EU: COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Its Limitations According to the ECJ (The Jurist, link) by Virginia Keyder:
"recent decisions in EU case law shows a trend towards viewing intellectual property as a way to benefit society, rather than corporations, in contrast to the trends in the US seen in recent legislative proposals..."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Investigation Order (EIO): Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Text agreed as general approach (pdf). This is the Council's agreed position before entering 1st reading "trilogue" discussion with the European Parliament.
See Statewatch's Observatory on the: European Investigation Order
EU: European Commission: Progress Report on the development of the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) January 2011 - June 2011 (pdf)
UK-EU: European Court of Justice: An asylum seeker may not be transferred to a Member State where he risks being subjected to inhuman treatment - EU law does not permit a conclusive presumption that Member States observe the fundamental rights conferred on asylum seekers (Press release, pdf) and Judgment - full-text (pdf). See also: Home Office loses legal battle over asylum seekers - European court rules that asylum seekers cannot be removed to other EU countries if they risk being treated 'inhumanely' (Guardian, link)
EU: European Court of Justice: Judgment: The Court dismisses France’s appeal against the judgment of the General Court removing the PMOI the EU list of terrorist organisations (Press release, pdf): "The General Court rightly decided that the Council had breached the PMOI’s rights of defence by failing to notify it of the grounds for its inclusion in the list before the decision was adopted."
UK: POLICE OFFICER ON JURY: European Court of Human Rights: Police officer’s presence on jury made trial unfair (pdf) and Judgment - full-text (pdf): "The case concerned the applicants’ complaint that the presence of a police officer on the jury, which convicted them of drugs offences, violated their right to a fair hearing."
EU: EURO CRISIS: Statewatch Analysis: Draft Agreement on Reinforced Economic Union (REU Treaty) (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"The issue of the legality of any use of the EU institutions… has been avoided by the Treaty drafters.
Legally it does not add very much to the obligations which are already present in EU law…Put another way, the EU has already done enough (and arguably more than enough)… to address the fiscal discipline of its eurozone States
there is clear evidence that austerity policies (both inside and outside the eurozone) usually fail in their own terms (leaving aside their social cost), by reducing economic growth and therefore increasing government debt and deficit further.
the EU’s economic governance rules fail the test of transparency, because of their near-total complexity and unreadability, scattered across a dozen primary, secondary and soft-law sources, with more to come… the basic rules on the EU’s coordination and control of fundamental national economic decisions are essentially unintelligible."
UK: AUGUST RIOTS: House of Commons, Home Affairs Select Committee: Policing Large Scale Disorder: Lessons from the disturbances of August 2011 (pdf). See also: Police 'need riot tactic rules', watchdog says (BBC News, link)
UK: AUGUST RIOTS: Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary: The rules of engagement A review of the August 2011 disorders (123 pages, pdf) See also: Riot report says police should consider using plastic bullets and water cannon (Guardian, link)
EU: BEHAVIOURAL ADS: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion on Best Practice Recommendation on Online Behavioural Advertising (pdf) and Letter (pdf) See also: EU privacy watchdogs urge stricter rules on 'cookies' (euractiv, link)
FRANCE-LIBYA: French firm Amesys, criticised for selling to Gaddafi's Libya, offers customers "lawful or massive interception" of telecommunications
Numerous articles have been written about the French firm Amesys in recent months, following revelations that its Eagle surveillance system was sold to the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. A presentation recently released by Wikileaks helps to provide an even clearer picture of the nature of the firm's technology. A clear distinction is made between 'lawful' and 'massive' forms of interception, with the company making clear that it is willing and able to provide both.
"Eight women have filed legal action against the Metropolitan Police. Five officers have been named that have infiltrated leftist movements since the 1980's, and used deceipt to create sexual relationships with these women. Among them is the former undercover officer Mark Kennedy, who worked for the German police in the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Baden-Wuerttemberg." See also: Women start legal action against police chiefs over undercover officers - Eight women have started legal action against police chiefs, alleging that police spies used them "physically and emotionally" to obtain political intelligence (Guardian, link)
IRELAND: Racism in Ireland ‘has grown during recession’ (The jounrnal.ie, link) and see: Immigrants in Ireland are ‘under siege’, say black community leaders (The jounrnal.ie, link)
EU: The Standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (the Meijers Committee): Proposal to introduce a safeguard clause to suspend visa liberalisation (COM (2011) 290 final) (pdf)
"the Meijers Committee expresses its doubts about the necessity of the proposal and observes that the proposal may place human rights at risk. Unfortunately the Draft report and the explanatory memorandum of the Rapporteur are silent on the human rights effects of the proposal. The Meijers Committee recommends that these effects are explicitly taken into account in the debate and vote on the proposal which probably will take place in January.
EU-ACTA: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Letter to EP Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament from FFII (link)
EU: REGULATION ON ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: European Parliament: Public access to documents: towards more transparency in the EU (Press release, pdf): The report by rapporteur Michael Cashman MEP was passed with 394 votes in favour, 197 against and 35 abstentions.The report was opposed by the PPE (Centre-right, conservative group).
The European Commissioner Maroš Šefèoviè responsible for the dossier maintained the Commission's long-standing "head in the sand" position and told the plenary: "This agreement risks taking time and I am afraid that, given the amendments proposed in the report, agreement on changes to the regulations is not within reach. I cannot of course anticipate the position that the Council will take on the proposed amendments but many of them cannot be accepted by the Commission."
See also for all background informantion and documents Statewatch's: Observatory: the Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008 - 2011 ongoing
EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM: European Parliament: EU counter-terrorism policy needs full assessment (Press release, pdf). The text, presented by S&D, ALDE and Greens/EFA groups, was approved with 307 votes in favour, 259 against and 54 abstentions. See: Full-text of report (pdf)
"Post 9/11 counter-terrorism measures taken in Europe should be properly assessed with regard to their cost, effectiveness, democratic scrutiny and impact on civil liberties, says a resolution passed in plenary session on Wednesday."
EU: TERRORISM: RESTRICTIVE MEASURES: Letter from the European Data Protection Supervisor to the President of the European Parliament (pdf). The EDPS says that the Council significantly changed the data protection provisions put forward by the Commission and the High Representative regarding Syria and Afghanistan.
EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Council of the European Union:
EU-USA-PNR AGREEMENT: Analysis: A Review of the Annexes to the EU-USA PNR THE EU-USA PNR Agreement and related press release (pdf) by Chris Pounder: "the comments in the margin explain why I think this Press Release turns “misleading by omission” into an art form." And see: Commission press release (pdf)
UK: Home Office: Statistical News Release: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches, Great Britain Quarterly update to June 2011 (Press release, pdf), Report (pdf) and Tables (link): In the year ending 30 June 2011:
There were 134 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences compared with 131 in the previous 12 months. In total, 1,998 persons have been arrested for terrorism-related offences since 11 September 2001. (note: an average of 17 a month)
Thirty-one per cent of those arrested were charged (42 people). Fifty-two per cent of these charges were terrorism related (i.e. 22 people were charged with terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 June 2011).
Since 11 September 2001, 250 persons have been convicted of terrorism-related offences out of 424 charged, a conviction rate of 59 per cent. (note: the number of convictions as a percentage of persons arrested, rather than just charged, is 12.5%)
There were 116 persons in prison for terrorist/extremist or related offences on 30 June 2011 of whom 28 were classified as domestic extremists/separatists.
UPDATED: EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 13-14 December 2011, Brussels: Final Press release, 13-14 December (pdf): "B" Points agenda - for discussion (pdf) and "A" Points agenda: non-legislative - adopted without discussion (pdf). See also Open session documents (link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Common procedures for international protection, Reception of asylum-seekers, Visa safeguards
- Asylum Working Party: Outcomes: Amended proposal for a Directive on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) (165 pages, pdf). There are still 230 reservations by Member State governments.
- Amended proposal for a Directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers (Recast) (85 pages, pdf): There are still over 100 reservations by Member State governments.
- Draft Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (pdf)
- UK government letter to MEPs on JHA Council (pdf)
FRANCE: The Anafé brought to court by the Ministry of Interior: Hearing on 30 November 2011: The French government wants to conceal the obstacles made to foreigners to access their rights in transit zones (pdf)
EU-SCHENGEN: Council of the European Union: Schengen enlargement: Liechtenstein to become 26th member state (pdf). In the increasing "variable geometry" of the EU the Schengen area now comprises: 26 countries fully applying the Schengen acquis: all "EU27-countries" minus Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom (so it is not 27 but 22 EU Member States), plus non-EU countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein - the latter four "non-EU countries" however also sit on the so-called "Mixed Committee" of the Justice and Home Affairs Council and its working parties and thus have a say on justice and home affairs EU-wide.
ITALY: Italian man kills two Senegalese traders in Florence (BBC News, link): "An Italian man has opened fire in two markets in central Florence, killing two Senegalese traders and injuring three others. The attacker, 50-year-old Gianluca Casseri, belonged to a far-right group, Italian media said. He killed two men and injured a third in Dalmazia Square before opening fire in San Lorenzo Square, wounding two. Casseri was later found dead in an underground car-park, having turned the gun on himself, police said."
HISTORICAL STATEWATCH PUBLICATION: On Globalisation of Control: Towards an Integrated Surveillance System in Europe (pdf) by Thomas Mathiesen Professor of Sociology of law, University of Oslo (1999):
"During the past thirty years, the Western world has seen a tremendous development in information technology. The technology has changed our lives. But while we easily grasp the bright side of the information technology the mobile telephones we can avail ourselves of, the computers we can use, the Internet where we search for information and (mostly?) entertainment information technology also has a dark, dangerous side. Never in the history of mankind has there been a technology which so dearly has had a "double character" (to borrow an expression from Marx). The dark side comprises the use of the sophisticated and rapidly advancing technology for surveillance purposes, a surveillance which quickly is coming to a point where it threatens the democratic fibres of our societies."
UK: Cordon designed for chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents deployed by Metropolitan Police at protest by public sector workers
"A number of commentators have noted the use by the Metropolitan Police of a large steel barrier during the strike march by public sector workers on November 30th. Emblazoned with the words 'POLICE CORDON' and approximately eight feet tall, it now emerges that the solid steel fence that separated protestors on the Strand from tourists in Trafalgar Square was originally developed for deployment during chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) incidents."
EU-USA PNR: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS issues an opinion on the new EU-US Passenger Name Record agreement (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf): The EDPS comments:
""Any legitimate agreement providing for the massive transfer of passengers' personal data to third countries must fulfil strict conditions. Unfortunately, many concerns expressed by the EDPS and the national data protection authorities of the Member States have not been met. The same applies to the conditions required by the European Parliament to provide its consent."
"- the 15-year retention period is excessive: data should be deleted immediately after its analysis or after a maximum of 6 months;
- the purpose limitation is too broad: PNR data should only be used to combat terrorism or a well defined list of transnational serious crimes;
- the list of data to be transferred to the DHS is disproportionate and contains too many open fields: it should be narrowed and exclude sensitive data;
- there are exceptions to the "push" method: these should be removed, the US authorities should not be able to access the data directly ("pull" method);
- there are limits to the exercise of data subjects' rights: every citizen should have a right to effective judicial redress;
- the DHS should not transfer the data to other US authorities or third countries unless they guarantee an equivalent level of protection."
See Statewatch's: Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA
EU-USA PNR: Council of the European Union: Council gives green light for the new EU-US agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR) (pdf). The European Parliament has to give its "consent" before it can be formally adopted. See: Commission proposal for a: Council Decision on the signature of the Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Records to the United States Department of Homeland Security (COM 805, pdf).
EU: European Commission: Digital Agenda: Turning government data into gold (Press release, pdf) and Communication: pen data: An engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance (pdf): "One of these resources is public data - all the information that public bodies in the European Union produce, collect or pay for. Examples are geographical information, statistics, weather data, data from publicly funded research projects, and digitised books from libraries."
EU: European Parliament: Study: “Climate Refugees”: Legal and policy responses to environmentally induced migration (pdf)
EU Council of the European Union: Background Note for the Press: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 13-14 December 2011, Brussels (pdf)
EU-EURO: Statewatch Analysis: The euro area: Comments on the EU Summit meeting 9 December 2011 (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
"The obvious question arises how a treaty between some Member States can use the EU institutions. Note that the statement refers to the Commission,
the Council and the Court of Justice, but not the European Parliament (EP). The Court of Justice has ruled that Member States, acting collectively, can entrust tasks to the EU institutions, but it is not clear that the same is true if only some Member States take this route." and
"The question also arises whether a group of Member States, even if they can use the EU institutions, can require the EU institutions to take steps which conflict with rules in the Treaties – ie the Treaties specify that the Court of Justice has no jurisdiction as regards the excessive deficit procedure, and the Council and Commission have specified roles in that procedure. The adoption or application of such a treaty could potentially be challenged by means of legal actions against the EU institutions and/or the participating Member States for breaching EU law."
European Council: The euro: Statement by the euro area Heads of State or Government (9 December, pdf): This Statement was agreed by the 17 Prime Ministers of the 17 euro member states plus 9 governments - not in the euro - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden who "indicated the possibility to take part" in the new fiscal pact after consulting their parliaments.
The new "fiscal rule" defines national budgets as being balanced if the annual structural deficit does not exceed 0.5% of nominal GDP. This rule has to be incorporated into national constitutions and will involve the loss of national sovereignty over budgets which have to be agreed and then monitored by the European Commission (Point 4).
Council of Europe: Commissioner for Human Rights: Human rights and a changing media landscape (link, pdf) Foreword by Thomas Hammarberg
GREECE-TURKEY: 16-year-old sans-papiers killed in FRONTEX-aided police pursuit
A 16-year-old boy from Syria, trying to enter Greece from Turkey, lost his life in a police pursuit in the border region of Evros on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The boy was found dead when the vehicle driven by a smuggler lost control and was overturned in the area of Makri, Evros. The incident happened when Greek border policemen and officials of FRONTEX tried to immobilize two vehicles carrying sans papiers immigrants, moving on Egnatia Odos towards the city of Komotini. The smugglers speeded up and managed to escape.
After a while there was a second attempt by the police to stop the vehicles, at the Makri junction. One of the vehicles crashed, while the second managed to escape. In the vehicle, policemen found a 36-year-old smuggler, two injured immigrants and the dead 16-year-old boy from Syria.
Source: Sara Prestianni Migreurop +33 1 53 27 87 81 email@example.com
CIA-ROMANIA: CIA 'secret prison' found in Romania - media reports (BBC News, link): "Former CIA operatives said the building was used to interrogate terrorism suspects, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed.... The CIA operated a secret prison in the Romanian capital Bucharest where terrorism suspects were interrogated, an investigation by the Associated Press and German media has found."
EU: DATA PROTECTION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES: European Commission draft out for Inter-service consultation: Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of crime (pdf). See also: Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (pdf) the highly criticised measure which covers the exchange of personal data between EU Member States law enforcement agencies
The complete the Draft package of three proposals out for Inter-service consultation within the Commission:
2. Proposal for Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (pdf)
The Statewatch Observatory on: IT Systems and Information Exchange for Police and Judicial Cooperation in the European Union has been updated
EU: Council of the European Union: Accession of the Union to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - State of play (pdf). The documents records that: "Discussions in FREMP [working party] have been very intense."
EU-USA-PNR: UK House of Lords' European Union Committee Newsletter (6 December 2011):
"The EU has entered into three consecutive agreements with the US on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to the US Department of Homeland Security for use in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. PNR data are a vital element in that fight, but inevitably this raises serious data protection issues. The EU has this year been negotiating a fourth agreement with the US, intended to have a higher degree of permanence. The Sub-Committee has seen it in draft and commented on it. A final text – or what is intended to be a final text – has now been agreed and deposited for scrutiny in the hope that it can be signed and concluded by the Council on 13 December. The Government has left very little time for scrutiny by national parliaments, and the consent of the European Parliament cannot be taken for granted." (emphasis added)
UK: The tin blue line: Met unveils revolutionary police barrier to prevent anti-cuts demonstrators marching on the Houses of Parliament (Daily Mail, link) On the 30 November protest march in London against the cuts the police used a new tactics of using a portable 10 foot high steel wall to stop people marching on 10 Downing Street and parliament
EU: European Asylum Support Office: Work Programme 2012 of the European Asylum Support Office (pdf)
UK: Inquiry report into non-disclosure by prosecution of undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy's participation: Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station Protest Inquiry into Disclosure By The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Rose (pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION REVIEW: INCLUDING THE "FREE MOVEMENT" OF LAW ENFORCEMENT DATA: European Commission: Proposal for Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (pdf) This is intended to be a substantial review of data protection and is now out in the Commission for Inter-Service consultation. In fact it contains two proposals:
- a Regulation on the processing of personal data (replacing the 1995 Directive)
- and a "Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive)."
The Commission cites the almost universally criticised Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA for the protection of personal data in the areas of police co-operation and judicial co-operation in criminal matters as a precedent for a new measure. In 2008 the European Parliament - which was only "consulted" - voted overwhelmingly, 556 in favour to 90 against and 19 abstentions, to reiterate - for the third time - substantial amendments to the proposed Framework Decision on the transfer of personal data in police and judicial matters. See: European Parliament press release in 2008 (pdf)
EU-USA-PNR: NGOs letter to the European Parliament: Information on the upcoming vote on the EU-USA PNR Agreement (pdf): Signed by nineteen NGOs including Statewatch:
"the EU-US PNR agreement not provide any benefit to European citizens. The proposed Council Decision places all of the legal burdens on the EU without requiring corresponding obligations from the USA. Under the proposal, the EU is expected to provide support from both Council and the EP, but neither the US President nor Senate is bound by this agreement. Only an international treaty with strong data protection safeguards based on European standards, which is also ratified by the US Senate, can provide improved legal security and protection of European citizens. Therefore we ask you to reject the agreement."
See: Statewatch's Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA
European Commission: Communication on enhanced intra-EU solidarity in the field of asylum An EU agenda for better responsibility-sharing and more mutual trust (COM 835, pdf):
"In its latest Communication on asylum in Europe, the Commission calls for “less talk and more solidarity”. Some measures may appear as favourable to migrants (e.g. the call for a reform of Dublin II directive, more sensitivity to international protection aspects during Frontex operations). However a whole set of measures reflects a position whereby migrants seeking protection are seen as a threat and where solidarity schemes apply to Member States rather than people seeking protection. A culture of disbelief towards people seeking protection and “mixed flows” transpires: deployment of civil protection mechanisms to address exceptional migration flows, a mechanism usually used in the case of major emergencies or disasters; the end of the European Refugee Fund to be replaced by the Asylum and Migration Fund after 2013, as well as the argument that the Temporary Protection directive was never activated so far “because the Union has not found itself in a situation of mass influx of displaced persons since the Kosovo refugee crisis of 1999”.
European Parliament study: Developing an EU Internal Security Strategy, fighting terrorism and organised crime (149 pages, pdf)
Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 13 December 2011, Brussels: Draft Agenda (pdf)
UK: Do the City of London Police really see Occupy London’s peaceful protesters as domestic extremists? (link) Contains full text of City of London Police Briefing comparing Occupy London with Al-Qaeda: "On Saturday evening Occupy London – part of the global movement for social and economic justice – was passed a rather interesting document: a “Terrorism/Extremism update for the City of London Business Community.”
See also: Police in City see occupiers as 'terror' risk (Independent, link): "An institution that confuses active citizens with criminals and equates al-Qa'ida with efforts to reimagine the city is an institution in danger of losing its way."
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: The State of Surveillance: The Data (link): The Bureau and London-based human rights group Privacy International have compiled a comprehensive database of companies that sell surveillance products.
GERMANY-ECHR: European Court rules against German authorities' pre-emptive arrest of demonstrators prior to 2007 Heiligendamm G8 Summit: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that German authorities, in pre-emptively arresting and detaining two individuals travelling to protest at the 2007 G8 summit in Heiligendamm, violated articles 5(1) and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
STATEWATCH GIVEN LIBERTY HUMAN RIGHTS "LONG WALK" AWARD 2011 for its work over the past 20 years: At the Liberty Human Rights Awards held at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London on 22 November 2011 Tony Bunyan & Statewatch were given a "Long Walk" Award:
"For dedication to openness, democracy and informed debate about European institutions, keeping us reliably informed and suitably engaged for the last 20 years. Their network of independent volunteers has become one of the most respected and reliable sources of investigative journalism and critical research in the fields of the state, justice, home affairs and civil liberties in the European Union."
See: Picture of the Award ceremony: Statewatch and Private Eye get Liberty Human Rights "Long Walk" Awards (pdf)
and Tony Bunyan's speech at the Liberty Human Rights Awards ceremony for 2011
"The Liberty Human Rights Awards aim to honour those individuals and organisations dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of others. It is an opportunity to give proper recognition to the people who provide essential support, information or inspiration on human rights issues, and to say thank you – not only to those shortlisted, but to all the countless individuals who fight to further protect and extend rights and freedoms for us all." See: 2011 Awards (link)
Liberty, also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties, was founded in 1934.
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union: Hungarian Government to Create Top-rank National Security Informational Center (HCLU, link)
"The Hungarian government came up with a new proposal, which talks about the setting up of a National Security Informational and Criminal Analysis Center. This new government body could freely roam about in other government databases and could collect and retain our data without any restriction. The monster feeding on our personal data is digging privacy’s grave even deeper."
USA: Document Trove Exposes Surveillance Methods (Wall Street Journal, link)
USA: Trade in surveillance technology raises worries (Washington Post, link)
The EU's 'techno party' is hollowing out democracy (euobserver, link): "“The passage of decisions from elected individuals, however flawed, to those without any popular mandate has always been a precursor to an even more fearful shackling of liberties”
EU: REGULATION ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: European Parliament: Revised: Report on the proposal for a regulation regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (recast) (23.11.11, pdf). The report was adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) by 33 votes in favour, 17 against and 2 abstentions - the rightwing PPE group voted against. It will be considered at a plenary session in December 2011. This replaces the report of: 12 May 2010: Draft EP report (Rapporteur: Michael Cashman MEP)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Round Table on Information and Communication Technologies - PART 3 15/11/11 Bureau of European Policy Advisers: Speech of Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor, on the revision of the EU: Data Protection Directive (starts 1 min 38 sec in, link)
EU: Migreurop: A critical Chronology of European migration policies (pdf) produced by Alain Morice (CNRS-Université Paris-Diderot), Migreurop member. This chronology seeks to make it easier to understand European migration and asylum policies through a time-framed comparison of the evolution of the legal framework (columns A1 to A3), the public discourse (B1) and the facts (B2). The table is updated twice a year.
The aim is to picture the way in which the EU policy of closing the borders, apart from the sequence of tragedies that it causes, leads to human rights violations and to absurd situations that are sometimes impossible to manage by the very people who implement them, in an escalation whose effects sometimes appear to escape the grasp of its protagonists, and bargaining among states in which migrants, refugees and displaced people represent a form of exchange currency.
The prospects of this process are the unfair detention, repression and wandering of a growing number of would-be migrants. The chronology suggests that, should this trend continue to prevail in the future, we are heading towards a system enforcing the assignment of compulsory places of residence for third-country nationals, that is, a new version of apartheid on a worldwide scale in which camps will be in charge of keeping at a distance populations that have been rejected on both sides.
GERMANY: UN Committee concerned at failure to investigate rendition and secret detention and the rendition of Khaled El-Masri: Committee against Torture: fifth periodic report of Germany: concluding observations (pdf)
On 25 November, the UN Committee against Torture issued its concluding observations on the compliance of Germany with the international obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee expressed concern at the lack of implementation of the recommendations of the 2009 Parliamentary Inquiry on extraordinary renditions and secret detention complicity. The Committee also expressed at the failure to investigate and provide a remedy for the rendition of Khaled El-Masri.
See also: Denmark: Review of US rendition flights over Greenland “toothless (AI, press statement, link) and Finland must further investigate USA rendition flights (AI statement, link)
EU: Another EU database for migrants: the European Criminal Records Information System on Third-Country Nationals
With the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) due to come into operation as of April 2012, the European Commission are now developing the latest in a long list of EU-wide information systems and databases - a European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN). This will be a common European index containing the criminal record information of third-country nationals resident in the EU. As the name suggests, the ECRIS-TCN is essentially an addition to the ECRIS (although information is only exchanged via the ECRIS on EU nationals). It also differs in that it will rely upon a centralised index, rather than the connection of decentralised national registers.
EU: DATA PROTECTION: EU backs down on 'right to be forgotten' online (euobserver, link) and see: Cloud adoption hampered by cow data protection? (euractiv, link). Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director comments: "The argument that national laws stop the free movement of personal data suggest that this is an EU principle like the freedom of movement. It is a so-called "principle" invented to meet the demands of state agencies and multi-nationals."
The Moroccan and Spanish law enforcement agencies are complicit in the violence against migrants
- Allegations that they are endangering security and life in the vicinity of Ceuta
- Statement by GADEM [Groupe antiraciste d'accompagnement et de défence des étrangers et migrants] 25/11/2011
Statewatch Analysis: The Arab Spring of “Security made in Germany" (pdf) by Eric Töpfer:
Investigative journalists have revealed a secret mission by the German Federal Police to train border guards in Saudi Arabia. The episode sheds light on the much broader engagement of the German security-industrial complex in arming authoritarian monarchies in the Gulf region.
German police clear huge sit-in at nuclear protest - German police cleared a sit-in of thousands of protesters attempting to block a shipment of nuclear waste and detained 1,300 people on Sunday, officials said (Daily Telegraph, link) See also: Statewatch Analysis
Policing popular mass protests: The transport of nuclear waste at Goelben, Germany (pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Criticism of UK Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures mounts as government retains power to forcibly relocate suspects (pdf) by Max Rowlands:
In another U-turn on civil liberties, the government is introducing emergency legislation that will allow it to impose on terrorist suspects many of the draconian restrictions they had promised to do away with.
EU-USA: Readout of Secretary Napolitano’s Participation in the US-EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting (Press release, pdf)
EU-USA PNR DEAL: Commission proposal for a: Council Decision on the signature of the Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Records to the United States Department of Homeland Security (COM 805, pdf). See: Revised EU-US agreement on PNR data still protects only travel companies, not travellers (Identity Project, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Qualifications Directive and European Protection Order
- Directive on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast) (pdf). Ready for adoption.
EU: FRONTEX: Code of conduct for all persons participating in Frontex activities (pdf). Note Article 20 deals with the carrying of weapons.
EU-ECJ: Court judgment on Sison case: EU judgment - no compensation for unlawful anti-terrorist sanctions: Full-text of judgment (pdf)
EU-ECJ: EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of Opinion (pdf)
EU-ECJ: DATA PROTECTION: Judgment (pdf):
"Article 7(f) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data must be interpreted as precluding national rules which, in the absence of the data subject’s consent, and in order to allow such processing of that data subject’s personal data as is necessary to pursue a legitimate interest of the data controller or of the third party or parties to whom those data are disclosed, require not only that the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject be respected, but also that the data should appear in public sources, thereby excluding, in a categorical and generalised way, any processing of data not appearing in such sources." [emphasis added]
NETHERLANDS: Dutch parliament refuses ACTA secrecy (ACTA Blog, link)
UK: Drones to patrol the skies above Olympic Stadium (Independent, link). See also: UK to spend half a billion on lethal drones by 2015 (Bureau of Investigative Journalism) and Ten years since first deadly drone strike, industry gathers in London (Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
France: Criticism of the law on immigration, integration and nationality of 16 July 2011
Cimade, a French migrant support organisation, has produced a critical analysis of the new immigration law entitled "law on immigration, integration and nationality" approved on 16 July 2011, which highlights that its key objectives are "surveillance, detention, expulsion and banning". Its three driving purposes are identified as:
- developing the mechanisms for the detention and surveillance of foreigners
- considerably reducing procedural guarantees to enable the removal of "unwanted" foreigners in contempt for their human rights and freedoms
- banning people from French territory following expulsion, applicable to everyone who is expelled and very difficult to act against.
France: Racial profiling and anti-poor byelaws: the French Human Rights League successfully challenges an anti-begging byelaw (link) Anti-begging byelaws are increasingly being adopted by French municipalities. Human rights associations have been quick to denounce the resulting stigmatisation of some social classes and minority groups.
EU: Council of the European Union: Dublin II early warning system, visa lists, European Investigation Order:
- Proposal for a Regulation establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast) - A process for early warning, preparedness and management of asylum crises (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (pdf)
- Outcomes: Draft Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (pdf)
- Presidency proposals on above (pdf) Note there are still over 40 Member State reservations.
- Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meeting of the "Working Party on cooperation in criminal matters" on 14 November 2011 (23 pages, pdf).
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS calls for strengthening of proposed Regulation on the Internal Market Information System (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf):
"IMI is an online application that allows national, regional and local authorities in European Union Member States to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts in other European countries.... The EDPS calls attention to two key challenges: the need to ensure consistency in the legal framework, while respecting diversity, and the need to balance flexibility and legal certainty. ... The Opinion also calls for further strengthening of data subjects´ rights and for
reconsideration of the extension of the currently applicable 6-months retention period unless adequate justifications are provided."
EU-ECHR ACCESSION: Council of the European Union: Friends of Presidency (FREMP) Accession of the EU to the ECHR: Working Document from the Presidency (DS 1675-11, pdf)
FRONTEX REGULATION: Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (OJ, pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN PROTECTION ORDER: Council of the European Union: Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Directive on the European protection order (pdf). Ready for adoption.
GREECE: Future Greek governments must be bound to austerity strategy (euobserver, link);
"The European Union has insisted that no matter what political flavour of government is elected in Greece well into the future, they must all be bound to the current austerity strategy imposed by the bloc and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "For the EU and IMF to support [Greece], they need to be sure that this is for a sustainable effort, that it's not for tomorrow for a government, but for future governments," European Commission President said in Brussels on Monday (21 November)."
ITALY: Pro Asyl report: The Living Conditions of Refugees in Italy (link):
""This report documents the extremely difficult living conditions of asylum seekers and persons with protection status in Italy. This documentation focuses on the situation in Rome, however, similar problems are known to exist in other Italian cities. [...] Until Italy complies with its obligations, we hope this report will help to persuade other EU countries to refrain, for the time being, from deporting refugees to Italy. This has already been directed by some German courts, for example the administrative courts in Darmstadt, Cologne, Weimar, Kassel, Frankfurt and Minden, and by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). We are not alone in finding that the conditions for refugees in Italy are degrading. Other refugee and human rights organizations have come to the same conclusions."
EU: CATS-SCIFA REPRIEVED: Council of the European Union: The future of CATS (pdf) and The future of SCIFA (pdf)
The Maastricht Treaty created the K4 Committee (Interior Ministry and law enforcement officials) which was replaced by the Article 36 Committee (CATS) under the Amsterdam Treaty. But the Lisbon Treaty provides no legal basis for CATS so COREPER decided on 24 November 2009 to continue its existence until 1 January 2012. (The SCIFA Committee dealing with borders, immigration and asylum also created under the Maastricht Treaty). By these two decisions CATS and SCIFA will continue until 2014. CATS and SCIFA sit between the Council Working Parties and COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives from each Member State based in Brussels)
Background: EU doc no: 13206-11 (pdf).
UK: Revealed: Mark Duggan was not armed when shot by police - Investigators find no forensic evidence he was carrying gun when killed (Guardian, link) "The investigation into the death of Mark Duggan has found no forensic evidence that he was carrying a gun when he was shot dead by police on 4 August, the Guardian has learned. A gun collected by Duggan earlier in the day was recovered 10 to 14 feet away, on the other side of a low fence from his body. He was killed outside the vehicle he was travelling in, after a police marksman fired twice. The new details raise questions about the official version of events. The shooting triggered some of the worst riots in modern British history, which began in Tottenham, north London, in response to the treatment of the Duggan family."
EP-ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement): A partly secret ratification process… How deep do you want to sink? (FFFI ACTA Blog, link): "The European Parliament partly released the legal service’s opinion on ACTA, but left out the analysis on ACTA. Why?"
EU: Council of the European Union: Accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR): - State of play (pdf). FREMP, the Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens' rights and free movement of persons, considered a series of proposed amendments by the UK and France - most of which were rejected.
See also: EU accession to ECHR: Report to the Committee of Ministers on the elaboration of legal instruments for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (dated 14.10.11, pdf)
POLAND: Warsaw protester launches drone to spy on police (The Raw Story, link)
EU-USA: Privacy campaigner: EU-US passenger data deal 'meaningless' (euobserver, link)
UK: Parliament dismisses over 140,500 calls for Commons debate on Babar Ahmad (Caged Prisoners, link): "140,538 individuals, irrespective of age, religious denomination and political belief, united in a common cause – to end Babar’s 7 years of pre-charge incarceration and prevent his extradition in favour of a UK prosecution."
DEMOCRACY SIDELINED: ITALY-GREECE: Monti names unelected government of technocrats and bankers (euobserver, link):
"Incoming Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has named a government entirely composed of unelected figures, just days after a technocratic government was installed in Greece, where the presence of far-right figures linked to the military junta are raising hackles." Prime Minister intends to rule until elections in 2013.
In Italy: "All ministerial posts will be held by technocrats, soldiers and diplomats." and in Greece: "Four individuals from the Popular Orthodox Rally, a religious and and anti-immigrant grouping whose leadership is normally more commonly seen in the company of France’s National Front or the UK’s British National Party, have been named ministers. Two in particular who have links to the military junta are raising hackles amongst critics of the new government."
See also Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom's Blog: "Both Monti and Papademos have clear mandates and expectations are high that they will get their countries back on track without delay. Of course it is not ideal that democratic countries are run by technocrats and not elected politicians. But at the same time the situation is serious, and elections are also planned for." - SW comment: but not until 2013 in Italy. And: Statement by President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, after a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (Press release, pdf)
EU: European Parliament: Draft Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right to information in criminal proceedings (pdf) the Vote will take place in the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on 23 November 2011. Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings: - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to a first reading agreement with the European Parliament (pdf) and Commission Press Release (pdf)
EU-USA-PNR AGREEMENT: Draft declarations regarding the draft Agreement on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Records by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (EU doc no: 16981-11,pdf). See also Draft Article 17 - May 2011 (pdf) and Draft Article 23 - May 2011 (pdf)
European Parliament: Working Document: on amending the Rules of Procedure to take into account the changing relationships between the European Parliament and the institutions representing the national governments following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty Committee on Constitutional Affairs Rapporteur: Alain Lamassoure (pdf) A very interesting document which takes on the problems posed by new post-Lisbon bodies created at the level of the Council of the European Union on which the European Parliament has little information nor control - the new Permanent President, the High Representative (defence and foreign policy) and the Eurogroup (financial) - to which could be added the plethora of new agencies and bodies. The document says that: "these new ‘intergovernmental’ bodies are now fulfilling the role of a collective executive." And that the parliament is only involved "at the stage of legal implementation" but not at the level of the primary decision-making in the Council summits.
The only mechanism for reporting European Council Summits (comprised of Prime Ministers) to the parliament is when the President of the Council (van Rompuy) briefs "the Enlarged Bureau of the European Parliament instead of to a plenary sitting of the European Parliament" - and he has made clear that this will continue to be the practice as "he was responsible only to the European Council, his only ‘master’" (Speech by Herman Van Rompuy, 7 January 2010). In effect the European Council "outrageously... debates and decides behind closed doors."
EU: Migreurop Press Release: Our ideas are much better than your destructive policies (link), French, Italian and Spanish
"The two latest reports by Frontex show that joint surveillance operations with countries neighbouring the European Union (EU) are still a priority for its member states. The externalisation of migration controls at the borders of the EU continues, and it has resulted in many migrants being deported."
EU: European Commission: Green Paper on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the European Union (Directive 2003/86/EC) (COM 735, pdf)
UK BORDER AGENCY: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The work of the UK Border Agency (April–July 2011) (pdf) and Volume II Oral and written evidence (1.8 MB, pdf)
EU-ACTA: Council of the European Union: Declassified Resticted "negotiating" documents:
- 15004/08 RESTREINT: dated: 4 November 2008: New status: Public: Subject: Plurilateral Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Chapter 2: Draft Criminal provisions (pdf)
- 13637/08 RESTREINT UE: dated: 29 September 2008: New status: Public: Subject: Plurilateral Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
3rd negotiating session 8-10 October 2008, Tokyo, Japan Chapter 2 :Draft Criminal provisions Japan-USA Joint proposal, dated 12 September 2008 (pdf)
- 11203/10 RESTREINT UE/EU RESTRICTED: dated: 17 June 2010: New status: Public: Subject: Pluri-lateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) - Chapter 2 "Criminal Enforcement" (pdf)
FRANCE: Hacker, Cyclist, Executive, Spy (New York Times, link): "Électricité de France, the giant power utility and the world’s biggest operator of nuclear power plants, was found guilty on Thursday of spying on Greenpeace in a bizarre and convoluted computer hacking case... A court in Nanterre, near Paris, fined E.D.F. 1.5 million euros, or about $2 million, for complicity in concealing stolen documents and complicity to intrude in a computer network. It also sentenced two E.D.F. security officials and two security consultants to prison terms and ordered E.D.F. to pay Greenpeace 500,000 euros ($680,000) in damages." See also: Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists (Ecologist, link)
EU-USA: CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY: Council of the European Union: Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety - Agreed minutes and rules of procedure of the Bilateral Oversight Board (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Crime Statistics proposal: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European statistics on safety from crime - Summary table (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Directive on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast) (pdf) Ready for adoption.
