Statewatch Observatory
Archive 2013: EU asylum and immigration policy



EU:
Immigration study reaches some surprising conclusions (ekathimerini, link): "Future historians will likely look upon 2011 as the watershed year for the mass exodus of young Greeks abroad. The preliminary results of a study conducted by the European University Institute (EUI) ... from the crisis-hit nations of Europe’s south and Ireland, has confirmed many suspicions and revealed unpleasant truths too."

CYPRUS: Refugees say death is their only option now (Cyprus Mail, link): "TWO Iranian-born citizens, who have been on a hunger strike for 46 days, informed Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos in an open letter that as of Tuesday they would stop taking liquids, unless they are granted citizenship so they can leave Cyprus." and See: Open Letter to the Minister of Interior (KISA, link)

EU: TASK FORCE MEDITERRANEAN: Council of the European Union: Task Force Mediterranean (Press release, pdf) and Commission Proposal (pdf):

"The task force identified five main areas of action which will be pursued actively during the coming months:

– Actions in cooperation with third countries.
– Regional protection, resettlement and reinforced legal avenues to Europe.
– Fight against trafficking, smuggling and organised crime.
– Reinforced border surveillance contributing to enhancing maritime situational picture and to the protection of saving of lives of migrants in the Mediterranean.
– Assistance and solidarity with member states dealing with high migration pressure."

WATCH THE MED launched (link): "Watch The Med is an online mapping platform to monitor the deaths and violations of migrants’ rights at the maritime borders of the EU". See: WatchThe Med: a counter-surveillance network to stop deaths and violations of migrants’ rights at sea (pdf)

EU SEARCH & RESCUE:Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (17333-13, 4-12-12, pdf) To be discussed at the meeting of JHA Counsellors on 9 December 2013. Latest draft of the Council negotiating position including changes to the text on interception at sea and search and rescue.

EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Sea rescue ‘delays’ should be probed: A rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly has called for an investigation into alleged delays in a sea rescue operation when up to 200 migrants were feared dead. (Times of Malta, link)

European Court of Justice: Where a Member State may not transfer an asylum seeker to the State competent to examine his application because of a risk of infringement of his fundamental rights in the latter, the Member State is required to identify another Member State as responsible for the examination (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of judgment (pdf)

UNSAFE HARBOURS: Report on the readmissions to Greece from Italian ports and the violations of the migrants' basic human rights. Full report in Italian

Over a hundred accounts collected from migrants, both adult and underage, detailing their experiences of summary readmission from Italy to Greece. Italy does not safeguard the basic human rights of the migrants, especially asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors.

Summary in English (pdf)

Migreurop press release: Launch, London, 2 December: Atlas of migration in Europe, a critical geography of migration policies

Since the mid-1980s, European countries continue to strengthen immigration controls at their borders, as well as in transit countries. As a result, migrants' routes become more and more dangerous and the poorest population of the planet is assigned to "house arrest".

In 2013, it wouldn't be possible for an Atlas on European Union (EU) asylum and immigration policies to ignore the dramatic situations permanently ongoing at its borders. Every year, hundreds of exiles die, by drowning, by exhaustion, on overloaded boats and along militarized terrestrial borders.

French police evict 800 Roma people from camp in Paris (euronews, link)

EU: MILITARISING MIGRATION: EU members’ warships must not be deployed against refugees off the coast of Lampedusa! (pdf) Press release by Andrej Hunko, Member of the Left Party parliamentary group in the Bundestag and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:

"“Using the Navy and Air Force to combat migration would be an inconceivable militarisation of EU policy on refugees. The German government must take immediate steps to ensure that this proposal never becomes reality,...The EEAS also unequivocally states the true aim of the EU military operation: it would build pressure in negotiations with Morocco and Turkey on ‘readmission agreements’, which would allow unwanted migrants to be easily deported to these countries. According to the EEAS, the Turkish government could, if it participates, even stand to gain in terms of its EU accession negotiations.”

and see European External Action Service (EEAS): Migration Flows in the Southern Neighbourhood and their External Relations Perspective – Possible Avenues for Dialogue and Cooperation with Partner Countries, including Options for a CSDP Operation (pdf)

EU: GREEK-TURKISH BORDER: Greek special forces push back Syrian refugees, NGO says (euobserver, link):

