Launched in 1999 and updated regularly, Statewatch News includes our own reporting and writing as well as articles, announcements, documents and analyses from elsewhere on civil liberties, EU policies and state practices. You can receive updates in your inbox by signing up to our mailing list, or use an RSS feed to get instant alerts.

15 February 2019

Italy: Public prosecutor investigating the death of 117 people

"Italy’s public prosecutor is investigating the death of 117 people, who lost their lives on 19th January, after more than 8 hours stranded at sea, because of Libya not responding to Rome’s MRCC calls."

14 February 2019

EU asylum applications fall to below half crisis peak

"The number of people seeking asylum in the European Union fell for a third straight year in 2018 to less than half the peak during the 2015-2016 migration crisis, data released on Wednesday showed."

14 February 2019

UK: Expansion of the national DNA database accelerates

The number of DNA profile records held in the UK's National DNA Database (NDNAD) increased by over 172,000 in the year up to March 2018, the biggest annual increase since over a million records were deleted from the system following the entry into force of the Protection of Freedoms Act.

14 February 2019

EU: Entry/Exit System: progress report outlines "major issues" and "major risks"

A report on the development of the EU's Entry/Exit System (EES), designed to record the border crossings of almost all non-EU nationals entering or leaving the Schengen area, highlights a number of "major issues" and "major risks" including increased complexity due to "additional requirements" introduced by Member States, "possible budget shortcomings due to higher than anticipated costs for development" and the fact that delays encountered in any single Member State "will impact all involved stakeholders."

14 February 2019

SPAIN: Catalan leaders go on trial in Madrid over independence bid

"Twelve Catalan politicians go on trial on Tuesday for their role in Catalonia’s failed 2017 independence bid, putting the spotlight back on Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades which could make it flare once again."

13 February 2019

EU: Migration and asylum: European Court of Auditors to examine "hotspots" in Greece and Italy

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is to conduct an audit of the "hotspots" set up in Greece and Italy, which "will assess whether support for Greece and Italy has achieved its objectives, and whether the asylum, relocation and return procedures have been effective and swift."

13 February 2019

IRELAND: Second fire attack on proposed refugee housing branded ‘unacceptable and worrying’

"A hotel which was earmarked as a possible Direct Provision centre has been subjected to an arson attack for the second time in five weeks."

13 February 2019

EU: Report to the EU Parliament on Frontex cooperation with third countries in 2017

A recent report by Frontex, the EU's border agency, highlights the ongoing expansion of its activities with non-EU states.

13 February 2019

GERMANY: New #NRW state police law used for the first time against climate activists: 3 people imprisoned

"Last Saturday, the first use case of the so-called “Lex Hambi” occurred: after environmental activists had blocked an excavator in the Garzweiler opencast mine, they were arrested for alleged trespassing."

13 February 2019

EU: 'I'll talk, but then I have to call Putin': steakhouse at centre of EU spy alert

"The EU’s diplomatic and foreign wing, the European External Action Service (EEAS), alerted member states’ embassies last week to the presence of about 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies said to be roaming the embassy-lined streets of the Belgian capital."

13 February 2019

EP civil liberties committee against proposal to give Frontex powers to assist non-EU states with deportations

The European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) has agreed its position for negotiations with the Council on the new Frontex Regulation, and amongst other things it hopes to deny the border agency the possibility of assisting non-EU states with deportations.

13 February 2019

World Health Organisation report: "No public health without refugee and migrant health"

"The Report on the Health of Refugees and Migrants in the WHO European Region is the first WHO report of its kind, creating an evidence base with the aim of supporting evidence-informed policy-making to meet the health needs of refugees and migrants and the health needs of the host populations."

12 February 2019

Council of Europe: Hungary should address many interconnected human rights protection challenges

"Challenges include civil society space, gender equality, refugee protection and independence of the judiciary."

12 February 2019

Study: Germany needs 260,000 immigrants a year to meet labor demand

"Germany needs at least 260,000 new migrant workers per year until 2060 in order to meet labor shortages caused by demographic decline, according to a study published on Tuesday."

12 February 2019

Libyan coast guard taking drifting migrants back to Libya - Salvini

"Some 150 migrants have been picked up by the Libyan Coastguard from a drifting boat and are being taken back to Libya, from where they had departed, Italian Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday evening."

12 February 2019

German car toll and deportation law stokes EU criticism in Austria

"Interior minister Herbert Kickl from the populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) recently asked European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos for permission to deport criminal refugees found guilty of more basic offences."

12 February 2019

Italy: 'Migrant menace': Salvini accused of targeting refugees and ignoring mafia

"...last Thursday night, when 90 carabinieri paramilitary police officers surrounded several apartment buildings in Caserta, the provincial capital, many residents thought an anti-mafia blitz was under way. The targets were in fact immigrants, under scrutiny for sanitary inspections of their homes."


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