UPDATED: HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: EU: Council of the European Union: Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements: France (164 pages, pdf)
Reports de-classified from the period 2003-2005 (downgraded from "Restricted"). 21 Member States responses below. Some are short reports but others contain interesting detail. Cyprus, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy and the UK have not consented to the release of their national reports.
- Germany (16 pages, pdf) - Poland (pdf) - Hungary (pdf) - Estonia (pdf) - Sweden (pdf) - Latvia (pdf) - Belgium (45 pages, pdf) - Malta (21 pages, pdf) - Portugal (18 pages, pdf) - Spain (19 pages, pdf) - Luxembourg (pdf) - Greece (25 pages, pdf) - Ireland (32 pages, pdf) - Denmark (pdf) - Finland (pdf) - Bulgaria (pdf) - Romania (43 pages, pdf) - Slovenia (19 pages, pdf) - Netherlands (55 pages, pdf) - Lithuania (pdf) - Austria (pdf)
See also: Interim Report on the Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements (pdf) and Final report on the Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements: Improving national machinery and capability for the fight against terrorism (pdf)
EU-USA: PNR: Unhappy MEPs to approve passenger data deal (euobserver, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Meeting Document from the Security Committee: Guidelines on downgrading and declassifying Council documents (MD 36-11, 2.9.11, pdf)
EP-COMMISSION: FOR THE RECORD: 2010: Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (47 pages, pdf), Letter from the Commission to the European Parliament with Annex (45 pages, pdf) and see OEIL on procedure (link)
EU: Conflict Research Group: New report presses thorough review of EU arms export control system (Press release, pdf) and Lessons from MENA - full report (link)
Council of Europe: Opinion of the Secretariat on the Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on “the right to access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest” (pdf)
LONDON: STUDENT PROTEST: Violent arrest of a protester during Nov9 by a large group of undercover cops (YouTube, link)
EU-TFTS (Terrorist Finance Tracking System) : USE OF USA TECHNOLOGY & COOPERATION WITH USA TFTP: France has intervened in the discussions over the creation of an EU TFTS: France's position with respect to a European TFTP (Council of the European Union: Doc no: 13716-11, pdf) which says:
"Overall, the programme should be designed to be compatible with the system implemented with the US. On the one hand, the United States has agreed, in the aforementioned Agreement, to a technology transfer, which will help reduce design costs of the system. On the other hand – again under the terms of the Agreement – the United States and the European Union have agreed, once the European system is operational, to cooperate via their respective TFTPs." (emphasis added)
France acknowledges that the TFTS "would involve large-scale transfers" from financial institutions in the EU from which, using "terrorist threat identification skills" targets will be selected at national level. Each Member State would apply its own perception of a potential terrorist "threat" - which on past practice can vary from state to state. No central database would be create but national hub could give data access to third countries and "allow data searches requested by the United States".
Commission Communication: A European terrorist finance tracking system: available options (COM 429, pdf)
EU-USA Agreement: Full-text of EU-USA Agreement on Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (Agreed in July 2010, pdf).
EU, US pen new passenger data deal to ease privacy fears (EUBusiness, link)
EU: FUNCTION CREEP: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Council of the European Union: Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Freezing of evidence (EU doc no: 16410-11, 8.11.11, pdf). The Council is discussing extending the scope of the draft Directive to cover not just the "freezing of assets" but their confiscation - covering property (ie: bank accounts, computers) or evidence. As currently drafted the Directive concerns only the "gathering" of evidence. At the Article 36 Committee (CATS)in June: "the Commission and the Council Legal Service appealed to Member States to carefully weight pros and cons of such inclusion". This Council Presidency Note offers three Options which include (Option C) the "both freezing of evidence and freezing of assets" (ie: confiscation). It should be noted that by the nature of the EIO the suspect may not have been either been charged or convicted.
See Statewatch Observatory: European Investigation Order
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Council of the European Union: Initiative Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meeting of the "Friends of the Presidency" meeting on 26 October 2011 (EU doc no: 16408/11, pdf). Concerns Chapter IV on "Certain investigative measures" and contains detailed comments by Member States.
See Statewatch Observatory: European Investigation Order
UK: Citizens Advice report falls victim to libel threats - Citizens Advice says it dare not publish allegations that civil recovery schemes infringe consumer protection (Guardian, link) and Libel threats gag Citizens Advice, Nature and others (Libel Reform Campaign, link). See also: Statewatch Analysis: “Speculative invoicing” schemes target internet filesharers and individuals accused of minor retail crime (pdf)
EU: NGO Letter to Commissioner Malmstrom: Ongoing human rights concerns in relation with your requests to the countries of the Western Balkans to stop the influx of asylum seekers in the European Union (pdf)
EU: European Commission Communication: Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2011-2012 (SEC 1203-11, pdf)
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: REJECTS NEW PROTOCOL: Draft Report on the draft protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (pdf)
European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Notes on 7th November 2011 meeting (pdf)
UK: Plastic bullets available to police for Wednesday's student protests - Scotland Yard says officers are free to use baton rounds in extreme cases but critics say tactic is 'appalling and un-British' (Guardian, link)
EU: Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Meijers Committee): Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment (COM(2010)0379) (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Ready for adopted: Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Joint Investigation Teams Manual (pdf): "The main goal of this Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) Manual, which supplements the existing Eurojust/Europol document “Guide to EU Member States’ legislation on Joint Investigation Teams”, is to inform practitioners about the legal basis and requirements for setting up a JIT and to provide advice on when a JIT can be usefully employed."
Europe: Far right on rise in Europe, says report - Study by Demos thinktank reveals thousands of self-declared followers of hardline nationalist parties and groups (Guardian, link) and “The rise of populism in Europe can be traced through online behaviour...”- The New Face of Digital Populism (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Asylum Procedures Directive and Early Warning System:
- Amended proposal for a Directive on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection status (Recast) (158 pages, EU doc no: 12579, pdf) Over 250 Member State Reservations
- As above (162 pages, EU doc no: 15381, pdf). Still over 200 Member State reservations
- A process for early warning, preparedness and management of asylum crises/ Suggestions from the Presidency and the incoming DK Presidency (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Intra-Corporate Transfer for third country nationals:
- Proposal for a Directive on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (50 pages, EU doc no: 15045, pdf) With 142 Member States Reservation footnotes with multiple objections.
- As above (pdf) (36 pages, EU doc no: 15075, pdf). Council Presidency compromise proposals
EU: Council of the European Union: Asylum reception conditions:
- Amended proposal for a Directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers (Recast) (61 pages, EU doc no: 13102, pdf). Council Presidency proposals
- As above (EU doc no: 14178, 81 pages, pdf). Response of the Council Working Party on Asylum to Presidency proposal above
- As above (EU doc no: 15254, 71 pages, pdf). Further set of Council Presidency amendments
- Austrian delegation: Asylum Working Party: Amended proposal for a Directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers (EU doc no: 15628, pdf). Would allow for lot more detention of asylum-seekers, in particular unaccompanied minors
See also: - Key cases of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and of the Court of Justice of the European Union relevant to the proposal for a revised Reception Conditions Directive (EU doc no: 15540, pdf)
UK: ‘Time to replace RIPA’: New JUSTICE report calls for overhaul of surveillance laws (Press Release, pdf) and Freedom from Suspicion Surveillance Reform for a Digital Age (pdf): "In a major new report released today, human rights organisation JUSTICE called for a fundamental overhaul of Britain’s surveillance laws in order to protect the right of individual privacy from unnecessary, unwarranted and unchecked state intrusion."
EU: Council of the European Union: Schengen Information System/SIRENE: ARTICLE 96: Refusal of entry to third country nationals: Draft Council Conclusions on better use of SIS and SIRENE for the exchange of information on third-country nationals refused entry (pdf). These Draft Conclusions are based on this: Analysis of practical problems connected with alerts issued pursuant to Art. 96 of the CISA, i.e. reservations regarding aliens (pdf)
The Analysis shows that just five Member States are responsible for 83% of the people listed to be refused entry: Italy 319,632 (45,147%), Germany 89,196 (12,599%), Greece 74,780 (10,563%), Spain 50,160 (7,085%) and France 49,583 (7,004%)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (pdf)
- Extracted Justice and Home Affairs Section: Commission Staff Working Paper Situation in the Different Sectors Accompanying the document 28th
EU: IT AGENCY REGULATION: Regulation establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (OJ, pdf)
Jobs crisis threatens global wave of social unrest, warns ILO (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: UPDATE: Statewatch Observatory: Proceedings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 1993 - present
UK: Met police using surveillance system to monitor mobile phones - Civil liberties group raises concerns over Met police purchase of technology to track public handsets over a targeted area (Guardian, link) and Who's listening to your calls? Met's blanket surveillance system will track thousands of innocent civilians' mobiles (Daily Mail, link).
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch, Director comments: "The use of such a surveillance system is not covered by RIPA whereby the Home Secretary has to sign warrants for specific individuals or organisations. There is a long history of law enforcement and security agencies using new means of surveillance because it is technologically possible and leaving the law to catch up years and, in some cases, decades later."
UK: JUSTICE Briefing: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Briefing for Report Stage House of Commons (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Transparency - Historical Overview (1992 - 2010) (pdf). Useful summary of access to Council documents measures and court cases.
EU-UK: OPT-IN & OPT-OUT: Ministry of Justice: JHA (Title V) opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions taken between 1 December 2009 and the present (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Discussion paper on radicalisation (pdf):
"As terrorism is often accompanied by political propaganda, it is also important to develop a positive counter narrative based on EU values such as the rule of law, fundamental rights, peace and liberty."
EU: EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2010 (250 pages, pdf)
EU: DATA PROTECTION: EDPS: Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European statistics on safety from crime (pdf)
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf). Council backs quite inadequate Commission proposal to bring the Regulation on access to EU documents (1049/2001) in line with the Lisbon Treaty which ignores Article 15 of the Treaty.
See also: Regulation on public to documents: the European Commission is the problem: the Commission 2011 proposals fails to abolish Article 4.3 of the Regulation in line with the Lisbon Treaty: the institutions' "space to think" in secret: "for two years the Commission has "sat on its hands" and failed to respond to the "institutional impasse" between the Council and the European Parliament, it should now produce a completely new "Lisbonised" proposal" (Tony Bunyan)
EU: Solidarity Clause – the way ahead? - Orientation debate on Art. 222 TFEU (pdf) The obscure Solidarity Clause established by Article 222 TFEU commits the European Union and its Member States to act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is the object of a terrorist attack or the
victim of a natural or man-made disaster. Its implementation begs the question, which body in the Council is responsible? Is it COSI (the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security - Interior Ministries) or the PSC, the:Political and Security Committee (comprised of the Brussels-based high-level Permanent Representatives of Member States)? And can assistance involve not just Interior Ministry resources but also those of the Defence and Military ones and should these be under the direction of COSI or the PSC?
"arrangements for the implementation of the solidarity clause shall be defined by a decision adopted by the Council acting on a joint proposal by
the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The PSC and COSI assist the Council for these purposes. If necessary, the PSC and COSI can submit joint opinions." - or by implication, separate Opinions.
"Could the concept of “being the object of an attack” be applied to preventive actions, before a terrorist attack has actually taken place? Therefore, could a definition be adopted that would cover cases in which the Solidarity Clause could be applied and which would prevent its application to minor events? Or perhaps an ad hoc assessment should be made?"
EU: Smart borders - Big brother border proposals with high costs are anything but smart (Green/EFA press release, link).
"Green migration and borders spokesperson Ska Keller said: "These proposals are anything but smart. Europe does not need a US-style big brother system of electronic border controls but the Commission is proposing wasting large sums to copy this US model. These proposals will lead to greater bureaucracy and extra, unnecessary monitoring, at an estimated cost of over €1 billion.... The proposed system would open the door to a far more extensive and excessive collection of personal data of those travelling to and from the EU. This would compromise the principles of fundamental rights and data protection rules guaranteed by the EU. Innocent travellers who fail to register under this system would be automatically viewed as a risk and that is unacceptable."
See: Communication: Smart borders - options and the way ahead (pdf)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 27-28 October 2011, Luxembourg: Final Press release: 27- 28 October (pdf). "B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points Agenda Legislative (adopted without discussion) and "A" Points Agenda Non-Legislative (adopted without discussion)
EU: European Commission: 2010 Annual Report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No. 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security (pdf) and European Migration network Status Report 2010 (pdf)
DRONES: Updates from the Drone Campaign Network and UK MoD release presentations on Reaper and Watchkeeper drones to Drone Wars UK under Freedom of Information Act and see also: UN human rights expert questions targeted killings and use of lethal force
EU: Council of the European Union: Article 32 (1) of the European arrest warrant Framework Decision (EAW) (pdf): "five Member States (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Luxembourg) have availed (with varying levels of compliance with the Framework Decision2) of the possibility in Article 32 of the EAW Framework Decision to apply, as an executing state, the extradition system in place before 1 January 2004 (the date of operation of the EAW) to acts committed before a set date - no later than 7 August 2002"
Lithuania faces legal action over prisons set up for CIA rendition programme - Lawyers acting for detained militant Abu Zubaydah have begun proceedings in the European court of human rights (Guardian, link)
EAW: European Court of Human Rights: French authorities should have ensured fairness of proceedings under their supervision in connection with an international letter of request (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of judgment in French (pdf)
EU: Commission Communication: Towards a stronger European response to drugs (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Correlation tables:Explanatory documents on the transposition of directives = Approval of two joint political declarations = Approval of letters (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest - State of play (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest - The right of access to a lawyer in European Arrest Warrant proceedings (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Data retention: Commission requests Germany and Romania fully transpose EU rules (pdf):
"Brussels, 27 October 2011 – Today the Commission formally requested Germany and Romania take action to ensure full compliance with EU rules on data retention within two months. Since the judgements of their Constitutional Courts, which annulled the respective national laws that transposed the Data Retention Directive, Germany and Romania have not indicated how and when they will adopt new legislation."
UK: Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches (pdf):
"Port examinations under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000: In 2010/11, 65,684 persons were stopped and examined in a border area in Great Britain under the powers under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000. Of these, 2,288 persons were held for over one hour. "
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO) report: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining in Sharing Terrorism-Related Information (pdf)
EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Senate of Netherlands' reservation about the EU-PNR proposal and reply by the Commission: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - Opinion on the application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Communication: Smart borders - options and the way ahead (pdf) and Press Release (pdf). This deals with border controls for third country national entering and exiting the EU (with or without visas). The Commission opts for a combination of an Entry-Exit System (ESS) and the Registered Travellers programme. Biometric checks (fingerprints or digital face images) will be introduced for the Exit Entry System after a transitional period and a combination of a "token" and central database for the Registered Travellers Programme.
The Communication contains the interesting admission that the object is to track down visa "overstayers" and that:
"This is a real problem as overstayers are the main source of irregular migration in the EU."
UK: Former police spy urges public inquiry into undercover operations - Pete Black says series of IPCC investigations into individual officers will not get to the bottom of alleged abuses of power (Guardian, link)
USA: EPIC FOIA Request: Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) Project
"EPIC filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the United States Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) to obtain information about the agency's public testing of a new sensor array used to conduct covert surveillance of individuals who are not suspected of any crime. The sensors secretly collect and record information concerning individuals, including video images, audio recordings, cardiovascular signals, pheromones, electrodermal activity, and respiratory measurements. EPIC received several responsive documents, including emails, contracts, and program descriptions."
UK: Google asked to remove 135 YouTube videos for 'UK national security issues' - US technology giant reports 71% rise in content removal requests from UK government or police (Guardian, link). Also: "Google received 1,273 overall requests for user data in the period, compared with 1,162 requests for information in the second half of 2010."
EU: UK INTERVENTION ON EU ACCESSION TO ECHR: Working Document by the UK: Draft Agreement on the Accession of the European Union to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms United Kingdom proposed text amendments (pdf)
France/Libya: Legal complaint lodged against the French firm AMESYS of complicity in acts of torture perpetrated by the Gaddafi regime in Libya See also: EU companies banned from selling spyware to repressive regimes (euobserver, link)
UK: Home Office report: An Overview of recorded crimes and arrests resulting from disorder events in August 2011 (pdf) See tables: Tables (link) See also: UK riots analysis reveals gangs did not play pivotal role - Official figures show those arrested came from deprived backgrounds, striking a blow to theory that tackling gang culture is key to preventing repeat of disturbances (Guardian, link)
And see: Ministry of Justice: Statistical bulletin on the public disorder of 6th to 9th August 2011 – October update (pdf)
Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: Undocumented migrant children in an irregular situation: a real cause for concern (pdf)
HUNGARY: NGO letter to government on Data Protection Commissioner from Károly Policy Institute, Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Hungarian Civil Liberties Union:
"In this letter the three undersigned Hungarian NGOs wish to clarify an outstanding problem arising from an Act of the Parliament of Hungary, namely the independence of the Data Protection Commissioner... According to this [new] Act, the current data protection commissioner will be replaced on 1 January, 2012, years before the end of the fixed six-year term. We believe that the Hungarian Republic is failing to fulfil its obligations under EU law, therefore we suggest the Commission to initiate a proceeding against Hungary for this failure."
See also: Hungarian NGOs turn to Barroso over planned removal of Hungarian data protection commissioner (HCLU, link)
EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Press release (pdf):
With regard to the revision of the EU data protection legal framework, the Article 29 Working Party discussed mechanisms to ensure that data protection authorities across the EU can consistently apply the EU data protection rules. The Working Party concluded that consistent application cannot be delivered without consistent rules and once again highlighted the need for a high level of harmonisation offering a high level of protection.
EU: Council of the European Union: Joint Customs Operation: Draft final report on JCO ULYSSE (pdf):
"France volunteered to organise in September 2010, in cooperation with Germany and Slovenia, an operation aimed at the detection and seizure of narcotic drugs in express freight, called JCO ULYSSE ... "Customs administrations of the following Member States took part in the Operation : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom." and "54 discoveries of narcotic drugs were made during the operational phase"
UK: Alarm at private police operating beyond the law (independent, link): "Hundreds of privately contracted police officers are working for forces across the country despite being unaccountable to the watchdog responsible for investigating deaths in custody, public complaints and allegations of wrongdoing, an investigation by The Independent has found."
FRANCE: Minister, police union try to close French Copwatch site (Rfi, link) and France court orders block on 'copwatch' website
(Jurist, link). Reminiscent of the attempt by the Met Police to close down Fitwatch: FITWATCH shut down: Met closes down anti-police blog - Police force suspension of website that offered advice to students involved in last week's rioting (Guardian, link).
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Future EU Treaty Reform? Economic Governance and Democratic Accountability (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"Any Treaty amendments relating to economic governance should, assuming that they are desirable at all, leave the choice of measures to take in order to comply with economic governance rules up to national parliaments and governments. More broadly, any general move toward Treaty amendments which strengthen the EU institutions’ role in economic governance must be accompanied by a greater role for of the EP in this area, as well as a greater degree of control by national parliaments over EU activity as compared to other areas of EU integration."
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 27-28 October 2011, Luxembourg : Advance Notice (pdf)
UK: Joint Parliamentary Human Rights Committee: Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill (second Report) (pdf)
- Dubious legal basis for Commission plan
- No justification given for allowing for the use of full body scanners when less instrusive technology is available
UK: Secret Court hearings: Justice and Security: Green Paper (pdf) and Impact assessment (pdf). See: Ken Clarke wants more secret hearings in courts (BBC News, link) and Kenneth Clarke plans secret court hearings to avoid revealing intelligence (Guardian, link)
UK: EU Internal Security Strategy: Government response to House of Lords European Union Committee report (pdf). See: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union: The EU Internal Security Strategy (90 pages, pdf)
UK: Police accused of allowing undercover officers to lie in court - False evidence claim arises from papers suggesting undercover officer Jim Boyling hid identity when prosecuted over protest (Guardian, links): "The fresh allegations triggered another wave of criticism of police chiefs over their infiltration of protest movements, and came on the eve of a major report by Bernard Hogan-Howe, in his previous role at Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary." - this report has now been delayed and see: Undercover police and the law: the men who weren't there - Jim Boyling was authorised to use his fake name even when under oath in court, and he wasn't alone say other officers
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Council Conclusions on the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA ("Swedish Framework Decision") (pdf)
- Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA on simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of the Member States of the European Union ("Swedish Framework Decision") - Assessment (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest - Orientation debate (pdf)
CoE: EU ACCESSION TO ECHR: Report to the Committee of Ministers on the elaboration of legal instruments for the accession of
the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (dated 14.10.11, pdf)
UK: UK-USA EXTRADITION TREATY: OFFICIAL REPORT: "A whitewash": A Review of the UK's extradition arrangements (488 pages, pdf). See: Baker review says UK-US extradition treaty is fair to both sides and also backs controversial European arrest warrants (Guardian, link): The £250,000 inquiry rejected demands from McKinnon's supporters and parliament's joint human rights committee, who wanted a "forum bar against extradition" that would have allowed British courts to block extradition if a significant part of the alleged offence took place in the UK... McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, called the report a whitewash and said it flew in the face of commitments from senior Lib Dem and Tory politicians before the election."
Critics of the Treaty say that British citizens facing extradition to the USA do not have the same rights as US citizens. The US only have to present a basic outline of the alleged offence, the possible sentences and a description of the person. While the UK have to present proof that the wanted person had probably committed the offence - a much higher level of proof.
Italy: Civil court orders transport and defence ministries to pay damages to Ustica victims' relatives, collateral victims of undeclared warfare in the Mediterranean
On 10 September 2011, 31 years after the Ustica air disaster in which an Itavia flight from Bologna to Palermo on a DC9 aircraft was shot down on 27 June 1980 killing 81 people, allegedly during an attack against a Libyan Mig fighter plane, the third section of the civil court in Palermo ruled that the defence and transport ministries must pay a group of 81 relatives of the victims 100m euro in damages. Judge Paola Proto Pisani found that the ministries had been guilty of "omissions and negligence" in failing to guarantee the flight's safety, as well as being involved in covering up responsibilities in the incident during investigations through lies and the destruction of documents, causing the victims' relatives "considerable moral and psychological harm". The relatives' lawyers have argued that the air disaster was caused by a missile fired by either a French or US aircraft, and called upon the Italian authorities to seek information from the two countries of their involvement.
UK: Nearly 700 children detained in UK's south-east ports between May and August 2011 (link) The coalition government made ending immigration detention for children one of the key aspects of its programme for government in 2010, but the Children's Society estimates that more than 2,000 children could be detained each year at UK entry points. See also: Almost 700 children detained in three months (Children's Society website, link) UKBA accused of breaking pledge to end child detention (Guardian, link)
Statewatch analysis: Italy: Fire and loathing in Lampedusa (pdf) A fire in Lampedusa's overcrowded Contrada Imbriacola reception centre led to widespread clashes between migrants and police.
EU: Accession to ECHR not yet agreed: Report of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to the Committee of Ministers on the elaboration of legal instruments for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf)
Statewatch analysis: Viewpoint: Ten years after the G8 Summit in Genoa, by Salvatore Palidda, Genoa University (pdf) The practice of peaceful (although not pacifist) resistance shows that the asymmetry of power can be overturned - albeit partially and temporarily - through mass political action without the need for heroism or extremism, or for leaders and large traditional organisations.
EU-LIBYA: Oil and migration, French-Italian interests in the post-Gaddafi era (link) Translation of interview with Sara Prestianni, a member of Migreurop network, on the state of play of relations with post-Gaddafi Lybia.
EU-Denmark: New Danish government rolls back border controls (euobserver, link) New centre-left Danish government says it will "effectively combat cross-border crime within the Schengen co-operation...The plans from May 2011 to build new control facilities at the Danish borders will not be carried out” and that it will respect the "common rules that apply in the EU." See also: Statement by President Barroso after the meeting with the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (link)
UK: Five years of immigration detention ruled unlawful (free movement website, 11.10.11, link) Judge holds that the entire five year period of detention of an Algerian man was unlawful, and that evidence presented by three named Home Office officials was false and misleading.
Statewatch analysis: EU: Mandatory data retention: update and developments (pdf) Opposition mounts in Member States, and the Council of the European Union decides that in its defence head-line stories should replace the provision of reliable statistics.
Statewatch analysis: UK: Arrests, raids and wedding parades (pdf) The coalition government's commitment to restore freedom and rights in the face of increasing state power is undermined by the heavy-handed response to small protests on the day of the royal wedding.
EU: Organised crime: European Parliament report on organised crime in the European Union (A7-0333/2011, pdf)
Germany: Surveillance: three recent new stories:
- Is the German State hacking its own citizens? (owni.eu, 11.10.11, link) A German Hacker Collective analysed a piece of spying software they believe to have been written by the German government which, once installed on a computer, can monitor conversations on Skype, log keystrokes and remotely switch on the computer’s webcam.
- Several German states admit to use of controversial spy software (dw.world.de, 11.10.11, link) "A number of other German states have followed Bavaria in confirming the use of a controversial software program to spy on people through their computers. The German justice minister has demanded an investigation."
- German military unveils super drone (thelocal.de, 12.10.11, link) "The German military on Wednesday unveiled the new “Euro Hawk” super drone, whose size and range is set to revolutionize the Bundeswehr’s intelligence-gathering capabilities."
EU: Access to a lawyer: Council proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest (15351/11, pdf)
UK: Armed officers from the British Transport Police to be deployed in early 2012 (link) The British Transport Police is to be provided with an "armed capability" despite concerns over the scheme's proportionality and effectiveness.
EU-VIS: Visa Information System goes live: Commission press release: More efficient and secure visa system goes live (link) Frequently Asked Questions: The Visa Information System goes live (link)
EU: Commission press release: Vice-President Maros Sefcovic welcomes vote in European Parliament in favour of extending citizens' rights on access to documents (link)
EU-PNR: European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: Draft recommendation on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (2011/0126, 10 October 2011, pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: A new player in Security Research: the European Network of Law Enforcement Services (ENLETS) (pdf) by Eric Töpfer. Europe's police forces want to increase their influence on European security research policy, but it is doubtful that this will constrain the spread of military technology into civil arenas.
EU: FRONTEX: Council adopts new rules for Frontex, the European Agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the EU: 'New rules on Frontex adopted - Strengthening the European external borders agency' (Press release, 15208/11, 10 October 2011)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Review of the application of the Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the establishment of a Network for legislative cooperation between the Ministries of Justice of the European Union (pdf)
- MILEX 11 Final Exercise Report (CSDP, pdf)
EU: Article 29 Working Partyon data protection: Data Protection Authorities not convinced on necessity and proportionality of the proposal for European Terrorist Finance Tracking System (pdf)
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: "A serious policy debate on net neutrality must effectively address users' confidentiality of communication", says EDPS (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf)
Migreurop monitoring of the Vincennes detention centre fire appeal: On 22 June 2008, the detention centre of Vincennes (France) burnt after several months of tension, the day after the suspicious death of a detainee. Several days earlier, a report by the French Ombudsman for detention places emphasized "the tension and violent atmosphere" in detention centres, especially in Vincennes.
Following the fire, 10 people have been charged, then convicted in March 2010 after a one-sided trial: lawyers of the defence had left the courtroom after 4 days considering that it was an unfair trial. Today, on 6 October, the appeal begins in Paris for six of the convicted people. The Migreurop network which has carried out a judicial monitoring activity at the first trial , will also be there for the appeal. Follow the trial reports on the Migreurop website, Facebook and Twitter account.
Press release on the website
Migreurop's monitoring of the first trial of the accused for the Vincennes fire
Previous Statewatch coverage: France: Ten convictions over Vincennes detention centre fire, by Yasha Maccanico, Statewatch Bulletin; vol 20 no 1 January-March 2010, France: CNDS report into Vincennes detention centre death, Statewatch news online, July 2010.
EU: European Commission: Security features in travel documents: Belgium does not comply with the obligations to issue biometric passports (Press release, pdf): "Amongst the EU Member States that have to comply with this legislation, Belgium is the only one who does not currently issue biometric passports with fingerprints."
EU: FRONTEX REGULATION DECLARATIONS: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (first reading) - Adoption of the legislative act (LA + S) =Statements (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft European Union Declaration on the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (pdf) and see: Convention and protocol relating to the status of refugees (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: From: Europol To: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group: Operational Action Plan template (pdf) and see: Standing Committee on operation cooperation on internal security (COSI): Draft COSI 18-month Work Programme (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Police dogs network (KYNOPOL), CEAS, Civil-Military, Counter Terrorism:
- List of national contact points of KYNOPOL (pdf)
- Common European Asylum System = State of play/guidance on further negotiations on CEAS (pdf) and Revised draft CIVCOM advice on Promoting Synergies between the EU Civil and Military Capability Development - Final report on the outcomes of Phase 2 of the Workplan (pdf)
- Summary of EU counter-terrorism policy in light of the 10th anniversary of the 11 September attacks (pdf)
EU: Analysis: Europe’s secret international negotiations violate EU law (pdf) by Professor Deirdre Curtin, Professor of European Law, Director of Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam:
"Given the way that the EU is rapidly evolving in institutional and political terms the time has come for the issue of classified information in the EU to be confronted head on. The EU needs a general law on classification of documents applying to all the institutions and organs of the EU and adopted according to the normal legislative procedure."
Background see Decision by made the leaders of the politcal groups not by the parliament as a whole: Decision of the Bureau of the European Parliament of 6 June 2011 concerning the rules governing the treatment of confidential information by the European Parliament (pdf)
EU: JAIEX: This stands for the external aspect of Justice and Home Affairs policies and is a new influence on internal policy as well as another "backdoor" for hidden US interventions: Recommendations for JAIEX working methods (pdf). See, for example: Summary of conclusions of the meeting of the JHA-RELEX Working Party (JAIEX) on 9 September 2011 (pdf) which includes
"Review of activities in the EU-US Cyber working party - information by the Commission
The Commission informed the group of the main activities so far in the working party that had been set up by the EU-US Summit of 30 November 2010. A draft work paper was issued on 14 April 2011. Four working groups had been set up, of which three are related to cybersecurity (computer incident, public/private sector cooperation, awareness raising) and one related to cybercrime. The Commission coordinated its efforts with the U.S Department of Homeland Security for the realisation of a timeframe for the upcoming joint exercise which would be held in Brussels in November 2011. In the fight against cybercrime 3 priorities have been chosen:
Abuse of domain names and IP address abuses:
Domain name anonymity is of great concern to the EU. ICANN did not follow the law enforcement recommendations that had been agreed in the JHA dialogue by the EU with its US counterparts. As ICANN is a self -regulating enterprise, the U.S authorities had no direct leverage. So far, the ICANN's tactic had been to delay the implementation process."
EU: Council of the European Union: Manual on cross-border operations - national fact sheets (large file, 468 pages)
EU: Council of the European Union: Revised draft CIVCOM advice on Promoting Synergies between the EU Civil and Military Capability Development - Final report on the outcomes of Phase 2 of the Workplan (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meeting of the Working Party on 22 July 2011(pdf)
EU: ROAD SAFETY DIRECTIVE: which requires extensive exchange of information: Council of the European Union: Press release (pdf), Directive facilitating the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (pdf), Proposal for a Directive facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety (second reading) - Approval of the European Parliament's amendments (LA + S) - Statements (pdf).
See also Commission document in relation to the latter document: Opinion of the Commission to the Council's position regarding the
proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety (pdf)
EU: VEHICLE DATA ON THE SIS: Council of the European Union: Draft report to be submitted to the European Parliament in accordance with Art. 102A(4) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (CISA): 2010 (pdf): "Article 102A of the Schengen Convention introduces, for services in the Member States responsible for issuing registration certificates for vehicles, a right to have access to specific data in the Schengen Information System. This concerns data on motor vehicles, trailers and caravans which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost, and registration certificates for vehicles and number plates."
EU: Council of the European Union: Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers (Recast) (pdf) The Council's position lowers standards regardingdetention and legal aid as compared with the existing Directive.
EU: Council of the European Union: Council Presidency Note: Defining of conditions where entry ban can be imposed and the means by which Member States can have rapid access to information on entry ban (pdf)
EU: SWEDISH FRAMEWORK DECISION: Council of the European Union: Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA on simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of the Member States of the European Union ("Swedish Framework Decision") - Assessment of compliance pursuant to Article 11(2) - Draft Report
"The "Swedish Framework Decision" (SFD) implements the "principle of availability". "The SFD concept of “information and/or intelligence” covers information or data: which is held by law enforcement authorities [and] which is held by public authorities or by private entities and which is available to law enforcement authorities without taking coercive measures."
"The majority of MS stated that they do not draw on the SFD on a regular basis for requesting information. In particular, the forms annexed to the SFD for requesting and submitting information were not generally used as this procedure is considered complex and cumbersome."
CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Undocumented migrant children in an irregular situation: a real cause for concern (pdf)
EU:FRONTEX: Amending Regulation ready for adoption (pdf)
Amnesty International: Unlock the truth in Lithuania: Investigate Secret Prisons Now (pdf):
"In the continuing absence o f any meaningful accountability in the USA, and increasingly disturbing signs that the same may happen in other European countries, the Lithuanian government should re-open its criminal investigation into both its own involvement in these operations, and that of the USA and its agents on Lithuanian territory, and conduct an independent, impartial, thorough and ef fective investigation that will serve as a model for accountability across the region."
Videos are now available from the Statewatch conference, "Statewatching Europe: Civil Liberties, the State and the European Union", held on 25 June 2011 at Conway Hall, London. Both plenary sessions and two of the six workshops were recorded (14 speeches in total): Statewatch conference speeches Including: Keynote speeches by Gareth Peirce: 'The war on terror' and Tony Bunyan: 'The state of Europe'
EU: INTERNAL SECURITY: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) Hearing: Interparliamentary Committee Meeting with National Parliaments: Democratic accountability of the Internal Security Strategy and the role of Europol, Eurojust and Frontex (5-6 October, Brussels, pdf) and see: EP Study: Parliamentary Oversight of security and intelligence agencies in the EU (446 pages, pdf)
EU Ombudsman: International Right to Know Day: Ombudsman calls for more pro-active transparency in the EU (pdf): "“I am concerned about the consistently high number of transparencyrelated complaints I receive every year. Many EU institutions are still too reactive in their approach to public access and some even seem to be defensive in their thinking.”
UK: Violence of the violated: The line between the political and the criminal can be a blurred one - Some felt the '75 Spaghetti House siege just gave black politics a bad name. But as with the recent riots, it's a complex picture (Guardian, link) by Jenny Bourne, Editor of Race and Class
UK: Selling the state: the 'unethical' companies taking over UK public services (link): "The companies managing UK immigration have come in for criticism once again, in new research - ‘Is that what you call good service?’ - by pressure group Ethical Consumer."
European Parliament study: The Council Framework Decision on the Fight against Organised Crime: What can be done to strengthen EU legislation in the field? (pdf)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS: Recommendations: IFJ/EFJ Conference “10 years after 9/11, Journalism in the Shadow of Terror Laws”, held in Brussels on 10th-11th September, 2011 (pdf)
European Commission Communication: On Cooperation in the Area of Justice and Home Affairs within the Eastern Partnership (pdf)
EU: ALTER-EU: Open Letter to the European Parliament: No to the undemocratic six pack of prolonged austerity (pdf): "The six legislative acts on ‘economic governance’ will make citizens pay for the excesses of banks and other corporations; they will most likely prolong the crisis, curtail social rights, and exert an additional blow to democracy. A new response to the crisis is needed."
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Letter to the European Commission signed by 34 NGOs including Statewatch: Letter (pdf):
"We remain convinced that a comprehensive impact assessment will definitively show that data retention is neither necessary for market harmonisation nor for the fight against serious crime and is, therefore, illegal."
See Statewatch's Observatory: The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Decision authorising the Commission to negotiate the Accession Agreement of the European Union to the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) (Censored document, pdf). The EU is about to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights by means of a Council Decision much of which has been censored (redacted) - hardly an auspicious beginning..
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Court of Justice:The NS and ME Opinions -The Death of “Mutual Trust”? (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex
"The key arguments in the opinions are that (a) there is no complete ‘opt-out’ from the Charter for the UK and Poland, although the effect of the Charter might be limited for those States as regards social rights; and (b) despite the Dublin system, asylum-seekers cannot be sent to a Member State where there is a serious risk that their Charter rights will be violated.
The Opinions would mean the end of the concept of absolute mutual recognition of other Member States’ decisions in EU Justice and Home Affairs law, as they would confirm that Member States cannot automatically rely on ‘mutual trust’ that other Member States will observe human rights." [emphasis in original]
ECJ Press release: According to Advocate General Trstenjak, asylum seekers may not be transferred to other Member States if they could there face a risk of serious breach of the fundamental rights which they are guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf)
European Court of Human Rights: Case-law concerning the European Union (pdf): "The European Union (the EU) is not currently a Party to the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention). Accordingly, its acts cannot as such be the subject of applications to the European Court of Human Rights (the Court). Nevertheless, issues relating to Community law have been raised regularly with the Court and the former European Commission of Human Rights." Note: The EU is about to accede to the ECHR, see: EU-COE-ECHR-ACCESSION: Final version: 8th Working meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the accession of the EU to the ECHR (CDDH-UE) with the European Commission (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 22-23 September 2011: Final Press release for 22-23 September 2011 (pdf). Main Agenda - "B" Points (pdf), "A" Points - legislative (pdf) adopted without discussion and "A" Points - non-legislative (pdf) adopted without discussion
EU: UK & FOUR OTHER MEMBER STATES OPPOSE SUSPECTS RIGHTS: Proposal for a Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest - Note by Belgium / France / Ireland / the Netherlands / the United Kingdom (pdf) and See: Five EU countries oppose new rights on access to lawyers (euobserver, link): "Belgium, France, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands are opposing a European Commission proposal to extend the right to a lawyer for the entire period a suspect is held in police custody, citing rising costs and concerns that criminal procedures may be compromised."