"Armed special-op units in Greece are reportedly repelling asylum seekers and refugees in commando-like operations on its Turkish land border and out at sea. The allegations, gathered in around 90 anonymous testimonies of intercepted migrants along with two unnamed French journalists, are detailed in a report out Thursday (7 November) by the German-based Pro Asyl NGO."

and Report by Pro Asyl: Pushed back (pdf)

Council of Europe: Commissioner for Human Rights: EU border control policies negatively affect human rights (link):

""The EU externalisation of border control policies has a deleterious effect on human rights, in particular the right to leave a country, which is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other rights – most importantly, the right to seek asylum", said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a research paper on the right to leave a country."

See: Issue Paper: The right to leave a country (pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Seasonal workers: Final "compromise" text: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Approval of compromise text (pdf):: Multi-column text, 122 pages (15033-13, 25-10-13)

EU; SEARCH & RESCUE: Joint declaration: To the Heads of State and Government ahead of the European Council summit on 24 and 25 October 2013 (pdf):

"In the wake of the shipwreck that saw more than 300 people drown off the shores of Lampedusa on 3 October, the Migreurop network, together with several organisations based in the north and the south of the Mediterranean, has questioned the responsibility of European states and their partners in the implementation of the EU's migration policy (see the opinion column “ Murderous Europe” on 4 October 2013), and has also expressed its concern to the European Parliament on the role played by the European border agency, Frontex, during this incident (see the press release attached: “ Frontex : controlling or saving lives?” on 9 October 2013).

Ahead of the European Council summit, Migreurop calls on the heads of State and government to abandon security-oriented and repressive asylum and immigration policy."

EU: SMART BORDERS: European Parliament study: The Commission’s legislative proposals on Smart Borders: their feasibility and costs (pdf):

"This study examines the technical feasibility and financial soundness of the Commission legislative proposals to establish a EU Entry/Exit System (EES) and EU Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) for the external borders of the Union. It puts the impact assessment documents accompanying the proposals in comparative perspectives with likeminded initiatives in third countries (USVIST), at the national level in the EU (UK border checks and e-Borders), and with past European initiatives (SIS II, VIS). It finds that it is not reasonable to consider that the measures envisaged in the smart borders package are technically feasible and financially sounds, and formulates recommendations to the LIBE Committee and the European Parliament in this regard."

EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE: SEARCH & RESCUE: Statewatch Analysis: EU rules on maritime rescue: Member States quibble while migrants drown (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:

"For many years now, the death toll of migrants who drown while attempting to reach the European Union in search of a better life has tragically been rising. Most recently, public opinion was particularly shocked when hundreds of migrants drowned when a single vessel sank off the coast of Italy. The Italian government has called for the EU to adopt an action plan to deal with the issue, and the Prime Minister of Malta, calling the Mediterranean a ‘graveyard’, has called on the EU to act.

Yet shockingly, these Member States, along with four others, are blocking an EU proposal on the table that contains concrete rules on the search and rescue of migrants – precisely and solely because it contains rules on search and rescue (along with disembarkation) of migrants. In fact, they describe their opposition to such rules as a ‘red line’, ie they refuse to negotiate on their opposition to any detailed EU rules which concern saving migrants’ lives."
[emphasis in original]

EU: Lampedusa: Survivors excluded from Italy memorial (BBC News, link): "Survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African migrants died have protested in Italy after being excluded from a ceremony to honour the victims."

UK: Campsfield House immigration removal centre: Fire breaks out (BBC News, link): "The Campsfield House immigration removal centre in Kidlington near Oxford has been damaged by fire, the Home Office has said. Two detainees have been taken to hospital as a result of the blaze." and see: After the fire: Home Office crack down on Campsfield witness (Corporate Watch, link): "Corporate Watch received a call at 12.35 today from Stephanie Combes, fiancée of a Campsfield detainee Emidio Rios who we interviewed last night. Stephanie told us that Emidio had been assaulted by guards at Campsfield House when they found out that he was in contact with the media."

