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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
Council of the European Union: Encryption
of data - Questionnaire (LIMITE doc no: 12368-16, pdf):
lunch during the informal meeting of the Justice Ministers (Bratislava,
8 July 2016) the issue of encryption was discussed in the context
of the fight against crime. Apart from an exchange on the national
approaches, and the possible benefits of an EU or even global
approach, the challenges which encryption poses to criminal proceedings
were also debated. The Member States' positions varied mostly
between those which have recently suffered terrorist attacks
and those which have not. In general, the existence of problems
stemming from data/device encryption was recognised as well as
the need for further discussion.
To prepare the follow-up in line with the Justice Ministers'
discussion, the Presidency has prepared a questionnaire to
map the situation and identify the obstacles faced by law enforcement
authorities when gathering or securing encrypted e-evidence
for the purposes of criminal proceedings." [emphasis added]
A number of questions
to Member States concern whether judicial authorities have to
agree access including:
your national law, is there an obligation for the suspects or
accused, or persons who are in possession of a device/e-data
relevant for the criminal proceedings, or any other person to
provide law enforcement authorities with encryption keys/passwords?
If so, is a judicial order (from a prosecutor or a judge)
required? Please provide the text of the relevant provisions
of your national law." [emphasis added]
crisis: latest news from across Europe (24-25.9.16)
on the use of EU funds for migration policies (pdf):
aim of this document is to give an overview of the use of EU
funds on migration policies during the first two years (2014-2015)
of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and present a preliminary
budgetary outlook for 2016---2017 and the remaining MFF period,
taking into account the uncertainties relating to the evolution
of the migration situation and pressures on EU funding....
current EU framework, potential changes in policy and practice
to deal with the migration crisis are under discussion. Such
changes include revisiting legislative instruments on asylum
and legal migration, as well as (within an overall vision adapted
to the needs of the crisis) the competences of the EU agencies
involved in migration management. Any revision of the latter
should involve a budget increase accompanied by the necessary
crisis: latest news from across Europe (23.9.16)
of Justice of the European Union: Advocate General
Sharpston considers that the Court should annul the measures
maintaining Hamas and LTTE on the EU list of terrorist organisations
on procedural grounds (Press release, pdf):
Council is precluded from relying on a list of terrorist attacks
without those being shown in decisions of competent authorities...
cannot rely on facts and evidence found in press articles and
information from the internet, rather than in decisions of competent
authorities, to support a decision to maintain a listing." [emphasis in original]
And Adocate General's
Opinion - Tamil
(pdf) and Hamas (pdf)
court recommends removal of Tamil Tigers and Hamas from terrorist
European Unions top court took a step toward confirming
the removal of Hamas, as well as the Tamil Tigers, from an EU
terrorism blacklist despite protestations from Israel and the
Sri Lankan government.
general at the European Court of Justice, whose advice is usually
followed by judges, recommended yesterday (22 September) that
they reject an appeal by the Council of EU member states against
the lower EU courts decisions in late 2014 to remove both
movements from the sanctions list due to flawed procedures."
and Germany: take on "itinerant crime groups" through
cross-border cooperation, personal data exchange, predictive
The German and French
delegations to the Council of the EU have proposed a set of conclusions
on "property crimes committed in Europe by highly mobile
organised crime groups," which they assert are "attributable
to itinerant crime groups originating mainly from South-Eastern
and Eastern Europe," who "belong to the field of organised
crime or are considered one step away from organised crime."
Despite the clear connection between the proposals and the possibility
of ethnic profiling and discriminatory police action - "itinerant"=travellers=Roma
- the draft conclusions make no reference to fundamental rights
See: NOTE from:
German and French delegtaions, 'Draft
Council conclusions on organised domestic burglary' (12098/16, LIMITE,
12 September 2016, pdf)
Exhibition Reaching Europe Refugees arriving on
Lesvos in the European Parliament: Tuesday 27 September
at 18:30, in the ASP building (link):
Keller, spokesperson on migration and Vice-President of the Greens/EFA
Group in the European Parliament, and Philippe Lamberts, Co-President
of the Greens/EFA Group, are hosting the Photo Exhibition Reaching
Europe Refugees arriving on Lesvosnext week in the
European Parliament. The exhibition documents the arrival and
the situation of refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. All
photos have been taken by Members of the Mytilini Photo Club.
of the exhibition will take place on Tuesday, 27 September, at
18:30. We will have the great pleasure and honour to welcome
the photographers of the Myrtili Photo Club on this occasion,
as well as refugees and activists from Lesvos."
