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    ISSN 1756-851X
    30 June 2015
 

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EU: Council of the European Union: Data Protection Regulation: Start of the trilogue legislative meetings between the Council and the European Parliament (held in secret): 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) - Preparation for trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 9958-rev-1-15, 79 pages, pdf). A multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions.

EU: LEGAL AID: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings - Preparation for the 1st trilogue (14 July 2015, Brussels (LIMITE doc no: 10296-15, 71 pages, pdf) Start of closed trilogue meetings: Multi-column document containing the Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council positions

EU Council: European Council meeting (25 and 26 June 2015) – Conclusions (pdf). Some change in terminology but same intent: For example, "structured border zones" now referred to as "first reception facilities"... and it not at all clear what the legal powers of Europol, Frontex or EASO are to ensure "swift identification, registration and fingerprinting":

"the setting up of reception and first reception facilities in the frontline Member States, with the active support of Member States' experts and of EASO, Frontex and Europol to ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots").

Background:: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

Special Report: European Summit (meeting of Prime Ministers) Conclusions: European Council (25 and 26 June 2015) - Draft conclusions (dated 24 June 2015, LIIMITE doc no: 8395-15,pdf). These Conclusions, drafted yesterday, still contain the same, worrying, and far-reaching measures on migration as the earlier draft and are based on:Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (pdf) which spells out in more detail where the EU is going:

See: Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")" and Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

And Agenda of Summit (pdf) The UK issues are no 6 on Agenda.. The Conclusions state: "IV. UK: 14. The UK Prime Minister set out his plans for an (in/out) referendum in the UK. The European Council agreed to revert to the matter in December."

EU: MIGRATION POLICY: Council of the European Union: Incoming Luxembourg Council Presidency: Strategic coordination of the work of the Council preparatory bodies in the area of migration (LIMITE doc no: 10249-15, dated 25 June 2015, pdf): The Council Presidency seem to have forgotten that migration policy is subject to co-responsibility with the European Parliament: How can a legislative body fully play its role if it is not associated when strategies are defined and when legislation is implemented?

Data protection talks start ahead of digital focus at EU summit (euobserver, link): "EU lawmakers sat down for their first meeting yesterday (24 June) to work out details on the EU's data protection reform. Facing bumps ahead, negotiators said they were still committed to wrapping up the legislation package this year."  The two key documents on the table are: The positions (negotiating mandates) of the co-legislators:

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) - Preparation of a general approach (201 pages, 11 June, pdf)

and European Parliament negotiating position set out in the Annex to this report (pdf)

Statewatch: News Online 24 June 2015 (pdf): Thirty News items with documentation plus EU-USA-NSA-GCHQ and Update:Statewatch coverage of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean (pdf):

NSA spied on French presidents: WikiLeaks (Reuters, link). See: Espionnage Élysée (Wikileaks, links): "Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing "Espionnage Élysée", a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years." See: US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France (2 pages, pdf) also: NSA: 14 page dossier on spying on three French Presidents (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: EU to create new quarantine system for Mediterranean migrants - Italian PM accuses EU of betraying basic values as draft summit papers reveal plans to give police and border agencies enhanced powers of coercion (Guardiun, link)::"“Where is the EU going?” asked Tony Bunyan, director of Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring civil liberties in the EU. “Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly fingerprinted or held in detention until they acquiesce or are expelled and banned from re-entry.” 

GREECE:The ‘Super-Panopticon’ Scandal of Áthens 2004 Olympics and its Legacy (Book Abstract, Pella, N.Y. 2014, pdf) by Minas Samatas: "This book elucidates the “super-panopticon” scandal at the Athens 2004 Olympics, that is the technological fiasco of the C4I—Command, Control, Coordination, Communication, and Integration—surveillance system, designed by the American SAIC corporation and subcontracted to the German company Siemens AG, which did not work during and long after the Games, despite its multi-million cost.... As a critical “glocal” analysis, it relates the nature and legacy of this scandal to post-9/11 neoliberal “securitization,” which has transformed the Olympics into security-surveillance and consumption Games with a loss of any true Olympic meaning, and finally thus reviving the discussion for alternative, pure Olympics."