EU: SCHENGEN: Arrangement on the participation of the EFTA countries in the Commission's Schengen committees (pdf): "An arrangement was signed today between the European Union and the EFTA countries on their participation in the work of the committees which assist the European Commission in the exercise of its executive powers as regards the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis."
The EFTA countries are: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. They are already on the MIxed Committee of the Council.
EU: SCHENGEN: 'Populism' decried as Romania, Bulgaria barred from Schengen (euractiv, link)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- European Protection Order: - Outcome of proceedings of COREPER on 21 September 2011 (pdf): "The Presidency has informed delegations of the fact that the European Parliament welcomed the proposal of the Council, showing great flexibility with respect to the amendments to the text voted by the Plenary on 14 December 2010."
- Final text from trilogue with European Parliament: Directive on the European Protection Order (pdf)
- New asylum emergency system Common European Asylum System = State of play/guidance on further negotiations on CEAS (pdf)
EU-CROATIA: Council of the European Union: Final EU and Candidate Country agreed text on the accession Treaty: Subject: Accession Treaty: Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia (pdf)
Finns, Dutch block Bulgaria, Romania Schengen entry (EUbusiness, link)
EU: EUROPEAN PROTECTION ORDER: European Parliament press release on early 2nd reading deal: EP/Council deal on EU-wide protection for crime victims (pdf). The latest draft text listed on the Council's website: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Estonia, the French Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Portugal, Romania, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive on the European Protection Order - Outcome of proceedings of the meeting of CATS on 6 September 2011 (dated 8 September 2011, pdf). This version of the text is being discussed in COREPER today (21.9.11) but The European Parliament press office say they do not have a finalised text yet, thus it is not known if there have been any changes.
EU: Meijers Committee Note to the European Parliament: Proposal for a Regulation amending the Schengen Borders Code (COM(2011)118 final) (pdf)
Human Rights Watch report: The EU’s Dirty Hands: Frontex Involvement in Ill-Treatment of Migrant Detainees in Greece (link):
"This report assesses Frontex’s role in and responsibility for exposing migrants to inhuman and degrading detention conditions during four months beginning late in 2010 when its first rapid border intervention team (RABIT) was apprehending migrants and taking them to police stations and migrant detention centers in Greece’s Evros region. The RABIT deployment has been replaced by a permanent Frontex presence. The report is based on interviews with 65 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Greece in November and December 2010 and February 2011, as well as with Frontex and Greek police officials."
Poland attempts Schengen face-saving stunt (euractiv, link): "Poland is trying to broker a face-saving deal for Romania's and Bulgaria's accession to the European Union's borderless Schengen area. Under the compromise the two countries would first have barriers at airports and maritime ports removed, while maintaining land restrictions until after the French elections"
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council 22-23 September 2011, Brussels: Background Note (pdf)
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: EU countries failing Libyan refugees stuck in limbo (link): "European countries have shamefully failed to help thousands of mainly African refugees stranded near Libya’s borders, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing paper."
EU: NORWAY KILLINGS: Council of the European Union: Extraordinary joint meeting of the Terrorism Working Party and COTER on: 28 July 2011 - Subject: Summary of discussions (pdf)
EU: Terrorist Finance Tracking System: Council of the European Union: Questions in relation to the Commission Communication on TFTS (pdf)
"It may be argued that the setting up of a TFTS will not allay the second concern of the Parliament, namely the bulk transfer of personal data by a private company to a government body and the storage of these data during a long period." (comment on the Commission proposal: A European terrorist finance tracking system: available options) (COM 429, pdf))
EU: Council of the European Union: Working Party for Schengen Matters (Schengen evaluation) - Mixed Committee (EU-Iceland / Norway / Switzerland / Liechtenstein) 13 July 2011 - Subject: Outcome of proceedings (pdf)
Transatlantic Conference on Transparency Research: June 7-9, 2012 (links) Call for Proposals Deadline: November 30, 2011, Programme Committee and Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands:
"The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers from North-America and Europe in order to exchange the latest findings and insights concerning transparency and open government. This transatlantic conference on transparency research follows up on the 1st Global Conference on Transparency Research which was held in Newark (NJ) in May 2011. We explicitly aim to bring together scholars from various disciplines such as public administration, law, political science, journalism, sociology, etc."
Council of Europe: Rapporteur: Dick Marty, Switzerland, Alliance of Democrats and Liberals for Europe: Abuse of state secrecy and national security: obstacles to parliamentary and judicial scrutiny of human rights violations (pdf)
EU: Commission Press Release: European Commission sets goal of training 700,000 legal professionals in EU law by 2020 (pdf) and Building trust in EU-wide justice: A new dimension to European Judicial training (COM 551/11, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: 1994 report: "Partial access" (censored): Interim Report on the Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: EU Terrorist Finance Tracking System (TFTS): Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - A European terrorist finance tracking system: available options (COM (2011)429) - Orientation ministerial debate on the TFTS (pdf)
EU: European Commission: European Commission boosts efforts to counter violent extremism (pdf). See: Countering radicalisation and recruitment (link) and ENER (European Network of Experts on Radicalisation)
ARAB SPRING: U.S. and Turkey launch new effort to combat global terrorism (link)
"The forum appears to be an outgrowth of worries in the US, Turkey and elsewhere about the possibility of Islamist militants gaining footholds in countries like Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, which have swept aside repressive regimes. Clinton said that the US and Turkey will serve as founding co-chairs of the global forum."
EU: Internal security: Project Harmony (link to project report, 102 pages) The framework partners for the project are the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Europo!. The project started in October 2009.
From the document: “This project aims to bridge the gap between European and national strategies and also between political decisions and the way law enforcement agencies convert them into operational activities. It acts on both horizontal and vertical level. The horizontal approach aims to achieve better alignment between the activities of the EU agencies in their fight against organised crime and the political priorities of the JHA. The vertical approach means that the Member States get the opportunity to integrate the European decision-making process into their national strategies. To achieve these objectives, the project wants to streamline and integrate the already existing EU instruments (e.g. OCTA (Organised Crime Threat Assessment), the role and tasks of the EPCTF (European Police Chiefs Task Force), COSPOL (Comprehensive, Operational, Strategic Planning for the Police) projects, etc.) into a more coherent and effective approach, resulting in a genuine European policy cycle.” (p.10)
“In the future, the threat assessment should rely more on the “in-house” information and expertise of Europol, which requires a willingness by Member States and other contributors to share information with Europol at an earlier stage and in a more systematic way.” (p.54)
“All existing multi-annual strategic plans in the field of EU internal security [i.e. drugs, trafficking, terrorism] should be aligned and integrated into a more coherent and effective policy cycle.” (p.75)
9/11: The day we lost our privacy and power - Every day, we have to prove we have 'nothing to hide' (The Register, link) byDuncan Campbell
BRUSSELS: Inaugural international Freedom not Fear protest a success (17 Sep 2011)
UK: OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT: Hacking: Met use Official Secrets Act to demand Guardian reveals sources - Unprecedented move sees Scotland Yard use the Official Secrets Act to demand the paper hands over information (Guardian, link). See: UK Official Secrets Act 1989 (pdf)
EU-FRONTEX: European Parliament: EU-FRONTEX: European Parliament: GUE/NGL group: New Frontex mandate a "wolf in sheep's clothing" (pdf): ""We don't need Frontex but a humanized refugee policy to deal with situations in Africa where people are living in dire conditions, an asylum system based on solidarity and a new neighbourhood policy more in tune with our values." Speaking after the vote, Marie-Christine Vergiat said "we do not want this Europe, this fortress Europe that gives lessons in human rights and democracy and is unable to reach out and help thousands of refugees. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is currently investigating the deaths in the Mediterranean and the EU will have to account for its own failures."
and Green/EFA Group: FRONTEX/EU border control: Half-hearted improvements on human rights protection fall short (Press release, pdf): "The European Parliament today adopted a final compromise revising EU legislation on FRONTEX, the EU's agency for external border operations. While recognising that the final compromise will bring some improvements, the Greens regret that the revision will fall short of providing necessary guarantees on human rights protection."
EU: BODY SCANNERS: Question to the Commission from the ALDE Group in the European Parliament: Oral question to the Commission on Security Scanners (pdf)
ECJ: European Court of Justice: Judgment (pdf): "Articles 2, 3 and 8 of Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA of 15 March 2001
on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings must be interpreted as not precluding the mandatory imposition of an injunction to stay away for a minimum
period, provided for as an ancillary penalty by the criminal law of a Member State, on persons who commit crimes of violence within the family, even when the victims of those crimes oppose the application of such a penalty."
EU: Commission pushes for 'europeanisation' of border controls (euobserver, link)
European Parliament-Commission: Questions put to Commissioner Reding by MEPs (pdf) and the Commissioners' response (pdf) and Commissioners' letter (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Common European Asylum System = State of play/guidance on further negotiations on CEAS (pdf)
EU countries say 'No' to commission powers on border control (euobserver, link)
UK: World's largest arms fair begins today in London - demonstrators plan a "wave of protests": Over the next four days, Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) will showcase military and 'security' equipment to over 1,300 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors. A wide variety of groups have organised demonstrations in response.
EU: European Commission: Annual report on the activities of the EURODAC Central Unit in 2010 (pdf)
UK: Blanket ban on protest lifted following threat of High Court action (Press release, pdf)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 22-23 September 2011, Brussels: Advance briefing (pdf)
The technocratic idea of "science-based, unbiased and objective information" which in effect leads to the "blackboxing" of evidence-making that cannot be challenged by others than the involved experts themselves, namely ENFSI members who also include private and privatised entities such as the UK Forensic Science Service and it will be interesting to see which lowest common denominators they will agree on as standards for "objective" forensics.
EU: Council of the European union: EU agency for large scale IT systems (Press release, pdf) and Council-European Parliament 1st reading deal text (pdf). See also: Statewatch Analysis: Implementing the “principle of availability”: The European Criminal Records Information System - The European Police Records Index System - The Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Authorities (pdf) by Chris Jones
FUNCTION CREEP: EU: Council of the European Union: European Police Chiefs Convention (pdf): includes:
"Criminal and intelligence databases have to be harmonised and interconnected as soon as possible."
"It is essential that the administrative boundaries that currently exist between key agencies (Europol, SITCEN, Frontex etc) are eased to facilitate cooperation and information exchange in a more pragmatic way."
"Europol should be able to engage itself more easily. In that field, executive powers for Europol may become necessary in some respect. Is it cot effective that sometimes two organisations analyse the same information? "
EU: Council of the European Union: Council Conclusions on Counter-Terrorism (pdf) adopted by the General Affairs Council
UK-EU: EU directive opt-out 'could hit Britons arrested abroad' - Government decision to eschew directive about access to lawyers comes under attack from civil liberties groups (Guardian, link)
UK: Peace campaigners should not have been targeted, admit police - Thames Valley chief constable apologises for surveillance at screening of documentary about nuclear weapons (The Observer, link)
Belgium/UK: Objective: 20 illegals per day (link) Ostend city police will now arrest 20 undocumented migrants a day and detain them for 12 hours to deter migrants from passing through the city to cross the border to the UK.
Belgium: Complaint lodged by Human Rights League against government agency FEDASIL and the ministers in charge of reception conditions for asylum seekers (link) Since August 2008, FEDASIL has denied more than 10,000 asylum seekers and foreign minors in an irregular situation (both unaccompanied and not) the right to proper reception conditions, leading them to live in undignified conditions.
DNA super-network increases risk of mix-ups (New Scientist website, link). Opening up forensic databases across Europe will make it easier for countries to share data, but it may also lead to miscarriages of justice.
UK Statewatch Analysis: UK: Internet censorhip looms as government finds alternatives to flawed Digital Economy Act (pdf) by Max Rowlands:
The routine blocking of websites believed to facilitate copyright infringement has moved a step closer - despite concerns about the proportionality and effectiveness of the practice - following a landmark High Court ruling on the application of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Meanwhile, the much criticised Digital Economy Act continues to flounder, with the introduction of its controversial copyright protection scheme - which would allow the government to suspend the internet connections of individuals accused of persistent copyright infringement - now delayed until 2012 at the earliest.
Council of Europe: Council of Europe Commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg: Europeans must account for their complicity in CIA secret detention and torture (CoE, link) And see Statewatch's: Observatory on Rendition: THe use of European Countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners
"War on terrorism": 35,000 convicted worldwide for terror after 9/11 attacks (The Star, link):
"“Originally the approach was the more the merrier, the stronger counter-terror laws, the better for the security of the world. But that was a serious mistake,” said Martin Sheinin, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism. “Nowadays people are realizing the abuse and even the actual use of counterterror laws is bad for human rights and also bad for actually stopping terrorism.”
"War on Terrorism": Britain handed rebel to Gaddafi torturers: Devastating secret files in Libya reveal UK 'crossed the line' to prop up tyrant (Mail on Sunday, link) plus Libyan papers show UK worked with Gaddafi in rendition operation (Guardian, link) and Full text of a CIA document indicating UK role in rendition of a terror suspect (Guardian, link)
EU-PNR: A salutory reminder: See: Statewatch Analysis: EU: The surveillance of travel where everyone is a suspect (2008, pdf): “all travellers are... considered a priori as potential law breakers” - travellers to be checked by “an automated gate and kiosk”, which included:
"Prior to putting forward the EU-PNR proposal [in 2007] the Commission held a consultation exercise. Most illuminating are the options given and the response of EU governments (24 replied).
The first concerns the "scope" of the proposal, should it cover just air travel or sea and land travel as well? Six member states (Bulgaria, Spain, Latvia, France, Luxembourg and the UK) said it should cover all three. A further 12 said it should cover air and sea travel.
Second, should it cover just travel into the EU, or travel out of the EU as well or travel within the EU in addition? Seven governments want all three categories (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, France, Romania and the UK). All wanted it to cover terrorism and serious organised crime - the UK wants it to cover "general public policy purposes" as well.
As to the "onward transfer" of PNR data nine governments (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and the UK) want the data to be passed outside the EU to third countries."
See Statewatch's Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) (2011)
EU: New Statewatch Analysis: Implementing the “principle of availability”: The European Criminal Records Information System - The European Police Records Index System - The Information Exchange Platform for Law Enforcement Authorities (pdf) by Chris Jones:
"“All three systems demonstrate that attempts to permit law enforcement agencies to function inside the borderless EU frequently take place at the expense of the individual rights that the European Union is supposedly founded upon.”
See also Statewatch's Observatory: IT Systems and Information Exchange for Police and Judicial Cooperation in the European Union
FRANCE: Roma being carted off outside Paris in tram 'reminiscent of wartime France': "A police operation in which Roma gipsies were carted off from an illegal camp outside Paris in a specially-requisitioned tram has been denounced as reminiscent of the deportation of Jews in wartime France." (Daily Telegraph, link)
UK: Another government U-turn: Government move to relocate terror suspects (Independent, link) and Ministers plan emergency law to move terror suspects (BBC News, link)
EU: European Investigation Order: Investigative measures: The EIO would introduce a single regime for obtaining evidence held and gathered in another EU Member States:
- Scope to cover all investigative measures (including covert ones) to gather evidence. This would cover "interception of telecommunications, infiltration, observations etc"
- A request from another Member State cannot be refused even if it would not be authorised under national law.
EU: European Parliament: EP transport committee votes in favour of body scanners (euobserver, link). See also: Germany ditches body scanners after repeat false alerts (euobserver, link)
Germany introduces biometric cards for foreigners (DW-World,DE, link): "From Thursday, September 1, non-EU citizens living in Germany will be given electronic chip cards in place of their existing paper residence permits. The cards will contain a biometric photo and two fingerprints. Cardholders will also be given an individual PIN code. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees claims storing such biometric data will help prevent identity theft. But, at a cost of 110 euros ($159) each, the new cards won't come cheap."
EU: Council of the European Union: High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration (HLWG) - Summary of discussions (pdf), includes 10 page Annex on: RELEX general overview on Migration from the Presidency.
USA: Congressional Research Service: U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (pdf):
"some observers note that U.S.-EU counterterrorism cooperation is complicated by different EU and member state competencies, and U.S. policy references. An increasing number of policy areas relevant to counterterrorism—including data protection, customs, and visas—fall under the competence of the Union (i.e., EU members adopt a common policy, agree to abide by its terms, and negotiate collectively with other countries). However, at times, the United States continues to prefer to negotiate on some issues—such as the VWP—bilaterally, and observers assert that this disconnect can lead to frictions in the U.S.-EU relationship."
EU: Council of the European Union: European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS): Draft Manual for practitioners - ECRIS (48 pages, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Europol Work Programme 2012 (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal for amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Joint Police Operation EUROCAR (pdf). A new EU-wide policing operation is planned for September 2011. See: Final report on Joint Police Operation AUTOMOTOR (pdf): Two-day operation with 17 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Estonia, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Hungary, as well as candidate country Croatia. This involved 21,636 officers and resulted in checking (controlling): motor vehicles: 150,484, people 156,510 and checking 154,022 documents. The number of "hits"/results were: motor vehicles:145; persons: 123; and concerning documents: 34. In addition at the external borders 112,341 controls were carried out, which resulted in 62 "hits"/results. For motor vehicles the "hits"/results were 0.96% and even less for checks on people and documents (0.022%). See also: Final report on Joint Police Operation RAILS (24-Blue) (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Conclusions on Counter-Terrorism (pdf): "the Council underlines the importance of respecting international law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and promoting the rule of law and criminal justice approach to counter-terrorism."
EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative.. for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Protection order - Follow-up to the meeting of the COPEN Working Party on 25 July 2011 (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: ACTA: Legislative Act: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore, the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America (pdf). See also: EU-ACTA: Opinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (EU doc no: 6077-rev-6-11, pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations (pdf) by Matthias Monroy:
Examination of several recently exposed cases suggests that the main targets of police public order operations are anti-globalisation networks, the climate change movement and animal rights activists.
European Commission: Research and Innovation: Consultation on scientific information in the digital age (link)
EU: "Troublemakers" database still on the agenda: See the Outcomes of the Council of the European Union DAPIX Working Party: 11891/11 (p5, pdf). It will be recalled that the notion of creating an EU-wide database on "troublemakers" regarding public order was resurrected by the Swedish Presidency and put into the Stockholm Programme. These Outcome state that, unlike the usual EU process of "harmonising" existing national laws, on the issue (defined as "travelling violent offenders": "no legal definition of the term exists in any of the MS" so Commission is funding a study to come up with "at least three definitions of the term". It should be noted that discussions in Council Working Parties in 2008-2009 were not limited to "offenders" (ie: those convicted of a public order offence) but extended to "suspected" or potential "troublemakers".
See: The right to protest: “Troublemakers” and “travelling violent offenders [undefined] to be recorded on database and targeted by Tony Bunyan (pdf): ""Since the onset of the EU’s response to the “war on terrorism” the prime targets have been Muslim and migrant communities together with refugees and asylum-seekers. Now there is an emerging picture across the EU that demonstrations and the democratic right to protest are among the next to be targeted to enforce “internal security.”
Roma campaigners dismiss Brussels' claim on evictions and expulsions - France and Italy among member states still breaking up camps and deporting EU citizens contrary to announcement, NGOs say (Guardian, link): "Victoria Vasey, the legal director for the Hungary-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), warned: "Expulsions are still primarily occurring in France and Italy. Expulsions continue in Germany as well, but this tends to be of Kosovan Roma citizens, and as such are not covered by EU law. "The statement from the commission today celebrating its strategies is obviously quite different from what is happening on the ground," she continued. "Contrary to their claims of combatting expulsion, this hasn't happened. There has been little effort so far.""
EU: Article 29 data protection working party: Opinion 13/2011 on Geolocation services on smart mobile devices (WP 185, pdf)
UK: THREE MORE DEATHS INVOLVING POLICE: INQUEST press release: Police must be reminded they cannot act with impunity following alarming rise in deaths after the use of force (pdf) and see: Deaths in police custody (link)
- Inquiry as rugby league player, 25, dies after he was pepper-sprayed and arrested by 'ELEVEN officers' (Daily Mail, link): "The mother-of-three claimed: 'What the police did was outrageous. He was handcuffed, on the floor with his legs restrained and they didn't even have the decency to pull up his pants. 'They seemed to be kneeing him in the back of the head. I counted 11 cops. They were all sat on him, giving him a kicking and giving him side digs. There was one woman officer, the rest were men, and she was getting her kicks in as well.... "They had banged his head on the floor and they were giving him punches. He was already handcuffed and he was restrained when I saw him."
- Bodybuilder dies after police blast him three times with a Taser gun (Daily Mail, link)
These follow: Mark Duggan did not shoot at police, says Independent Police Complaints Commission (Guardian, link) The shooting by police that sparked the riots.
EU: Council of the European Union: Final report on Joint Police Operation AUTOMOTOR (pdf): Two-day operation with 17 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Estonia, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Hungary, as well as candidate country Croatia. This involved 21,636 officers and resulted in checking (controlling): motor vehicles: 150,484, people 156,510 and checking 154,022 documents. The number of "hits"/results were: motor vehicles:145; persons: 123; and concerning documents: 34. In addition at the external borders 112,341 controls were carried out, which resulted in 62 "hits"/results. For motor vehicles the "hits"/results were around 0.003% and even less for checks on people and documents. See also: Final report on Joint Police Operation RAILS (24-Blue) (pdf)
EU-USA: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the MLA/Extradition Agreements with the US – next steps (pdf). See: Agreements on Extradition and on Mutual Legal Assistance between the EU and the US (2003)
In 2003 the EU and he USA signed two agreements: one on extradition and the other on mutual legal assistance. This took six years to formalise (28 October 2009) and both Agreement came into force on 1 February 2010. Under Article 3 of the Agreements their scope is defined in relation to, first, existing US bilateral mutual legal assistance agreements with EU Member States and second, to come into play where existing agreements are silent. This requires lawyers, journalists and researchers in each EU state to track through bilateral treaties with the USA and the case-law related to them.
This is confirmed in this CATS (Article 36 Committee) document which discusses the idea of a common Handbook and concluded that: "The majority of delegations was of the opinion that a Handbook... serve little practical purpose, as the practitioners did not base their requests on the EU-US Agreements, but rather on the bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties each Member State had with the United States." [emphasis added]
See: Draft Handbook (pdf)
The Presidency also reported: "a number of problems in the cooperation with the US arise from differences in the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the agreements, for example the Article 4 of the MLA Agreement (identification of bank information)."
Italy/north Africa: Concern over the violation of rights of migrants who were refused entry, expelled, held in detention centres, asylum seekers and foreign workers
A document produced by ASGI (Associazione di Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione) raises several concerns over the treatment of migrants who arrived in Italy as a result of political turmoil in the north African countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia since December 2010.
France: "The law of France must be respected" : In the past few weeks, the prefecture of Gironde has proved very keen on chasing irregular migrants, sometimes with no respect for the legal procedures and judicial decisions made. This has been criticised by the magistrates' trade union.
EU: European Commission: Report from the Commission on the application in 2010 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf). The Commission's annual report on public access to its document again makes very pitiful reading:
a) 26.42% of requests for documents are refused under Article 4.3 of the Regulation - to protect the "space to think", to keep secret documents under discussion;
b) the number of applications for documents has risen from 5,055 (2009) to 6,127 which is no at all surprising as the Commission's public register of documents is pathetic.
c) There are just 5,109 user sessions per month on the Commission's public register of documents - by way of comparison the Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC) has 12,600 user sessions a month. This is primarily because the Commission's public register contains less than 10% of the documents it produces or receives and may of these do not give access to the document itself.
It will be recalled that Statewatch lodged a successful complaints with the European Ombudsman on the Commission's failure to maintain a complete register of documents under Article 11 of the Regulation on public access to documents: See: : Statewatch wins European Ombudsman complaint against the European Commission over its public register of documents – but it refuses to comply (pdf)
Council of Europe: Human Rights Commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg: Excessive use of pre-trial detention runs against human rights (pdf):
"Twenty-five per cent of the individuals kept in prison in Europe today are in pretrial detention, “detained on remand”. They have not been tried at all or are waiting for the review of an earlier sentence. As their guilt is not established, they are in principle to be regarded as innocent."
See also: Recommendation Rec(2006)13 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the use of remand in custody, the conditions in which it takes place and the provision of safeguards against abuse (pdf) and European Commission: A Green Paper on the application of EU criminal justice legislation in the field of detention (pdf)
UK: Long Lartin unit for terror suspects criticised (BBC News, link): "The unit holds seven men suspected but not convicted of terrorism, while they await deportation or extradition.... The Long Lartin detainee unit is separate from the main prison and the men, all accused of links to Islamist extremism, are held in maximum-security conditions." See: Report on an unannounced follow-up inspection of the detainee unit at HMP Long Lartin 4 – 6 April 20 11 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (pdf)
Spain: Neighbourhood groups' report on racist identity checks in Madrid:
The Brigadas Vecinales de Observación de Derechos Humanos (BVODH, Neighbourhood Brigades to observe human rights compliance) is a coalition involving citizens in Madrid who have taken up the task of mounting a response to "discriminatory social control policies" in their neighbourhoods which they describe as "racist, xenophobic and classist", in particular as regards identity checks in the streets enacted by the police. This report, "Informe sobre los controles de identidad racistas en Madrid (2010/2011)", is the product of their monitoring work on discriminatory identity checks between 10 December 2009 (a total of 445,000 people were identified by officers in Madrid in the whole of 2009) and 10 May 2011. See: Informe sobre los controles de identidad racistas en Madrid (2010/2011), 29.7.2011 (Spanish, pdf)
UK: The violence of the violated (IRR News Service, link) by A Sivanandan: "there's so much anger right across society - not just in these kids. This is not the end of rebellion, it is the beginning."
UK: Deaths in detention centres (Free Movement, link): "“[T]he High Court ruled on Friday 5 August in S v SSHD  EWHC 2120 (Admin) that the UKBA had unlawfully detained a man with serious mental illness between April and September 2010 and that the circumstances of his detention at Harmondsworth breached Article 3 ECHR, the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment… It is believed to be the first time that a UK court has found detention at an immigration removal centre to have breached Article 3 and the case has been adjourned for the issue of relief and damages to be considered”
Statewatch Observatory: UK: Surveillance statistics: 1937 - 2010
The Interception of Communications Commissioner's report for 2010 shows that in England, Wales and Scotland the number of warrants issued plus the number of "modifications" (where previously a new warrant would have to have been issued) rose from 7,602 to 8,274.
During the Second World War the highest yearly total for warrants (for phone tapping and mail-opening) issued was 1,682. This figure, despite the Cold War and the activities of the Provisional IRA, was not surpassed until 1998 (1,763). Since 1997 the number of annual surveillance warrants (and modifications) issued has risen from 1,712 to 8,274 (2010).
See also: Understanding UK surveillance statistics
UK riots MI5 joins social messaging trawl for riot organisers - Intelligence agency asked to crack encrypted messages – especially on BlackBerry Messenger – to help police (Guardian, link) and UK riots: Thousands more officers will be trained in tackling riots, says Theresa May
(Daily Telegraph, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: European Police Chiefs Convention (pdf): "The mass of data available for investigation, especially pertaining to cyber-crime and economic crime, is a clear challenge to established law enforcement capability. It is already no longer possible or efficient to seek to identify and procesute all suspects for these crimes." (emphasis in original)
"Growing immigration flows will impact on terrorism and extremism: The insular nature of some immigration and the lack of integration into societies could lead to and increase in right-wing extremism in the EU." (emphasis in original)
"De-radicalisation and prevent of radicalisation: As radicalisation has been rather extensively studied in the pat years, the key action needed is the de-radicalisation of radicalised individuals in society" (emphasis in original)
UK: England riots: Government mulls social media controls (BBC News, link) David Cameron considers banning suspected rioters from social media (Guardian, link) The government is exploring whether to ban people from using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity and stop people texting during times of social unrest.
UK: Mark Duggan did not shoot at police, says Independent Police Complaints Commission (Guardian, link) Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked London's riots, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. Two bullets were fired by a firearms officer, not three as was originally reported by police. A loaded gun is reported to have been found in Duggan's sock but there is no evidence that the weapon was fired. See also: Met should disclose facts behind Mark Duggan's death (Guardian, link)
UK: 1981 "Uprisings": Many current accounts tend to collapse the events of 1981. There were two phases, the first was in Brixton over the weekend of 11-12 April 1981 following "Swamp 81", a mass police stop and search operation . The second more widespread outbreaks were between 3-12 July 1981 including 12 areas in London plus Toxteth (Liverpool), Manchester, Preston, Hull, Wolverhampton,Reading, Birmingham, Luton, Chester, Leicester, Leeds and Huddersfield. Two articles by Tony Bunyan in State Research Bulletin describe what happened: April 1981: Brixton: New facts emerge (pdf) and The July riots (pdf). Already the scale of the 2011 riots exceed that of 1981 and the burning and looting of homes, shops and stores was not a major feature back then when the targets were largely the police.
UK: RIOTS: On the fourth night of disturbances, 9 August, they extended to Wolverhampton, Birmingham, West Bromwich, Salford, Manchester and Nottingham, Birkenhead and Toxteth (Liverpool) again. See: UK riots: Trouble erupts in English cities (BBC News, link). In London there was a virtual "lockdown" with 16,000 police on the streets compared with 6,000 the night before and many shops, businesses and council offices shutting by mid-afternoon.
UK: RIOTS: London riots: Parliament to be recalled (BBC News, link). Third night of disturbances, 8 August: In London: Hackney, Colliers Wood, Catford, Ealing, Woolwich, Clpaham, East Dulwich, Lewisham, Leeds (Chapeltown), Camden, Peckham, Ilford, Woodford Green, Chalk Farm , Canning Town, Brixton and outside London in: Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Bristol and Toxteth (Liverpool): London riots: conflagration and carnage in the capital and beyond (Guardian, link). See also: Hackney rioters directly target police (Guardian, link) together with Truly extraordinary speech by fearless West Indian woman in face - Hackney (Video, Twitvid, link). And another incident: "We've detoured to Dalston where a bus was set on fire in shacklewell lane earlier. The single deck bus is now cordoned off and there doesn't seem to be much damage, but the incident has clearly shaken the large Turkish community here. Many shopkeepers are on the street talking about how they chased away the gang of youths behind the bus fire." (from: Axis of Logic), see also Dalston People (link) and Hackney Citizen (link)
UK: Nick Clegg "warns" of riots if Tories are elected (11Apr10) (Youtube, link) Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats is now Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition government
UK-LONDON: Saturday, 6 August: Tottenham riots: a peaceful protest, then suddenly all hell broke loose - Shops looted, vehicle torched and police injured in full-scale riot that spread across north-London suburbs (Guardian, link) and We warned Tottenham situation could get out of control – community leaders - Police branded 'absolutely culpable' after more than 100 people left waiting to see senior officer at station (Guardian, link)
Saturday 6 August: Tottenham riots: relatives of dead man say they didn't want violence - Police have been criticised for failing to communicate clearly with the family who say they feel isolated, unsupported and ignored (Guardian, link): "On Thursday evening, as [Mark] Duggan was on his way home in a minicab, his death at the hands of armed police from the specialist firearms unit C019 lit the touchpaper for riots which many people had hoped never to witness again."
Sunday 7 August: London riots: Looting and violence continues (BBC News, link) and Was Tottenham's riot a cry of rage? (BBC News, link)
Comment: Tottenham riots: This could happen in a dozen boroughsI don't know what could have been done to avoid last night's explosion of resentment and criminality. But I'm grimly confident of its potential elsewhere (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Single permit Directive, Discrimination Directive, Asylum reception conditions:
- Early 2nd reading deal: Proposal for a Directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State - Political agreement (pdf)
- Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation - Consolidated text (pdf)
- Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers
(Recast) (including Member State objections, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest - Orientation debate (pdf)
UK: Report by the Children’s Commissioner: Landing in Kent: The experiences of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK (pdf)
UK: Fingerprint breakthrough offers new forensic evidence (BBC News, link): "Tests detect substances a suspect has touched - Links 'key to forensic research' Australia fingerprints discovery. A technology to extract fingerprints from a crime scene could show if a criminal suspect has taken drugs or been in contact with explosives. Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have developed a way to capture fingerprints that can identify substances touched, and secretions from a person's body."
UK: Letter from 10 NGOs boycotting torture inquiry (pdf) See also: Human rights groups to boycott inquiry into British torture and rendition - Liberty says Gibson torture inquiry will be 'waste of time and money' because it lacks credibility and transparency (Guardian, link)
BRUSSELS: 10-11 SEPTEMBER 2011: IFJ Conference on Journalism in the Shadow of Terror Laws: Conference flyer (pdf)
10 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) in New York and Washington, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) are organising a global conference on ' Journalism in the Shadow of Terror Laws' in Brussels on 10 -11 September 2011. Objective: To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, discuss the impact of anti-terror legislation on civil liberties and the work of journalists and to examine the way forward.
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union Wins Freedom of Speech Case at European Court of Human Rights (link): "On July 19th, after a lengthy legal battle, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled in favour of journalist Peter Uj, represented by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. The journalist criticized the state owned Tokaj Kereskedoház (Hungarian winery) and specifically characterized it’s wine as shit. Criminal charges (defamation and criminal libel) initiated by the Tokaj Kereskedoház were pressed against him.”
Full-text: Court judgment (pdf)
UK Border Agency: Chief Inspector report: The use of country of origin information in deciding asylum applications: A thematic inspection (pdf)
"“The Agency did not produce country information reports for all the countries whose nationals may undergo either the non-suspensive appeals process or the detained fast–track. As a result, people who had no right to appeal before being removed or whose cases were processed very quickly were at particular risk where there were inconsistent approaches to obtaining country information”
“17% of reasons for refusal letters (12 cases) from our file sample showed either the selective use of country information or unjustified assertions based on the evidence available. Over 13% of reasons for refusal letters (7 cases) included country information which was, at best, tangential to the issues relevant to the asylum claim” “The Agency was only able to provide 84 of the 100 files requested and only 42 of these were provided for the original period requested.”
EU: Council of the European Union: The future of CATS is up for discussion: EU doc no: 13206-11 (pdf). In 1993 the Maastricht Treaty provided the legal basis for the K4 Committee (senior officials from Member States' Interior Ministries) dealing with the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) area of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Under the Amsterdam Treaty this was re-named at the Article 36 Committee (CATS). In the hierarchy of decision-making (both legislative or operational) measures are drafted at Working Party level (law enforcement officers and officials) which passes "sensitive" issues up to CATS for guidance before they are agreed by COREPER (the permanent representations of each Member State in Brussels) prior to formal adoption by the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The Lisbon Treaty provides no legal basis for CATS so COREPER decided on 24 November 2009 to continue its existence until 1 January 2012. (the continued existence of the SCIFA Committee dealing with borders, immigration and asylum is similarly subject to review)
This Presidency Note offers three alternatives: a) abolish CATS, b) keep CATS in its present form and c) "Reform" CATS (the most likely outcome). However, apart from the lack of a legal basis, the Lisbon Treaty created the Standing Committee on operational cooperation in internal security (COSI) - which is preluded from drafting legislation. In addition the Permanent Representations in Brussels have created a new set of players: "JHA Counsellors" who increasingly set the agenda and prepare drafts for the Working Parties.
EU: Council of the European Union: Dublin II, IT agency and VIS (Visa Information System):
- DUBLIN II: Proposal for a Regulation establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast) (pdf)
- IT AGENCY: Final text: Regulation establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (pdf)
- VIS - state of play (pdf). See also: Small steps to big brother: the development of the Visa Information System and the Schengen Information System II is back on track
UK: Grass war? Met police retracts call for public to report anarchists (Guardian, link)
UK: Report your local anarchist (Network for Police Monitoring, link) and Anarchists should be reported, advises Westminster anti-terror police - Islamist terrorists also mentioned in briefing, as anarchists complain of being criminalised for their beliefs (Guardian, link). See: Counter Terrorism Focus Desk: City of Westminster: Metropolitan Police (pdf) which says:
"Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local Police."
EU: Small steps to big brother: the development of the Visa Information System and the Schengen Information System II is back on track
- VIS scheduled to "go-live" on 11 October 2011
- SIS II will be "ready for entry into operation during the first quarter of 2013"
EU-COSI: Council of the European Union: Draft Report to the European Parliament and national Parliaments on the proceedings of the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security for the period January 2010 - June 2011 (pdf)
NETHERLANDS: Dutch town enacts own migrant rules (euractiv, link): "Vaals, a town of 10,000 inhabitants in southeast Netherlands, is introducing special rules banning the right of residence of foreigners including EU nationals without the financial means to sustain themselves. The Commission said it would examine the decision closely." See: EU Directive on the right of free movement (2004, pdf)
EU: TURKEY and JHA: UK Home Affairs Select Committee report: Implications for the Justice and Home Affairs area of the accession of Turkey to the European Union (116 pages, pdf)
TURKEY: Turkey battles to keep control of its army (euractiv, link): "Turkey's military and political leaders face a battle to restore order in NATO's second-biggest army today (1 August) at a military council overshadowed by the resignation of its top four generals in protest at the jailing of hundreds of officers."
