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25 June 2016, London: Statewatching Europe
marking Statewatch's 25th anniversary
Court finds migrant workers not protected by discrimination laws (Free Movement, link):
"In short the court concludes that immigration status
as a domestic worker is not a protected characteristic under
the Equality Act 2010. The court suggests that the law should
be amended to remedy this protection gap and refers to the particular
vulnerability of migrants on tied visas and the review of the
type of visa in 2015"
Court press summary (pdf) and: Judgment: Taiwo
(Appellant) v Olaigbe and another (Respondents) - Onu (Appellant)
v Akwiwu and another (Respondents) (pdf)
Border and Coast Guard: Parliament and Council compromise position
On 22 June negotiators
from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached
an "informal agreement" on the text for a Regulation
establishing a European Border and Coast Guard, which will upgrade
the Frontex agency with an increased role in returns, greater
access to technical equipment, more powers for liaison officers
and new possibilities for the Council to reintroduce border controls
where states refuse to accept asssistance from the new agency.
A leaked copy
of the text (pdf, html) sets out the positions
of the institutions and the compromise text, which will be voted
on by the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on 27 June and,
if they agree to it, by the full Parliament in July.
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (23.6.16)
charges protesters in 'Colourful Revolution' (Al Jazeera, link):
political science professor and trade unionist-turned-organiser,
Saveski is among at least 34 demonstrators who have been dealt
charges since mass anti-corruption protests broke out in early
April, according to local activists."
European Parliament: MEPs
ask EU to verify whether Turkey is shooting Syrians who try to
(Press release, pdf):
European Union should check the veracity of reports that Turkish
border guards are shooting and killing Syrians who are trying
to flee their country, said the Civil Liberties Committee on
Tuesday. MEPs also asked the European Commission to assess whether
the EU-Turkey deal to manage migration and refugee flows can
continue to apply in these circumstances."
Court of Human Rights: Grand
Chamber hearing concerning the confinement and return to Tunisia
of irregular migrants who arrived in Italy by sea (Press release, pdf):
case concerns the detention in a reception centre on Lampedusa
and subsequently on ships moored in Palermo harbour, as well
as the return to Tunisia, of clandestine migrants who had landed
on the Italian coast in 2011 during the events linked to the
Saber Ben Mohamed Ben Ali Khlaifia, Fakhreddine Ben Brahim Ben
Mustapha Tabal and Mohamed Ben Habib Ben Jaber Sfar, are Tunisian
nationals who were born in 1983, 1987 and 1988 respectively.
Mr Khlaifia lives in Om Laarass (Tunisia) and Mr Tabal and Mr
Sfar live in El Mahdia (Tunisia)....
On 1 February
2016 the case was referred to the Grand Chamber at the request
of the Italian Government"
See also Statewatch
Khlaifa judgment reveals illegal detention and collective expulsion
practices in Italys treatment of Tunis ians in 2011 (pdf)
European Parliament: Plan
to check EU citizens at external borders backed by civil liberties
(Press release, pdf)
Commission plan to systematically check all EU citizens entering
or leaving the EU was endorsed by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs
on Tuesday. Members amended the proposal to enable member states
to run targeted checks, as an exception, in the event of lengthy
delays and provided that security is not at risk."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.6.16)
Overhauls Appeals To Speed Up Returns To Turkey (News That Moves, link):
Greek Parliament voted late last week to change the composition
of the Appeals Committees who are tasked with examining the claims
and appeals of asylum seekers who crossed into Greece from Turkey
after March 20.
amendments state that Committees will now be composed of two
judges appointed by the government and one member nominated by
UNHCR. In the previous structure, there was one civil servant
and two independent experts nominated by UNHCR and by the Greek
National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR).
The GNCHR yesterday expressed
concern about the constitutionality of the Committees new
composition and the timing of the additional reforms." [emphasis added]
Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung: A
love-hate relationship - Far-right parties and the European Union (link)
publication analyzes the success and danger posed by the right-wing
populist parties in the EU. It outlines the broad spectrum of
parties on the right of the conservative European People's Party
(EPP) and lights their organization in the EU Parliament and
networks. What are the weaknesses and problems of the right-wing
parties in the formation of a stable alliance? What are their
effects and what are their electoral promises and topics? The
EU, by contrast, is presented as the embodiment as everything
politically negative and as such has become the chief reference
framework of right-wing populism. Sometimes there are overlaps
between right populists in the EU and representatives of the
(pdf) by Thilo Janssen
And see: European
support for far right extremism reaches 1930s scale by Nafeez Ahmed (link)
UK: House of Commons report: Cyber
Security: Protection of Personal Data Online (pdf):
the TalkTalk cyber-attack in October 2015 was the trigger for
this inquiry, it is essential to put this attack in context.
