Statewatch submission to the EU Network of Independent Experts on fundamental rights



Statewatch has submitted a dossier covering 22 concerns on civil liberties issues to the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (the Network was set up to follow up the Charter on Fundamental Rights) for its report on the year 2003:

Statewatch submission to EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (full-text, pdf)

The introduction to the submission says:

"It is our view that the effects of the "war on terrorism" is having a detrimental effect on peoples' rights and liberties and democratic standards both at the national and European levels. There has been a "sea change" since 11 September 2001 which is not temporary but permanent. The "war on terrorism" has replaced the "Cold War" as a legitimating ideology in the EU and the USA which requires the surveillance and control of those entering and the wholesale surveillance and control of their own populations.

There is no longer a balance between freedoms and liberties on the one hand and the demands of security on the other. The demands of security, the law enforcement and internal security agencies are dominant and "emergency powers" are becoming the norm.

Left unchecked basic freedoms and democratic standards - freedom of movement, freedom of expression and the right to protest, freedom from surveillance in everyday life, accountability, scrutiny and data protection - will be whittled away one by one threatening the very democracy being defended by the "war on terrorism". Your Network, together with many others in civil society, can play an important role in attempting to halt and reverse the present direction."

The submission covers:

A. Surveillance and data exchange

1. The use of biometrics in identity documents (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
2. Data protection and the exchange of data outside the EU (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
3. Passenger data: recording and use of by USA and EU (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
4. The surveillance of telecommunications (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
5. The development of the SIS and SIS II (Articles 7, 8 and 47 of the Charter)

B. The rights of migrants and refugees

6.The removal of migrants by land and air (Articles 2, 4 and 19 of the Charter)
7. Deaths and injury during deportations (Articles 2, 4 and 19 of the Charter)
8. Deaths at borders (Articles 2 and 18 of the Charter)
9. The targeting of migrant communities (Articles 2 and 18 of the Charter)
10. UK government AND UNHCR plans for camps (Articles 18, 19, 47 of the Charter)
11. Readmission agreements (Articles 18, 19 of the Charter)
12. Development of an EU border police (Articles 18, 19 of the Charter)
13. Contamination of EU development agenda (Article 6 of the Charter)

C. Policing and security

14.The policing of protests and the gathering of intelligence on protestors (Articles 7, 8, 12, 45, 48 of the Charter)
15. Police Chiefs Operational Task Force (Article 42 of the Charter)
16. The development of Europol (Articles 7, 8, 42, 47 of the Charter)

D. Judicial cooperation, criminal law and constitutional issues

17.EU-US agreements (Articles 7, 8, 42, 47 of the Charter)
18. Terrorist lists (Articles 42, 47, 48, 49 of the Charter)
19. The proposed committee on operational control of activities concerning internal security (Article 42 of the Charter)
20. The mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters (Articles 42, 47, 48, 49 of the Charter)

E. Access to EU documents, accountability and scrutiny

21. The failure of the EU institutions to implement the Regulation on access to documents (1049/2001) (Article 42 of the Charter)
22.The failure to produce an annual report on activities carried out under the Schengen acquis (Article 42 of the Charter)

Documentation

1.
Statewatch submission to EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (full-text, pdf)
2. 1st report of the EU Network of Independent Experts on fundamental rights:
Main report (pdf)
3. Extract from report: Thematic report on freedom and security and responses to terrorist threats (pdf)


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