EU: ACP-EU COTONOU AGREEMENT:African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States: Report on the dialogue on migration and development (pdf)
EU: NORWAY MASS KILLINGS: Press release: Terrorist attack in Norway: Joint meeting of the Terrorism Working Party and COTER (pdf): "It has noted that, as the Oslo attacks have shown once again, terrorism has nothing to do with any particular religion or belief. The EU and its member states have always rejected violence regardless of the motivation - be it right wing or left wing extremist, separatist or religiously motivated terrorism." It might have been expected that the Council Working Parties would have agreed that the EU would commit more resources to tracking far-right extremist groups. In the Europol Annual report on terrorism there were 45 defined "left-wing" attacks (in Greece, Italy and Spain) but none from the "Right-wing" - the definition of "terrorism" used excludes racist attacks and murders. The report noted that far-right, racist and fascist groups appeared to be getting more organised and using the internet and social networking to propagate their views.
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: Student Visas: Follow–up (pdf)
Ground the Drones: Together we can stop the escalating use of armed unmanned aircraft: A Week of Action: 1st - 8th October 2011 (pdf) The Drones Campaign Network comprises 17 NGOs including Statewatch:
"Over the past few years we have witnessed the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, to undertake armed attacks around the globe. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia have all been subject to drone strikes by US or British drones controlled from many thousands of miles away. Palestine is also subjected to drone strikes from Israel.
Although there are claims that the drone strikes are precise and accurate, there are many reports - particular from Pakistan where media are able to obtain first hand reports - of high numbers of civilian casualties. Legal experts as well as peace and human rights organisations have expressed serious concerns about the growing use of armed drones and even some within the British Ministry of Defence have raised questions about the push towards greater autonomy for armed drones.
As part of International Keep Space for Peace Week, during the week of 1st to 8th October, the Drones Campaign Network is encouraging organisations, local groups and individuals to engage in actions to both raise public awareness about drones and to engage in action to 'ground the drones."
See: For more details
GERMANY: Federal Constitutional Court - Press office: Data Retention in present form is unconstitutional (March 2010, link)
UK: Restraining technique used by officials 'increases risk of death - 'Researchers say volunteers who were restrained while leaning forward in a seated position reported being unable to breathe (Guardian, link) and See: Medicine, Science and the Law (link)
EU-COE-ECHR-ACCESSION: Final version: 8th Working meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the accession of the EU to the ECHR (CDDH-UE) with the European Commission (pdf)
EU: EP Minutes on latest trilogue meeting between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament: Draft Report on the Proposal for a Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings (pdf)
EU-SCHENGEN: France and Italy acted against 'spirit' of EU's border laws (euobserver, link): "Both France and Italy acted within the law with measures taken to counter the thousands of Tunisian immigrants coming to the EU earlier this year, but they breached the "spirit" of the EU's freedom of movement agreement, the EU commission has said."
UK: London Metropolitan University: ‘Suspect Communities’? Counter-terrorism policy, the press, and the impact on Irish and Muslim communities in Britain (pdf) Report of a research project: A comparative study of the representations of ‘suspect’ communities in multi-ethnic Britain and of their impact on Muslim and Irish communities 1974-2007. By Prof. Mary J Hickman and Prof. Lyn Thomas (Institute for the Study of European Transformations, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University), Dr Sara Silvestri (Department of International Politics, City University London), Dr Henri Nickels (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Vienna, Austria)
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: Unauthorised tapping into or hacking of mobile communications (68 pages, pdf)
EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: European Court of Justice: The Court of Justice partially sets aside the judgment of the General Court and partially annuls the decisions of the Commission refusing access to certain of its internal documents relating to a closed merger procedure (Press release) and Full-text of judgment (pdf): Concerning Article 4.3 of the EU Regulation on public access to documents: "In order to justify its refusal, the Commission must set out the specific reasons supporting the conclusion that their disclosure would seriously undermine the decision-making process of the institution and the protection of legal advice"
EU: European Commission Communication: European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (COM 455, pdf)
UK: Police forces come together to create new regional surveillance units - County forces act jointly to make it easier to bug suspects' computers and phones and carry out covert investigations (Guardian, link). See also: East Midlands Technical Surveillance Unit (pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Germany: Policing popular mass protests: The transport of nuclear waste at Goelben (pdf)
In 1977 the village of Gorleben became a storage site for radioactive nuclear waste which is the target of regular protests - involving a large proportion of the village's population and a large police operation.
Statewatch analysis: Germany: Berlin police chief sentenced: Eight shots were not self-defence (pdf)
It is not often that police officers face serious charges in court. The investigation into the police shooting that took the life of Dennis J. was repeatedly delayed, but did result in a trial that saw police officers sentenced for their actions. The judgement was right in principle, but disappointing in its sentence.
EU: European Parliament: The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA): an assessment (pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: UK: The death of Jimmy Mubenga: “Securing your world” through privatised manslaughter (pdf) by Trevor Hemmings
Jimmy Mubenga's death during his removal by private security company civilian staff is indicative of the treatment forced removals are subjected to. Government bodies, campaigning organisations and medical charities have all condemned the "excessive force" applied during forced removals, and criticised private security companies for breaching their duty of care.
UK: Joint Parliamentary Human Rights Committee Report: Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Joint EU police operation involving 17 288 officers from 17 states, searching 5531 trains, 6434 railway junctions and 1014 commercial sites selling metal and non-ferrous metal. 39 891 persons were subject to police measures: Final report on Joint Police Operation RAILS (24-Blue) (pdf):
"JPO RAILS (24-Blue) focused essentially on checking the passenger trains and railway border-crossing points at the international level from the criminal investigation and policing point of view. Law enforcement authorities of 16 European countries – mainly members of the RAILPOL network – and of the United States of America participated in the operation." In May 2011:
The following countries participated in the operation: France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, Luxembourg, the United States of America, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland and the Frontex agency.
"During JPO RAILS (24-Blue), 17 participating countries carried out checks involving 17 288 officers, in the course of which 5531 trains, 6434 railway junctions and 1014 commercial sites selling metal and non-ferrous metal were checked. Out of the 39 891 persons subject to police measures, 861 were subject to measures restricting their personal freedom. In the course of the operation 18,63 tons of metal and non-ferrous metal were seized, 17,53 tons of which by the Hungarian authorities. The Hungarian customs authority recovered a significant amount of metal at an illegal commercial site. In addition, Germany seized 0,5 tons and Austria seized 0,6 tons of metal. As a result of checks carried out during the operation, 213 grams of drugs (12,1 grams of heavy and 200,9 grams of light drugs) were seized."
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA ("Prüm Decisions") - Implementation guide - DNA Data Exchange (51 pages, pdf. Updated detailed Guide to the "automated" exchange (access to) DNA records under the Prum data exchange system
EU: European Commission: Press Statement: Persistent concerns about Danish border measures - European Commission to intensify monitoring (pdf)
- 1st reading "deal": Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice – Outcome of the European Parliament's first reading (pdf)
Contains full-text of "compromise" 1st reading agreement between the Council and the European Parliament
EU: European Security Roundtable report: European Cyber Security Conference (pdf):
"“A holistic approach including civil-military cooperation and public-private partnership needs to be applied for a more secure cyber space as well as to counter
“Overall, cyber security should not be seen as a NATO or an EU issue but rather as a national issue, and various instruments available within the NATO and EU framework should be used in a coordinated way.”
"“A public-private dialogue can be very powerful and is very important, albeit right now there still remains fragmentation.”
EU: Council of the European Union: Law Enforcement Working Party: Results of the questionnaire on police cooperation with non-EU countries in the area of sports events security (pdf):
"The questionnaire consisted of 21 questions and was distributed to 35 addressees, including 27 Member States, 7 non-EU countries - Switzerland (CH), Croatia (HR), Turkey (TR), Serbia (RS), Russia (RU), Ukraine (UA), Israel (IL), and Europol. Replies were received from 30 countries"
"Function creep": In 26 countries (AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, ES, NL, LT, LV, DE, PL, PT, RO, SK, SI, SE, HU, IT, CH, HR, RS, UA) the tasks of NFIPs [National Football Information Points] are not limited to the exchange of information in relation to football matches. They also exchange information concerning security issues in relation to the following sports events: basketball, volleyball, handball, ice and field hockey, water sports, skiing, tennis, athletics, etc."
"Geographical creep": "As regards joint supportive actions in cooperation with non-EU countries, 22 countries (AT, BE, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, ES, NL, DE, PT, RO, SK, SI, SE, UK, IT, HU, CH, HR, TR, UA) and Europol have carried out such actions (joint police operations, deployment of spotters, etc). Joint supportive actions with non-EU countries are usually based on bilateral agreements and other legal acts..."
Background: Council Conclusions, including the text of the updated Football Handbook (2010, pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Council Conclusions on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration, adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 25-26 February 2010 (pdf). These documents concern the implementation of the Council Conclusions:
- Final report and recommendations of Project Group "Measure 6" (EU doc no: 7942-REV 2-11, pdf): "The objective of this Project Group "Measure 6" is: "To improve the collection, processing and systematic exchange of relevant information between FRONTEX, other EU Agencies and Member States"."
- Implementation of Council Conclusions on 29 Measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration: analysis of the replies to the questionnaire on "MS needs and capacities regarding Common Pre-Frontier Intelligence Picture (CPIP)" (12542-11, pdf)
- Analysis of the replies to the questionnaire on "MS needs and capacities regarding Common Pre-Frontier Intelligence Picture (CPIP)" - Compilation of replies: Detailed Member State responses (EU doc no: 12542-ADD1-11, 119 pages, pdf)
EU STATE-BUILDING: Council of the European Union: External Justice and Home Affairs (JAIEX): Analysis of replies received to the questionnaire on the improvement of JAIEX working methods (pdf): Linking the internal and external aspects of Justice and Home Affairs - includes Member State positions.
ITALY-GENOA: European Democratic Lawyers (AED - EDL) and European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH) Conference: Genoa 2001-2011: Ten Years of attacks on fundamental rights - the role of lawyers (link) and Programme (pdf). Gilberto Pagani (President AED-EDL) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) addressing the Conference
Statewatch Analysis: Public order and demonstrations in Italy: Heavy-handed policing, militarisation and prohibition (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
"Since the traumatic events of the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001 the right to protest has increasingly been limited. Government restrictions have been wide-ranging and indiscriminate and affected a diverse range of groups including students, migrants, shepherds and manual labourers."
Statewatch Analysis: Lubricating the flow of information in the EU (pdf) by Eric Töpfer:
"The EU Information Management Strategy (IMS), is meant to include a strong data protection regime. However, while the first practical steps have been taken, fundamental rights are falling behind."
EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Opinion on the definition of consent (WP 187, pdf)
EU: Article 29 Data Protection Working Party: Opinion on data protection issues related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (WP 186, pdf) and Annex (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Commission implementing Decision of 1 July 2011 amending the SIRENE Manual (pdf). The SIRENE Manual is used by the National SIRENE Bureaux of Schengen Member States to access records via the SIS (Schengen Information System)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: The revised directive on Refugee and Subsidiary Protection status (pdf), by Steve Peers, University of Essex:
"The Council and European Parliament have apparently agreed a "first-reading" deal on revising the EU's Directive on the definition and content of refugee and subsidiary protection status (the "qualification Directive"). Taken in isolation, the new rules are a modest improvement on the existing legislation. But seen in a broader context, they leave untouched the more troubling aspects of the EU's regime on asylum and border control....
Addressing [one of the main] problems will require either an effective system for suspending transfers to Member States which fail to apply the EU's rules, or a profound rethink of the processes used to ensure that Member States apply EU law in practice."
SPAIN: Network of associations publishes in-depth report on torture
"On 10 June 2011, the Coordinadora para la prevención de la tortura (CPDT), a network of over 40 associations from different backgrounds that work in this field, presented the seventh edition of its exemplary report on torture in Spain, which covers the year 2010."
EU-TFTP-SWIFT: European Commission Communication: A European terrorist finance tracking system: available options (COM 429, pdf)
UK: Intelligence and Security Committee Annual Report 2010-2011 (pdf) and Press Release, pdf). See also: Politicians demand more power over intelligence agencies - Parliamentary intelligence and security committee, criticised for lack of muscle, asks for bigger role in scrutinising MI5 and MI6 (Guardian, link)
European Court of Justice: Advocate-General Opinion: Advocate General Sharpston suggests that the Court reject France’s appeal against the General Court’s judgment removing PMOI from the EU terrorist list (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of Opinion (pdf)
USA: Government Accountability Office (GAO): Aviation Security TSA Has Taken Actions to Improve Security, but Additional Efforts Remain (pdf)
European Parliament: Counter-terrorism policy needs proper evaluation, says Civil Liberties Committee (Press release, pdf) and Draft Report (pdf): Rapporteur: Sophia in 't Veld
EU: Danish border controls break Schengen law: experts (EUbusiness, link)
UK: COUNTER-TERRORISM: CONTEST: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism (pdf). See also: Counter-terrorism strategy driven by 'cyberjihad' threat - Home secretary Theresa May promises new generation of technology to tackle extremists' rapidly changing strategies (Guardian, link)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: The Frontex Regulation – Consolidated text after 2011 amendments (33 pages, pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex
EU "SMART BORDERS"?: Frontex Call for Tender: “Aerostats and Rapid Deployment Unattended Ground Sensor systems for Land border surveillance” (pdf) and Talos (link):
"project is aimed at designing, implementing and field-testing a prototype of adaptable and transportable border surveillance system (Transportable Adaptable Patrol for Land Border Surveillance - TALOS).
Like existing surveillance systems, TALOS is going to use sensors allowing to detect people, vehicles and hazardous substances, crossing the unregulated land border. Innovative concept behind the project is that the sensors will be carried by unmanned vehicles having a high degree of autonomy.
This will give TALOS the advantage of cost effectiveness and surveillance capabilities not available to conventional systems based on static sensors.
TALOS project consortium is formed of experienced research teams from industry, research and academia from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Israel, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey."
See also: The robot armies at our borders by Ben Hayes (Neoconopticon, link)
EU: Commission to propose new EU anti-terrorism tool (euobserver, link)
The European Commission will on Wednesday (12 July) suggest that the EU sets up its own financial data analysis system, allowing the EU to stop transferring bulk data to the US for anti-terrorism purposes. It is set to put forward three options and their corresponding budgets for the establishment of an EU "Terrorism Finance Tracking System" (TFTS), ranging from €33 million to €47 million to set up and another €7 million to €11 million a year to operate
EU: Council of the European Union:
- European Criminal Record Information System: ECRIS - State of play (pdf)
- European Investigation Order: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - strategic debate regarding Chapter IV of the draft directive at CATS (pdf)
- "Prüm Decisions" - statistics and reports on automated data exchange Proposal for common statistics regarding DNA data exchange (pdf)
EU: Member States to be bound by new security rules, Parliament adopts same restrictions
"The 27 EU-ambassadors in Brussels have agreed to make internal security rules for information binding law in the member countries. The 15 top members of the European Parliament have decided on similar rules. Information ”disadvantageous” to the EU shall not be disclosed to the public."
- The Future of the Schengen Area (pdf)
- Moving ahead in the negotiations on the Common European Asylum System (pdf)
- Smart borders in the Schengen space (pdf)
- New challenges to EU anti-drug policy (pdf)
- Justice Agenda (pdf)
- Possible EU actions - supporting victims of crime (pdf)
- Contract law (pdf)
"The lack of hospitality within the policy of European states has reached such an appalling level that it is our duty to act and to show the possibility of a Euro-Mediterranean area based on solidarity and respect for Human Rights.
Following their meeting in Cecina (Italy), the Euro-Mediterranean organisations in favour of migrants’ rights decided to charter a flotilla which will proceed to maritime surveillance so that assistance is provided finally to people in danger. The participatory organisations would also like to call on the European bodies and governments on both sides of the Mediterranean for establishing relations within this common area on the basis of exchange and reciprocity."
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor: EDPS calls on the European Commission to ensure that safeguards for online behavioural advertising are respected (Press Release, pdf) and Speech: "Do not track or right on track? – The privacy implications of online behavioural advertising" (pdf):
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: “Systematic tracking and tracing of consumer behaviour online is a highly intrusive practice and is now rightly subject to more stringent requirements. Although initiatives for increased transparency and consumer control in the online environment are most welcome, this should not result in a limitation of consumer rights. The European Commission should avoid any ambiguity as to its determination in making sure that these rights are delivered in the European Union.”
EU: European Arrest Warrant (EAWs): Updated figures: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant – Year 2010 (pdf)
- Agreement between the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, regarding the protection of classified information exchanged in the interests of the European Union (OJ, pdf)
- Draft COSI 18-month Work Programme (pdf)
- Draft 2nd action list for the implementation of IMS - Information Management Strategy for EU internal security (pdf)
- Fourth Implementation Report of the "Strategy for the External Dimension of JHA: Global Freedom, Security and Justice" by the Council
Secretariat (JAIEX working party) - Period of Reference: January 2010 - June 2011 (pdf)
- JHA External Relations - Trio Programme (Poland, Denmark and Cyprus, pdf)
- Council Decision on the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Mauritius on the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates and associated seized property from the European Union-led naval force to the Republic of Mauritius and on the conditions of suspected pirates after transfer (pdf)
- Action 4.6 "To revise the concept of JCOs" - draft final report (Joint Customs Operations, pdf)
- 18 month programme of the Council (1 July 2011 - 31 December 2012) (JHA sections, pdf)
EU: European Commission: Progress Report on the development of the Second Generation SIS II: July 2010 - December 2010 (COM 391-11, pdf): "Closing a parenthesis of almost two years of difficulties."
EU: Statewatch Briefing: ECRE recommendations to the forthcoming Polish Presidency: Call for a harmonised and upgraded Common European Asylum System (pdf)
UK-ECHR: United Kingdom required to investigate deaths of six civilians killed in Iraq in 2003 in incidents involving British soldiers (Press release, pdf) and Three-year internment of Iraqi civilian by British forces in Iraq violated the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf)
ITALY: Statewatch Analysis: Italy: Series of defeats in court for the “security package” (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico.
"A number of the measures introduced as part of the so-called “security package” adopted in May 2008, in the wake of an election campaign dominated by the law and order agenda and by criticism of migrants and Roma people by members of the coalition led by Berlusconi, have been quashed in a series of recent decisions by the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg."
EU: Statewatch Analysis: “A radically changing political landscape in the Southern Mediterranean”? The Dialogue for Migration, Mobility and Security with the Southern Mediterranean countries (pdf) by Marie Martin:
"The strategy of using the voice of the people on the other side of the Mediterranean to legitimate its policy does not convince anyone: the externalisation of border controls and the management of migration flows remains the top priority on EU’s agenda, far ahead of human rights considerations."
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) - Analysis of the final compromise text with the view to agreement (pdf). This final version refers to changes in the original: Commission Proposal(pdf).
This final "compromise" is the result of six secret 1st reading trilogues between the Council and the European Parliament.
This Council report sets out the next stages with the Commission to carry out a feasibility study on the creation of a "European system of border guards" and to analyse whether to rename "RABITS", "European Boarder Guard Teams".
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection and the content of the protection granted (recast) - Examination of draft compromise text (pdf). Likely to be agreed by COREPER 7 July.
EU: Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law: The Meijers Committee Opinion on: Directive on the use of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (COM(2011)32) (pdf)
EU: Fundamental Rights Agency Report: Migrants in an irregular situation employed in domestic work: Fundamental rights challenges for the European Union and its Member States (68 pages, pdf)
EU: "SMART BORDERS": Commission Background Note (pdf) Covers Registered Traveller Programme (RTP)and the Entry-exit system (ESS), two measures yet to be adopted. The Note makes no mention of the extension of the EES to cover travel within the EU as a majority in the Council are backing nor of ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). The total cost of the RTP and EES between 2013-2020 is estimated to be 1,335 million euro.
European Parliament holds back ACTA documents (Wobbing, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementing the infamous Returns Directive: Questionnaire on defining the conditions under which an entry ban can be imposed and the means by which Member States can have rapid access to information on an entry ban (pdf). See: Statewatch Analysis (pdf) and Against the Outrageous Directive (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Polish, Danish and Cyprus Presidencies: JHA External Relations - Trio Programme (pdf): includes JAIEX mandate and says: "indicates tasks for several Council working parties that will be involved in achieving the goals concerning external relations within the JHA area. JAIEX will contribute to this process mainly by facilitating the exchange of information and providing a forum for strategic and horizontal reflections."
COE-EU-ECHR: Draft final agreement: Draft Legal Instruments on the Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (pdf) and see also: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, replacing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (First reading) - Analysis of the final compromise text with view to a first reading agreement (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings: - Outstanding issues and consolidated text (pdf)
EU-ACTA: Opinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (pdf)
See also: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore, the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America (COM 379, pdf) and COM 380 (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Provisional agendas for Council meetings, during the second semester of 2011 (Polish Presidency) (pdf) Edited for Justice and Home Affairs meetings.
EU US Working Group on Cyber-Security and Cyber-Crime
In response to Parliamentary question 4816/2011 from Marietje Schaake (ALDE, the Netherlands) on Purpose of the EU US Working Group on Cyber-Security and Cyber-Crime, Commissioner Malmström said that: (1) The Commission does not share the Honourable Member's view that little information about agreements with the US can be found. Regarding the EU-US working group (WG) on cyber-security and cyber-crime, the following press statements are publicly available: MEMO/11/246, MEMO/10/597 and PRES/10/315. (2) The EU-US WG will not deal with commercial matters, but is tasked with developing collaborative approaches to a wide range of cyber-security and cyber-crime issues, including cyber-incident management (e.g. joint cyber attack exercises), awareness raising and cybercrime (combating child pornography and the misuse of Internet resources, such as domain names and Internet Protocol addresses). The WG will equally promote the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime in the remaining EU member states and globally. (3) The fact that the threat from cybercrime is growing and represents a social and economic menace to our societies has been established not only by the industry operating in the online environment, but also by public bodies in the EU and internationally, including Europol and Interpol.
EU: TO DOCUMENTS: EU states object to transparency in law-making (euobserver, link): The Council of the European Union has decided to appeal against the decision of the European Court of Justice in the -Info case concerning the publication of Member States position and the "space to think" in secret under Articel 4.3 of the Regulation on to EU documents:
"An EU source told EUobserver that potentially the positions of states on all subjects and discussions at the level of working group could be opened up for public scrutiny: "The decision-making process as established, the 'space to think' must be protected. This is what is at stake.... one source close the matter told EUobserver that a full 20 member states are backing the legal action."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The Council are trying to bully the European Court of Justice by weight of numbers to protect their so-called "space to think" because their argument is patent nonsense. The Council is a legislature together with the European Parliament when adopting EU measures - a "legislature" in a democracy worthy of the name cannot meet in secret. Yet this is the practice the Council wants to perpetuate."
SPYING ON THE EU: Microsoft admits Patriot Act can EU-based cloud data (Zdnet, link)
EU: Giscard: Europe needs a people’s congress (euractiv, link) Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"Interesting thoughts from Valéry Giscard d'Estaing but the "People's Congress" idea is only about meetings of European and national parliaments supplemented by monthly meetings of EU leaders - this is still a "top-down" approach and will not solve "the lack of a European public space" which requires openness, transparency, accountability, a comprehensible decision-making process, enforceable adherence to fundamental rights, and encouraging diversity and dissent."
EU: Scientists and NGOs slam Commission's Research funding plans (Press Release, pdf) and Public Research should benefit Society, not Big Business - An Open Letter on the Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding (pdf) signed by ninety-eight civil society and research organisations, including Statewatch, from across Europe:
"In an open letter sent today to the President and Members of the European Commission as well as the European Parliament and the EU Member states, 98 civil society and research organisations from across Europe warn that the Commission's draft proposals for the next Research funding framework (2014-2020) fail to address the real challenges faced by European societies and call for a research agenda geared towards the needs of society and the environment rather than those of big business."
EU: Statewatch Analysis: “Network with errors”: Europe’s emerging web of DNA databases (pdf) by Eric Topfer:
The networking of European national police databases is progressing. However, the implementation of the “principle of availability” is full of pitfalls, as the practice of DNA data exchange illustrates.
UK: Statewatch Analysis: Review of counter-terrorism powers fails to deliver definitive change (pdf) by Max Rowlands:
The recommendations of the counter-terrorism and security powers review undermine the coalition government’s commitment to restore “hard-won British liberties.”
ECHR-UK: JUDGMENT: European Court of Human Rights judgment: The United Kingdom would violate human rights of two Somali nationals if it returned them to Mogadishu (Press release, pdf) and Judgment: Full-text (pdf):
"The case concerned a complaint by two Somali nationals that they risked being illtreated or killed if returned to Mogadishu. There are currently 214 applications about returns to Somalia pending against the United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights."
EU: Joint contribution of the German, French and United Kingdom delegations regarding the proposals for a directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers and for asylum procedures (pdf) These three EU Member States "lay down the law" for Commission proposals and say:
"So far as the Reception Conditions Directive is concerned, the new proposals should contribute to the good management of the problem of asylum, in the context of the rise in intake, and should not make claiming asylum more attractive or increase costs on Member States."
EU: COUNCIL-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: First reading deal on: Proposal for a Regulation implementing Article 10 of the United Nations’ Firearms Protocol and establishing export authorisation, and import and transit measures for firearms, their parts and components and ammunition (LA + S) (First reading) - Approval of the final compromise text (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, replacing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (First reading) - Analysis of the final compromise text with view to a first reading agreement (pdf) See also: MEPs and Council move to limit child porn: Compromise deal leaves decision to block websites with national governments (European Voice, link)
EU: INTERNAL SECURITY: Letter from the Council Presidency to the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on the work of COSI (Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (pdf)
EU: ACTA: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore, the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America (COM 379, pdf) and COM 380 (pdf)
STATEWATCH CONFERENCE, 25 June 2011: Civil Liberties, the State and the EU: The Conference was attended by over 220 people from 18 European countries: Final agenda (pdf). Videos of the two plenary sessions and two of the workshops will be available soon. Among the many positive post-Conference comments is one that said it was: "informative, inspirational and empowering"
BERLIN: Conference: 29 June 2011: Looking back - moving forward: Ten Years After 9/11
LEAKED: UK copyright lobby holds closed-door meetings with government to discuss national Web-censorship regime (link): "A group of UK copyright lobbyists held confidential, closed-door meetings with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries to discuss a plan to allow industry groups to censor the Internet in the UK. The proposal has leaked, and it reveals a plan to establish "expert bodies" that would decide which websites British people were allowed to see, to be approved by a judge using a "streamlined" procedure. The procedure will allow for "swift" blocking in order to shut down streaming of live events". See: "Confidential document" from "Rightholders" (pdf) See also: Leaked proposals detail copyright holders' website blocking code plans (Out-Law, link)
INTERNET FREEDOM: Civil Society Coalition Declines to Endorse OECD Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making; Urges OECD to Reject “Voluntary” Steps For Filtering and Blocking of Online Content (pdf) and Statement (pdf)
ITALY: ‘They Saw Numbers, We Saw People’ (Inter Press Service, link): "LAMPEDUSA - It’s only a few hundred metres from the rocky hillside overlooking Lampedusa’s commercial port to the other side of the protected bay. For more than a decade this narrow strip of ocean has been a migratory gateway into Europe for tens of thousands of mostly African migrants. The numbers have risen and fallen in response to shifting government policies and geopolitical developments."
EU: Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reach 1st reading deal on amending the FRONTEX Regulation, simultaneous press releases issued: Council: Strengthening the European external borders agency Frontex - Political agreement between Council and Parliament (pdf) and European Parliament: Frontex border guard teams and fundamental rights (pdf)
See: Multi-column document showing the positions of the Commission, Council, the European Parliament and the "compromise" position in 1st reading trilogue discussions: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (EU doc no: 11475-11 ADD 1, 133 pages, 10.6.11, pdf)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee report: The Human Rights Implications of UK Extradition Policy (pdf)
See: Call for overhaul of UK extradition rules (BBC News, link): "The UK's extradition arrangements with the US and the EU must be overhauled to better protect rights of individuals, a committee of MPs and peers is arguing. It said safeguards in US cases were "inadequate", more evidence was needed to justify requests and judges should be able to refuse them if they were not in the "interests of justice"."
and Statewatch Analysis: The new UK-US Extradition Treaty (pdf) by Ben Hayes published in 2003
The week from 20-26 June is Refugee Week, celebrated by many people across the UK, including a wide number of voluntary and refugee organisations seeking to "discover and celebrate the contributions refugees bring to the UK". 2011 also marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on Refugees. Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, recently attended a Refugee Council event in Sheffield where he spoke of Britain's "proud tradition of helping those who need our protection and of giving genuine refugees the support they need to start a new life in the UK". However, the proposed deportation of over 70 Iraqi nationals indicates that the asylum system in the UK continues to violate the rights and dignity of many of those individuals subject to it.
See also: Blockade of Heathrow detention centre to stop Iraq deportation flight (Indymedia, link)
- Scope covers minor crimes: "proportionality of the agreement in question"
- Retention period goes far beyond that of the Agreement with Australia
- Agreement extended to cover US border security: "which is not linked to the purpose of preventing terrorism or serious crime"
- "no judicial redress to data subjects"
- "no guarantee of independent oversight"
- Legal Service advice ignored
See: Note from Commission Legal Services to DG Home Affairs (18.5.11, pdf), EU-US PNR Agreement (20.5.11, pdf) and Air passenger data plans in US-EU agreement are illegal, say lawyers (Guardian, link, pdf). For Background: (2003 - ongoing) Statewatch Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA
"First of all, we regret that the text of such an agreement was not released to the public. From press dispatches, it appears that it provides a clause according to which "the parties will proceed to enact reciprocal assistance and cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration, including the repatriation of immigrants whose situation is irregular".
Secondly, it is evident that, as it is an agreement of a political nature, it can certainly not be concluded in a simplified form, but must first be submitted to the Chambers [of parliament] for approval of the law authorising its ratification in application of art. 80 of the Constitution."
EU: FRONTEX: Council of the European Union: Multi-column document showing the positions of the Commission, Council, the European Parliament and the "compromise" position in 1st reading trilogue discussions: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (EU doc no: 11475-11, 133 pages, pdf)
Czech police was gaining phone statements of Klaus´s aides-press (Noviny, link): "Czech police Marian Hudec from Varnsdorf, north Bohemia, was fraudulently gaining phone calls statements of President Vaclav Klaus´s closest aides, the Interior Ministry´s inspection has found uut, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today. The daily wrote on Saturday already that Hudec, a foreigner police detective, gained Constitutional Court Chairman Pavel Rychetsky´s phone calls statements."
EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Confusion in the Council over key elements of EU-PNR proposal, see Point 4 in: Summary of discussions (pdf). The meeting of the Working Party on General Matters, including Evaluation (GENVAL) heard a presentation from the Council's Legal Service expressing concern at the necessity and proportionality of the proposal under the Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and:
"While some delegations stated that they were convinced of the need for collecting and processing PNR data, others indicated that they faced difficulties in convincing national Parliament of such necessity."
The Commission opposed the UK plan for targeting certain flights "on the grounds that the information gaps it would create in the collection of data within Member States would also hamper the information exchange between Member States as the requested Member State might not have collected the requested PNR data." (emphasis added) and "many Member States also expressed qualms regarding the idea of allowing Member States to restrict the collection of PNR data to targeted flights."
On retention periods: "The discussions showed a divergence of opinions between Member States on what is the appropriate period for retaining data. A few Member States were of the opinion that the initial period of 30 days with full was too long, whereas several other Member States thought it should be longer."
An earlier discussion on EU-PNR and data protection on 2 May 2011: EU doc no: 9502-11 (pdf) contains the classic statement:
"it needs to be kept in mind that the collection and processing of PNR data serves certain law enforcement purposes (set out in Article 4(2)) and therefore care needs to be taken that any data protection arrangements for the collection and processing of PNR data do not defeat the very law
enforcement purposes they are supposed to serve." (emphasis added)
Italy: Moroccan thrown into river by carabinieri drowns
On 24 May 2011, a 24-year-old Moroccan's body was found by a farmer near the river Frassine, eight days after he was arrested by carabinieri (four of whom are under investigation) for drunk and disorderly behaviour during a feast dedicated to ham in the town of Montagnana (Padua). The last time Abderrahman Sahli was seen, was when he was made to board a carabinieri car.
Belgium: Hot potatoes: Academic sacked after expressing approval for anti-GM direct action
- Freedom of speech row following sacking - Critics demand immediate reinstatement
The sacking of an academic researcher from her post has recently been the cause of some controversy in Belgium. On 29 May, environmental activists stormed a field of genetically modified potatoes in Belgium, breaking through a security cordon and destroying the plants located within.
EU: The EURO & DEMOCRACY: The junta of experts tells us: ‘Vote how you like, but policies cannot change' (euobserver, link) Excellent article by Leigh Phillips:
"‘Of course, there is no question that you are still allowed to vote however you like. Nevertheless, the policies absolutely cannot change even if the government does."
And on Greece: "For all intents and purposes, the experts are in the process of overthrowing a government."
EU: Council of the European Union: - Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Attacks against Information Systems, replacing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA: - General approach (pdf) This is their negotiating position with the European Parliament. See also: Position at 23 March 2011 (22 pages, including Member States' positions, pdf)
UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee report: Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011: Stop and Search without Reasonable Suspicion (pdf): Changes required to Stop and Search law to prevent further breaches of human rights, warns Committee. The Chair said: " we believe it needs to be more tightly circumscribed, and it needs tougher legal safeguards if further breaches of human rights are to be avoided." It recommends:
"require the officer authorising stop and search without reasonable suspicion to have a reasonable basis for his or her belief that the authorisation is needed, and to provide an explanation; - prevent the renewal of authorisations other than on the basis of new or additional information, or a fresh assessment of the original intelligence that the threat remains immediate and credible; and - require prior judicial authorisation for this power to stop and search to be available to the police"
EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Opinion on Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention,
detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)
EU: Article 29 Working Party: Opinion: On data protection issues related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (pdf) and Annex (pdf)
EU: Right of to a lawyer: European Commission to guarantee suspects’ rights to speak with a lawyer, inform family of arrest (Press release, pdf) plus Proposal for a Directive on the right of to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest (pdf), Executive Summary of IA (pdf) and Commission Staff Working Paper: Impact Assessment: accompanying the Proposal for a Directive on the rights of to a lawyer (SEC 686, pdf)
EU: SCHENGEN BORDER CONTROLS: European Parliament: Amendments 24 - 93: Draft report Carlos Coelho: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to verify application of the Schengen acquis (pdf): The various proposals for art. 13b and 13c (amendments 84-87) provide for different suggested mechanisms for re-imposing internal border controls.
See also: European Parliament: Plenary session debate, 10 May 2011: Migration flows and asylum and their impact on Schengen (debate) (pdf) and EU: Members states reluctant to let Brussels get a look in on border controls (euobserver, link)
UK: Rebellious Media Conference Media, Activism and Social Change, 9-10 October 2011 (link):
"Frustrated with the mainstream media’s coverage of war, climate change and the economy, or already making your own media?
Interested in acquiring new skills or finding out more about exciting radical media projects from around the world?
Want to join the resistance to the corporate takeover of the internet, or discuss how we can harness the digital revolution to help bring about radical social change?"
EU: European Commission: European Commission seeks views on detention in the EU's area of justice (pdf) Chart with data on each Member State
EU-FRONTEX: The Council of the European Union rejects most of the calls by the European Parliament to protect fundamental rights in the proposed changes to the Regulation governing Frontex: Proposal for the amendment of Frontex Regulation - Presidency's compromise proposals on LIBE amendments regarding Fundamental Rights issues and democratic scrutiny (pdf)
Among the LIBE Committee amendments rejected by the Council is: "EP Amendment 32 [which] reads as follows:
"The Agency shall suspend joint operations, rapid border intervention missions and pilot projects where fundamental rights or international protection obligations have been violated."
Considering that the majority of delegations is not in favour of this amendment, the Presidency proposes not to accept it in the context of the negotiations with the European Parliament on the package on Fundamental Rights issues." (emphasis added)
And see multi-column document showing the state of the discussions between the Council and the European Parliament in the "secret" 1st reading "trilogue" meetings - showing: Commission proposal, Current Council position, Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) and "compromise" amendments: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (125 pages, EU doc no: 10696-11, pdf)
EU-PNR: Analysis of proposed PNR Directive exposes absent or minimal data protection and privacy safeguards (Amberhawk, link)
EU: European Commission:
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI): Policy advisory document for the years 2011 to 2013 (pdf)
GREECE: Massive popular uprising in Greece (CADTM, link) and see: Europe, Greece struggle for direct democracy - News from the streets in Greece (A-Info, link) and News from the streets in Greece (Rushed Chronicles, link)
UK: Nottingham University - The Case of the terror plot that wasn't - Rod Thornton and the Nottingham 2 (Unileaks, link). And see: Nottingham University films students suspected of extremism Critics say that link to government's counter-terrorism strategy targeting radicalisation 'could fuel Islamophobia' (Guardian/Observer, link)
Council of Europe: NGO letter calling for review anti-terror laws for their potential negative impacts on freedom of expression and to information (pdf): Letter signed by 36 European and international human rights, media and journalists’ organisations including Statewatch, along with 6 leading experts in freedom of expression and information and human rights.
