What's New on the Statewatch website: 2013
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EU: Meijers Committee: Note on the Proposal for a Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex (pdf)
"The Meijers Committee is of the opinion that the proposal fails to deal with several issues satisfactorily and recommends:
- in case of disembarkation in a third country, guarantees must be included pertaining to the presence of legal advisors and interpreters and the availability of a remedy before an independent authority with suspensive effect;
- interception measures should be brought in conformity with the provisions on entry conditions and refusals of entry in the Schengen Borders Code;
- the relationship with the recast of the Asylum Procedures Directive should be clarified;
- to align the interception competences in respect of vessels found in the contiguous zone which have not previously entered the territorial sea with those that apply to vessels found in the high seas;
- to include the provisions of the proposal on search and rescue, interception competences and fundamental rights in Annex VI of the Borders Code, so that they will apply to all maritime controls."
See also: European Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (COM 2013 197, pdf)
USA: Obama frames covert drone war as necessary evil (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, link) Barack Obama has made it clear that the US will continue with its controversial targeted killing programme. In a major speech the US president also announced that he has signed into force a new and secret rule book for lethal action that provides clear guidelines, oversight and accountability for covert drone strikes.
Obama speech suggests possible expansion of drone killings (McClatchy, link) President Barack Obama on Thursday defended his administrations use of drone strikes to kill terrorists as effective, lawful and heavily constrained, but he also appeared to be laying groundwork for an expansion of the controversial targeted killings.
Sweden: Riots rock Sweden's immigrant suburbs for fourth night (USA Today, link)
"Suburbs of the Swedish capital were engulfed in a fourth night of rioting early Thursday in the country's worst civil unrest in years, leaving locals shaking their heads and wondering when calm would return to their usually tranquil city."
EU: Amnesty: EU states guilty of racism, homophobia (euobserver link) Several EU countries abuse the rights of migrants and ethnic minorities, while others are not doing enough to combat homophobia, Amnesty International has said. The British-based NGO named 24 EU states in its annual report on rights abusers, published on 23 May (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 24 May 2013 (115 items)
MEPs vote to exclude culture from trade talks with US (European Voice, link)
Police swoop on the homeless taking sleeping bags and food parcels in co-ordinated raids in Redbridge (Ilford Voice, link)
Germany/North Africa: German police instructed Tunisia and Egypt on internet surveillance prior to the Arab Spring
The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation instructed the authorities of multiple North African and Middle Eastern countries in internet surveillance in the years running up to the Arab Spring, according to information released by the German government following questioning by Die Linke (Left Party) in April 2013. Training in Tunisia and Egypt occurred shortly before the revolts in those countries, where control of the internet played a key role in allowing the government to undermine the uprisings.
CALEA II: Risks of wiretap modifications to endpoints (link) The FBI wants Congress to require that voice, video, and text communication tools be (re-)designed so that lawful wiretap orders can be executed quickly and silently. Twenty computer scientists have issued a report criticising the plans (pdf)
USA: Government Accountability Office: Immigration Enforcement - Preliminary Observations on the Department of Homeland Security's Overstay Enforcement Efforts (pdf)
This testimony discusses GAOs preliminary observations on DHSs efforts since April 2011 to review potential overstay records for national security and public safety concerns, improve data on potential overstays and report overstay rates, and plan for a biometric exit system.
UK: "The potential death of legal aid": lawyers protest against new government proposals
As Big Ben chimed for 11 o'clock on the morning of Wednesday 22nd May, hundreds of protesters stood outside parliament and held one minute's silence to mark "the potential death of legal aid." These were the words of the speaker on stage, a representative of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA). The crowd, largely made up of solicitors, barristers and others working in the criminal justice system, had come to make clear their opposition to new government proposals for "transforming legal aid" in criminal cases.
EU: EU policy on irregular migration is "fundamentally at odds with the human rights approach"
Last Thursday, the European Parliament's Human Rights Committee (DROI) heard from a number of speakers on the compliance of Frontex with its human rights responsibilities. A short video posted on the Parliament's website shows some of the key comments from the session, of which the most scathing came from a statement by François Crépeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.
Justice for Tivoli demonstration: organised by Caribbean Labour Solidarity on the third anniversary of the death of at least 73 Jamaican citizens to demand an independent international enquiry. Friday 24 May, 4.30-6.30 pm at the Jamaica High Commission in London.
EU: Statewatch JHA archive now contains 7,705 documents
The archive contains bibliographic records and full-text documents on EU Justice and Home Affairs policy dating back to 1976 when the Trevi Group was set up (Trevi was ad hoc intergovernmental cooperation on Terrorism, Radicalism and Violence, and grew into formal European political cooperation in the former Third Pillar after the Maastricht Treaty). It has been created to allow researchers to chart the historical development of EU JHA policy. The EU's public register of Council documents only dates back to 2000 (with some documents from 1999) while the Commission's incomplete public register started in 2002.
Recent additions to the archive include:
Report from the Spanish delegation relating to migratory fluxes in the area of the Mediterranean (4 September 1996, pdf)
Compilations of replies to the questionnaire on Somalia (17 October 1996, pdf)
Draft report on the situation in Iraq (4 December 1996, pdf)
Sean Rigg's death must be the catalyst for a reform in policing (Observer, link)
Northern Ireland: Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) publishes three guides on making rights accessible (link)
Guide 1 looks at the Human Rights Act
Guide 2 looks at Stop and Search Powers
Guide 3 looks at Protesting and Parading
USA: EPIC Urges Investigation, Files FOIA on DoJ Surveillance of Press (link)
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, seeking documents explaining the DOJ's legal authority to search the electronic communications of reporters.
Fears of U.S. Mass Surveillance Spur Data Protection Proposals in Europe (Slate, link)
Police spies' use of dead children's identities was common, MPs told (Guardian, link)
EU: State guidelines for the exchange of undercover police officers revealed
Statewatch can today publish a template 'Memorandum of Understanding for the use of undercover officers' produced by the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG) in February 2004. It outlines the generic structure and issues to be covered in agreements for the cross-border deployment of undercover police officers. This includes the legal framework; objectives of the deployment; management of the operation; "hard criteria" such as how evidence may be given in court and whether carrying a firearm is permitted; and communication with superiors. While it may simply be coincidence, it is notable that Mark Kennedy's overseas activities began in the months following the agreement.
EU: Frontex: Upholding the legitimacy of Frontex: European Parliamentary Oversight (isis europe report, pdf)
"The activities of the EU border control agency, Frontex, have increasingly drawn the attention of the public, as it is sometimes portrayed as a threat to the EU core principles of democracy, transparency and human rights. This review highlights the need for an oversight mechanism, which may restore public faith in Frontex to legitimately carry out its duties in manner conducive to EU core values. The prevailing challenges to fulfilling this need are reviewed, along with the related activity of the European Parliament and the way forward for Frontex in accordance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Conclusively, it is submitted that a greater level of European Parliamentary oversight as a means to improve transparency is a solution to the accountability issue linked to border control."
Caritas Europa comments on the second draft of the Joint Return Operation code of conduct (pdf)
"Caritas Europa welcomes the safeguards included in the draft code. Yet, the Human Rights clauses would be purely decorative without further strengthening the accountability mechanisms and clarification of the personal and material scope of the code. We have therefore provided some alternative language - based in particular on the Council of Europe Twenty Guidelines on Forced Return."
EU: Speech by Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, at the 4th European Civil Protection Forum in Brussels: The Internal Security Dimension and Perspectives (pdf)
Identifies three areas to develop: a coordinated response capability; the assessment of threats and hazards to their potential impact; cooperation in areas such as CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear] and critical infrastructure protection.
EU: EU ministers urge Reding to do more for gay rights (euobserver, link) "Fourteen member states on Thursday (16 May) backed a petition urging the European Commission to do more for the rights of sexual minorities, with the last major initiative several years ago."
EU LGBT Survey: Poll on homophobia sparks concern (BBC, link) "A quarter of gay people surveyed in a major EU poll say they have been subjected to attacks or violent threats in the past five years."
Survey shows widespread LGBT discrimination (Sarah Ludford, link) "A survey produced by Gallup Europe for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to mark the forthcoming International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) has revealed that almost half (47%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community in Europe has been personally discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their sexual orientation."
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the Schengen evaluation in 2013 - Programmes, participants, technical details - an overview (5147/13, pdf) "Delegations will find enclosed an overview of programmes, participants, technical details of each evaluation mission in the framework of the Schengen evaluation in 2013."
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions calling for an update of the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (9447/13, pdf) "Coreper is requested to invite the Council to agree on the conclusions as set out in Annex."
Greece: Emergency action to thwart teachers strike unnecessary (Amnesty International, link)
Northern Ireland: G8: New laws will allow government to shut down mobile phone network as security preparations step up a gear
As the G8 summit in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland draws nearer, it seems that the security operation surrounding the event will be even more stringent than those that normally accompany international political summits.
EU: Council of the European Union v Access Info Europe: Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón (link)
"In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court should:
(1) Dismiss the appeal;
(2) Order the Council to pay the costs."
Thousands demonstrate against freedom of information act (Copenhagen post, link)
Justice Department seizes journalists' call records (ifex, link)
EU: Implementing the "solidarity clause": EU secret service to be reinforced?
The "solidarity clause", known more formally as Article 222 of the Lisbon Treaty, regulates the use of police, secret service and military means in case of a crisis within the EU. The EU Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy issued a proposal in December for the legal implementation of the clause.
UK: Jimmy Mubenga inquest: he was asking for help and did not get it, wife says (Guardian, link)
Mubenga, who was being deported to Angola, died on a plane at Heathrow airport after being restrained by security guards.
Statement of Adrienne Makenda Kambana, wife of Jimmy Mubenga (pdf)
UK: Government talks to give Met Police water cannons (Scotsman, link)
"The Metropolitan Police wants to use two German-made water cannon vehicles, each capable of holding 9,000 litres of water...It is understood that the Met had hoped to have the vehicles by next month in case disorder arises from protests planned for London before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland."
UK: Pavement justice: On-the-spot fines & the rule of law (The Justice Gap, link)
"On-the-spot fines have become the penalty of choice for a range of public bodies - including police forces fining people for criminal offences, schools fining children for truancy, or local authorities fining people for unlicensed leafleting or dropping a cigarette butt. This is a shady and lawless area, lying on the one hand between the formal system of criminal justice and the court trial, and on the other, between administrative penalties such as parking fines, which have their own forms of regulation and appeal. There is urgent need for reform."
See also: "Belgian municipal fines cause growing dissent" article in new Statewatch Journal
Spain: Open Access Now: Access to the Detention centers for foreigners (CIE) of Aluche (Madrid) denied for NGOs and journalists as part of a delegation with Members of the European Parliament (link)
"The denial and the willingness of the government to limit access to only three MEPs and one parliamentarian of Madrid demonstrate the opacity surrounding the functioning of detention centers, repeatedly denounced by civil society, but also by international organizations and national institutions such as the Ombudsman, the Attorney General and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This opacity promotes the violation of the rights of detainees in these centers as these authorities, agencies and organisations have already shown and make them incompatible with democracy and the rule of law."
Statewatch News Digest: 15 May 2013 (97 items)
Big data: a big opportunity or just big brother? (Guardian, link)
Europe must combat racist extremism and uphold human rights (Human Rights Comment, link)
Canada: Troubling new anti-terror provisions pass into law (Muslim Link, link)
"In what some critics called an opportunistic move, the Harper government swiftly scheduled debate on, and passed, new anti-terrorism provisions (Bill S-7) in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent Canadian arrests of two men alleged to be involved in a plot against VIA Rail.
The most controversial of the provisions - involving preventive arrests (detention without charge for up to three days, followed by release under draconian bail conditions) and secretive investigative hearings, both part of the original Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001 - expired after five years due to a sunset clause. The federal Liberals, who joined with other opposition parties to reject an attempt to revive the provisions in 2007, voted in favour of S-7 under leader Justin Trudeau."
EU: Access Info Europe: New Guide on Access to EU Documents (link)
"The EU has recognised a fundamental right of access to EU documents, but the EU's freedom of information law - which goes by the catchy title of 'Regulation 1049/2001' - remains underused by the population at large. The new guide demystifies the process of asking for EU documents explaining step by step how to make a request."
Greeks banned from striking under emergency law (EurActiv, link)
EU: Field testing: CLOSEYE project puts drones over the Mediterranean
A multi-million euro border control project was launched in Spain at the end of April that will see drones, satellites and aerostats deployed over the southern Mediterranean in an attempt to provide the EU "with an operational and technical framework that increases situational awareness and improves the reaction capability of authorities surveying the external borders of the EU." 
EU: European Parliament resolution on the impact of the financial and economic crisis on human rights (pdf)
See: New Statewatch Journal: "Austerity, Civil Liberties & Democracy"
Sweden: We need to end racism now - period (Institute of Race Relations, link) A member of the Swedish anti-racist magazine MANA reflects on the challenges posed by Operation REVA.
UK: Queen's speech revives 'snooper's charter' legislation (Guardian, link) The government appears to have left open the door to the resurrection of the controversial "snooper's charter" bill to track everyone's email, internet and mobile text use.
G8: NI prison block 'set aside' in case of trouble (BBC, link)
Queen's Speech: End of Asbos as police forced to act on yobs (Telegraph, link)
UK: Tests near completion on new police weapon
On top of CS gas, rubber bullets and Tasers, another "less lethal weapon" that received renewed interest following the August 2011 riots is now in "the late stages of Home Office testing", according to a report in Police Oracle magazine. The Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP) can be fired up to 40 metres from a baton gun and releases a cloud of CS (tear gas) particles on impact.