If you want to
attend the opening, contact us by Monday morning at 10.00, please
Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): The
coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli,
has announced that he intends to set up a Digital Clearing House
to promote more coherent enforcement of EU rules. In a new Opinion,
Coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big
data, published today, he drew attention to the mounting concern
at concentration of market power and personal data in fewer and
fewer hands, with the internet experience characterised by walled
gardens and take-it-or-leave-it data use policies. This
means that authorities need to work more closely to protect the
rights and interests of individuals, like the right to privacy,
to freedom of expression and non-discrimination."
And see: EDPS
Opinion on coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the
age of big data 23 September (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.9.16)
Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Migration,
security and fundamental rights: A critical challenge for the
(Press release, pdf):
vital that the reform of the EUs border policy be further
assessed to ensure its full consistency with the respect
for the fundamental rights of those who enter and leave the
Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: The EDPS understands the
need for the EU to better address the challenges of migration,
borders and refugees. However, we recommend considering additional
improvements in the revised proposals which will involve a significant
collection of data concerning non-EU nationals whose freedoms,
rights and legitimate interests may be significantly affected.
Border management and law enforcement are distinct objectives
and need to be more clearly distinguished. Refugees, asylum seekers,
illegal immigrants and ordinary travellers may require separate
The EDPS recommendations
to enhance data protection in these proposals relate in
particular to retention periods, the collection of the facial
images of travellers requiring visas, the use of sensitive information
such as biometric data, and to security measures.
In his Opinions, the EDPS draws attention to the role of eu-LISA
and Frontex performing specific processing operations such as
those related to statistics, as well as to the situations of
minors when subject to the collection of fingerprints."
See also: EDPS
Opinion on the First reform package on the Common European Asylum
System (Eurodac, EASO and Dublin regulations) (pdf), EDPS
Opinion on the Second EU Smart Borders Package Recommendations
on the revised Proposal to establish an Entry/Exit System (pdf) and Commission
launches discussion on future framework for stronger and smarter
information systems for border management and internal security (pdf)
reinforced Frontex agency: EU turns a deaf ear to NGOs
powerful than ever and enjoying complete impunity, the EU border
management agency has a new name with a reinforced mandate. The
European Union has indeed opted for an increase in the means
allocated to deportation, control and external cooperation activities,
with no regard for the rights of migrants and refugees....
Yet, the agency
continues to put a number of rights at risk: first and foremost,
the right to leave any country including ones own; but
also the right to seek asylum and the principle of non-refoulement,
the right to personal data protection and the right to an effective
latest news from across Europe (21.9.16)
Parliament Study: Obstacles
to the right of free movement and residence for EU citizens and
their families Comparative Analysis (pdf):
study, commissioned by the European Parliaments Policy
Department for Citizens Rights and Constitutional Affairs
at the request of the LIBE and PETI Committees, presents a synthesis
of in-depth studies in nine Member States in addition to broader
EU and national research. Based on an analysis of selected provisions
of Directive 2004/38/EC in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland,
Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK, it identifies the main
persisting barriers to free movement for EU citizens and their
family members. The study also examines discriminatory restrictions
to free movement, measures to counter abuse of rights and refusals
of entry and residence rights, in addition to expulsions."
And country Studies:
UK (pdf), France (pdf), Spain (pdf) and Italy (pdf)
Golden Dawn supporters stir up ugly scenes and "Guantanamo-style"
Moira detention centre set on fire
Nine arrested after Greek refugee camp
(BBC News, link):
people have been arrested after a large fire destroyed parts
of the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Up to 4,000
migrants were evacuated from the camp, as the blaze destroyed
tents and prefabricated homes. No fatalities were reported, but
large areas of the camp, which was already crowded, were left
unusable. The Greek government said it would send a ship to hold
at least 1,000 people as a temporary overflow area.
suggested a riot broke out as rumours of imminent mass deportations
to Turkey spread. Other witnesses said it was the result of an
argument over food.
