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Round-up of news stories from across the EU
18.1.16
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Danish police allowed to scan thousands of licence plates (The Copenhagen Post, link): "The Danish Ministry of Justice has approved a controversial bill that allows police to survey up to 600,000 vehicle registration plates a day, reports IT-magazine Version 2."

DENMARK: Closed doors at hearing for teenager arrested for terrorism (The Copenhagen Post, link): "Both the prosecutor and defence lawyer involved in the case of a 15-year-old girl arrested in Kundby in northeast Zealand have agreed that the girl should be charged behind closed doors.

No information is coming out of the court room in Holbæk. The police arrested the girl at a home in Kundby yesterday. According to reports, she was found with explosives and may have been supporting terrorism."

DENMARK: Marked increase in youth radicalisation in Denmark (The Copenhagen Post, link): "The Danish security and intelligence service PET has revealed that increasing numbers of young Danes are becoming radicalised, reports DR.

Crime-prevention centres (SSPs) that focus on children and adolescents have recorded a higher number of radicalised youth cases, and more Danes have been using VINK, the anti-radicalisation hotline operated by Copenhagen Municipality."

ECHR: Poll: Best and Worst ECtHR Judgment of 2015 (Strasbourg Observers, link): "Following an annual and cherished tradition, we are hereby launching our poll for the best and worst ECtHR judgment of 2015!

As usual, preselecting a limited number of contenders was both fun and hard. There is always room for debate. Always other judgments that deserve a shot at the title. Other judgments to cheer at. And other judgments to boo (somewhat). But we hope you find your champ among our contenders. If not, you can always support an underdog by selecting ‘Other’.

The winners and losers will be announced in about a month."

EU: CONFERENCE: 10 YEARS OF DATA PROTECTION DAY: REVIEW AND PROSPECTS (AEDH, link): "The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (AEDH) is celebrating the 10th anniversary Data Protection Day. It will be the opportunity to take testimony from the many stakeholders who have, in their own way, moved forward the principles inherent to this fundamental right. This will also be the opportunity to look to the future and highlight the possible ways of facing the challenges ahead while respecting fundamental rights."

EU: Macedonians Holding Bulgarian Passports Face Fines for Voting in 2014 EU Elections (Novinite, link): "Many Macedonians in possession of Bulgarian passports are facing fines for having voted in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

The Macedonians holding dual citizenship voted in Bulgarian diplomatic missions in Macedonia, including at the Bulgarian embassy in Skopje, without being eligible to do so.

They did not fulfill the criteria for residence which stipulates that in order to be eligible to vote in European Parliament elections they should have lived in Bulgaria or other EU member state for at least three months prior to the date of the elections."

EU: Press seminar: Terrorism: the EU's response (European Parliament, link): "The European Parliament's Press Service is holding a seminar to provide members of the media and institutional representatives the opportunity to look at the EU's response to terrorism. Parliament is starting to discuss new proposals to criminalise travel for terrorist purposes and terrorist financing, to ban certain weapons and restrict the sale of firearms on the black market."

EU: Viviane Reding on TiSA negotiations: “The right to regulate has to be preserved” (European Parliament, link): "The EU and 22 countries, representing 70% of world trade in services, are currently negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). It can’t enter into force with the approval of the Parliament. MEPs are closely following negotiations and have demanded more transparency. The international trade committee votes on a report with recommendations on 14 January. We asked report author Viviane Reding, a Luxembourg member of the EPP group, what will determine Parliament's approval of any deal."

EU-BULGARIA: Deputy PM: Romania to Receive More Positive EU CVM Report than Bulgaria (Novinite, link): "Romania will be assessed more positively than Bulgaria in a EU Commission report on justice and internal affairs, Bulgarian Deputy PM Ekaterina Zaharieva has said.

In an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio, she has admitted Bucharest has performed far better than Bulgaria over the past year with regard to court cases of public interest, high-level corruption, the fight against organized crime."

FRANCE: Almost a third of French 'weary' after a year marked by terrorism (France 24, link): "“Weary”, “morose” and “mistrustful” are the three words French people say best describe their state of mind, according to a new poll, following a year in which a series of terrorist attacks targeted the country."

