A new European Commission evaluation of EU laws on migrant smuggling concludes there is a need to improve the situation around "the perceived risk of criminalisation of humanitarian assistance" to “irregular” migrants. The Commission argues that the answer to the problem is "effective implementation of the existing legal framework" – but it is the laws currently in place, which let Member States decide whether or not to punish humanitarian assistance, that permits the existence of a very real risk of criminalisation in the majority of EU Member States.
Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos noted “progress” on both schemes although the challenge requires that “more needs to be done, and faster”, calling on member states to show “political will, commitment and perseverance”. As for the 8th previous report, isolating these two aspects enables the portrayal of a situation which is improving while turning attention away from its systemic effects in the frontline states and this approach’s limits in terms of rationality and sustainability.
A detailed overview of agreements between the EU's border agency, Frontex, and non-EU states.
At the end of January the European Commission issued its fourth report on "building an effective and genuine Security Union”, examining four topics: “information systems and interoperability, soft target protection, cyber threat and data protection in the context of criminal investigations." The report puts significant focus on the need for “interoperability” between EU and national-level information systems and databases, in order to enable EU-wide biometric surveillance, one of the current favourite topics of EU security officials.
The partial concealment of border enforcement procedures underlines the inherent structural accountability and transparency deficits of Frontex specifically and EU agencies in general.
We pay but others do it. This first and foremost has been the response of the European Union to the so-called “refugee crisis”.
Over a year after the start of implementation of the EU Agenda on Migration, the EU Action Plan on Migrations and in particular the roll-out of the hotspot approach in Italy and Greece, mounting evidence shows that far from assisting frontline states, they are being punished for shortcomings in implementing a dysfunctional model designed to penalise them.
Operation Sophia, the EU’s military mission targeting migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean, has a “deterrence effect” that “by its presence alone, enhances security in the Mediterranean,” according to an internal report by the Italian naval officer in charge of the deployment. Yet as people continue crossing the central Mediterranean, and increasing numbers of them die whilst trying to do so, the only reasonable question to be asked is: what deterrent effect?
A European Commission proposal to expand the Eurodac biometric database has provided the perfect opportunity for national interior ministries to demand that police forces be able to obtain asylum-seekers’ and irregular migrants’ data more easily, despite the fact that half of all Member States do “not yet have experience with law enforcement access” to the system, according to an official document obtained by Statewatch.
The EU is actively cooperating with authoritarian regimes to control international movement while ignoring the disastrous human rights records of these regimes.
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