Dutch government attacks Italian Presidency plan to combat protests

The Netherlands government, in a report to the Police Cooperation Working Party of the Council of the European Union (the 15 EU governments), has called the Italian Presidency's plan to surveil and exclude protestors a "political" text (see: Italian EU Council Presidency: Plan to put protestors under surveillance and deny entry to suspected troublemakers)

Their Note says that the draft Resolution cover the use of border controls (to exclude suspected troublemakers) and the "exchange of personal data" which should not be adopted as a "political and non-binding text" but as a formal, binding, measure which would require national and European parliaments to be consulted.

It goes on to say that the use of Article 2.2 of the Schengen Implementing Convention which allows border controls to be exercised with the EU:

"is an exception to the rule [and].. is only possible in special situations "

increased internal border control "is not an end in itself" and any measure should set out criteria to "justify these security measures".

The Dutch government is concerned too over the idea that national police and public order agencies would pass over personal details of suspected troublemakers to the state where a protest is to take place. It even questions whether previous convictions constitute legitimate grounds for passing over data. Convictions:

"do not of themselves constitute justification for taking measures in the context of public order or public safety"

The Note says that "some caution is necessary" if it is intended:

"to include the data in a common list in the interests of public order"

and wants the full protection of the EU's 1995 Data Protection Directive to be included.

Source: "Draft Council Resolution on security at European Council meetings and other comparable events", full-text: 12078/03 (pdf)

Coverage and analyses by Statewatch

1. New plans: Italian EU Council Presidency: Plan to put protestors under surveillance and deny entry to suspected troublemakers
2. Statewatch analysis: "The enemy within":
Analysis no 5 (pdf)
3. Statewatch analysis:
Analysis no 9 (pdf)
4. EU Presidency present draft Council Decision to target protestors as "terrorists":
5. EU plans to extend the Schengen Information System (SIS) to: i) create EU database to target "suspected" protestors and bar them from entering a country where a protest is planned; ii) create EU database of all "foreigners" to remove third country nationals who have not left within the "prescribed time frame": Special Statewatch report: The enemy within II (3.12.01)
. See also Statewatch's Observatory on protests

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