GERMANY: Police arrest 40 immigrant men in Düsseldorf raid (Deutsche Welle, link): "Düsseldorf authorities have arrested 40 men in a raid on the city's so-called "Maghreb" neighborhood. German officials say men from North Africa have drawn their attention with involvement in criminal activities."

NETHERLANDS: Former Dutch soldier may face charges for killing IS jihadis (Dutch News, link): "A former Dutch commando who has been fighting alongside an armed Kurdish group against IS in Syria has been arrested in the Netherlands.

Jitse A was picked up in Arnhem and is being investigated for his role in killing Islamic State jihadis while fighting with YPG forces, the public prosecution department said in a statement."

NETHERLANDS: KNVB investigates racist chanting at ADO Den Haag match (Dutch News, link): "Official Dutch football association policy on dealing with racist chants may be changed to allow referees or players to leave the pitch without punishment, a KNVB spokesman said on Monday.

Gijs de Jong, who heads the KNVB’s operational affairs department, was speaking after ADO Den Haag fans made monkey noises when Ajax player Riechedly Bazoer had the ball during this weekend’s premier division tie.

‘If the referee or, in this case, Riechedly Bazoer, no long want to play, the match should be halted,’ De Jong told broadcaster Nos."

SPAIN: New Catalan premier admits he lacks backing to declare independence (El País, link): "“Do we have enough strength to proclaim independence with the current parliamentary makeup? Not yet,” said the man who was mayor of Girona until last week, when his name suddenly came up as a replacement for acting premier Artur Mas at the helm of the Catalan government. His last-minute nomination narrowly averted new elections in the region following more than three months of feuding between separatist forces over who should be the next premier."

UK: David Cameron calls on Muslim women to learn English to combat radicalisation (The Independent, link): "Much more needs to be done to help Muslim women learn English and integrate more as a key part of the fight against Islamist extremism, David Cameron will say.

Investigations into the 700, mainly young, Muslims who have left the UK to join Isis reveal that in most cases parents had little idea of their children’s radicalisation."

UK: David Cameron says migrant families could be broken up and mothers deported if they fail new English test (The Independent, link): "Families could be broken up and mothers deported after years of living in Britain if they fail a new mandatory English language test, David Cameron has confirmed.

The Prime Minister today outlined plans to language-test all spouses who immigrate join their partner living in Britain two and a half years after they arrive here.

Failing the language test could lead to the new arrival’s right to stay in the UK being revoked and them being sent back to their country of origin, he said."

UK: Landlord checks: “looking for footprints in the dirt” (Migrants' Rights Network, link): "Private landlords are due to start checking the immigration status of prospective tenants from 1 February. Is this the start of a system where we all become unpaid Border Guards in the government's pursuit of tougher immigration controls? "

UK: Police use new tactic to fight terror threat in City of London (Financial Times, link): "Waiting to meet City of London police officials on Blackfriars Bridge to hear about a new crime-fighting technique, the FT stops to jot down a few notes.

Soon enough a police officer, sporting an assault rifle, appears to ask why exactly this reporter is taking notes.

This, it turns out, was an unwitting example of Project Servator at work — a new tactic to make life difficult for terrorists doing their homework, or “hostile reconnaissance” as the police describe it.

It involves using undercover officers trained in behavioural analysis to spot people who might be scoping out sites for a potential terrorist attack. Their expertise is in noticing the subtle, sometimes unconscious ways in which people behave differently when they are stressed or anxious. They are stationed in a certain area just before the appearance of other officers in hi-vis uniforms and sometimes those on horses, with dogs or heavily armed."

UK: Reclaim Justice Network calls for moratorium on prison building (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, link): "On 9 November 2015, the British Government announced a ‘prison building revolution’, committing to the construction of nine new prisons across England and Wales.

The Reclaim Justice Network has issued the following statement supporting the closure and demolition of existing prisons and calling for the land to be handed over to local authority control for social housing. "

UK: ‘We deserve a justice system that is open and transparent’ (The Justice Gap, link): "Campaigners, university criminal appeals units and innocence projects, and lawyers are calling on the government to stop systematically destroying court transcripts after five years preventing victims of miscarriages of justice appealing their convictions."

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