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JUNE 2016, London: STATEWATCHING
EUROPE: European conference marking Statewatch's 25th anniversary
Statewatch Observatory: Refugee
crisis in the Med and inside the EU - a humanitarian emergency
to cooperate with new European intelligence service center (digit.site36.net, link):
intelligence services are establishing a Counter Terrorism
Centre in the Dutch city The Hague. The centre belongs
to the Counter Terrorism Group (CTG) that was founded
by the so called Club of Berne in 2001. It consists of domestic
intelligence services from all European member states plus Norway
and Switzerland. France and Italy are participating with two
different authorities. ....
for the intelligence centre, which according to a Europol report
will start its services on the 1st of July, came up after
the Paris attacks from 13th November last year. A few days later
the heads of the services met for an extraordinary session and
concluded to set up a common platform in The Hague...."
Europols counter terrorism capabilities: European Counter
Terrorism Centre (ECTC) at Europol (LIMITE doc no: 8881-16, pdf)
Council of Europe: PACE
condemns human rights violations during peaceful protests (PACE, link): "The
PACE Standing Committee, meeting today in Tallinn, expressed
its concern at the frequent use of excessive force against peaceful
demonstrators and at the recent legal restrictions on the right
to freedom of assembly in several member States, in particular:
- in Turkey,
where a security law was enacted, extending police powers and
allowing them to use fire arms;
- in Spain, with the adoption of a law on citizens security,
which institutes heavy fines against organisers of spontaneous
- in the Russian Federation, with an amendment to the law on
public gatherings which permits the detention of any person participating
in an unauthorised public assembly.
It is also concerned at the lack of legislation on freedom of
assembly in some countries, for example Ukraine."
need to prevent human rights violations during peaceful protests (pdf)
evacuation: process denounced, consequences and next steps
Major NGOs and numerous independent
voices have criticised the clearance of the Idomeni camp in northern
Greece, whilst others have highlighted the consequences of the
decision and the Greek government makes plans to clear the Elliniko
camp in Athens next.
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (27.5.16)
security... or not
Group, which "brings together peacebuilding practitioners
and academics concerned about the effects of geopolitics on the
security of people worldwide," argue in a new discussion
paper that a "more secure future for all depends on finding
new answers to fundamental questions: what does security
mean, whom should it benefit, how is it achieved, and whose responsibility
is it?" Meanwhile, the 2016 edition of the EU's annual Security
Research conference is coming up soon, displaying very little
- if any - sign of the type of discussions that the Ammerdown
Group argue are necessary.
Association for Human Rights confirms an increase in arrivals
and deaths at the southern border during 2015
Last month the
Andalucian Association for Human Rights released a report, 'Human
Rights at the Southern Border 2016', which documents and analyses
the situation for migrants and refugees at the southern borders
of Spain. The organization condemns the increasing number of
deaths "resulting from the immoral migration policies than
confine people in countries immersed in war and hunger."
imposition of curfews on migrants overturned by courts
for the Home Office said during the case that they had assumed
they had the power to impose curfews. When it was shown that
they dont have this power, they instigated a change in
policy while the case was ongoing, by which they would ask the
judge in the bail hearing to impose the curfew. However, it is
not clear if the Home Office ever did this in practice. Now that
the judgment in Gedi has been handed down, it has confirmed there
is no legal authority to impose curfews as part of bail conditions."
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice
and Home Affairs info exchange and cyberspace investigations
Leaked documents from the Council
of the EU show detailed plans for enhancing justice and home
affairs information exchange - including by possibly inserting
DNA data into the Schengen Information System - as well as ongoing
plans for ensuring "effective operational cooperation in
criminal investigations in cyberspace".
Electra reports (link) Idomeni
clear-out: volunteers denied access to their equipment, tents
is OUTRAGEOUS! I guess that's the Greek Government's way of saying
'thanks' to volunteers... By destroying the humanitarian material
and belongings thousands fundraised for... Volunteers in Idomeni,
who were told that if they approach the camp during the - priorly
unanounced - eviction they would be arrested, return to the field,
just to find all their tents, belongings and humanitarian material
smashed under the bulldozers: "Despite liaising with authorities
to recover resources all of our resources and the ngo resources
have been destroyed by the authorities. This includes thousands
of euros of medical equipment all the NGO tents and hundreds
of thousands of euros other infrastructure."
on Facebook posted this report today (26.5.16):: "This post was put on by Phoebe
Ramsey a must to read. This what has happened in the last 36
hours, summarized to the best of my ability in my present exhausted,
sad, and angry state.
