Latest updates: all new material added to the site

28 September 2023

After the Niger coup, Spanish Council Presidency asks: "How can we continue cooperation on migration and border management?"

Category: News

Earlier this month, an article published by Statewatch questioned how long it would be before the EU's cooperation on security and migration with Niger - which was halted after the coup at the end of July - was restarted. A document circulated by the Spanish Presidency of the Council on 8 September suggests that, despite the EU condemning the coup "in the strongest terms," there is enthusiasm to get joint projects going again.

27 September 2023

Civil society calls on legislators to ensure the AI Act upholds the rule of law

Category: News

In another warning on the dangers posed by the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act, more than 60 organisations (including Statewatch) are calling on EU legislators to ensure that the text upholds the rule of law. An open letter calls: for fundamental rights impact assessments for all high-risk AI systems; to ensure that systems used for national security purposes fall under the Act; and to ensure that AI developers cannot exempt themselves from the Act. "As the EU navigates the complexities of the digital age, it is of the utmost importance that we do not lose sight of our core values," says the letter.

26 September 2023

Global call to stop facial recognition surveillance

Category: News

Facial recognition and other forms of biometric surveillance pose huge dangers for rights and freedoms in public space. They make it possible for pervasive tracking of individuals' movements and activities; are used to infer or monitor emotions and alleged "suspicious behaviours"; and have been responsible for wrongful arrests and convictions, and the suppression of protests. The dangers they pose are so significant that a coalition of more than 110 civil society organisations (including Statewatch) and 60 eminent individuals are making a simple demand to governments: stop using facial recognition for the surveillance of publicly-accessible spaces and for the surveillance of people in migration or asylum contexts.

26 September 2023

Surge in police use of facial recognition sparks concerns over wrongful targeting

Category: Press coverage

Morning Star, 26 September.

21 September 2023

Interpol: multi-million dollar “predictive analytics” system under construction

Category: News

The International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol, is building a vast data-processing platform called INSIGHT that is ultimately supposed to provide police forces around the globe with “predictive analytics” generated from Interpol’s internal data, information received from its member states, “external” sources such as commercial databases, and “visual, video, audio recognition, facial and bio-data matching.” The US State Department has so far committed more than $12 million for the project.

20 September 2023

The cost of migration: Europe's response

Category: Press coverage

BBC, 20 September.

20 September 2023

Police AI needs strict limits and controls, warn civil society organisations

Category: News

Secret "trilogue" negotiations on the EU's proposed Artificial Intelligence Act are ongoing, and next week MEPs and EU member state representatives will start discussing bans and prohibitions. The week after, decisions are expected on whether to classify the use of AI for migration and security purposes as "high risk" or not. A statement directed at decision-makers and signed by 115 associations and individuals, including Statewatch, calls for strict limits and controls in the AI Act "to prevent harm, protect people from rights violations and provide legal boundaries for authorities to use AI within the confines of the rule of law."

19 September 2023

The new proposal on the security of EU information: a wider but incomplete legal framework for classified information

Category: Analysis

Part 3 of a series /// The proposal on security of EU information, as introduced, would create a legal framework for classified information with a number of gaps and loopholes that would prevent the European Parliament and the Court of Justice from exercising their roles as set out in the EU treaties. Changes are required to fix these problems.

19 September 2023

Vacancy: Communications Worker

Your ideas, enthusiasm and creativity will improve the communication of our work on civil liberties, human rights and democratic standards.

18 September 2023

Scrutinising European police surveillance of activists: new guide on personal data requests

Category: News

A new guide aims to improve the ability of activists and campaigners to request data held on them by Europol, the EU’s policing agency, and to increase public and political scrutiny of European police forces gathering data on individuals’ political activities.

18 September 2023

Arrivals in Lampedusa: Solidarity and resistance in the face of Europe's reception crisis!

Joint statement signed by Statewatch and more than 80 other organisations: Following the arrival of a record number of people on the move in Lampedusa, civil society expresses its deep concern at the security response of European states, the crisis of reception, and reaffirms its solidarity with people on the move arriving in Europe.

13 September 2023

Statement to EU countries: Do not agree to mass surveillance proposal, warn NGOs

Category: News

Over 80 organisations, including Statewatch, are calling on EU member states to block the proposed Child Sexual Abuse Regulation, which would fatally undermine encryption and thus the safety and privacy of all internet users. In the UK, the government has recently conceded that similar clauses in the Online Safety Bill will not be enforced until it is technologically possible to do so - which is likely to be never.

12 September 2023

The proposal on security of EU information: how to burst the bubble and open the EU fortress

Category: Analysis

Part 2 of a series /// The Commission's proposal on security of EU information threatens to fatally undermine the rules on access to documents, which are essential for transparency, openness and public participation in democratic-decision making. The European Parliament and the Council need to take action to fix the proposal on security of information. At the same time, there are clear steps they could take to improve the access to documents rules, ensuring that legislative deliberations are as open and transparent as required by the treaties.

10 September 2023

Brexit: EU issues guidance after Britons 'wrongfully held' at Schengen borders

Category: Press coverage

The Local, 10 September 2023.

07 September 2023

The proposal on security of EU information: transforming the “bubble” into a “fortress”?

Category: Analysis

Part 1 of a series /// EU institutions are currently discussing a proposal for a new law "on information security in the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union." While the objective itself may be legitimate, the proposal as it stands seeks to extend to other EU institutions and agencies the secrecy and opacity that has for so long characterised the work of the Council. It undermines existing legislation on public access to official documents and would fatally undermine the treaty obligation for the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the EU "to conduct their work as openly as possible." At the same time, the proposal fails to ensure the interinstitutional and interagecy cooperation necessary to ensure an effective administration.

07 September 2023

EU: Dangerous loophole in the AI Act must be closed to protect rights

Category: News

Almost 120 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, are calling on MEPs to close a massive loophole in the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act introduced under pressure from big tech lobbyists. Without changes, the law will allow developers of AI systems to decide whether or not the systems they produce should be considered "high-risk" or not - an obvious invitation for them to decide that they are not, in order to avoid the extra safeguards that the Act should impose.

07 September 2023

EU: Commission halts migration cooperation with Niger, but for how long?

Category: News

EU-promoted migration control policies have caused discontent in Niger, and it has been suggested they may have contributed to the unpopularity of toppled president Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted in a military coup in July. After the coup, the European Commission halted its support for security and migration projects in the country. However, its willingness to cooperate with institutions and actors that violate human rights elsewhere raises the question: for how long?

05 September 2023

Brexit: UK nationals “are being wrongfully detained whilst transiting through the Schengen area”

Category: News

UK citizens who have retained post-Brexit rights as legal residents of EU member states have “encountered problems when transiting Schengen States on their way to the [member state] where they reside,” according to the European Commission – including “being wrongfully detained whilst transiting through the Schengen area.”

31 August 2023

UK: Papers, please: how one man’s academic research turned him into a terrorism suspect

Category: News

Book review: In ‘The Suspect’, Rizwaan Sabir offers an intimate first person account of the experience of being accused of involvement in terrorism. He was arrested in May 2008 for possessing a document deemed useful for committing terrorist acts, as part of his academic research into Al Qaida at Nottingham University.

