Vol 3 no 6, December 2003                

Contents * JHA Council * Europol * PNR data * Immigration and asylum * Civil law * Police & criminal law * Key Resources

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  JHA COUNCIL, 27-28 NOVEMBER 2003

The JHA Council on 27-28 November adopted a Protocol to the Europol Convention and the EC Regulation on parental responsibility judgments and agreed the general approach of several other proposals. Inexplicably, the EC Directive on expulsion by air and a Decision authorising signature of the Sri Lanka readmission agreement were adopted by the Ecofin Council (on economic and financial policy) just two days earlier (see below).

1. The agendas, press release and background from the JHA Council are available here

2. For all legislative developments during November 2003 see the SEMDOC Legislative observatory


  EUROPOL

3. A Protocol to Europol Convention was adopted by JHA Council of 27-23 November 2003. It will amend a number of separate provisions in the Europol Convention, extending Europol's scope and mandate

4. The first report of the Europol Joint Supervisory Authority, covering the period October 1998 to October 2002 was published. In reference to Europol's compliance with US demands for cooperation since 'September 11' the Chair of the JSA "express[ed] the wish that when the second activity report is published in 2004, we will able to state that the values of humanism have triumphed over the forces of obscurantism".

5. According to the Commission work programme to 2004, it will present a Framework Decision on the transfer of police data to non-EU States (see forthcoming measures, SEMDOC legislative observatory, Title VI)

6. A draft Europol cooperation agreement with Turkey has been prepared. Like the extraordinary agreement with the USA that was applied before a full cooperation treaty was agreed, it excludes the exchange of personal data. However, given the extent of informal cooperation envisaged in the agreement, and the admission that Europol was passing data to US agencies on an 'emergency' basis, one has to wonder whether these informal agreements are actually de facto cooperation treaties with countries where data protection is too weak to allow a 'normal' agreement. Another draft cooperation treaty excluding the exchange of personal data between Europol and Columbia is also on the table. A full list of Europol treaties with third states and agencies is available on the SEMDOC legislative observatory, Title VI international treaties


  PNR DATA

7. Statewatch reported that the form of the deal on handing over passenger data to the USA is in doubt

8. However, EU plans for collecting this data will place all EU air travellers under surveillance

9. These appear to be led by the UK, which has developed domestic proposals on passenger screening and the prevention of boarding

10. All developments are covered on the Statewatch Observatory on PNR


  IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM

11. The Ecofin Council on the 25 November 2003 adopted the Directive on expulsion by air 

12. An Appeal to European Parliament has been launched against Humiliating Chartered Flights

13. It also authorised signature of the readmission treaty with Sri Lanka (includes unpublished Treaty)

14. The JHA Council on the 27 November agreed upon the "general approach" in the proposed Regulation to introduce biometric identification data in EU visas and the amendment of the residence permit format


15. Discussions the draft asylum procedures Directive and "safe third countries" Regulation have been postponed until next year's Irish presidency

16. A heavily criticised draft Directive on deporting migrants in unmarked police cars is to be redrafted as "soft-law" Council Conclusions. This is because "already at the stage of its first examination various delegations expressed some concerns with regard to this Initiative"

17. A number of measures in which Denmark has declared it will participate (under the Protocol to the Amsterdam Treaty) and several from which it is opting out are listed on the SEMDOC legislative observatory (Title IV)

18. The European Parliament is to be reconsulted on the proposed Directive on granting residents permits for "victims" of trafficking or illegal immigration (as long as they cooperate with police and other authorities)

19. The Commission has proposed the creation of an EU Migration management network. "As a development of the Early Warning System, the network is primarily designed to facilitate the exchange of strategic and tactical information on irregular or illegal migratory flows and trends"

20. This proposed network is part of the development of the EU Border Police. An analysis by Statewatch shows that the Commission's "border management" proposal hides unaccountable, operational bodies. A proposal for a Decision on police cooperation in internal border regions for is expected from the Commission September next year

21. The Commission has also produced a draft Regulation on the stamping of passports at external borders


  CIVIL LAW

22. The EC Regulation on parental responsibility was adopted by JHA Council on 27-28 November 2003

23. It also adopted a Decision authorising signature of Paris Convention on nuclear liability

24. JHA ministers also approved the general approach to European Enforcement Order. None of the recent Council documents on the proposal have been made available to the public


  POLICE AND CRIMINAL LAW

25. An EU Framework Decision on drug trafficking, which has been held-up because of the issue of "drug tourism", was agreed at the JHA Council on 27-28 November 2003. The agreed text has not yet been released by the Council but is published here

26. The Commission has proposed a Council Decision on synthetic drugs

27. A Resolution on football stadium bans was adopted by General Affairs Council on 17 November 2003

28. The Council General Secretariat has produced a review of the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant. The European Commission will produce its report in September 2004

29. On 14 November, the Commission released a proposal for a European Evidence warrant


  KEY RESOURCES on the SEMDOC website

a. For all new material added to SEMDOC, see: What's New


b. Observatory on the new EU Constitution, updated with statement from European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights

c. Key Texts, all the primary texts for reference:
Key Texts

d. Justice and Home Affairs acquis: 1993 - ongoing: JHA Acquis

e. Justice and Home Affairs Councils (Agendas, Background Notes, Press Releases and minutes) are added as soon as they become available

f. The main Legislative Observatory is listed on the SEMDOC home page: Legislative Observatory

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