Statewatch News online: Archive for year 2000

December 2000

"Solana Decision" extended to cover justice and home affairs, trade and aid: "Solana Two Decision"

Global "policing" role for the EU: feature on how the "non-military crisis management" will contaminate justice and home affairs, trade and aid: Global role

UK fronts G8 plan: intelligence agencies call for records of all telecommunications (phone calls, e-mails, internet activity) to be kept for minum of seven years: Surveillance plan

Survey shows which EU governments back openness, which do not: Openness survey

"Solana Decision" back on the agenda - new draft of Council common position: "Solana Decision" back

November 2000

European Parliament "has ignored civil society" plus full-text of the report adopted: Report

European Federation of Journalists publishes "Essays for an Open Europe", which argue that civil society needs to join in the debate on access to EU documents: Essays

Sweden: Security services study undermined: news story and the full-text of a 23,000 word report: Sweden (21.11.00)

European Parliament adopt report on access to EU documents - but what happened to citizens' rights? EP report, where now?

European Parliament to vote on report on access to EU documents on Thursday. Full list of amendments, voting list and analysis: EP vote

European Parliament report on access to EU documents in need of radical amendment: Report, critique and documents

UK security laws an "international disgrace" says human rights groups report: UK security laws Transcript of seminar: national security

EU: Council Security Plan" - background document to the "Solana Decision" released; Statewatch application leads to 8-7 split in the Council of the European Union: Security Plan

EU: The Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the EU (CCBE) calls for the EU to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights: Press release and text

Coverage of new code of access to EU documents: July-October 2001:

The European Parliament has formally decided to take the Council of the European Union to court over the "Solana Decision":
Green/EFA press release Council offer deal to head off court action by EP: Compromise deal

A detailed analysis by Statewatch shows that the European Commission and the Council want less access to documents than at present: Analysis

Germany and France lead fight for more secrecy by EU governments and UK
sits on the fence - Council's position on access to documents even worse than the

Statewatch's Observatory on access to EU documents: for the latest the reports and critiques (full-text) on the new code see: Observatory

Sweden: Swedish government decided (28.9.00) to back Netherlands court case
Finland: the Finnish government to back the Netherlands in their court case
Netherlands to take EU to court the Netherlands government decides (22.9.00) to take the Council of the European Union to court over the "Solana Decision"
EP Court action The European Parliament votes to take to take the Council to court over the "Solana/NATO Decision
Press release: Green/EFA group in EP
Opinion "Opinion" article in the Irish Times (23.9.00)
NATO letter Snub to European Parliament reveals more NATO demands
MEPs demand action EP decision with full-text documents

Solana's coup imposes EU security state: EU governments adopt the "NATO/Solana" amendments to the Decision on public access to documents (14.8.00) and it came into effect on 23 August
Text of the Decision 
Analysis The 1993 Decision as now amended by the Decision of 14 August 2000
Classified documents  Council Decision of 19 December 1999 overturned

International Federation of Journalists: "Journalists condemn "Summertime Coup":
IFJ   The UK parliament issues critical report on Commission's proposal: Report

October 2000

EU: French Presidency programme would create: "An area of Expulsion, Carrier Sanctions and Criminalisation": Asylum-seekers

  The Police (Northern Ireland) Bill goes to the House of Lords this week: Policing reform in Northern Ireland: Control or Consent?

September 2000

Fair Trials Abroad: In response to the European Commission's communication on the EU's programme of measures to implement the principle of EU-wide mutual recognition of judgements and court orders in criminal cases. FTA set out their ongoing concern about the effect on suspect's rights and civil liberties. They also call for an immediate halt to EU legislation that increases "international law enforcement powers" until safeguards are in place: FTA

Exclusive report: EU states "expel" thousands by air in 1999: A report from the Council of the European Union's Migration and Expulsion Working Party says 166,909 people were deported by air from the EU member states and Norway in 1999. This report includes an analysis of the statistics, air expulsion procedures including deportation "escorts" and an overview of EU cooperation on expulsion: Air expulsions

Germany: Arbitrary stop and search operations - migrants caught up in dragnet controls: Feature looking at how the legalisation of stop and search operations - with no test of "reasonable suspicion" or a specific incident - gives the police another instrument to increasingly criminalise migrants: Arbitrary operations   Burgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP, no 1/2000. Summary of articles in Burgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP, no 2/2000