FRANCE: Migration Debate: Deportation Scandal Grips France (Spiegel Online, link): "Controversy surrounding the deportation of a 15-year-old Roma girl and her family continues to undermine the government of French President François Hollande. The scandal is the latest flare-up in the country's deeply divisive immigration debate. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday defended his decision to deport a 15-year-old Roma girl and her family to Kosovo after they lost their bid for asylum. The deportation has prompted calls for the minister's resignation by students and leftist groups."

GREECE: Greek isle of Lesbos shows community spirit to migrants (France 24, link)

EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE: SEARCH & RESCUE: THE COUNCIL DIFFERING: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf): "Certain delegations" support the Commission's detailed search and rescue procedures in Articles 9-10 while "six delegations" (ie: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese) say the EU has no "competence" and that "these elements should be deleted" and replaced by a, short, general obligation to international law.

Although the Council Presidency observes: "The Presidency considers that leaving such elements to be ruled in the operational plans adopted by Frontex could be seen as delegating to Frontex the powers to establish essential elements of legislation touching upon the fundamental rights of individuals which pursuant to the abovementioned ECJ judgement should be reserved to the EU legislature, the very reason for which the 2010 Decision has been annulled." It nonetheless proposes that "The proposal of the six Member States could be used as a starting point" and by adding the "necessary substantial rules and criteria regarding search and rescue and disembarkation, which Frontex would need to observe when establishing the operational plan."

And see: The European Parliament Draft Report accepts the Commission's proposals for search and rescue: Draft European Parliament report: on the proposal for a regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the EU (pdf) European Parliament: LIBE Committee: Working Document no 1 (pdf) and Working Document no 2 (pdf)

GREECE: Two sought by police in Crete for attack on immigrant workers (Ekathinevini, link): "All five victims were taken to a medical center in the area and are being treated for their injuries. Police said the immigrants were living in Greece illegally and will be arrested."

EU: MARITIME SURVEILLANCE & SEARCH AND RESCUE: Draft European Parliament report: on the proposal for a regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the EU (pdf) This draft Report from the LIBE Committee proposes small changes to Articles 6-9 except for deleting: :

"(e) ordering the ship to modify its course outside of or towards a destination other than the territorial sea or the contiguous zone, including escorting the vessel or steaming nearby until the ship is heading on such course" Justification: The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provides for the freedom of navigation on the high seas. It is therefore not possible for a participating unit to order the ship to modify its course on the high seas.

And see Background on the issue of "Search and rescue":

Council of the European Union: NOTE: From: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese delegations: To: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union - Position on Articles 9 and 10 (pdf) and see also:

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) With Member States' positions

Articles, in the Commission proposal, covering interception at sea (Articles 6-8, pages 11-18) are set out in great detail in the second document above. Articles 9 (pages 19-22) set out the details for "Search and rescue". The Note from the six Mediterranean countries seeks to replace the text of Article 9 as set out with a general four-line statement (first document above). It would appear that these six Member States are concerned with the burden the search and rescue clauses might place on them as no meaningful solidarity plan is in place for other Member States to share responsibility.

See also: SEARCH & RESCUE: Italy and Malta say 'No' to Frontex rules in sea rescue operations (euobserver, link):

EU: Mapping Europe’s war on immigration: Europe has built a fortress around itself to protect itself from ‘illegal’ immigration from the South, from peoples fleeing civil war, conflict and devastating poverty. The story is best understood through maps (Le Monde, link)

EU: Frontex cancels surveillance plane contract due to lack of interest from companies

The EU's border agency Frontex has failed in its attempt to purchase a plane for "aerial border surveillance service for the EU external land borders" after "no suitable tenders" were submitted in response to an advert posted at the end of March. The agency sought to purchase an "aircraft equipped with multi-intelligence sensors, radio communication means, ground station and personal equipment, in order to perform aerial surveillance at the external EU land border between Greece and Turkey," but a notice posted on the EU's tendering website TED in August shows that the contracting procedure was cancelled following the submission of just one bid. It is unknown which firm made the bid.

EU: SEARCH & RESCUE: Italy and Malta say 'No' to Frontex rules in sea rescue operations (euobserver, link):

"“All these countries are asking the other member states to help them and to take responsibility but at the same time they don’t want those member states to be responsible for the search and rescue through common guidelines drawn up by the commission,” Ann Singleton, co-chair of the trustees of the UK-based civil liberties group Statewatch.... the EU has ended up with “a hotch-potch of counter-productive control of immigration border policies”, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths over the last decade. ."

