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JUNE 2016: STATEWATCHING
EUROPE: European conference marking Statewatch's 25th anniversary
Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside
the EU - a humanitarian emergency: Daily news and document updates
crisis: latest news from across Europe (6-7.2.16)
EU: PERMANENT RELOCATION PROPOSAL - LATEST DRAFT: Council of
the European Union: Proposal
for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council
establishing a crisis relocation mechanism and amending Regulation
(EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 26 June 2013 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 (pdf) 44 Member State's
previous discussions, a number of delegations underlined their
wish for a thorough assessment of the functioning of the emergency
relocation schemes and stressed the need to address the shortcomings
in their implementation. Some delegations expressed their preference
for linking the discussions on this proposal with the efforts
which should lead to effective border controls and proper management
of migratory flows and insisted on the voluntary nature of the
proposed mechanism. Furthermore, several delegations were in
favour of addressing this proposal as part of a broader package
on asylum ("Dublin IV")."
following delegations have general scrutiny reservations on the
text appearing in the Annex: AT, BG, EL, FI and SI.BE, CZ, EE,
ES, FR, HR, HU, LT, LV, PL, PT, RO, SI and SK have general reservations
on the substance of the proposal; HU and SI have also parliamentary
spot work intensifies as Greece agrees to recognize Turkey as
safe country (ekathimerini.com, link)
authorities agreed on Friday to recognize Turkey as a safe
third country, which means migrants for whom Turkey is
a country of transit, not of origin, can be returned there. The
decision was announced after a meeting in Athens between Greek
Interior Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis and his French and German
counterparts, Bernard Cazeneuve and Thomas de Maiziere... He
added that Germany is sending 100 police officers and two coast
guard vessels to Greece...
As of yesterday,
94 prefabricated structures had been delivered to the site in
Chios and 87 on Leros. Construction work was under way on Samos,
where an old army firing range is being converted. On Kos, riot
police who had been sent to the island from Athens fired tear
gas to deter some 100 locals who tried to force their way into
a disused army camp that is being turned into a hot spot.
sources told Kathimerini they are hopeful that at least three
of the five centers will be ready in the next few days given
that the army is now coordinating the work..."
EU, Turkey and the Refugee Crisis: What could possibly go wrong? (EU Law Analysis, link)
key non-EU country in the EUs ongoing refugee crisis is
Turkey: the host of over 2 million Syrian refugees, and a transit
country for many asylum-seekers. An increasing number of them
have been making the journey from Turkey to the Greek islands,
leading to a significant rise in the number of would-be asylum-seekers
in the EU over the last year. Tragically, many have died making
Plan proposing the systematic return of all asylum seekers from
Greece to Turkey in exchange for increased refugee resettlement
in Europe, appears to be not only very difficult to implement
(due to both legal and practical obstacles), but also based on
the doubtful presumption that Turkey may be (soon) considered
a safe third country for refugees and asylum-seekers.
it is unfortunate that the EU and Turkey did not agree to fully
apply the Geneva Convention for Turkey, and that there are no
mechanisms of accountability in place for the EU institutions
to report either in general upon Turkeys compliance with
international human rights standards or in particular to explain
exactly how the EUs money is being spent."
See also: Common
Understanding establishing a Governance and Conditionality Framework
for the Refugee Facility for Turkey, the "Facility",
Hereinafter referred to as "the Common Understanding"
between EU Member States (hereinafter the "Member States")
and The European Commission (hereinafter the "Commission") (pdf) There is no mention
of ensuring human rights protection.
