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violence at the border no barrier to Schengen accession
The European Commissions decision
to give the green light to Croatias membership of the Schengen
area has been condemned by human rights groups who say that it
ignores illegal and violent push-backs of migrants
at Croatias borders that violate EU and international law.
ATLAS OF MIGRATION IN EUROPE: A critical geography of migration
and Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung, Brussels, pdf):
Presentation evening: 11 November
2010: 19.00 - 21.00: Rm G3, main College Building, 10 Thornhaugh
Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1H OXG.
on 6 November 2019 discussed agreement on exchange of electronic
Life imprisonment without review, death penalty and freedom of
The European Commission produced: Note ahead of the second negotiating
round for an EU-US Agreement on cross-border access to electronic
evidence, 6 November 2019
(Restricted document 13369-19, pdf):
The key issues discussed included the "categories of data"
to be covered including "both content and non-content data"
and the "types of offences and criminal proceedings, including
both pre-trial and trial state"
EU PNR: The
Belgian Constitutional Court refers ten preliminary questions
to the Court of Justice concerning the obligation to transfer
passenger information (pdf)
"The Belgian Constitutional
Court refers ten preliminary questions to the Court of Justice
of the European Union in light of the review of the law requiring
transportation providers and travel operators to communicate
The Court inquires whether
the system of the PNR Directive, transposed by the contested
law, is compatible with the right to respect for private life
and the protection of personal data. In addition, the Court asks
several questions regarding the interpretation of the Directive.
Lastly, the Court refers a question to the Court of Justice on
the applicability of the API Directive, also transposed in Belgian
law, that requires air carriers to communicate certain passenger
data to combat illegal immigration and to improve border control.
With respect to flights within the European Union, the question
arises as to its compatibility with the free movement of persons."
UK: Joint Committee on Human
to privacy may exist on paper but not in online
Wild West, says JCHR
(Press release, pdf):
"- Individuals are giving
away vast amounts of data and are expected to be
risk-aware when using web based services
The consent model is broken: Committee calls for
robust regulation to govern how personal data is used and stringent
enforcement of the rules
- Deeply troubling evidence that data being used
to discriminate in job and housing ads online
The Committee today reports serious grounds for concern about
the nature of the consent people provide when giving
over an extraordinary range of information about themselves,
to be used for commercial gain by private companies."
General Sharpston: the Court should rule that, by refusing to
comply with the provisional and time-limited mechanism for the
mandatory relocation of applicants for international protection,
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfil
their obligations under EU law (pdf)
"These Member States
cannot invoke their responsibilities with regard to the maintenance
of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security in
order to disapply a valid EU measure with which they disagree."
must urgently transfer asylum seekers from the Aegean islands
and improve living conditions in reception facilities (CoE, link):
of migrants, including asylum seekers, in the Greek Aegean islands
has dramatically worsened over the past 12 months. Urgent measures
are needed to address the desperate conditions in which thousands
of human beings are living, said today the Council of Europe
Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, at the end of
a five-day visit to Greece during which she visited reception
facilities in Lesvos, Samos, and Corinth.
The Commissioner is appalled
by the unhygienic conditions in which migrants are kept in the
Data Protection Supervisor: Facial recognition: A solution in
search of a problem?
"It is undeniable that
facial recognition, the biometric application used to identify
or verify a persons identity, has become increasingly present
in many aspects of daily life. It is used for tagging
people on social media platforms and to unlock smart phones.
In China it is used for airport check-in, for monitoring the
attentiveness of pupils at school and even for dispensing paper
in public latrines.
In the general absence of
specific regulation so far, private companies and public bodies
in both democracies and authoritarian states have been adopting
this technology for a variety of uses."
And see: Sweden
authorises the use of facial recognition technology by the police
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22-28.10.19) including:
- EU centrists ally with far
right on migrant rescues
- Greek asylum proposal "blatantly
- UNHCR probes Libya-Malta
interception in migrant rescue
Europe quietly becoming
a spy superpower
"Momentous changes are
underway in European intelligence, propelled by new technology
and a political push for integration. And without finally having
an open and inclusive public conversation about them, we risk
losing the democratic legitimacy of these transformations.
The evolution of government surveillance is bold, multi-faceted,
and confusing. Agencies across the continent are deploying an
avalanche of new technologies, notably machine learning, to both
advance new capabilities such as biometric surveillance and master
long-standing challenges like information overload."