31 August 2023

Cyprus: Racist "pogrom" against Syrian refugees

Category: News

The Cypriot anti-racist organisation KISA has denounced a racist "pogrom" against Syrian refugees in Chloraka, in which various far-right groups attacked adults, children and property. The "well-organised and coordinated attack" grew from "the fertile ground created by the state migration and asylum policies, which are based on systemic racism and discrimination, in flagrant violation of human rights as well as EU and international law," says a press release from KISA. The police, meanwhile, are accused of having "tolerated and apathetically at first watched the violent attacks and other offences," until they eventually made "three arrests, two of which were of Syrian refugees according to media reports, victimising once again the victims of the attacks."

30 August 2023

Urgent warning: more deaths at sea, NGO ships blocked

Category: News

A joint statement signed by 56 organisations, including Statewatch, calls for European states to stop obstructing and hindering civil search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea.

24 August 2023

EU and USA plough ahead with secret discussions on biometric data exchange scheme

Category: News

The EU and USA are discussing a proposed “Enhanced Border Security Partnership” which would involve “continuous and systematic” transfers of biometric data in both directions, but the Commission has refused to release documents that would provide further information to the public.

24 August 2023

Tracking the Pact: Presidency's proposed negotiating position on force majeure Regulation; member state comments

Category: News

On 26 July the Council Presidency circulated what it intended to be the Council's negotiating mandate on the proposed Regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum. Agreement within the Council on the text remains elusive, but it is being made public here, alongside previous versions of the text and compilations of comments from member states on various issues raised by the proposal.

24 August 2023

Spanish Council Presidency: how can we use the diaspora population as leverage for migration control?

Category: News

The EU should use policies on the diaspora population to step up pressure on third countries to cooperate with migration control, the Spanish Council Presidency has suggested, by “embedding discussions on diaspora relations in bilateral relations on migration with partner countries.”

07 August 2023

Telling the story of EU border militarization

Category: Publications and reports

Addressing and preventing European border violence is a huge but necessary strategic challenge. This guide offers framing messages, guiding principles, and suggested language for people and organisations working on this challenge. It emerges from a process of discussion online and in-person between over a dozen organisations working in the European migrant justice space.

07 August 2023

Rights groups slam “nonsensical priorities” of EU Commission €15bn border wall boost following hottest month on record

Category: News

Rights groups have hit back at the European Commission’s commitment to radically increase border spending in spite of multiple human rights scandals on Europe’s borders; and contrasted it to the lack of new support and finance for climate action following last month’s record heatwave.

06 August 2023

European Commission wants to boost border spending by billions of euros

Category: News

In June the European Commission proposed amendments to the EU’s budget for the 2021-27 period, arguing that existing finances are at “the point of exhaustion”. The changes sought by the Commission would increase the budget for “migration and external challenges” by €15 billion.

20 July 2023

EU: Law enforcement data access demands could encompass any connected device

Category: News

Law enforcement officials are meeting today and tomorrow in Logroño, Spain, to discuss "access to electronic communications and digital data as a premise for law enforcement." The Spanish Council Presidency published a discussion paper prior to the meeting, but a document obtained by Statewatch offers far more information on current plans.

19 July 2023

International police data-sharing: what are the UK and EU cooking up?

Category: Analysis

For the last few years, British and European officials have been seeking ways to regain the ability to instantly share police data across borders – an ability that was lost after the UK left the EU at the end of 2020. The plan currently under development is to build a new data-sharing architecture encompassing the UK, the EU and other “international partners,” but substantive details of it are being kept under lock and key. The implications go beyond privacy and data protection, and raise questions about the potential uses of a new system to crack down on the right to protest, as well as the right to seek asylum.

18 July 2023

Key Europol documents only made public following access request

Category: News

None of the decisions adopted by the policing agency's management board since the entry into force of the revamped Europol Regulation last summer were made public, in breach of Europol's own transparency commitments, until Statewatch filed an access to documents request.

18 July 2023

UK: Joint civil society statement on the passage of the Illegal Migration Act

Category: News

A statement signed by representatives of almost 300 organisations from across the UK, including Statewatch: "We all deserve to live safe from harm. But this senselessly cruel Act will have a devastating impact on people’s lives. It turns our country’s back on people seeking safety, blocking them from protection, support, and justice at a time they need it most."

12 July 2023

EU: Civil society calls for rights to be prioritised in secret AI Act "trilogue" negotiations

Category: News

Secret negotiations between the Council of the EU, European Parliament and European Commission on the Artificial Intelligence Act have begun, more than two years after the legislation was proposed. A statement signed by more than 150 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, calls for fundamental rights to be put at the centre of the talks.

10 July 2023

Droni in Niger e radar nel Mediterraneo: l'Ue spende miliardi per confini hi-tech

Category: Press coverage

La Via Libera, 10 July 2023.

10 July 2023

“PUSH BACK FRONTEX”: campaign in Senegal targets deployment of EU border agency

Category: News

A campaign against the deployment of Frontex in Senegal is seeking to halt a proposed agreement between the EU and the West African state and to denounce “how the EU collaborates with our complicit regimes killing people in the Mediterranean and in transit countries.”

10 July 2023

Europe's techno-borders

Category: Publications and reports

The digital technologies deployed as part of Europe’s techno-borders underpin invasions of privacy, brutal violations of human rights, and make the border ‘mobile’, for example through the increased use of biometric identification technologies, such as handheld fingerprint scanners. This report analyses the past, present and future of Europe’s “techno-borders,” the infrastructure put in place over the last three decades to provide authorities with knowledge of – and thus control over – foreign nationals seeking to enter or staying in EU and Schengen territory.

10 July 2023

Europe’s techno-borders: digital infrastructure for migration control

Category: News

A new Statewatch/EuroMed Rights publication analyses the past, present and future of Europe’s “techno-borders” – the extensive infrastructure of surveillance systems, databases, biometric identification techniques and information networks put in place over the last three decades to provide authorities with knowledge of – and thus control over – foreign nationals seeking to enter or staying in EU and Schengen territory.

10 July 2023

Surveillance technology and artificial intelligence: what impact for people on the move?

Category: Events

A webinar presenting a new report from Statewatch and EuroMed Rights (Europe's techno-borders); a new EuroMed Rights report (Artificial intelligence: the new frontier of the EU's border externalisation strategy); and an update on negotiations on the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act.

10 July 2023

The human cost of AI in EU-Africa's migration surveillance

Category: Press coverage

EUobserver, 10 July.

07 July 2023

Leak: EU ministers want to keep more obstacles for long term permits

Category: Press coverage

Euractiv, 7 July.

07 July 2023

Tracking the Pact: Latest Council documents on the Long-term Residents Directive

Category: News

The proposed recast of the Long-term Residents Directive aims at "attracting skills and talent to the EU."

06 July 2023

New police data exchange rules will expand Europol's databases

Category: News

A new EU law on the exchange of data between national law enforcement authorities entered into force last month. It is intended to harmonise existing rules, speed up exchanges of information, and will lead to an increased amount of data being shared with Europol.

06 July 2023

Commission remains tight-lipped on Balkan deportation scheme

Category: News

Earlier this year, Statewatch published a secret ministerial statement that committed EU and Schengen states to providing financial and material support for deportations from the Balkans. The European Commission recently answered a parliamentary question on the topic. The answer contains nothing of substance.

