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    ISSN 1756-851X
    28 November 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU: Council calls for Summit with Turkey on migration: Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk to the EU heads of state or government for a meeting with Turkey (pdf): "I have now decided to call a meeting of the Heads of State or government of the EU with Turkey this coming Sunday (29 November). The meeting will mark an important step in developing our relations and contribute to managing the migration crisis."

EU-Turkey meeting on refugees likely as pressure builds on Greek border (, link): "Amid reports of a possible meeting soon between the European Union and Turkey on the refugee crisis, the pressure continued to mount on Greece’s northern border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where hundreds of migrants are stuck demanding passage."

UK: Mayor on track to roll-out police body cameras across the Met (College of Policing, link): "The Mayor of London and Commissioner of the Metropolitan police today confirmed that plans to introduce police body worn video to all frontline police officers are moving ahead, as a new report finds strong public support for the cameras. "A three year contract to provide 22,000 body worn video devices across the Met has now been awarded, with the first deliveries due early next year. The move follows the world’s largest trial of the cameras, across ten London boroughs over 12 months. In a new report by the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime and the College of Policing, the use of the cameras has been welcomed by Londoners and found to reduce some types of complaints and allegations against police officers."

Full report: Police, Camera, Evidence: London’s cluster randomised controlled trial of Body Worn Video (pdf) And see: Bouncers and council officials with body cams 'posing privacy risk' (Wired, link) and Cameras worn by Met's armed police are 'blocked whenever they aim their guns' (Evening Standard, link)

EU: Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP): Crisis management missions outside EU looking for new migration roles: Germany/Netherlands: DE/NL Food for Thought-Paper Tapping the full potential of CSDP in the field of migration (13 November 2015, pdf): "it must be clear that CSDP missions are a crises management instrument... CSDP Missions have encompassed a variety of approaches and tools for crisis management and stabilization. They range from the training of security forces and the support for the rule of law, to the provision of a military or civilian presence to safeguard elections or to monitor border arrangements and ceasefire agreements, to the fight against piracy or other forms of organised crime.... we should explore whether a horizontal CSDP mission specifically for migration issues, with its HQ in the EU itself, could serve to rapidly deploy expertise to third countries to assist in analyzing and addressing specific issues that affect migration flows into the EU."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (14 news stories and documents: 23.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

Greek Crewman Accused of Sinking Syrian Refugee Boat (Sputnik: Video, link): "Refugees with kids fleeing from Syria have been caught on the Aegean Sea on their way to Europe by Greek coastguard crewmen who reportedly tried to pierce their rubber boat... An "armed masked man" whose identity remains unidentified is seen multiple times disabling vessels with refugees and towing them back to Turkey... The Greek coastguard left the scene just after the boat started to sink, so it was left to the Turkish boat to take drowning refugees on board and take them back to the Turkish city of Didim".

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (17 news stories and documents: 21-22.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

EU: Council of the European Union: "Researchers" Directive: 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 research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing [Recast] [First reading] - Confirmation of the final compromise text with a view to agreement (LIMITE doc no: 13974-15, 71 pages, pdf) And See: European Parliament: Deal on new rules to attract non-EU students, researchers and interns to the EU (pdf):

Refugee Crisis: Balkans border blocks leave thousands segregated and stranded in Greece (AI, link):

"During the night of 18 November, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia all changed their border management practices suddenly, without prior notice, and more or less simultaneously.

Macedonia was the first to act, by refusing to admit anyone unless they have papers to prove they originate from Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. This meant that hundreds of people were stranded, either because they are from other countries, including Iran, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan, or because they do not have identity papers. Greek border police in the village of Idomeni continue to prevent nationals of countries other than Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria from leaving on the basis that Macedonia would not let them in.

"These governments appear to have acted without thinking through the consequences for thousands of people who are now stranded in grossly inadequate conditions with nowhere to go and precious little humanitarian assistance. With thousands more people on the way, action is urgently needed to reverse this worsening disaster" John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (21 news stories and documents: 20.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 20 November 2015: Conclusions of the Council and Member States on counter-terrorism (pdf) and Conclusions of the Council of the European Union and of the Member States meeting within the Council on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism (pdf):

- Draft Conclusions of the Council of the European Union and of the Member States meeting within the Council on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism (14350-15, pdf)

- Draft Conclusions of the Council of the EU and of the Member States meeting within the Council on Counter-Terrorism (14375-15, pdf)

Agenda main: B-points (pdf) and A points (adopted without discussion, pdf. Both in French

EU: Migrant journeys: respecting the dead (IRR, link): An interview with Catriona Jarvis, former judge of the United Kingdom Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), and now a writer/ activist on human rights initiatives.

"Where states fail to take all reasonable steps to safeguard and identify the dead so as to enable surviving family to recover, lay to rest and mourn their loved ones, potential breaches of the right to dignity and to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment arise, as well as failure to respect the right to family life and to physical and moral integrity of those left behind...

across Europe, and indeed globally, there is an urgent need for a new visa regime to allow not only humanitarian visas for those fleeing serious harm, but also visas to permit lawful movement of bereaved family members and procedures for repatriation of bodies in such situations."

See also: Statewatch Viewpoint: In Potters’ Fields (pdf) by Catriona Jarvis: A potter's field, pauper's grave, or common grave, is a term for a place used for the burial of unknown or indigent people

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (18 news stories and documents: 19.11.15) See: Crisis News updated during the day

Statewatch: Briefing: Counter-terrorism: what the EU is discussing after the Paris attacks

A recent note distributed to a whole host of national officials provides more details on the security measures interior ministers will discuss at the emergency EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on Friday: border control, surveillance, firearms control and countering terrorist financing.

Full briefing: Counter-terrorism: what the EU is discussing after the Paris attacks (pdf)

The note (dated 16 November) was written by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and raises a number of issues for discussion on what further counter-terrorism measures to pursue following the attacks in Paris on Friday.

The document: Follow-up to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris (LIMITE, 14122/15, 16 November 2015, pdf)

Top reports

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project:

Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values - under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane."

How the EU works and justice and home affairs decision-making (pdf)

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI/Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society (pdf) by Ben Hayes

Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan

Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial complex (pdf) by Ben Hayes

The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan

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