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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
encryption: LEAs favour practical, effective solutions for access
rather than new legal powers?
- In answer to a Questionnaire Member States' responses
showed: "the need for
practically orientated measures prevailed over the need for adoption
of new legislation on EU level."
The Council of
the European Union is considering ways for law enforcement agencies
to get access to encrypted messages. There are different laws
and practices in Member States and it appears that a majority
of them favour the better exchange of knowledge and practices
to get access rather than a harmonised EU law. Many national
laws prescribe that: "a prior judicial order is often
of the European Union: Encryption of data: Mapping of the
problem - orientation debate: LIMITE
doc no: 13434-16 (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (27.10.16)
"COLLECTIVE" DEPORTATIONS: Letter
from 25 MEPs to Italy (pdf):
contacting you with reference to the forced return of 40 Sudanese
asylum-seekers, which took place on the 24th of August 2016.
They were arrested in and around Ventimiglia and then brought
to the airport of Torino-Caselle where they were boarded on a
charter flight to Khartoum.
This collective expulsion, whose legitimacy has been criticised
by several NGOs and Members of the Italian Parliament, revealed
the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding with Sudan, signed
on the 3rd of August 2016 in Rome by the Head of the Italian
which was kept secret for long time and has never been discusses
or ratified by the Italian Parliament, provides for collaboration
between the two Countries in the fight against crime and in particular
the management of migratory effects and borders."
group launches legal challenge against EU-U.S. data pact (Reuters, link):
expected legal challenge has been filed by an Irish privacy advocacy
group to an EU-U.S. commercial data transfer pact underpinning
billions of dollars of trade in digital services just two months
after it came into force, sources said.
Privacy Shield was agreed earlier this year after the European
Union's highest court struck down the previous Safe Harbour agreement
over the transfer of Europeans' personal data to the United States,
on concerns about intrusive U.S. surveillance.
The new agreement
gives businesses moving personal data across the Atlantic - from
human resources information to people's browsing histories to
hotel bookings - an easy way to do so without falling foul of
tough EU data transferral rules."
A Europe united against refugees (link):
promotion of a world of camps and walls is not just the project
of the Hungarian leader. It is also the dominant feature of migration
policy pursued by the EU and its member states for 20 years,
and the consequences are now apparent." And in French (link)
And see: Map
of camps 2016
(French, pdf), English (pdf link) and Arabic (pdf, link)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.10.16)
the EU reconcile its commitment to maintaining fundamental rights
and its ongoing practices?
call for EU democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights watchdog (Press release, pdf):
"To end the current crisis-driven approach
to perceived breaches of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental
rights in EU member states, the EU Commission should set up a
binding EU mechanism to monitor and report annually on their
records in these fields, say MEPs in a resolution passed on Tuesday.
This mechanism should include objective benchmarks and lay down
a gradual approach to remedying breaches, they add.
We have provided the European Union with the instruments
to enforce all the other policy areas - competition policies,
police and justice cooperation, foreign policies (...), but our
core values are not protected by instruments that are sufficiently
strong to make sure that the values are upheld throughout the
European Union, said lead MEP Sophie int Veld (ALDE,
NL), in the debate ahead of the vote. Her legislative initiative
was passed by 405 votes to 171, with 39 abstentions."
Full-text: 25-10-16 (pdf)
the new migrant staging post for Europe (IRIN, link): "Gerwinio is one
of a growing number of sub-Saharan Africans coming to Algeria,
although exact numbers are hard to come by. The Algerian government
claims there are 25,000 such migrants in the country, but local
NGOs say the true number is at least four times higher. It
is way more visible lately that there is more sub-Saharan migration,
said Pascal Reyntjens, mission chief for the International Organization
for Migration in Algiers....
A progress report on the Partnership
published last week focuses on five countries identified by the
EU as the first priorities for action Niger,
Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Mali. Algeria is mentioned only
as a country requiring 'particular attention'. No further details
were provided, but a recent analysis by strategic forecasting
company, Stratfor, describes the country
as one of the trickiest North African nations with which
to increase cooperation."
by the spooks: attempt to recruit activist as informant caught
A series of recordings captured earlier this year in Barcelona
have exposed an attempt by two men claiming to work for "state
security" to recruit a political activist as an informant.
Quim Gimeno, has filed an official complaint against the "modus
operandi of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policia" (CNP)
and the actions of the two men, who offered him monthly payments
and the possibility of intervening in a court case involving
terrorism charges (which was later dismissed due to lack of evidence).
One of the two
men has subsequently been exposed as a senior officer known as
'Jordi' who works for the CNP's 'Provincial Information Brigade
Group 6' (Grupo VI de la Brigada Provincial de Información),
known for its surveillance and intelligence-gathering on social
crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.10.16)
recommends extending temporary internal border controls for a
limited period of three months (Press release, pdf):
European Commission has today proposed a Recommendation, to be
adopted by the Council, to prolong proportionate controls at
certain internal Schengen borders in Austria, Germany, Denmark,
Sweden and Norway, where controls already take place according
to the Council Recommendation of 12 May for a period of
a further three months. Despite the progressive stabilisation
of the situation, the Commission considers that the conditions
of the "Back to Schengen" Roadmap allowing for a return
to a normally functioning Schengen area are not yet fully fulfilled....