From Countering Financial Crime to Criminalizing Civil Society: How the FATF Overstepped the Mark (Open Society Foundations, link)
"A powerful yet unaccountable global standardsetting body is helping repressive civil society regulations to spread and flourish across the globe. Ben Hayes lifts the lid on the Financial Action Task Force."
Italy: Hearings into abuse at G8 barracks start (Gazzetta del Sud, link)
"Protesters were subjected to "violence and abuse" and "unspeakable behaviour" while being held at a police detention centre in the Bolzaneto barracks during the 2001 Group of Eight (G8) summit in Genoa, a prosecutor said Wednesday. During the first day of proceedings before Italy's top court, Joseph Volpe asked the Court of Cassazione to uphold sentences against 44 defendants held to be civilly responsible for violence against protesters between July 20 and 22, 2001."
See also: Statewatch analysis: Ten years after the G8 Summit in Genoa by Salvatore Palidda, Genoa University (pdf)
INTERPOL: Police information collection and exchange mechanisms across West Africa focus of INTERPOL workshop (link)
Defining national mechanisms and procedures for collecting and exchanging police information for the development of national automated police databases was the focus of the fourth INTERPOL West African Police Information System workshop.
See also: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa
EU-USA: "Leaked" Commission EU Negotiating Mandate on EU-USA Trade Agreement (link) Apart from anything else, this presents possible problems for data protection.
EU: EU police agencies reject cost-cutting merger (euobserver, link)
"The European police college Cepol and the EU police agency Europol both formally rejected on Tuesday (7 May) a proposal by the European Commission to merge the two in a cost cutting measure."
See: CEPOL Position Paper: European Commission Package on the creation of a European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (pdf)
"First and foremost, the legal viability is not established. The financial benefits described are not substantiated and the costs of the proposal are inadequately quantified. The proposed governance would seem to be more costly and not in accordance with the requirement to streamline the governance of agencies. Key operational factors such as the likely loss of expertise and Member State engagement are not considered. The use of outdated information and the consequent disregard of more recent data and performance indicators do not provide a sound basis for consideration of the proposal."
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee [LIBE] makes it easier to confiscate crooks' assets EU wide (press release, pdf)
"Draft rules to make it easier for national authorities to freeze and confiscate criminals' assets across the EU were beefed up by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. However, MEPs also sought to safeguard the right to a fair trial. They also called upon member states to use confiscated assets to fight crime and for social projects. The draft law, which must still be negotiated with national governments, is part of a broader EU strategy to fight fraud and corruption."
EU to extend welfare rights, despite UK warning (euobserver, link)
Danish phone company kept call records for more than 10 years (EDRi, link)
New claims of racism against Met police (channel4, link)
Statewatch Journal (volume 23 no 1) now available to download
The Statewatch Journal has been redesigned and each issue will now have a thematic focus. This issue looks at the nexus between austerity, democracy and civil liberties in Europe.
Statewatch News Digest: 7 May 2013 (66 items)
Xenophobic murder trial begins in Germany (euractiv, link)
Terrorism and Intelligence-led policing: the German Constitutional Court draws its red lines (EAFSJ, link)
Europe's prisons at breaking point due to overcrowding (public service europe, link)
EU court needs more judges, say UK Lords (public service europe, link)
EU: Meijers Committee note to the European Parliament on the Smart Borders proposals (pdf)
The Meijers Committee advises the members of the European Parliament to vote against the Smart Borders proposals and expresses deep concerns with respect to the:
- proportionality and practical feasibility of the proposals;
- coherence of the proposals with existing databases;
- applicable standards of data protection for the data subjects;
- conditions for transmission of personal data to third countries;
- broad discretion as regards the issuing of the registered traveler status;
- proposed amendments in the Schengen Borders Code;
- possible access to the Entry/Exit System for law enforcement purposes.
Smart Borders proposals:
Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (COM 2013 95, pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 (COM 2013 96, pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation establishing Registered Traveller Programme (COM 2013 97, pdf)
See also: 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 Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen.
EU: Council of Europe: Outcome report for Eurojust/Academy of European Law (ERA) conference "10 years of Eurojust - operational achievements and future challenges", The Hague, 12-13 November 2012 (8862/13, pdf)
"Introductory remarks were followed by five sessions devoted to specific topics. General conclusions on future perspectives closed the Conference. This report is intended to reflect the main points of the presentations delivered by the numerous speakers taking part in the event..."
EU: Council of Europe: Draft Council Conclusions on strengthening the internal security authorities' involvement in security-related research and industrial policy (8985/13, pdf) "Coreper is requested to invite the Council to adopt the draft Council conclusions as set out in annex."
See also: EU: Crystal balls: internal security authorities want "technology foresight"
EU: Council of Europe: DAPIX: Draft Council Conclusions following the Commission Communication on the European Information Exchange Model (7226/2/13, pdf)
"The Presidency submits herewith draft Council Conclusions on enhancing efficient cross-border information exchange in the area of law enforcement information."
EU: Council of Europe: EMCDDA-Europol 2012 Annual Report on the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA (8997/13, pdf)
"This report presents the activities implemented by the EMCDDA [European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction] and Europol in 2012 in support of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances."
Hungary Restricts FOI Law; OGP Membership Questioned (freedominfo, link)
Golden Dawn MP 'swung at mayor of Athens but hit 12-year-old girl instead' (Guardian, link)
Heart of the matter: who owns your health data? (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Data protection: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Specific issues (8825/13, pdf)
"This package comprises two legislative proposals based on Article 16 TFEU, the new legal basis for data protection measures introduced by the Lisbon Treaty...The following items are submitted to COREPER for consideration:
- Material scope
- Territorial scope
- Definition of consent
- Data processing principles
- Freedom of expression and access to public documents."
UK: Institute of Race Relations: This week, we publish a briefing paper on the future of human rights in Britain, written by the IRRs vice-chair, Frances Webber (press release, link)
"With nativism, racism and fascism on the rise throughout Europe, informing government policies towards migrants and other unpopular minorities as well as popular right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Roma movements, the European system of human rights is vital. But, since taking office in September 2012, Conservative justice minister Chris Grayling has made no secret of his desire to get rid of the Human Rights Act and to dramatically curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights Act in the UK."
EU: Is this what democracy looks like? Claiming democratic control over EU trade and investment policy-making (Alternative Trade Mandate working paper, pdf)
"As part of the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance1, a working group2 has drafted the following paper, which addresses firstly, what we see as the problems with the EUs trade and investment policy-making process as it is now, and secondly, our vision for what a transparent, democratic and accountable alternative to this process could look like."
EU: Data Retention Directive: Request for a preliminary ruling from Austria lodged on 28 January 2013 (Case C-64/13, pdf)
Background: Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Crime Prevention Network: Annual Report of Activities in 2012 (7064/13, pdf) Work Programme 2013 (7065/13, pdf)
EU: Data protection: Interoperable police systems could be unlawfully accessed, warns EU privacy body (Out-law, link) European Data Protection Supervisor opinion on the European Information Exchange Model (full text, pdf)
"European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Peter Hustinx, who advises EU bodies on data privacy issues, said that making systems interoperable with one another could lead to police databases being used for different purposes for which they were originally established. This would run counter to EU data protection laws, he said."
EU: Commission rules out new law enforcement databases - but seeks more data for Europol
EU: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Strengthening law enforcement cooperation in the EU: the European Information Exchange Model (pdf)
Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies (IRISS): Call for contributions (pdf)
"IRISS is a European Commission funded research project involving 16 universities throughout Europe that seeks to question the impact of surveillance. The project aims to better understand attitudes toward surveillance and monitoring in contemporary Europe...We would like to hear some of your views on how surveillance may impact on your everyday life and how you feel about that."
EU: The EP Committee rejects the proposal for a European passenger name record system (EAFSJ blog, link)
"The LIBE negative vote, even if expected, has created some concerns on the Commission side. However Commissioner Cecilia Malmström still believes that a solution can be found before the plenary vote since it is the only way of avoiding the fragmentation of PNR systems and of effectively protecting personal data. In the coming weeks it will be clear if the Commissioner position is well founded or if supplementary work will be needed or a final negative vote will close the procedure"
Italy: Ex-police in Genoa G8 beatings assigned social work (Gazzetta del Sud, link) "Three policemen found guilty by Italy's highest appeals court in 2012 of grievous misconduct for beatings at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa have been assigned social-service duties by a tribunal in the northern Italian port city."
Germany: German police hope to use new spyware (Deutsche Welle, link) "German investigators are hoping to gain greater access to telecommunications data in order to combat terrorism. But there is controversy over the spyware they want to use to keep tabs on private computers."
See also: German surveillance is used against dissidents (Deutsche Welle, link) and Statewatch analysis: State Trojans: Germany exports "spyware with a badge" (pdf)
EU: Aerial surveillance at the Greece-Turkey border: Frontex wants to buy a plane
The EU border agency, Frontex, is looking to buy a plane that will allow it to undertake night-time surveillance of the land border between Greece and Turkey as part of a pilot project that will run from July until September. Aerial surveillance imagery will be used to guide the actions of border guards stationed on the ground, in a region where intensified border controls have already led to the death of migrants attempting to reach Europe by increasingly dangerous routes.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (8973/13, pdf) Four column table ahead of the meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Counsellors on 7 May 2013.
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR, 8944/13, pdf) The latest four-column table with Presidency drafting suggestions and comments on the different issues discussed so far with the European Parliament. The final trilogue with the EP is scheduled to take place on 29 May 2013.
EU: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes two reports on Spain (press release, link)
The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has today published the report on its sixth periodic visit to Spain, which took place in May-June 2011. It has also published the report on its follow-up visit to Barcelona Prison for Men (La Modelo) carried out in June 2012. Both reports have been published at the request of the Spanish authorities, together with their responses.
Statewatch News Digest: 30 April 2013 (71 items)
Council of Europe turns up the heat on Hungary (Euractiv, link)
State of Civil Society report 2013: How international rules on countering the financing of terrorism impact civil society (by Ben Hayes, link)
"This chapter describes some of the ways in which the work of civil society organisations continues to be constrained by the global CFT [countering the financing of terrorism] framework. Although many of these effects may be described as unintended consequences, they are also the outcome of a culture of suspicion in which links between charities and terrorist organisations have been exaggerated while measures to protect freedom of association and expression have been disregarded."
See also: Full report (pdf)
EU: Article 29 data protection working party documents:
Explanatory Document on the Processor Binding Corporate Rules (00658/13, pdf)
Opinion 04/2013 on the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (DPIA Template) prepared by Expert Group 2 of the Commissions Smart Grid Task Force (00678/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Police College (CEPOL) Annual Report for the year 2012 (8890/13, pdf)
UK: Armed drones operated from RAF base in UK, says MoD (BBC, link) Armed drone aircraft have been operated remotely from Britain for the first time, the Ministry of Defence has said...The drones are mainly used for surveillance, but could use weapons if commanded to by their pilots in the UK.
EU: EU needs to stop multinationals 'blacklisting' workers (Public Service Europe, link) Corporations operating in the UK, France, Ireland and Sweden have been accused of 'blacklisting' so it is time for the EU to legislate to outlaw the practice - says MEP
EU: EURODAC: Asylum seeker database plan shows EU's hypocrisy on human rights (Public Service Europe, link) Plans to routinely share asylum seeker data - including finger prints - with police is a 'breach of EU law' but the proposal is a fait accompli - says MEP.
EU: Joint Supervisory Body of Europol: Implementation of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) Agreement: assessment of the follow-up of the JSB recommendations (pdf)
There is a clear tension between the idea of limiting the amount of data to be transmitted by tailoring and narrowing the requests and the nature of the TFTP...These are political issues and it is up to the legislators to balance the transfer of massive data sets - mostly of non-suspects - with proportionality
EU: Council of the European Union: Fifth Activity Report of the Joint Supervisory Body of Europol, October 2008 - October 2012 (8659/13, pdf) The Joint Supervisory Body is an independent body established to ensure the protection of citizens' data protection rights in relation to Europol's storage, processing and use of personal data.
EU: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the development of the Visa Information System (VIS) in 2012 (COM 232 2013, pdf) This is the ninth and final Commission report on the development of the Visa Information System and covers the work carried out by the Commission between January and December 2012.
UK: Britain and Germany join forces to demand curb on the 'burden' of benefits tourists that put 'considerable strain' on schools, healthcare and welfare (Daily Mail, link)
"The countries sent a joint letter to the Council of the European Union, arguing that the free movement directive a founding principle of the EU must not be unconditional. The letter...calls for action at a meeting of the EUs justice and home affairs council in June."
Update: Full text of letter from Austria, Netherland, Germany and UK governments to the EU Council Presidency (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: Formal oral questions by the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) regarding the Stockholm Programme and access to documents to be answered in the plenary session by the Council (pdf) and Commission (pdf)
Migrants storm Spain border from Morocco: government (Expatica, link)
Commission doubtful over 'benefits tourism' claims (Euractiv, link)
UK: Thousands more Tasers issued to police in London
Police in London are being armed with an increasing number of "less lethal" weapons. Taser guns - electroshock weapons that deliver up to 1,200 volts into the body through metal probes that pierce the skin - are being made available to hundreds more police officers, leading to growing unease amongst politicians and the public. Concerns are being raised over the necessity and likely effectiveness of an increase in the use of the electroshock weapons, and an attempt is underway to have the legality of the decision-making process behind Taser use assessed by the courts.
EU: European police to gain access to visa database
Europol and national law enforcement authorities look likely to obtain access to asylum seekers' and irregular migrants' fingerprints held in the Eurodac database, following approval from the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee.