At present, there are only a
couple of hundred people left in Idomeni. There has been no major
resistance or violence. It seems everyone was resigned and complied
in the face of the enormous presence of riot police. As the tents
have been emptied, bulldozers have come in to flatten them. Just
over 2,000 people were moved yesterday, and about 1,000 today.
Given that there were at least 7,000 people in Idomeni two days
ago, this means that about 4,000 people are 'unaccounted' for.
They have either tried to go to the major cities, or made a panicked
rush for the border-hundreds and hundreds of people headed west
into the woods last night. This is in convenient conjunction
with today's reported announcement by police that from now on,
anyone caught and returned by FYROM (pushbacks) from an illegal
border crossing will be arrested in Greece, and have any existing
asylum claims canceled.......
and Eritrea crackdown on migrants amid reports of EU incentives (IRIN, link):
in Sudan have launched a crackdown on Eritrean migrants - arresting
those living in the capital, Khartoum, and intercepting hundreds
travelling north through the country towards Libya, the launching
point for smugglers boats heading for Europe.
900 Eritreans were rounded up in Khartoum on Monday and that
a further 400 arrested en route to Libya have been deported to
Eritrea, come amid recent revelations in the British and German
media that the EU is planning to deepen its cooperation with
a number of African countries, including Sudan and Eritrea, to
stem migration towards Europe."
European Parliament Study: Cross-border
placement of children in the European Union (pdf):
study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights
and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee,
explores the range and nature of problems linked to the cross-border
placement of children and to the application of article 56 of
the Brussels IIa Regulation. Based on an analysis of the practice
in 12 Member States and European case law, it identifies a number
of shortcomings in the current legislative framework. Looking
ahead to the recast of Brussels IIa, the study sets out recommendations
to remedy some of the weaknesses, such as clarifying the respective
tasks of the Member States involved in cross-border placement
cases and facilitating the recognition and enforcement of cross-border
with the Gag Law for carrying a bag with the face of a cat and
the abbreviation A.C.A.B.
was returning to her house in Madrid last Sunday when she was
stopped by two police officers who asked for her documentation
and subsequently said they were going to fine her. The motive:
a black fabric shoulder bag bearing the face of a cat and the
abbreviation A.C.A.B, along with the words "All Cats Are
Beautiful". The police's report stated that the abbreviation
signifies "All Cops Are Bastards".
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION:
Model clauses in jeopardy with Irish DPA referral to CJEU (The Privacy Adviser,
data flows between the U.S. and EU may have taken yet another
hit late Tuesday with news that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner
is planning to refer a case to the Court of Justice of the European
Union to determine whether Facebook can use standard contractual
clauses, also often called model clauses, to transfer data out
of the EU....
to a press release from Europe-v-Facebook the Max Schrems-led
group that brought both the Safe Harbor and current complaint
to the Irish DPA, Under current CJEU case law, it is highly
unlikely that Facebook Ireland could
data with the U.S. authorities.
See: Press Release:
& NSA-Surveillance: Following Safe Harbor decision,
Irish Data Protection Commissioner to bring EU-US data flows
before CJEU again (pdf): "Yesterday night, we were informed
that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is planning
to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
to determine if Facebook can continue to transfer data from the
EU to the US after the invalidation of the Safe Harbor
system by the Court on October 6th 2015 and given continues application
of US mass surveillance laws."
latest news from across Europe (25.5.16) including:
Is the EU-Turkey deal dead or will the EU, in desparation, simply
how one academic kept the truth from being hidden (bellacaledonia.org.uk,
link) by Margaret Malloch and Bill Munro:
can academics put their research at the service of correcting
great injustices? Phil Scraton and his work for the Hillsborough
campaign offers a powerful example, write Margaret Malloch and
been a justifiable amount of attention on the recent outcome
of the inquests into the 96 men, women and children who lost
their lives as a direct result of events at Hillsborough Football
Ground on 15 April 1989. However, claims that at last,
the truth is out leave us somewhat troubled.
of what happened on that day has always been known not
least by the bereaved families, the survivors and many more besides.
That truth, until now, has been officially erased,
or at least hidden and replaced by a carefully constructed and
long maintained lie."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (24.5.16)
including EU navies to help Libyan coastguards stop refugees
Moving Europe: Updates
from the eviction in Idomeni (link): "Moving Europe is writing
live updates on the situation in Idomeni and on the unacceptable
conditions in the camps where people are being brought to. As
journalists and indepedent observers are not allowed into the
area around Idomeni, the updates are based on observations and
information from people in the camp. The page will be updated
constantly, please spread!