UPDATED: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 9-10 June 2011, Luxembourg: Final Press release, 9-10 June 2011 (pdf) "B" Points (For discussion) Agenda (pdf), "A" Points (adopted without discussion): Legislative (pdf) and "A" Points (adopted without discussion): non-legislative (pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Rethinking the EU Security Research Programme (pdf) by Ben Hayes: Submission by Statewatch in response to Section 4 (‘Securing the citizen and the society’) of the European Commission’s consultation on an Industrial Policy for the Security Industry:
"It is imperative that any changes bought about in FP7 or the next EU framework research programme offer more than ‘cosmetic’ compliance mechanisms. In this regard, we are very concerned that this consultation limits the scope of ethical concerns to matters related to personal data protection, creating a danger that other important societal impacts and ethical issues will be overlooked.
This will only fuel growing public concern about the development and implementation of a range of new security technologies such as biometric IDs, risk profiling and the use of surveillance ‘drones’. What is at stake with these and other technologies goes far beyond privacy and data protection to core questions around the legitimacy and desirability of maximum security societies. If ethics and societal impacts are to be properly addressed in current and future EU security research programmes then a more fundamental reappraisal is necessary."
For more information about Statewatch’s work on the European Security Research Programme
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER: Opinion of the Meijers Committee: Standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law: Initiative for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (pdf). See also: Latest Council of the European Union: Position (8 June, pdf)
UK: All-seeing, all-knowing: the proposal for a National Crime Agency: incuding powers to: "Collect and analyse intelligence lawfully obtained by its own capabilities and by its security, intelligence, law enforcement and other partners."
EU privacy watchdog: Data Retention Directive unlawful (Bits of Freedom, link)
EU: SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM (SIS): Council of the European Union: Provision of SIS and SIRENE statistics to the Council (pdf):
"The total of valid records in the SIS reached 35.69 million by 2010 which means an increase by 12.9% compared to 2009. A significant increase of the number of alerts stored in the SIS can be observed regarding alerts for arrest for the purposes of surrender or extradition (10.01%) and alerts on persons for discreet surveillance or specific check (11.12%)"
EU-ECJ: The General Court annuls the measures freezing the funds of Nadiany Bamba - The Council did not provide a sufficient statement of reasons as to how Nadiany Bamba obstructs the process of peace and reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire (Press release, pdf):
"the General Court finds that, in the present case, the Council merely set out vague and general considerations as reasons for including Ms Bamba on the contested list. The Council does not give the actual and specific reasons for which it considers that Ms Bamba must be the subject of the restrictive measures at issue."
Full-text of judgment (French, link)
EU: COUNCIL PRESIDENCY-EAWs: Presidency: European arrest warrant is already a success (Presidency website, link). But see also: Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner: Call for wholesale review of EAWs (pdf): "there are now an average of more than one thousand [EAWs] per month, the overwhelming majority of which relate to minor ... The EAW has been used in cases for which it was not intended, sometimes with harsh consequences on the lives of the persons concerned. It is thus high time to reform a system that affects thousands of persons every year." See also: Fair Trials International - Submission to EAW Review (link)
EU: Member State concerns arise over the development of the European Police Records Index System (EPRIS) - New systems, old problems Sweden criticises Commission's lack of transparency and Member States raise concern over the potential for an "EU police database". See also: Ministers seek to defuse row over ‘database' agency (European Voice, link)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Mark Kennedy case: CPS accused of suppressing key evidence - CPS opens inquiry after claims prosecutors withheld undercover police officer's surveillance tapes from defence lawyers (Guardian, links)
- and Police knew about plans for Ratcliffe-on-Soar break-in before most activists -Leaked report reveals Mark Kennedy tipped off police about potential occupation of power station at early planning stage
UK: Updated anti-extremism strategy published (BBC News, link): the "question is whether it will satisfy Muslims whom the government needs to get this work done. Prevent became a dirty word in many communities - and repairing a damaged brand is difficult work." and :
"The new strategy also puts a renewed focus on the use of the internet and says the government will consider a "national blocking list" of violent and unlawful websites. Under the plans, computers in schools, libraries and colleges will also be barred from ing unlawful material on the internet."
See also: Doctors asked to identify potential terrorists under government plans (Guardian, links) and Official review finds scant evidence of state funds going to extremists: "It will also introduce a new definition of extremism as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs."
EU-USA: PNR AGREEMENT: The Agreement" is just that, it is not a Treaty as far as the USA is concerned - US Senate urges government to resist EU oversight structures and interference with information sharing:
The EU-US agreements on exchange of PNR data are, legally, "Executive" agreements which have been negotiated and concluded since 2004 with the US administration without any formal involvement of the US Senate - as distinct from what happened for the EU-US agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. The US Senate has adopted a strong resolution on this issue which should prevent the US administration from concluding the "new" EU-US PNR agreement by taking in account a number of concerns expressed by the European Parliament. The "sponsors" of the Senate Resolution are the Chairman and the Ranking member of a Senate Committee which has responsibility for the Homeland Security Department: Senate Resolution of EU-USA PNR (pdf) The Resolution includes the following conclusions:
"(2) urges the Department of Homeland Security to reject any efforts by the European Union to modify existing PNR data sharing mechanisms in a way that would degrade the usefulness of the PNR data for identifying terrorists and other dangerous criminals;
(3) urges the Department of Homeland Security to not enter into any agreement that would impose European oversight structures on the United States; and
(4) opposes any effort by the European Union to interfere with counterterrorism cooperation and information sharing between the Department of Homeland
Security and non-European countries."
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Revised EU asylum proposals: “Lipstick on a pig” (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers:
"Taken as a whole, the amended proposals will not require Member States to raise their standards very much, in particular to the extent that raising those standards would cost money. If these Directives are adopted as proposed, the second phase of the Common European Asylum System would therefore look a lot like the first phase. There would be largely cosmetic changes to the current inadequate standards. To borrow President Obama’s phrase, this would be like ‘putting lipstick on a pig’.
It remains to be seen whether the European Parliament and Member States consider it acceptable to have a ‘deal at any cost’, if that cost is the subsistence of asylum-seekers, childrens’ to play, the privacy of detained families, and the basic physical safety of female asylum-seekers."
EU: Council of the European Union: Working method for closer cooperation and coordination in the field of EU security (pdf) and: Previous version (pdf) The latter document includes the following paragraph concerning meetings to be held:
"- PSC with COSI (planned for 1 June 2011);
- CIVCOM with the COSI Support Group concerning mission planning and to prepare PSC-COSI meetings with PROCIV concerning civil protection and with JAIEX concerning horizontal issues;
- Nicolaidis with the COSI Support Group, potentially to prepare future PSC-COSI meetings;
- COTER with the TWG, with EU CTC participation;
- JAIEX potentially with COMAG/MaMa or COEST or COWEB or COMEM/MOG or COASI or COLAT or COTRA or COAFR, depending on issues of mutual interest."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "Anyone who thinks there is not an EU state in the making should read this document."
EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy - Discussion paper (pdf) from the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. The paper is introduced with the following premise: "Osama Bin Laden is dead... The physical resurrection of Bin Laden is impossible. We need to ensure that his ideas also are safely entombed, and with them the terrorist organisations they have spawned."
European Court of Justice: TO EU DOCUMENTS REGULATION: Judgment: Judgment - fulltext (pdf): The applicant, Mr Ciarán Toland, applied to the Parliament for to the 2006 Annual Report of its Internal Audit Service, including the 16 audit reports and was refused . The General Court of the ECJ ruled that it: "Annuls the decision of the European Parliament of 11 August 2008, Reference No A (2008) 10636, in so far as it refuses to Report No 06/02 of the Internal Audit Service of the Parliament of 9 January 2008 entitled ‘Audit of the Parliamentary Assistance Allowance’;"
See also: EU court orders MEPs to publish report on expenses (Irish Times, link)
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Council of the European Union: Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meetings of the CATS on 18 May 2011 (EU do no: 10540-11, pdf)
Draft Article 3 says: "The EIO shall cover any investigative measure" to which there is a Footnote:
"All delegations, except UK which entered reservation on this issue, have also agreed that all forms of interception of telecommunications are covered by the Directive and specific provisions will be introduced in Chapter IV. UK questioned whether the inclusion of provisions related to undercover agents falls within the scope of this Directive." (emphasis added)
In a later version of the proposal which is being submitted to COREPER (the high-level committee of permanent member state representations based in Brussels): EU doc no: 10749-11 (pdf) the UK reservation has disappeared and it now says:
"The experts confirmed the objective of setting broad scope of the Directive, and, in particular to include all forms of interception of telecommunications and under covered agents." (emphasis added)
and on Scope: "It has been noted that the EIO is designed for obtaining evidence in criminal proceedings, but it may also cover some administrative proceedings having a criminal dimension"
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director comments: "In plain English the Scope of the EIO will cover the gathering or exchanging of existing evidence on alleged crime or "administrative proceedings having a criminal dimension," including the use of search,seizure, covert and intrusive surveillance."
See: EU: Welcome to the new world of the interception of telecommunications: under the new forms of interception Member States simply authorise themselves - Italian government EIO survey response: "it is probably possible that the telecommunications are in a way "deviated" to the requesting state without listening in Italy." and - "the legal framework with respect to transnational searches of such devices is not well-developed." (EU-G6 Interior Ministers)
EU: Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings: State of Play after the Trilogue held on 30-5-2011 (pdf)
EU: DRUG TRAFFICKING: Council of the European Union: Political declaration and action plan adopted by the ministers responsible for the fight against drug trafficking at the Ministerial meeting on transatlantic cocaine trafficking held by the French Presidency of the G8 in Paris on 10 May 2011 (pdf)
- Intra-corporate transferees: Latest text with over 100 reservations by Member states: Proposal for a Directive on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer (pdf)
- Intra-corporate transferees: Council Presidency's: Revised response (pdf)
- Seasonal workers: Latest text with over 100 reservations by Member States: Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment (pdf) and Proposed changes from the Council Presidency (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Readmission, migration and travel documents
- Readmission: Draft Council Conclusions defining the European Union strategy on readmission (pdf) and earlier draft: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Evaluation of EU Readmission Agreements - Draft Council Conclusions on the EU strategy on readmission (pdf)
- Migration: Draft Council Conclusions on Borders, Migration and Asylum (pdf)
- Travel documents: multi-column "trilogue" between the Council and the European Parliament nearing 1st reading deal: Draft Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the list of travel documents entitling the holder to cross the external borders and which may be endorsed with a visa and on setting up a mechanism for establishing this list (pdf)
MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: German police statistics prove telecommunications data retention superfluous (AK Vorrat, link)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 9-10 June 2011, Luxembourg: Background (pdf)
EU: TRAFFICKING: Council of the European Union:
- Action-Oriented Paper on strengthening the EU external dimension on action against trafficking in human beings – first implementation report/update of information on Member States' external action (164 pages, pdf). Contains detailed of action taken Member State by Member State.
- Adoption of draft Council Conclusions - "Targeting developing forms of trafficking in human beings in the EU Member States" (pdf)
EU: SINGLE PERMIT FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS: Multi-column documents covering the Council and European Parliament "trilogue" discussion on the: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State (pdf) Gives the original Commission proposal, the Council and parliament positions and the "Compromise" positions.
EU: European Commission:
- Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (COM 290, pdf)
- Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2010) (COM 291, pdf)
- Staff Working Paper: Accompanying the document: Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2010) (SEC 620, pdf)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: Working Group on Data Retention: Impossible to Ensure Legality of EU Communications Data Retention Directive Says German Parliament (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT (EAW) FIGURES: Council of the European Union: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant – Year 2010 (pdf) The EU Member States issuing the highest number of EAWs were: Germany: 2096; Romania: 2,000; Hungary: 1,015; Spain: 566 and Belgium: 553. The highest number of EAWs received were: Spain: 1,544, Romania: 547; Belgium: 543 and Czech Republic 330. The highest number of refusal to execute EAWs by judicial authorities were: Romania: 168; Germany: 153; Poland: 71 and the Czech Republic: 51. No figures were provided by the UK.
EU: Council of the European Union: proposal for a Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings: - Outstanding issues (pdf). Latest results from the "trilogue" with the European Parliament
EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on the Council on Attacks against Information Systems, replacing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA - General approach (pdf), including the "Compromise package proposal".
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The work of the UK Border Agency (November 2010 - March 2011) (pdf)
FINLAND: Anti-racism campaigners slam Finnish colour-coded ID cards (euobserver, link): "European anti-racism campaigners have criticised moves by Finnish authorities to colour-code the country's ID cards, with bright blue cards for native-born citizens and brown cards for all foreign nationals, calling the new scheme "legalised ethnic profiling".
BELFAST: States of Crime Conference - States of Crime: The State in Crime Fiction (link) and Programme (link)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION OF ALL TELECOMMUNICATIONS: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Evaluation shows that the Data Retention Directive does not meet privacy and data protection requirements, says EDPS (pdf) and Opinion (pdf):
"After careful analysis of the Evaluation Report, the EDPS takes the view that the Directive does not meet the requirements imposed by the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection, mainly for the following reasons:
- the necessity for data retention as provided in the Directive has not been sufficiently demonstrated;
- data retention could have been regulated in a less privacy-intrusive way;
- the Directive leaves too much scope for Member States to decide on the purposes for which the data might be used, and also for establishing who can the data and under which conditions."
EU: Draft Directive on sexual abuse and child exploitation: Multi-column document from the Council of the European Union on state of 1st reading (secret) "trilogue" showing the Original Commission proposal and the positions of the Council and the European Parliament and the proposed "compromise": Working Document: Proposal for a Directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (DS doc no: 1114-REV6-11, pdf), Note to the European Parliament by the Council as requested at the trilogue meeting of 25 May 2011(pdf) and Note from NGOs (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: 1st reading deal on creation of EU IT Agency after 8 secret trilogue meetings between the Council and the European Parliament: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice - Possible agreement with the EP (pdf)
EU: FRAUD AND CORRUPTION: European Commission: On the protection of the financial interests of the European Union by criminal law and by administrative investigations: An integrated policy to safeguard taxpayers' money (COM 293, pdf) and Commission Staff Working Paper (SEC 621, pdf)
Council of Europe: Internet Governance Principles (pdf)
EU: European Parliament: Body Scanners: MEPs back body scanners but want strict safeguards (Press release, pdf) and Draft Report (pdf):
"MEPs on the Transport Committee agreed Tuesday that the use of body scanners in EU airports would enhance security but said it should be voluntary. They approved a report by Spanish Christian Democrat Luis de Grandes Pascual that backs the use of body scanners so long as they don't interfere with passenger privacy or pose health risks. The report should be voted in the plenary on 23 June."
POLAND-CIA: Fired Prosecutor accuses the authorities of allowing secret CIA jails: One of two prosecutors investigating Poland's involvement in a secret CIA rendition programme is said to formulate charges against the Polish government. According to a leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza Prosecutor Jerzy Mierzejewski, dismissed a few days ago, officially in an administrative shuffle, was ready to level charges against members of Poland's former leftist government for allowing the establishment in 2002 of the CIA "black site"in northeast Poland.
The daily reports that the decision to remove Prosecutor Mierzejewski from investigating the secret CIA prison was taken following Mierzejewskiâ's contacts with a lawyer representing one of the victims of CIA rendition programme, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi terror suspect held in Guantanamo.
The press revelations come out just after Barack Obama's visit to Poland. On the eve of this event a coalition of legal and human rights organisations called on Poland's Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, to raise the issue of the CIA 'black site' in Poland with President Obama. See: Polish PM must raise CIA secret prison with Obama (Reprieve.org, link); Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights: HFHR statement
European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) : The Committee has agreed "Orientation" vote results on the following two measures:
- Orientation Vote Result on the proposal for a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European
Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX)
- Orientation vote held on 14 February 2011 during the extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the proposal for a directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (pdf)
"Orientation votes" are part of the "trilogue" process where the European Parliament is meeting with the Council of the European Union in secret meetings - no documents are published - to discuss, as two legislatures, a new measure. The "Orientation vote" document compares the original Commission proposal with the position to be taken by the LIBE Committee in the trilogue meetings. The EP position agreed needs to be compared with the text ("compromise") that emerges as the final text agreed with the Council at 1st reading. Documents on the Council's position are not made public.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"This a very welcome but small advance in making secret trilogues more open. The first essential step is that all the documents from the Council, the EP and the Commission discussed at these meetings have to be made public as they are produced. This needs to be followed by introducing a timetable that enables national parliaments and civil society to digest, discuss and make their views known.
There is a fundamental principle in a democratic system that meetings of legislatures must be public - secret 1st reading deals should be no part of EU decision-making"
EU-POLAND: Polish Presidency - Justice priorities: Poland's Justice Minister, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, has presented detailed priorities in the area of justice for the incoming Polish Presidency in the Council. In an article for Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza (link) he enumerated the following tasks:
An optional instrument for European contract law;
Cross-border succession law, introduction of a succession certificate;
Revision of the Brussels I regulation (on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters);
Directive on integration of national registers of companies;
Directive on victims' rights and a directive on special safeguards for suspected or accused persons;
Directive on to a lawyer;
Adoption of a directive on combating sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.
Curiously there was no mentioning of revision of framework decision on European arrest warrant, originally the principal task declared by the Polish authorities.
EU-USA PNR (Passenger Name Record): Draft Agreement between the USA and the EU on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Record data to the US Department of Homeland Security (EU doc no: 10453-11, 20.5.11, pdf)
"A provisional agreement on sharing airline passenger data between the EU and the US has been in force since 2007, but has been the subject of an intense civil liberties debate across Europe. This draft agreement appears to give the Americans all they have asked for...
Jan Philip Albrecht, a German green party member of the European parliament's civil liberties committee, said the agreement in its current form should be rejected. "The planned PNR agreement with the US violates fundamental constitutional principles of European states. Europeans should have the right to protection of their fundamental rights when cooperating with other countries like the US and Australia."
and Statewatch's Observatory on the exchange of data on passengers (PNR) with USA
EU: Right to information in criminal proceedings: Discussions in the trilogue between the Council and the European Parliament: Result of the 2nd trilogue (pdf) and State-of-play 3rd trilogue (pdf). And see: Council of the European Union: Outstanding issues (pdf)
European conference marking Statewatch's 20th anniversary: STATEWATCHING EUROPE: Civil Liberties, the State and the European Union: Saturday 25 June 2011 - Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL: Conference Programme & registration form or Book online
EU: Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative: A new response to a changing Neighbourhood (pdf) including "Intensifying our political and security co-operation" and "Migration and mobility", hence see also: European Commission: Southern Mediterranean: towards a new era of dialogue and partnership (pdf). When the Commission talks about "dialogue and partnership" you know it is really about "security" and "migration".
- in its 2008 proposal the Commission put secrecy above openness by increasing the power of the institutions to refuse to documents above establishing the public's right to know
- the Commission failed to withdraw its 2008 proposals which are incompatible with the Lisbon Treaty, because of its proposal to change the definition of a "document": "the definition of 'document' is an issue of primary law, ie the interpretation of the Treaty by the Court of Justice - it is not open to the institutions to define it in a way which limits the correct interpretation and application of the Treaty. In other words the rules on to documents must apply to all 'documents' as defined by the Treaty - they cannot exclude entirely from their scope anything which is a document as defined by the Treaty." (Professor Steve Peers)
- the Commission 2011 proposals fails to abolish Article 4.3 of the Regulation in line with the Lisbon Treaty: the institutions' "space to think" in secret
- "for two years the Commission has "sat on its hands" and failed to respond to the "institutional impasse" between the Council and the European Parliament, it should now produce a completely new "Lisbonised" proposal" (Tony Bunyan)
EU: INTERNAL SECURITY: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union: The EU Internal Security Strategy (90 pages, pdf): The Committee observes on the Standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI):
"There should be greater openness about COSI’s activities so that it does not appear to be secretive and lacking in transparency.
We have recommended that inter-parliamentary oversight of the work of Europol could be by bi-annual meetings of the Chairmen of the home affairs committees of national parliaments and the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament. We believe that such meetings could also consider the work of COSI."
See Statewatch's Observatory on Internal Security
Hungary systematically arrests asylum seekers – including minors! (The border is the problem, link): "The Hungarian authorities detain, almost without exception, every asylum seeker. And this includes those that applied for Asylum and have been deported back to Hungary under the Dublin II agreement from Germany or other European nations."
EU: European Commission: Southern Mediterranean: towards a new era of dialogue and partnership (pdf). When the Commission talks about "dialogue and partnership" you know it is really about "security" and "migration".
EU: European Commission Communication: A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe (pdf) and FAQ (pdf)
UK Asian people 42 times more likely to be held under terror law - People from ethnic minorities more likely than white people to be stopped under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (Guardian, link): "The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows police to stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime."
"eG8 forum”: Governments and Corporations United to Control the Net (laquadrature.net, link)
UK BORDER AGENCY: Home Affairs Select Committee: The Committee's original report: The work of the UK Border Agency (pdf) noted that "we are are not at all convinced that the UK Border Agency is being effective in making sure that its contractors provide adequate training and supervision of their employees in respect of the use of force"
The work of the UK Border Agency: Government Response (pdf): "The training has a heavy emphasis on using interpersonal skills to persuade detainees to comply with what is required of them, and only to use restraint as a matter of last resort. It also emphasises the requirement to de-escalate any use of restraint as soon as it is safe to do so when the objective has been achieved or the detainee complies."
EU: The Article 29 Working Party has recently adopted an Opinion (pdf) on the extensive privacy obligations of 'smart mobile device' operators with regard to geolocation:
"Since smartphones and tablet computers are inextricably linked to their owner, the movement patterns of the devices provide a very intimate insight into the private life of the owners. One of the great risks is that the owners are unaware they transmit their location, and to whom. Another, related, risk is that the consent for certain applications to use their location data is invalid, because the information about the key elements of the processing is incomprehensible, outdated or otherwise inadequate."
The conclusions note specifically the EU data protection directive (link), currently under review by the Commission, is the legal framework applicable to geolocation data from smart mobile devices:
"Location data from smart mobile devices are personal data. The combination of the unique MAC address and the calculated location of a WiFi point should be treated as personal data"
Press coverage: Location data should qualify as personal data, watchdogs say (out-law.com, link): "Geolocation information on where a person has been should qualify as personal data and be protected by EU data protection laws, a European data protection group has said. It said that users should be asked to consent to every new use of the data."
EU-COE: EU ion to the ECHR: 7th Working Meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the ion of the EU to the ECHR with the European Commission (16 May 2011, pdf)
EU: Charter of Fundamental Rights: Council of the European Union: FInal draft Conclusions: Draft Council conclusions on the Council's actions and initiatives for the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (pdf)
EU: Regulation on public to EU documents: Council of the European Union to appeal the Info Europe judgment: The Foreign Affairs Council agreed to the appeal being lodged at its meeting on 13 May ("A" Point - adopted without debate), see: EU doc no: 9491/11 (pdf).
Background: Major victory for openness: The General Court of the ECJ has found in favour of the NGO Info Europe for to a Council document containing the position of Member States concerning amendments to the EU Regulation on public to documents: Full-text of ECJ judgment (pdf). When Info Europe applied for the document the names of the Member States putting forward amendments. The ECJ overturned the Council decision to refuse to the full contents of the document under Article 4.3 of the Regulation on the grounds that it would "seriously undermine the institution's decision-making process". See: The case for the repeal of Article 4.3
The document in question concerned discussions within the Council on amending the Regulation on public to EU documents - the document dated 26 November 2008 was put online by Statewatch on 5 December 2008: EU doc no: 16338/08 (pdf). Much of the ECJ's judgment concerns the alleged effect of Statewatch's disclosure of the full text of the document on the Council's decision-making procedures.
EU-AUSTRALIA-PNR: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision on the signature of the Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (pdf)
EU copyright policy smacks of censorship, argue critics (euractiv, link):
"The worrying aspect of all of this, argue critics, is that none of the above countries [UK, Ireland and Spain] require any independent legal advice before content believed to be illegal is taken down and users are cut off. "Judicial intervention is needed to determine the legality of content and provides important safeguards", Vicky Hanley-Emilsson from the association for competitive telecoms, ECTA, told EurActiv. The UN Special Rapporteur for the Freedom of Opinion and Expression reportedly agrees. Frank la Rue is due to release a report in two weeks which will criticise the EU for deputising ISPs as quasi-law enforcement authorities, claims a source who did not wish to be identified."
EU: Visas to be re-introduced for Western Balkan countries (euractiv, link): "The European Commission said it will propose tomorrow (24 May) to reintroduce visas for Western Balkan countries whose citizens abuse the system. The measure will punish countries such as Serbia and Macedonia for failing to stop their citizens from taking advantage of visa-free travel rights to request asylum once they reach one of the EU's 27 member states."
Sarkozy Exports Repressive Internet (La Quadrature du Net, link): "Citizens and all parties who care for fundamental rights and freedoms must send a clear message to governments : the smokescreen debates among industry representatives at the eG8 next Tuesday will not hide what is at stake in the G8 that follows," declares Jamie Zimmermann, spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net. "All the G8 documents must be made public, as well as positions of each country on Internet freedoms or control issues. Freedom of expression and democracy can not be sacrificed for the benefit of some economic or political self-serving interests," concludes Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the citizen organization.
EU: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions": - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (pdf). This allows for automated by Member States to other States' data on DNA, fingerprints and Vehicle Registration.
UK: Home Office: Police Powers and Procedures England and Wales 2009/10 (92 pages, pdf)
1,150,153 stop and searches were carried out under PACE (S.1, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984), 118,446 stops and searches under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) and 91,568 stops and searches in order to prevent acts of terrorism (under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000), a decrease of 56 per cent on 2008/09. These resulted in 107,444 arrests, a fall of 5%, with nine per cent overall of those stopped and seached arrested - thus over 1,366,00 people were stopped and searched and not arrested.
Of the 91,568 stops and searches in order to prevent acts of terrorism only two (0.02%) of these searches resulted in arrests connected with terrorism.
Over a quarter, 27%, of all stop and searches were carried out on Black and Asian people.
EU: THE "SWEDISH INITIATIVE": European Commission: Staff Working Paper: Operation of the Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA of 18 December 2006 ("Swedish Initiative") (SEC 593-11, pdf). The "Initiative" (adopted in 2006) is intended to allow the exchange of: "existing information and intelligence effectively and expeditiously for the purpose of conducting criminal investigations or criminal intelligence operations." However:
"Two Member States – Slovenia and Sweden – have informed the Commission that they use the Framework Decision frequently. All other Member States state that they do not draw on it on a regular basis." (emphasis in original)
EU-LIBYA: Medecins sans Frontieres: Europe must accept the boat people fleeing Libya: MSF criticises inconsistent European policies claiming to protect civilians by engaging in a war while closing its borders to them (Press release, pdf) and Open Letter (pdf)
"Yesterday, on Wednesday, 18 May 2011, the former Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) employees and a group of supporters from various trade unions and political parties have organised a demonstration to demand the social rights of former KTHY employees. As is known, KTHY was the sole airline company of the Turkish Cypriot Community with a capacity of around 400 employees and went bankrupt and was closed down by the Turkish Cypriot administration back in November 2010.
Since then, the former employees have been claiming their rights by setting up a tent next to the premises of the Airlines in order to ask for their various social rights and they have been waiting to be paid their salaries for over the last seven months."
CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech sexuality tests not legal, EU commission says (euobserver, link): "The practice by Czech authorities of checking via 'phallometric tests' if an asylum seeker is really homosexual and thus a potential victim in his home country is not in line with EU asylum laws and fundamental rights, EU home affairs chief Cecilia Malmstrom has said."
Italy: A return to persecutory theorems against any political and social protest? by Salvatore Palidda
USA: Government Accountability Office report: DHS Has Implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, but Further Steps Needed to Address Potential Program Risks (pdf)
"DHS requires that VWP countries enter into three information-sharing agreements with the United States; however, only half of the countries have fully complied with this requirement and many of the signed agreements have not been implemented. Half of the countries have entered into agreements to share watchlist information about known or suspected terrorists and to provide to biographical, biometric, and criminal history data."
EU: European Economic and Social Committee on EU-PNR: Opinion (pdf)
"the European Economic and Social Committee... voices its concern that the often-cited choice between security and freedom or, in more practical terms, stepping up security at the expense of citizens' rights, with regard to personal data, must under no circumstances run counter to the general principles underpinning fundamental personal rights."
UK: Report by David Anderson Q.C. Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation: Operation Gird (pdf):
"On Friday 17 September 2010, the Metropolitan Police arrested six men under the Terrorism Act 2000 [TA 2000] on suspicion of involvement in a plot to harm Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United Kingdom between 16 and 19 September 2010. The investigation was named Operation GIRD. After questioning at Paddington Green Police Station, each of the suspects was released...
I recommend that the s41 requirement for reasonable suspicion in relation to each person arrested be kept firmly in mind by all forces during future operations, as it was in this case, particularly in view of the security pressures that are likely to attend the forthcoming London Olympics."
EU/Africa: Criticism as migrant death toll reaches 1,000
Following a series of shipwrecks and deaths, as well as reports in the Guardian newspaper about the failure to rescue migrants in boats or dinghies that are adrift by ships and patrols deployed in the Mediterranean by NATO and the EU to stop migrants reaching Europe, Migreurop has issued a press release to mark the fact that over 1,000 people have died in this context since January 2011.
UK: Torture inquiry will 'not cover US rendition' - Campaigners condemn decision not to include 'murky' issue of detainee transfers in investigation as 'only doing half the job' (Independent on Sunday, link):
"An inquiry into Britain's involvement in torture during the "war on terror" will not investigate whether UK forces handed over suspects to be transported to other countries for interrogation by the Americans – despite David Cameron's assurance that it would probe all aspects of the controversy.
The head of the Detainee Inquiry ordered by Mr Cameron has confirmed that he will not consider the issue of detainees transferred between forces fighting in Iraq and elsewhere, which has been identified by many critics as one of the murkiest elements of the "extraordinary rendition" saga.""
See also: The Detainee Inquiry (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, link); and Joint Submission the Detainee Inquiry by eight NGOs (pdf), which notes that: "Every effort must be made to seek and secure information regarding torture violations, including from other states and despite their unwillingness to cooperate"
Further information on the complicity of European states in 'extraordinary rendition' can be found in the Statewatch Observatory on Renditon.
EU: While the European left dithers, the right marches menacingly on - Immigration: The longer the left's response is confused, the more the populist right begins to make xenophobia acceptable (The Observer, link)
UK: Are you a 'domestic extremist'? How to ask if you are on police databases (Guardian link). Step-by-step guide to find out the information held on you.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Military police unit head resigns over TV raid (czechposition, link): The head of Prague Military Police, Drahoslav Blažek, has resigned from his post over a controverisal raid on Czech Television (CT):
"The head of the Military Police Security Service in Prague, Drahoslav Blažek, has resigned from his post over a controversial raid of journalists’ offices at Czech public television by armed commandoes, the daily Lidové noviny (LN).. the military police confiscated enough documents and computers to fill eight large bags, those for which the search warrant was issued were not found; Military Police have since returned all confiscated items.
The judge who issued the search warrant, Kryštof Nový, said he was “shocked” by the heavy handed nature of the raid and the number of documents and computers confiscated. “I issued permission for the confiscation of one piece of documental evidence, perhaps also the folder in which it was contained or copies to be made, but certainly not for the confiscation of a whole office”
UK: The Independent Chief Inspector of the United Kingdom Border Agency has released two reports:
- Preventing and detecting immigration and customs offences: A thematic inspection of how the UK Border Agency receives and uses intelligence (pdf)
- A short-notice inspection of a UK Border Agency Arrest Team (Croydon) (pdf)
The first report criticises the agency on a number of grounds, namely that the agency failed to monitor the outcome of intelligence received; that "intelligence assessments did not take into account the quality of decision making when seeking ministerial authorisations to discriminate"; and that different staff follow different methods for identifying people or vehicles to be searched at ports of entry, with no analysis of which of these methods worked best. The second report focuses chiefly on "the police-like powers of arrest and the associated powers of entry, search and seizure," noting that "there was significant non-compliance with the UK Border Agency's policy and guidance".
Press coverage of the reports: UK Border Agency criticised over intelligence use (BBC news, link) and Immigration team sent to detain woman was not told she was pregnant (The Guardian, link)
EU: DENMARK - BORDER CONTROLS: Letter from President of the Commission to the Danish Prime Minister (13 May 2011, pdf). A legal analysis "raises important doubts about whether the proposed measures, if implemented in the "intensive and permanent" way that has been announced, would be in line with Denmark's obligations under European and international law.."
EU: PUBLIC ORDER: Historical documents: Draft Schengen Manual on police cooperation in maintaining public order and security (11 June 1997, pdf). This was preceded by the Council Recommendation of 30 November 1994 for the exchange of information on the occasion of major .events or meetings, press communique 11321/94 (Press 252): which said:
"In connection with cooperation in the area of public order the Council approved a Recommendation for the exchange of information on the occasion of major events or meetings. Under that Recommendation any Member State within which an event is to take place should be able to call upon advisers from the other
Member States for the purpose of direct exchanges of information."
and by the Joint Action of 26 May 1997 adopted by the Council pursuant to article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union regarding cooperation in the area of public order and security (97/339/JHA; OJ L 14711)
UK: Privacy: new Government revelations amplify concerns surrounding deficiencies in UK’s Data Protection Act (Amberhawk, link): "The Government has been required under Freedom of Information rules to release further details of those protracted infraction proceedings concerning the deficiencies in UK’s Data Protection Act. For the first time, UK citizens can see why the European Commission believes that eighteen of the thirty four Articles in the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC have not been properly implemented by the UK Government."
UK: Institute for the Study of European Transformations, London Metropolitan University: The Construction of “Suspect” Communities in Britain 1974 - 2007: comparing the impact on Irish and Muslim communities Interim Report - Preliminary Findings (pdf)
European Parliament: Plenary session debate, 10 May 2011: Migration flows and asylum and their impact on Schengen (debate) (pdf)
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council: 15 of the EU's 27 Member States backed: EU consensus to revamp Schengen travel area (ebusiness, link): On the one hand:
""There was a clear position from every minister: the free movement of people is one of the Union's key achievements and we have to maintain and safeguard this," and on the other hand:
"to spell out a mechanism allowing a state to reopen border posts in case of a sudden surge in migration, or should another EU state be shown to be unable to control its frontier with non-EU nations."
DENMARK: BORDER CONTROLS: Press stories: Denmark chided for Schengen move (European Voice, link), includes: "In the afternoon, Malmström [Commissioner] chaired a conference to discuss national governments' pledges to provide temporary protection to people fleeing the civil war in Libya who are currently stranded in Malta. The UK announced before the conference that it will not admit any refugees from north Africa..." (emphasis added) Background: Denmark steps up border controls (AP, link). See: European Parliament: ALDE Press Release: ALDE criticises the re-introduction of internal border checks in Denmark (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 12 May 2011, Brussels: Press release (pdf); "B" Points agenda (for discussion, pdf) and "A" Points agenda - non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf). Background Note (pdf),
EU: ACTA AGREEMENT: Green/EFA group: Letter the to the President of the European Parliament calling for the ACTA agreement to be referred to the European Court of Justice In the European Parliament the Conference of Presidents (the leaders of the party groups) took the Resolution calling for referral of the ACTA agreement to be taken to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of the of full plenary agenda for May - moving it to June. This was to resolve the question of whether the parliament can act before a formal request to adopt the Agreement is sent to the parliament. See: Act on ACTA (link).
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The idea that the draft treaty cannot be referred to the ECJ unless a request to sign and conclude it is formally submitted to the EP is utter nonsense."
Finalised version: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: 3 December 2010 (pdf) See also: MEPs want to refer ACTA to the ECJ (European Voice, link). and Hollywood presses European Parliament to sign ACTA (Integrity.com, link)
POLAND-USA: Poland faces torture charges: - Poland accused of complicity in torture by US intelligence operatives of Saudi national (European Voice, link)
UK: Police buy software to map suspects' digital movements - Geotime software, bought by the Met, collates data from social networking sites, satnavs, mobiles and financial transactions (Guardian, link): "The Metropolitan police has bought Geotime, a security programme used by the US military, which shows an individual's movements and communications with other people on a three-dimensional graphic. It can be used to collate information gathered from social networking sites, satellite navigation equipment, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs. Police have confirmed its purchase and declined to rule out its use in investigating public order disturbances.
EU: “Great Firewall of Europe”: Council of the European Union: Creation of a "virtual Schengen border" and "EU black-list"": see Doc no 7181-11 (pdf) which says:
"The Presidency of the LEWP [Law Enforcement Working Party and the Customs Cooperation Working Party] presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace with a certain "virtual Schengen border" and "virtual points" whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU "black-list".