The nine people
arrested under suspicion of starting the blaze included people
from Afghanistan, Iraq, Senegal, Syria and Cameroon, the AFP
news agency reported, citing a police source. Additional riot
police have been dispatched to the island."
See also: Fire
At Moria: Thousands of Refugees Flee (News That Moves, link) and see: EU:
Migrants to stay on Greek islands despite fire (ekathimerini.com, link)
correspondent reports (20.9.16): "Volunteers trying to get in
to help. There are a lot of fascists around after weekend fascist
rally who stirred up the locals, pretty ugly. The volunteers
got in around the back in the end through a hole in the fence.
At the weekend people trying to get in were greeted by angry
Greece: Moria hot spot on fire 4,000 evacuated, among
them 150 unaccompanied minors (Keep Talking Greece, link):
hot spot in Moria was set on fire on Monday night after clashes
between migrants and refugees groups of different nationalities.
Some 3,000 to 4,00 people have been evacuated. Around 150 unaccompanied
minors were brought in safety into a state nursery home.
of the damage is not known, some tweet from the area that the
camp has burned down. Greek police told foreign reporters that
all tents have burned down and some prefabricated units.
A total disaster?
to official figures, a total of 5,600 refugees and migrants are
on the island of Lesvos in the eastern Aegean Sea. Some 4,000
are estimated to be in the Moria hot spot, the rest in the reception
center of Kara Tepe."
See also: Thousands
flee as blaze sweeps through Moria refugee camp in Greece - An
estimated 4,000 people have been forced to leave the camp on
Lesbos as strong winds fan the flames (Guardian, link)
Comment: Moira is a closed detention
centre with "Guantanamo-style" fencing, razor wire,
steel cabins and floodlights. It holds refugees mainly from Afghanistan
and Pakistan and over a hundred unaccompanied children. Adjacent
to it is the "open" Kara Tepe camp.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (19.9.16) including Lesvos, Bulgaria, Hungary,
EU "flexible solidarity"
Out Of Kara Tepe Camp
ANA-MPA, the Lesvos municipal council has requested all NGOs
leave the islands Kara Tepe refugee camp. Mayor Spiros
Galinos accused aid groups working there of deceiving him,
claiming they were helping create a new refugee camp without
his knowledge. The resolution was passed during an emergency
council meeting and includes almost all aid groups operating
at Kara Tepe, adding that the municipality should have exclusive
jurisdiction over the camp, limiting NGOs to support roles. Galinos
called the meeting after media reports that a new camp was being
built at a former military base. Work was halted after Defence
Minister Panos Kammenos intervened." and
Lesvos in Migration Crisis: Situation
at risk of getting out of control with protests, attacks and
unwanted NGOs (Keep Talking Greece, link):
of residents of Moria village and surrounding areas on the island
of Lesvos took to the streets on Monday morning protesting the
presence of refugees and migrants outside the hot spot of the
rally turned really ugly when extremists from the ultra right-wing
Golden Dawn who joined the protest attacked three women, one
of them a volunteer at a refugees reception center. The woman
was transferred to the local hospital for treatment. According
to local website Empros.net, the police that was present did
nothing to hinder the attack.
to the same website, the injured were four university student
attacked by 15 GD members while others from the same party were
shouting throw them to the sea...
[over the road from the Moira camp] has been a model refugee
camp, often visited by international VIPs who come to Lesvos
to express solidarity with the refugees.
from Mytilene: "Neonazis are having gatherings all over
"solidarity" not "solidarity"? When Its "flexible": Flexible
solidarity becomes new tool in response to refugee crisis (euractiv, link):
Bratislava summit marks a turning point in the evolution of the
EUs response to the migration crisis, as Germany and other
Western nations appeared to accept the Visegrad Groups
alternative to relocation and migrant quotas, called flexible
At the summit,
the Visegrad Group (V4), consisting of Poland, Hungary, the Czech
Republic and Slovakia, submitted an appropriately-titled Joint
Statement consisting of proposals for the future of the Union
The idea that
relocation doesnt work seems to be accepted by Germany.