The prolongation, which the Commission is recommending for a
further period of three months, concerns the same internal borders
as that recommended on 12 May:
- Austria: at the Austrian-Hungarian and Austrian-Slovenian land
- Germany: at the German-Austrian land border;
- Denmark: in Danish ports with ferry connections to Germany
and at the Danish-German land border;
- Sweden: in Swedish harbours in the Police Region South and
West and at the Öresund bridge;
- Norway: in Norwegian ports with ferry connections to Denmark,
Germany and Sweden."
See also: Commission
Implementing Decision setting
out a Recommendation for prolonging temporary internal border
control in exceptional circumstances putting the overall functioning
of the Schengen area at risk (COM 711-16, pdf)
of the European Union: European Public Prosecutor's Offce (EPPO):
for a Regulation on the establishment of the European Public
Prosecutor's Office (LIMITE doc no: 12687-16, pdf): Copuncil discussing
its position: Revised Preamble: Following the examination
of the draft preamble in COPEN on 8 September and the work on
a number of Articles in view of the Council of 14 October, the
Presidency has partly redrafted the preamble in line with the
discussions. All modifications in relation to document 11350/1/16
REV 1 are indicated in underlined or strikethrough."
See also other recent Council documents: European
Public Prosecutor's Office
and terrorism must not be conflated, says UN Special Rapporteur
A new report
by the UN's Special Rapporteur on terrorism and human rights
calls for an end to the conflation of migrants and refugees with
acts of terrorism: "in the clear majority of cases, refugees
and migrants do not pose a risk, but are in fact at risk, fleeing
the regions where terrorist groups are the most active,"
says the report, which was presented to the UN General Assembly
in New York on Friday 21 October.
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (24.10.16): Calais demolition underway, Syrian
child refugees stitich British fashion in Turkey, fire and protest
at Moria detention centre on Lesvos.
IN CUSTODY: Annual rally and procession, Saturday 29 October
United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a national coalition
of families and friends of those that have died in the custody
of police and prison officers as well as those who are killed
in immigration detention and secure psychiatric hospitals in
October 12Noon at Trafalgar Square for a silent procession along
Whitehall followed by a noisy protest at Downing Street."
Annual Rally & Procession 2016 (UFFC, link)
the torture and execution trade (pdf) by Dr Steve Wright (Reader in
Applied Global Ethics, Leeds Beckett University):
month, the European Parliament and Commission finally agreed
to outlaw the export, brokering and promotion of torture and
execution equipment from Europe. Such equipment includes guillotines,
hanging ropes, lethal injection drugs, multi-barbed steel sting
sticks, electroshock batons and tools familiar to torturers
of old, leg irons and wall cuffs to hang prisoners from walls
and ceilings, thumbscrews, neck chains and other medieval paraphernalia....
Can we further
civilize the security trade? I believe so, but only region by
region. The 21st century has already become the epoch of the
torturer. Only civil society can civilize state security practices
further - as if people mattered.
319,826 arrivals in the Med in 2016: 168,873 in Greece, 145,982
in Italy. 3,654 dead/missing. Greek Ministry
statistics: 21.10.16 number of refugees/"guests" in camps
and their capacity (pdf): Greek islands: 15,378 refugees/"guests*
and capacity 8,030. Voluntary" returns in 2016: 5,010 and
Departures to Turkey 2016: 724.
Council of Europe: "Combating
anti Gypsyism: Congress calls for better access to social rights
and legislative measures"
20 October 2016 At their 31st Session in Strasbourg, France,
the memmbers of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
examined, on 20 October 2016, a report on the situation of Roma
and Travellers, presented by John Warmisham (United Kingdom,
SOC) and highlighting the context of rising extremism, xenophobia
and the refugee crisis, which is worsening discrimination against
them and stirring anti-Gypsyism." See: Report (pdf)
Parliament Study: Turkey:
How the pre-accession funds have been spent, managed, controlled
and the monitoring system? (pdf): "This study follows up
on the European Court of Auditors Special Report 16/2009 The
European Commission's management of pre-accession assistance
to Turkey. The European Commission has undertaken actions
addressing the recommendations of the report but it is unclear
how effective these actions have been, or are likely to be, in
addressing the underlying concerns expressed in the report. In
particular, understanding of the effectiveness and impact of
European Union funding to Turkey is still very limited."
[Emphasis added] See: European Auditors report (link)
release: Special Rapporteur warns that situation for civil society
there is renewed commitment from the worlds leaders, away
from fear and control of their own people, and toward respecting
the dignity of all, the situation will remain precarious for
civil society globally, the UN expert said.
Council offers approval for migration deals with African states
Union leaders agreed on Thursday to step up their efforts to
curb illegal migration from African countries with the aim of
replicating their success in halting inflows from Turkey over
the past year..." See: European
Council conclusions on migration, 20 October 2016 (pdf) plus earlier Draft
(11226/16, LIMITE, pdf)
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.10.16): including Council of Europe report
on situation in Calais and Grand-Synthe camps.
policing: fresh questions over Mark Kennedy's activities in Ireland
CHIEFS and Scotland Yard commanders allowed British undercover
policeman Mark Kennedy to spy on environmental groups in Ireland,
including the Shell to Sea campaign in Mayo. Dublin Sinn Féin
MEP Lynn Boylan wants Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to
get some long-overdue and straight answers from her British counterpart
when she meets Home Secretary Amber Rudd this month..."
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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