EU: UK OPT IN TO THE EU-PNR SCHEME: Statement (pdf). This is hardly a surprise as the UK led the re-writing of the Commission's proposal in the Council to extend the scheme from flights in and out of the EU to flights between Member States too. In the long-term the UK government backs the extension of the EU-PNR scheme to cover all flights within Member States and to land and sea travel too - the total surveillance of all movement.
EU: European Parliament: MEPs give their views on reintroduction of border checks in Schengen area (Press release, pdf): "Many speakers wanted better control of refugee and immigrant flows but some questioned whether a crisis even exists. Most were very hostile to any attempt to circumvent the principle of a border-free Europe."
EU: ILGA Europe: Contribution to the Green Paper (pdf)
EU: Welcome to the new world of the interception of telecommunications
- under the new forms of interception Member States simply authorise themselves
- Italian government survey response: "it is probably possible that the telecommunications are in a way "deviated" to the requesting state without listening in Italy."
- "the legal framework with respect to transnational searches of such devices is not well-developed." (EU-G6 Interior Ministers)
EU: European Investigation Order (EIO): As background to the discussion on the EIO a number of survey were carried out: Answers to the questionnaire related to issuing authorities in application of the initiative for a Council Framework Decision on the European Investigation Order (country0by-country, pdf): "Please indicate whether, in accordance with national law of your Member State, an authority, other than an judge, a court, an investigating magistrate or a public prosecutor, could be defined as a judicial authority in accordance with Article 2(a)(ii) of the proposal for a Directive." The answer was NO from 18 Member States. And: Answers to the questionnaire related to the types of procedure to be covered by the application of the initiative for a Council Framework Decision on the European Investigation Order (pdf) And see Statewatch Observatory on the EIO
EU-NATO: MIGRANT DEATHS: Libyan migrants' boat deaths to be investigated by Council of Europe - Human rights body demands inquiry into failure of European military units to save 61 migrants on boat fleeing Libya (Guardian, link). Previous coverage: Nato units left 61 African migrants to die of hunger and thirst - Exclusive: Boat trying to reach Lampedusa was left to drift in Mediterranean for 16 days, despite alarm being raised (Guardian, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: Latest draft Conclusions: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Operational Guidance on taking account of Fundamental Rights in Commission Impact Assessments (SEC 567, pdf)
EU: European Investigation Order (EIO): Council of the European Union: Proposals of Presidency - grounds for refusal to execute (EU doc no: 9500-11, pdf) and Proposals of Presidency - costs and remedies (EU doc no: 9499, pdf). And see Statewatch Observatory on the EIO
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Commission Communication on migration: Adapting the Schengen Border Code (pdf) by Chris Jones.
On 4th May 2011, the European Commission published a new Communication on Migration. In light of the on-going political turmoil in North Africa and the subsequent impact on southern EU member states – notably Italy and Malta – the Communication outlines current and future proposals with regard to migration issues. However, it is not limited to policy areas affected by the situation in North Africa, and is in fact a vehicle for demanding a range of political and institutional changes at both EU and Member State level.
Statewatch's: In the News: 20 items added so far in May from papers across the EU
EU: TO DOCUMENTS: Council of the European Union: Public to documents - Confirmatory application No 09/c/01/11 (pdf). A perverse decision by the Council to refuse to the Opinion of the Council Legal Services concerning the Council's use of powers under the Comitology Regulation (implementation). Four Member States - Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden voted against the refusal of to the document as it "does not contain particularly sensitive information" and they did not agree with "the interpretation of the Turco case-law". In this case the European Court of Justice resolved that the opinions of the Legal Services should be ible by the public where they relate to the "legislative process". The Council claims that the document, concerning the comitology process, "is not related to a specific legislative procedure or other decision-making process" - which it transparently is.
EU: Eurojust: Annual Report (pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: The effects of security policies on rights and liberties in the European Union, and their export beyond the EU’s borders (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico.
Far-reaching analysis: 1) The introduction of the so-called “security package” in Italy, which institutionalises discrimination as a general rule; 2) Exceptional practices to counter terrorism in UK and exception turned into routine in the functioning of Italian courts; 3) The criminalisation of behaviour that is not criminal per se; 4) The state of emergency declared in France when there were disturbances in the banlieues [suburbs]; 5) Identification of problem groups and introduction of norms against them; 6) Events in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco; 7) Subcontracting border controls, detention and returns
EU: FRONTEX: FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS: Latest Council position on amending the Frontex Regulation: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (EU doc no: 9342-11, pdf). Fundamental rights: The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament proposed that an Advisory Board on Fundamental Rights should be created "positioned above the Agency" (emphasis added). At the meeting of the Council's Working Party on Frontiers (comprising representatives of Member State delegations): "no delegation could accept the proposal". Instead the Council is proposing: 1) that Frontex should "further develop" its Fundamental Rights Strategy" (drawn up and agreed by Frontex); 2) a Consultative Forum should be set up whose composition would be decided by Frontex; and 3) A Fundamental Rights Officer, through open competition, appointed by Frontex.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The Council's proposals on ensuring fundamental rights are respected in all Frontex activities are utterly toothless and provide a fig-leaf of accountability. Frontex, like now, would remain a law unto itself."
EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Latest draft of the Council's position: now includes "intra-EU flights" (between Member States) as well as flights in and out of the EU: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Communication on migration (COM 248, pdf): Response to the present "crisis". See: Border checks to be allowed only under strict EU criteria (euobserver, link)
EU-USA: US Congressional Research Service: US-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (pdf)
EU: Historical documents: Council of the European Union: Member State national answers to: Questionnaire on the possible creation of a system of electronic recording of entries and exits of third country nationals in the Schengen area (EU doc no: 8552/09, April 2009, pdf) plus: Responses from France, Cyprus and Finland (8552/09 ADD 1, pdf), Responses from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Portugal, Iceland and Norway (8552/09 ADD 2, pdf) and Response from Greece (8552/09 ADD 3, pdf)
UK: Jury's verdict of unlawful killing at inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson vindicates family and public concern (Inquest, Press release, link)
EU: European Parliament: MEPs suspicious about Schengen rules review (Press release, pdf): "The European Commission's announcement that it is considering a temporary reintroduction of checks at the EU's internal borders, at the request of Italy and France, prompted concern among Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday. MEPs say that Schengen must not be weakened and that all internal border checks should be strictly justified."
See also: Commission to propose changes to Schengen rules (European Voice, link)
Statewatch's "In the News" carries a round-up of EU press stories
EU: European Parliament: Bulgaria and Romania ready to join Schengen, says Civil Liberties Committee (Press release, pdf)
GREECE: NGO “AITIMA”: Asylum seekers are put in jail! (pdf):
"The police authorities, punishing with imprisonment everyone who is trying to practice his/her right to apply for asylum, are basically demolishing such entitlement. This practice is a cruel violation of human rights of the refugees. The rights of the refugees are ratified in the international conventions and therefore compel our country."
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Final report and recommendations of Project Group "Measure 6" (EU doc no: 7942 rev 1, pdf): "29 measures for reinforcing the protection of external borders and combating illegal immigration (6975/10), the Project Group on Measure 6 has produced its final report."
- Information Management Strategy for EU internal security: Draft interim report on the Implementation of the 1st Action List (pdf)
- Draft Conclusions: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (pdf)
Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights: An overview of work of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on issues relating to human rights and terrorism (pdf)
USA: Congressional Research Service: Terrorist Use of the Internet: Information Operations in Cyberspace (pdf)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Council of the European Union: Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) - Discussion paper (pdf).
Following on from the Commission report the Council Presidency poses a number of questions: 1) the "missing definition of serious crime" has lead to "diverging, national practices and indeed, legal uncertainties"; 2) EU court have ruled that the "permanent collection of traffic data constitutes an interference with the right to privacy"; 3) So should the EU define what is a "serious crime"?; 4) Should statistics be used to demonstrate necessity and proportionality, especially as "tables of statistics include generally more empty fields than filled in ones"? "Missing statistics continue to raise questions.." 5) The current retention limits are a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years - should these be longer or shorter? 6) Should the use of unregistered (anonymous) SIM cards be banned? and 7) Should "data preservation" be used?
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The Council's Discussion Paper raises fundamental issues about the legality of Member States continuing to to gather and retain details of all communications under the Directive."
- Summary of the First Annual Report on the processing of EU originating personal data held by the US Treasury Department for Counter Terrorism purposes: Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme, December 2008, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere (pdf)
- Second Report on the processing of EU-originating personal data by the US Treasury Department for counter-terrorism purposes: Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme, January 2010 (pdf) by Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere
- Negotiating directives for negotiations between the European Union and the United States of America for an international agreement to make available to the United States Treasury Department financial payment messaging data to prevent and combat terrorism and terrorist financing (23.7.09, pdf)
ECJ: European Court of Justice judgment: Italy told it cannot send a person to prison because they are unable to remove them from the country: The Directive on the return of illegal immigrants precludes national rules imposing a prison term on an illegally staying third-country national who does not comply with an order to leave the national territory (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of judgment (pdf):
"Mr El Dridi, a third-country national, entered Italy illegally. In 2004 a deportation decree was issued against him, on the basis of which an order to leave the national territory within five days was issued in 2010. The reasons given for that order were that he had no identification documents, no means of transport were available and it was not possible for him to be accommodated temporarily at a detention centre as no places were available. As he did not comply with that order, Mr El Dridi was sentenced by the District Court, Trento (Italy) to one year’s imprisonment...
The Court considers therefore that the Member States may not, in order to remedy the failure of coercive measures adopted in order to effect a forced removal, provide for a custodial sentence, such as that provided for by the national legislation at issue in the main proceedings, on the sole ground that a third-country national continues to stay illegally on the territory of a Member State after an order to leave the national territory was notified to him and the period granted in that order has expired."
See also: Italy wants to continue deportations despite EU ruling (EUbusiness, link): Note that the judgment does not as such limit deportations, but only limits detention.
EU: FRONTEX: Multicolumn document on the Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament: Proposal for a Regulation of amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (EU doc no: 9431/11, 20.4.11, 131 pages, pdf)
EU: LIST OF TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Multicolumn document on the Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament: Draft Decision on the list of travel documents entitling the holder to cross the external borders and which may be endorsed with a visa and on setting up a mechanism for establishing this list (pdf)
EU: RIGHT TO INFORMATION IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDING: Multicolumn document on the Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right to information in criminal proceedings Trilogue 18 April 2011 Comparative table* (pdf). See also: European Parliament: Proposal to the Shadow Rapporteurs for the EP's position in view of the 2nd Trilogue (pdf), Technical Note for EP (pdf) and State of Play after the 1st Trilogue (pdf)
EU-PNR: Follow-up to the JHA Council discussions:Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - The possible inclusion of intra-EU flights (pdf)
EU: European Investigation Order (EIO): Proposed Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meetings of the Working Party on 7-8 February 2011, 8 March 2011 and 1 April 2011 (with Member State positions, pdf)
EU: SCHENGEN: France and Italy propose reform of EU border rules (euobserver, link) and see: Full-text of letter to the Council and Commission (French, pdf)
UK: Over the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, police in London questioned the management of two seperate venues due to host benefit gigs for political campaigns (London Indymedia, links)
EU-USA: Safe Harbor: Why EU data needs 'protecting' from US law (ZDnet, link): "The Safe Harbor principles set up by the U.S. Department of Commerce to comply with the EU-prescribed ‘Data Protection Directive’ allows personal data sent from an organisation, subsidiary company or government in the EEA to the United States. Yet, once the data reaches the United States, the data automatically becomes vulnerable to the USA PATRIOT Act, which can be invoked with or without a court order depending on the requirement for the data."
EU: Mandatory data retention: Press release by the German Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat), Impossible to Ensure Legality of EU Communications Data Retention Directive Says German Parliament (pdf). See also Statewatch's Observatory: The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU
UK: Gift 10 Vyner Street presents a solo exhibition by the prolific artist, Xenofon Kavvadias, fortuitously timed in light of recent world events: Exhibition dates 5 May - 17 June 2011. Xenofon is interested in exploring the ‘limits of acceptability and the margins of legality’ under the Counter Terrorism legislation, challenging contemporary notions of freedom of speech, censorship and accepted public knowledge thereof: Xenofon Kavvadias (pdf), An art installation proposal (pdf) and “The role of civil society in countering terrorism” (pdf)
USA: Government Accountability Office: DHS’s Visa Security Program Needs to Improve Performance Evaluation and Better Address Visa Risk Worldwide (pdf)
ECJ: European Court of Justice: Opinion of the Advocate-General: According to Advocate General Cruz Villalón, a measure ordering an internet service provider to install a system for filtering and blocking electronic communications in order to protect intellectual property rights in principle infringes fundamental rights (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of the Opinion (French, pdf):
"Advocate General Cruz Villalón considers that the installation of that filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. By the same token, the deployment of such a system would restrict freedom of information, which is also protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights."
"the Advocate General proposes that the Court of Justice should declare that EU law precludes a national court from making an order, on the basis of the Belgian statutory provision, requiring an internet service provider to install, in respect of all its customers, in abstracto and as a preventive measure, entirely at the expense of the internet service provider and for an unlimited period, a system for filtering all electronic communications passing via its services (in particular, those involving the use of peer-to-peer software) in order to identify on its network the sharing of electronic files containing a musical, cinematographic or audio-visual work in respect of which a third party claims rights, and subsequently to block the transfer of such files, either at the point at which they are requested or at the point at which they are sent.
EU: Council of the European Union:
- European Criminal Records Information System: Draft Manual for practitioners - ECRIS (EU doc no: 9300/11, pdf)
- Outcome of the Infopolex Conference held in Budapest on 28 February – 1 March 2011 (EU doc no: 8339/11, pdf): "the Infopolex Conference on 28 February and 1 March 2011 in Budapest aimed to facilitate the regular exchange of experiences and best practices of international police cooperation and liaison officers’ management services."
- Draft working method for closer cooperation and coordination in the field of EU security (EU doc no: 9125/11, pdf): "Convene a monthly inter-institutional information meeting to improve planning and information flow in the field of EU security. Participants at this meeting would mutually inform each other on the ordinary planning of Council, EEAS and Commission activities in the field of EU security (rather than crisis situations, which tend to trigger extraordinary COREPER, Council or European Council meetings). It would bring together Brusselsbased officials from the Presidency (COSI) and the General Secretariat of the Council (DG H); the EEAS (PSC); and the Commission (DG HOME)."
UK: Kettling of G20 protesters by police was illegal, high court rules - Aggressive tactics used by Met against Climate Camp activists in 2009 were unlawful, says judgment (Guardian, link). See: Full-text of judgment (pdf)
HUNGARY: Hungarian Helsinki Committee: Stuck in Jail: Immigration Detention in Hungary (2010) (pdf)
EU-USA: SWIFT/TFTP REVIEW - A DISSENTING VOICE: Letter from Paul Breitbarth, a member of the Joint Review of the EU-US TFTP Agreement, to Mr. Reinhard Priebe, Head of Delegation, EU Joint Review Team TFTP, European Commission: Letter (pdf): "I am happy to clarify my dissenting position on some parts of the TFTP Joint Review report" He was told that his views: "could not be accepted “at this late stage” because they would “significantly change the tone or the key messages of the report “.
See also: Europol Activities in Relation to the TFTP Agreement Information: 1 August 2010 – 1 April 2011 (pdf) and Commission Staff Working Paper: Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (SEC 438-11, pdf)
Renditions: Italy/Morocco: Britel released from prison following pardon: On 18 April 2011, Abou Elkassim Britel's wife Khadija Anna Lucia Pighizzini broke the long-awaited news that her husband, an "extraordinary rendition" victim who had Italian citizenship and was kidnapped in Pakistan in March 2002, was released from Kenitra prison on 14 April following a pardon granted by the King of Morocco, hopefully putting an end to the family's ordeal.
For further news about the Britel case
Previous Statewatch coverage:
- Italy: Documents sent to European Parliament committee allege other renditions and details of Abu Omar cover-up and the Britel rendition
- The "Longhi file" - collection of documents on the Britel case
- English translation of letter to Italian authorities from Britel in prison (January 2007)
- US/Italy: Boeing subsidiary to face lawsuit for servicing CIA rendition flights
- Renditions: Italy / Morocco: Italian authorities drag their feet in Britel case
- Italy/Morocco: Renditions: Italian and European MPs set to request pardon for Abou Elkassim Britel
- Italy: Renditions: Britel announces hunger strike
See also: Statewatch's Observatory on Rendition
EU: Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (COM 2011, 225 final, pdf). See EDRi evaluation of data retention shows it has significant costs but no benefits (link), Action group calls for ban on telecommunications data retention in the EU (link) and Background information and facts Evaluation of the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (link).
European Data Protection Supervisor: Opinion on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf) and Article 29 data protection Working Group: Opinion on EU-PNR scheme (pdf)
See also Statewatch Observatory: EU surveillance of passengers (EU-PNR, 2003-2008) - revisited 2011
EU-COPYRIGHT: A game plan against copyright extension (link): There is concern about a Commission proposal to extend the term of copyright - the EP voted for it in May 2009 before the last election and it was blocked then in the Council - now the Hungarian Council Presidency is trying to revive the proposal in the Council and get it adopted quickly by means of having the Council adopt the EP's first reading opinion: See: Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and related rights - Examination of the EP's position at first reading (pdf)
IRELAND: Govt supports sharing of air passenger details (RTE News, link): "Ireland supports measures to oblige airlines to send details of passengers on flights coming into Ireland directly to the gardaí"
EU: There is not one single minute to lose, there is not one single further life to lose (link): !In the night from the 4th to the 5th of April has happened the latest (and possibly the worst in recent history) of ship-wracks in this Mediterranean Sea that is more and more becoming an open sky cemetery. 250 young lives have been swallowed by waves: what rescues teams have seen is so horrible that it cannot be described by words. Should it be possible adding horror to horror, we shall go and see who these young people were and which life stories they brought with them."
EU-PNR: Countries rally behind UK on EU flight data collection (euractiv, link): "The UK yesterday won an expected victory at a meeting of Justice and Home Affairs ministers when seventeen countries said they would like to include intra-EU flights in a draft directive on passenger name records. EurActiv previously reported that Germany was a major opponent to this measure and sources reveal this is still the case. They are joined by Austria, Slovenia and Luxembourg."
See: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - German position (Doc no: 8118/11, pdf) and Statewatch Observatory: EU surveillance of passengers (EU-PNR, 2003-2008) - revisited 2011
EU: Council of the European Union: FRONTEX: column document with all positions (8707/11, 129 page pdf)
- Press release (pdf)
- Opinion 13/2011 on the current EU personal data breach framework and recommendations for future policy developments (00683/11/EN, WP 184, pdf)
- Opinion 12/2011 on smart metering (00671/11/EN, WP 183, pdf)
UK: Public space in Westminster - not for the homeless: The Council of the City of Westminster in London is attempting to introduce a new measure that would effectively criminalise homelessness within a significant section of its jurisdiction. A consultation on the proposals is open until Thursday April 14th - anyone who wishes to submit a comment to the council can do so: consultation letter (pdf).
EU: European Arrest Warrant: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation since 2007 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (COM 2011 175 final, 11.4.2011, pdf).
See also: European Commission staff working document: Accompanying document to the third Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation since 2007 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (SEC 2011 430 final, 11.4.2011, pdf).
Statewatch launches unique new Observatory: Proceedings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 1993-2011 and ongoing
The Observatory lists the Agendas, "A" and "B" points, press releases, and minutes/"outcomes" (known as outcome of proceedings, or OP) of the Council of the European Union's Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings from 1993 (when it was created) to the present.
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 11-12 April 2011, Luxembourg: UPDATED: Press release, 11-12 April 2011 (pdf)
European Parliament: Hearing: The right to to EU documents: implementation and future of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 (pdf): Wednesday 13 April 2011, 9.00 – 12.30. European Parliament, Brussels, Room ASP 3 G 3. Background:
- The "State of Play" on amending Regulation 1049/2001 on public to EU documents - three column chart showing the Regulation, Commission proposals and European Parliament's draft report.
- For background documentation on the discussions to amend the Regulation see: Observatory: the Regulation on to EU documents: 2008 - 2011
EU-PNR: INTRA-EU-FLIGHTS: Germany opposes UK proposal to extend the EU-PNR scheme to cover flights between EU states: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - German position (Doc no: 8118/11, pdf) Germany has intervened in the discussion to: 1) restrict the scope of the collection of PNR (Passenger Name Records) to international flights only; 2) to reduce the time data is stored; 3) limiting the list of offences.
It says to include intra-EU flights would raise "serious issues regarding free movement": "including intra-EU flights would seriously restrict the citizens’ freedom of movement and, given the higher proportion of travelling within the EU, create a level of surveillance which would no longer comply with fundamental rights." and: "Germany is opposed to retaining full PNR data for 30 days and notes that a period of 24 hours is sufficient for real-time analyses of API data." and
"Full PNR data should be used for law enforcement only if the individual offence is truly serious.. Full PNR data should be used for threat prevention only if certain facts provide reasonable grounds to assume that there is a specific imminent threat to the life, limb, or liberty of a person, to the existence or security of a Member State or to the prevention of a general threat"
Background: Council of the European Union: backing for UK proposal to extend the EU-PNR scheme to cover flights between Member States: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - The possible inclusion of intra-EU flights (EU doc no: 8016-11, pdf)
- UK seeking to extend Commission proposal to cover intra-EU flights from the start and UK proposal: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime- Proposed amendments (pdf)
For Background see: Statewatch's Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) (2011)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions"
- overview of documents and procedures
- overview of declarations
- state of play of implementation of automated data exchanges (Doc no: 6077/2/11, pdf)
- Draft Fifth Action Plan (1.7.2011–31.12.2012) to implement the Council Resolution of 23 October 2009 on a reinforced strategy for customs cooperation and the revised strategy for customs cooperation in the third pillar (Doc no: 8217/11, pdf)
- (LIBYA inc. Frontex) Draft Council Conclusions on the management of migration from the Southern Neighbourhood (pdf)
EU-USA: TFTP (SWIFT): Europol Activities in Relation to the TFTP Agreement Information: 1 August 2010 – 1 April 2011 Pdf)
EU: Europol: EU Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2011 (OCTA) (pdf)
Council of the European Union: "State of Play":
- Cyber attacks/cyber crime: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Attacks against Information Systems, (…) replacing1 Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA (22 pages, including Member States' positions, pdf) This proposal is nearing adopted.
- Initiative regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Proposal from the Presidency regarding EIO (grounds for refusal of recognition) (pdf)
- Next steps in enhancing cooperation between the external and internal aspects of EU security (pdf)
EU: READMISSION: Migreurop: European Commission evaluation of EU readmission agreements. Some comments and questions (pdf) and Evaluation de la Commission européenne sur les accords communautaires de réadmission. Quelques réactions et interrogations (pdf)
EU: Annual Spring Conference of European Data Protection Commissioners: European Data Protection Commissioners insist on the need for a comprehensive EU approach to data protection (Press release, pdf) and Full-text of Resolution (pdf):
"The Conference recalls that the challenges are enormous, due to globalisation and trans-border flows of personal data, the development of technology especially in the on-line world as well as developments in the police and justice sector."
Background: European Commission: Communication: A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union (COM 609/3-10, pdf)
EU: UK government Briefing to Members of the European Parliament: A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the EU (pdf)
"The UK Government remains concerned that the effect of increasing the number of categories of sensitive personal data could be that some existing ‘routine’ processing would be subject to unnecessary higher safeguards.... The UK Government has further concerns in relation to the amendment to the IMCO
Committee’s Opinion on giving individuals the right to be informed (subject ) free of charge about data collected about them and believes that a discretionary fee or nominal charge acknowledges the costs to organisations and helps to deter vexatious requests...
The UK Government has concerns about the proposals relating to the collection and processing of children and minors’ personal data as proposed in amendments to the CULT Committee’s Opinion, including making school pupils’ personal data subject to explicit consent and the prohibition of collection of children’s sensitive data... The UK Government is concerned about strengthening and harmonising the status and powers of national data protection authorities merely on the basis of their deterrent value."
EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion 9/2011 on the revised Industry Proposal for a Privacy and Data Protection Impact Assessment Framework for RFID Applications (pdf) and Annex (pdf).
See also: Article 29 Working Party: Opinion 8/2010 on applicable law (pdf): "This opinion clarifies the scope of application of Directive 95/46/EC, and in particular of its Article 4, which determines which national data protection law(s) adopted pursuant to the Directive may be applicable to the processing of personal data. The opinion also highlights some areas for possible further improvement."
EU: European Copyright Law: Collusion for the Control of the Net (La Quadrature du Net, link): "'By encouraging the circumvention of judicial authorities in order to set up direct blocking and filtering of the Internet and its services, European decision-makers would be laying the ground for a censorship infrastructure similar to that used for political purposes in authoritarian regimes'"
UK: Institute of Race Relations: Fallacies and policies: the 'Fear and HOPE' report by A. Sivanandan (link) "The director of the IRR takes issue with fundamental positions on racism and nationalism in Searchlight Educational Trust's recent report."
EU: France prepares to shut down border with Italy (euractiv, link): "The Italian government gave its green light yesterday (7 April) to a decree allowing economic migrants from Tunisia to move freely throughout the Schengen area for a three-month period. France said it could re-establish border controls."
Immigrant boat capsizes off Italy; 250 missing (AP, link) and Italian rescuer recounts migrant boat "horror story" (Reuters, link)
EU: European Commission: Mandatory data retention: Data retention: Commission refers Sweden back to Court for failing to transpose EU legislation (pdf). Background, see Statewatch's Observatory: The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU
EU: ROMA: European Commission: An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 (COM 173/4-11, pdf). See also: EU's Roma blueprint 'disappointing' (euobserver, link)
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - state of play report (pdf). For background see Statewatch's Observatory on the EIO
EU-PNR: INTRA EU FLIGHTS: Council of the European Union: backing for UK proposal to extend the EU-PNR scheme to cover flights between Member States: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - The possible inclusion of intra-EU flights (EU doc no: 8016-11, pdf) See also: Member states to clash with EU parliament on passenger data (euobserver, link).
For Background see: Statewatch's Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) (2011)
EU: DELEGATED ACTS: Deal reached between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament: Common Understanding on delegated acts (pdf): The draft agreement between the institutions on delegated acts - largely confirming practice - but no provisions on transparency to the public. For background see: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf)
Italy cleared of human rights violations in ECtHR ruling on Giuliani G8 shooting
On 24 March 2011, the Grand Chamber of the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg found that Italy did not contravene articles 2, 3, 6, 13 and 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights when Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by a carabiniere [police force with military status] during protests against the G8 summit in Genoa at around 5 p.m. on 20 July 2001. The application by Giuliani's parents and sister alleged breaches involving use of excessive and lethal force, the positive obligation to protect life, the organisation and planning of policing operations during the G8 summit, procedural aspects concerning the autopsy and cremation of Giuliani's body, the right to an exhaustive investigation and effective remedy and the Italian government's duty to assist the investigation.
UK: Standing up to Surveillance Conference - A Conference hosted by the Network for Police Monitoring, Sunday 17th April. 10.30am – 5pm Venue : Rich Mix 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA. Entry: £5 (unwaged) £10 (waged) donation. This includes tea, coffee and a light lunch.
Speakers (link). Prior registration is essential.
"The gathering of ‘intelligence’ by police on political protesters and minority communities is now a commonplace activity. Some initiatives hit the press – the use of undercover police officers to infiltrate pacifist and environmental campaigns, for example, or installing ’covert’ cameras with counter terrorism money to watch the movements of Birmingham’s Muslim population. (...) What is driving this rapid and seemingly unstoppable descent into a surveillance state? Why are so many of us potential targets for state scrutiny? Is an increasing demand for intelligence driven by a fear of ‘extremism’? Or by the availability of technology and the millions that can be made from it? And what can be done to stop it?"
"The Met has charged 138 people – practically the movement's entire leadership – with aggravated trespass after a UK Uncut occupation of Fortnum and Mason in central London during the anti-cuts march.
A meeting of UK Uncut supporters heard that those charged have had their phones confiscated. The mobiles contain details of the group's secure networks and email accounts used to mobilise and organise actions.
The group believes that the decision to charge all of those inside Fortnum and Mason was an attempt by police to crush the movement."
EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Draft Report on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges (pdf): Rapporteur: Sophia in 't Veld MEP:
"Considers that counter-terrorism policies should meet the standards set with regard to civil liberties, the rule of law and democratic scrutiny and accountability, and that assessing whether these standards are met must be an integral part of an evaluation...
mass surveillance has become a key feature of counter-terrorism policies, and whereas the large-scale collection of personal data, detection and identification technologies, tracking and tracing, data mining and profiling, risk assessment and behavioural analysis are all used for the purpose of preventing terrorism; whereas public authorities are making more and more use of data collected for commercial or private purposes... "
EU: SWIFT-TFTP: Commission Staff Working Paper: Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (SEC 438-11, pdf)
EU: CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: 2010 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (COM 160-11, pdf) and Commission Staff Working Paper (SEC 396-11, pdf): Concern has been expressed that the Commission and the EU have responsibility under Articles 2 and 7 of the Charter for the defence of fundamental rights and that the report seems to be saying most complaints concern Member States,
EU: European Commission: Consular protection for EU citizens in third countries: State of play and way forward (149/2-11, pdf) and Evaluation of EU Readmission Agreements (COM 76-11, pdf)
CoE: Petition to Council of Europe on government use of citizens biometrics (link). Signed by 80 NGOs including Statewatch
EU: FOOTBALL: Council of the European Union: Draft Council Resolution concerning recommendations for hosting major football and other sports events, in particular tournaments with more than one organising country and New Handbook (15 pages, pdf)
EU-USA DATA PROTECTION AGREEMENT: Commission press release: EU-US Negotiations on an agreement to protect personal information exchanged in the context of fighting crime and terrorism (pdf). See Statewatch Observatory on EU-USA general agreement on data protection and the exchange of personal data
EU: STATE-BUILDING: Council of the European Union: Council Decision on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (EU doc no: 6952/11, pdf). See also: Attached Declarations (pdf)
There are concerns that the content of the Council INTERNAL rules should be founded on a more sound legal basis (Art. 15 TFUE) as far as it intend to establish a general standard (see the Council Commission declaration as well the Members States declaration) and not simply the Council's management of internal classified documents.
Includes the classification: "Restricted" which is defined as: "This marking is applied to information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which could be disadvantageous to the interests of the European Union or of one or more of the Member States." (emphasis added). There is always the temptation open to officials to push a "LIMITE" document, which is not a classified document, up to the "RESTRICTED" level to deny as this could be "disadvantageous" and lead to a public debate.
EU: Council of the European Union: Ninth annual report of the Council on the implementation of Regulation No 1049/2001 (pdf)
The report states that: " In 2010 the Transparency Department examined a total of 617 classified documents including 41 classified as "CONFIDENTIEL UE" and 576 classified as "RESTREINT UE"." (emphasis added)
EU: STATE-BUILDING: Council of the Euorpean Union: Draft Council Resolution on the use of police dogs in the European Union (pdf). The Conclusions (which will set Council policy) will "create a network of police dog professionals in Europe" known as "KYNOPOL" and includes:
"6. NOTING the need to facilitate the joint use of police dogs in cross-border operations in order to ensure flexible and efficient cooperation of law enforcement services,
7. NOTING the results achieved so far by FRONTEX in the field of harmonisation of training schemes for police dogs"
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EU Passenger Name Record: proposed system fails to meet necessity requirement, says EDPS (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf): Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says:
"Air passengers' personal data could certainly be necessary for law enforcement purposes in targeted cases, when there is a serious threat supported by concrete indicators. It is their use in a systematic and indiscriminate way, with regard to all passengers, which raises specific concerns."
EU: Council of the European Union: Large-scale IT systems: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice - Preparation for the high-level trialogue (pdf).
Useful chart giving the positions of the Council, Commission and the European Parliament and, interestingly, the "Compromise position" as discussed in the "trilogue" meetings between the Council and the parliament.
EU: Council of the European Union: FRONTEX: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (89 pages, EU doc no: 7169/11, pdf).
Very useful summary of the positions of the Council, Commission and European Parliament on the amendments to the Frontex Regulation.
EU: Council of the European Union: Handbook on the practical application of the EU-U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Agreements (MLATs, (pdf). This spells out the formal legal position. The Agreements complement existing bilateral Member State-USA MLAs:
"Effect of EU - U.S. Agreements on Existing Extradition Treaties and MLATs
The EU-U.S. Agreements selectively amend and supplement existing bilateral extradition treaties and MLATs between the United States and Member States. The United States has extradition treaties with all EU Member States, and MLATs with 20 of the 27. The MLA Agreement serves to create for the first time a treaty-based, albeit partial, mutual legal assistance relationship between the Unites States and the other seven Member States (Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, and Slovenia)." (emphasis added)
"The EU-U.S. MLA Agreement will therefore not be used on behalf of defendants in U.S. proceedings." (p21)
Background: Full text of the Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Agreements (agreed June 2003, pdf) and Council Press release, October 2009 (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Includes FRONTEX information exchanges with EU agencies and Member States: Final report and recommendations of Project Group "Measure 6" (pdf):
"In the context of the 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of external borders and combating illegal immigration (6975/10), the Project Group on Measure 6 has produced its final report.
The objective of this Project Group "Measure 6" is: "To improve the collection, processing and systematic exchange of relevant information between FRONTEX, other EU Agencies and Member States".
EU-UK: House of Lords Select Committee on the EU: The United Kingdom opt-in to the Passenger Name Record directive (pdf). The Committee supports a UK opt-in. But it is concerned, as is the government, that the draft Directive allows the use of data collected but is unclear on the collection of passenger data - which the UK already does on intra-EU flights.
NETHERLANDS: Big brother DNA databank proposal rejected (link)
UK: Sixth police spy in protest movement unmasked (Guardian, link)
"Wellings inadvertently phoned a campaigner with the Globalise Resistance anti-capitalist group on his mobile phone while discussing photographs of demonstrators with another officer at a police station.... Wellings pretended to be an activist with the group between 2001 and 2005. He always seemed to have enough money to go to many demonstrations in London, New York, Paris, Seville and other cities."
UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee: Facilitating peaceful protests (pdf)
"We were surprised to find that there appears to be no specific guidance setting out the circumstances in which the use of the baton against the head might be justifiable.... we remain concerned about kettling and the use of batons: clearer operational guidance is needed on both of these if the police are to meet their commitment to human rights successfully.”
EU STATE-BUILDING: EU Classified Information (EUCI): The Council is about to adopt an Agreement extending its Classified information rules to Member States (EU governments) as well: Agreement between the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, regarding the protection of classified information exchanged in the interests of the European Union (pdf). This was first proposed back in 2007 and only now is to be adopted. The Agreement primarily concerns the exchange of Top Secret, Secret and Confidential information. But also cover the classification: "Restricted" which is defined as:
"This marking is applied to information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which could be disadvantageous to the interests of the European Union or of one or more of the Member States." (emphasis added).
There is always the temptation open to officials to push a "LIMITE" document, which is not a classified document, up to the "RESTRICTED" level to deny as this could be "disadvantageous" and lead to a public debate.
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: Carlo Giuliani judgment (64 pages, pdf). Seven judges dissented from the majority verdict. See: Court rules in Italy's favour over demonstrator's killing (M & G News, link). The court:
"1. Holds, by thirteen votes to four, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the use of lethal force;
2. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the domestic legislative framework governing the use of lethal force or as regards the weapons issued to the law-enforcement agencies at the G8 summit in Genoa;
3. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the organisation and planning of the policing operations during the G8 summit in Genoa;
4. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its procedural aspect"
"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "Reconciling data protection, privacy and public to documents is a challenge at EU as well as Member State level. Whilst the fundamental right to data protection must be respected by the institutions, care should be taken that data protection is not used as a pretext for not being transparent. This is detrimental to good governance and not in the interest of data protection either. The EU administration should therefore give the right example. Our analysis has shown that a proactive approach serves all interests best."
USA: US court validates spying fears of journalists, activists (The Globe and Mail, link) under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which allows the unlimited, uncontrolled, surveillance of the communications of individuals outside the USA both within and outside the country they live in:
"Fearing that a powerful U.S. spy agency is listening in, a group of activists and journalists – including Canadian Naomi Klein – has persuaded a New York appeals court that it is reasonable to assume their phone and e-mail conversations are being monitored. The ruling finds that new U.S. surveillance laws are so broad as to compel certain professionals to protect their sensitive conversations. Otherwise, their dialogues with sources – such as radicals, dissidents and alleged terrorists overseas – might well be overheard." See: ACLU Backgrounder (pdf) and Court judgment (pdf)l
- Naomi Klein submission to the court (pdf): She is resident in Canada and says: "I understand that the FISA Amendments Act allows the U.S. government to acquire my international communications without a warrant so long as the surveillance is directed at people outside the United States. My understanding is that the new law permits the government to acquire my international communications even if there is no reason to believe that I or the people with whom I communicate are engaged in criminal activity or espionage."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "FISA presents the threat of surveillance to journalists, lawyers and activists in the EU and elsewhere"
UK: On Tuesday 22nd March, a three-day court case began that will investigate police tactics used during the Camp for Climate Action protest that took place in London at the same time as the protests against the G20 in April 2009. 'The claimants challenge decisions to kettle them, use of
overwhelming violent force, and the dispersal of protesters before the Camp on Bishopsgate was due to come to an end. The test case is the first of its
kind to be considered by the Courts since the challenge to kettling at Oxford Circus on Mayday 2001.' See: Indymedia (link)
Norwegian Peace Building Centre: Libya and EU migration policy (pdf): "Few analysts have pointed to the implications of EU-Libya cooperation on migration issues or the plight of illegal immigrants who may be caught up in the Libyan conflict. Since sanctions were lifted in 2004, Libya has become one of the EU’s key partners in its efforts to control migration in the Mediterranean. Several organisations have condemned the violation of migrants’ human rights in Libya, while the EU has consistently disregarded these criticisms when authorising the return of migrants from Italy to Libya. The conflicts sweeping across the countries of North Africa provide a timely opportunity for analysing the serious consequences of a policy which shifts community migration control to non-community countries."