05 July 2023

Not so interoperable: discussions underway to “decouple” launch of new EU border databases

Category: News

Ongoing delays to the Entry/Exit System (EES) may mean the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is put into operation first, in a break with previous plans.

29 June 2023

UK: Rights-destroying clause in Illegal Migration Bill must be removed

Category: News

In its current form, the Illegal Migration Bill puts the duty to deport people - including children and victims of trafficking - above human rights and international law. The House of Lords has begun the next stage of scrutiny of the bill. A briefing to peers supported by over 50 organisations, including Statewatch, calls for the addition of a new clause that would prevent the provisions of the Bill taking precedence over the UK's human rights and international obligations.

28 June 2023

UK: New campaign calls for action on state failures to respond to and prevent deaths

Category: News

A new campaign challenging the lack of accountability, transparency and action on recommendations arising from investigations into preventable deaths launched yesterday.

27 June 2023

Pylos shipwreck: European Council prepares to shed crocodile tears

Category: News

The European Council meeting later this week will express "its profound sorrow for the terrible loss of life as a result of the recent tragedy in the Mediterranean," at the same time as reiterating, for the umpteenth time, its commitment to "breaking the business model of traffickers and smuggling networks and to tackling the root causes of irregular migration." As a recent Europol report highlights, this model is in large part a creation of the EU and its member states. Meanwhile, a letter from Ursula von der Leyen demonstrates how much work is going in to expanding control, and how little to increasing the possibility of legal migration.

27 June 2023

UK must protect global digital security and safeguard private communication

Category: News

An open letter signed by over 80 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, is calling on the UK government to protect digital security and private communications by removing provisions from the Online Safety Bill that would require communications service providers to add "backdoors" to encrypted messaging services, undermining safety for all.

27 June 2023

Tracking the Pact: New Presidency proposals on "solidarity and support measures in a situation of crisis or instrumentalisation"

Category: News

The latest Council Presidency compromise text of the Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation includes new provisions on "solidarity and support measures in a situation of crisis or instrumentalisation," and changes to the proposals on the notification and authorisation procedures for member states deemed to be facing a migration "crisis" or the "instrumentalisation of migration".

23 June 2023

EU border mission in Libya gets revamp

Category: News

The EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Libya is about to receive an update to its tasks. References to supporting institutional reform and cooperation with the UN Support Mission in Libya are to be removed from its mandate. The current budget is to be extended by three months, pending a decision by the Council on funding for the next two years.

23 June 2023

Closer security cooperation between EU and Latin America on the cards

Category: News

The creation of a Latin American internal security system based on the EU model continues, and a draft declaration indicates plans for closer cooperation and synchronisation.

20 June 2023

Schengen visas: Private contractors follow “lax” approach and “enjoy wide and unmonitored access” to applicant data

Category: News

The Schengen visa application process is plagued by a host of problems, including systematic issues with long processing times, “recurrent deficiencies” in data protection, and a general lack of transparency, finds a non-paper prepared by the Commission services and obtained by Statewatch through an access to documents request. The non-paper, circulated to national delegations to the Council in April, is based on a 2022 evaluation of Schengen visa processing carried out in Riyadh, Beirut, Dakar, Istanbul, and New Delhi.

19 June 2023

Bulgaria and Romania speed up asylum and deportation procedures with EU support

Category: News

"Pilot projects" intended to beef up border controls, accelerate asylum and deportation proceedings, and reinforce the role of EU agencies in Bulgaria and Romania have just begun - yet EU legislation intended to do the same is yet to be approved.

19 June 2023

Schengen states make new call for border wall funds

Category: News

A group of eight Schengen states has reiterated the now-longstanding call for the European Commission to fund the construction of border walls.

15 June 2023

Tracking the Pact: Presidency compromise text of the crisis and force majeure Regulation

Category: News

The Council recently approved its negotiating position on two of the key measures that are part of the Pact on Migration and Asylum, but it's not over yet.

13 June 2023

UK government must be more open on use of AI, say campaigners

Category: Press coverage

BBC News, 13 June.

13 June 2023

Externalisation of migration control: from the 1990s to the present

Category: Analysis

A talk given by Statewatch researcher Yasha Maccanico at the TransBorder Camp in Nantes, July 2022.

12 June 2023

UK government's AI plans must uphold fundamental rights and democratic values

Category: News

Thirty civil society organisations, including Statewatch, have published a joint statement calling for the UK government to ensure that it's approach to artificial intelligence upholds fundamental rights and democratic values.

08 June 2023

Schengen priorities: full steam ahead with border controls and law enforcement

Category: News

A meeting of the Schengen Council, put in place under the French Presidency to improve governance of the Schengen area, is taking place today. A note from the Swedish Presidency of the Council outlines areas requiring “additional focus and impetus” if progress is to be made in the 2023/24 ‘Schengen Cycle’.

08 June 2023

Search and rescue in the Mediterranean: German response to Commission roadmap

Category: News

Ahead of the upcoming meeting of the European Commission's Contact Group on Search and Rescue on 16 June, the German authorities have issued a response to the Commission's draft roadmap that was published by Statewatch last month. The response is published here.

07 June 2023

Tracking the Pact: Council prepares to approve negotiating positions

Category: News

The Council is hoping to approve its negotiating positions on the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (AMMR), Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR) and Single Permit Directive on legal migration at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting tomorrow. The texts, published here, were circulated in the Council yesterday (AMMR and APR) and at the end of May (Single Permit Directive).

06 June 2023

Frontex aided the deportation of almost 25,000 people in 2022

Category: News

EU border agency Frontex aided the deportation of almost 25,000 people from EU territory in 2022, a record high. The number of people removed via scheduled flights and “voluntary” return proceedings has been increasing steadily, and the deployment of Frontex return teams supported the removal of almost 4,000 people over the course of the year. The agency has confirmed that deportations remain a “core priority”.

06 June 2023

Interpol must halt Turkey's use of databases to pursue dissidents

Category: News

Interpol must do more to prevent the Turkish government misusing its databases to target political dissidents abroad, says an open letter to the organisation's secretary-general signed by more than 25 individuals and organisations, including Statewatch. The letter calls for Turkey to be suspended from using Interpol databases - in particular, the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) system - until the problem is dealt with.

25 May 2023

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

Category: News

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

Category: News

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

Category: News

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"

Category: News

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.

11 May 2023

Overvåkingen er ulovlig i EU. I Norge fortsetter den

Category: Press coverage

Bergens Tidende, 9 May 2023.

09 May 2023

Visafreie Einreise: USA erwarten "systematische Transfers" biometrischer Daten

Category: Press coverage

Heise, 9 May 2023.

18 April 2023

Wie soll künstliche Intelligenz reguliert werden?

Category: Press coverage

Republik, 18 April 2023.

17 April 2023

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

Category: Analysis

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

Category: Analysis

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

Category: Analysis

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"

Category: Analysis

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

Category: Analysis

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

Category: Publications and reports

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.

02 March 2023

Migration policy overspill: access to information in peril

Category: Analysis

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.

02 March 2023

Seulement 207 migrants relocalisés par le programme de volontariat de l'Union européenne

Category: Press coverage

InfoMigrants, 3 February 2023.