Europe's law enforcement databases are developing swiftly. The move to give police forces across Europe across to the VIS - which can hold up to 70 million records - coincides not just with the agreement between the Parliament and the Council on law enforcement access to the Eurodac database, but also with the launch of the Schengen Information System II, which became fully operational at the beginning of April.
See also: European Parliament: MEPs back deal with Council on police access to asylum seekers fingerprints (press release, pdf)
EU: Europol: EU terrorism situation and trend report 2013 (pdf)
"The TE-SAT is one of Europols most significant strategic analysis products. It offers law enforcement officials, policymakers and the general public facts and figures regarding terrorism in the EU while, at the same time, seeking to identify developing trends in this phenomenon. It is a public document produced annually and is based on information provided and verified by the competent authorities of the EU Member States."
See also: Rise in terrorist attacks in Europe in 2012 (Europol website, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Text suggestions in view of the trilogue on 14 May 2013 (8754/13, pdf)
"In view of the "Friends of the Presidency" Group meeting on 30 April 2013, and on the basis of the delegations' comments and the reaction of the EP at the trilogue on 16 April as well as the technical meeting on 17 April 2013, the Presidency is has [sic] amended the text."
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the upcoming end of the five year transitional period provided for in Article 10(1) to (3) of Protocol 36 on transitional provisions - Introductory note (8878/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council conclusions on the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joint Communication on the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace (8767/13, pdf)
Racially motivated attacks on the rise in Greece, human rights groups say (Guardian, link)
Massive personal data breach by police to G4S (Cambridge News, link)
UK: Nick Clegg kills off Tory hopes of swift deal on revised 'snooper's charter' (Guardian, link)
Nick Clegg has vetoed Theresa May's rewritten "web snooper's charter" plan, killing off the home secretary's last remaining hopes of getting any communications data legislation in the Queen's speech. The Liberal Democrat leader told David Cameron and Theresa May on Wednesday that he could not support the home secretary's latest proposals to monitor internet and social media use because they were unworkable and disproportionate.
See also: The "Snoopers' Charter" is dead... (Privacy International, link)
Statewatch analysis: If at first you dont succeed European Commission proposes new rules on interception and disembarkation during Frontex sea operations (pdf)
On 12 April 2013, the European Commission submitted a draft regulation establishing rules for sea border surveillance in the context of operations coordinated by Frontex. This proposal follows an ECJ (Court of Justice of the European Union) ruling in September 2012 which annulled the earlier Decision 2010/252 on the same matter after the European Parliament challenged the validity of the procedure adopted to pass the Decision.
EU: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee rejects EU Passenger Name Record proposal (press release, link) A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25. MEPs vote down air passenger data scheme (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Portugal (press release, link) Full report (pdf)
"In the course of the 2012 visit, the CPTs delegation examined the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies and of the safeguards against ill-treatment in place. The report on the visit highlights several cases of alleged ill-treatment and stresses the importance of the authorities carrying out effective investigations into such allegations. Further, the report makes recommendations about the right of detained persons to have access to a lawyer (including the right to talk to a lawyer in private), to notify their detention to a third party and to be informed of their rights."
Statewatch analysis: Secrecy reigns at the EUs Intelligence Analysis Centre (pdf)
The Centre's reports are widely distributed within the EU and have a direct bearing on political decision-making despite an alarming lack of operational transparency and democratic accountability.
See also: European Parliament: EEAS could do much better, say MEPs in first major review (press release, link) Draft Report with a proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, to the Council and to the Commission on the 2013 review of the organisation and the functioning of the EEAS (pdf)
UK: House of Lords European Union Committee: EU police and criminal justice measures: The UKs 2014 opt-out decision (pdf)
"On the basis of the evidence we have received we do not consider that the Government have made a convincing case for exercising the opt-out. We are not persuaded by the arguments in favour of exercising the opt-out which some witnesses have made, and we find that the evidence supports the reasoning of those opposed to its exercise. Opting out of the police and criminal justice measures would have significant adverse negative repercussions for the internal security of the United Kingdom and the administration of criminal justice in the United Kingdom.
We do not believe that any possible alternative arrangements, which would involve a great deal of work to conceive, would be worth it simply to avoid the jurisdiction of the CJEU, which we do not believe poses an objective threat and whose jurisdiction in this area cannot be completely excluded in any event."
See also: EU crime optouts 'could damage UK crime fighting' (BBC, link)
EU: Justicia European Rights Network: NGO Joint briefing on the Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and the right to inform a third party upon deprivation of liberty (22 April 2013, pdf)
"After eight months of intensive discussions, the two legislators, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union, appear willing to conclude the negotiation of a new Directive that will set common minimum standards on the right of access to a lawyer and the right to communicate with third parties when detained, for persons suspected or accused of a crime in the EU.
Ahead of the next trilogue on 17 April 2013, we welcome the positive developments on a number of contentious points but wish to raise five remaining concerns that we believe deserve special attention from the co-legislators at this critical juncture in the negotiations, to ensure the Directive does not undermine human rights standards."
EU: Jesuit Refugee Service: Frontex must improve human rights performance (link) JRS joins the EU Ombudsman in calling upon Frontex to develop effective procedures to ensure that human rights are upheld at the borders.
Statewatch News Digest: 23 April 2013 (72 items)
German President Joachim Gauck: 'Never economise on human rights' (Council of Europe, link)
Statewatch analysis: Expulsion of Roma: the French governments broken promise
Hopes that the Socialist Party's May 2012 electoral victory would lead to substantive changes in the treatment of Roma have faded quickly amid continued forced evictions and collective expulsions.
Greece: 3 Greeks Held in Shooting of 28 Migrant Workers (New York Times, link) Three foremen of a strawberry farm in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece have been arrested, police officials said. They are accused of having opened fire with shotguns on a crowd of around 200 fruit pickers after a dispute about six months pay.
Statewatch analysis: Perfidious Albion: Cover-up and collusion in Northern Ireland (pdf), by Paddy Hillyard
The British government's dealings in Ireland have long been characterised by cover-ups, deceit and perfidiousness. This includes collaboration between British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries, the obstruction of legal investigations, the refusal to hold public enquiries, and the introduction of a new form of intelligence-led policing which, in many cases, allowed informers to act with impunity.
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Comparative table with amendments proposals by EP and Presidency suggestions (7805/13, pdf) The latest four-column text. The Council is not offering very much to meet the European Parliament's position, particularly on covert investigations and telephone tapping. The latest trilogue was 16 April, the last one has been set for 7 May.
EU: Migreurop press release: Launch of the campaign of parliamentary visits in migrant detention centers (link) Over the last decade or so, European asylum and immigration policies have led to a rise of the number of migrant detention centers. A round table will be organised on Wednesday the 24th of April 2013 from 1pm to 2.30pm at the European Parliament of Brussels (room PHS 1 C 51). Journalists, MPs and representatives of organizations will testify about their experiences during their visits in detention centers. Meeting programme (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR, 8086/13, pdf) The latest four-column text. Lots of compromises have been agreed or proposed.The next trilogue with the European Parliament is on 22 April.
'Like 1930s Germany': Greek Far Right Gains Ground (spiegel online, link)
EU: Multi-million euro research project aims to stop "non-cooperative vehicles" with microwaves and electromagnetic pulses
The EU is contributing over 3.3 million to a project which aims to give European security forces a way to ensure the "safe control and stopping at a distance of non-cooperative vehicles" on land and at sea through devices that make use of high power microwaves and electromagnetic pulses.
EU: European Ombudsman makes 13 recommendations to Frontex to strengthen its fundamental rights strategy: Draft recommendation and accompanying letter to the Executive Director of Frontex (pdfs)
The recommendation draws on analyses and suggestions by civil society organisations and individuals, including a joint submission by Statewatch and Migreurop.
According to the Ombudsman: The main concern is that the [Fundamental Rights] Strategy does not clarify Frontex's responsibility for possible infringements of fundamental rights which occur in the course of its operations and that the Strategy does not refer at all to the protection of personal data of intercepted migrants.
In September 2012, a Statewatch and Migreurop analysis stated: The fundamental rights strategy as it was presented by Frontex is inadequate. Safeguards and reporting mechanisms appear insufficient compared to Frontexs involvement and responsibilities in the initiation, coordination and conduct of border control at the EUs external borders. The absence of any redress mechanism for potential victims of human rights violations and the denial by Frontex of any direct responsibility if cases of violations were to be found reflect a disturbing misrepresentation of the Agencys mandate under the revised Regulation 2004/2007.
EU: Council of the European Union: Commissioner for Human Rights: Greece must curb hate crime and combat impunity (press release, link) Full report (pdf) Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime and a weak state response. Sustained and concerted action, notably by the police and the courts, is necessary to protect the rule of law and human rights in the country said today Nils Muinieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing a report based on the findings of his visit to Greece from 28 January to 1 February 2013.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (8303/13, pdf) The latest four-column text.
EU: Council of the European Union: Smart Borders Package (8018/13, pdf) The aim of the 'Smart Borders Package' is to simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the EU's external borders, enhance EU security and contribute to better monitoring of border crossings.
EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Opinion 03/2013 on purpose limitation (00569/13, pdf) Purpose limitation protects data subjects by setting limits on how data controllers are able to use their data while also offering some degree of flexibility for data controllers. This Opinion provides guidance for the principle's practical application under the current legal framework, and formulates policy recommendations for the future.
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Party on Sport: Draft Council Decision Authorising the European Commission to participate, on behalf of the EU, in the negotiations for an international convention of the Council of Europe to combat the manipulation of sports results (8346/13, pdf) and the manipulation of sports results as regards matters related to cooperation in criminal matters and police cooperation (8317/13, pdf)
The anti-terrorist exercise will be the biggest at EU level (neweurope online, link)
EU: EU men with guns: a comedy of errors (euobserver, link) Catherine Ashton's EU foreign service recently gave its biggest security contract to a company with a dubious track record. Then they took it away again, posing questions on the professionalism of her staff.
Greece: Detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers (Aitima NGO, pdf) Hundreds of detainees protest for their detention by going on hunger strikes and there is information about suicide attempts that have occurred in detention centers.
Bulgaria: Access to Information in Bulgaria 2012 (pdf) The report was presented on 28 March 2013 at a press conference in the Bulgarian News Agency.
EU: Dublin III: Council of the European Union: Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast) - common guidelines (15605/12, pdf)
There was a deal between the European Parliament and the Council on the Dublin III Regulation last autumn, and the legislation was due to be adopted in December. However, this was delayed so that all the remaining asylum legislation could be adopted at the same time. There was a deal on the remaining asylum legislation just before Easter, so all the measures will probably be adopted officially in June, although this timing is not yet certain. The Regulation will apply six months after adoption, so probably from December 2013.
EU: Agency for Fundamental Rights report: Fundamental rights at the EUs southern sea borders: Deficiencies, promising practices and challenges (press release, link) Full report (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (COM 2013 197, pdf) The Commission has made its new proposal to replace the measure which the Court of Justice annulled in September.
See also: Statewatch analysis: Criticism of Frontexs operations at sea mounts (November 2012)
Statewatch News Digest: 9 April 2013 (67 items)
UK: Secret mission? UK "homeland security" firms were in India three weeks before David Cameron's February trade mission
In late January, Conservative MP and Minister for Security James Brokenshire led a delegation of nearly 25 "homeland security" firms to India on a trip which, in sharp contrast to the trade mission to India undertaken by David Cameron in February, received no coverage in the press whatsoever.
Greece: Statewatch visit to the Pikpa Centre for asylum-seekers in Mytilene
We visited the Pikpa Centre in early April 2013, an open facility run by volunteers in a building provided by the municipality. A significant number of the people in Pikpa today have been there for 17 or 18 days, not knowing if they will ever see a lawyer, be able to claim asylum, or move out of the Centre.
EU: EU military spending is 'elephant in the room' and key factor in European debt crisis, argues new report (TNI press release, link) Full report (pdf) At a time of harsh cuts in social services, it is morally unjustifiable to spend money on weapons that should be invested in creating jobs and tackling poverty. High levels of military spending played a key role in the unfolding European economic crisis and continues to undermine efforts to resolve it, alleges a new report by Transnational Institute and the Dutch Campaign against the Arms Trade.
UK: May we bring harmony? Thatchers legacy on race - Camerons nativist policies begin with Thatcher (IRR website, link) Thatchers New Right established what is today a commonsense nativism - which has stripped the political culture of group rights, internationalism, and history. It paved the way for Camerons landmark multiculturalism has failed speech of 2011 and Michael Goves whitening of the history curriculum, and the much more general acceptance of views, ranging from those of Andrew Green and Christopher Caldwell to David Goodhart, that the nation is under threat from cultural pluralism ie immigrants and we need a more assertive integration policy ie assimilation.
Europe's forced returnees claim abuse (IRIN, link)
Ban on London Met University enrolling foreign students lifted (Guardian, link)
EU: Schengen stalls, Prüm ploughs on: fingerprint, DNA and vehicle registration data exchange networks continue to expand
Discussions on allowing Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area of border-free travel may have been postponed until December, but the EU's law enforcement authorities will soon start benefitting from easier access to fingerprint and vehicle registration data from the two countries as they move towards fully implementing the Prüm Decisions.
EU: Irish Presidency reaches breakthrough agreement on re-use of Public Sector Information (link) Public Sector Information refers to the wide variety of information held by Public bodies, ranging from demographic and economic data to historical documents or works of art. See also: Commission press release: Commission welcomes Member States' endorsement of EU Open Data rules (link)
Ireland: Self-regulation: Irish police database - some sort of social media (EDRi, link) Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister of Justice, has demanded an end to the abuse of the PULSE police database...he said that it was necessary to ensure that individuals who have done no wrong do not have their privacy violated and that in no circumstances should the database be used as some sort of social network to be accessed out of curiosity by members of the Force.
