Latest updates from around the site

25 May 2023

European Commission wants common rules on "registration and certification" for Mediterranean search and rescue organisations

Observatory: Interoperability

A "Draft Roadmap towards a 'European Framework for Operational Cooperation on Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean Sea'," obtained by Statewatch and published here, indicates that the European Commission is aiming for "standardisation/convergence of registration and certification rules on private vessels carrying out SAR [search and rescue] as their predominant activity." This could be used to hinder the activities of search and rescue organisations.

24 May 2023

European Commission: "the content is the crime," so let's break encryption

Observatory: Interoperability

The EU's proposed Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) Regulation is perfectly legal, the European Commission has argued, in response to the Council Legal Service's arguments that the "detection orders" set out in the proposal would be illegal.

23 May 2023

Frontex takes the lead on deportations

Observatory: Interoperability

EU border agency Frontex has recently sought to take on a more prominent role in deportations, and has been testing the possibility of organising the "initiative, destination, date," amongst other tasks - roles previously reserved for national authorities.

23 May 2023

EU rules allowing "exceptional" use of spyware against journalists need "fine-tuning"

Observatory: Interoperability

Agreement within the Council on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) is "very close", according to a recent document circulated by the Swedish Presidency - but provisions on the "exceptional" use of spyware against journalists are still the subject of discussions.

22 May 2023

EU: Tracking the Pact: Compromise texts, member state comments, "balance between solidarity and responsibility"

Observatory: Interoperability

Council documents detailing the state of play with the Asylum Procedure Regulation (including comments from the member states), the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, and a Presidency discussion paper on the "balance between solidarity and responsibility".

11 May 2023

Overvåkingen er ulovlig i EU. I Norge fortsetter den

Bergens Tidende, 9 May 2023.

17 April 2023

The green police: anti-mafia powers for environmental crime investigations?

Observatory: Asylum and immigration

The European Commission's proposal for a new environmental crime Directive will significantly strengthen law enforcement powers. As well as introducing a range of new criminal offences at EU level, the proposed Directive encourages the use of intrusive policing tactics against suspected environmental crime offenders. Member states, however, aim to water down the Commission’s proposal to reduce the obligations on national authorities, and are concerned about what they see as an attempt to ‘overharmonise’ national criminal laws.

12 April 2023

Viewpoint: How to make fences and influence people: a simple guide

Observatory: Asylum and immigration

Are you an EU member state looking to divert attention from the human rights abuses you are committing at your border? By following this simple guide, you can ensure that not only will the European Commission, the “Guardian of the Treaties”, turn a blind eye to those abuses, but that you will receive a healthy cash injection at the same time!

05 April 2023

Prosecuting solidarity: extracts from a new book on the Riace case

Observatory: Asylum and immigration

A book about the political use of judicial proceedings to curtail a virtuous example of solidarity at work in reception practices in a small southern town in Calabria, Riace, led by its former mayor, Mimmo (Domenico) Lucano. Hearings of the appeal trial in Reggio Calabria are underway, after the first trial in Locri (whose sentence is commented on in these two extracts) found several defendants guilty, imposing lengthy prison terms (over 13 years for Lucano, over 80 years in total for 18 defendants) and financial penalties. The contributions to this book focus on the trial, the sentence, the appeal and the reality of the experience of Riace, including trial monitoring reports by Giovanna Procacci.

29 March 2023

Submission to European Commission consultation on "security-related information sharing"

Observatory: Asylum and immigration

The Commission’s initiative for a ‘Security-related information sharing system between frontline officers in the EU and key partner countries’ is a further development along the path of problematic border externalisation, and a trend of increasing use of large-scale processing of the personal data of non-EU citizens for combined criminal law and immigration control purposes, that civil society has been speaking out against for years.

28 March 2023

“Call them crazy”: Criminalisation of activists undermines rule of law in the EU

Observatory: Asylum and immigration

The Dutch police continue to disregard the rule of law to criminalise the pacifist activist Frank van der Linde. In recent years, his personal data has been sent to Europol, he has been labelled a terrorist, and police have suggested he be referred to a psychiatric facility. Far from an isolated case, van der Linde’s story shows just how far police in Europe will go to criminalise the right to protest and stifle political dissent.

13 March 2023

Access denied: Secrecy and the externalisation of EU migration control

For at least three decades, the EU and its Member States have engaged in a process of “externalisation” – a policy agenda by which the EU seeks to prevent migrants and refugees setting foot on EU territory by externalising (that is, outsourcing) border controls to non-EU states. The EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum, published in September 2020, proposed a raft of measures seeking to step up operational cooperation and collaboration in order to further this agenda.

09 March 2023

CCBE position paper on the proposal addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum

Observatory: Interoperability

Position paper by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.

07 February 2023

Frontex and interoperable databases: knowledge as power?