EU: ROMA: Question to the Commission from the ALDE group: Persecutions, evictions and expulsions of Roma in the EU (pdf)
EU: UK-OPT-IN TO TRAFFICKING DIRECTIVE: Government seeks to join Europe-wide accord to tackle human trafficking (Press release, link).. Council of the European Union: Press release (21 March, pdf). See also: Statewatch Analysis: The new Directive on trafficking in persons (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex
Netherlands-USA: SWIFT data and MLA treaty
1. "Openness makes it possible for citizens to participate more closely in the decision-making process and for the administration to enjoy greater legitimacy and to be more effective and more accountable to the citizen in a democratic system." (para 56 of the judgment)
The Council claimed that Statewatch's publication of the document EU doc no: 16338/08 (pdf) had:
- seriously undermined the Council's decision-making procedures
- had led the Council to change it procedures so as not to record the Member State positions and
- disclosure lead to a "hostile media reception" or "sharp criticism on the part of the public"
The Court found that none of these allegations were substantiated - and observed on the third allegation that: "it is in the nature of democratic debate that a proposal for amendment of a draft regulation, of general scope, binding in all of its elements and directly applicable in all the Member States, can be subject to both positive and negative comments on the part of the public and media."
2. The Court said that the arguments presented by the Council:
"are not sufficiently substantiated to justify, in themselves, the refusal to disclose the identity of those responsible for the various proposals, who must, in a system based on the principle of democratic legitimacy, be publicly accountable for their actions. In that regard, it should be noted that public to the entire content of Council documents – including, in the present case, the identity of those who made the various proposals – constitutes the principle, above all in the context of a procedure in which the institutions act in a legislative capacity .... If citizens are to be able to exercise their democratic rights, they must be in a position to follow in detail the decision-making process within the institutions taking part in the legislative procedures and to have to all relevant information.. Public opinion is perfectly capable of understanding that the author of a proposal is likely to amend its content subsequently. " (Point 69: emphasis added)
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The case for the repeal of Article 4.3 of the Regulation on to EU documents which allows the Council to routinely refuse to documents "under discussion" on the grounds that to do so would "seriously undermine" the decision-making procedure could not be put better:
The Commission's recent proposal to amend the Regulation to reflect the changes in the Lisbon Treaty provides an excellent opportunity for the European Parliament to effect this judgment by getting rid of Article 4.3 and open up the Council's legislative role to public scrutiny and accountability"
See: The case for the repeal of Article 4.3
For background documentation on the discussions to amend the Regulation see: Observatory: the Regulation on to EU documents: 2008 - 2011
EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE: Major victory for openness: The General Court of the ECJ has found in favour of the NGO Info Europe for to a Council document containing the position of Member States concerning amendments to the EU Regulation on public to documents: Full-text of ECJ judgment (pdf). When Info Europe applied for the document the names of the Member States putting forward amendments - Austria, Greece, Italy, UK and Germany - were censored. Info Europe appealed and the Council still refused to give so the case went to court. The Council were backed in the case by the governments of UK and Greece. The ECJ overturned the Council decision to refuse to the full contents of the document under Article 4.3 of the Regulation on the grounds that it would "seriously undermine the institution's decision-making process". It should be noted that amendments to the Regulation on public to documents concerns the Council of the European Union's legislative role whereby it is co-legislator with the European Parliament, see: The case for the repeal of Article 4.3
The document in question concerned discussions within the Council on amending the Regulation on public to EU documents - the document dated 26 November 2008 was put online by Statewatch on 5 December 2008: EU doc no: 16338/08 (pdf). Much of the ECJ's judgment concerns the alleged effect of Statewatch's disclosure of the full text of the document on the Council's decision-making procedures.
EU: ROAD SAFETY: European Commission: Response to Council of the European Union 1st reading position (pdf). See also: Council's 1st reading position (pdf), Council statement of reasons (pdf) and European Parliament: Draft 1st reading position (pdf).
Note: The European Parliament's 1st reading position does not deal with data protection: Vehicle registration data will be gathered by "automated searches" (an online procedure for consulting the databases of one, several, or all of the Member States or of the participating countries) using the Prum VRD (Vehicle Registration Data). Data protection will be in compliance with the procedures in the Prum Decision and Chapter 3 of the Annex to Decision 2008/616/JHA - a much criticised measure: See: Statewatch Observatory on data protection in the EU: the protection of personal data in police and judicial matters
EU-COE: ECHR-ION: 6th Working Meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the ion of the EU to the ECHR (pdf)
EU: SECURITY RESEARCH: Lobbyists delight: draft European Parliament report calls for full-blown EU military research budget (Neoconopticon, link)
Germany: Stoppt die Vorratsdatenspeicherung!: German statistics prove telecommunications data retention superfluous (pdf)
EU: to documents Regulation: Info Europe survey: The Secret State of EU Transparency Reforms (pdf): 16 out of 27 Member States refuse to provide information on EU transparency negotiations
"European citizens can’t find out from either Brussels or from national governments which countries are lobbying against EU transparency, according to a report launched by the NGO Info Europe this week. After submitting to information requests in all 27 Member States, Info Europe reports in “The Secret State of EU Transparency Reforms” that it only has a very partial picture of the positions countries are taking in negotiations in Brussels.
Only 11 countries provided information about either their positions and/or the process of the reform of Regulation 1049/2001. Two of these, the Netherlands and the UK, only provided information following appeals. Of the 16 countries did not provide any information, of which eight countries formally refused, five referred us back to the Council and four did not respond (administrative silence).
In total 23 countries applied exceptions to all or part of the information requested. Protection of “ongoing negotiations”, “decision making” and “international relations” were commonly used exceptions. Also used to shield governments from accountability were grounds that the information was held in “internal documents” or “might create misunderstanding.”
- The public and civil society have a right to know what is being discussed during the EU legislative process
- Abolish the "space to think": Article 4.3 is used to deny to documents concerning measures "under discussion" because it could "seriously undermine the decision-making process". On the contrary Article 4.3 "seriously undermines" democracy because the public and civil society have no right to know what is being discussed until after a measure is adopted (and sometimes not even then)
- the Commission used Article 4.3 to refuse to documents in over 25% of initial applications and for the Council the figure was 39.2% (plus an undefined proportion of the 28.2% refused for multiple reasons) [2009 Annual Reports]
BELGIUM: Belgian court sentences activists for EU protest (euobserver, link): " A Belgian court on Thursday (17 March) handed down a one-month suspended jail sentence and fines of €1,100 to each of ten Greenpeace activists for having duped security and staged a protest during an EU summit in 2009. The protest was staged as a "warning to EU leaders" a few days ahead of a major climate change summit in Copenhagen. The activists managed to join an official motorcade and use the VIP entrance before being seized by security forces."
EU: Parliament security firm also provides services to Israeli settlements (euobserver, link) "EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The security company that services the European Parliament also provides security to Israeli checkpoints and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, it can be revealed. Anglo-Danish outfit G4S, the world's largest security firm, has for days now been at the centre of a storm of criticism from politicians in Denmark, including the interior minister, after the company's activities in the Middle East became widely known. "
"Thousands of innocent people are to be removed from the UK national DNA database, but alarmingly their records will still be held on the Police National Computer"
Greece must improve conditions of detention: Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: Letter to Greek PM (pdf) Press release: "Strasbourg, 18.03.2011 - On Tuesday of this week, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) issued a statement raising very serious concerns about the conditions of detention for irregular migrants in Greece. The CPT resorts to public statements on very rare occasions and only in exceptional situations. I therefore call on the Greek authorities to take immediate action in response to the concerns raised by the CPT.
We are well aware of the many challenges facing Greece, especially during the past year with the increasing numbers of irregular migrants entering the country via its land borders. Europe needs to demonstrate its solidarity and provide the necessary support to Greece to cope with these people. I have repeatedly stated that countries in Europe should refrain from returning asylum seekers and irregular migrants to Greece until proper detention conditions are ensured. Greece can count on the full assistance and support of the Council of Europe, in this endeavour. I also support the call for the European Union to assist the Greek authorities in the effort to improve the detention facilities in their country.
I have today written to Prime Minister George Papandreou to underline the importance of compliance with the recommendations the CPT has formulated since 1997 and encourage him to take immediate action."
See also: European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) : Public statement concerning Greece (pdf):
EU: EU-USA SWIFT (TFTP): MEPs decry 'breach of trust' in EU-US data deal (euobserver, link):
"With the EU's police agency Europol rubberstamping bank data requests from the US and following 'oral orders' from American investigators, MEPs have warned they may block future data transfer deals with the US. "After reluctantly having given our consent to this agreement, we feel betrayed in reading this report, since it's also about the credibility of the European Parliament and the EU itself," German Liberal MEP Alexander Alvaro said during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday (16 March)."
See EP Press Release: SWIFT implementation report: MEPs raise serious data protection concerns (pdf) and: Note circulated to Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) from Europol Joint Supervisory Body: JSB Note (pdf) And: Europol released report (pdf) The full report has been classified as "TOP SECRET" by Europol itself so the complete story is not public plus Statewatch: European Commission and Europol refuse to supply data on the implementation of the EU-US TFPT (SWIFT) agreement as it is "Top Secret"
CoE: GREECE: European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) : Public statement concerning Greece (pdf):
"The CPT has emphasised time and again the need to address the structural deficiencies in Greece’s detention policy, and has attempted to exercise its preventive function by recommending practical measures to ensure that all irregular migrants deprived of their liberty are held in decent conditions. However, the Committee has been met by inaction from the Greek authorities in addressing the very serious concerns raised."
EU: Council of the European Union: Cyber attacks - asylum and Greece - Eurojust: European Investigation Order (EIO)
- Proposal for a Directive on Attacks against Information Systems, repealing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA (pdf)
- ECJ: Greece: Pending cases and developments in the case law of the Court of Justice/European Court of Human Rights (pdf)
- Initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Opinion of Eurojust regarding the draft Directive (pdf)
EU: EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT (EAW): Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner: Call for wholesale review of EAWs (pdf)
"there are now an average of more than one thousand [EAWs] per month, the overwhelming majority of which relate to minor ... The main problems which have been identified relate to: the absence of an effective remedy against a decision to extradite an individual subject to an EAW; the considerable lapse of time between the date of the alleged offence and the issuance of an EAW; and the impossibility for individuals in some countries to have an EAW against them cancelled– even when their innocence has been established or a member state has decided not to surrender them.
The EAW has been used in cases for which it was not intended, sometimes with harsh consequences on the lives of the persons concerned. It is thus high time to reform a system that affects thousands of persons every year."
See also: Assange case highlights EU arrest warrant 'abuses' (euobserver, link) and Fair Trials International - Submission to EAW Review (link)
EU: FRONTEX: Council of the European Union: Current position on: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council
amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (EU doc no: 6394/11, with Member State positions, pdf).
1) the scope of the collection and exchanging of personal data: on people "suspected on... reasonable grounds of involvement in cross-border criminal activities, in facilitation of illegal migration activities or in human trafficking activities": "cross-border criminal activities" is a catch-all term which could cover any crime however minor. And what does "suspected" on "reasonable grounds" mean?
2) the issue of the gathering and exchange of personal data is actual about Frontex's ambitions to become an intelligence-gathering agency. The Council's position would cover passing on to Frontex of intelligence gathered during joint operations, pilot projects and the deployment of rapid border intervention teams (RABITS) and would give Frontex an intelligence-gathering role in addition to its coercive role at, and beyond, Europe's borders.
Frontex also wants exchange intelligence with third countries, especially the USA. The current Council text explicitly says that: "Onward transmission or other communication of such personal data processed by the Agency to third countries or other third parties is prohibited." However, some in the the Council are concerned that in the long-term personal data could be further transferred by EU agencies and bodies (which there are now dozens) by the "back-door". For example, Article 14 says, in very general terms: "the Agency shall facilitate the operational cooperation between Member States and third countries... [and] may cooperate with the authorities of third countries competent in matters covered by this Regulation in the framework of working arrangements concluded with these authorities, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaty."
The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament will be discussing its draft report amendments on 16 March: Draft report (pdf) and Amendments (pdf). See Commission: Proposal for a Regulation: amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (pdf)
EU: SECURITY INDUSTRY: Please help this beleaguered industry! Commission launches consultation on security industry (Neoconopticon, link): "The European Commission has launched a public consultation entitled ‘Unleashing the potential of Europe’s security industry’. The consultation has the clear aim of fostering support for continued EU R&D subsidies to the security industry, and extending those subsidies to ‘dual use’ (military-security) research."
See also: Commission press release: Unleashing the potential of Europe’s security industry. Commission opens public consultation (pdf) and Statewatch's Observatory on the European Security Research Programme (ESRP)
EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record): Statewatch Analysis: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data
for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf) by Marie Hynes:
"the proposal is part of a “step-by-step approach” which will see the systematic collection, retention and analysing of passenger’s data whether they fly from or to the EU and a third country (as per the proposal), or whether they fly internally within the EU (as per the UK’s proposed amendments to the proposal.) Alarmingly, plans for the surveillance of travellers' do not stop there and the extension of this proposal to the use of PNR data of sea and rail travellers has not been completely ruled out."
See also: Statewatch's Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) - 2011
EU: SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM: Schengen information system database statistics dd. 01/01/2011 (pdf): Article 96: "Unwanted alien": 716,797 refers mainly to refugees and asylum-seekers to be excluded See: Three-quarters of a million "illegal aliens" banned from Schengen area and "ID (issued documents)" means 29,397,261 lost or stolen together with "DB (blank documents)" 325,548 lost or stolen. Article 99.2 "Check / observation": 36,142 - increased by nearly 4,000 over previuos year. See: Statewatch analysis: EU-SIS: Schengen Information System Article 99 report: 33,541 people registered in SIS for surveillance and checks
EU: ROAD SAFETY-DATA EXCHANGE: Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council facilitating the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (pdf). Agreed text ready for adoption (1st reading deal between Council and European Parliament) Note no UK or Irish opt-in. Measure is seen as contributing to EU Internal Security Strategy. The Scope covers:
(a) speeding; (b) non-use of a seat-belt; (c) failing to stop at a red traffic light; (d) drink-driving; (e) driving under the influence of drugs; (f) failing to wear a safety helmet; (g) use of a forbidden lane; (h) illegally using a mobile telephone or any other communication devices while driving. All offences will be those committed under the law of the state where it occurred - eg: speeding and drink driving laws may differ and so too might definitions of "forbidden lanes".
Vehicle registration data will be found by "automated searches" (an online procedure for consulting the databases of one, several, or all of the Member States or of the participating countries) using the Prum VRD (Vehicle Registration Data). Data protection will be in compliance with the procedures in the Prum Decision and Chapter 3 of the Annex to Decision 2008/616/JHA - a much criticised measure: See: Statewatch Observatory on data protection in the EU: the protection of personal data in police and judicial matters
EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Opinion of the Fundamental Rights Agency: initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Sweden for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Opinion of Fundamental Right Agency (pdf). The FRA calls for a fundamental rights based approach and is concern that only certain rights are considered.
Terms such as "investigatory measures" should be explicitly defined and "It appears that the draft directive is neither based on a proper impact assessment nor on an extensive gathering of evidence in the 27 Member States." See also: Statewatch Observatory on the EIO
EU: European Commission: Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) and the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement (COM 118, pdf)
EU-USA SWIFT DEAL: EU police report shows holes in US data deal (euobserver, link): "US demands for EU banking data under the so-called Swift agreement are "too general and abstract" for Europol to allow a proper evaluation of the necessity of those transfers, an inspection report carried out by the police agency's own supervisory body says.... Despite this, Europol approved each request it received..."Our support for this and other, forthcoming agreements clearly rely on the trustworthiness of our partners," Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in't Veld said, noting that the Europol report "does not inspire much confidence."
Europol released report (pdf) The full report has been classified as "TOP SECRET" by Europol itself so the complete story is not public.
UK: CORPORATE WATCH have launched: Corporate Rule:
"Corporations are one of the most potent forces dictating and circumscribing how our lives are lived and undermining the survival of the world's ecosystems. Ways of effectively challenging their power and fighting for real democracy are being constricted. This project aims to explore the ways in which corporations exercise power over the decisions made in what we call a democracy, and the ways in which their ideologies and discourses facilitate this by co-opting and/or suppressing people's active democratic participation."
UK: Coalition ready for strikes as PM outlines public sector revolution (Independent, link): "Ministers are drawing up plans to deal with a wave of co-ordinated public sector strikes across the country this summer. A special unit of civil servants has been set up in the Cabinet Office to "war game" areas of vulnerability in key services and infrastructure. They are also investigating how they can draft in private-sector "strike breakers" to cross picket lines.
See: Civil Contingencies Act 2004
EU: Council of the European Union: SIS: List of competent authorities which are authorised to search directly the data contained in the Schengen Information System pursuant to Article 101(4) of the Schengen Convention (80 pages, pdf). Country-by-country guide of agencies ing the SIS and for what purposes.
It will be recalled that Statewatch in 2010 that the Schengen Information System (SIS) has "over half a million terminals located in the security services of the Member States" (emphasis added) in 2009. The reference to "security services" refers to police, immigration, customs and internal security agencies. See EU doc no: 13305/09 (see p3, pdf). The previously known figure for the number of terminals with to the SIS was given in 2003 when there were 13 member states with of to the Schengen Information System (SIS) when the figures clearly surprised the Council of the European Union (the EU governments) who found there were: "125,000 points !!!” (exclamation marks in original) (EU doc no: 8857/03, pdf)
EU: CYBER CRIME: EU "BLACKLIST": The Outcomes (Minutes) of a Joint meeting of the Law Enforcement Working Party and the Customs Cooperation Working Party (EU doc no: 7181/11, pdf) includes the following:
"Cybercrime: The Presidency of the LEWP presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace with a certain "virtual Schengen border" and "virtual points" whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU "black-list".
GREECE: Fundamental Rights Agency Report: Coping with a fundamental rights emergency The situation of persons crossing the Greek land border in an irregular manner (pdf):
"Greece, as an EU Member State, has an obligation to respect the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In order to ensure that fundamental rights are not violated and given the apparent inability of Greek authorities to address the situation effectively (already in 1999 the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment raised concerns with regards to the detention facility in Feres),7 there is an urgent need to develop alternative solutions."
See also: EU agency hammers Greek response to immigration wave (euobserver, link)
EU: Draft Council conclusions on cooperation between Europol and the SECI Center/SELEC (6504/1/11, pdf)
UK: Gareth Peirce: The Gaddafi connection: A full, open inquiry is needed to discover why so many Libyans were subject to control orders (Guardian, link)
UK: Joint Committee on Human Rights report on Renewal of Control Orders Legislation 2011 (link): Calls for all existing control orders to be reviewed and expresses concern that "control orders will continue for another nine months to be used, unnecessarily, to 'park' or 'warehouse' individuals beyond the reach of the criminal justice system, and in a way which positively obstructs any realistic possibility of prosecution." See also: Statewatch analysis (link) JUSTICE briefing on the Control Order renewal debate in the House of Commons (pdf)
UK: Home Affairs Committee: Fifth Report: Police use of Tasers (link) See also: Taser contract criticised by Home Affairs Committee MPs (BBC news, link)
EU: OWNI.EU: Article 13: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement": Fortress Europe: A deadly exodus (link) Interactive map of people who have died whilst attempting to find refuge in the EU.
GREECE: LESVOS: Police brutality against University of Aegean Professors, students and employees protest - People were beaten - Tear gas - People in hospital: Youtube- video (link)
UK: Narrowing the definition of torture to the point of hypocrisy - The secret services, backed by a little-noticed judgment, have given the go-ahead to using torture-induced intelligence (Guardian, link). See also: Terrorist who alleged torture in custody loses appeal - Appeal court rejects Rangzieb Ahmed's claim that British authorities 'outsourced' his torture to Pakistan (Guardian, link): This story iincludes the extraordinary assertion by the trial judge: "although he may have been subjected to the "lesser evil" of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, "torture had not been demonstrated to have occured". The latter claim is disputed. But the former claim of the "lesser evil" begs the question of enforcing ECHR sanctions for "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".
MEPs take note of attacks on EU press freedom (euobserver, link)
EU-COE-ECHR ION: European Commission: "Partially ible version": Recommendation for a Council decision to negotiate ion to the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf). Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"It is quite ludicrous that the EU's negotiating position on finally joining the ECHR should be censored. This is a Treaty commitment to improve human rights for everyone in the EU. We need to know exactly what is being proposed on our behalf."
See also: EU-COE-ECHR: Draft agreement on the ion of the EU to the Convention (pdf) and Explanatory Note (pdf)
Over the last few years, Europe's southern borders have been increasingly 'outsourced' to countries such as Morocco, Libya and Egypt in order to try and prevent migrants reaching Europe. The current wave of protest in North Africa and the Middle East that has in both Tunisia and Egypt led to the ousting of dictators seems likely to lead to significant developments in European policy towards the Mediterranean.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The Commission's EU-PNR proposal covers flights in and out of the EU but its Impact Assessment opens the door for its scope to be extended to flights between EU Member States and domestic flights plus sea and rail travel as well. The UK quickly exploited this and already a majority of EU Member States back the immediate extension of the proposal to internal EU flights.
This is a slippery slope. It is only a matter of time before the scheme is extended to cover every means of travel with the prospect of an EU travel authorisation system to back it up - all travel would be surveilled and authorised by the state."
EU: Commission accused of power-grab under new EU rules (euobserver, link).
See also: EU lawyers struggle with new 'comitology' rules (euractiv, link) and Regulation laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (pdf). Introduces two new comitology procedures: the "examination procedure" or "advisory procedure". See critique of Article 10 which severely limits the information to be publicly available: EU: Deepening the democratic deficit: the failure to “enshrine” the public’s right of to documents (pdf) by Tony Bunyan: See also: Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan.
GREECE: These hunger strikers are the martyrs of Greece - Asylum seekers willing to die in the face of expulsion after shame and exploitation bear witness to a higher truth than life (Guardian, link) and see: Act Now (link)
"The European Security Research Programme is a €1.4 billion component of the current seven-year EU Framework Research Programme (FP7, 2007-13). The ESRP has the twin objectives of enhancing public safety through the developemnt of security technologies and fostering the growth of a globally competitive European 'Homeland Security' market. Unlike other aspects of FP7, the ESRP is managed by the European Commission's DG for Enterprise and Industry rather than DG Research. Significant additional funding has also been allocated to the security aspects of other themes in the €51 billion FP7 programme (e.g. space, transport, energy, nanotechnology etc).
EU: Historic Ratification of International Human Rights Treaty (pdf): "The EU has reached a “milestone in the history of human rights” by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 23rd December 2010.1 This marks not only a significant achievement in the global attempt to ensure equal rights for persons with disabilities, but it is also the first time ever the EU becomes party to an international human rights treaty."
EU-USA SWIFT DEAL: MEP Swift 'secrecy' may hamper new data deals with US (euobserver, link): "The secrecy in transposing an agreement allowing US investigators to EU banking data for anti-terrorism purposes has irked MEPs who warn the European Commission and member states they may block other transatlantic data deals."
EU: Schengen: Manual on cross-border operations - national fact sheets (435 pages, pdf)
GERMANY: German counter-extremism programme - a 'spying charter' (IRR News Service, link): "As we await Lord Carlile's much trumpeted review of the Prevent strategy, anti-racist groups are revealing the sinister danger in Germany's new counter-extremism strategy.
GREECE: The Hunger Strikers are in danger (clandestinenglish, link): "The 300 migrant workers have been abstaining from food for 31 days now, since the 25th of January. In Athens and Thessaloniki, we witness fainting episodes all the time, everyday, all day long. More and more often, the situation of some becomes extremely critical, and the strikers are taken to public hospitals."
EU-COE-ECHR: Draft agreement on the ion of the EU to the Convention (pdf) and Explanatory Note (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 24-25 February 2011, Brussels: UPDATED: Press release, 24-25 February (pdf) - Background Note (pdf), "B" Points Agenda (pdf), "A" Points: non-legislative (adopted without debate).
- Council conclusions on the Commission communication on the European Union internal security strategy in action (pdf). See: European Parliament: Internal Security: Working Document no 2 (pdf). Rapporteur: Rita Borsellino MEP:
"The disregard shown to date by the Commission and Council for the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments in drawing up this strategy is unquestionably a cause for concern.... In order to meet its responsibilities in this respect, it is essential for Parliament to have all the information necessary for it to fulfil its role as co-legislator"
This situation stems from Article 71 of the Lisbon Treaty which, in relation of the Standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI), says: "The European Parliament and national Parliaments shall be kept informed of the proceedings." Under the Lisbon Treaty COSI is not accountable to European and national parliaments - historically, the term "kept informed" has been interpreted by the Council to mean the bare minimum (an annual report).
For all Conclusions adopted (December 2007 ongoing) see Statewatch's Observatory: Council of the European Union: Policymaking through Council "Conclusions"
Cross-border spying on “Euro-anarchists” (euro-police, link): "updates about what became public about Mark Kennedy and other undercover agents in Germany and, vice versa, activities of German undercover police in UK."
EU: BODY SCANNERS: Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Use of Security Scanners at EU airports (pdf). See also: Douwe Korff: The politico-military-industrial security complex & the sale of snake-oil (pdf)
EU: BODY SCANNERS: European Parliament: Highly critical: Draft Opinion: on aviation security with a special focus on security scanners (pdf): Rapporteur: Judith Sargentini MEP
UK: Home Office: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stop & searches Quarterly update to September 2010 (pdf). See: Stop and search numbers fall after change to counterterrorism powers (Guardian, link)
EU: European Commission Communication: Evaluation of EU Readmission Agreements (EURAs, pdf): EURAs:
"impose reciprocal obligations on the contracting parties to readmit their nationals and also, under certain conditions, third country nationals and stateless persons. They also set out in detail the operational and technical criteria for this process. In policy terms, EURAs are considered a necessary tool for efficient management of migration flows into the EU..."
The inconsistent application of EURAs [by EU Member States] undermines greatly the credibility of the EU Readmission Policy towards the third countries, which are expected to apply the EURA correctly...."
Future agreements should: "indicate possible retaliation measures by the EU in cases of persistent and unjustified denial of cooperation by the partner country."
- Evaluation of EU Readmission Agreements (SEC 209, pdf)
- The aggregated data for the chosen categories gathered by the Commission from the MS on the basis of a questionnaire (SEC 210, pdf)
- Eurostat data (SEC 211, pdf)
- Implementing protocols signed/concluded by the MS under the EU readmission agreements in force (SEC 212, pdf)
EU/Africa: Migreurop statement on the EU's migration policy as supportive of dictatorships
On 22 February 2011, Migreurop issued a statement highlighting how the EU's migration policy has effectively resulted in support for dictatorial regimes, arguing that in the light of recent events it must make a choice as to whether its avowed principles of "defence of democracy" and support for human rights are mere rhetoric, or whether it is ready to rise to this historic moment and "open a new era in the relations between the European Union and its Mediterranean neighbours".
The European Union's migration policy: support for dictatorships to the south of the Mediterranean
Jusqu'à quand la politique migratoire de l'Union européenne, va-t-elle s'appuyer sur les dictatures du sud de la Méditerranée?
¿Hasta cuándo la política migratoria de la Unión Europea va a apoyarse en las dictaduras del sur del Mediterráneo?
EU: Council of the European Union: Council conclusions on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union (pdf) and Adoption of draft Council conclusions on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union (pdf)
EU: MEPs question 'Big Brother' urban observation project (euractiv, link): "Greek MEP Stavros Lambrinidis, a vice-president of the European Parliament, has called on the European Commission to clarify the purpose of an EU-funded project that develops "observation" algorithms to enhance the "security of citizens in urban environments... Under the EU's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) from 2007 to 2013, the European Commission is sponsoring research in security projects. One such scheme is the INDECT project, which is about developing "algorithms" through "observation" to enhance the "security of citizens in urban environments". See: Written Declaration: on INDECT (intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment) Alexander Alvaro, Carlos Coelho, Stavros Lambrinidis, Judith Sargentini, Rui Tavares (pdf). See also: Wikinews report on INDECT project (Neoconopticon: European security-industrial complex, link)
EU: Confusion over new comitology rules coming into force on 1 March: Commission official Tenreiro conceded in parliamentary debate: " even Commission officials admit that comitology is difficult for citizens to get to grips with. "I must admit that for the general public the new rules are a step back for transparency"": See: EU lawyers struggle with new 'comitology' rules (euractiv, link). The Comitology committees will have to decide whether EU legislation is classified as a delegated act (Article 290 of the Lisbon Treaty) or implementing act (Article 291): a distinction "which is by no means clear at the moment." Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
" "When the new comitology Regulation comes into force the Commission will be obliged to provide even less public information than it does at present. Citizens and civil society will not be able to track the procedure because there is no obligation to make the documents under discussion public - until the decision has been taken. Though MEPs have a say they will struggle to take on the additional task of scrutinising hundreds of measures going through every year. The new procedure represents a major step backwards for openness and accountability."
Background: New Comitology Procedures: Regulation laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (pdf). Introduces two new comitology procedures: the "examination procedure" or "advisory procedure". See critique of Article 10 which severely limits the information to be publicly available: EU: Deepening the democratic deficit: the failure to “enshrine” the public’s right of to documents (pdf) by Tony Bunyan: See also: Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan.
EU: Draft European Parliament and European Commission: Agreement on the establishment of a "Transparency Register" (pdf). The proposed Register would include governing the issuing of passes to enter the European Parliament, the: "monitoring of the organisations and individuals engaged in EU policy making and policy implementation" and it is expected that registration will also become a condition for getting an EU grant.
First reactions to the draft Agreement:
- "[Article] 9.All organisations, irrespective of their legal status, engaged in activities falling under the scope of the register are expected to register [Footnote 3]" - but Footnote 3 says: "EU Member States governments, third country governments, international intergovernmental organisations as well as their diplomatic missions are not expected to register." - Why should they be exempt?
- Whereas Article 14 states:
"Networks, platforms or other forms of collective activity without a legal status or legal personality but which constitute de facto a source of organised influence, and engaged in activities falling within the scope of the register are expected to register. In such case its members should identify one of their number as its responsible contact person for their relations with the administration of the register." - Tell us who your "leader" is?
- For non-compliance and complaints (Articles 18-19 and Annex 4) there is no right of appeal - for example to the European Ombudsman
- Academic institutions: Annex 1: the scope of the obligatory register is extended to cover:
"Academic institutions: Institutions whose primary purpose is education but that deal with the activities and policies of the European Union."
Only 13 universities in the EU have joined the Commission's existing voluntary register.
UPDATED: EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion on the revised Industry Proposal for a Privacy and Data Protection Impact Assessment Framework for RFID Applications See also useful descriptive Annex (pdf)
"The German police have admitted sending undercover officers to other countries, including Scotland, during a parliamentary hearing into the controversial deployment of an undercover UK policeman in Germany." (The Local)
See: Germany sent five undercover police officers to G8 protests - Officers took orders from UK police division that employed spy Mark Kennedy, German MPs told (Guardian, link) See also: Statewatch Observatory on reaction to protests in the EU
Statewatch Analysis: EU: Controls, detention and expulsions at Europe’s borders (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
In October 2010, Migreurop published its second annual report. It focuses on practices in Europe’s border regions, and beyond, that stem from the EU and its member states’ migration policies and their “externalisation”.
Privacy International: Petition to Council of Europe on government use of citizens biometrics (Online petition, link):
"European governments are increasingly demanding storage of biometric data (fingerprints and facial scans) from individuals. These include storing them on contactless 'RFID' chips in passports and/or ID cards. Some are going even further and implementing database storage of these biometric data too, e.g. France, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. These are inherently dangerous practices. (...) That's why we'll urgently ask Secretary General Jagland of the Council of Europe to request the countries involved to explain whether their national law on this subject is in line with the European Convention and ECHR court rulings."
UK: Report by Universities UK, the umbrella group for vice-chancellors: Freedom of Speech on campus (pdf). See: Universities must engage and debate with extremists, report says - Vice-chancellors group study calls for colleges not to proscribe controversial speakers and help defend free speech (Guardian, link) and Universities failing to fight extremism, says watchdog - As vice-chancellors reject 'surveillance' of students Lord Carlile demands colleges must identify radicals
NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam mayor to stop using sound device against young people:
Local Amsterdam government decides to stop using mosquito sound device to chase young people away from public spaces. Mosquito's are devices that were used the last few years to emit a high pitch sound that only people under 25 can hear and makes it annoying for them to 'hang around' at shopping malls and street corners. Amsterdam mayor Van der Laan now announced to the council that this practice is 'like fighting nuisance with nuisance' and will be stopped. Van der Laan was criticised by the left wing party SP for using this system, and the European Council wanted it to be declared illegal. More than one hundred
municipalities in the Netherlands still use this system. Article in newspaper Het Parool (link)
Statewatch Analysis: The German Security Research Programme: Transferring military technology – securitising civil research (pdf) by Eric Topfer
"To summarise, funding is provided for large-scale and automated surveillance through networks of cameras and other sensors, biometric control systems, the operation of robots and drones, bomb-resistant buildings, sophisticated command-and-control centres, networked operations and computerised crowd management... Independent assessment of the broader ethical, societal and political implications of these projects for “swarm vigilance” only takes place at the margins of the programme."
Spain: ECRI report on racism and intolerance
"a number of areas for criticism remain, including the lack of data on instances of racism and discrimination, the lack of independence of bodies such as the Council for equal treatment and non-discrimination of people on the basis of racial or ethnic origins, the uneven distribution of migrants and gipsy children in schools that are termed "ghettoes", the existence of contradictory guidelines concerning racial profiling and the absence of a commission to investigate allegations of offences by police officers."
EU: NEW COMITOLOGY PROCEDURES: Regulation laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (pdf). Introduces two new procedures: the "examination procedure" or "advisory procedure".
See critique of Article 10 which severely limits the information to be publicly available: EU: Deepening the democratic deficit: the failure to “enshrine” the public’s right of to documents (pdf) by Tony Bunyan.
Council of the European Union:
- Transit by land of returnees (EU doc no 5957/11, pdf): "a draft standard form for recognising a return decision for the purposes of transit by land"
- European Investigation Order: Follow-up document of the meeting of the Council on 8-9 November 2010 and the Working Party on 11-12 January 2011 (EU doc no: 5591/11, pdf). See Targeted issue Observatory
FRANCE-IVORY COAST: Anafé - Association nationale d’assistance aux frontières pour les étrangers: An inhumane reflex: France returns Ivorians to their torturers (pdf): "Anafé demands that the French authorities comply with the recommendations issued by UNHCR
and suspend any returns of Ivory Coast nationals to their country."
UK-CANADA-USA: Brit going home after ‘no-fly’ list had him trapped in Toronto (The Toronto Star, Canada, link) and Civil rights group raises concerns with disclosure of passenger flight information (Canada.com, link)
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"If Europol are saying that the information requested is classified as "Top Secret" this is an abuse of the EU's classified information system. The data requested is aggregated containing no personal or operational information.
The Agreement was negotiated in secret now it seems its is to be implemented in secret - out of sight of governments, parliaments and people. This sets a very dangerous precedent for future agreements with the USA."
BULGARIA: INSTITUTE OF MODERN POLITICS: Special Report on Acts of the government and the security services in Bulgaria which threaten or openly violate citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms (pdf)
BORDER CONTROLS: The Evolution of Border Controls as a Mechanism to Prevent illegal immigration (link, pdf) by Rey Koslowski
GERMANY: The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been found guilty of a breach of the law that spans at least four decades. Press Release of the International League for Human Rights about the decision of the Administrative Court of Cologne in the surveillance-case of Rolf Goessner (pdf)
Previous coverage: Under permanent observation by Rolf Gössner
EU: Corporate Observatory Europe: European Commission sued for giving privileged to corporate lobby groups in EU-India trade relations (pdf):
"On 15 February, Corporate Europe Observatory launched a legal action1, suing the EU’s executive in the EU General Court for withholding documents related to the EU’s free trade talks with India. The Commission is accused of discriminating in favour of corporate lobby groups and of violating the EU’s transparency rules.
The case concerns 17 documents including meeting reports, emails and a letter, which the Commission’s trade department (DG Trade) sent to industry associations including BusinessEurope and the Confederation of the European Food and Drink Industry (CIAA). While these corporate lobby groups received full versions of the documents, the Commission only released censored versions to Corporate Europe Observatory, arguing that full disclosure would undermine the EU’s international relations."
EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Letter to Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for DG Home Affairs (Internal security and immigration): EU PNR agreements with the US, Canada and Australia – new negotiations (pdf). Expresses concerns about the EU-USA PNR, EU-CANADA, EU-Australia and future PNR agreements.
European Parliament: MEPs launch bipartisan petition to enforce better standards for prisons and detainees' rights across the EU (pdf): MEPs Stavros Lambrinidis (S&D, Greece), Françoise Castex (S&D, France), Jan Phillip Albrecht (Greens, Germany), Carlos Coelho (EPP, Portugal) and Diana WallisS (ALDE, UK):
"MEPs from across the political board will be launching an EU-wide campaign asking the European Commission to ensure fundamental rights of detainees are respected in all Member States and to set up minimum common standards of detention in the EU. The initiative comes in view of the European Commission's plans to present a Green Paper on detention, in spring 2011."
L'Europa non deve avere paura della democrazia in nord Africa
Europe does not have to be afraid of democracy in North Africa
L'Europe ne doit pas avoir peur de la démocratie en Afrique du Nord
Europa no debe temer a la democracia en el norte de África
UK: Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists (Guardian, links) and Green groups targeted polluters as corporate agents hid in their ranks - Special report: After revelations of police spying, the focus turns to firms paid to infiltrate protesters
EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf): "a comparative table in which the provisions of the 2011 Commission proposal for a PNR Directive are presented side by side with the provisions of the draft Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record data for law enforcement purposes, as it stood at the end of the Czech Presidency in 2009"
EU-FINANCIAL PENALTIES: Council of the European Union: Implementation of the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union of 24 February 2005 (2005/214/JHA) of the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties (pdf): Country-by-country chart.
"Since Spain’s extradition of Ali Aarrass to Morocco contrary to the suspension request of the UN Human Rights Committee, the Belgian-Moroccan Aarrass has been tortured in Morocco.
Ali Aarrass is Belgian-Moroccan. He is Moroccan only by virtue of the fact that he had to obtain an identity card to travel. Ali Aarrass was born in the Spanish enclave of Melilla. He has never lived in Morocco and has no effective ties with that country. He has lived in Belgium for 28 years, he did his military service there, and it was there he developed a local business and deep attachments."
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on Internal Security (COSI):
- Tightening links between the external and internal aspects of EU security (pdf): Includes more function creep: "Enhancing the exchange of personal and strategic information and criminal intelligence between EU civilian crisis management missions and relevant EU agencies, namely Europol, Eurojust and Frontex"
- Report on the cooperation between JHA Agencies in 2010 (pdf)
- Draft Scorecard – Implementation of the JHA Agencies report (pdf): Including: "the European Commission initiated the setting up of an Information Mapping Project Team which will assess how information and criminal intelligence are exchanged in the field of EU internal security, focusing inter alia on communication channels used for the exchange of information and criminal intelligence, the flow of information between relevant actors, as well as databases and IT solutions used (The European Information Exchange Model, Brussels, 6 January 2010, 5046/10, JAI 5)."
As is well-known there is a big difference between "information"(which is hard and factual) and "intelligence" (which may be from reliable, suspicions or uncorroborated) and quite different rules need to be applied if "intelligence" is exchanged.
- COSI Project Group “Organised crime”: Terms of Reference (pdf)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: The growing use of “preventative” arrests (pdf) by Kees Hudig: Examines police tactics to counter and thwart protests using mass and preventative arrests, new laws and “kettling” to deny the right to demonstrate
EU: Statewatch Analysis: EU: “The law will bring peace”: a view on the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) (pdf) by Tim Schumacher: The emergence of para-military police units for use abroad (and potentially at home) is exemplified by the EGF which is being organised by six EU member states outside of the Justice and Home Affairs structures.
EU: Statewatch: Targeted issues:
- Observatory: EU Internal Security Strategy
- Observatory: Regulation on to EU documents: 2008 - 2011
- Observatory: European Investigation Order
- Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record)
- Observatory: UK: Government's Civil Liberties Programme
- Observatory: EU-USA general agreement on data protection and the exchange of personal data
EU: Council of the European Union: Standing Committee on operational cooperation on Internal Security (COSI):Implementing 29 measures to combat illegal immigration:
- Draft Council Conclusions on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration (EU doc no: 6435-rev3-10, pdf)
- Follow-up to the Council Conclusions on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of external borders and combating illegal immigration (EU doc no: 8852-10, pdf)
- COSI's role as regards the follow-up to the Council conclusions on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration (EU doc no: 9171-10 , pdf)
- Implementation of measure 17 of the Council Conclusions of 25 February 2010 on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration - Questionnaire (CM 4701-10, pdf)
- Draft position on Spain's assumption of the role of lead country in the implementation of one of the Council Conclusions on 29 measures aimed at strengthening the protection of external borders and combating illegal migration - conclusion 4 (EU doc no: 11864-rev2-10, pdf)
UK: INSTITUTE OF RACE RELATIONS (IRR): In March, the IRR will be re-launching its popular lunchtime meetings with two highly topical discussions on civil liberties in the US and the UK. The first two meetings of the series are:
- The Obama administration and the 'War Against Terrorism', Monday 7 March 2011, 1-2pm: Nancy Murray, director of education at the American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts will discuss the Obama administration's conduct of the 'war' at home and abroad in the context of her recent article for Race & Class, 'Profiling in the age of total information awareness'.
- Where are we going on policing, counter-terrorism and civil liberties?, Tuesday 29 March 2011, 1-2pm: A discussion between Tony Bunyan, Director of Statewatch and Lee Bridges, Emeritus Professor, School of Law, University of Warwick focusing on the coalition government's approach to issues fundamental to BME, migrant and refugee communities.
All meetings will be held at the Institute of Race Relations, 2-6 Leeke Street, London WC1X 9HS. As places are limited it is essential to reserve a seat. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. And note that meetings start promptly at 1 o'clock.
IRELAND-COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Report from the COE's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Press release: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Ireland (pdf), Full-text of the report (pdf) and Irish government response (pdf)
See: Prison conditions 'inhumane', says European committee (Irish Times, link): "A EUROPEAN committee against torture has strongly criticised “degrading, inhumane and unsafe” conditions in the Republic’s prisons and has questioned plans for a new super-prison to address chronic overcrowding. The group’s report has also outlined allegations of serious assaults by prison officers on inmates, including kicks to the face, some of which allegedly occurred while inmates were handcuffed." and Report alleges assaults of inmates by prison officers (Irish Times, link)
EU: Maritime Surveillance:
- Commission: DG Enterprise: Demonstration project on the Surveillance of the EU Sea Borders (link)
- Commission: Communication: on a Draft Roadmap towards establishing the Common Information Sharing Environment for the surveillance of the EU maritime domain (COM 584-2010, pdf)
- Commission Staff Working Documnent: EU led actions relevant for the integration of maritime surveillance activities (SEC 1341, 2009, pdf)
- Background Paper: No. 4b on Improving European integration in maritime reporting, monitoring and surveillance (pdf)
- Commission Staff Working Paper: Determining the technical and operational framework of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and the actions to be taken for its establishment (SEC 145-2011, pdf)
- Council Resolution: "Global challenges: taking full benefit of European space systems" (pdf) This report mentions the use of space systems for maritime surveillance: Council Resolution: "Global challenges: taking full benefit of European space systems"
UK: Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) report: Policing Public Order (pdf) See: Police struggle to adapt to UK's agile protest movement (Guardian, link) and Testimony London protests: ‘I don’t recognise my country’ (Cafebabel, link)
EU-COE: Discussions on EU joining the ECHR: Working Document from the European Commission (pdf) and Council of Europe: 5th Working Meeting of the CDDH Informal Working Group on the ion of the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights (CDDH-UE) with the European Commission (pdf)
Switzerland: Centre for Constitutional Rights and ECCHR: Rights Groups Issue ‘Indictment’ of Bush (New York Times, link) and see: Preliminary “indictment for torture”: George W. Bush brought pursuant to the Convention against Torture (42 pages, pdf):
"Two rights groups issued what they called a preliminary indictment against former President George W. Bush on torture charges in Geneva on Monday, vowing that he would face a case against him wherever he travelled outside the United States."
UK: Cameron's Munich speech marks securitisation of race policy (IRR News Service, link): "Cameron's speech signals a fundamental departure in British race relations.... Cameron in attacking 'the doctrine of state multiculturalism' was sending a signal that government policy in future will not be built on pluralism or integration but monoculturalism, assimilation, exclusion (and surveillance) of those Muslim organisations which refuse to play ball."
UK: Head of ACPO: Undercover policing should be authorised by judge (Liberty, link): "Today in a speech to Liberty, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), called for undercover policing operations to be authorised in advance by a judge."
Statewatch Analysis: Time to rethink terrorist blacklisting (pdf) by Ben Hayes.
The terrorist proscription regimes enacted by the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) after the attacks of 9/11 have been seriously undermined by growing doubts about their legality, effectiveness and disproportionate impact on the rights of affected parties.
Statewatch Analysis: EU: Deepening the democratic deficit: the failure to “enshrine” the public’s right of to documents (pdf) by Tony Bunyan.
In April 2008 the Commission opened up the process to amend the 2001 Regulation on to EU documents - nearly three years on nothing has happened - all that has been agreed is a new set of “comitology” rules that will restrict .
New: Statewatch Observatory on the European Investigation Order
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Draft Council conclusions on the role of the Council of the European Union in ensuring the effective implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (pdf). See also: Commission Communication on the Charter (pdf) and Charter of Fundamental Rights - Full-text (pdf)
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment (EU do no: 5051-10, pdf)
- Updated Catalogue of Recommendations for the correct application of the Schengen Acquis and Best practices: Police cooperation (pdf)
- Presidency Conclusions from the Conference "Towards a multidisciplinary approach to prevention of trafficking in human beings, prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims" [Brussels, 18 - 19 October 2010] (pdf)
CYPRUS: ‘Big blow to police powers’ (Cyprus Mail, link): "The Supreme Court decision to declare unlawful the disclosure of telecommunications data has dealt a big blow to the police’s ability to investigate serious crime"
EU: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union: Implementing the Stockholm Programme: Home Affairs (pdf)
GREECE: Migrants’ Strike Tests Greek Govt (Inter Press Service, link) "A hunger strike by migrants is emerging as a test case for how far migrants can go to fight for rights, and how far the government can go to clamp down on them."
UK: COUNTER-TERRORISM: Lord Carlile: Sixth report of the Independent Reviewer pursuant to Section 14(3) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005) (99 pages, pdf) See: Terror watchdog says UK is 'safe haven' for suspects (BBC News, link)
EU-PNR: European Commission: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf), Impact Assessment (SEC 132, pdf) and Staff Working Paper (SEC 133, pdf). All passengers flying in and out of the EU will have to provide their "Passenger Name Record" (PNR) data, eg: home address, mobile phone number, credit card information and email address – which will be checked against national watch-lists for suspected links with terrorism or serious crime (although the above documents sometimes refer to crime in general). Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"The current proposal comes down in favour of collecting personal data (PNR) for travel by air in and out of the EU. But there is the distinct possibility that this could be extended to travel by sea and land and to travel between EU countries and within countries - everyones' movements everywhere would be monitored by the state. And this could be extended, as is planned in the EU for air travel [ESTA], to needing to get permission to travel. A truly nightmare scenario."
Background: EU to collect data of international air travellers (euobserver, link). This is not the first time an EU-PNR scheme has been proposed, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Framework Decision in 2007: Commission proposal (pdf) in November 2008 the European Parliament refused to vote on the proposal. See Statewatch's Observatory on EU surveillance of passengers (PNR)
Netherlands: Meijers Committee: Standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee the Netherlands and criminal law: Memorandum on immigration and asylum in the VVD-CDA Coalition Agreement of 30 September 2010 (pdf): The Meijers Committee concludes in this note that many of these proposals are (probably) contrary to international and European legislation in this field.
EU: DATA PROTECTION: Council of the European Union: Council conclusions on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union (pdf).
See also: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Data Protection Reform Strategy: EDPS sets out his vision for the new framework (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf) and European Commission: Communication: A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union (COM 609/3-10, pdf)
Democracy, Human Rights, and Intelligence Sharing by Elizabeth Sepper (Texas International Law Journal, link)
EU: Council of the European Union: State of Play: Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union: Frontex Programme of Work 2011 (140 pages, pdf). Includes:
"Development of systematic collection of human intelligence from Frontex Joint Operations for risk analysis" (emphasis added) and
"To develop the systematic collection of human intelligence for risk analysis." (emphasis added). "Human intelligence" is a euphemism for the recruitment of informers and covert sources.
"Exploration and utilisation of social media for intelligence gathering, early warning, opinion mining and trend analysis" (emphasis added) and
"Establishment of an intelligence community in Africa"
EU: European Parliament: EU Agencies: The way Ahead (pdf): 31 January - 3 February, 2010
EU: European Parliament: MEPs Lambrinidis and Castex call on Commission to explain reported “secret talks” on copyright enforcement (pdf)
The government's review of counter terrorism and security powers has confirmed that, like control orders section 44 stop and search powers are to be redesigned and reintroduced with a new name and a more tightly defined legal basis. See also Who'll stand up for liberty in Britain? by David Edgar (Guardian, link)
France backs wall project at Greece-Turkey border (euractiv, link)
EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: German Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat): Study finds telecommunications data retention ineffective (link) and Study (pdf)
EU: SIS & ARTICLE 96: Report of the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority on the follow-up of the recommendations concerning the use of Article 96 alerts in the Schengen Information System (pdf): Article 96 is the category under which Schengen states register "illegal aliens" - people to be denied to Schengen territory on immigration, public order or national security grounds. Also see: Three-quarters of a million "illegal aliens" banned from Schengen area and EU-SIS: Schengen Information System Article 99 report: 33,541 people registered in SIS for surveillance and checks (pdf) by Ben Hayes
European Parliament: More follow-up needed to secret rendition pracitces says report (Press release, pdf)
"A landmark investigation by the European Parliament in 2007 on the use of European airspace for secret CIA rendition flights has not been properly followed up. That's the finding of Amnesty International report by Julia Hall and a related report by former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak. A workshop on human rights on Tuesday (25 January) debated what had been learned from the original report by ex- MEP Claudio Fava."
UK-GERMANY: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Mark Kennedy infiltrated German anti-fascists, Bundestag told - Police chief tells German MPs in secret sitting that undercover police officer broke law while in Germany (Guardian, link)
UK: G20 UNDEROVER AND COVERT POLICE: Met apologises over covert officers at G20: Britain's most senior public order police officer has admitted he had no idea that covert and plain clothes officers were present at the G20 demonstrations two years ago. (Daily Telegraph, link)
UK: Control orders remain in all but name as Lib Dems renege on manifesto pledges
"Control orders have been abolished in name alone: amended, not replaced. Crucially, TPIMs will retain its predecessor's most objectionable characteristic of operating outside the criminal justice system and bypassing judicial process. Under the new system individuals will continue to be punished without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence heard in closed courts that they are not permitted to hear or contest. TPIMs will restrict suspects' civil liberties less severely than control orders currently do, but the new system will continue to undermine the presumption of innocence and remains an inadequate substitute to a fair trial."
EU: New Statewatch Observatory: EU Internal Security Strategy
EU: Statewatch Analysis: Spying in a see through world: the “Open Source” intelligence industry (pdf) by Ben Hayes:
"The Open Source Intelligence industry has grown rapidly over the past decade. Private companies free from the privacy statutes that constrain state agencies are collecting data on a vast scale and the practice has been widely embraced by EU institutions and Member States:
“In the past few years, Open Source Intelligence has become the target of what could almost be described as infatuation in both the EU institutions
and many of its member states” - Compagnie Européenne d'Intelligence Stratégique (2008).
UK: Meeting: Blacklisted: Targeted sanctions, pre-emptive security and fundamental rights (pdf) organised by European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities, Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and Statewatch: Monday, 21 February 2011 at 6:30pm. Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ
EU: EDRI Press release: New Study Documents Growing Role for Private Companies in Policing Online Communications (pdf): ""Finds that powers traditionally employed by law enforcement agencies and the judiciary are silently being delegated by governments to ISPs and corporations under the guise of industry “self-regulation”"
EU: European Commission: European Refugee Fund: Report on the results achieved and on qualitative and quantitative aspects of implementation of the European Refugee Fund for the period 2005-2007 (pdf)
UK: SchNEWS: Government agency caught infiltrating activist media outlet (link) and Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé (Indymedia): "we are able to state categorically that the comment containing the incitement was one of a long list of posts which have come from a Government Secure Intranet known as Gateway 303, a state network which provides a secure proxy network behind which state agents can maintain their anonymity"
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, 20-21 January 2011, Godollo, Hungary: Discussion papers:
- Dismantling obstacles to EU citizens' rights
- Role of the Council in implementing Charter of Fundamental Rights in legislative procedure
- Comprehensive security through border management
- Judicial training
- Internal security: combining efforts in combating organised crime
Bosnia-&-Herzegovina: Ill-treatments and hunger strike in Lukavica foreigners’ camp (MIgreurop, link)
UK-EU: Yearly report on UK's involvement in TFEU and Justice and Home Affairs: Report to Parliament on the Application of Protocols 19 and 21 to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) ('the Treaties') in Relation to EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Matters (1 December 2009 - 30 November 2010) (pdf): Despite the bland title does contain: 1.JHA opt-in Protocol and Schengen opt-out Protocol; 2. UK Government approach to European Justice and Home Affairs; 3.JHA opt-in decisions and Schengen opt-out decisions over the past 12 months; 4. Forthcoming dossiers over the next 12 months; 5. Annex 1: JHA (Title V) opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions taken between 1 December 2009 and 30 November 20108.
EU: Commissioner Kroes writes to Hungary on new media law and expresses "serious doubts": Letter (pdf)
EU: UK House of Lords Select Committee on the EU report: Money laundering: data protection for suspicious activity reports (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Draft Green Paper raising the issue of "blocking": On on-line gambling in the Internal Market (pdf)
EU: Counter-terrorism policy: European Parliament: Working document 1: The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges (pdf) Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), Rapporteur: Sophia in 't Veld MEP and Working document no 2 (pdf): Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), Rapporteur: Sophia in 't Veld MEP. See: The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges (COM 386-10, pdf)
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: Press release: Belgian authorities should not have expelled asylum seeker to Greece (pdf) and Full text of Judgment (pdf)
See also: Human rights court deals blow to EU asylum system (euobserver, link): "EU's asylum system known as the "Dublin regulation" was dealt a blow on Friday (21 January), as the European Court of Human Rights ruled that an Afghan translator should not have been sent back from Belgium to Greece, where he faced degrading and inhuman treatment."
Sweden Slammed Over Iraqi Deportations (Inter Press Service, link): "Both the United Nations and Amnesty International have criticised Sweden for its latest expulsion of Iraqi migrants who fled their home country to seek shelter in the European nation, citing concerns that violence in Iraq continues to threaten the lives of deported migrants.
UK: Corporate Watch: Farewell to NETCU: A brief history of how protest movements have been targeted by political policing (link) and Corporate Espionage in the UK: a Rough Guide (link)
After Greece, Bulgaria to build wall on Turkish border (World Bulletin, link)
UK: Statewatch analysis: Six months on: An update on the UK coalition government’s commitment to civil liberties (pdf) by Max Rowlands
Statewatch publishes a follow-up to its June 2010 analysis of the coalition government's commitment to civil liberties: Within weeks of its formation in May 2010, the coalition government announced with much fanfare its intention “to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power.” An easy victory over Labour’s politically bankrupt National Identity Scheme followed, but since then the government’s approach has been characterised by caution and pragmatism rather than an unerring commitment to liberty.
This is largely because there are splits within government on many of the key civil liberties issues that fundamentally define the relationship between citizen and state: how long and under what conditions can the government detain us, to what extent should the state surveil us, and what data on us should it hold? These internal divisions have been compounded by significant pressure from the civil service and security agencies to retain Labour policies that served to empower them.
On intrinsically divisive topics such as the future of the Human Rights Act and counter-terrorism legislation, commissions of enquiry have been used as a stalling tactic to avoid creating friction within the coalition and to provide time during which common ground can be found. Difficult decisions cannot be delayed indefinitely and it remains unclear which party will hold sway. The contents of the much anticipated Freedom Bill will go a long way towards revealing the extent of the coalition’s commitment to civil liberties.
Every third eavesdropping in Bulgaria illegal (euractiv, link)
Cageprisoners has published a report: "Fabricating Terrorism III: British Complicity in Renditions and Torture" (link)
- Council of Europe: Report by the Secretary General on the use of his powers under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the light of reports suggesting that individuals, notably persons suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism, may have been arrested and detained, or transported while deprived of their liberty, by or at the instigation of foreign agencies, with the active or passive co-operation of States Parties to the Convention or by States Parties themselves at their own initiative, without such deprivation of liberty having been acknowledged (28 February, 2006,pdf)
- UK: Ministry of Defence: The Defence Manual of Security Volumes 1, 2 and 3 Issue 2 (2001) (36 MB, link) but see: Extract: Non Traditional Threats Posed by Other Individuals or Organisations (pdf) including investigative journalists and pressure groups.
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Council Decision on the use of information technology for customs purposes (53 pages, pdf)
- Conclusions of the PCCCs seminar: "PCCCs, national bodies and Europol: 3 levels, 1 goal?!" (27 October 2010) (Police and Customs
Cooperation Centres, pdf)
- Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (pdf)
- SCIFA's role and working methods (pdf)
EU: European Commission: Proposal concerning the ion of the European Union to the Protocol of 2002 to the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974 (pdf): "Negotiations on this proposal within the Council started but were suspended in December 2003 because of a dispute between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom relating to the Gibraltar authorities in the context of mixed agreements. This dispute was solved in December 2007 and the negotiations on this proposal are to resume."
HUNGARY: Orban meets barrage of MEP criticism over media law (euobserver, link)
UK: Undercover policeman married activist he was sent to spy on - Chief constable says relationships with targets in environmental movement 'grossly unprofessional' (Guardian, links), plus Ex-wife of police spy tells how she fell in love and had children with him· Police spy encouraged ex-wife to change name to keep cover · He allegedly identified other undercover police to her and Undercover police: Officer A named as Lynn Watson - Lynn Watson posed as an environmental activist for five years, claiming to be a care worker living in Bournemouth and Undercover police: Officer B identified as Mark Jacobs - Mark Jacobs, not thought to be his real name, infiltrated anarchist groups and had an affair with at least one woman
UK: Clean-up of covert policing ordered after Mark Kennedy revelations - Home Office minister Nick Herbert says Acpo will lose control of three teams involved in tackling 'domestic extremism' (Guardian, link). Tony Bunyan, author of The Political Police in Britain, comments:
"The idea that the Home Office did not know what the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) doing, because it got the status of private company in April 1997, when undertaking the infiltration of and spying on protest movements is sheer nonsense.
The Chief Constables Association was set up in 1896 covering cities and boroughs and the County Chief Constables Conference in 1920. The present day ACPO, founded in 1948, brought the two together and has provided a permanent link between the Home Office, which largely funds it, and UK police forces.
The notion that the transfer of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) to the Metropolitan Police will make these activities more accountable is highly doubtful. From 1883 onwards the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, with a national as well as a regional role, did exactly the same thing - spying on political and trade union movements, acting undercover, recruiting informers etc."
Greek police tortures "by mistake" (The Week, GUE group): "Thursday night, Dimosthenis Papadatos, a member of Synaspismos and editor of "Red Notebook" web portal, was arrested by a group of 15 undercover members of the Greek Anti-Terror Service (all wearing full-face masks), as suspected member of the terrorist organization "Cosnpiracy of Fire Cores", while walking on a street in the district of Vyronas in Athens. He was badly beaten, and then taken to the Anti-Terror Service Headquarters, where they threw him in a dark room, undressed him and interrogated him. Eventually, a spokesman of the Anti-Terror Service announced to him that he had been arrested by mistake, because of his facial characteristics' resemblance with one of the wanted terrorists and released him."
Statewatch Survey: We would be grateful if you would complete our short survey so that we can better shape our website and e-mail communications to meet your needs. It is a very simple survey that takes only a couple of minutes to complete. Your response is anonymous and the data you provide will be securely destroyed once the survey is finished. You will not receive any additional communications as a result of taking part. Deadline 31 January 2011.
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Data Protection Reform Strategy: EDPS sets out his vision for the new framework (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf): "Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "In an information society where huge amounts of personal information are constantly being processed, citizens need and expect to stay in control of their personal data. If we want to strengthen citizens' rights over their personal data, we need to ensure that individuals remain in control and that data controllers pro-actively include data protection in their business processes. There is also a crucial need for a comprehensive framework that includes the area of police and justice."
EU: New Statewatch Observatory: Council of the European Union: Policymaking through Council "Conclusions"
Council Conclusions are termed "soft law" as they are not legally binding on EU member states (ie: "non-binding"). However, "Conclusions" are political statements by the Council and enable (and legitimate) cooperation between two or more member states which may involve changes in practices or the law at national level and allows them to undertake joint operational action. As such they have been used by as few as three member states or by all. Conclusions also set out the direction of policies to be pursued when the European Commission initiates a proposal. The European and national parliaments have no say at all regarding their content. Since 11 September 2001 Council Conclusions have played an increasingly significant policy-making function and are discussed at length in the working parties.
Italy: Quota for migrant workers to be allowed into Italy issued
On 20 November 2010, the Italian government issued the quotas for the entry of non-seasonal migrant workers in 2010. It lists the number of available places, the nationalities that will have preferential treatment in the form of entries reserved exclusively for them as a result of agreements stipulated with Italy regarding combating illegal immigration into Italy, or which are due to be stipulated.
EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council: Hungary: Godollo, 19-21 January 2011: Draft Programme (pdf)
EU: INTERNAL SECURITY STRATEGY: UK House of Lords European Committee inquiry: The EU Internal Security Strategy Written Evidence (pdf) See also: Statewatch Analysis: First thoughts on the EU’s Internal Security Strategy (pdf )
EU: PICUM’s Main Concerns about the Fundamental Rights of Undocumented Migrants in Europe (pdf): "This report pieces together a year of European, national and local news issues on irregular migration to foster a better understanding of the main concerns of human rights of undocumented migrants as well as the multifaceted ways in which civil society throughout Europe is responding to this situation of social exclusion. It is based on a review of events reported in PICUM’s newsletter during the year 2009.
UK: Student protests: Police ask colleges for demonstration details - As students gear up for new wave of protests and occupations, Scotland Yard asks London universities to pass on information (Guardian, link). Counter-terrorism PREVENT programme used to pre-empt student protests against new fees and cutbacks in higher education
UK: Mark Kennedy accuses senior officers of suppressing vital evidence - Undercover policeman breaks silence in newspaper interview and insists all his actions were sanctioned by superiors (Guardian, link)
UK: Third undercover police spy unmasked as scale of network emerges - 44-year-old infiltrated Cardiff anarchist group - Former girlfriend tells of 'colossal, colossal betrayal' (Guardian, links) and Mark Kennedy 'played key role in forming green movement in Iceland' - Undercover police officer made himself indispensable to movement, activist claims plus Mark Kennedy 'took part in attack on Irish police officers at EU summit' - Undercover police officer was involved in violent protest and helped train other demonstrators, anarchists claim
NORWAY: Norwegian police to deport acclaimed immigrant as soon as possible (The Foreigner, link): "“Maria Amelie”, as she is known, was walking outside the Fridtjof Nansen Norwegian Humanistic Academy late last night after holding a lecture there. Eight officers from the Police Immigration Service (PU) in civilian clothing approached her, bundling her in the back of a black van. "
UK: Undercover and over-the-top: The collapse of the Ratcliffe trial (New Internationalist, link): "New Internationalist contributor Danny Chivers was one of six defendants whose charges were dropped in Nottingham Crown Court this week, following revelations about an undercover police officer who had infiltrated the UK’s environmental protest movement. Here, Danny explains the extraordinary events that led to the collapse of his trial, and what they tell us about the policing of protest in Britain today."
HUNGARY: NEW MEDIA LAW: Centre for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University in Budapest: Resources: New media laws in Hungary (link). See also exchange of letters between the European Commission and the Hungarian government: Letters (link)
- Time to rethink terrorist blacklisting by Ben Hayes
- EU: Deepening the democratic deficit: the failure to “enshrine” the public’s right of to EU documents by Tony Bunyan
- The growing use of "preventative" arrests by Kees Hudig
- Civil liberties in the UK: Future of data retention and counter-terrorism powers uncertain as splits within the coalition become apparent by Max Rowlands
- EU: “The law will bring peace” - a view on the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) by Tim Schumacher
- The German Security Research Programme: transferring military technology - securitising civil research by Eric Töpfer
- EU: Controls, detention and expulsions at Europe borders by Yasha Maccanico
UK: Revealed: Second undercover police officer who posed as activist - Spy spent four years living in Leeds and played a central role in planning a demonstration to shut down the Drax power station (Guardian, links). Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy at centre of international row - Questions asked over officer in German and Irish parliaments as new allegations of sexual activity surface and Second police officer to infiltrate environmental activists unmasked - 'Officer A', who played key role in climate camp, has been accused of betraying friends worried by her disappearance plus Mark Kennedy: secret policeman's sideline as corporate spy- Former undercover officer apparently also worked privately as a corporate spy using the same false identity
US anti-Twitter subpoena fuels data privacy debate (euobserver, link): "A court order potentially giving US security services to data on all 637,000 people who follow the WikiLeaks Twitter account has added fuel to the fire of an EU debate on data retention."
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The work of the UK Border Agency (pdf)
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Lawyer criticises police on undercover Pc Mark Kennedy (BBC News, links): "Pc Mark Kennedy spent years working undercover in the green movement. Undercover officer switches sides Climate protest raid questioned. The solicitor for six green campaigners says police need to answer "serious questions" about an undercover officer who infiltrated their group." and Trial collapses after undercover officer changes sides
UK: No2ID: Petition: Stop the database state (pdf) "The main task is to expand and clarify, and to recruit public support for, the goals set out in the new NO2ID Petition - establishing personal control of personal information that doesn't rely on the goodwill and competence of the authorities: Government bodies must cease all unnecessary collecting of personal information about law-abiding residents of the United Kingdom.. The passing of personal information between government bodies, or using it for new purposes, without the genuine, informed consent of the persons concerned or a specific warrant from a court must stop."
EU: Figures and statistics regarding data retention (link)
EU: Lobbyists in Arms: The Role of Corporate Interest Groups in the EU Military-Industrial Complex (link): "The incremental integration of military, security and armament issues into the framework of the European Union has reached its newest culmination point in the Lisbon Treaty, codifying the role of the EU as a military power. The road towards a unified military Europe has already been long and the present state is still far from reaching the final goal. However, recent decades have seen the emergence of a powerful military-industrial complex in the Union, comprising of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP), an armaments agency coordinating arms procurement throughout Europe (EDA), and a powerful arms industry including four of the ten largest arms-producing companies in the world."
From around the EU: German journalist gets cleared from secret service: Three years after the anti-G8 protests in Heiligendamm, German Journalist Friedrich Burschel has won a case against secret service (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfVS) ). They have to stop spying on him and have to destroy the information gathered on him. Friedrich Burschel discovered that the service was targeting him, when he was denied accreditation as a journalist at the G8-summit in 2007. Earlier in 2009 he had already won a first court case denouncing that fact. Press release from his lawyer
Amnesty International publishes critical report on Dutch prison conditions for undocumented migrants: After a first critical report on the prison conditions in the Netherlands for undocumented migrants in 2008, Amnesty International has now published an updated version. The title of the new report is 'Against Human Rights' and the conclusion is that most recommendations mentioned in the 2008 report have not been followed (as then minister Albayrak had promised). The conditions in the Netherlands are contrary to human rights. Report (pdf) and Analysis by Doorbraak
Germany: 6th memorial protest and new trial for Oury Jalloh in Dessau: On January 7th, 2005 Oury Jalloh burnt with his hands and feet tied in a police cell in Dessau. The trial against the accused police man ended with an acquittal in December 2008. At the demand of the Initiative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh an action against the verdict was lodged at the federal court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH). The BGH decided that the trial against one of the accused police men has to start again because the family of the victim has the right to get a legal procedure. Before the trial starts on 12 January there will be demonstrations in Dessau (7 January) and Magdeburg (8 January). More information (English) The Voice and in German
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Promoting Synergies between the EU Civil and Military Capability Development – Way ahead (pdf): "Strategic and tactical transportation, Logistic support, Communications and Information systems, Medical support, Security and Force protection, Use of space capabilities, Unmanned Vehicles, Warehousing and Centralised support systems, Sharing information and intelligence, Training, Exercises, Interconnecting the civilian and military capability development processes"
- European Defence Agency - Draft Council Guidelines for the Agency's Work in 2011 (pdf)
- Judicial dimension of the fight against terrorism - Follow-up to the CTC recommendations for action (pdf):
"Special investigation techniques and terrorist financing: Work to improve mutual awareness of good practices and draw up model agreements, and then establish a common judicial framework for certain investigative techniques such as the use of undercover agents and informers, or online searches, and spell out the rules to be observed in the case of surveillance and undercover operations that continue across borders"
- 3rd Africa-EU Summit - Joint Africa EU Strategy - Action Plan 2011-2013 (99 pages, pdf)
EU: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: European Commission: Report: Application of Directive 2004/48/EC of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (pdf) and Accompanying document to the Report (SEC 1589, pdf). See also Council of the European Union: EU Customs Action Plan to combat IPR infringements - Second review (pdf)
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Final report on Joint Police Operation HERMES (pdf):
"Operation HERMES was aimed at refining and completing the map of routes used for illegal immigration and smuggling of human beings within the Schengen area together with the non-Schengen Member States... During the second phase, a total of 1900 illegal migrants were controlled in the 22 participating
Member States. 43 % of them were found on a train, 37.3% on the road, 10% on the waterways, 5% of these migrants had the intention of travelling to another EU country by plane and for 4.8% the transport mode was unspecified."
- SIS and SIRENE Statistics – Guidelines to collect data (pdf):
"With the enlargement of the EU and the subsequent growing number of countries using the SIS, a huge increase in SIS alerts and hits occurred."
- Guidelines on the implementation of Framework Decision on simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of the Member States of the European Union (133 pages, country-by-country, pdf):
"According to Article 2(d), “information and/or intelligence” covers the following two categories:
- any type of information or data which is held by law enforcement authorities
- any type of information or data which is held by public authorities or by private entities and which is available to law enforcement authorities without the taking of coercive measures. With a view to a clear understanding of Article 1(5), it should be taken into account that "coercive measures" may be understood differently by Member States."
International Council on Human Rights Policy: Report: Modes and Patterns of Social Control: Implications for Human Rights Policy (pdf, link)
Statewatch Journal (Quarterly): Contents Vol 20 no 2: Articles: First thoughts on the EU's internal security strategy/ EU: Security at international summits: not for protesters/ UK: UK: Will the imprisonment of children at Yarl’s Wood end? UK: “Speculative invoicing” schemes target internet file-sharers and individuals accused of minor retail crime/ GERMANY: “I don’t want to be forced to lie” Interview with privacy activist Padeluun/ FRANCE: Collective expulsions of Roma people undermines EU’s founding principles.
EU: Council of the European Union:
- Revised version of the European handbook on how to issue a European Arrest Warrant (128 pages, pdf)
- Implementation of Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders (country-by-country, pdf)
- Framework decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties (81 pages, country-by-country, pdf)
- Classification systems of terrorist threat levels in the EU Member States (pdf)
Updated: HUNGARY: PRESS FREEDOM: Petition drawn up by journalists: Proclamation for a media law to ensure basic constitutional and civil rights (link): "We, the undersigned, as producers and consumers of Hungarian media content, disagree with the spirit of the media law adopted on December 21, 2010 by the Hungarian Parliament In order to guarantee our basic constitutional and civil rights"
- Hungarian PM: EU cannot tell us 'what to do' on media law (euobserver, link): "the establishment of a new media authority... made up of government appointees, will be able to impose fines of up to €720,000 for news deemed to be offensive to "human dignity" or to be unbalanced, and will also be able to force journalists to reveal their sources in certain situations, critics say."
- European Federation of Journalists: Journalists question Hungary's leadership of Europe as media law provokes outrage (IFEX, link)
- English translation of Hungary's infamous new media law (link)
- Verhofstadt: Hungary must uphold media freedom (ALDE, link)
- EU Commission and Council must take action against Hungary over draconian media law (Green/EFA, link)
GREECE: Greece to build wall on EU-Turkey border (euobserver, link):
"The Greek government plans to build a wall along its 206-km-long land border with Turkey to help keep out unwanted migrants on the model of the US' border with Mexico... The EU and Turkey have not reacted to the Greek plan, even though it has the potential to cause upset. The Union frequently voices complaints against Israel's anti-Palestinian wall, while slow progress in EU-Turkey ion talks and historic Greek-Turkish tensions could see the new barrier become a symbol of EU antipathy toward its southern neighbour."
GREECE: NGO “AITIMA” press release: The rightful struggle of refugees in Greece (pdf):
"During the first decade of the 21st century Greece has been grossly violating international refugee law and refugees’ rights. The situation has deteriorated since 2009 with the practical suspension of the asylum system, the growing impoverishment of refugees and the racist attacks against them"
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