Since 2001, almost €215 million has been provided to Morocco by the EU to finance border security projects. Initial efforts took place between 2001 and 2010 and, despite an interlude in which financial support was concerned with reform of the country’s migration policy, in 2018 funding for border security returned with a vengeance, with €140 million promised to Morocco – half of which comes from the EU Trust Fund for Africa. There is little publicly-available information on the results of these funding programmes, and human rights abuses against migrants and refugees committed by Moroccan authorities call into question whether financial support from the EU to Moroccan border security should continue, particularly given that development funding is supposed to aim at eradicating poverty.
A new report published by Statewatch and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) explains the EU's new rules on interoperable information systems and databases and examines the potential implications for people in an irregular migration situation.
Evidence presented to the London Hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the violations with impunity on the rights of migrants and refugees.
The revised Returns Directive is supposed to “speed up return procedures, prevent absconding and secondary movements, and increase the overall EU return rate, in full respect of fundamental rights.” This final point, however, is extremely doubtful. As this analysis makes clear, the key aim of the changes is to restrict individual rights in the name of improving the functioning of the EU’s deportation system. EU lawmakers should discard the proposal and focus on alternative measures that would be less harmful to individuals.
As the EU’s member states continue to discuss half-hearted plans for search and rescue and the disembarkation of migrants, they are also putting in place measures to prevent their own maritime safety authorities from carrying out rescues. At the same time, they are pressuring under-resourced and unwilling non-EU states to take on rescue tasks. As reports from Spain show, the results are deadly.
At the end of March, the European Commission and the Italian interior minister appeared to undermine one another both respectively and collectively through a sequence of messages that emerged as part of their efforts to assert the existence of a Libyan search and rescue (SAR) zone. The entire incident demonstrates how Italy and the European Commission are trying to assert the fiction of a Libyan SAR zone – financing it, providing resources and managing it – in order to neutralise concerns over both the north African country’s status as an unsafe place and their own humanitarian obligations.
The introduction of 5G telecommunications networks could render traditional “lawful interception” techniques used by the police obsolete, according to internal EU documents. Discussions on how to deal with the issue are ongoing – but are being kept behind closed doors. There is a need for a public discussion on this issue, as well as the closely-related topic of the surveillance potential of new technologies facilitated by 5G that threaten to introduce – in the words of a police think tank, no less – “major invasions of privacy and a fundamental, and at this stage unregulated, shift in the relationship between the police and the public.”
Do the police and government not have the required knowledge and experience for the violent repression they are enacting? Are they clumsy? There is neither an authoritarian drift, nor one towards a police-military state, but rather a dominant logic which excludes any negotiation. ‘Democratic’ fascism and what is called democracy always coexist, with the only likely outcome of provoking revolts which become increasingly fierce.
Examined alongside recent Council proposals, it appears that the approaches of the Italian government and the EU institutions to unauthorised sea arrivals are not necessarily that different.
• The ECRIS-TCN, which will hold the personal data of non-EU citizens convicted in EU Member States, is designed to ‘complement’ the existing ECRIS for EU nationals • The EU’s ‘interoperability’ agenda propelled the choice of a more privacy-intrusive centralised, rather than decentralised, system • Dual nationals will also have their personal data included in the system, violating the right to non-discrimination by creating two ‘tiers’ of EU citizens
In May next year the mayoral elections for the city of Barcelona will take place. Candidates for the position have recently intensified their discourse over the perception of insecurity in the city, yet many experts recommend alternative solutions to simply increasing police presence in public places.
The EU has finally lost patience with a decade-long approach based on dialogue with countries in Africa calling for the return and readmission of refugees. Under plans adopted by the European Commission on 7 June 2016 the EU explicitly seeks to exploit Member States’ historical neo-colonial links to try to contain the movement of migrants and refugees.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry that has been in place in the UK since 2015 will never uncover the full truth about the police infiltration of social and political organisations whilst it has no remit to examine the activities of British officers outside England and Wales. This briefing outlines the transnational police groups, networks and organisations that are known to exist for the purpose of coordinating undercover police operations across state borders, primarily in Europe.
The Council and the Parliament are both currently discussing their negotiating positions on the proposal for new EU rules on national identity cards and residence documents issued to EU citizens and their family members when they reside in another Member State. The rules would harmonise certain aspects of these documents’ appearance and security features. Unless amendments proposed by left, liberal and green MEPs are taken into account, the Parliament will follow the Council and Commission in approving the mandatory fingerprinting of hundreds of millions of EU citizens.
Translation of a speech given by Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo (Osservatorio Solidarieta Carta di Milano) at the session ‘Decriminalizing Solidarity: an ever more topical challenge’, Sabir Festival, Palermo, 13 October 2018.
In the summer of 2018, after concerted efforts since 2014 by the EU and its Member States to block off the eastern (Turkey to Greece) and central (Tunisia and Libya to Italy) routes across the Mediterranean used by migrants and refugees to reach Europe, there was an increase in crossings using the western route (Morocco, and sometimes Algeria, to Spain). This was accompanied by an increase in deaths at sea and, in Morocco, extensive police operations to remove black African migrants from the north of the country, based on racial profiling and flagrant breaches of human rights.
This analysis looks at key critiques of EU plans to create a pervasive EU state database covering existing and future Justice and Home Affairs databases.
In order to facilitate free movement within the EU, the introduction of some mandatory EU-wide standards for identity cards may well be justified – but the proposal to fingerprint 175 million people as part of that is irrelevant and unjustified, and should be rejected by the European Parliament and the Council when they begin discussing the Commission’s proposals on standardising national identity cards.
The rule of law means putting limits ‘from below’ and from outside upon the power of the state. In a strict conception of the democratic principle, the law cannot be a mechanism for covering up abuses of power, but a brake upon them or their primary antidote.
Ten years after the ‘Tarnac affair’ began with accusations of terrorism against a group of people from a libertarian community, the key individuals in the case, subsequently accused of sabotaging railway lines, have been cleared of all charges. The process has demonstrated a set-up designed to create an internal enemy.
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