and independent observers are not let into the area of the camp
in Idomeni, on this site we are constantly collecting observations
and information which residents of the camp send to us. Follow
us as well on Twitter
authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp (ekathimerini.com, link):
authorities began an operation at dawn Tuesday to gradually evacuate
the countrys largest informal refugee camp of Idomeni on
the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),
blocking access to the area and sending in more than 400 riot
Journalists were barred from the camp during the evacuation
operation, stopped at a police roadblock a few kilometers (miles)
away. Twenty buses carrying various riot police units were
seen heading to the area while a police helicopter observed from
above. An estimated 700 police were participating in the operation." [emphasis added]
EU: Counter Terrorism: Council of the European Union: Strengthening
cooperation on counter-terrorism threat analysis (LIMITE doc no: 8409-16,
pdf): There is concern about the legal basis for sharing intelligence:
discussion showed divergences between Member States as to which
role to give the EU in view of national positions and Article
4(2) TEU, in particular in relation to the sharing of intelligence
information. Many delegations were positive towards the idea,
whereas a number of delegations requested additional information
and more details on a number of issues, such as the legal basis
for such a joint threat assessment, methodology and which personal
data would be exchanged. Others underlined the importance of
avoiding duplication. The EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (CTC)
supported the idea of a joint threat assessment."
and also where
to draw the line between intelligence-gathering, analyses and
operational roles: See EU INTCEN (pdf):
is the exclusive civilian intelligence analysis function of the
European Union... EU INTCEN is not an operational agency and
does not have any collection capability. The operational
level of intelligence is the Member States responsibility.
EU INTCEN deals only with strategic analysis...".
at the same time
EU INTCEN "compliments" Member States' input by monitoring
deals only with strategic analysis. Its analytical products are
mostly based on information provided by Member States
security and intelligence services, but can also be complemented
by open sources (media, websites, blogs etc.), diplomatic reporting,
consular warden networks, international organisations, NGOs,
CSDP missions and operations, the EU Satellite Centre, visits
and field trips." [emphasis added]
See also: EU
to enhance terrorism "threat assessments" as Counter
Terrorist Group moves towards "real time information exchange"
navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrants (euobserver, link):
"EU navies are to start training the Libyan coastguard
amid concern that the summer could see huge numbers of migrants
try to cross the Mediterranean. Foreign ministers in Brussels
on Monday (23 May) agreed the new task for Sophia, the EU's anti
migrant-smuggling naval operation."
aspects of migration - Council Conclusions (23 May 2016) (pdf) : "Regarding
the Central Mediterranean route, the Council highlights the need
to use the broad range of tools available to manage flows in
cooperation with third countries of origin and transit as part
of an EU regional approach to migration, including via CSDP instruments.
In particular, it highlights the importance of the work to be
undertaken at the request of and in partnership with the Libyan
Government of National Accord on a comprehensive approach to
manage migration, which includes the fight against smugglers
and traffickers, as well as capacity building and training of
Libyan coastguard and Navy as one of the two further supporting
tasks to be implemented by EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. Work
will be carried forward to this end to amend the mandate of EUNAVFOR
MED Operation Sophia as well as the possible setting up of an
increased civilian CSDP presence in Libya, including on border
management assistance, in addition to existing EU funded capacity
European Parliament: MEPs
assess refugee camps in Greece and call for smoother implementation
of EU-Turkey deal (Press release, pdf): "A delegation from
the civil liberties committee visited Greece last week to assess
refugees' situation at the EU's external borders and the implementation
of the EUTurkey deal to manage the influx of migrants and refugees.
The delegation was led by Hungarian S&D member Péter
Niedermüller. Members also met with representatives from
the Greek authorities, international organisations and nongovernmental
According to Frontex, 1.83 million illegal crossings were detected
at the EU's external borders last year. Southern European countries
were responsible for dealing with most of these migrants, but
the sharp increase has proved challenging. The delegation aimed
to see how Greece was coping."
Unfortunately the Press release cites Frontex (in January) stating:
"In all of 2015, there were 1.83 million illegal border
crossings detected at EUs external borders." By
its own admission Frontex figures are inflated by the double-counting
of refugees. UNHCR states: "UNHCRs
latest figures show that some 1,000,573 people had reached
Europe across the Mediterranean, mainly to Greece and Italy,
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor
protection for the digital generation: the countdown to the GDPR
(Press release, pdf): "Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said:
"The GDPR is one of the EU's greatest achievements in recent
years and a document of which it should be proud. However, our
job is not yet complete. We must ensure that the GDPR is fully
and effectively implemented and that we close the package with
equally effective agreements on Regulation 45/2001 and the ePrivacy
Directive. Only then will we be able to ensure that the EU upholds
its promise of effective data protection for the digital age."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (23.5.16): supporting Sudan's post-Valletta
Summit projects; condemnation of Germany's parliamentary voting
for Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria as safe countries; ongoing ramifications
of the EU-Turkey deal; and more.
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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