The Swedish Council Presidency has reiterated the longstanding call for “a true whole-of-government approach and sustained engagement” at all levels to implement EU plans to externalise migration and border control, in a document setting out plans to follow up on European Council conclusions agreed in February.
The European Commission is about to make €600 million available to "substantially support Member States with border control and technological equipment," and "a first objective" for that money "would be the key border between Bulgaria and Turkiye," says a letter to the European Council from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
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.
The UK government's latest attack on refugees, described as "a clear breach of the Refugee Convention" and seemingly incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, could lead to the EU terminating parts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Statement published to coincide with the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting of 9 and 10 March, calling for an end to repressive migration policies and "a return to Europe's founding values of solidarity and respect for the law". Signed by 16 organisations, including Statewatch.
Position paper by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.
The Swedish Council Presidency says there is an “evident” need to revise the EU’s visa suspension mechanism due to “a near-record number of asylum applications in 2022” from citizens of visa-free countries and an “extremely cumbersome” process for removing countries from the visa-free list.
It is well-documented that the externalisation of migration and border policies by the EU and other western states has led to appalling violations of human rights. While this is by far the most important issue resulting from border externalisation, there are also many other negative effects - including attacks on the right to access and impart information.
El País, 1 March 2023.
Since the early 1990s thousands of "unaccompanied and separated children" have arrived on Spanish territory. The authorities have frequently violated their rights. Policy changes and other events have led to migration patterns shifting over the years. A debate is needed over the facilities and care provided for child migrants, who at the moment are often housed in large facilities that do not meet their needs or uphold their rights.
The ongoing debate on pushbacks and rights violations at external EU borders neglects an important aspect: the EU and its states betray their claimed goal to promote human rights, the rule of law and civil society development worldwide by helping authoritarian regimes oppress their citizens, and also to stop them from leaving.
Since the Amsterdam Treaty of 1999, various crises have served as a pretext for expanding EU security structures and the powers of repressive authorities. Politically motivated human rights abuses remain the order of the day and have been exacerbated by the recent “migration crisis” at the EU's eastern borders.
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.
We are hosting a workshop at Privacy Camp 2023 in Brussels.
On 20 January, we filed a submission to the European Commission's public consultation for its Rule of Law Report 2023, which will cover developments in 2022. Our submission highlights a number of topics - in particular regarding rule of law issues at EU level, surveillance, access to an effective remedy and the criminalisation of the press - that have not received sufficient attention in previous iterations of the report.
nd, 6 December 2022.
Repubblica, 27 November 2022.
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.
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.
Altreconomia, 1 November 2022.
Espresso, 17 October 2022.
European Commission document, almost entirely censored.
A response from Bosnian state institutions to an FOI request concerning identification and deportation.
Report from a "High-Level video conference" between Europol and the Moroccan authorities in June 2020.
Agenda of a visit on 30 June and 1 July 2022. Names redacted.
Full-text of the agreement between Spain and Morocco approved in April 2022, translated into English and the Spanish original.
Politico Europe, 12 October 2021.
EurActiv report on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee voting in favour of strengthening Europol's powers.
A report from the Director of the EU's Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), Mr Francisco Esteban Perez, following a trip to Niamey to inspect the work of the EUCAP Sahel Niger mission and to hold meetings with Nigerien officials.
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".
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
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