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A Council Presidency note on the proposed e-evidence Regulation, which would ease the cross-border acquisition of digital data by law enforcement authorities, sets out a proposed way forward in negotiations with the European Parliament - including an admission that the Council is seeking to ensure that 'Article 7' proceedings on the rule of law in EU member states "will not affect the way the data is obtained from service providers."
The attack on the asylum system proposed by the UK government in the Nationality and Borders Bill has provoked outrage. However, the Bill also includes proposals to introduce an electronic 'permission to travel' scheme that would involve gathering biometric and other data from tens of millions of people. The UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is conducting legislative scrutiny on the Bill; Statewatch submitted written observations to the inquiry last week.
The Slovenian Presidency of the Council is planning to accelerate negotiations on a vast expansion of the Eurodac database, which will hold sensitive data on millions of asylum seekers and migrants in an irregular situation, by 'delinking' the proposed rules from other EU asylum and migration laws under discussion.
The recent meeting of G7 interior and security ministers in London resulted in a detailed set of commitments, including reassertion of the need to undermine encrypted communications, reinforce Interpol, and to enforce new international standards on Passenger Name Record (PNR) travel surveillance and passenger profiling systems.
A draft European Commission action plan on the response to people fleeing the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan says that an EU agreement facilitating deportations to the country is suspended - but encourages EU member states to continue deporting Afghan nationals to other third countries, where permitted by readmission agreements.
The House of Lords must make significant changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill if rights are to be upheld, says an open letter to the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice signed by over 350 civil society organisations, including Statewatch. If passed into law, the Bill would massively restrict protest rights, facilitate racist and discriminatory policing, and unnecessarily push more people into the criminal justice system.
"The Counter-Terrorism Action Plan has been elaborated in coordination with the Commission services, the EEAS, the Presidency and relevant EU JHA agencies. It sets out 22 recommendations for action, divided into four areas: I. security checks – prevent infiltration; II. strategic intelligence/foresight: avoid that Afghanistan becomes a safe haven for terrorist organisations; III. monitor and counter propaganda and mobilisation of the Jihadi eco-system; IV. tackling organised crime as a source of terrorist financing."
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Circulated by the Presidency of the Council on 2 September.
The document includes detailed comments from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.
31 organisations, including Statewatch, have signed an open letter to MEPs working on new rules for the Eurodac database calling for a halt to negotiations so that the impact on human rights can be meaningfully taken into account.
The Council is preparing a short set of conclusions on a recent European Court of Auditors report looking at Frontex's support to external border management, which concluded that it was "not sufficiently effective".
Press release issued by Pro Asylum on 2 September 2021, concerning a study by Kiel University into conditions in refugee shelters during the pandemic.
Press release issued by Amnesty International, Medecins du Monde, Anafé, La Cimade, Tous Migrants and the Briançon 3+4 Support Committee on 7 September concerning the case of the Briançon Seven, who are appealing against prison sentences handed down against them for migrant smuggling, after they took part in a demonstration in solidarity with migrants and against the far-right group Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity).
Earlier this year the European Commission proposed the possibility of taking measures to restrict the issuance of visas to nationals of three countries - Iraq, The Gambia and Bangladesh - in order to encourage compliance with deportations from the EU. Member states have mixed views on the proposals, a Council document shows.
A strong statement from the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights condemns legislation currently before the Greek parliament that would "seriously hinder the life-saving work carried out at sea by NGOs, and their human rights monitoring capacities in the Aegean”.
The Council of the EU will submit written comments to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in a case referred from the Supreme Court of Ireland, which has asked the CJEU to clarify whether the extradition arrangements set out in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement are valid, given that Ireland did not exercise an 'opt-in' to the Agreement.
The rules would create a new type of "information alert in the interest of the Union," to be entered in the Schengen Information System following a proposal from Europol, with the aim of discreetly gathering information on third-country nationals.
In July, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council circulated a number of compromise amendments to the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation following "detailed examination of proposals and concerns expressed by Member States," including a proposal to increase the time limit for detaining people subject to transfer proceedings from four to five weeks.
A letter to a number of UN special rapporteurs signed by 23 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, raises serious concerns over the Hungarian government's attacks on the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. The letter calls on the UN special rapporteurs to put pressure on the Hungarian government to change track, and to call on the EU to launch further infringement proceedings against the country.
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