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    21 October 2017
 

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Commission proposes new security measures - Public spaces, Canada and EU PNR, Europol personal data exchanges with third states and European Intelligence Unit

Press release:
Security Union: Commission presents new measures to better protect EU citizens (pdf) which includes:

"protecting public spaces and help deprive terrorists of the means to act. The Commission is also proposing to further strengthen the EU's external action on counter-terrorism - including through Europol - and is recommending the EU open negotiations on a revised Passenger Name Record agreement with Canada."

"Enhancing Europol's cooperation with third countries by presenting, before the end of the year, recommendations to the Council to authorise the opening of negotiations for agreements between the EU and Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey on the transfer of personal data between Europol and these countries to prevent and combat terrorism and serious crimes." [emphasis in original]

SPAIN: Catalan referendum: police operation sought to "generate panic amongst the civil population"

A report by Barcelona city council has denounced the police operation undertaken by the Policia Nacional and the Guardia Civil on 1 October that attempted to halt the vote on Catalan independence, saying it involved "generalised institutional violence" that was "indiscriminate", "disproportonate" and sought to "generate panic amongst the civil population".

EU: European Council: "roadmap" implementation paper highlights migration, internal security, military efforts

"One year on, the EU has made significant progress and can demonstrate tangible results. The Bratislava method is working. The attached table shows that many tasks have been completed, and many others are on track. Some tasks however have progressed slower than expected, and a few require a fresh push, including at the highest level."

Council of Europe: CPT publishes report on Turkey (link)

"The visit focused on the situation of foreign nationals detained under aliens legislation, and the report contains the CPT’s findings and recommendations relating to various removal centres, as well as the holding facilities in the transit zone of Istanbul Atatürk Airport."

See: Report (pdf)

GREECE: Open The Islands - no more dead from the cold!

Over 40 solidarity groups and organisations are calling for urgent action from the Greek local and national authorities to prevent more refugees from dying in the cold as winter sets in once again. They expect more groups and organisations to join them over the next days and weeks.

ITALY: Solidarity is not a crime: the Observatory of the Milan Charter is born

On 30 September 2017 around thirty activists, journalists, jurists, citizens acting in solidarity, members of NGOs and associations met in Milan to set up the Observatory which the 'Milan Charter: solidarity is not a crime' proposed in its document launched on 20 May 2017 during the demonstration 'Together without any walls'...

SPAIN: Human rights groups denounce "racist" focus of G6 summit in Seville

The interior ministers of Spain, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Poland, the so-called G6, and high representatives of Morocco and the European Union are meeting today (16 October) in Seville to analyse "the fight against jihadist terrorism and illegal immigration." The focus of the summit has led to protests from activists and NGOs who consider it "racist" and have said that it "turns migrants and racialised citizens into a threat."

UK police earned millions training officers in repressive regimes (The Guardian, link):

"British police earned millions of pounds by training officers in repressive regimes in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia."

Council of the European Union developing its negotiating position: Reception Directive and European Electronic Communications Code

Council of the European Union: ENHANCED COOPERATION of 20 Member States: European Public Prosecutor's Office

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 12-13 October: all the documentation including background documents

Updated 16.10.17: On the agenda: European Public Prosecutors' Office, freezing and confiscation orders, the European Criminal Records Information System for third-country nationals, implementing data protection legislation, criminal justice in cyberspace, Schengen Borders Code, counter-terrorism resettlement and the reform of the Common European Asylum System.

Better protection and durable solution for refugees (European Parliament, press release, link):

By 37 MEPs to 20 and 2 abstentions on 12 October, the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee (LIBE) adopted its negotiating position for the permanent EU mechanism for resettlement refugees. It called on the EU to accept 240,000 refugees:

"EU member states host 8% of the world’s refugees. In 2015, 22 EU countries resettled 13 000 people; the US resettled almost 70 000 refugees. MEPs therefore call on member states to increase both resettlement efforts and the number of resettlement places in order to shoulder a fair share of global responsibility. They want the EU to take on at least 20% of the annual projected global resettlement needs. In 2017, this would amount to around 250 000 people."

CoE: Commissioner seeks clarifications over Italy’s maritime operations in Libyan territorial waters (link):

"Expressing appreciation for Italy’s efforts in saving lives at sea and in receiving migrants arriving at its shores in the last years, the Commissioner underscores that, even when a state faces difficulties in coping with the influx of migrants, it still has the duty to protect and safeguard their human rights.

“The case law of the European Court of Human Rights is clear about this duty and I think it bears relevance for Italy’s operations in Libyan territorial waters”, writes the Commissioner."

See: Letter to Italy (pdf)

European Council draft Conclusions on migration

"To consolidate and deepen this approach on all migration routes, the European Council further calls for:
- continued full commitment to our cooperation with Turkey on migration as well as - support to the Western Balkans;
- reducing the attractiveness of illegal migration through enhanced returns, effective readmission agreements and arrangements and by making full use of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which should be further strengthened....."

EU: Migrant smuggling tops EU crime priorities - restricted document shows extent of police operations

"Preventing the arrival of immigrants with no legal rights to the EU is more important, in terms of EU policy priorities among member states, than fighting terrorism and online child pornography."

UK: Stop the Spy Cop Cover Up (one small window, link):

"In recent years, laws curtailing civil liberties and sanctioning greater surveillance of British citizens and residents have been passed in the Houses of Parliament, making it an unusual venue for a meeting on the Undercover Police Inquiry, even though the inquiry core participants include a number of politicians."

EU: Reforming the 'Common European Asylum System': progress report

The Presidency of the Council of the EU has published a useful note outlining the state of play with seven legislative proposals that were published by the Commission in 2016. These proposals are aimed at reforming the 'Common European Asylum System' (CEAS) and the EU's system for resettling refugees from non-EU countries.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (9-11.10.17) including: 5-year-old girl dies in Moria hotspot; "grave abuse" in EU migration policies; Common European Asylum System progress report

FRANCE-AFRICA: In Niger, Chad: France to open asylum centres (Pulse, link):

"France will open offices in Niger and Chad in the coming weeks to identify people who could be granted asylum, President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday.

The offices would also "warn people in Niger and Chad better about the situation in order to avoid an influx of economic migrants" who would only be sent back from France, Macron said."

Dangerous Borderlands: Human Rights for Displaced People on the French-Italian Border (Border Criminologies, link):

"While ‘hot-spots’ in Greece and Italy and the squalid make-shift camps in Northern France have received periods of international attention, the migratory transit point in the small Italian town of Ventimiglia on the French-Italian border seems to have been largely overlooked by media agencies and human rights groups, with the exception of a few noteworthy examples (see for example news coverage by Al-Jazeera, a blog post on Are You Syrious?, and a research study conducted by UNICEF and the REACH Initiative). Recent research by Refugee Rights Data Project (RRDP) highlights detrimental living conditions coupled with police violence and dangerous border crossings, creating a situation for displaced people characterised by chronic insecurity and extensive mental and physical health concerns.

Council of the European Union adopts policy on "open data" - but will continue to keep a lot secret

- Reuse is subject to: "the obligation not to distort the original meaning or message of the documents." and the current rules to keep LIMITE documents secret will continue.


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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