01 March 2023

El nuevo mecanismo de reparto de refugiados de la UE vuelve a encallar

Category: Press coverage

El País, 1 March 2023.

13 February 2023

Unaccompanied and separated children: patterns of child migration are changing at the southern Spanish border

Category: Analysis

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.

08 February 2023

Pushbacks, migration policy and returns at the core of EU support for authoritarian regimes

Category: Analysis

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.

08 February 2023

The European Union and its crises

Category: Analysis

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.

07 February 2023

Frontex and interoperable databases: knowledge as power?

Category: Publications and reports

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.

04 February 2023

Immigrazione, per contrastarla la Commissione Ue consiglia intese ‘segrete’: ecco gli effetti

Category: Press coverage

Il Fatto Quotidiano, 4 February 2023.

02 February 2023

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

Category: News

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

01 February 2023

EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

Category: Press coverage

EUobserver, 1 February 2023.

25 January 2023

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

Category: Events

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

23 January 2023

Submission for the EU Rule of Law Report 2023

Category: Evidence/Submission

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.

12 January 2023

Frontex and deportations, 2006-21

Category: Analysis

Data covering 16 years of Frontex’s deportation operations shows the expanding role of the agency. We have produced a series of data visualisations to show the number of people deported in Frontex-coordinated operations, the member states involved, the destination states, and the costs.

06 December 2022

EU plant Polizeiabkommen mit Israel

Category: Press coverage

nd, 6 December 2022.

17 November 2022

Secrecy and the externalisation of EU migration control

Category: Events

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

Category: Publications and reports

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)

Category: Observatory: Frontex

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.

01 November 2022

Sorvegliare in nome della sicurezza: le Agenzie Ue vogliono carta bianca

Category: Press coverage

Altreconomia, 1 November 2022.

17 October 2022

Miliardi sulla pelle dei migranti: la sorveglianza delle frontiere fa ricca l’industria delle armi

Category: Press coverage

Espresso, 17 October 2022.

10 October 2022

Annual activity report 2021

Three decades of Statewatch, a year of transition

03 October 2022

Evaluation of the 2019 Frontex Regulation: Statewatch submission to the European Commission call for evidence

Category: Evidence/Submission

We made a brief submission to the European Commission's call for evidence to inform the evaluation of the 2019 Frontex Regulation. The evaluation is due to be carried out between December 2022 and October 2023 by an external consultant. Our submission highlights issues concerning fundamental rights, transparency and accountability.

14 September 2022

The Melilla border deaths represent a new phase in the bloody story of Fortress Europe

Category: Analysis

On 24 June dozens of people died after attempting to cross the heavily-fortified border from Morocco into the Spanish enclave of Melilla. A report by the Nador branch of the Association Marocain des Droits Humains (AMDH), summarised and built upon here, examines the build-up to and immediate aftermath of the deadly incident. The report documents multiple human rights violations and also reveals a significant shift: from EU authorities undertaking pushbacks and leaving people to their fate in situations in which they may come to harm, to EU authorities undertaking pushbacks with the explicit knowledge that they would be beaten and treated in an inhumane and degrading manner by their non-EU ‘partners’.

02 September 2022

Creeping authoritarianism – the next threat to our civil liberties

Category: Press coverage

Declassified UK, 2 September 2022.

03 August 2022

Questioning the interviewers: Frontex’s covert interrogations at the Spanish southern border

Category: Analysis

Tony, a police officer deployed multiple times in Frontex operations in Spain and Greece, slips on the word “interrogate”. He immediately corrects himself: “We are not allowed to say interrogate”. We both know that the term interrogation fits perfectly well.

28 July 2022

The West will soon be sharing their citizens’ biometric data

Category: Press coverage

South China Morning Post, 28 July 2022.

26 July 2022

Frontex planning operations in Senegal and Mauritania, claims NGO

Category: Press coverage

InfoMigrants, 26 July 2022.

21 June 2022

CJEU judgment on the Passenger Name Record Directive

Category: Observatory: Travel surveillance and passenger profiling

The Court of Justice appears to have rewritten the EU's Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive in a case concerning the effects of the law on fundamental rights. While the ruling introduces a number of restrictions on what the authorities may do with PNR data, it nevertheless legitmises its ongoing use as a policing tool.

14 June 2022

FSWG exchange of view: Frontex and non-EU countries

The LIBE Committee Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) held an exchange of views on Frontex’s activities in non-EU countries today, though certain questions by members were left conspicuously unanswered.

16 May 2022

AI at the borders: Negotiations, regulations and fundamental rights

Category: Events

The Commission’s proposed AI Act aims to address the risks of certain uses of artificial intelligence and to establish a legal framework for the trustworthy deployment of AI. In the context of migration and border control, the Act raises significant concerns, which must be addressed in ongoing negotiations within Parliament, and in future campaigning and advocacy. Join us on Monday 16 May to discuss how AI is already used in the migration control context, and some of the key amendments that must be tabled to adequately protect the rights of people on the move.

16 May 2022

El presupuesto europeo destinado a seguridad y defensa aumenta un 123%

Category: News

Público, 16 May 2022.

12 May 2022

Tunisian deportees in Italy denied rights under European “migration management” policies that seek to exclude

Category: News

On 28 November 2021, Wissem Ben Abdellatif, a 26-year-old Tunisian man, died in a hospital in Rome after suffering a heart attack. He had been transferred to the hospital from the Ponte Galeria detention centre, where he was being held whilst awaiting deportation. A new report dedicated to his memory examines the experiences of Tunisian citizens deported from Italy. Based on over 50 in-depth interviews with deportees, it concludes that Tunisians are regularly denied their rights after arriving in Italian territory (for example, to legal advice, information, or adequate living conditions), and that the situation is propelled by a security-minded approach to migration that has been implemented across the EU and its member states for at least two decades.

12 May 2022

A clear and present danger: Missing safeguards on migration and asylum in the EU’s AI Act

Category: News

The EU's proposed Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act aims to address the risks of certain uses of AI and to establish a legal framework for its trustworthy deployment, thus stimulating a market for the production, sale and export of various AI tools and technologies. However, certain technologies or uses of technology are insufficiently covered by or even excluded altogether from the scope of the AI Act, placing migrants and refugees - people often in an already-vulnerable position - at even greater risk of having their rights violated.

03 May 2022

At what cost? Funding the EU’s security, defence, and border policies, 2021–2027

Category: Publications and reports

A critical guide for civil society on how EU budgets work. Co-published with the Transnational Institute.

01 May 2022

EU-Verordnung zu E-Privacy wieder in Bewegung

Category: Press coverage

FM4, 1 May 2022.

25 April 2022

Frontex arme de plus en plus ses agents pour les années à venir

Category: Press coverage

InfoMigrants, 25 April 2022.

19 April 2022

Frontex: more power, no responsibility? Mega-agency lacks real accountability structure

Category: Analysis

Since 2004, four successive regulations have increased the agency’s resources and mandate, but no adequate control mechanisms have followed to balance these with legal or political accountability.

06 April 2022

Europe Is Building a Huge International Facial Recognition System

Category: Press coverage

Wired, 6 April 2022.

05 April 2022

MEPs withhold discharge of EU border control agency Frontex’ accounts

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) press release details reasons behind postponement of the decision on the European Border and Coast guard Agency accounts for 2020.