Council wants to "explore the necessity and feasibility"
of the surveillance and profiling of all forms of mass transport
A draft set of Council conclusions
calls for "a thorough impact assessment conducted by the
European Commission on widening the scope of PNR Directive to
other travelling forms than air traffic."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (15-21.10.19) including:
- Croatias Schengen Accession:
Reinforcing Legal Red Lines Not Borders
- Reports on the situation
in the Aegean, Lesvos and the Balkans
- A flimsy raft, more than
100 souls, and three teenage heroes - or are they pirates?
Thoughts and Questions about the UK-US CLOUD Act Agreement: (and
an Explanation of How it Works with Charts) (European Law Blog, link):
"The Need to Unpack the
Data Sharing Agreement (pdf)
After four years of negotiations
surrounded by secrecy, the United Kingdom and the United States
finally released on October 7, 2019, the text of their Data-sharing
agreement aiming to facilitate the cross-border access to electronic
data for the purpose of countering serious crime. This long-awaited
agreement is the first of the executive agreements envisioned
by the CLOUD Act."
mayor warns island at breaking point after migrant camp fire (ekathimerini.com, link):
"The mayor of East Samos
has warned that a fire at its Vathy migrant reception and processing
center earlier his week has brought the eastern Aegean island
to breaking point as hundreds of people are having to sleep in
the streets and public squares.
The island has become
destabilized, Mayor Giorgos Stantzos told a morning talk
show on Antenna TV on Thursday, days after a fire and a riot
at the facility. We are counting down for something bad
And see: Fire
in Samos Refugee Camp (Pressenza, link):
crisis: latest news from across Europe (1-14.10.19) including:
- European States urged to
do more to protect and support child refugees and migrants
- New Frontex Regulation: corrected
version of the text
- Hungary: Refusing journalist
access to a reception centre for asylum-seekers was in breach
of the European Convention
- Italy's new migrant decree
promises repatriations in 4 months
- Fatal fire inside Moria refugee
leaders jailed for sedition by Spanish court
"Spain's Supreme Court
has sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine
and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in an independence
referendum in 2017."
calls for more NATO ships to patrol Aegean Sea following Turkeys
Syria offensive (euractiv.link):
"Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on NATO
to increase naval patrols in the Aegean Sea on Thursday (10 October)
after a threat by Turkey to open Europes doors to more
than three million migrants.
I asked the Secretary
General and the Alliance, and member states to strengthen their
in the Aegean Sea with more ships, Mitsotakis
said in a press conference after talks with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg
in Athens yesterday.(...)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan earlier threatened that Ankara would allow millions of
refugees to head to Europe if the bloc criticised Turkeys
ongoing military offensive in Syria."
press release of the Palermo Charter Platform Process on the
results of the EU Summit of Home Affairs Ministers on 23 September
in Malta and the consequent negotiations on 8 October in Luxembourg
"The Malta Agreement
("agreement on temporary reception and distribution mechanism")
is not a hard-won solution, but nothing more than a partial emergency
relief. We, European civil society initiatives and networks,
mayors of European cities and search and rescue non-governmental
organizations, demand a real solution that is adequate to the
scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.
"temporary solidarity mechanism" on relocation of people
rescued at sea - what does it say?
starts negotiations with the USA on exchange of e-evidence
- talks start
even though EU legislation not yet adopted
- CJEU questions the legality of proposed EU measure
- Commission says deal must include content and non-content data
On 25 September 2019
the Commission started negotiations with the USA on: E-evidence
- Negotiations for EU-U.S. Agreement on cross-border access to
evidence - report on state-of-play (RESTRICTED doc no:
journalist access to a reception centre for asylum-seekers was
in breach of the European Convention (pdf):
"In todays Chamber
judgment1 in the case of Szurovecz v. Hungary (application no.
15428/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously,
that there had been:
- a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European
Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned media access to
reception facilities for asylum-seekers.
The applicant in the case,
a journalist for an Internet news portal, complained about the
authorities refusal of his request to carry out interviews
and take photographs at the Debrecen Reception Centre, thus preventing
him from reporting on the living conditions there."
Council, 7-8 October
The Justice and Home Affairs
Council is meeting in Luxembourg on 7 and 8 October. Issues under
discussion include e-evidence negotiations between the EU and
the USA; EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights;
right-wing extremism and terrorism; and the implementation of
the EU's plans to interconnect its migration and policing databases.
Council documents published here indicate that this latter project
is running into trouble.
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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