EU: Schengen Information System (SIS II) goes live
Commission press release (link) Commission memo: Questions and Answers: Schengen Information System (SIS II) (link) List of competent authorities which are authorised to search directly the data contained in the second generation Schengen Information System (2013/C103/01, pdf)
Today, the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) enters into operation to increase security and facilitate free movement within the Schengen area. The SIS II allows for an easy exchange of information between national border control authorities, customs and police authorities on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime. It also contains alerts on missing persons, in particular children, as well as information on certain property, such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms and identity documents that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.
Analysis of SIS II:
Statewatch analysis: From the Schengen Information System to SIS II and the Visa Information System (VIS): the proposals explained (May 2005)
Statewatch news online: Small steps to big brother: the development of the Visa Information System and the Schengen Information System II is back on track (August 2011)
Statewatch news online: Commission reports that SIS II is "on track" to come into operation in early 2013 (October 2012)
Centre for European Policy Studies report: The Difficult Road to the Schengen Information System II: The legacy of laboratories and the cost for fundamental rights and the rule of law (April 2011)
EU: European Commission press release: Internal security: What progress has been made? (link) Organised crime is still a major challenge for the internal security of the EU. Cybercrime, along with trafficking in human beings and the increase in violent extremism are also major security threats that the EU continues to face, together with money laundering and corruption. These threats are outlined in the Commission's annual report on the implementation of the EU's Internal Security Strategy, released today. It highlights areas under each of the objectives of the strategy (2011-2014) where Member States and EU agencies should pay particular attention. See: Second Report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy (COM 2013 179, pdf)
EU: European Parliament press release: EU must be enabled to enforce visa reciprocity, say Civil Liberties MEPs (link) Reimposing visa requirements on nationals of third countries that fail to remove them for EU citizens would be made easier by visa reciprocity rule changes voted in the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. The EU could also temporarily suspend its visa-free travel rules to halt "substantial and sudden increases" in irregular migrant numbers or unfounded asylum applications, but only as a last resort, MEPs added. But these changes have first to be agreed with EU member states.
EU: Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly report: Frontex: human rights responsibilities (Doc. 13161, 8 April 2013, pdf) ...steps are necessary to enhance democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament, human rights training activities for those involved in Frontex operations should be a priority, and it is necessary to ensure public accountability by putting in place an independent monitoring system and an effective complaints mechanism.
Statewatch News Digest: 9 April 2013 (49 items)
EU: Europol: Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2013 (pdf) This strategic report is Europols flagship product providing information to Europes law enforcement community and decision-makers about the threat of serious and organised crime to the EU.
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): Six Month Report on the EU Operations Centre, 22 September 2012 - 14 March 2013 (pdf)
EU: European External Action Service (EEAS): Suggestions for crisis management procedures for CSDP crisis management operations (pdf)
Statewatch analysis: The second phase of the Common European Asylum System: A brave new world - or lipstick on a pig? (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex.
Several years ago, the EU set itself the deadline of 2010 - later postponed to 2012 - for completing the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Near the end of March 2013, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council (the Member States' interior ministers) finally agreed upon the texts of the two remaining legislative measures to this end. No further EU measures on asylum (other than a revision of the current European Refugee Fund) are currently under discussion or planned for the time being. So the recently agreed rules will likely govern the issue of asylum in the EU for a number of years to come.
EU: Council of Europe: Milestone reached in negotiations on accession of EU to the European Convention on Human Rights (link) Negotiators for the 47 Council of Europe Member States and the European Union have finalised the draft accession agreement of the European Union to the European Convention on Human rights. The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg will now be asked to give its opinion on the text.
See: Fifth negotiation meeting between the CDDH ad hoc negotiation group and the European Commission on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights: Final report to the CDDH (pdf)
UK: National Institute of Economic and Social Research: Potential impacts on the UK of future migration from Bulgaria and Romania (pdf) The report identifies a number of key gaps in evidence which could help inform future impacts of economic migration resulting from EU expansion.
EU: The spider's web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis: Part 3
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online will examine Europol's proposed new agreements. We start with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. Next week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE.
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Business concept for an Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Agencies (7843/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/98/EC on re-use of public sector information - Preparations for the informal trialogue with the European Parliament (7493/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Party on General Matters including Evaluations: Follow-up to mutual Evaluation Reports (6865/1/13, pdf)
Norway: Coalition condemns asylum seeker policy (theForeigner, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Europol: Target information management architecture (IMS Action 10) - Draft vision on EU law enforcement information exchange (7903/13, pdf) Draft vision on EU law enforcement information exchange submitted by Europol as the outcome of the work done in the Working Group on IMS Action Point 10.
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Joint Declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility between India and the European Union and its Member States (7600/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Exchange of EU classified information (EUCI) with third States and international organisations (7791/13, pdf) Provides details of agreements concluded by the EU and of administrative arrangements entered into by the Secretary-General of the Council under which EUCI may be exchanged with third States and international organisations.
EU: Council of the European Union: Politico-Military Group: PMG recommendations on the CSDP aspects of the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union (7847/13, pdf) Following the agreement by the Politico-Military Group on 25 March 2013, the Political and Security Committee is invited to agree the PMG recommendations on the CSDP aspects of the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union.
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI): EU Policy Cycle: Implementation Monitoring (16014/12, pdf) Half year monitoring reports of the eight EMPACT Operational Action Plans for the second half of 2012.
EU: Council of the European Union: Preparation of the Schengen evaluation in 2013 - Programmes, participants, technical details - an overview (5147/13, pdf)
EU: Council of Europe: Fifth negotiation meeting between the CDDH ad hoc negotiation group and the European Commission on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights: Revised chairperson's proposal on outstanding issues (pdf)
Police accused of coverup in immigrant attack (EnetEnglish, link)
EU: AP leads as Media Finally Ditch Illegal Label for Migration (Ethical Journalism Network, link) The announcement this week by the Associated Press, the worlds biggest news media organisation, that it will no longer use the term "illegal immigrant" is welcome, but long overdue...The use of alternative terms undocumented or unauthorised, for instance will help, but the decisions now being taken by major media illustrate that it may be time for journalists and media at all levels to rethink their use of language and its potential impact on the individuals concerned.
EU: Council of the European Union: State of play of COSI project group implementing one of the "29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration": "Measure 4". FINAL REPORT (15906/1/12, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Council Directive on consular protection for citizens of the Union abroad - Delegations' comments to Chapters 3 and 4 (6493/13, pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision authorising Member States to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, 2011, of the International Labour Organisation (COM 2013 152, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Prüm Decisions documents:
Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions": overview of documents and procedures; overview of declarations; state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (5074/2/13, pdf)
Statistics and reports on automated data exchange for 2012 (7146/13, pdf)
Rights groups criticize EU immigration policy (DW, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Visa reciprocity: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (7990-13, 27 March 2013, pdf)
Cyprus bailout: a punishment not a solution (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: EURODAC and Law Enforcement Agencies access: Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) - Report of the fourth informal trilogue (7713-13, pdf)
and Analysis of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement (pdf): "Following the informal trilogue held on 21 March 2013, the Presidency submits the consolidated text in the Annex to this note for endorsement by the Permanent Representatives Committee." Note "informal" trilogue.
EU: Council of the European Union: Right to a lawyer: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the
right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest [First reading] - Questions on selected issues (7564-13, 21 March 2013, pdf)
and see: DS 1193/13 (pdf):"In view of the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency on 13 and 14 March 2013, delegations will find in the Annex a revised version of the draft Directive, together with some explicative comments."
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Information Sharing: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure That Efforts to Share Terrorism-Related Suspicious Activity Reports Are Effective (link)
EU: EUROPOL: European Commission: Europol: The EU hub for support to law enforcement cooperation and training (Press Release, pdf), Regulation on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA (pdf)
And see: Communication: Establishing a European Law Enforcement Training Scheme (pdf)
EU: ROMA: Fundamental Rights Agency: FRA Brief: Data on discrimination of Roma and anti-Roma crime (pdf)
EUROCRISIS: After Cyprus: Ordinary citizens forced to accept losses (European Voice, link)
No Account Of Immigrant Kids In Greece (Greek Reporter, link)
EU asylum applications on the rise (euobserver, link)
Half of major UK websites breach EU data protection law and create spam, says study (link)
EU: ASYLUM PROCEDURES DIRECTIVE:Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Analysis of final compromise text with a view to agreement (146 pages, 7695-13, pdf). Final compromise text between the Council and the European Parliament, after 8 trilogue meetings.
EU: The spiders web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis - Part 2:
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online examines Europol's proposed new agreements. We started with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. This week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE:
UK: Petition: Forced to flee: Fozia and Nawaz (NCADC, link) "Fozia and Nawaz are a married couple in grave danger of so-called honour killing if returned to Pakistan. They face extreme violence from Fozias family and community persecution because they have crossed the faith divide. Yet UKBA is intent on deporting them."
DENMARK: Opinion | The fight for democracy (Copenhagen Post, link)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS: Enormous energy put into reforming data protection rules must deliver strong and effective protection for EU citizens (Press release, pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "As a society, we are increasingly reliant on technology that processes huge amounts of our personal information. Electronic surveillance is commonplace with profiling and "big data" putting our privacy under strain. The reform of the data protection framework is a momentous opportunity to redress the balance and guarantee this fundamental right for all EU citizens for generations to come. It is vital that the outcome of the negotiations in the European Parliament and the Council is a reform package that delivers a high level of data protection."
and Additional EDPS comments on the Data Protection Reform Package (pdf).
ACTA: European Court of Justice judgment: Sophie in t Veld MEP v European Commission (pdf). See: Sophie in 't Veld (MEP) determined to step up efforts for more transparency in EU (link):
"Today's ruling unfortunately upholds the culture of discretion and confidentiality of diplomats that was common in the fifties", Dutch MEP Sophie In 't Veld (ALDE/D66) says in a reaction to the judgment of the European General Court in her case against the European Commission for the refusal to disclose documents on the negotiations on the anti-piracy treaty ACTA. The Court ruled, in favour of In 't Veld, that the Commission had classified too many documents confidential. However, the Court also supported the Commission by stating that a general confidentiality agreement with negotiating partners is allowed. In 't Veld: "This way diplomatic negotiations are routinely classified confidential while citizens are left in the dark."
EU: Council of the European Union: Eurosur, Asylum Procedures and Visa Reciprocity
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (86 pages, 7143-13, pdf) Multi-column document for the trilogue between the Council and the European Parliament
- Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Preparation of the eight informal trilogue (7434-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise
- Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries those nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (7524-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise
SWEDEN-MIGRANTS: Billström's apology 'not enough': Löfven (The Local, link)
EU: SIS: Council of the European Union: Schengen information system database statistics 01/01/2013 (pdf)
EU: EEAS: Germany calls for more powerful EU diplomatic service (euobserver, link)
Council of Europe: Some countries 'slipping back' to discrimination against LGBT people, says PACE rapporteur (link)
EU: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACCESS TO EURODAC: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) - Preparation for the fourth informal trilogue (246 pages, 7476-12, dated 15 March 2013, pdf): This sets of the main points of a possible European Parliament/Council deal in the so-called fourth "informal" trilogue discussion and the Council's version on acceptable "compromises". And see earlier version: 7022-13 (249 pages, 12 March 2013, pdf) Multi-column documents
CYPRUS: Euro bail out plumbs new depths, bank accounts to be taxed: Cyprus heading for bank run after bailout deal (euobserver, link), EU leaders gamble in Cyprus bank bailout (BBC News, link) and Cyprus rescue breaks all the rules (Robert Peston, BBC News, link). If the Cypriot parliament fails to back the troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) deal technocratic rule may be imposed as it was in Greece and Italy.
And see: Cypriot president says he was forced to accept EU bailout (euractiv, link): ""Essentially parliament is called to legalise a decision to rob depositors blind, against every written and unwritten law," said Yiannakis Omirou, speaker of parliament and head of EDEK, the small Socialist party. "We refuse to subscribe to this."....Independent financial experts and governmental sources believe that the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank need a flawless execution of the bailout agreement, because the deal will likely serve as blueprint for future bailouts. Most likely recipients of such bailout packages are the so-called PIGS countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain."
FRONTEX: Statewatch Analysis: "Trust in Frontex: The 2013 work programme (pdf) by Marie Martin.
This analysis examines the main points of the EUs border management agency Frontexs 2013 work programme and the first work programme of the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights (hereafter the Consultative Forum).
See also: Frontex Consultative Forum, Work Programme 2013, January 2013
Human rights organisations file OECD complaints against surveillance firms Gamma International and Trovicor (ECCHR, link)
UK: Protester wins surveillance database fight - John Catt, who has no criminal record, wins legal action to have records deleted from police database of suspected extremists (Guardian, link)
EU: The spiders web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis:
The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work." The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision."
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online will examine Europol's proposed new agreements. We start with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. Next week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE.
Part 2 next week
EU: Council of the European Union: Legal Migration - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals for the purpose of seasonal employment
= State of play (pdf) and Common European Asylum System - State of play (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Sahel / Maghreb (crisis in Mali, IN AMENAS) - implications for EU internal security : executive summary (pdf)
- Follow-up to the evaluation of the EU Policy Cycle 2011 - 2013 (pdf)
- Opinion of the Council Security Committee on the draft security rules for the European External Action Service (EEAS) (pdf)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Parliament amendments to be discussed in the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) later in March to the Commission's proposal: Ten documents: - 926396 (pdf) - 928599 (pdf) - 928600 (pdf) - 929498 (pdf) - 929505 (pdf) - 929511 (pdf) - 929512 (pdf) - 929519 (pdf) - 929533 (pdf) - 929832 (pdf)
EU: European Ombudsman to retire (pdf)
HUNGARY: NGOs: Main concerns regarding the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary (pdf)
UK: Communications Capabilities Development Programme (Open Rights Group, link)
UK: EDF drops lawsuit against environmental activists after backlash - Energy company accused of undermining peaceful protest with civil action against campaigners who occupied power plant (Guardian, link)
EU: SHOCKING VIDEO: When border controls kill
Following the release on 11 March 2013 of a shocking video on the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser's website that shows a patrol boat striking and sinking a dinghy that carried 25 migrants on 13 December 2012 while it was pursuing it.