GERMANY: Anger and ultimatums over raids on migrants in Hamburg

Undocumented migrants in Hamburg have a number of long-standing campaigns and are supported by thousands of local citizens. But the authorities have now decided to undertake targeted raids against “people with an African appearance”, and migrants and their supporters have reacted angrily.

Self-organised undocumented migrants have organised a number of high-profile protests and demonstrations across Germany in recent months. In Hamburg, one group that has been very visible is made up of migrants who travelled from Libya to Lampedusa, and after receiving temporary Italian papers continued to Germany where they are now seeking dignified lives.

EU: Goals of Eurosur border scheme questioned (DW, link): "The European Parliament has approved Eurosur, which is supposed to prevent illegal immigration off Europe's southern coasts and save refugees in maritime distress. But some doubt those two goals are compatible."

EU: Malta warns EU waters 'a cemetery' after fresh tragedy (BBC News, link):

"Malta's prime minister has said European waters close to Africa are turning into a cemetery, after another boat laden with migrants capsized....Joseph Muscat said Malta felt "abandoned" by the rest of Europe and urged the EU to take action. Malta and Italy launched a rescue operation after a boat capsized on Friday, killing at least 50 people. It happened 120km (70 miles) off Lampedusa, the Italian island where at least 300 migrants drowned last week."

See also: Lampedusa toll at 311 as Italy divers finish boat search (BBC News, link), Fortress Europe: How the EU Turns Its Back on Refugees (Spiegel Online, link): "They come seeking refuge, but when asylum seekers cross into the European Union, they often find little compassion. In Greece, they are held in squalid detention camps, while in Italy they often end up on the street. Here is what they face at entry points across the EU." and EU Plans Big Brother System in Mediterranean - In the wake of last week's tragedy on Lampedusa, the EU is planning a system that uses drones and satellites to track refugees at sea. But it doesn't offer ways to save people like those killed in the deadly incident (Spiegel Online, link)

EU: SEARCH & RESCUE AT SEA: WILL ALL EU MEMBER STATES TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?

Council of the European Union: NOTE: From: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Cyprus and Maltese delegations: To: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union - Position on Articles 9 and 10 (pdf) and see also:

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (pdf) With Member States' positions

Articles, in the Commission proposal, covering interception at sea (Articles 6-8, pages 11-18) are set out in great detail in the second document above. Articles 9 (pages 19-22) set out the details for "Search and rescue". The Note from the six Mediterranean countries seeks to replace the text of Article 9 as set out with a general four-line statement (first document above). It would appear that these six Member States are concerned with the burden the search and rescue clauses might place on them as no meaningful solidarity plan is in place for other Member States to share responsibility.

EU: Member States reassert support for law enforcement access to proposed new Entry/Exit System

Immediate access for law enforcement authorities to one of two proposed EU border control databases is favoured by "a large majority" of EU Member States' governments, according to minutes from a meeting of the Council of the EU's Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA).This further confirms the determination of Member States to obtain access to the system, should it be developed, for their law enforcement authorities. Discussions on the Commission's proposal in May saw twenty delegations declaring themselves "in favour of using the EES for law enforcement purposes."

Lampedusa boat disaster: Death toll rises to 232 (BBC News, link):

"Italian divers have recovered dozens more bodies from a boat carrying African migrants that sank on Thursday. Thirty-eight bodies were freed from the hull, which divers had previously been unable to access. The official death toll now stands at 232. Divers "unpacked a wall of people", a navy officer said, adding that corpses were "so entwined one with the other" they were difficult to pull out."

And see: ECRE: Deaths at sea off the Italian coast: ECRE calls for safe channels for refugees to reach Europe (pdf)

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Lampedusa: call for investigation into allegations that boats failed to carry out rescue (link)

UK-FRANCE: French police try to move Syrian refugees seeking asylum in UK - About 60 Syrians refuse to move from walkway of Calais port building until they are able to speak to British officials (Guardian, link). See: Press release: Calais: Syrian refugees stage blockade of ferry terminal (pdf)

ITALY: Italy boat sinking: Dozens of migrants die off Lampedusa (BBC News, link): "At least 82 people have died after a boat carrying African migrants sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the island's mayor says. More than 140 have been rescued but hundreds are missing, officials say."