EU:Jailing migrant families together with convicted criminals: A desperate EU policy to deter irregular migration by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:

"Taken together, the loss of these protections will mean that irregular migrants, including irregular migrant families, will not only be detained in ordinary prisons, but mixed in with the ordinary prison population of convicted criminals and those awaiting trial for serious crimes. Moreover, their capacity to challenge their detention by means of judiicial review will be severely curtailed.

Coupled with the recent Commission paper offering guidelines for using force, including against pregnant women, on migrants who refuse to be fingerprinted, this represents a significant turn in EU policy - turning toward direct and indirect threats of physical violence to control their behaviour and induce them to leave. To say the least, this is hard to square with the EU's frequent professions of support for the human rights and decent treatment of migrants."

See: Letter from Commissioner Avramopolous to Ministers with Annex (Statewatch version, 75KB) or link to Council's 10.5 MB version (pdf)

Statewatch Special Report: "War" to be declared on migrants who - fleeing from war, persecution and poverty - have arrived in the EU are to be contained and detained in "Structured border zones" to be set up to "ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots")"

This is set out in the Draft Conclusions of the European Council [the EU Heads of State] meeting on 25 and 26 June 2015: Draft conclusions (pdf)

Section 5.c says: "the setting up of structured border zones and facilities in the frontline Member States, with the active support of Member States' experts and of EASO, Frontex and Europol to ensure the swift identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants ("hotspots");" [emphasis added]

Will the "swift fingerprinting" of those described here as "illegal" migrants involve coercive measures? See: Statewatch Briefing on a "Working Document" issued for discussion by the Commission: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

“If the data-subject still refuses to cooperate it is suggested that officials trained in the "proportionate use of coercion" may apply the minimum level of coercion required, while ensuring respect of the dignity and physical integrity of the data-subject..”

Statewatch Director, Tony Bunyan comments: “Where is the EU going? Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly finger-printed or held in detention until they acquiesce or are expelled and banned from re-entry.”

Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex comments on the Draft Conclusions:

"It is remarkable that Member States (if this draft is accepted) are indeed willing to accept the relocation of 40,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, and 20,000 resettled refugees.

It is also notable that all Member States will participate in the latter decision - with even the UK agreeing recently to resettle a few hundred more Syrians. This is a very modest amount of the numbers needing protection however.

The European Asylum Support Office does not seem to have the powers to participate in fingerprinting asylum-seekers, and the reference to 'bringing together' rules on fast-tracking asylum applications is very vague. Is the intention to lower standards, and if so, how exactly? Any moves to negotiate more readmission agreements and to expel more people who supposedly have no need for protection will have to comply fully with EU, ECHR and all national and international human rights standards.

Equally if Frontex is to gain more powers over expulsion it must be made more fully accountable, including as regards individual complaints against it."

See: UN says one million refugees should be no problem for EU (euractiv, link): "The UN rights chief yesterday (15 June) called for the European Union to take bolder steps to address its swelling migrant crisis, insisting the bloc could easily take in one million refugees"

EU: MED-CRISIS: European External Action Service (EEAS): European Union Naval Force - Mediterranean (Press statement, pdf): Contributing States: Currently 14 Member States (BE, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HU, IT, LT, LU, NL, SE, SI, UK): "The Council shall assess whether the conditions for transition beyond the first phase have been met, taking into account any applicable UN Security Council Resolution and consent by the Coastal States concerned." Consent is needed for the EU to act within the territorial waters of another state (eg: Libya) and see: Comments below on this position.