The Spanish and international organisations Andalucía Acoge, Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), Boats4People, Asociación Elin and the Federación estatal de SOS Racismo issued a press statement in which they noted that the video belies previous official versions of the incident and the interior ministry is "responsible for the death and disappearance of eight people in the waters off the Canary Islands' coast: Press statement: Concerning the video that belies the official version about a dinghy that was run over by the "Río Cabaleiro" patrol boat (English translation).
EU: Time for a European Spring (Corporate Observatory Europe, link): "People across Europe come together in Brussels and other European capitals this week to reject EU austerity policies and their erosion of democracy. The police have hampered efforts in Brussels by banning the organised march and denying people the right to free assembly."
EU: Council of the European Union: Customs Internet Crime Units: Draft report of Action 5.2 "To examine the working/investigative techniques applied by customs and other law enforcement authorities to combat customs related crime, including organised crime, through the Internet, and to explore the current situation regarding the existence of Customs Internet Crime specialised units" (17225-rev1-12, pdf) and Earlier version (17225-12, pdf)
Hungary faces fresh criticism over constitutional changes (The Parliament, link)
UK: "This government is behaving like some third rate dictatorship" (Legal Voi
Permissible ID checks in EU Member States I need your help (Jon Worth blog, link)
USA-ISRAEL: Council of the European Union: Security Information Agreements
- Security of information agreement between the EU and the United States of America - Note verbale addressed by the General Secretariat of the Council to the United States of America (pdf)
- Security of information agreement between the EU and Israel - Note verbale addressed by the General Secretariat of the Council to the Israeli
Mission to the European Union (pdf)
EU-PRUM: Council of the European Union: Implementation of Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA ("Prüm Decisions") - Implementation guide - DNA Data Exchange (62 pages, pdf)
EU:JITS: Council of the European Union: Conclusions of the 8th Annual meeting of the National Experts on Joint Investigation Teams (18 - 19 October 2012, the Hague) (pdf)
EU: Meijers Committee: Update No.1 March 2013: In this update information on our recent comments and letters is given and the results of our work are shared (pdf)
Academics line up to defend EU data protection law (euobserver, link)
UK: Philippe Sands quits Lib Dems in protest at support for secret courts - Prominent lawyer says bill 'will be used to shield governmental wrongdoing from public and judicial scrutiny' (Guardian, link)
Statewatch News Digest: 11 March 2013 (32 items)
UK: CCTV Harnessed For Police National Database Use (Police Oracle, link): "Forces should be able to use high-resolution CCTV images to search the Police National Database's (PND) custody photos by the end of the year, according to a senior officer. It is expected that the PND will go live with a facial search capacity in May, which will allow officers to compare pictures with those of other forces across the country. However the photo must have ears, eyes and nose clearly visible." See also: Introduction of a Surveillance Camera Code of Practice: Impact Assessment: (pdf)
Composite Decision-Making and Accountability Networks: Some Deductions from a Saga by Carol Harlow (Jean Monet papers, link): "Using asset-freezing as a paradigm of multi-level or composite decision-making, it explores the effectiveness of traditional accountability machinery in dealing with this phenomenon, concluding that cooperative accountability networks or networks of entities specialising in accountability such as courts, parliaments and ombudsmen, should be developed to fill the serious accountability gaps that have emerged."
EU ministers must not water down data protection legislation (Green.EFA, link)
UK: A dangerous use of police force to quell protest - The Alfie Meadows ruling is a reminder of the coalition's hypocrisy on non-violent protest (Guardian, link)
UK's war on terror targets the vulnerable by Victoria Brittain (Asia Times Online, link)
HUNGARY: Proposed constitutional changes: Letter from NGOs to EU Commissioner (pdf)
USA-DRONES: EU must contest US legal justification of drone killings (link):
"LibDem European justice & human rights spokeswoman Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP has jointly with MEPs from other political groups condemned the United States targeted killing programme under which the CIA and the military hunt and kill individuals suspected of links to terrorism anywhere in the world. They are calling on the EU to contest the US attempt to pervert international law."
And see: European Parliament Members Speak Out Against U.S. Targeted Killing Program (ACLU, link)
UPDATE: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 7-8 March: Press release, 7-8 March 2013 (pdf): "B" Points agenda (pdf), "A" Points: legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) "A" Points: non-legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection: Opinion 01/2013 providing further input into the discussions on the draft Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive (WP 201, pdf)
"the Working Party stresses that the current exemptions and limitations to the data subjects rights are too broad. Without further explanation, it is in particular not justifiable why Member States should be allowed to exempt entire categories of personal data from the right of access."
"The evolution of law enforcement techniques and methods in the past decade clearly demonstrate that all these categories which fall under the broad category of non-suspects need specific protection. This is especially the case when the processing is not done in a specific criminal investigation or prosecution.It is the difference between information that the law enforcement authorities need to know and the information that is nice to have."
EU-Morocco: Political agreement on Mobility Partnership: Towards the first readmission agreement with an African country?
On 1 March 2013, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU's Commissioner on Home Affairs, Cecilia Malström, met with the Moroccan authorities in Rabat. In a press conference, Barroso and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane announced a "new step in the relations" between the EU and Morocco, including a political agreement on the signature of a Mobility Partnership which, some suggest, may finally lead to the conclusion of a readmission agreement which the Moroccan authorities have so far refused to sign.
UK: "Detention doesn't work for anyone"
The charity Detention Action is calling for an end to indefinite immigration detention in the UK, arguing that the system currently in place does not work "for anyone". "In the UK, migrants are deprived of their liberty without charge or trial," says the charity's campaign briefing. "The UK Border Agency detains migrants for longer than any other country in Europe. Asylum-seekers, foreign ex-offenders and other migrants are held in prison-like conditions without time limit."
EU: Visegrad countries to form joint military force (euractiv, link)
EU: Millions of euros for new police databases in West Africa
At least 5 million is being spent by the EU on developing a series of interlinked national police databases in West Africa, that will eventually allow information and intelligence gathered in the region to be disseminated to law enforcement authorities across the world.
Statewatch News Digest: 7 March 2013 (47 items)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 7-8 March: Press release, 7 March 2013 (pdf): "B" Points agenda (pdf), "A" Points: legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) "A" Points: non-legislative agenda (adopted without discussion, pdf) and Background Note (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): The nine Member State governments who proposed the EIO lobby the Council of the European Union for it to be quickly adopted: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters- Letters (6532-12, pdf)
See also Statewatch Analysis: The proposed European Investigation Order: Assault on human rights and national sovereignty (pdf)
UK: National Security Strategy: Report from Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2012 (pdf): "we are not yet convinced that the existence of the NSC is making the contribution that it should: enabling Government to work as a co-ordinated whole. In other words, we question how much extra value is derived from having the NSC as opposed to the preceding systems of Cabinet Committees."
European Parliament: Question to the Commission from ALDE group MEPs: Reform of the Constitution in Hungary (pdf) and See: Secretary General calls upon Hungarian government and parliament to postpone vote on constitutional amendments (CoE, link)
UK: House of Commons: Business, Innovation and Skills Committee: Too Little, Too Late: Committees observations on the Government Response to the Report on Overseas Students and Net Migration (pdf)
EU: FRONTEX: Work Programme for 2013 (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 5 March 2013 (61 items)
"Predictive policing" comes to the UK
In January last year, The Independent reported that "a pioneering technique to predict crime before it happens could be imported from the United States to this country." This prediction came true in December, when Kent police began "a trial of a predictive policing model from the USA that assesses several years' worth of crime data and human behaviour to predict the areas in which offences are likely to take place."
European Commission: Minutes of the Experts' Committee meeting on the implementation of the Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA
(Transfer of Prisoners), 2008/947/JHA (Probation and alternative sanctions) and 2009/829/JHA(European Supervision Order) (pdf)
GREECE & CoE Committee for the Prevention of Torture visit to Greece: Letter (pdf): "We assume that you are already aware of the numerous reports describing detention conditions in Greece, with our present letter we will not do the same but will focus on the weaknesses in the procedure regarding migrants treatment by the authorities."
EU: Videos of speech and questions: by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, at the 40th Annual Conference of the European Group on Deviancy and Social Control, held in Nicosia, Cyprus, September 2012: The EU state and civil liberties: Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3 (links)
GERMANY: Anti-terror laws face increased scrutiny (DW, link)
Greek police Photoshop away signs of brutality from mugshots (AI, link) and Prosecutor probing claims police abused bank robbery, terrorism suspects (Ekathimerini, link)
EU: The democratic deficit in action (Matt Carr's Infernal Machine, link): "Ive always suspected that the European Commission was something of an elite outfit. But in the last two weeks, Ive been granted an unexpected firsthand insight into the Commissions commitment to democratic debate....Then, a few days ago, I got a call saying that my appearance had been definitively vetoed, and that the DG was not even willing to debate with the Jesuit Refugee Service either. So the upshot, last I heard, is that there will be a studio debate about the EUs new migration management policies in North Africa between the Home Affairs Director-General and a representative of the Moroccan government!"
Minister: Germany would veto Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen (DW, link)
UK: 43,000 strip-searches carried out on children as young as 12 - Campaigner criticises 'institutionalised child abuse' after FOI request reveals huge number of searches in custody (Guardian, link)
EU: European Ombudsman: Ombudsman welcomes the Commissions disclosure of documents on UK opt-out from Charter of
Fundamental Rights (pdf):
"The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has welcomed the European Commissions decision to give access to documents drafted by its services on the UK opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This follows a complaint from the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), a
Brussels-based NGO, which wanted to find out why UK citizens do not enjoy the same fundamental rights as other EU citizens. The Commission initially rejected the Ombudsmans recommendation to disclose the documents. After the Ombudsman addressed a critical remark to the Commission, ECAS again
requested access to the documents. The Commission then reviewed its position and released all the documents."
ECAS: EU Rights Clinic and ECAS Secure Release of EU Charter Opt-Out Documents (Press release, pdf) and Background Note (pdf)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION CASE: European Court of Justice: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Austria) lodged on 19 December 2012 - Kärntner Landesregierung and Others (pdf)
See also: ROMANIA: EC drops case against Romania as data retention law passes (Telecompaper): "The European Commission (EC) dropped the infringement procedure on 21 February that it had opened against Romania in 2011 over the non-implementation in due time of the provisions of the directive 24/2006 concerning the storage of confidential data by communications operators as the Romanian parliament passed the so-called 'Big brother' law in May 2012"
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 March: Draft "B" Points" agenda (pdf)
EU: Complex EU law-making dubbed 'infernal, undemocratic' (euobserver, link): "Brussels is awash with stories about the unhealthy influence of lobbyists on law-makers but as big a scandal, say some experts, is the increasing amount of legislation made with little scrutiny at all. The lack of oversight - despite the EU capital's 754 MEPs and 1,000s of lobbyists - is down to the rising use of so-called secondary legislation coupled with a greater tendency to fast-track primary laws."
See also: Statewatch analysis: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit
EU: Calls for better access to documents gain support in parliament (link)
Statewatch analysis: The rise of xenophobia and the migration crisis in Greece: The Council of Europes wake-up call: Europe cannot afford to look away (pdf)
On 23 January, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Council of Europes Parliamentary Assembly issued a draft Resolution and report calling on the EU and its Member States to take concrete solidarity measures in the field of migration and asylum (e.g. reception capacity, resettlement programmes in other Member States). The situation in Greece is seen as a "test case for European solidarity."
Because of "mounting tensions in the east Mediterranean" and Greeces failure "to respect the human rights and dignity of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees," the Committee warned about the rise of racist violence and far-right parties. It also argued that the EUs actions could contribute to the situation in the country. Rapporteur Tineke Strink stressed that the situation was very serious and that "Europe cannot afford to look away."
UK: Home Affairs Committee: Undercover Policing: Interim Report (pdf) The Committee calls for a fundamental review of the law governing undercover police operations, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Committee recommends the publication of a consultation paper before the next election, with a view to publishing draft legislation at the beginning of the next Parliament.
Statewatch analysis: EU: Secretive Frontex Working Group seeks to increase surveillance of travellers (pdf)
Frontex has been negotiating in secret to grant state agencies greater access to the personal data of travellers entering the EU. No hard evidence has been presented by EU institutions to support Frontex's claim that this will lead to more effective border management and critics have warned that the mandatory collection of passenger information is entirely unnecessary and a disproportionate infringement of individual privacy.
Statewatch analysis: TESAT report shows decrease in terrorist activity in 2011 but national police forces see a continuing threat (pdf)
Europol's report shows a significant decrease in terrorist incidents between 2009 and 2011 and its attempt to justify anti-terrorism initiatives. The lack of recent activity from established threats such as Al Qaeda and ETA has led anti-terrorist policing to increasingly focus on left-wing, anarchist and single issue groups.
EU: European Commission: 'Smart borders': enhancing mobility and security (press release): Commission press conference mainly focussed on the benefits of a Registered Traveller Programme. Legislative proposals:
Proposal for a Regulation establishing Registered Traveller Programme (pdf)
Staff working document detailed explanations (pdf)
Accompanying impact assessment (pdf) Summary (pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (pdf)
Staff working document detailed explanations (pdf)
Accompanying impact assessment (pdf) Summary (pdf)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 (pdf)
Greens press release: EU border control plans: Big brother technologies not a smart plan for Europes borders (pdf)
See also: 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 Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen.
