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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
crisis: latest news from across Europe (2-5-12-16)
To Mainland Against EU-Turkey Deal (News That Moves, link):
Ta Nea: Greek Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas stressed
that the EU-Turkey deal does not include an option for transferring
asylum seekers on the islands to the mainland and if the government
does so it may lead to the agreement failing.
why asylum claims take so long to process, the Minister replied,
We have 13,000 asylum applications in the islands, 50,000
applications on the mainland. We have a new asylum service that
has existed for only three years in Greece, while the same services
in France and Germany have fifty years of experience. I do not
claim that our asylum service operates perfectly, but we are
law enforcement data deal gets go-ahead from European Parliament
Parliament has voted strongly in favour of the EU-US 'Umbrella
Agreement' that, in theory, provides for the protection of personal
data exchanged for law enforcement purposes. Attempts left and
liberal MEPs to have the text rejected and to seek the European
Court of Justice's opinion on its compatibility with the Charter
of Fundamental Rights were rejected. The
agreement is unlikely to provide what it promises.
seeds of post-Brexit racial violence lie in government policy (OpenDemocracy, link):
every utterance shouted alongside a specific racist attack was
already a dominant ideological policy position. The hostile environment
that Theresa May promised the country in 2012 has certainly become
one on the ground."
VIOLENCE and the BREXIT STATE (pdf) by Jon Burnett (Institute
of Race Relations)
Charter: why journalists (and the rest of us) should be afraid (The Conversation, link):
the passing of the Act we have taken a step into a new world
of permanent surveillance that was not deemed necessary in 30
years of The Troubles, four decades of the Cold War
or during two world wars. Home secretary Amber Rudds comment
that it is world-leading legislation is worthy of
Orwells doublethink. One might ask, what part of the world
are we leading exactly: North Korea, Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia?"
might: Commission proposes 5.5 billion per year for defence
research and equipment
Commission proposed on Wednesday (30 November) a 5.5 billion
'European Defence Fund' that would provide EU funds of 500
million per year for military research and development and 5
billion per year "from national contributions" for
"Member States to develop certain assets together to reduce
their costs." The Commission wants the EU to "demonstrate
that it can act as a provider of hard as well as soft security".
crisis: latest news from across Europe (30-11-16 and 1-12-16)
EU: European Council: 15-16
December 2016: Draft
guidelines for conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 13936-16,
On Migration: "assess
and reaffirm its commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey
Statement and assess progress on the compacts with the five
selected African countries in terms of arrivals and returns,"
"assess progress on the
reform of the Common European Asylum System, including
on how to apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity
in the future, on the basis of a report from the Presidency."
Regarding Members States the
Council has to try and appease those against "responsibility
and solidarity in the future", while hoping the European
Parliament will unblock discussions on the Qualifications Regulation,
the Reception Conditions Directive and the Procedures Regulation
and the Resettlement file.
On Internal Security: Review
progress on: "systematic checks against the relevant
databases, that must be interconnected, of all persons
crossing the Union's external borders, including nationals from
EU Member States; the entry/exit system; the European Travel
Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS); combatting terrorism;
firearms; anti-money laundering; Passenger Name Record (PNR);
and enhancing effective cooperation with electronic service
providers." [emphasis added]
Rights groups expose flaws in EU counterterrorism directive (euractiv, link)
"The European institutions
reached an agreement yesterday (30 November) on a directive that
is aimed at better equipping the EU with instruments to counter
terrorism. But civil rights groups warned that it risks undermining
A political agreement on the
directive was reached by EU government representatives in the
European Council (COREPER) yesterday, following negotiations
with the European Parliament. Both the Council and Parliament
are expected to sign off on the
37-page text without changes later this month."