Cyber-crime is a significant and growing problem and affects
all sectors with an on-line platform or service. As the British
Business Federation Authority said in their evidence to the Committee:
incident is one of many that have happened and continue to happen.
To consider it in isolation of others would be misleading. The
overall context is complex and changing fast... The problem space
sidelines officials who blocked expulsion of refugees to Turkey (The Guardian, link):
"The Greek government has sidelined members of an independent
authority that had blocked the deportation of Syrian refugees,
following sustained pressure from other European countries.
voted on Thursday to change the composition of the countrys
asylum appeals board, in an attempt to sideline officials who
had objected on legal grounds to the expulsion of Syrians listed
for deportation to Turkey.
See also: The
government manipulates the Asylum Appeals Committees (AnalyzeGreece, link), link
by members of the Asylum Appeals Committees of Greece (Presidential
Decree 114/2010), regarding the latest developments in the asylum
claims review process (pdf)
EU-TURKEY: New information
platform on EU-Turkey migration policy launched: A
critical monitoring of the EU-Turkey deal is absolutely necessary (pdf): "In the situation
we are facing right now, we feel that it is crucial to establish
a critical and free source of information, which aims at strengthening
the power of civil society, explains Lülüfer
Körükmez. Activists and the interested public, as well
as researchers and journalists should use the information provided
by HarekAct to follow, initiate and comment on recent debates,
discourses and activities around migration policies."
See: HarekAct (link)
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (20.6.16): Greece "enlightened"
on asylum appeals committees by other EU governments; EP Foreign
Affairs Committee opinion on EU safe third countries list; Austria
to help Hungary "secure" border; and more.
Sophia: Anti-smuggling operation extended for a year and given
two new tasks
The EU's Foreign
Affairs Council has approved a one-year extension of the mandate
of Operation Sophia, the EU military mission in the Mediterranean
that was launched with the aim of hampering migrant smuggling.
Following the approval of a UN Security Council Resolution last
week, the operation will now also take on two new tasks: training
the Libyan coastguard and navy and implementing a UN arms embargo
on the high seas off the Libyan coast.
biometric data collection welcomed by US
the minutes of the most recent EU-US justice and home affairs
ministerial meeting, held in Amsterdam on 1 and 2 June, the US:
"commended the EU collection of biometric data which had
facilitated the fight against terrorism and the work of US law
The minutes then
note that: "The US offered to cooperate closely with European
partners on collected data."
far-right in the European Parliament: what have they done?
A new analysis
by VoteWatch Europe examines the European parliamentary
efforts of the far-right group Europe of Nations and Freedom
between 1 August 2015 and early June 2016. The group is made
up of the National Front (France), Flemish Interest (Belgium),
the Northern League (Italy), the Austrian Freedom Party, the
Party for Freedom (Netherlands), and the Congress of the New
EASO recruits security
firm giant G4S: LESVOS, GREECE: New
Security on Greek Islands Reduces Access: European migration
commentator Apostolis Fotiadis probes the legality of the European
Asylum Support Offices decision to limit access to asylum
proceedings as part of new security measures on the Greek islands.(News Deeply - Refugees
9, the Lawyers Association of Mitilini (Lesvos) sued the European
Asylum Support Office (EASO) for obstructing access to asylum
proceedings by its members. The lawyers claim that EASO officials
and private security guards are prohibiting access to specific
areas of the holding centers, also called hotspots, that host
the EASO offices and the asylum proceedings."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (18-19.6.16)
ITALY: Oxfam report: HOTSPOT,
lack of a legal framework is threatening the rights of migrants
reaching the Italian shore. Oxfam calls for immediate and mid-term
response to the refugee crisis is proving ineffective and dangerous.
Ineffective, because it is failing to hold back the migratory
flows, which was its main objective, and to ensure an appropriate
management of incoming migrants, as we will see in this report
which tries to describe the situation in Sicily."
And: Report in
crisis: latest news from across Europe (17.6.16)
politicians clueless on migration debate, says Jo
Cox's husband - Brendan Cox vows to continue work on building
international alliance to combat populist rights focus
on publics fears (Guardian, link)
husband of Jo Cox plans to continue with a project that aims
to build an international alliance to combat the dangerous
breeding ground of economic insecurity on which the populist
right has fed across European politics.
has let it be known that he is determined to continue with the
work in memory of his wife, who was killed on Thursday, but believes
this will only succeed if lessons can be learned from why the
right has so far taken the initiative on the migration issue."
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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