifications Regulation,
the Reception Conditions Directive and the Procedures Regulation
and the Resettlement file.
On Internal Security: Review
progress on: "systematic checks against the relevant
databases, that must be interconnected, of all persons
crossing the Union's external borders, including nationals from
EU Member States; the entry/exit system; the European Travel
Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS); combatting terrorism;
firearms; anti-money laundering; Passenger Name Record (PNR);
and enhancing effective cooperation with electronic service
providers." [emphasis added]
Rights groups expose flaws in EU counterterrorism directive (euractiv, link)
"The European institutions
reached an agreement yesterday (30 November) on a directive that
is aimed at better equipping the EU with instruments to counter
terrorism. But civil rights groups warned that it risks undermining
A political agreement on the
directive was reached by EU government representatives in the
European Council (COREPER) yesterday, following negotiations
with the European Parliament. Both the Council and Parliament
are expected to sign off on the
37-page text without changes later this month."
terror law risks making protest a crime (euobserver,
link); "A new anti-terror law backed by EU states contains
rules that could be used to crack down on civil dissent. Endorsed
at the political level on Tuesday (30 November) by most EU states,
the directive on combating terrorism has riled human rights activists
for its vague notions of terrorism. The bill borrows heavily
from recent laws in France that allow the authorities to tell
internet firms, without any judicial oversight, to block sites
that "glorify" terrorism. "
And see background:
on combating terrorism (Statewatch, SEMDOC)
Shameful misuse of terrorism provisions as man involved in border
clash jailed for 10 years (AI,
"In response to the sentencing
of Ahmed H, to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges for his
involvement in clashes with Hungarian border guards at a Serbia-Hungary
border crossing last year, Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty Internationals
Deputy Europe Directorwho attended the court hearing said: This
verdict is based on a blatant misuse of terrorism provisions
and reflects a disturbing confluence of two dangerous trends:
the misuse of terrorism-related offenses and the appalling treatment
of refugees and migrants. Throwing stones and entering
a country irregularly does not constitute terrorism and cannot
justify this draconian ruling"
on Europol report leak
(New Europe, link):
"The Alliance of Liberals
and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament
has called on Europol director, Rob Wainwright, and Sir Julian
King, the Security Union Commissioner, to clarify the facts related
to a leaked report. According to an ALDE press release, the leak
relates to a breach in Europols security rules. The Dutch
investigative television show Zembla reported that a Europol
staffer took dossiers home and copied them to a backup drive
that was linked to the internet.
This is extremely shocking.
Europol was aware of this security incident since September,
yet its director decided not to inform the parliament during
a joint meeting of the European parliament and the national parliaments
on Europol scrutiny just two days ago, Sophie int
Veld, ALDE spokesperson for data protection, said."
press release (link) and also: Secret
Europol terror data found online (BBC News, link)
EU-Turkey: European Parliament: EU-Turkey relations:
We are entering a new phase (Press release, pdf):
than 10 years after EU-Turkey accession talks started, MEPs adopted
a resolution on 24 November calling for the negotiations to be
suspended until the Turkish government ended its disproportionate
and repressive response to July's failed coup. Ankara replied
by threatening to let thousands of migrants pass through to Europe.
Greek EPP member Manolis Kefalogiannis, head of Parliaments
delegation to Turkey, commented: We are entering a new
phase in EU-Turkey relations."
Office To Integrate Surveillance Cams With Police Database (link):
Law Enforcement Data Service is to include two existing police
databases as well as the nationwide Automatic Number Plate Recognition
system. The Home Office has been accused of operating a burgeoning
surveillance capability outside of parliamentary oversight
as it continues to expand the Automatic Number Plate Recognition
Camera Commissioner - Annual report (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (29.11.16)
EU-UK: House of Commons: European Scrutiny Committee: Europol:
(pdf):: "Given this wider context, would opting into
the new Europol Regulation be an anomaly at a time when the UK
is seeking to loosen rather than strengthen its ties with EU
institutions and agencies and to develop alternative methods
of cooperation on policing and security matters? Conversely,
would opting in help to bridge the gap between the UKs
existing security arrangements with EU partners and agencies
and the equally strong ties which the Government intends to develop
once the UK has left the EU?"
Border Agency Still Unaccountable on Refugees Rights (Refugees Deeply, link):
"Last month, 10 Syrians boarded a flight organized and
staffed by the European Unions border agency, Frontex,
on the Greek island of Kos, believing their destination was Athens.
Instead, they landed in the Turkish city of Adana.
had wanted to seek international protection in Greece, and carried
documents indicating their intention to initiate asylum procedures.
They were never given deportation orders or offered an opportunity
to mount a legal challenge to their deportation."
EU: Encryption: five Member States want Europe-wide laws,
access to documents request shows
EU countries said they want the European Commission to propose
legislation that would make it easier for police to crack through
Latvia, Poland and Hungary all want an EU law to be created to
help their law enforcement authorities access encrypted information
and share data with investigators in other countries."
member states want EU-wide laws on encryption (EurActiv, link)
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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