August 2000

Report on the Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters: The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities has published a very useful report updating its commentary and observations on the Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters - the Convention was agreed at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 29 May. The Convention raises substantial issues concerning civil liberties and peoples' rights and now has to be ratified by national parliaments: Mutual Assistance Convention

Updated, 26.7.00: French Presidency's attack on "illegal" entry and residence, carriers sanctions and expulsion: The French Presidency's programme includes the following: 1. Directive introducing sanctions for carriers; 2. Framework decision on combating the facilitation of illegal entry and residence; 3. Council Directive on mutual recognition of decisions concerning expulsion of third-country nationals; 4. Action plan to improve the control of immigration. French EU proposals

July 2000

 Statewatch takes two new complaints against the EU Council over access to documents to the European Ombudsman: Statewatch editor Tony Bunyan has submitted two new complaints to the Ombudsman: one covers the refusal of access to the agendas of meetings of EU-US officials, the other concerns the failure of the Council to supply a list of documents which are deliberately being excluded from agendas, minutes and the public register of Council documents: Statewatch complaints to Ombudsman

European Ombudsman gets Europol to agree code of access to documents: In April 1999 the Ombudsman set up an own initiative inquiry into Europol's lack of a code of access to documents. After a series of correspondence the Director of Europol told the Ombudsman on 6 July that they would give access under the code currently used by the Council: Europol accepts Ombudsman's recommendations

 Exclusive: Lome Convention used to impose repatriation on the world's poorest countries: Statewatch analysis of how the EU slipped through a new policy to tie the repatriation of refugees back to the poorest third world countries to the new trade and aid agreement without consulting the European Parliament or national parliaments - just in time to put on the table at the final Lome negotiating session: Lome Convention used to impose repatriation

 Exclusive: Police (Northern Ireland) Bill: Statewatch analysis of the Patten proposals for policing in Northern Ireland, the Bill before parliament and the government's intentions set out in "Patten Report: Secretary of State's Implementation Plan":

Patten's radical model of policing is emasculated in Police (Northern Ireland) Bill: Policing Northern Ireland

The Police (Northern Ireland) Bill and the "Secretary of State's Implementation Plan": detailed comparison with the 175 recommendations in the Patten report:  Analysis (pdf file)

Suggested amendments to the Bill: Amendments

UK: New bill extends state surveillance: The so-called "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill" (R.I.P.Bill) is going through parliament. It covers: the interception of telecommunications (phone, faxes and e-mails) plus the mail; discreet and covert surveillance and undercover agents and paid informers; and the powers to seize encryption "keys" from service providers:

R.I.P.:Overview R.I.P.:Clause by clause analysis  Telephone-tapping and mail-opening figures, 1937-1998 Russia: Surveillance of communications

March - June 2000

Italy: Crisis in Italian prisons: A major investigation into allegations concerning the Sassari prison in Sardinia has focussed attention on chronic overcrowding. In 1999 there were 53 suicides, 920 attempted suicides, 83 deaths and 2 murders and 5,522 hunger strikes in Italian prisons: Italian prison crisis

Ireland: Liaison officers and readmission agreements to prepare for deportations: Ireland has signed it's first ever readmission agreement with Romania and negotiations with Poland and Nigeria are under way. The agreements will mean the stationing of Nigerian and Romanian liaison officers in Ireland. A special immigration police unit, the Gardaí National Immigration Bureau, is also being created and will have liaison officers based in Paris and London and powers to arrest and detain deportees. Civil rights groups have expressed concern about the rights of refugees and migrants: Ireland/deportation

EU: Mutual recognition of criminal judgments: Justice and Home Affairs officials are drawing up plans for the EU-wide "mutual recognition" of criminal court orders and rulings. This will oblige member states to act on each other's pre-trial orders - including arrest warrants, witness summons and evidence seizure - and final judgments. Discussions to date raise questions as to whether the need to facilitate cross-border prosecutions will be matched by adequate rights for the suspects and defendants: Mutual recognition

UK: Marchioness public inquiry: The bereaved and survivors of the Marchioness disaster, when a pleasure launch was hit and sunk in August 1989, have finally got an inquiry into the incident: Marchioness inquiry

EU: Europol given go-ahead to exchange data with non-EU states and agencies: The Justice and Home Affairs Council has given Europol the go-ahead to start negotiating with third-states (and agencies) to exchange data (both ways) on "suspects". This is meant to be dependent on these states having data protection rules up to EU standards, but will they? Europol data exchange  plus coverage of the issue in Statewatch bulletin

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