terror law risks making protest a crime (euobserver,
link); "A new anti-terror law backed by EU states contains
rules that could be used to crack down on civil dissent. Endorsed
at the political level on Tuesday (30 November) by most EU states,
the directive on combating terrorism has riled human rights activists
for its vague notions of terrorism. The bill borrows heavily
from recent laws in France that allow the authorities to tell
internet firms, without any judicial oversight, to block sites
that "glorify" terrorism. "
And see background:
on combating terrorism (Statewatch, SEMDOC)
Shameful misuse of terrorism provisions as man involved in border
clash jailed for 10 years (AI,
"In response to the sentencing
of Ahmed H, to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges for his
involvement in clashes with Hungarian border guards at a Serbia-Hungary
border crossing last year, Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty Internationals
Deputy Europe Directorwho attended the court hearing said: This
verdict is based on a blatant misuse of terrorism provisions
and reflects a disturbing confluence of two dangerous trends:
the misuse of terrorism-related offenses and the appalling treatment
of refugees and migrants. Throwing stones and entering
a country irregularly does not constitute terrorism and cannot
justify this draconian ruling"
on Europol report leak
(New Europe, link):
"The Alliance of Liberals
and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament
has called on Europol director, Rob Wainwright, and Sir Julian
King, the Security Union Commissioner, to clarify the facts related
to a leaked report. According to an ALDE press release, the leak
relates to a breach in Europols security rules. The Dutch
investigative television show Zembla reported that a Europol
staffer took dossiers home and copied them to a backup drive
that was linked to the internet.
This is extremely shocking.
Europol was aware of this security incident since September,
yet its director decided not to inform the parliament during
a joint meeting of the European parliament and the national parliaments
on Europol scrutiny just two days ago, Sophie int
Veld, ALDE spokesperson for data protection, said."
press release (link) and also: Secret
Europol terror data found online (BBC News, link)
EU-Turkey: European Parliament: EU-Turkey relations:
We are entering a new phase (Press release, pdf):
than 10 years after EU-Turkey accession talks started, MEPs adopted
a resolution on 24 November calling for the negotiations to be
suspended until the Turkish government ended its disproportionate
and repressive response to July's failed coup. Ankara replied
by threatening to let thousands of migrants pass through to Europe.
Greek EPP member Manolis Kefalogiannis, head of Parliaments
delegation to Turkey, commented: We are entering a new
phase in EU-Turkey relations."
Office To Integrate Surveillance Cams With Police Database (link):
Law Enforcement Data Service is to include two existing police
databases as well as the nationwide Automatic Number Plate Recognition
system. The Home Office has been accused of operating a burgeoning
surveillance capability outside of parliamentary oversight
as it continues to expand the Automatic Number Plate Recognition
Camera Commissioner - Annual report (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (29.11.16)
EU-UK: House of Commons: European Scrutiny Committee: Europol:
(pdf):: "Given this wider context, would opting into
the new Europol Regulation be an anomaly at a time when the UK
is seeking to loosen rather than strengthen its ties with EU
institutions and agencies and to develop alternative methods
of cooperation on policing and security matters? Conversely,
would opting in help to bridge the gap between the UKs
existing security arrangements with EU partners and agencies
and the equally strong ties which the Government intends to develop
once the UK has left the EU?"
Border Agency Still Unaccountable on Refugees Rights (Refugees Deeply, link):
"Last month, 10 Syrians boarded a flight organized and
staffed by the European Unions border agency, Frontex,
on the Greek island of Kos, believing their destination was Athens.
Instead, they landed in the Turkish city of Adana.
had wanted to seek international protection in Greece, and carried
documents indicating their intention to initiate asylum procedures.
They were never given deportation orders or offered an opportunity
to mount a legal challenge to their deportation."
EU: Encryption: five Member States want Europe-wide laws,
access to documents request shows
EU countries said they want the European Commission to propose
legislation that would make it easier for police to crack through
Latvia, Poland and Hungary all want an EU law to be created to
help their law enforcement authorities access encrypted information
and share data with investigators in other countries."
member states want EU-wide laws on encryption (EurActiv, link)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (26-27.11.16)
refugee lawyer targeted by police (DW, link)
was prevented repeatedly from properly representing my clients.
One child, who has received therapy for witnessing the torture
of family members in Syria, was interviewed from 1:30 am until
4:30 am, not allowed contact with his father and me, despite
the complaints we raised. Being forced to wait in the hall for
hours in front of a guarded closed door, knowing that the rights
of the child were being violated and not being able to do anything
about it was a traumatic experience for me," she told DW...."
small African region with more refugees than all of Europe -
Hunger follows displaced people around north-east Nigeria, as
Boko Haram and climate change drive millions from their homes (Guardian, link):
40% more people have been displaced throughout Borno state (1.4
million) than reached Europe by boat in 2015 (1 million). Across
the region, the war against Boko Haram has forced more people
from their homes 2.6 million than there are Syrians
in Turkey, the country that hosts more refugees than any other.
mirror a wider trend across Africa. Of the worlds 17 million
displaced Africans, 93.7% remain inside the continent, and just
3.3% have reached Europe, according to UN data supplied privately
to the Guardian.
how many problems Europeans have, its nothing like this,
summarises Modu Amsami, the informal leader of Mongunos
nine camps for internally displaced people (IDP), as he strolls
past Kawus newly erected hut. Please, Im appealing
to Europeans to forget their minor problems. Let them come here
and face our major problems.