EU: DATABASE checks on people entering and leaving the EU: Council
of the European Union: Proposal
for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 as regards
the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external
(LIMITE doc no: 5753-16, pdf):
for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 as regards
the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external
borders... The Presidency submits to the JHA Counsellors this
new compromise, which it believes could accommodate most of the
remaining concerns of the delegations and could constitute a
basis for a compromise at Council level on this proposal. It
is noted that the changes vis-à-vis the previous compromise
suggestions (including the deleted parts) are depicted in bold
believes that the only essential outstanding issue is whether
the air borders (along with the land and sea borders) should
be included in the scope of possible cases of targeted checks
of persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law,
in order to address a disproportionate impact on the traffic
flow emanating from the systematic consultation of data bases
for these persons. The Presidency is of the opinion that this
issue should also be resolved in the prism of the need to find
a balance between security priorities and the economic impact
of the new measures on border controls that this draft Regulation
is expected to bring about. "
Includes database checks, advance
passenger information (API and/or PNR) and the checking of biometrics
(facial images and fkngeprints), at least one biometric must
be checked against the travel documents or identity card of the
The measure will not apply to
the UK or Ireland.
EU: Council of the European Union: Directive on combatting
for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council
on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision
2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism - Examination of the revised
(LIMITE doc no: 5720-16, pdf): "Delegations are invited
to examine the modified text of the proposed Directive, as set
out in this document. Discussions at the next meeting on 8 February
2016 will focus on these drafting suggestions, including recitals."
In part concern the two documents from Sweden and Italy below.
- As above:Examination
of the revised text (LIMITE doc no: 5467-16, pdf)
- As above: Swedish
Delegation - drafting proposals (LIMITE doc no: 5467-add-1-16, pdf):
Human rights clause and "An possibility to exempt ones
own citizens travelling home"
- As above: Italian
Delegation - drafting proposals (LIMITE doc no: 5467-add-2-16, pdf):
"Investigative tools" and "Exchange
of information and cooperation concerning terrorist offences"
See also: Statewatch
Briefing: Directive on combating terrorism
EU to Criminalize Humanitarian Assistance in Greece - Leaked
(Sputnik News, link)
"A European Commission report, detailing a plan to criminalize
volunteers rescuing refugees from drowning, has been revealed
by UK civil liberties group Statewatch. The EU is desperate and
is therefore making bad decisions, the groups director
a London-based civil rights watchdog, has published a confidential
report by the European Commission, which reveals the Council
of Europes plans to pass a new law, criminalizing volunteers
who rescue refugees, stranded off the coast of Greece, from drowning.
The new proposals
would penalize NGOs, local people and volunteers -- all
providing humanitarian assistance to refugees arriving in the
EU - and would remove their exemption from being considered people
EU has failed, theyre desperate. Theyre trying to
take over operations [in Greece] to take control of everything,"
Tony Bunyan told Sputnik.
been doing this for 25 years and have never seen anything like
it. The EU is in a complete mess. They failed to respond quickly
to what happened last spring. The volunteers and smaller NGOs
have been helping refugees since the crisis began. Where was
the EU then? They only tuned up in November  and by that
time already 700,000 people had landed in Greece.""
PM warns of new wave of refugees from Syria (Hurriyet, link): "Turkish
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has warned of a new wave of Syrian
refugees totaling as many as 80,000 after people began to move
toward Turkey due to increased airstrikes in the countrys
Some 10,000 new refugees are waiting at Turkeys border
[with Syria] due to the airstrikes in Aleppo. Some 60,000 to
70,000 people, who are in camps north of Aleppo, are moving toward
Turkey, said Davutoglu during a donor conference entitled
Supporting Syria and the region at the QEII center
in central London on Feb. 4."
And see: Avramopoulos:
Detention and removal centres are also needed (EurActiv, link)
British want to come to America with wiretap orders and
search warrants (The Washington Post, link): "If U.S.
and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic
security service, could one day go directly to American companies
like Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the online chats
of British suspects in a counter&SHY;terrorism investigation."
judges issue damming indictment of TTIP (New Internationalist, link): "A
group of German judges have just dealt a serious blow to the
European Commissions desperate TTIP compromise.