EU: 'Virtual borders' scheme to track every non-EU citizen (euobserver, link) See: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union (pdf) with Member State positions.

GREECE: FRONTEX activities on Mytilene, Greece: Attempt to take over "open" PIPKA migrant centre, "closed" detention centre set up - FRONTEX claim that families were not expelled from their rooms refuted

Earlier this month the EU’s border agency FRONTEX was accused by migrant support groups on the Greek island of Mytilene of expelling migrant families from rooms that they were occupying, in order to set up their own offices at the PIPKA "open" migrant centre. FRONTEX subsequently disputed these claims, saying that the events described never took place. Now groups on the island have issued a statement disputing FRONTEX’s statement and describing in detail their version of events.

ITALY: Migrants killed on Sicilian tourist beach (euronews, link), includes horrific picture:

"The bodies of 13 migrants were washed ashore after the crew of their overloaded boat forced some of its 200 passengers to disembark in the surf....Some 60 migrants attempted to escape from the scene on foot, but in his panic one was hit by a passing car which did not stop, and is now in hospital in a serious condition."

GREECE: Court: Greece’s treatment of asylum seeker breached human rights law (pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Freezing of assets: Trilogue text: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union: Text submitted by the Presidency on behalf of the Council in view of the Fourth Trilogue on 2 October 2013 (pdf) and: Commission proposal (pdf)

EU: European Commission: Communication: Maximising the Development Impact of Migration: The EU contribution for the UN High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexus (COM 292-13, pdf) and UK government Explanatory Memorandum (pdf)

Netherlands: Two rejected asylum-seekers deported by charter flight

On Thursday 1 August the Dutch secretary for Justice Fred Teeven ordered the deportation by special charter flight of two people who had their applications for asylum rejected. The two had been imprisoned in the Rotterdam prison for irregular migrants and had been - together with many other refugees - on hunger strike for a long period.

EU: Law enforcement authorities to gain access to European visa database on 1 September

The EU's policing agency Europol and law enforcement authorities of states that are part of the Schengen area of free movement look set to be able to access information held in the EU's Visa Information System (VIS) from 1 September onwards, potentially giving them access to vast amounts of personal information and biometric data.

EU: EUROSUR REGULATION: Full text as agreed between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament: Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (11367-13, 25-6-13, pdf)

and see: Draft Regulation establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) [First Reading] - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to an agreement at first reading (10309-13, 31-5-13, pdf) includes:

"agreed that the Presidency would take into account a suggestion supported by certain delegations to delete the reference to the lives of migrants in Article 3(fb) and Article 9(3)(a) but the Presidency underlined that the European Parliament was likely to strongly resist such a change." [emphasis added)

and: Outcome of proceedings of the Mixed Committee at the level of Senior Officials on 13 June 2013 (11576-13, 25-6-13, pdf):

"The CLS [Council Legal Service] explained that the Council declaration on EUROSUR cannot be understood as precluding any EU rules in the field of search and rescue at sea, in particular after the judgment of the Court of Justice on 5 September 2012, European Parliament v Council (C-355/10).

DE [Germany] indicated that it intends to abstain and ES [Spain] and EL [Greece] indicated that they intend to vote against."
[emphasis added)

EU: EXIT-ENTRY SYSTEM: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union (11143-13, pdf) Council working party discussions developing its negotiations - more powers for law enforcement agencies. Contains Member State positions.

EU: Council of the European Union: Joint declaration establishing a Mobility Partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union and its Member States (6139-13, pdf) The participating Member States of the EU are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain anf the UK. Includes "To continue cooperation on readmission to the mutual benefit of both parties" and: "To enhance information exchange, administrative capacity and operational and technical cooperation with regard to border management, the detection and dismantling of networks involved in trafficking migrants and cross-border organised crime, and combating illegal immigration" together with "to enhance procedures for the security and issue of travel documents in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards; of identity documents and residence permits; and of other official documents issued by the Moroccan authorities.." the latter provision affects not just migrants but Moroccan citizens too.