Eric Kempson from Lesvos, Greece: Fascists
Ruining Tourism! 24/11/2016 (video link) Fascists are not being
prosecuted.... and the "big Greek heart" needs to be
portrayed in the media.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (24-25.11.16)
GREECE: LESVOS: Death
and riots at EU asylum hotspot in Greece (euobserver, link):
and her young child have died on Thursday (24 November) at an
asylum detention centre on the Greek island of Lesbos, triggering
riots and clashes with police.
The two were
killed when a gas cylinder exploded while cooking at the Moria
camp, a so-called hotspot initiated by the EU commission where
asylum seekers are screened and registered. The deaths provoked
a protest among other asylum seekers who have been stuck at camps
described as open-prisons. The police clashes injured six asylum
seekers, according to Greek media."
See also: Mother
and son in critical condition from Moria migrant camp fire (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Twenty large tents and over 100 smaller ones were destroyed
in the blaze, as well as by fires started by migrants protesting
living conditions at the overcrowded camp in reaction to the
gas cooker explosion in the family tent that started the conflagration.
arrested 15 Afghan men for starting the smaller fires and clashing
with riot police dispatched to the scene. Between eight and 10
camp residents are also being treated at the Lesvos general hospital
for burns and smoke inhalation."
EU-TURKEY: European Parliament: Freeze
EU accession talks with Turkey until it halts repression, urge
(Press release, link)
want a temporary freeze on EU accession talks with Turkey. In
a resolution voted on Thursday, they say Turkey should nonetheless
remain anchored to the EU. They also pledge to review
their position when the "disproportionate repressive measures"
under the state of emergency in Turkey are lifted.:...
was approved by 479 votes to 37, with 107 abstentions."
And see: Turkey
threatens to end refugee deal in row over EU accession - President
Erdogan issues warning after European parliament vote urging
ministers to freeze talks on Turkey joining the EU (Guardian, link): "Turkeys
president has threatened to tear up a landmark deal to stem the
flow of refugees into Europe a day after the European parliament
urged governments to freeze EU accession talks with Ankara. The
threat underlines how far relations between Turkey and the European
bloc have deteriorated in recent months, particularly after a
coup attempt in July.
goes too far, we will allow refugees to pass from the border
gates, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech on Friday
at a womens rights conference. Do not forget, the
west needs Turkey. Erdogans statements, the most
direct warning yet that Turkey could abandon the agreement, came
in response to a symbolic vote in the European parliament on
Thursday that demanded an end to the decade-long accession negotiations."
EU-USA: Data Protection: "Umbrella"
Agreement: European Parliament: EU-US deal on
law enforcement data transfers backed by Civil Liberties Committee (Press release, pdf):
EU-US data protection framework, known as the Umbrella
Agreement was backed by a large majority in the Civil Liberties
Committee on Thursday morning. The deal will ensure high, binding
data protection standards for data exchanged by police and law
enforcement authorities across the Atlantic. The Umbrella Agreement
covers the transfer of all personal data, such as names, addresses
or criminal records, exchanged between the EU and US for the
prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal
offences, including terrorism....
[Adopted in LIBE
Committee]: 41 votes to 4, with 6 abstentions"
European Parliament Studies
Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU
institutional framework (pdf): "looks into the role of the Charter
in the legislative process; in the economic governance of the
Union; in the work of EU agencies; in the implementation of EU
law by EU Member States; and, in the external relations of the
Union, both in trade and investment policies and in the Common
Foreign and Security Policy. It also analyses certain gaps in
the judicial protection of the Charter and identifies measures
through which the potential of the Charter could be further realized."
Marrakesh Treaty (pdf): "This study, commissioned by the
European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens Rights
and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the PETI Committee,
provides an analysis of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access
to Copyright Works for the Blind or Print-Disabled. It explains
the background and movements that led to its proposal, negotiation
and successful adoption. It then considers the Treatys
current situation in relation to its content and issues around
its ratification, particularly by the EU. It finally examines
future developments around copyright reform and makes recommendations
to EU institutions and Member States."
for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives:
Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR
and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the
Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias
Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem,
the member states are upgrading the Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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