The EU’s border agency, Frontex, will be able to access vast quantities of data once the EU’s ‘interoperable’ policing and migration databases are fully operational. This briefing considers the agency’s use of data from two different perspectives – operational and statistical – and provides an overview of the agency’s role in the EU’s emerging “travel intelligence” architecture. It is aimed at informing understanding, analysis and critique of the agency and its role, with a view to making it possible to better understand, engage with and challenge future developments in this area.

02 February 2023

Longtime Client Majid Khan Released from Guantánamo, to Begin New Life in Belize

Observatory: Interoperability

Press release by the Center for Constitutional Rights on the release of Majid Khan from Guantámo and his transfer to Belize.

25 January 2023

Workshop: Policing the crisis, policing as crisis: the problem(s) with Europol

Observatory: Interoperability

We are hosting a workshop at Privacy Camp 2023 in Brussels.

06 December 2022

EU plant Polizeiabkommen mit Israel

nd, 6 December 2022.

28 November 2022

Ursula von der Leyen visit to Morocco: European Commission response to request

Response from the Commission refusing access to "agendas and documents on the outcomes and contents of discussion" concerning von der Leyen's visit to Morocco on 8 February 2022.

17 November 2022

Secrecy and the externalisation of EU migration control

Since the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum was unveiled in September 2020, significant public and policy attention has been paid to the raft of new and recycled legal measures proposed. However, the Pact also includes a range of activities that do not undergo the same institutional to-and-fro as passing new laws.

10 November 2022

Empowering the police, removing protections: the new Europol Regulation

This report examines the new powers granted to EU policing agency Europol by legal amendments approved in June 2022. It finds that while the agency's tasks and powers have been hugely-expanded, in particular with regard to acquiring and processing data, independent data protection oversight of the agency has been substantially reduced.

04 November 2022

Retroplanning for the drafting of the Agency’s implementing rules for the processing of operational personal data (Article 90 EBCG Regulation)

List of preparatory activities, consultations and meetings by the management board of Frontex between June 2021 and December 2021 ahead of the adoption the new Frontex rules on Operational Personal Data (‘OPD’), meant to be done by the end of 2021.

04 November 2022

Data Protection Officer comments on the draft Frontex Management Board Decisions

Documents with the first and second round of comments on the draft decisions on processing operational personal data.

22 September 2022

Meeting Report Second Meeting Frontex-Morocco Comité Mixte

Heavily censored report from the second meeting of the Frontex-Morocco Comité Mixte in October 2020.

22 September 2022

Meeting report: Frontex-Morocco Comité Mixte – 1st Meeting

Heavily censored report from the first meeting of the Frontex-Morocco Comité Mixte in October 2019.

22 September 2022

Grant agreement number - 958054 - AMIF SHABABUNA

Grant agreement for the Shababuna "information campaign" project. Heavily-redacted.

28 April 2022

Convention between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco on cooperation in the fight against crime

Observatory: Interoperability

Full-text of the agreement between Spain and Morocco approved in April 2022, translated into English and the Spanish original.

12 October 2021

EU: MEPs vote to expand Europol mandate

Observatory: Interoperability

Politico Europe, 12 October 2021.

12 October 2021

Europol nears stronger mandate for data-driven policing capacities

Observatory: Interoperability

EurActiv report on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee voting in favour of strengthening Europol's powers.

27 September 2021

Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks

Observatory: Interoperability

The publication by WikiLeaks of detailed information on CIA hacking tools, part of a series of leaks dubbed 'Vault 7', led to the CIA stepping up its campaign against the organisation and, in particular, its founder Julian Assange. According to a report published by Yahoo! News, Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA for the Trump administration from January 2017 to April 2018, was key to the exploration of new methods for neutralising WikiLeaks' activities - which allegedly included discussions of kidnapping or assassinating Assange. The CIA's expanded activity against WikiLeaks was made possible through shifting the legal designation given to the organisation - in particuar, by dubbing it a "non-state hostile intelligence service".

19 July 2021

Call for expressions of interest: state databases, biometrics, policing and migration control

Aufruf zur Interessenbekundung: Staatliche Datenbanken, Biometrie, Polizeiarbeit und Migrationskontrolle / Convocatoria de expresiones de interés: bases de datos estatales, biometría, control policial y de la migración / Appel à manifestation d'intérêt : bases de données étatiques, biométrie, maintien de l'ordre et contrôle des migrations / Invito a manifestare interesse: workshop sulle banche dati statali di polizia e per il controllo delle migrazioni

01 July 2020

Invisible Borders

<p>A prize-winning cross-border investigative journalism project</p>

25 June 2020

Thank you!

25 June 2020

We need your support

12 December 2019

EU justice and home affairs agencies

<p>Transparency, accountability and fundamental rights</p>

28 February 2017


28 February 2017


28 February 2017


28 February 2017

10888/98 COR 2

28 February 2017

10888/98 COR 3

20 January 2017

JUSTICIA: European Rights Network

<p>A joint initiative of 19 independent civil society organisations in 17 members states</p>

20 January 2017

SECILE: Does counter-terrorism just counter terrorism?

<p>Securing Europe through Counter-terrorism: Impact, Legitimacy and Effectiveness (SECILE)</p>



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