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Flexible Operational Activities in Return 2015

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operations Division, Joint Operations Unit Return Operations Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report 2014: JO Attica

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operation division Joint Operations Unit Return Operations sector

22 March 2022

Fundamental Rights Strategy 2021

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Endorsed by the Fundamental Rights Officer on 25 January 2021

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Rapid Border Intervention Exercise 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

2017/PRU/05 Operations Division Joint Operations Unit Land Borders Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation VEGA Children 2018

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit Planning and Evaluation Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation VEGA Children 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operations Division Joint Operations Unit Air Border Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Triton 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Poseidon 2018

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Pulsar Concept Joint Operation Pegasus 2018

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Pulsar Concept Joint Operation Pegasus 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation Minerva 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operations Division Joint Operations Unit Sea Borders Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Hera 2018

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation Focal Points 2018 Land

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation Report: Focal Points Concept Joint Operation Focal Points Air 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Regular Officers: Operations Division Joint Operations Unit Air Border Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Focal Points Concept JO

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Focal Points 2017 Air – Intermediate Managers

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation Focal Points 2017 Land

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Flexible Operational Activities 2018 Land on Border Surveillance

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation Flexible Operational Activities 2018 Land on Border Checks

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: JO Flexible Operational Activities 2017 Land on Border Surveillance

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Joint Operation Coordination Points 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Operations Division Joint Operations Unit Land Borders Sector

22 March 2022

Evaluation report: Focal points concept

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Joint Operation Coordination Points Air 2018

28 February 2022

Building the biometric state: Police powers and discrimination

Category: News

This report examines the development and deployment of biometric identification technologies by police and border forces in Europe, and warns that the increasing use of the technology is likely to exacerbate existing problems with racist policing and ethnic profiling.

15 February 2022

Mariana Gkliati and Jane Kilpatrick: Crying Wolf Too Many Times: The Impact of the Emergency Narrative on Transparency in FRONTEX Joint Operations

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Crisis-driven EU policy in recent years fits within a securitisation narrative, in which the claim of public security threat outweighs fundamental rights and their accountability safeguards. Under this policy development, Frontex, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, has experienced an impressive expansion in its powers and competences, without the equivalent enhancement of accountability safeguards. This article, published in the Utrecht Law Review, focuses in particular on the issue of transparency as a fundamental right and an element of social and political accountability.

09 February 2022

UK Official Secrets Act Proposals Take Cues From US Espionage Act Cases

Category: News

The Dissenter, 9 February 2022.

07 February 2022

Joint Operation Coordination Points 2018 Land Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit Operational Planning and Evaluation Sector

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Frontex evaluation report 2018: Joint Operation Coordination Points 2018 Land Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit Operational Planning and Evaluation Sector

07 February 2022

JO Alexis 2018 Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Frontex evaluation report 2018 JO Alexis 2018 Operational Response Division Field Deployment Unit

07 February 2022

Frontex evaluation report 2017

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Frontex evaluation report 2017 Focal Points Concept Joint Operation Focal Points Sea 2017

07 February 2022

Frontex staff code of conduct

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Frontex staff code of conduct 2015

07 February 2022

Code of conduct for return operations

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Following Decision of the Executive Firector No R-ED-2018-40 adopting the code of conduct for return operations and return interventions coordinated or organised by Frontex of 26/04/2018

07 February 2022

Annual report on sea surveillance

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Frontex´ Annual Reports on the implementation on the EU Regulation 656/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders

07 February 2022

Annual report on the implementation on the EU Regulation 656/2014

Frontex’ Annual Report on the implementation on the EU Regulation 656/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders.

01 February 2022

Building walls, restricting rights: Lithuania's response to the EU-Belarus border 'crisis'

Category: News

After the ongoing politico-diplomatic clash between the EU and Belarus reached a peak in the summer of 2021, press attention turned towards the situation at the Polish-Belarussian border, where thousands of people arrived hoping to travel onwards to EU territory. However, the response from the Lithuanian authorities also merits examination: the country's efforts to prevent irregular arrivals have been widely supported by the EU, despite widespread allegations of fundamental rights violations.

28 January 2022

Funds for Fortress Europe: spending by Frontex and eu-LISA

Category: Analysis

In the wake of the so-called “refugee crisis” of 2015, EU governments took the opportunity to reinforce the powers and mandates of EU agencies concerned with immigration and border control. Expanded legal remits were accompanied by vast increases in expenditure. But where has that money gone and what has it been used for?

25 January 2022

Human rights groups slam Egypt-EU joint bid to head counter-terrorism agency

Category: Press coverage

Middle East Eye, 25 January 2022.

25 January 2022

Frontex: the ongoing failure to implement human rights safeguards

Category: Analysis

A legal case alleging that Frontex was involved in an illegal deportation and the annual report of its Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights, made up of NGOs and international organisations, show once again that fundamental rights are not at the top of the agency’s agenda.

22 January 2022

Action brought on 21 May 2021 – SS and ST v Frontex (Case T-282/21)

Category: Observatory: Frontex

In May 2021 the organisation front-LEX filed legal proceedings against Frontex at the European Court of Justice, calling on the tribunal to force Frontex to terminate its activities in the Aegean Sea due to the "undisputed and overwhelming evidence for serious and persisting violations of fundamental rights" in the agency's area of operations. The application was made on behalf of two people - a child asylum-seeker and an adult who is now a recognised refugee in Greece, known as SS and ST - and argues that Frontex had contributed to the fundamental rights violations they suffered on the journey to Greece.

21 January 2022

EU plans joint bid with Egypt to lead global counter-terrorism body

Category: Press coverage

Middle East Eye, 21 January 2022.

20 January 2022

Brexit: Goodbye and hello – the new EU-UK security architecture, civil liberties and democratic control

Category: Publications and reports

The UK government's domestic programme seeks to crack down on dissent and to abolish or severely limit ways for the public to hold the state to account. This report shows that those ambitions also play a role in the post-Brexit agreement with the EU. The treaty makes it possible for the UK to opt in to intrusive EU surveillance schemes with no explicit need for parliamentary scrutiny or debate, and establishes a number of new joint institutions without sufficient transparency and accountability measures.

11 January 2022

Consolidated annual actvity reports 2020

Category: Observatory: Frontex

04 January 2022

Fortress Europe increasingly stingy on asylum

Category: Press coverage

VoxEurop, 4 January 2022.

21 December 2021

MANAGEMENT BOARD DECISION 68/2021 of 21 December 2021 adopting the rules on processing personal data by the Agency

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Text of the Management Board Decision 68/2021 of 21 December 2021 adopting the rules on processing personal data by the agency.

21 December 2021

MANAGEMENT BOARD DECISION 69/2021 of 21 December 2021 adopting the rules on processing operational personal data by the Agency

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Text of the Management Board Decision 69/2021 of 21 December 2021 adopting the rules on processing operational personal data by the agency.

21 December 2021

Notification of the Management Board Decision 69/2021 adopting the rules on processing operational personal data by the agency

Category: Observatory: Frontex

Management Board Decision 69/2021 of 21 December 2021 adopting the rules on processing operational personal data by the agency.

20 December 2021

As EU Pours Money Into Libya to Tackle Migration, is Bloc Ignoring Human Rights Abuses?

Category: Press coverage

Sputnik, 20 December 2021.