GCHQ-JTRIG: Spies Hacked Computers Thanks to Sweeping Secret Warrants, Aggressively Stretching U.K. Law (Intercept, link) and Controversial GCHQ Unit Engaged in Domestic Law Enforcement, Online Propaganda, Psychology Research (Intercept, link) also: Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks (Intercept, link)

Key documents: TOP SECRET: Behavioural Science Support for JTRIG’s (Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group’s) Effects and Online HUMINT Operations (42 pages, pdf) and Key section from document: interference by JTRIG/GCHQ) (1 page, pdf) including: "discredit", "delay", "disrupt", "promote distrust" and "deter" and "take over control of online websites (to deny, disrupt, discredit or delay)" and GCHQ Stakeholders (pdf)

UK: Court says GCHQ spied on human rights NGOs, acted unlawfully (PI, link):

"Monday, June 22, 2015: The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today revealed that the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spied on two international human rights organisations, failed to follow ITS own secret procedures and acted unlawfully.

The targeted NGOs are the South African Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Both are leading civil liberties organisations and co-claimants alongside Privacy International in a legal challenge brought against GCHQ in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations."

See: Full-text of IPT ruling (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: Official statement on the launch of EUNAVFOR: Council launches EU naval operation to disrupt human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean (Council of the European Union, pdf):

"The first phase focuses on surveillance and assessment of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean.... The Council will assess when to move beyond this first step, taking into account a UN mandate and the consent of the coastal states concerned.." [emphasis added]

It is by no means certain that a UN mandate will be forthcoming as this requires the consent of the affected states, in this case Libya. The EU's own mission in Libya, EUBAM, withdrew from from the country last autumn, has been slimmed down and is now based in Tunisia because of the highly unstable security situation in Libya where two separate governments are vying for power in addition to a number of warring groups:.See:

EU and political situation in Libya: Interim Strategic Review of EUBAM Libya (LIMITE doc no: 7886-15, 13 April 2015, pdf): "a number of additional considerations have arisen as a result of the mission's relocation to Tunis. The mission's legal status in Tunis is still unclear, with the Tunisian authorities unofficially indicating that they would prefer not to explore the issue....its presence in Tunis will make it difficult for mission staff to assess conditions and operate in Libya" [emphasis added]

See also: EU foreign ministers to agree on Mediterranean intelligence operations (euractiv, link): "EU foreign affairs ministers will today (22 June) agree on an intelligence gathering operation, the first phase of the bloc’s response to the burgeoning migration crisis in the Mediterranean, but military action against people smugglers will depend on the support of Libya’s National Unity Government and the United Nations." and Naval bid to tackle migrants in Med (Yahoo News, link): "With GCHQ - Britain's listening post in Cheltenham - said to be tracking the activities of smuggling gangs moving people to the Libyan coast, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon indicated that he wanted to see more intelligence-sharing." also: Exclusive: France backs Italy-UK Plan for Sicily Intel Cell (Migrant Report, link)

See: EU agrees to launch military operation against people smugglers (FT, link): "EU officials have warned that casualties were possible after deciding to launch military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean. Ministers of the 28-country bloc meeting in Luxembourg on Monday gave the go-ahead for a c controversial intelligence gathering operation, which will precede full-blown military action this year ... “The use of firepower will be done in such a way that we do all we can to prevent any casualties to anyone,” said one EU official. “There is a difference between smugglers and migrants. If they are migrants, we will be even more cautious.” Asked whether the military operation created the risk of collateral casualties, the official replied: “Of course it would.”"

EU: European Parliament study: Surveillance and censorship: The impact of technologies on human rights (pdf):

"It concludes that different elements of EU strategic policy on human rights and digital policy need be better integrated and coordinated to ensure that technologies have a positive impact on human rights. The report concludes that EU should promote digital rights in national legislation of the third countries, but also in its own digital strategies."

EU: European Parliament study: Towards more effective global humanitarian action: How the EU can contribute (pdf):

"the EU and member states must commit to placing protection at the centre of humanitarian action and ensure that the EU´s humanitarian aid is not regarded as a crisis management tool, and allowed to become an instrument of its foreign policy."

Essential viewing: Building on communities of dissent (Institute of Race Relations):

How do we build on communities of dissent, asks veteran Black activist A. Sivanandan in a short film released this week by Sage Publications alongside a collection of his key writings in Race & Class. A Sivanandan, IRR Director Emeritus, is one of the UK’s key thinkers on racism, imperialism, black identity and political struggle. His grounded theory has proved important both in the academy and the community for over four decades.


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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