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    ISSN 1756-851X
    01 December 2015

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See Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU - a humanitarian emergency: Daily news and document updates

EU: Data Protection Regulation: more trilogue documents

Statewatch is publishing more documents from the Council of the EU on the negotiations over the new Data Protection Regulation, currently the subject of trilogue discussions between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission. The documents include a note from the Presidency to Member States' delegations on "outstanding issues where further input is needed": data breaches, data protection officers and administrative fines, amongst other things.

EU-TURKEY: Talking Turkey: €3 billion to control migration

In the days leading up to the EU-Turkey summit that EU Council President Tusk said would "change the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow," the Commission issued its Decision on the project's funding: the €3 billion "Refugee Facility for Turkey" (pdf).

The Facility is supposed to be funded with €500 million from the EU and €2.5 billion from the Member States, and has the aim: "to assist Turkey in addressing the immediate humanitarian and development needs of the refugees and their host communities, national and local authorities in managing and addressing the consequences of the inflow of refugees."

See also: Mülteci-Der (Association for Solidarity with Refugees): Put an end to the dirty deal and respect the human rights at the EU-Turkey summit on 29 November, 2015! (pdf)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (30.11.15)

FRANCE: Climate summit and protests during a state of emergency

"As Le Monde observed and as the Human Right League denounced, the state of emergency is being used to harass ecological activists and to block demonstrations denouncing the irresponsibility of governments facing climate change and expressing the demands of civil societies during the COP21 meeting. Even an organic farm was raided by the gendarmes, perhaps looking for bombs in the cabbages, and placards denouncing environment policies were seized as “terrorist” materials."

EU-TURKEY: Meeting of heads of state or government with Turkey - EU-Turkey statement, 29/11/2015 (pdf):

[Point 7] "The EU and Turkey agreed to implement the Joint Action Plan which will bring order into migratory flows and help to stem irregular migration. As a consequence, both sides will, as agreed and with immediate effect, step up their active cooperation on migrants who are not in need of international protection, preventing travel to Turkey and the EU, ensuring the application of the established bilateral readmission provisions and swiftly returning migrants who are not in need of international protection to their countries of origin." [emphasis addeded]

And: Press remarks by President Donald Tusk after the meeting of EU heads of state or government with Turkey (pdf): "we expect a major step towards changing the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow that is coming to the EU via Turkey. Our agreement sets out a clear plan for the timely re-establishment of order at our shared frontier." [emphasis added]

Press coverage: Germany's plan to strike EU-wide refugee-sharing deal stalls (Guardian, link): "Angela Merkel holds surprise mini-summit in Brussels with nine EU countries after meeting EC resistance to pro-quota pact with Turkey.... Months of European efforts to come up with common policies on mass immigration unravelled when Germany led a “coalition of the willing” of nine EU countries taking in most refugees from the Middle East, splitting the EU on the issues of mandatory refugee-sharing and funding.... Merkel’s mini-summit brought together the leaders of Germany, Austria and Sweden – the countries taking the most refugees – Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Greece (and probably France)...."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (18 news stories and crucial new documents: 28-29.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: (General Data Protection Regulation) [First reading]: Presidency debriefing on the outcome of the trilogue - Preparation for trilogue - Chapters I, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI (LIMITE doc no:14319-15, pdf) 372 pages: Multi-column document:

"Annex a comparative table which compares in 4 columns the Commission proposal, the position of the European Parliament in 1st reading, the Council’s General Approach and compromises tentatively agreed at previous trilogues as well as compromise suggestions by the Presidency. Text marked in brackets will be discussed by the Permanent Representatives Committee at a later stage in relation to other provisions of the text." and

Presidency debriefing on the outcome of the trilogue - Preparation for trilogue - Chapters I, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI (LIMITE doc no:14318-15, 12 pages,pdf): Examines key differences between the Council and the European Parliament:

"the Presidency submits for examination with a view to confirmation to the Permanent Representatives Committee compromise suggestions on the main outstanding issues relating to Chapters I, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI of the draft General Data Protection Regulation. On the basis of the outcome of this examination, the Presidency will engage in trilogue with the European Parliament with the aim to find an early second reading agreement...."

