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 our RSS feed to get instant alerts.
Intensified border security checks targeting Afghan nationals have been agreed by the Council of the EU, with the procedures requiring the extraction of mobile phone data and significant coordination with national intelligence agencies – despite the EU having no competences in the realm of “national security”.
A new book offers a broad geographic and inter-disciplinary analysis of how time is used to dehumanise, disenfranchise and disempower asylum-seekers, irregular migrants and people awaiting deportation.
A meeting on 16 November 2021, co-organised by Frontex and the Slovenian Council Presidency, covered joint operations, information exchange and capacity building in a region seen by the EU as a "buffer zone" to deflect arrivals to its borders.
Civil society organisations, elected representatives and other prominent public figures are calling on Interpol to take steps to prevent the abuse of international policing databases and alert systems by authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. A resolution sent to the policing organisation a week before its 89th General Assembly calls for the protection of human rights by the full implementation of recommendations made by the Council of Europe and European Parliament. Statewatch is one of the signatories of the resolution.
The Slovenian Presidency of the Council has launched a discussion on climate change and migration, calling for "a multi-sectoral approach that works across silos to address root causes and consequences – in other words, an approach that not only responds to and mitigates crises but that is also forward looking and preventative."
In reponse to the publication of the EU's new action plan on migrant smuggling and the ongoing discussions on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Council has begun discussing new ways to deal with migrant smuggling and "secondary movements," defined as "the journeys undertaken by third-country nationals and stateless persons from one EU/[Schengen state] to another without the prior consent of national authorities and with or without facilitation."
A new report examines how Operation Luxor, the largest ever peacetime police raid undertaken by the Austrian authorities, "was an unlawful and ideologically-driven targeting of Austrian Muslims," that has been followed by government attempts to "[leverage] its Islamophobic policies to position itself as leader in Europe on ‘counter-terror’ measures."
After shipwreck, survivor faces more than 230 years for “boat driving” and father charged with the death of his 6-year-old child
Press release published by the Council of Europe on 3 November 2021, along with the updated recommendation.
The EU-funded ATLAS network of special forces hopes to explore the possible use of drones fitted with explosives "as tactical support weapons and particularly to breach windows," according to its work programme for 2023, which has been obtained by Statewatch.
Following the arrival of a substantial number of people in Poland and Lithuania after having crossed the border from Belarus, the EU and its member states have accused the regime of Alexander Lukashenko of "weaponising migration" - a discourse that legitimises the treatment of asylum-seekers "as other than human".
A report by the European Migration Network examines how and when EU member states detect "vulnerabilities" - for example relating to age, gender, family situation or medical conditions - of applicants for international protection.
An academic at Turin Polytechnic University has denounced the institution's work for EU border agency Frontex. The campaign group LasciateCIEntrare has called on individuals and institutions "not to legitimate the violent, repressive, expelling and racialising of the European Union".
The government has ramped up its attack on people arriving in the country without first seeking permission, with the addition of new powers that would make it possible for courts to hand down prison sentences of up to four years.
Eight draft action plans for cooperation with non-EU states on migration and border control were approved by the European Council in October. Documents dealing with Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria, published here, show a chosen path of intensified externalisation of EU border management, and very little commitment to legal migration pathways.
A high-level conference organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU will commit participating states to finding "appropriate solutions regarding data retention, encryption, e-evidence and the darknet," in the name of combating child sexual abuse.
A new report by the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons examines "the intersections between trafficking by proscribed groups and terrorism, and in particular the continuing failures in terms of identification of and assistance to the victims of trafficking and in terms of the protection of their human rights."
Two recent documents produced by the European External Action Service, the EU's foreign policy arm.
Press release published by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, 25 October 2021.
The UK government is consulting on wide-ranging changes to data protection law that include a proposal to facilitate “joint operational activity between law enforcement and national security partners.”
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