Theyve issued a damning indictment on the proposal for
an international investment court, which the EU Commission
hoped would get them out of the deep mess that the TTIP negotiations
(...) A primary
concern of the judges, and one shared by campaigners, is that
the creation of special courts for certain groups of litigants
is the wrong way forward. Creating special legal privileges
for big business and other investors (who can already afford
more access to the law than ordinary people), is clearly the
path to further inequality in our already deeply unequal society."
on the establishment of an investment tribunal in TTIP - the
proposal from the European Commission on 16.09.2015 and 11.12.2015 (pdf)
European Commission: State
of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis (1.2.16, pdf).
but see: Hotspots: State
of Play of Hotspot capacity (pdf):
Biggest change of the week is the build up of hotspot staff and
capacity in Greece (Italy unchanged): In Lesvos reception
capacity up from 1,480 to 2,709 and Frontex officials up from
178 to 184. In Chios reception capacity up from 110 to 2,250
and Frontex from 93 to 99. In Samos reception capacity up from
250 to 650 and Frontex from 40 to 53. Leros Frontex up from 29
to 31 and on Kos capacity up from 0 to 290 and Frontex up from
41 to 54 officials.
See: Statewatch Compilation: Commission statistics ongoing since
September 2015: State
of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis
crisis: latest news from across Europe (4.2.16)
of book marks the tenth anniversary of the events leading to
the '4F Case'
Today a book launch will mark a
decade since the events that led to what is known as the '4F
Case' (Caso 4F) took place, in which four people were
imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. Three of them were
tortured by the police during their detention and one subsequently
On 4 February 2006, the Guardia
Urbana (municipal police) arrived at a party in a squatted theatre
in Barcelona. A flowerpot was thrown from a balcony, seriously
injuring a police officer. The response from the authorities,
unable to find the guilty party, was "to mount a case blaming
innocent people who were not in the house and some not even in
Four people were subsequently
sent to prison, one of whom, Patricia Heras, committed suicide
in April 2011. Three of the four were tortured whilst in police
custody, events which were subsequntly taken up in an Amnesty
report.  The two police officers who served as key witnesses
in the 4F case were subsequently found guilty, in a seperate
case, of torture, false testimony and planting evidence. No-one
has been punished for their part in the 4F case.
in the EU: citizens' right controlled by the elite (journalismfund.eu,
link): " Fifteen years with access rules and still no
register over documents to look for. Not only citizens, also
governments are kept in the dark by the Commission, a new study
on EU transparency shows."See: Transparency
through tinted windows - On the conditional openness in the European
And see: Statewatch
Observatory on Freedom of Information in the EU
crisis: latest news from across Europe (3.2.16)
military to oversee response to refugee crisis (ekathimerini.com, link):
Minister Panos Kammenos on Tuesday heralded the creation of a
central body to oversee and improve Greeces response to
the migration and refugee crisis and ensure the country safeguards
its position in the Schengen passport-free area, noting that
the new body will be led by a senior military official.
military is to have the oversight of the Central Coordinating
Body for the Management of Migration until the Migration
Ministry and the Hellenic Police gain the necessary know-how
and experience to tackle the problem independently, Kammenos
indicated at Tuesdays press conference....
which is to be operational by February 15, is to be based at
the Defense Ministry headquarters and coordinate with the Hellenic
Police, Coast Guard, Migration Ministry and nongovernmental organizations
working with migrants and refugees.
The aim is
to increase the efficiency of transferring migrants from the
islands to the mainland, to improve the provision of food as
well as medical and healthcare to migrants, and to monitor the
creation of five screening centers, or hot spots, for migrants
on the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and
Leros.... The screening and relocation centers are to operate
in a similar way to the central body, under a local military
official who is to coordinate with police and coast guard officers."