and includes this extraordinary proposal by the Council:

"In Article 21(2), the European Parliament insists that a legislative measure restricting certain obligations and rights should contain the right for data subjects to be informed about such a restriction. Since the wording proposed by the European Parliament is not acceptable for Council, the Presidency suggests to reformulate as follows: “the right for data subjects to have a general indication about the restriction, unless this may be prejudicial to the purpose of the restriction.”" [emphasis added]

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (30 news stories and documents: 27.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

European Commission: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis: Updated on 27 November (pdf)

- "Relocations" Member States' Support to Emergency Relocation Mechanism (pdf): 14 Member States 3,216 places (out of 160,000 needed), no change for three weeks... Only 159 people have been relocated: 129 from Italy and 30 form Greece - with major press coverage...

- Returns since September (pdf): Total "returns" organised by Frontex: 609 people (up 1) plus 153 from Italy (no change), none from Greece. Italy was the "Organising Member State" for two return flights to Nigeria. Returns flights have been to: Kosovo, Nigeria, Albania, Pakistan and Georgia.

- State of Play of Hotspot capacity (pdf) The Total Reception Capacity in Lesvos is: 700 (Moria) and next door: 780 (Kara Tepe) where there are: Frontex: 54 Officers (Debriefing, screening, fingerprinters and registration teams. Border Surveillance Officers, Advance Level Document Officer)

- Member States' financial pledges since 23 September 2015, € million: (Communicated as of 27 November 2015) Member States Africa Trust Fund Syria Trust Fund Humanitarian aid (pdf) The total Shortfall is: 2,227,660 euro. The total pledged by EU Member States is only 572,34 m euro.

- Member States' Support to Civil Protection Mechanism for Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia (pdf)

See: Statewatch Compilation: Commission statistics ongoing: State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (10 news stories: 26.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

EU: Refugee crisis: Statewatch Briefing: Italy: MSF report on reception conditions in Pozzallo (pdf): On 17 November 2015, MSF published a report on reception conditions in the CPSA (Centro di Primo Soccorso e Accoglienza, First Aid and Reception Centre) in Pozzallo which was submitted to the Commission of Inquiry into the system for reception, identification and holding of migrants, highlighting a number of serious shortcomings. MSF has been operating in the centre since February 2015, in order to attend to the medical and humanitarian needs of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who disembark in Sicily, in cooperation with the Ragusa province’s health authority (ASP, Azienda Sanitaria Provinciale).

EU:  Visa Information System: private companies gathering data, insufficient funding for data protection

The first data protection report on the EU's Visa Information System, which holds the personal information (including biometrics) of all EU visa applicants and holders, was adopted last month by the system's 'Supervision Coordination Group', made up of national data protection authorities and coordinated by the European Data Protection Supervisor's office. Issues noted in the report, which covers the period from 2012 to 2014, include the use of private contractors to process personal information collected for visa applications, a lack of financial resources for data protection authorities, and various infringements of data protection law and principles by the authorities.

The report: Visa Information System Coordinated Supervision Group, Activity Report 2012-2014 (pdf)

NORWAY SHUTS BORDERS from 26 November - 6 December:due to "migratory pressure": Temporary reintroduction of border controls at the Norwegian internal borders in accordance with Articles 23 and 25 of Regulation (EC) 562/2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) (pdf)

and see: Norway runs anti-refugee ads in Afghanistan (The, link): "Ads from the Norwegian government are in Afghan newspapers this week warning that potential asylum seekers “will be returned by force”."