Italy: ASGI's pre-election proposals to reform immigration laws
In January 2013, looking ahead to the Italian general elections that were held on 24-25 February 2013, the Associazione di Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI) presented a ten-point document. It proposed reform to Italian legislation concerning immigration, foreigners, asylum and citizenship, to take place during the 2013-2018 legislature.
UK: Joint Committee on Human Rights: Legislative Scrutiny: Justice and Security Bill (second report) (pdf) We recommend that the Bill be amended to ensure that a full judicial balancing of interests always takes place within the CMP [closed material proceedings], weighing the public interest in the fair and open administration of justice against the likely degree of harm to the interests of national security when deciding which material should be heard in closed session and which in open session.
On 27 Februrary, 702 legal professionals, including 38 QCs, urged the government to scrap the Bill in a letter to the Daily Mail. They argue that were it to be introduced, the Bill would "fatally undermine the court room as an independent and objective forum in which allegations of wrongdoing can be fairly tested and where the Government can be transparently held to account." See: Guardian and Daily Mail coverage (links)
See also: Statewatch analysis: UK Governments secret justice Bill widely condemned (October 2012, pdf)
Statewatch analysis: The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility: the state of play (pdf)
GAMM has been promoted by the Commission as an "overarching framework of the EU external migration policy" but many member states remain sceptical of the value of dealing with migration issues at EU level. The approach has been much criticised for allowing member states to use migrants as disposable workers and for further restricting access to the EU.
Statewatch News Digest: 28 February 2013 (65 items)
EU: Council of the European Union: INTRA-CORPORATE TRANSFERS: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (6667-13, pdf) Multicolumn document for "trilogues".
Belgium: Dramatic footage released of Antwerp police killing arrestee
Jonathan Jacob was a 26 year old inhabitant of Antwerp with psychiatric problems who died in police custody in January 2010.
EU: Council of the European Union: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG): Sumary of discussions (5663-13, pdf) Includes useful summary pages: 5-24 of EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM)
EU: Council of the European Union: VISA INFORMATION SYSTEM: VIS - state of play (6412-13, pdf)
Statewatch analysis: UK: The real immigration debate (pdf) by Frances Webber
This article provides an overview of the plight of refugees and migrants in Britain. This includes the devastating impact of legal aid cuts, the conditions of immigration detention, the growth of Islamophobia and the exploitation of undocumented migrants.
Statewatch analysis: When dissent becomes subversion (pdf) by Liz Fekete
Europes anti-terror regimen is reshaping European society and has led to a distorted and discriminatory approach to criminal justice. Those who speak out against the erosion of democratic standards and the unfair treatment of Muslims are increasingly being targeted and penalised by the state.
UK: Campaigners to put UK Border Agency before "court of public opinion"
Migrants' rights campaigners are planning to put the UK Border Agency (UKBA) before the "court of public opinion", with the agency accused of "racism, sexism, homophobia" the "degradation of thousands of asylum seekers, including victims of torture, rape and abuse" and, in reference to the revocation by the UKBA of London Metropolitan University's visa licence last year, for "attacks on education for international students."
Statewatch analysis: Netherlands: Increased use of firearms by Dutch police (pdf)
Police in the Netherlands are increasingly drawing, and using, their firearms. This practice is being actively encouraged by police chiefs and the development has not been substantially criticised in the media. Other forms of police abuse are also on the rise. Since many police monitoring groups have ceased to function, there has been little public outcry at the situation.
EU: Council of the European Union: Customs Cooperation Working Party: Threat assessment on air transit passengers Mandate for the project group (pdf)
UK: G4S creates footballing history in Scotland (link) G4S Events provided security for the first UK international football match to be held without a policing presence. See also: Football Security: Tightening Budgets, Reviewing Priorities (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (5074/1/13, pdf)
European Data Protection Supervisor: "The role of data protection legislation", Conference on "Security of e-Government" at the European Parliament, 19 February 2013 (pdf)
Security" and "privacy" should not be confused, nor should "privacy and data protection" be treated as a subcategory of security. These concepts should rather be regarded as distinct and only partly overlapping. Briefly put: good security does not necessarily provide good privacy and data protection, but good privacy and data protection would always require good security.
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement on a civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States and Ukraine - Common guidelines (6549/13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Transitional arrangements regarding free movement of workers of Bulgarian and Romanian nationality - Information from the Commission (6651/13, pdf)
Statewatch journal: volume 22 no 4 is now available online for subscribers. Volume 22 no 2/3 is now free to access, as are all previous Statewatch journals.
EU: Member States and Europol seek to ease EU-wide access to police databases through "automation of the data exchange process"
A project proposed by France that seeks to automate the searching of national police databases has survived the Commission's December call for a halt to new police databases and computer networks at EU level. Europol and a number of other Member States have also expressed an interest in the project, 'Automation of the Data Exchange Process' (ADEP), which does "not intend to create new legislation but to enhance information exchange by automation of current manual procedures."
Flemish Peace Institute report: A European Agenda for Security Technology: From Innovation Policy to Export Controls (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 7-8 March 2013: Advance notice (pdf) Provisional Agenda (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 25 February 2013 (33 items)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) - Implementation of risk-based approach - Flexibility for the Public Sector (pdf) Discussion of the Council's negotiating position with the emphasis on "flexibility" for the public sector.
EU: API, PNR, threat assessments, and data-mining: Member States push for access to travellers' personal data for customs authorities
EU Member States are seeking access to Advanced Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record data for customs authorities, even though it appears that only a minority feel that such access is necessary and despite the fact that there is not yet an EU-wide legal basis for the collection and use of PNR data by law enforcement authorities. A project investigating the possibilities for greater use of travellers' personal data by customs authorities, initiated last year by the Cypriot delegation in the Customs Cooperation Working Party, is now being supported by a study started at the beginning of February by the Irish Presidency following international agreements adopted by the World Customs Organisation.
EU: DUBLIN II: ECRE, together with Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and their national partners are publishing a comparative study on how the Dublin II Regulation is applied: Lives on Hold (link, pdf) that shows that the Dublin system continues to fail both refugees and Member States. The research deals with the practice surrounding the Dublin II Regulation with respect to fundamental rights in 11 states: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
FRANCE: Un détenu battu à mort par des policiers (Le Soir, link): Shocking images of a young, mentally ill man being beaten to death by Belgian police.
BT Lobbyists Try To Water Down EU Privacy Legislation (TechWeek Europe, link)
The Charity of the Security Industry, on Christian Ehler MEPs dual role as rapporteur on Horizon 2020 and board member of GESA (German Security Association): (Taz.de, link)
UK: Anatomy of a betrayal: the undercover officer accused of deceiving two women, fathering a child, then vanishing - The story of Bob Lambert reveals just how far police may have gone to infiltrate political groups (Guardian, link)
UK: Met police launch inquiry into construction worker blacklisting - Move reverses earlier decision not investigate claims of Met police involvement in compiling 3,200-name blacklist (Guardian, link)
EU-GAMM: For the record: Council Conclusions on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (pdf)
UK-EU: Emerging Europe opportunities in the Security sector (UK Dept of Trade and Investment, link): "the security measures and technologies may induce concerns regarding the integrity of the private life"
EU: Council of the European Union: LEWP and expert groups, New sanctions on listed persons, ACP-EU and Security rules
- Relationship between the LEWP and the eighteen (18) expert groups and networks related to the LEWP - Discussion Document (6241-13,pdf)
- Relationship between the LEWP and the eighteen (18) expert groups and networks related to the LEWP - Discussion Document (6241-add1-13, pdf) Contains useful chart of the 18 expert groups and review periods, where they exist.
- Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy - new elements (5993-13, pdf): "The making available of funds or economic resources to non-listed persons or entities which are owned or controlled by a listed person or entity will in principle be considered as making them indirectly available to the listed person or entity..."
- EU Policy Cycle: Monitoring of the Operational Action Plans 2012 (16014-12, pdf)
- Report on the 2011-2012 dialogue on migration and development endorsed by the ACP-EU Council of Ministers at its 37th session on 14 June 2012 in Port Vila. (ACP 2115-12, pdf)
- Technical updating of the Council security rules (6255-13, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI): JHA agencies, EUROJUST and trafficking, Security research and industry, Multilateral Cooperation Scoreboard, Annual Report of COSI and EU Policy Cycle
- Cooperation between JHA agencies: issues for discussion (6127-12, pdf)
- Report of the Annual Heads of JHA Agencies Meeting on 3 December 2012 (5968-13, pdf)
- Follow-up to Strategic report on "Eurojust's action against trafficking in human beings" (6035-13, pdf)
- Draft Council Conclusions on strengthening the internal security authorities' involvement in security-related research and industrial policy (5920-rev1-13, pdf)
- Multilateral Cooperation Scorecard (5969-13, pdf): The scorecard was jointly drafted by CEPOL, EASO, EIGE, EMCDDA, EUROJUST, EUROPOL,
FRA and FRONTEX.
- Draft Report to the European Parliament and national Parliaments on the proceedings of the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security for the period July 2011 - December 2012 (5839-13, pdf)
- Timeline for the EU Policy Cycle activities in 2013 (5071-13, pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 21 February 2013 (42 items)
Czech Republic: Stronger efforts needed to end segregation of Roma (CoE, link)
European Monitoring Launched: The Transparency of Policing Protests (Access-Info, link), includes: The Right to Protest Briefing (pdf) developed with Statewatch (pdf)
EP: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Industry Committee scrapes together a majority for a disastrous data protection opinion (EDRI, link)
Secret State: The Justice and Security Bill: Placing the State above the Law (Ceasefire, link)
EU: Impossible to assess" whether integration funds benefit migrants and refugees, say Court of Auditors and European Parliament
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Parliament have both found that it is impossible to assess the efficiency of European funds for the integration of migrants and refugees, in reports published as the European Union debates the adoption of the new Asylum and Migration Fund (2014-2020).
Germany: Amazon's former private security firm with neo-Nazi employees is one of many, say reports
A documentary aired by German TV channel ARD on Thursday night (14 February) about online shopping firm Amazon's operations in Germany caused outrage and was widely covered in the media. The documentary revealed that workers are being attracted from all over Europe with promises of getting a contract with the firm. If they do get a job, workers are monitored round-the-clock by guards from a security company accused of having links to Neo-Nazi groups.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is pushing for an EU-wide immigration registry.(DW, link)
Greece asylum: Journey through a broken system (BBC News, link: Paul Mason report)
EU: Council of the European Union: Conclusions of the meeting of the Forerunners group of European Union Liaison Officers (Brussels, 23 November 2011) (pdf) and Customs: Study by the Presidency on Advanced Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records (pdf)
EU: European Commission: An integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU (COM 698-12, pdf)
ECRI: IRELAND: European Commission against Racism and Intolerance: ECRI report on Ireland: (pdf)
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Department of Homeland Security: Progress Made and Work Remaining after Nearly
10 Years in Operation (pdf)
UK: Institute of Race Relations report: Racial violence: Facing reality (link)
EU: Merger of EU police agencies draws opposition (euobserver, link)
PORTUGAL/SPAIN: Austerity protests in Spain and Portugal (BBC News): "Tens of thousand of people have been protesting in Spain and Portugal angry at harsh austerity measures. The demonstration in Lisbon was organised by Portugal's largest trade union federation- against cuts imposed as part of the country's eurozone bailout. In Spain, demonstrators called for the government to amend stringent repossessions laws which have seen hundreds of thousand lose their homes." See also: Anti-austerity protests on Portugal's streets; Protests against evictions across Spain (euronews); Tenants in Spain win first battle against evictions (Inter Press Service) and White tide of health demonstrations spreads from Madrid to 15 other cities (El Pais)
IRELAND: Absence of migrant family law criticised (Irish Times, link)
Statewatch Analysis: Italy/ECtHR: Pilot judgement condemns Italy for inhuman and degrading treatment in overcrowded jails by Yasha Maccanico
Statewatch Analysis: How the EU works and justice and home affairs decision-making by Tony Bunyan
Statewatch News Digest: 18 February 2013 (28 items)
EU institutions want Justice and Home Affairs agencies to "fly the EU flag" abroad
"More and better use" could be made of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies in "operational or capacity-building" and "advisory" roles in foreign policy operations, according to a report from the recent annual meeting of JHA agency chiefs, which says that bodies such as Europol and Frontex are "in an excellent position to 'fly the EU flag' vis-à-vis the Third Countries" in which they operate.