EU: EURODAC: Council of the European Union: Common European Asylum System: Council adopts the Eurodac regulation (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of Eurodac Regulation as adopted (pdf)

PARIS: Press conference on the 'left to die boat' case (link)

GREECE-EU: Council of the European Union: Greece's National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management: Information by Greece (pdf) The plans include "Pre-removal centres" run by the police:

"Five (5) pre-removal centres are operating in Amygdaleza, Corinth, Paranesti, Xanthi and Komotini, with total capacity of 5000 places. The establishment of four (4) additional preremoval facilities at Lesvos, Western Macedonia, Ritsona and Karoti- Evros, will increase the total capacity to 10.000 places by the end of 2014." and for border controls the:

"extension of the existing integrated border surveillance system, in progress in the area of Evros (i.e. thermal cameras), focuses on the improvement of border management, the reduction of the deployed human resources (i.e. police officers) and, consequently, the limitation of the respective costs. The project of the Orestiada P.D., covering 35km of the river border, will be completed by the end of 2013, whereas the study for the project of the Alexadroupolis P.D. (i.e. 90 km borderline surveillance), is expected to be ready by the end of June.

The establishment of five (5) Regional Operational Centres at the Eastern Aegean Islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Rhodes) will be completed by the end of July."

EU: Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration (link) by the Fundamental Rights Agency and European Court of Human Rights

EU: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Analysis of final compromise text with a view to agreement (146 pages, 7695-13, pdf). Final compromise text between the Council and the European Parliament, after 8 trilogue meetings.

EU: Council of the European Union: Eurosur, Asylum Procedures and Visa Reciprocity

- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (86 pages, 7143-13, pdf) Multi-column document for the trilogue between the Council and the European Parliament

-
Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Preparation of the eight informal trilogue (7434-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise

- Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries those nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (7524-13, pdf) Sets out the main points for a possible EP/Council compromise

EU: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACCESS TO EURODAC: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No […/…] (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) - Preparation for the fourth informal trilogue (246 pages, 7476-12, dated 15 March 2013, pdf): This sets of the main points of a possible European Parliament/Council deal in the so-called fourth "informal" trilogue discussion and the Council's version on acceptable "compromises". And see earlier version: 7022-13 (249 pages, 12 March 2013, pdf) Multi-column documents

FRONTEX: Statewatch Analysis: "Trust in Frontex”: The 2013 work programme (pdf) by Marie Martin.

This analysis examines the main points of the EU’s border management agency Frontex’s 2013 work programme and the first work programme of the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights (hereafter “the Consultative Forum”).

See also: Frontex Consultative Forum, Work Programme 2013, January 2013

EU: Council of the European Union: Legal Migration - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third country-nationals for the purpose of seasonal employment
= State of play
(pdf) and Common European Asylum System - State of play (pdf)

EU: SHOCKING VIDEO: When border controls kill

Following the release on 11 March 2013 of a shocking video on the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser's website that shows a patrol boat striking and sinking a dinghy that carried 25 migrants on 13 December 2012 while it was pursuing it.

The Spanish and international organisations Andalucía Acoge, Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), Boats4People, Asociación Elin and the Federación estatal de SOS Racismo issued a press statement in which they noted that the video belies previous official versions of the incident and the interior ministry is "responsible for the death and disappearance of eight people in the waters off the Canary Islands' coast": Press statement: Concerning the video that belies the official version about a dinghy that was run over by the "Río Cabaleiro" patrol boat (English translation)

EU: FRONTEX: Work Programme for 2013 (pdf)

Statewatch analysis: The rise of xenophobia and the migration crisis in Greece: The Council of Europe’s wake-up call: “Europe cannot afford to look away” (pdf)

On 23 January, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly issued a draft Resolution and report calling on the EU and its Member States to take concrete solidarity measures in the field of migration and asylum (e.g. reception capacity, resettlement programmes in other Member States). The situation in Greece is seen as a "test case for European solidarity."

Because of "mounting tensions in the east Mediterranean" and Greece’s failure "to respect the human rights and dignity of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees," the Committee warned about the rise of racist violence and far-right parties. It also argued that the EU’s actions could contribute to the situation in the country. Rapporteur Tineke Strink stressed that the situation was very serious and that "Europe cannot afford to look away."