15 December 2021

Turkish Military Targeted by Sinister Algorithm Following 2016 Coup

Category: News

Bylines Times, 15 December 2021.

14 December 2021

Série Frontex : résumés

Category: Analysis

Depuis le lancement de ses opérations conjointes, Frontex a été accusée de détourner le regard de ses obligations légales en matière de respects des droits, et en particulier concernant le sauvetage en mer. Statewatch, membre de Migreurop, à travers la plume de Jane Kilpatrick, chercheur et membre de l’équipe salariée de Statewatch, et Marie Martin, collaboratrice de Statewatch, a publié une série de trois analyses sur les aspects juridiques et politiques qui ont amené à cette situation « d’impunité choisie ». Vous trouverez ci-joint un résumé en anglais et français, ou qui souhaitent accéder aux arguments principaux émis dans ces analyses. (Versions anglaises ci-dessous).

14 December 2021

UK: Statewatch submission to consultation on reform of the Data Protection Act 2018

Category: Analysis

Submission by Statewatch to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s consultation on reforms to the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018.

13 December 2021

Greece: The new hotspots and the prevention of “primary flows”: a human rights disaster

Category: Analysis

The Greek government and the EU have evicted various self-managed hospitality structures and are now closing down the squalid, state-run refugee camps on the islands of the Aegean. People are being transferred to newly-built "closed controlled access centres". These prison-like facilities, which are coming into use at the same time as a the services available to refugees are being cut back, are having injurious effects upon people's mental health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, with the Greek government focusing on preventing "primary flows", it seems the new camps are set to play a growing role in the detention of people awaiting deportation.

10 December 2021

Invitation to make a decision by written procedure on adopting implementing rules for processing operational personal data

Category: Observatory: Frontex

An invitation for members of the Frontex Management Board to approve rules on "processing operational personal data". The intention is to allow "the full operationalisation of Article 90 of the Regulation." The document includes comments on the draft Management Board Decision from the European Commission and three member states: Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands.

02 December 2021

Mehrere EU-Staaten drängen auf neue EU-weite Vorratsdatenspeicherung

Category: Press coverage

Heise, 2 December 2021.

30 November 2021

Föräldrar till barn med Downs syndrom riskerar sparken i Turkiet

Category: Press coverage

Arbetet, 30 November 2021.

29 November 2021

EU border agency deported record number of people in first half of 2021

The Guardian, 29 November 2021.

25 November 2021

Turkish Army Uses Algorithm to ‘Persecute’ Gulenists: Report

Category: Press coverage

Balkan Insight, 25 November 2021.

25 November 2021

Algorithmic persecution in Turkey’s post-coup crackdown: The FETÖ-Meter system

Category: Publications and reports

Based on interviews with exiled members of the Turkish military, this report looks at how the Turkish authorities utilised something called the 'FETÖ-Meter' - an Excel-based algorithm based on hundreds of data points about individuals' activities, education, work history, family and personal contacts - to target officials for persecution in the wake of the attempted July 2016 coup.

24 November 2021

Monitoring the state and learning from history: policing and racism in the Statewatch Library & Archive

Category: Events

We invite you to join us in exploring the connections, similarities and differences between past and present events and struggles through an examination of materials from the Statewatch Library & Archive, a collection of over 800 books, 2,500 items of ‘grey literature’ and a host of other documents and ephemera concerning civil liberties and the state.

19 November 2021

Frontex cooperation with third countries: examining the human rights implications

Category: Analysis

While Frontex is currently under unprecedented examination for human rights violations at the EU’s borders, its work beyond EU borders remains barely scrutinised, write Dr Mariana Gkliati and Statewatch researcher Jane Kilpatrick in Forced Migration Review.

18 November 2021

Secrecy in the European Union: how to exercise your right to information

Category: Events

This online event is held with the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol and is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council's as part of the Festival of Social Sciences . We will look at how governments have sought to maintain secrecy in the EU, and teach you how you can exercise your right to access information.

22 October 2021

Government plans imminent legislation for digital visas

Category: Press coverage

Public Technology, 22 October 2021.

20 October 2021

Council document hints at progress on cross-border electronic evidence

Category: Press coverage

Euractiv, 20 October 2021.

20 September 2021

UK: Nationality and Borders Bill: Biometric 'permission to travel' scheme will affect tens of millions of people

Category: Analysis

Submission by Statewatch to the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into the human rights implications of the Nationality and Borders Bill.

16 September 2021

EU 'stands by Afghans' but wants most kept away

Category: Press coverage

14 September 2021

Europol soll Evakuierte aus Kabul anstellen

Category: Press coverage

An article in Netzpolitik looks at the EU's counter-terrorism action plan on Afghanistan, which was made public by Statewatch.

14 September 2021

Auditors: EU migrant return deals 'encourage' arrivals

Category: Press coverage

An article in EUobserver looks at a report by the European Court of Auditors, and cites a document published by Statewatch.

29 July 2021

Frontex, secrecy and story-telling: control of information as super-strategy

Category: Analysis

EU border agency Frontex spends a significant amount of time and money on its public image, and insists that its activities are fully transparent. However, that public image is - unsurprisingly - heavy on spin, and panders to far-right narratives. Meanwhile, its commitment to transparency is questionable - to say the least.

22 July 2021

To SAR or not to SAR, part 2: Legal firewalls of a very political agency

Category: Analysis

The second part of an analysis looking at the legal firewalls that create blurred responsibilities in cases of search and rescue and pushbacks, shielding EU border agency Frontex from accountability measures.

21 July 2021

Brits wetsvoorstel: tot 14 jaar celstraf voor journalisten die vertrouwelijke overheidszaken onthullen

Category: Press coverage

An article in Dutch newspaper de Volksrant examines the UK government's proposals on official secrets and "hostile state activity", citing Statewatch as an organisation that has tried to sound the alarm about the proposals.

19 July 2021

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

Category: Events

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

16 July 2021

EU agency denies asylum seekers' rights, report says

Category: Press coverage

China Daily cites a comment from Statewatch on the report of the European Parliament's Frontex Scurinty Group.

15 July 2021

To SAR or not to SAR, part 1: Why is Frontex expected to save lives at sea?

Category: Analysis

The first in a four-part series looking into the activities and operations of EU border agency Frontex, examining the evolution of the agency’s search and rescue obligations since it was founded in 2004. Many organisations have warned that “protecting borders” may conflict with “protecting lives” and experience suggests that, what are presented as two distinct objectives are, more often than not, part of conflicting policy agendas. The controversial and deadly practices that have been brought into the spotlight by the Aegean allegations are ultimately the result of political decisions that highlight the dubious priorities of the EU, its member states and its agents – Frontex included.

06 July 2021

Gilles de Kerchove erfindet „linksterroristische“ Gefahr

Category: Press coverage

An article in Netzpolitik cites a piece published by Statewatch including two documents from the Council of the EU that propose taking "specific EU action against violent left-wing and anarchist extremism and terrorism".

15 June 2021

Priti Patel’s new threat to British journalists

Category: Press coverage

An article in Declassified UK looks at the UK government's plans to amend the Official Secrets Act, including quotes from our Director Emeritus, Tony Bunyan.