EU-KOSOVO: European Commission: Report on progress by Kosovo* in fulfilling the requirements of the visa liberalisation roadmap (COM 66-13, pdf) and see: Crime levels bode ill for Kosovo's EU visa-free bid (EUobserver): "Kosovo is lagging behind in crime fighting reforms, limiting its prospects of obtaining EU visa-free travel"
Amazon under fire in Germany over 'neo-Nazi' guards (euobserver, link)
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The draft Anti-social Behaviour Bill: prelegislative scrutiny (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 15 February 2013 (62 items)
UK: Police investigate claims man being deported was badly beaten by guards (The Guardian): "Police and the UK Border Agency are investigating a complaint by a 27-year-old man who claims he was repeatedly punched by private security guards before passing out as he was forced into a potentially lethal position during a failed deportation." See also: Liberty brings judicial review of dangerous and excessive restraint policy (Liberty, press release)
EU: Extradition injustice remains despite European ruling in Radu? Alex Tinsley (UK Human Rights Blog): "The European Court of Justices Grand Chamber has ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights does not allow refusal to execute a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) on the basis that the person was not heard by the issuing authority." See: Judgment in Case C-396/11 Radu  ECR I0000
ITALY: Italy's former spy chief sentenced to a decade in prison (New Europe): "The former Italian intelligence chief, Nicolo Pollari, was sentenced on 12 February to 10 years imprisonment for his involvement in a secret CIA rendition case. In addition, the court in Milan gave former SISMI [Italy's military intelligence agency] deputy Marco Mancini nine years and sentenced three other staff members to six years in jail each." See also: Ex-Italian spy shocked at 10-year jail term and Court orders abducted imam should receive one million euros (Gazzetta del Sud)
I.Coast immigrant sets himself alight in Rome airport (Globalpost, link)
Germany: States and corporations from Europe and beyond gather to discuss "police in social networks", "ePolice" and "equipment and armament"
Next week the 16th European Police Congress will be held in Berlin, where representatives of internal security authorities and corporations from Europe and beyond will gather for a programme of events focused largely on policing the internet, where the world of "digital romantics", "moral hackers" and "cyber kiddies" has "turned into operative and organised crime," according to the event's organisers.
EU: European Commission Communication: Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace (JOIN 1-13, pdf). See: Threats in the EU cyberspace: expert reaction (link) and The EU's cyber hodgepodge (DW, link)
UK: Warwick's foreign staff may now see London without telling 'Big Brother' (THE, link)
EU-USA: Data protection law drafts copied straight from lobby papers, campaigners claim (Out-Law, link)
MALTA: Migrant's death in van - Officer said he may have died 'of fright' (Times of Malta, link)
EU bailouts: misery for old people, children, single mothers (euobserver, link)
UK: Whistleblowers and press 'threatened by proposed new police powers - 'Investigative journalism at risk from government plan to weaken protection for writers and their sources, warn campaigners (Guardian, link)
FRANCE: Eviction of Roma reaches a peak despite condemnations by the European Committee of Social Rights
"In September 2012, the European Committee of Social Rights found that France had infringed the human rights of Roma migrants living in France by failing to provide them decent living conditions. The decision was made public on 21 January 2013, just days after the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) published figures showing that the number of evictions of Roma in France has never been higher."
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment (97 pages, 6312-13, pdf): Multi-column document
and: First Common Civilian-Military Annual CSDP Lessons Learned and Best Practices Report for 2011 - Lessons of CSDP support to Security Sector Reform (pdf) and: European Union Exercise Programme 2013-2015 (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Draft measure subject to regulatory procedure with scrutiny pursuant to Article 4(5) of Directive 2002/58/EC on privacy and electronic communications (Working document, pdf) and:
- Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment: Accompanying the document Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to ensure a high level of network and information security across the Union (SWD 32-13, pdf)
- Commssion Staff Working Document: Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment: Accompanying the document Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council Concerning measures to ensure a high level of network and information security across
the Union (SWD 31-13, pdf)
EU: NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on theprotection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (99 pages, 6278-13, pdf) Member States positions from: Czech Republic, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic and the UK
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism - Consideration of EP draft amendments in preparation for the first trilogue (137 pages, 5916-13, pdf) Multi-column document.
Italy Jails Ex-Officials for Rendition (New York Times, link)
Judges reject UK demand for new hearing on prisoners human rights case (Human Rights Europe, link): "Judges have turned down a United Kingdom request for a new Grand Chamber hearing on a case involving the human rights of prisoners. On 12 February, the European Court of Human Rights announced it had rejected the UK authorities request for the case James, Wells and Lee v. the United Kingdom (nos. 25119/09, 57715/09 and 57877/09) to be referred to its Grand Chamber."
Sri Lankans expelled from UK allege torture after deportation to Colombo - Freedom from Torture finds 15 failed asylum seekers later won refugee status but Tory minister says torture claims are unproven (Guardian, link)
SWITZERLAND: Nestlé must pay compensation for spying on NGO (Nonprofit Quarterly): "As a result of a criminal suit filed more than four years ago, a Swiss court last week ordered Nestlé and the Swiss security company Securitas AG to pay compensation to Attac for infiltrating and spying on the anti-globalization group" See also Statewatch Coverage: Switzerland: Private spy on mission for Nestle (database link)
EU: Meijers Committee: Letter Meijers Committee on the recast of the Procedures Directive (COM 2011 319 final) (pdf); Letter Meijers Committee on the implications of the recent judgment of the ECHR Stamose v Bulgaria for visa liberation negotiations (pdf) and Memorandum concerning the Dutch Coalition Agreement concluded between the VVD (Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy) and the PvdA (Labour Party) on 29 October 2012 (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 12 February 2013 (30 items)
PACE general rapporteur calls on Romania to revise the law imposing mediation for all cases of violence against women (link)
Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm: Exclusive: Raytheon's Riot program mines social network data like a 'Google for spies', drawing ire from civil rights groups (Guardian, link)
EU Data Protection: Proposed Amendments Written by US Lobbyists (Computerworld, link)
EU: Crystal balls: internal security authorities want "technology foresight"
The European Union is to call for the creation of an "internal security technology foresight function" that would ensure "proactive involvement" by law enforcement authorities with "research institutes and industry", and spread "innovative ideas and projects" amongst EU Member States and agencies such as Europol and Frontex. This "foresight function" is intended to strengthen the work of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS). Last year Statewatch revealed the existence of an ENLETS "wish-list" drawn up by representatives of Member States' police forces, which included the need for research and pilot projects on drones, surveillance equipment, devices to remotely stop vehicles, and non-lethal weapons.
DENMARK: Yes Minister-law to hide political documents from the public (Wobbing.eu, link): "Danish parliamentarians get ready to adopt a new access law with politically sensitive documents kept secret by definition. Undemocratic and outrageously arrogant, critics say about the Yes-Minister-law."
EU Treaties on Eur-Lex (link)
EU: Protection of human rights in the EU "rarely a priority", says Human Rights Watch: On 1 February, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published its annual world report. The EU, which in the 2012 report was described as "unwilling to prioritize human rights at home", was this year again given a bad assessment.
Statewatch News Digest: 7 February 2013 (40 items)
New report: Denmark participated in CIA rendition programme (Copenhagen Post, link)
Poland declines to answer court's questions on CIA jail (Reuters, link)
EU: European Commssion: Proposal for a Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (COM 45-3-12, pdf)
EU: Privileged access vs. public scrutiny - why lobbying transparency matters (Open Democracy, link) and Journal of Contemporary European Research: Should the European Commission enact a mandatory lobby register? (pdf)
EU: Some thoughts on COMdocs (link): Draws attention to the time lag between a Commission press release on a new proposal and access to the full-text on EU-Lex which can be weeks later
Statewatch News Digest: 6 February 2013 (52 items)
EU: Briefing note on OECD Complaints against Gamma International and Trovicor in the UK and Germany (pdf):
"On 1st February 2013 Privacy International, together with fellow organisations, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Reporters Without Borders, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Bahrain Watch, filed a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) National Contact Point (NCP) in the UK against Gamma International UK Ltd (Gamma), alleging that the company is in breach of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. A parallel complaint against Trovicor GmbH is being filed at the German NCP. The complaints examine evidence indicating that Gamma and Trovicor have exported intrusive surveillance technology and training to Bahrain."
USA: CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries 'offered covert support' (Guardian, link): "The full extent of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world's governments covertly offered support." See also: Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition and Full report (pdf)
EU-ECHR: Romania, Bulgaria and Poland: the EU's most frequent violators of the European Convention on Human Rights in 2012
Member states of the European Union were found to have violated the European Convention on Human Rights in 486 different cases last year. Cyprus had no cases brought against it at all, while the three worst offenders were Poland, with 56 judgements finding at least one violation, out of 74 cases brought to the court; Bulgaria (58 judgements, 64 cases); and Romania (70 judgments, 79 cases).
EU: European Parliament study: Russia and the common space on freedom, security and justice (pdf)
Hungarian Jews flee to Austria amid upsurge of Anti-Semitism (Politics.hu, link)
EU: EUROPOL AND CEPOL TO MERGE: "the European Commission has put forward the idea to merge CEPOL and EUROPOL. With 42 posts CEPOL is the second smallest agency. An important share of its staff deals with administrative tasks stemming from the Staff Regulations and the Financial Regulation. Further, UK's Home Secretary has already informed CEPOL that the headquarter agreement will end in spring 2014. In consequence, CEPOL is forced to look for a new building. Additionally, meeting the ambitious objective set by the Stockholm programme to train one third of those law enforcement officials involved in international cooperation CEPOL would need at minimum 12 additional posts to meet the objective and to cover the development of the European Training Scheme (ETS)." (Jutta Haug MEP)
Background on the proposed merger: Joint Statement signed by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission on decentralised agencies (19 July 2012, pdf) See also: The Common Approach was signed by the three institutions (see attachment) in July 2012 (pdf)
UK: Police spies stole identities of dead children - Exclusive: Undercover officers created aliases based on details found in birth and death records, Guardian investigation reveals (Guardian, link):
"Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers. The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children's parents. The details are revealed in an investigation by the Guardian, which has established how over three decades generations of police officers trawled through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches."
And see: Police spy: 'I thought, how would they feel about their son's name being used - 'Undercover officers were conflicted about 'jackal run' tactic of using identities of dead children See also: Police spies scandal: call for public inquiry - Former director of public prosecutions calls for inquiry after revelations that officers stole identities of dead children
EU: Council of the European Union: Visa lists and Intra-Corporate Transferees
- Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Doc no: 5603-13, pdf): Related to trilogue meetings with the European Parliament: "The Annex contains a revised text for the reciprocity mechanism, based on replacing the reference to delegated acts in the previous text by a system with some degree of automaticity and including the use of implementing acts of the Council."
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (110 pages, 5573-13, pdf): Multi-column document showing: Commission proposal, the European Parliament's "Orientation vote", the Council position and Comments by the Council.
USA: BODY SCANNERS: Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated Units to be Removed (TSA blog, link). Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) report: "TSA to Pull 'Naked' Body Scanners from All US Airports: The Transportation Security Administration is ending the agency's contract with backscatter x-ray device manufacturer Rapiscan. As a result, all backscatter machines, which produce a detailed naked image of air travelers, will be removed from US airports. The backscatter x-ray scanners will be replaced by millimeter wave scanners, a less-intrusive but still controversial scanning technology."
EU: Solidarity or militarisation? Proposed 'solidarity clause' legislation criticised for lack of clarity and "encouraging armament"
Proposed EU legislation that would oblige EU institutions and Member States to provide assistance to a Member State that is "the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster" has been criticised by MEPs who say that it "encourages armament" and "paves the way for military interventions within the EU." The claim, made by the MEPs Sabine Lösing and Willy Meyer of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group, came in response to a report of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in October last year that urged the Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy to publish their proposal for implementation of Article 222 of the Lisbon Treaty - the solidarity clause - "before the end of 2012."
See also: Implementation of Article 222 TFEU (Solidarity Clause) - Views of the Austrian Delegation (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: Question to the European Commission: Review of liquids and body scanner rules (pdf)
UK: House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs: Independent Police Complaints Commission (pdf). Press release:
"Watchdog woefully underequipped: IPCC leaves public frustrated and without faith in the police: The Home Affairs Committee will publish its Report on The Independent Police Complaints Commission on Friday 1 February 2013 at 00.01 (Eleventh Report, Session 2012-13, HC 494). The Committee finds that: the Commission is overloaded with appeal cases; serious cases involving police corruption or misconduct are left underinvestigated, while the Commission devotes resources to less serious complaints; and public trust continues to be undermined by the IPCCs dependence on former officers and the investigative resources of police forces."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs: Table of measures subject to Protocol 36 (pdf) List of 133 measures to be "Lisbonised" by 2014 with links to documents.
GERMANY: Secret government document reveals: German Federal Police plans to use Gamma FinFisher spyware (Netzpolitik.org): "The German Federal Police office has purchased the commercial Spyware toolkit FinFisher of Eleman/Gamma Group. This is revealed by a secret document of the Ministry of the Interior, which we are publishing exclusively. Instead of legitimizing products used by authoritarian regimes for the violation of human rights, the German state should restrict the export of such state malware"
GREECE: Right-wing politicians unite to form a new movement, Greeks' Initiative (Ekathimerini): "A total of 21 former and serving right-wing politicians have come together to form a new political movement called Greeks Initiative, it was announced on Tuesday"
Statewatch News Digest: 1 February 2013 (50 items)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION:
- Council of the European Union: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (Doc 165-29-12, pdf). The Council working on its negotiating position
- Chart comparing the 1995 Directive and the Proposed new Regulation (148 pages, pdf)
- Chart comparing the 1995 Directive and the Proposed new Regulation with Recitals (pdf)
EU: Europe's police and immigration "mobile identification" enthusiasts prepare to regroup during Irish Presidency of the EU
An informal working group that seeks to "bring together good practice and advice to member states in relation to developing and using mobile ID devices for police and immigration services" is preparing to regroup during late March with a meeting in Dublin, organised in association with the Irish Presidency of the EU.
UK: Expulsion of two leading participants in Yarl's Wood protest is "political reprisal," say campaigners
The decision to deport by charter flight two women who played key roles in recent protests at the Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre has provoked outrage amongst their supporters.
Statewatch News Digest: 29 January 2013 (43 items)
EU-USA: US free to grab EU data on American clouds (euobserver, link)
EU: Two legal systems in conflict; a perspective on the proposed EU data rules and its possible consequences (wobbing.eu, link)
"Suggested new EU rules for data protection might not only ban blogs, Facebook updates, and tweets. Authorities will have to redact official archives by deleting names in documents. Member states are told to find their own way to secure fundamental rights."