'Reckless' Police Scotland spied on journalist's sources and breached communication rules, watchdog probe finds (Daily Record, link):

"SCOTLAND’S police force has admitted spying on the sources of journalists. They’ve been found to have breached communications rules in a major investigation by a watchdog that’s branded them “reckless”. Police Scotland didn’t follow guidelines on five occasions while investigating how information relating to a case made it into the public domain. A report by the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO) said they failed to seek judicial approval during efforts to find the source a journalist had used for a news story. The Rt Hon. Sir Stanley Burnton, Interception of Communications Commissioner, said today: “It is evident from these applications that Police Scotland sought communications data in order to determine either a journalist’s source or the communications of those suspected to have been acting as intermediaries between a journalist and a suspected source.” He added: “I am satisfied that four individuals were adversely affected by these contraventions and that the failures identified can properly be viewed as reckless"

And see Press release: Statement by the Interception of Communications Commissioner (pdf). and Full report (55 pages, pdf)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (20 news stories: 24.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies: Challenging state and corporate impunity: is accountability possible? (pdf):

David Whyte introduced the event and reflected on the lessons of the previous two conferences. Secondly, Suresh Grover considered how the police can be made accountable in the context of institutional racism. Tony Bunyan considered how researchers can lend their efforts in supporting movements towards more comprehensive state accountability. Sarah Lamble discussed how accountability is restricted by being presented in an individualist context, and suggests how it can be used more effectively when broadened to the community. Deborah Hargreaves reflected on how the current neoliberal agenda prevents effective corporate accountability; and how this can be challenged in order to improve social responsibility. Finally, Ewa Jasiewicz reflected on the difficulties associated with the use of journalism to aid movements for international accountability.

EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Report: State of play on implementation of the statement of the Members of the European Council of 12 February 2015 on counter-terrorism (LIMITE doc no: 14438-15, pdf). Update on a swathe of measures.

European Area of Freedom, security and Justice (freegroup, link) comments: "Statewatch leaked document on the state of play of EU Antiterrorism policy (and its perspectives..) On the Statewatch site is now accessible a very interesting document of the EU Counter terrorism Coordinator in preparation of the Justice and Home affairs Council meeting of December 4, 2015. Without prejudice of the political and legal judgment that anyone can have on the initiatives listed below the text gives a very comprehensive (and relatively objective ) view of the current state of play of the EU initiatives. It remains a mystery why this kind of purely descriptive documents are not directly accessible to the public, to the European and national parliaments."

EU: Can Member States still use: DATA RETENTION?: Council of the European Union: Retention of electronic communication data - General debate (pdf): "The current state of play is as follows: the transposition law of the Data Retention Directive has been invalidated in at least 11 Member States (AT, BE, BG, DE, LT, NL, PL, RO, SI, SK, UK). Amongst these, 9 countries have had the law invalidated by the Constitutional Court (AT, BE, BG, DE, SI, NL, PL, RO, SK). In 15 Member States (CY, CZ, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, LU, LV, MT, PT, SE) the domestic law on data retention remains in force, while they are still processing communication data."

EU: Drones at the borders: technical study outlines possibilities for EU institutions and Member States

Statewatch has obtained a detailed technical study produced by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) that provides "an analysis of the possible use of RPAS [remotely piloted aerial systems] for border surveillance/monitoring, communications and signal detection (especially mobile phone communication signals)." The report sets out "a series of [technical] criteria... that could be used for assisting the design/procurement of RPAS for border surveillance operations." The study: European Commission Joint Research Centre: Identification of current limitations for the use of unmanned aerial systems for border surveillance: Part A: Analysis of possible use for surveillance/monitoring, communications, signal detection (pdf)

Romania To Pay Damages Over 1989 Protests (Balkan Insight, link): "Romania has been told to pay compensation to eight people of 2,400 euro each for the length of criminal proceedings in a case related to their ill-treatment in December 1989. "The European Court for Human Rights announced the ruling on Tuesday. "Between 21 and 23 December 1989, the applicants took part in anti-communist demonstrations in Bucharest, which led to the fall of the communist regime." Judgment: Case of Alexandrescu and others v Romania (Applications nos. 56842/08 and 7 others) (pdf)

Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU  21 October - 24 November 2015 (pdf) New key documents and decision-making by the Council of the European Union, European Commission and Agencies plus Commentaries - 86 entries

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (22 news stories and documents: 24.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

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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