The European Commission is the only one to religiously promote
over overt racism: Visegard
Group: Joint Statement of the Heads of Governments of the V4
Countries Bratislava, 16 September 2016 (pdf):
migrations, it is necessary to halt the number of irregular migrants
and to guarantee the security of the EU, the Member States and
individual citizens. The countries of the Visegrad Group have
therefore been underlining that enhanced cooperation with third
countries, including with Turkey, whether transit or origin,
as well as protection of EU external borders are key tools."
from the project: Who gets detained? Increasing the transparency
and accountability of Bulgarias detention practices of
asylum seekers and migrants (pdf):
2013, Bulgaria, as an external border of the EU, has experienced
an unprecedented for its history number of migrants passing through
its territory, primarily asylum seekers and refugees. The majority
of the arriving migrants are subjected to administrative detention,
where the decisions made by the administrative bodies appear
to be dictated by policy rather than by individual and objective
project Who gets detained? Increasing the transparency
and accountability of Bulgarias detention practices of
asylum seekers and migrants examines this proposition,
while aiming to contribute to increasing the transparency in
the decision-making process for the administrative detention
of migrants in Bulgaria and to the adopting of transparent and
just detention practices that are in line with the principles
of proportionality and individual assessment defined in international
and European law."
SECILE (Securing Europe through
Counter-terrorism: Impact, Legitimacy and Effectiveness): Report
Bestandsaufnahme der EU-Terrorismusbekämpfungspolitik und
Überprüfungsmechanismen: Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse
von State-watch für das SECILE-Projekt (pdf)
And see: Taking
stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary
of Statewatchs findings for SECILE project (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (16-18.9.16): news, reports and documents
Bratislava Declaration - appeasing "extreme or populists"
EU: European Council
Bratislava Declaration and The Bratislava Roadmap (16.9.16, pdf):
In his "State
of the Union" address Commission President Juncker said:
recent terrible events in the Mediterranean have shown us that
Europe needs to manage migration better, in all aspects. This
is first of all a humanitarian imperative. I am convinced that
we must work closely together in a spirit of solidarity.
In response to
"extreme or populists forces", which include a number
of EU Member States, the EU promises to try and complete "Fortress
Statewatch Director, comments: "The " principles
of responsibility and solidarity" and hunanitarianism have
patently failed so the EU answer is to concede to and appease
"extreme or populists forces" arguments."
See also Remarks
by President Donald Tusk after the Bratislava summit (pdf): "Never
to allow for the return of uncontrolled refugee flows of last
year and to ensure full control of our external border to get
back to Schengen. We are determined to continue our co-operation
with Turkey and Western Balkans but also to establish migration
compacts with African countries" and STATE
OF THE UNION 2016 by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European
Commission 14 September 2016 (pdf)
EU: Corncil of the European
Union: EU Border Guard and Maritime Safety Agency
- Extending Frontex's
on the European Border and Coast Guard and amending Regulation
(EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council and
repealing Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament
and of the Council, Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 and
Council Decision 2005/267/EC (176 pages, pdf): Final text as agreed
with the European Parliament.
Border and Coast Guard: final approval (Council press release, pdf)
amending Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 establishing a European
Maritime Safety Agency (pdf):
Final text as
agreed with the European Parliament.Involves all EU maritime
roles in cooperating with Frontex and other agencies for the
purpose of gathering intelligence, border control and search
authorities carrying out coast guard functions are responsible
for a wide range of tasks, which may include maritime safety,
security, search and rescue, border control, fisheries control,
customs control, general law enforcement and environmental protection....
strengthen their cooperation, within their mandate, both with
each other and with the national authorities carrying out coast
guard functions, in order to increase maritime situational awareness
and to support coherent and cost-efficient action....
surveillance and communication services based on state-of-the-art
technology, including space-based and ground infrastructure and
sensors mounted on any kind of platform...
enhancing the exchange of information and cooperation on coast
guard functions including by analysing operational challenges
and emerging risks in the maritime domain..."
at the Greek-Macedonian border violate human rights (Pro Asyl, link):
Idomeni to Strasbourg: Refugees demand their right to have rights
at the ECtHR
14 September 2016 Eight individuals from Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan are resisting the violation of their human rights
on the route across the borders of Europe. They submitted a complaint
to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against their unlawful
push-back from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
to the border camp Idomeni in Greece in March 2016. The claimants
assert that FYROMs practice of collective and often violent
expulsions breaches the European Convention on Human Rights.
Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Pro Asyl
provide support for the complaints. They see these legal proceedings
as an important step in the struggle against push-backs at European
borders and for refugees fundamental right to have
rights. The applicants are represented by ECCHRs
cooperating attorney Carsten Gericke from Hamburg."
says EU mission should turn back migrant boats (Reuters, link):
Union naval force deployed in the Mediterranean should turn back
migrant boats after they leave Libya and prevent them from reaching
Italy, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday. ...
personally (the boats) should be turned back as close to the
shore as possible so they don't reach the Italian mainland and
that there is more of a deterrent," Johnson said, speaking
alongside his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.
I am right in saying we have turned back about 200,000 migrants,"
Johnson said, before a nearby diplomat hastily corrected him.
"Sorry, saved, saved. Thank you. We have saved 200,000 migrants
and turned back 240 boats."
It is illegal
to turn back migrant boats once they reach international waters..."
Foreign Secretary Gets it Wrong on Boat Migration from Libya
- Forcing Migrants Back is Uninformed and Inhumane (HRW, link)
the European Union: Eurodac access & Joint Action Days
- Extending LEAS
access to Eurodac database: Proposal
for a Regulation ., for identifying an illegally staying third-country
national or stateless person and on requests for the comparison
with Eurodac data by Member States' law enforcement authorities
and Europol for law enforcement purposes (recast) - Conditions
for access for law enforcement purposes (LIMITE doc no: 11943, pdf):
also been clear during these examinations that many delegations
would be in favour of simplified and broader access of law
enforcement authorities to Eurodac...
would like to seek delegations' views on the following questions:
While there seems to be a broad agreement that the provisions
relating to law enforcement access in the proposal should be
Do delegations agree that the provisions relating to access
of law enforcement authorities to Eurodac should be simplified
and broadened, and which concrete measures would you suggest?"
you consider that the access of law enforcement should be enlarged
to other criminal acts, besides prevention, detection and investigation
of terrorism and other serious offences, and if so, how would
you define these other acts?"
See also: Stronger
and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security (COM 205-16, pdf)
evaluation of the Joint Action Days 2016 and strategic discussion
on the planning of the Joint Action Days 2017 (LIMITE doc no: 12027-16.pdf)
will find enclosed a Europol note providing a preliminary evaluation
of the Joint Action Days 2016 and requesting strategic guidance
from COSI on the planning of the Joint Action Days 2017...[including]
Two crime areas - trafficking in human beings (THB) and facilitated
illegal migration - were targeted with actions carried out in
dozens of key geographical hotspots (airports, border crossing
points, etc.). Law enforcement authorities, immigration services
and labour services from 21 countries joined forces for this
operation. This was the first time that labour inspectors across
the EU cooperated so closely with law enforcement authorities
in a coordinated way to identify, safeguard and protect victims
of labour exploitation."
And see: Definition
of Joint Action Days (JADs) (LIMITE doc no: 8127-16, pdf)
and care in Chios, Greece (IRR News, link):
by Malcolm James* on a visit he paid to Chios in Greece and what
he witnessed while volunteering in early 2016 and the contradictions
between caring for refugees and the cruelty meted out to them....
In the everyday
actions on the island cruelty and care were also intertwined.
Coastal rescue, the registration centre, food provision and the
registering of volunteers provided different sites and practices
through which these tensions could be understood......
on Chios has been devolved to the Beach Team which has lookouts
at strategic points on the coast and lit safe landing areas (such
as beaches) with cars headlights to help refugees avoid
the rocks. When the boats got close enough, volunteers would
wade into the water and help people ashore. The volunteers worked
to ensure that those lives, which they valued, could be saved."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (15.9.16)
Parliament Study: The European Council
and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Orientation and
implementation in the field of crisis management since the Lisbon
study assesses the planning, command and control of civilian
and military CSDP missions and operations, progress made in developing
civilian and military capabilities, particularly rapid response
capabilities in the form of the EU Battlegroups, as well as challenges
encountered during the force generation process. In recent years,
the European Council has repeatedly called for further progress
in all of these areas.
concludes that, despite recent progress in reviewing crisis management
procedures, operational planning remains cumbersome and slow...."
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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