09 June 2021

Refugee support organisation calls for donations after donor pulls out following Greek ‘criminalisation campaign’

Category: Press coverage

An article in the Morning Star cites an official document published by Statewatch in an article on the criminalisation of NGOs in Greece.

08 June 2021

Foreign agents and violence against migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border

Category: Analysis

An increasing number of reports of violent pushbacks at the Greek-Macedonian border have been collected by volunteers in recent years. Some reports allege the presence of Frontex, but bilateral policing deals in place may also explain the presence of foreign officers in Macedonia. The violence underpins a long-standing plan to close the ‘Balkan Route’ and keep people out of ‘core’ EU territory. Whoever is behind the violence, there is no shortage of border guards to mete it out – but justice is in short supply.

07 June 2021

The Canary cage: the making of deportation islands on Spain’s Atlantic border

Category: Analysis

In line with concerning recent EU border control proposals, a deliberate policy of inhumane detention, illegal mobility restrictions and an overreliance on deportation ‘solutions’ is converting the Canary Islands into makeshift deportation waiting rooms and a black hole for human rights.

02 June 2021

Workplace, public space: workers organising in the age of facial recognition

Category: Press coverage

An article in Social Europe cites Statewatch's long-standing work on Europe's "security-industrial complex".

01 June 2021

Blackmail in the Balkans: how the EU is externalising its asylum policies

Category: Analysis

The development of a system for collecting data on people on the move in the Balkans highlights the overall orientation of the EU's migration policies: outsourcing migration management at all costs, to the detriment of provisions for reception. In order to keep those considered as "undesirable" at a distance, would the European Union go so far as to extend beyond its borders the ‘Dublin’ mechanism for allocating state responsibility for asylum claims, at the risk of further aggravating the rights violations along the Balkan route?

21 May 2021

The revised Blue Card Directive: the EU's search for more highly skilled non-EU migrants

Category: Analysis

The EU institutions have approved a revised 'Blue Card Directive', which sets out rules on the migration of highly-skilled non-EU migrants. Steve Peers, Professor of Law at the University of Essex, explains the new rules and their possible effects.

06 May 2021

Border surveillance, drones and militarisation of the Mediterranean

Category: Analysis

The growing use of drones and other long-range, increasingly-automated forms of surveillance and data collection are part of the militarisation of Europe’s borders in the Mediterranean, which have led to thousands of unnecessary deaths and push- and pull-backs to Libya, where migrants and refugees face arbitrary detention, violence, mistreatment and torture. This article, by the journalist Antonio Mazzeo, chronicles investments into and tests and deployments of drone technology by EU and national agencies in the Mediterranean.

14 April 2021

EU moves ahead with plans to use visa policy as "leverage" to increase deportations

Category: Analysis

Since 2020, the EU has been able to use its visa policy as “leverage to improve cooperation with third countries on return and readmission,” as part of the drive to increase deportations. Non-EU states can be threatened with visa restrictions for their nationals if they are not deemed to cooperate sufficiently with the readmission process. A recent European Commission document, published here, sets out the perceived level of cooperation by those non-EU states. The Council is now considering potential next steps to ensure compliance with EU migration policies.

30 March 2021

Frontex investigations: what changes in the EU border agency's accountability?

Category: Analysis

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is currently under heavy scrutiny from multiple angles, including the European Parliament, the EU Ombudsman, and the European Anti-Fraud Office. At the same time, judicial action has been initiated vis-à-vis the agency.

11 March 2021

Briefing: External action: Frontex operations outside the EU

Category: Analysis

The EU has negotiated five agreements with states in the Balkans that allow Frontex operations on their territories, and most of the agreements have now been approved by both sides. This briefing looks at the main provisions of those agreements, highlights key differences and similarities, and argues that they will likely serve as a template for future deals with states that do not border the EU, as made possible by the 2019 Regulation governing Frontex.

11 February 2021

Pushback practices and their impact on the human rights of migrants

Category: Analysis

Submission by Statewatch to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

08 January 2021

No more Morias? Notes from the field and the EU responses

Category: Analysis

The burning of Moria camp seemed like an exceptional tragedy. But this event and the EU response to it reflect a decades-long policy approach. As long as securitization remains the guiding principle of EU migration policy, the calls of Moria will remain unanswered.

22 December 2020

Frontex: an overview

Category: Analysis

An article produced for the Migration Control project, providing a critical overview of the role, powers and activities of EU border agency Frontex, from 2004 to the present.

17 December 2020

Albania: dealing with a new migration framework on the edge of the empire

Category: Analysis

In 2014, Albania was formally accepted as a candidate for membership to the EU. The country is aiming to approximate its domestic law with the EU legal 'acquis' within the next two years, prompting big changes in the country's immigration and asylum system - at least on paper. Currently, those systems cannot be said to meet fundamental rights or EU legal standards, but given conditions within the EU itself - notably in Greece - it remains to be seen whether this will be a barrier to Albania joining the bloc.

14 December 2020

Deportation Union: the role of Frontex

Category: Events

Join Statewatch and the Transnational Institute (TNI) on Monday 14 December for the third and final webinar in the series covering Statewatch’s report ‘Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increase forced removals’.

24 November 2020

Atlantic Moria in the making in overcrowded Gran Canaria camp

Category: Analysis

The arrival of 15,000 people in the Canary Islands has led to what is by now the customary response from the EU and its member states: reinforce control measures, step up deportations and accommodate people in unsuitable and unsanitary conditions. It seems that little has been learned from the humanitarian disasters in states such as Italy and Greece. Until the EU introduces humane migration policies and addresses the political economy underlying migration from countries such as Senegal, those disasters seem likely to be repeated.

27 October 2020

EU military mission aids pull-backs to Libya, with no avenues for legal accountability

Category: News

An EU military operation is assisting the Libyan Coast Guard in ‘pull-backs’ of people trying to cross the Mediterranean, by providing information on the location of boats in distress. Despite admitting that Libya is not a safe country in which to disembark people, the EU argues that it is acting according to international law. Legal experts say otherwise, but given the complex legal structure of EU security and defence missions, holding anyone accountable for this assistance with ‘pull-backs’ may prove difficult.

26 October 2020

Deportation Union: databases for expulsions

Category: Events

The second in our series of webinars exploring the report 'Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increased forced removals'.

30 September 2020

Viewpoint: The legal and illegal businesses of Fortress Europe

Category: Analysis

Border controls are big business - for the companies supplying the fences, technology and equipment used to put them in place, and for the smugglers who seek to circumvent them, argues Ana González-Paramo.

28 September 2020

Deportation Union: revamped return policies and reckless forced removals

Category: Events

On 28 September Statewatch and TNI hosted the first webinar of a three-part series accompanying the publication of the report 'Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increased forced removals'.

28 September 2020

First analysis of the EU’s new asylum proposals

Category: Analysis

Professor Steve Peers (Law School, University of Essex) gives an overview of the proposals published as part of the EU's new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

19 August 2020

Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increased forced removals

Deportation Union provides a critical examination of recently-introduced and forthcoming EU measures designed to increase the number of deportations carried out by national authorities and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. It focuses on three key areas: attempts to reduce or eliminate rights and protections in the law governing deportations; the expansion and interconnection of EU databases and information systems; and the increased budget, powers and personnel awarded to Frontex.

