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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.7.16)
EU: UK House
of Lords, European Union Committee: Children
in crisis: unaccompanied migrant children in the EU (94 pages, pdf):
current refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian challenge
to have faced the European Union since its foundation. Although
the outcome of the referendum on 23 June 2016 was that the UK
should leave the EU, the UK remains a full member of the EU,
with all the responsibilities that entails, until the final withdrawal
agreement is ratified. It is vital, both on moral grounds and
in order to help maintain good relations with the other 27 Member
States, that the UK Government should participate fully in EU
action to resolve this humanitarian crisis.
It has become increasingly clear that children, many of them
unaccompanied by a parent, relative or guardian, are in the forefront
of the crisis. In 2015 88,245 unaccompanied children applied
for asylum in the EU, including 3,045 in the UK. In May 2016
alone, 3,133 unaccompanied migrant children arrived in Italy.
Many children do not even reach the EUs shores: at least
137 children have drowned in the Mediterranean since the start
Migrant children are being failed by UK, says Lords committee
report - Government accused of dismissing its responsibility
to care for unaccompanied minors as somebody elses
report on Greek hotspots in Lesbos and Chios after the EU/Turkey
July 2016, GISTI published a report on its fact-finding mission
to the hotspots set up on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios
and on the effects the EU/Turkey deal, entitled "Accord
UE-Turquie: la grande imposture. Rapport de mission dans les
hotspots grecs de Lesbos et Chios, juillet 2016....
speak for themselves: in order to put an end to the serious violations
of the rights of migrants detained in the Greek "hotspots"
under threat of an expulsion to Turkey, it is indispensable for
the EU and its member states to, at the very least:
Give up on the idea of implementing the 18 March 2016 Statement;
Conduct an in-depth review of the system for allocating responsibility
to an EU member state (the "Dublin III" regulation)
to evaluate an asylum application in order for the asylum application
to be examined in the applicant's country of choice."
Annual report for 2015 on the UK's counter-terrorism strategy
The annual report
of the UK government on its counter-terrorism strategy, covering
the year 2015, was published on 21 July. Amongst other things,
the report includes statistics on the "effective use of
proportionate counter-terrorism powers," noting that the
power to cancel or refuse to issue passports to British passport
holders was used 23 times; powers to seize and temporarily retain
travel documents at ports have been used 24 times; and that two
Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (essentially
a form of internal exile) were in force "in the last quarter
crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.7.16): migrants march to Serbia-Hungary
border, Council wants EU migration budget increase, new detention
centre to open in Spain.
calls to extend undercover policing inquiry remit beyond England
One of the targets
of exposed British undercover police officer Mark Kennedy has
taken the first steps towards legal action in an attempt to have
the remit of the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing expanded
to cover officers' activities outside England and Wales.
Arrest Warrant: judgments recognise that "certain Greek
prisons are failing to protect prisoners' fundamental rights"
this decision the Court has recognised that certain Greek prisons
are failing to protect prisoners fundamental rights and
that the Greek Government appears to be unable to bring about
the improvements that are needed to make these institutions safe."
the European Union: New EU "returns"
document & Turkey visa "benchmarks"
relocation scheme "has clearly failed", says Italy's
Union's relocation scheme for refugees in Greece and Italy "has
clearly failed", the Italian interior ministry's head of
immigration, Mario Morcone, told a recent press conference hosted
by the Italian Council of Refugees. The most recent European
Commission report on the relocation scheme, published on 13 July,
records a total of 843 people being relocated from Italy to other
Member States since the scheme was put in place in September
2015. The Commission's aim is to relocate 6,000 people from Greece
and Italy per month.
See also: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.7.16)
"counter-extremism" plans denounced again
The UK government's
plans for countering "non-violent extremism" have again
been denounced, this time in a "pre-legislative scrutiny"
report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Despite announcing on a number of occassions that it will introduce
a Counter-Extremism Bill, the government is yet to do so - but
given the numerous problems with defining "extremism",
and the harsh criticism that has been directed at the Prevent
programme, it may be better for any such bill not to be published
of the European Agenda on Security: Questions & Answers (European Commission,
A useful summary:
"The European Commission adopted the European Agenda
on Security on 28 April 2015, setting out the main actions envisaged
to ensure an effective EU response to security threats over the
period 2015-2020. Since its adoption, significant progress has
been made in its implementation...
highlights the actions already completed as well as the steps
that still need to be taken as a matter of urgency in view of
the current challenges, to pave the way towards a genuine and
effective Security Union as proposed by the European Commission
on 20 April 2016."
compliance: the EU's new security agenda (pdf) by Chris Jones,
crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.7.16)
the European Union: From: Greek Delegation: Temporary
entry/exit of persons into/from the Greek territory (LIMITE doc no: 10008-26,
ask you to take note of the Joint Ministerial Decision dated
12.05.2016 and published on issue 1373/17.05.2016 of the Official
Journal... on the temporary entry/exit of persons into/from the
Greek territory via the sea ports of Kalymnos, Petra, Lesbos,
Agia Marina/Leros and Karlovasi/Samos and the airports of Karpathos
and Chios accordingly by the date of its entry into force (17.05.2016)
until the 31st of October 2016.