EU: PRIVACY: The Brussels Privacy Declaration (link):
"Privacy is a fundamental human right, but today this right is widely ignored. We are outraged.
- We are outraged, because we, the citizens, are now kept in hundreds of databases, mostly without our knowledge or consent,
- over 1,200 companies specialise in trading our personal data, mostly without our knowledge or consent,
- every time we browse the internet over 50 companies now monitor every click, mostly without our knowledge or consent,
- we are constantly being categorised and judged by algorithms and then treated according to the "perceived value" we may or may not bring to business without our knowledge and consent, and
- lobbying is currently replacing European citizens' voices and manifest concerns."
Statewatch News Digest: 24 January 2013 (46 items)
UK: UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices
A wide number of policing practices in the UK have been condemned as "indiscriminate", "disproportionate" and in contravention of human rights standards by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, who today concluded a visit to the country. He has called for "a judge-led public inquiry into the Mark Kennedy matter, and other related cases."
Immigration: Italy summarily returning unaccompanied kids (ANSA Med, link)
Council of Europe wants 'racist and anti-semitic' members ousted (euractiv, link): "The parliamentary assembly of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe is considering a ban on some of its far-right members if they are affiliated with parties that are neo-Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic".
EU: MEDIA: Report by High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism: A free and pluralistic media to sustain European democracy (pdf) See also: EU should act on press violations, report says (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union - Information provided to the General Secretariat (pdf)
What do you get when you cross a burrito with a drone? (New Statesman, link): "An unusual little business idea recently highlighted how blinkered governments have been in their deployment of drones in recent years. Invented by three young developers, the Burrito Bomber is a mini drone that tracks customers' locations via their smartphones and drops a burrito into onto their doorsteps. Mini aircraft flying around dropping takeaways out of the sky may seem bizarre and unnecessary but the prospect of using the same technology to deliver food and supplies to remote or war-torn areas is promising."
Final verdict of the International Migrants' Tribunal (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: LEA access to Eurodac: Multi-column document showing the state of play in the trilogue discussion between the Council and the European Parliament: Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) (5403-13, 17 January, 2013, 229 pages, pdf). The 4th column gives the proposed "compromises".
EU: European Commission: Joint Proposal for a Council Decision on the arrangements for the implementation by the Union of the Solidarity clause (JOIN document no 39-12, pdf) from the Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
"Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) contains a new provision for a Solidarity Clause. Under this provision the Union and its Member States must act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster." This requires a new provision affecting the EU Internal Security Strategy, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and the Civil Protection Financial
Instrument, the EU Solidarity Fund; the health security initiative for serious cross-border threats to health, crisis response and analysis structures in the EEAS; and the Crisis Coordination Arrangements in the Council.
The relevant structures are in the Commission (DG ECHO, HOME, SANCO, TAXUD etc.), or in EU decentralised agencies (FRONTEX, ECDC, EUROPOL, EMSA, EFSA, EMA etc.). The European External Action Service has at its disposal structures with situation awareness, intelligence or military expertise as well as the network of Delegations that may contribute to the response to threats or disasters in the territory of Member States or to crises with an external dimension.
Greece/Italy: Detainees' rights overrule absconding and rioting charges, courts rule
Two recent judgments in Italy and Greece have found detainees innocent of the charges that were brought against them by the local authorities following escape from one migration detention centre and rioting in another. Courts ruled that the actions of detained migrants in opposing their detention conditions were legitimate.
Statewatch News Digest: 21 January 2013 (31 items)
UK: "Off pockets" and "anti-drone hoodies": Personal privacy meets high fashion
A New York-based artist has developed a range of clothing and accessories that can thwart thermal imaging cameras and instantly "zero out" mobile phone signals, making them untraceable, in an attempt to raise awareness of mass surveillance and explore ways for individuals to protect their privacy.
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: EDPS Inventory 2013: data protection is essential across all EU policy areas (Press release, pdf) and Inventory for 2013 (pdf)
European Parliament:Hungary: Working Document no 1: Judiciary (pdf) and Working Document no 3: Media (pdf)
EU IRISS project: Increasing resilience: in surveillance societies: Surveillance, fighting crime and violence report (415 pages, link)
UK: Outrage as High Court permits secrecy over undercover policing (Police spies out of lives, link): "The High Court has today granted an application by the Metropolitan Police for a secret hearing over the claims brought against them under the Human Rights Act, arising from undercover officers engaging in intimate long term relationships with women whilst undercover. The Claimants, who were involved in protest movements, were deceived into intimate sexual relationships by officers, including Mark Kennedy." Court judgment (pdf) and Court Summary (pdf)
UK: Police demand DNA samples from gay men: Men convicted of victimless homosexual offences three decades ago are threatened with arrest if they refuse to provide samples for the national DNA database (New Statesman, link) See also: "Operation Nutmeg": Cold case hope as police set out to collect 12,000 DNA samples (BBC News, link)
High Velocity DNA Tagging System Launched By UK's Leading Forensic Marking Company (link) and High velocity DNA tagging system unveiled by Selectamark (Info4 Security, link)
Statewatch News Digest: 17 January 2013 (29 items)
EU: Commission defends privileged access for big business in court (Corporate Observatory Europe, link)
How Washington helped foster the Islamist uprising in Mali (New Internationalist, link)
EU: Frontex chief looks beyond EU borders (euobserver, link)
UK: NEW EU DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Scale of UK Governments opposition to the proposed Data Protection Regulation and Directive made absolutely clear (Hawktalk, link).
See: House of Commons: Justice Committee: The Committee's opinion on the European Union Data Protection framework proposals (128 pages, pdf) and Government response to Justice Select Committees opinion on the European Union Data Protection framework proposals (pdf)
EU Council of the European Union: Eurosur, Eurodac and Intra-corporare transferees
Multi-column documents produced during 1st reading trilogue discussions with the European Parliament giving the original proposal, the position of the European Parliament and "compromise" suggestions:
- LEAs acess to Eurodac: Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No [ / ] establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 stablishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) (223 pages, 5515-13, pdf) For the first time the European Parliament's position is public
- EUROSUR: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (77 pages, pdf)
- ICT: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (109 pages,5106-13, pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 15 January 2013 (35 items)
EU Council of the European Union: Informal Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council in Dublin on 17-18 January 2013: Agenda (pdf)
- Links between internal security and economic growth (pdf)
- Migration and Mobility for Growth (pdf)
- To be discussed at a "Working Lunch": EU action to protect freedom of movement for EU Citizens and social integration by encouraging effective action and enhancing cooperation between justice systems in countering hate crime, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and homophobia (pdf)
- Greek National Action Plan on Asylum and Migration Management (pdf)
- Data Protection certain key issues (pdf)
EU: European Investigation Order:
- Council of the European Union: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (16120-12, pdf) Council discussion on developing its position in response to 1st reading trilogue with the European Parliament, including "controversial issues" And see: earlier Council discussion prior to trilogues (9445-12, pdf)
- European Parliament: Orientation Vote: on the adoption of a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (pdf) prior to enter 1st reading trilogie meetings with the Council.
- Original Council proposal for the EIO prposed by eight Member States in April 2010 (pdf)
EU: Commission makes 50 million available for the development of "big brother" PNR databases - before legislation has even been agreed: One of the most controversial pieces of EU legislation currently on the table is the proposed EU-Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive, which would require the establishment throughout the Member States of systems for collecting, storing and analysing vast amounts of personal data from people flying into (and possibly within) Europe, with the stated purpose of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting terrorist offences and serious crime.
UK: Getting answers from the police on undercover deployments "will be a long process"
Holding the police accountable for possible misconduct during undercover deployments "will be a long process" and "take perseverance," according to Jenny Jones, the Deputy Chair of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee. Jones has repeatedly questioned senior officers from the Metropolitan Police on undercover deployments, which received widespread attention in January 2011 following revelations about the activities of undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, but meaningful answers have not always been forthcoming.
UK: Report calls for the abolition of London's "paramilitary" riot squad due to poor relations with young people: A report by Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of London's local government body has called for the abolition of the Territorial Support Group (TSG), a wing of London's Metropolitan Police force most widely known for its role in public order policing, with Jones on record as saying the unit acts like a "paramilitary body".
EU: Council of the European Union: Aviation security and Migration "pressures"
- Aviation Security against Terrorist Threats - Conclusions of the conference of 31 October 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus (16252-12, pdf)
- Implementation of the Common Framework for genuine and practical solidarity towards Member States facing particular pressures on their asylum systems including through mixed migration flows - Follow up/update (15955-rev-1-12, pdf) and Previous draft (15955-12, pdf)
Article: Extension of Mobility Partnerships with Euro-Mediterranean Partners (pdf) by Marie Martin. See also: 2012 Yearbook on Mediterranean policies (link)
EU: VISA LIBERALISATION: Meijers Committee letter to Commissioner: Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: Regarding Letter Meijers Committee on the implications of the recent judgment of the ECHR Stamose v Bulgaria for visa liberation negotiations (pdf)
Statewatch News Digest: 11 January 2013 (28 items)
EU-UK: European Ombudsman: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry into complaint 2293/2008/(BB)(FOR)TN against the European Commission (link to Decision) and Press release: Ombudsman criticises Commission's refusal to disclose documents on UK opt-out from Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf) See also: Commission's failure to properly justify the non-disclosure of UK documents an act of serious maladministration, rules EU watchdog (Out-Law.com)
The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown (The New Yorker, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Eurodac, Seasonal workers, EUROSUR, COSI & Security Industry, Prum & Turkey and visas
- EURODAC: Note providing additional evidence for the necessity of law enforcement access to EURODAC on the basis of contributions by the German, the Netherlands and the Austrian delegations (pdf) See also: European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee adopts proposal giving law enforcement authorities and Europol access to Eurodac
- SEASONAL WORKERS: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employments (16655-12, pdf) and Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament (17100-12, pdf)
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (16508-12, pdf) Council position to "negotiate" with the European Parliament
- COSI (Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security: Security-related research and industrial policy - issues to be discussed on user involvement (16538-12, pdf)
- PRUM: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (5086-rev 8-12, pdf)
- TURKEY-VISAS: RELATIONS WITH TURKEY: Broader dialogue and cooperation framework on Justice and Home Affairs - Roadmap towards a visa-free regime (28 pages, 16929-12, pdf) Remarkably long list of obligations
Privacy by Design?: Lets be smart and implement it?! (link)
Statewatch News Digest: 9 January 2013 (26 items)
Closing Europes Borders Becomes Big Business (Inter Press Service, link)
EU: NEW REGULATION ON DATA PROTECTION: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT: on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individual with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (COM(2012)0011 C7-0025/2012 2012/0011(COD)) Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: Rapporteur: Jan Philipp Albrecht (pdf) and Commission proposal: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (pdf) See Comments by EDRI: European Parliament Data protection draft compromise or compromised?
NEW DIRECTIVE ON DATA PROTECTION AND LEAs: DRAFT REPORT: on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (COM(2012)0010 C7-0024/2012 2012/0010(COD)) Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: Rapporteur: Dimitrios Droutsas (pdf) See: Commission proposal: Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (pdf) For background see: Observatory on data protection and law enforcement agencies in the EU
Rheinmetall demos laser that can shoot down drones (BBC News, link)
Apartheid In Italy? A Sicilian City's Proposal For Immigrant-Only Buses (Worldcrunch, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Asylum procedures, Schengen evaluation, Internal border controls & EU law
- Asylum procedures: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] (17678-12, pdf)
- Asylum procedures: follow-up: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Preparation of the seventh informal trilogue (17698-12, pdf)
- Schengen evaluation: Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis (11846-rev-3-12, pdf). Council "compromise" during "informal" trilogues with the European Parliament
- Internal borders: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances - Revised draft compromise text (6161-rev-6-12, pdf) Council "compromise" during "informal" trilogues" with the European Parliament and see also 6161-rev-5-12 (pdf)
- Implementation of EU law: 29th Annual report on monitoring the application of EU Law - Commission staff working document = situation per member state (18034-add-2-12, pdf): JHA pages 9-10.
EU: Europol: "4x4" intelligence handling codes includes "dodgy data"
The EU's police office, Europol, is currently drawing up a report - the Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) - that will inform "political priorities, strategic goals and operational action plans" from 2013 to 2017, as part of the EU Policy Cycle on serious and organised crime. However, documents outlining the way in which Europol puts the report together indicate that the agency is willing to make use of data that, judged by its own assessment methods, is to be considered "not confirmed".
EU: Statewatch Analysis: EU Immigration and Asylum Law in 2012: The Year of Living Ineffectually (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
"Several years ago, the EU set itself the deadline of 2010 - later postponed to 2012 - for completing the second phase of the Common European Asylum System. In the event, it has largely failed to meet this deadline. Moreover, almost no other EU immigration legislation was formally adopted in 2012."
Migrant workers face 'severe exploitation' in Italy's farm sector( (ecologist, link)
UK: Schedule 7 terror laws used to interrogate activists (NETPOL, link): "There is now abundant evidence that the police are using terrorism powers to stop and question activists on their political activities when they pass through UK ports. It is undoubtedly very helpful to the police that the draconian powers introduced by Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 provide no right to silence a refusal to answer questions can lead to a criminal conviction. The powers are also hugely intimidating people can be detained for up to nine hours and have their DNA and fingerprints taken. To top it all, no reasonable suspicion is needed the police and border authorities can stop whoever they wish. What more could total policing wish for?
Northern Ireland: MI5's control over national security issues means covert operations are run by a "parallel police force"
Covert policing operations in Northern Ireland are effectively run by a "parallel police force" dominated by MI5 that is answerable to government ministers in London rather than domestic officials, according to a new report by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).
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