19 August 2020

Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increase forced removals

Deportation Union provides a critical examination of recently-introduced and forthcoming EU measures designed to increase the number of deportations carried out by national authorities and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. It focuses on three key areas: attempts to reduce or eliminate rights and protections in the law governing deportations; the expansion and interconnection of EU databases and information systems; and the increased budget, powers and personnel awarded to Frontex.

15 July 2020

Viewpoint: COVID-19: from "smart" to "smarter" borders?

Category: Analysis

An article in Border Security Report, a magazine aimed at those from the public and private sectors working on border security, argues that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the adoption of "smarter" borders and that three key technologies that will underpin the shift. Can ever-more intrusive data-gathering and processing provide a way out of lockdowns and quarantines? If it could, would it be desirable?

13 July 2020

Automated suspicion: The EU's new travel surveillance initiatives

This report examines how the EU is using new technologies to screen, profile and risk-assess travellers to the Schengen area, and the risks this poses to civil liberties and fundamental rights. By developing ‘interoperable’ biometric databases, introducing untested profiling tools, and using new ‘pre-crime’ watchlists, people visiting the EU from all over the world are being placed under a veil of suspicion in the name of enhancing security.

13 July 2020

Report launch: Automated suspicion: The EU’s new travel surveillance initiatives

Category: Events

Normal people are increasingly being treated as suspects when they travel to the EU. What are the risks for civil liberties?

11 February 2020

Biometrics, big data and state power

Category: Events

Tue, 11 February 2020, 18:30–20:00

30 January 2020

Northern Ireland: The legacy of collusion

Category: Events

Thursday 30 January 2020: 18.00 - 20.00 at: Statewatch, c/o: MAYDAY ROOMS, 88 Fleet St, London EC4Y

18 November 2019

Data Protection, Immigration Enforcement and Fundamental Rights: What the EU’s Regulations on Interoperability Mean for People with Irregular Status

Category: Publications and reports

This paper examines the EU’s justice and home affairs databases and information systems, the changes that have been introduced by recent legislation seeking to make those systems ‘interoperable’ and the potential implications of those changes for fundamental rights, in particular in relation to undocumented migrants.

22 November 2018

Launch of the Statewatch Library & Archive

Category: Events

The Statewatch Library & Archive is being launched on Thursday 22 November 2018 at May Day Rooms in London: 18.00 - 20.00.

31 August 2017

Market Forces: the development of the EU security-industrial complex

While the European Union project has faltered in recent years, afflicted by the fall-out of the economic crisis, the rise of anti-EU parties and the Brexit vote, there is one area where it has not only continued apace but made significant advances: Europe’s security policies have not only gained political support from across its Member States but growing budgets and resources too.

11 February 2014

Eurodrones, Inc.

Eurodrones, Inc. tells the story of how European citizens are unknowingly subsidising through their taxes a controversial drone industry yet are systematically excluded from any debates about their use. Behind empty promises of consultation, EU officials have turned over much of drone policy development to the European defence and security corporations which seek to profit from it.

01 August 2013

Vol 23(2): Informants, spies and subversion

Category: Journal

31 May 2013

The Atlas of Migration in Europe

The second edition of Migreurop's Atlas of Migration in Europe.

27 May 2013

Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK

Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK aims to contribute to the public debate on the use of drones within the UK.

31 December 2012

Vol 22(4): EU intelligence secrecy; Roma expulsions; Italy's open-ended emergency; Northern Ireland cover-ups

Cover story: Secrecy reigns at the EU’s Intelligence Analysis Centre

30 September 2012

Vol 22(2/3): UK secret justice; when dissent becomes subversion; Sean Rigg's death; Frontex and travel surveillance

Cover story: UK: Government’s “secret justice” Bill widely condemned

31 March 2012

Vol 22 (1): Repression of anti-austerity activists; growing racism in the EU; regulating civil society

Cover story: European governments step up repression of anti-austerity activists

07 February 2012

Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF: legalising surveillance, regulating civil society

This report examines the global framework for countering terrorist financing developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other international law enforcement bodies.

31 December 2011

Vol 21 (4): EU-US cybersecurity cooperation; German state trojans; forced returns monitoring

Cover story: “Tackling new threats upon which the security and prosperity of our free societies increasingly depend” : the EU-US Working Group on Cyber Security and Cyber crime

30 September 2011

Vol 21 (3): Criticism of UK terrorism measures; the Arab Spring and the EU; telecoms interception in Dresden

Cover story: Criticism of UK Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures mounts as government retains power to forcibly relocate suspects

30 June 2011

Vol 21 (2): The police and security research; Anglo-German undercover police exchanges; ten years after the Genoa G8

Cover story: A new player in Secuirty Research: the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS)

31 March 2011

Vol 21 (1): Europe's DNA databases; the death of Jimmy Mubenga; German police shooting

Cover story: “Network with errors”: Europe’s emerging web of DNA databases

31 December 2010

Vol 20 (3/4): Time to rethink terrorist blacklisting; EU democratic deficit; "preventative" public order arrests

Cover story: Time to rethink terrorist blacklisting: doubts over legality, effectiveness and disproportionate impact on the rights of affected parties

30 June 2010

Vol 20 (2): EU internal security strategy; international summit protests; "speculative invoicing" in the UK

Cover story: First thoughts on the EU's internal security strategy

31 March 2010

Vol 20(1): Dutch databases challenged; convictions in France over detention centre fire; "open source" intelligence industry

Cover story: Dutch central database containing fingerprints of all citizens challenged

31 December 2009

Vol 19 (4): DNA retention in the UK; abuse in Italian prisons; children in detention; EU decision-making process

Cover story: UK government's "clumsy, indiscriminate and disproportionate" approach to DNA retention

30 September 2009

Vol 19 (3): EU and Germany target "troublemakers"; policing the G20; Dutch passport databases; EU security research

Cover story: EU protests: "Troublemakers" database and "travelling violent offenders" (undefined) to be recorded and targeted

30 June 2009

Vol 19 (2): EU needs democratic debate; policing the G20; German anti-terrorist law; policing from dictatorships to democracy

Cover story: European Parliament: Abolish 1st (and 2nd) reading secret deals - let's have open democratic debate "warts and all"

08 June 2009

The Shape of Things to Come

The Shape of Things to Come examines the European Union's plans for justice and home affairs, and warns that the Union is embarked on several highly controversial paths, including harnessing the 'digital tsunami' to gather personal details on the everyday lives of everyone living in the European Union.

31 March 2009

Vol 19 (1): SIS II in crisis; police remote access to computers; forgotten casuaties of the Iraq war; deaths at EU-Morocco borders

Cover story: SIS II in crisis: SIS I reloaded? The planned shift from SIS I to SIS II has been delayed by lack of “stability” and “flaws” in the new system and MEPs are not amused to learn about the problem through the press.


EU justice and home affairs agencies

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


Invisible Borders

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


Moving Stories

<p>How journalism plays follow-my-leader with rhetoric of negativity</p>


Migration Control

<p>Who gets paid, to stop the world's refugees?</p>


JUSTICIA: European Rights Network

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


SECILE: Does counter-terrorism just counter terrorism?

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


Access to EU documents: Calling the agencies to account

<p><em>Statewatch</em> complaints to the European Ombudsman regarding the transparency obligations of Frontex, Europol and Eurojust<br /></p>



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