We therefore wish to inform you that according to the aforementioned
Decision, the relevant checks at the sea ports of Kalymnos, Petra,
Lesbos, Agia Marina/Leros and Karlovasi/Samos will be conducted
under the full responsibility of the Police Departments of Kalymnos,
Kalloni, Leros and Karlovasi/Samos. With reference now to the
airports of Karpathos and Chios, the relevant Police Department
of Karpathos and the Security Subdivision of Chios aretasked
to carry out those checks." [emphasis added]
racism update (IRR News Service, link): "Below we present
an update of racially motivated attacks and other incidents of
harassment that have taken place since the Brexit result, which
indicate the types of attacks taking place across the UK. But
of course, this account is in no way exhaustive."
Council of Europe: Secretary
General receives notification from Turkey of its intention to
temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf):
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn
Jagland, hasbeen informed by the Turkish authorities that Turkey
will notify its derogation from the EuropeanConvention on Human
Rights under the Conventions Article 15....
be no derogation from the following articles: Article 2 (Right
to life), Article 3(Prohibition of torture and inhumane or degrading
treatment or punishment), Article 4 para. 1(prohibition of slavery),
Article 7 (No punishment without law).It is important to note
that the European Convention on Human Rights will continue to
Government seeks to invoke Article 15 in order to derogate from
theConvention in individual cases, the European Court of Human
Rights will decide whether theapplication meets the criteria
set out in the Convention, notably the criteria of proportionality
ofthe measure taken.
Government will inform the Secretary General about measures taken."
Professor of Law, University of Essex comments: "Emergency
derogation *can* be used to extend pre-trial detention and limit
fair trials. Turkey has invoked it before."
by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and
Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the declaration of the State of
Emergency in Turkey (link): "The declaration of State of Emergency
gives the executive far reaching powers to govern by decree.
Under the terms of the Turkish Constitution, core fundamental
rights shall be inviolable even in the State of Emergency. "
Also: ECHR Factsheet:
in time of emergency (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (20.7.16) including No visa waiver for
Turkey this year and Greece Prepares For Long Term Accommodation
data collection only lawful in serious crime cases, ECJ indicates
- Initial finding from top EU court backs David Davis and Tom
Watson and could have serious impact on snoopers charter
data from telephone calls and emails is legal only if law enforcement
agencies use it to tackle serious crime, the EUs highest
court has indicated.
finding by the advocate general of the European court of justice
(ECJ) in Luxembourg came in response to a legal challenge that
was brought initially by David Davis, when he was a backbench
Conservative, and Tom Watson, Labours deputy leader, over
the legality of GCHQs bulk interception of call records
and online messages.
of the most vociferous critics of the states powers to
collect data on its citizens, quietly withdrew from the case
after his appointment to the cabinet. Many had commented on his
involvement in the case at the EUs highest court after
he was appointed secretary of state for leaving the EU."
to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, a general obligation
to retain data imposed by a Member State on providers of electronic
communication services may be compatible with EU law- However,
it is imperative that that obligation be circumscribed by strict
Opinion (pdf) and: Human
Rights and National Data Retention Law: the Opinion in Tele 2
(EU Law Analysis, link): "he Advocate General goes beyond
endorsing the principles in Digital Rights Ireland: even regimes
which satisfy the safeguards set out in Digital Rights Ireland
may still be found to be disproportionate."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (18.7.16)
European Data Protection
Data protection and Whistleblowing in the EU Institutions (Press release):
is the most effective incentive to encourage staff to report
wrongdoing at work said the European Data Protection Supervisor
(EDPS) today as he published his Guidelines on Whistleblowing
Procedures. Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Assistant EDPS, said:
procedures are meant to provide safe channels for staff or other
informants to report fraud, corruption or other serious wrongdoing
in organisations. Given that the information processed in whistleblowing
procedures is sensitive and that leaks or unauthorised disclosure
may have adverse consequences both for the whistleblowers and
the accused, special care must be taken over that information.
The EDPS Guidelines can help the EU institutions and bodiesto
mitigate the risks."
says coup was gift from God to reshape country, punish
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Fridays failed coup (15
July) was a gift from God, giving him the chance
to re-shape the country, and purge the countrys elite from
enemies, who accuse him of creeping Islamisation in the traditionally
a new Turkey after Fridays failed coup. He
has made clear that the country he plans would be different in
two fundamental ways: power would be concentrated in the hands
of the president, and the old secular elites would have a lesser
Turkey's Erdogan vows talks on death penalty for coup plotters
(DW, link): "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said
he'll discuss the possibility of capital punishment for those
involved in an attempted coup against his government."
See also: Council
conclusions on Turkey (18.7.16, pdf): there is a striking omission
of asylum or visa issues.
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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