Italy: ASGI's pre-election proposals to reform immigration laws

In January 2013, looking ahead to the Italian general elections that were held on 24-25 February 2013, the Associazione di Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI) presented a ten-point document. It proposed reform to Italian legislation concerning immigration, foreigners, asylum and citizenship, to take place during the 2013-2018 legislature.

EU: Council of the European Union: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG): Sumary of discussions (5663-13, pdf) Includes useful summary pages: 5-24 of EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM)

Statewatch analysis: The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility: the state of play (pdf)

GAMM has been promoted by the Commission as an "overarching framework of the EU external migration policy" but many member states remain sceptical of the value of dealing with migration issues at EU level. The approach has been much criticised for allowing member states to use migrants as disposable workers and for further restricting access to the EU.

EU: DUBLIN II: ECRE, together with Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and their national partners are publishing a comparative study on how the Dublin II Regulation is applied: Lives on Hold (link, pdf) that shows that the Dublin system continues to fail both refugees and Member States. The research deals with the practice surrounding the Dublin II Regulation with respect to fundamental rights in 11 states: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands

EU: Council of the European Union: Visa lists and Intra-Corporate Transferees

- Draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Doc no: 5603-13, pdf): Related to trilogue meetings with the European Parliament: "The Annex contains a revised text for the reciprocity mechanism, based on replacing the reference to delegated acts in the previous text by a system with some degree of automaticity and including the use of implementing acts of the Council."

- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (110 pages, 5573-13, pdf): Multi-column document showing: Commission proposal, the European Parliament's "Orientation vote", the Council position and Comments by the Council.

EU Council of the European Union: Eurosur, Eurodac and Intra-corporare transferees

Multi-column documents produced during 1st reading trilogue discussions with the European Parliament giving the original proposal, the position of the European Parliament and "compromise" suggestions:

- LEAs acess to Eurodac: Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No […/…] establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person) and to request comparisons with EURODAC data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 stablishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (Recast version) (223 pages, 5515-13, pdf) For the first time the European Parliament's position is public

- EUROSUR: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (77 pages, pdf)

- ICT: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (109 pages,5106-13, pdf)

EU Council of the European Union: Informal Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council in Dublin on 17-18 January 2013: Agenda (pdf) Background Papers: Migration and Mobility for Growth (pdf) and Greek National Action Plan on Asylum and Migration Management (pdf)

Article: Extension of Mobility Partnerships with Euro-Mediterranean Partners (pdf) by Marie Martin. See also: 2012 Yearbook on Mediterranean policies (link)

EU: VISA LIBERALISATION: Meijers Committee letter to Commissioner: Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: Regarding Letter Meijers Committee on the implications of the recent judgment of the ECHR Stamose v Bulgaria for visa liberation negotiations (pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Migration "pressures": Implementation of the Common Framework for genuine and practical solidarity towards Member States facing particular pressures on their asylum systems including through mixed migration flows - Follow up/update (15955-rev-1-12, pdf) and Previous draft (15955-12, pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Eurodac, Seasonal workers, EUROSUR, Security Industry, Prum & Turkey and visas

- EURODAC: Note providing additional evidence for the necessity of law enforcement access to EURODAC on the basis of contributions by the German, the Netherlands and the Austrian delegations (pdf) See also: European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee adopts proposal giving law enforcement authorities and Europol access to Eurodac

- SEASONAL WORKERS: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employments (16655-12, pdf) and Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment [First reading] - Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament (17100-12, pdf)

- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (16508-12, pdf) Council position to "negotiate" with the European Parliament

- TURKEY-VISAS: RELATIONS WITH TURKEY: Broader dialogue and cooperation framework on Justice and Home Affairs - Roadmap towards a visa-free regime (28 pages, 16929-12, pdf) Remarkably long list of obligations

EU: Counci of the European Union: Asylum procedures, Schengen evaluation, Internal border controls & EU law

- Asylum procedures: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] (17678-12, pdf)

- Asylum procedures: follow-up: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) [First reading] - Preparation of the seventh informal trilogue (17698-12, pdf)

- Internal borders: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances - Revised draft compromise text (6161-rev-6-12, pdf) Council "compromise" during "informal" trilogues" with the European Parliament and see also 6161-rev-5-12 (pdf)

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