European Commission: Commission
adopts Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece and proposes recommendations
to address deficiencies in external border management (Press release, pdf)
recommendations seek to ensure that Greece applies all Schengen
rules related to management of external border correctly and
effectively. Recommendations are made in a number of areas such
as the improvement of the registration procedures, including
ensuring a sufficient number of staff and fingerprint scanners
for registration and verification of migrants and their travel
documents against SIS, Interpol and national databases. Greece
should provide the necessary facilities for accommodation during
the registration process and launch return procedures for irregular
migrants who are not seeking asylum and who are not in need of
international protection. Border surveillance should be improved,
including the establishment of a risk analysis system and increased
training of border guards.
should also be made to infrastructure and equipment at the border
crossing points. In order to ensure compliance with these recommendations,
the Commission may, in addition, recommend that Greece takes
certain specific measures under Article 19a of the Schengen Borders
Code, given the serious deficiencies noted in the Schengen Evaluation
See also: Eighth
biannual report on the functioning of the Schengen area: 1 May
- 10 December 2015 (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (2.2.16)
Statewatch Analysis: ECtHR/Italy:
Khlaifa judgment reveals illegal detention and collective expulsion
practices in Italys treatment of Tunisians in 2011: Commissions
plans for readmission agreements and summary returns contravene
(pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
outlaws much of what is being planned and implemented in the
context of the EU's migration plans and especially the so-called
The court's decision
that the deportation of Tunisians amounted to a violation of
Art. 4 of the 4th protocol to the ECHR and has important repercussions
on the Commission's plans because readmission agreements circumvent
the need for individual examination of the positions of people
from certain nationalities. What the judgment has described as
a "collective refoulement" lacking the necessary safeguards
is the process which is being introduced in hotspots whereby
nationality appears to be the key management principle for dealing
idea appears to be that if an agreement is in place with a non-EU
state there is no need for further formalities concerning nationals
of a given country. The recent deal between Italy and Gambia
mentioned in the
Italian hotspots Progress report is an example of this, and it states
that operative protocols are preferable to either treaties or
readmission agreements in relation to the principle of "effectiveness",
which shows that there is increasing intolerance of any formal
limits or regulatory frameworks to mass deportations.
Refugee crisis: Council proposals on
migrant smuggling would criminalise humanitarian assistance by
civil society, local people and volunteers - and in Greece:
NGOs and volunteers have to "register" with the police
and be vetted
of the European Union is preparing plans to equate the concept
of migrant "smuggling" with migrant "trafficking"
and potentially criminalise or marginalise NGOs, local people
and volunteers who for months have been welcoming and helping
refugees and migrants arriving in the EU.
See: The Draft
Council conclusions on migrant smuggling (LIMITE doc no 5481-rev-2-15,
Professor of Law, University of Essex, comments: "'This
document fails to acknowledge the crucial role played by Greek
islanders and volunteers in rescuing and caring for migrants
who cross the Mediterranean in unsafe vessels. The EU should
amend its anti-smuggling laws as soon as possible to confirm
that no-one giving such vital humanitarian assistance should
ever be penalised for it'.
Statewatch Director, comments: "The Council proposals
would criminalise NGOs, local people and volunteers who have
worked heroically to welcome refugees when the EU institutions
did nothing, while other plans would incorporate those who "register"
with the police to work under state structures. In a humane and
caring EU it should not be necessary to "register"
to offer help and care to people who have suffered so much already.
volunteers and all those throughout the EU who are seeking to
help refugees as they arrive having fled from war, persecution
and poverty should unite to oppose the Council's plans. Criminalising
NGOs and volunteers working to help refugees has no place in
a democracy worthy of the name."
GREECE: On the ground in Lesvos NGOs and volunteer groups - who
have been working to help refugees from this time last year -
are facing increasing hostility from reactionary local forces
on the island and in some instances from large International
NGOs seeking to take over their role of helping refugees on the
landing beaches and giving immediate help and aid. Yesterday
the following messages were posted on Facebook from a local volunteer
medical station at Eftalou has been attacked for the third time
Philippa Kempson 30 January 2016). Will the people who did this be
punished? Or just those offering humanitarian help on the beaches?"
and a second post: "Last night the medical tent in Eftalou
was attacked for the third time this week but this time they
finished the job and burnt it to the ground!!!!!!" and see:
Decency And Respect! 30/01/2016 (Eric Kempson. link): On the Hope
the attack.and the EU's shameful role.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (30-31.1.16)
See: Resources 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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