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A new database that will require the biometric registration of almost all non-citizens entering and exiting the EU is facing "substantial delays" and will not be completed on time, according to a letter obtained by Statewatch. Meanwhile, upgrades to the Schengen Information System are highly unlikely to be completed on time.
The Council of Europe has adopted a new 'Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum', covering the period 2021-25.
A new policy briefing by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) looks at the collection, processing and sharing of personal data and the use of new technologies in the counter-terrorism and freedom of movement context.
The Association for Immigration Law Studies (ASGI) has published a study of Turin's Pre-Removal Detention Centre, the second-largest such centre in Italy. The 'Black Book' was written following the death in solitary confinement of 22-year old Moussa Balde in May. It examines the centre's inhumane conditions and the rights violations to which its "guests" (a euphemism used by the Italian state for detainees) are subjected.
The European Commission’s Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in the Domain of Home Affairs is currently in breach of its own transparency rules, preventing public oversight of its membership.
The first round of negotiations for a UK-EU agreement on Gibraltar will begin this week with "mobility of persons" the first substantive issue under discussion, a topic that includes "asylum, short term and long term visas and residence permits".
Official documents on: negotiations on the agreement on Gibraltar (including plans for Spain to undertake border controls, Spain-UK cooperation on asylum and deportations, Spanish control over issuing short-stay visas, and more); EU proposal for a possible "EU-UK CT [counter-terrorism] Dialogue"; EU notifications under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on police data protection authorities.
On 4 October the Slovenian Presidency circulated re-drafted sections of the proposed Asylum and Migration Management Regulation to national delegations in the Council. The proposals cover the section on "solidarity" - that is, how member states are supposed to aid one another in dealing with the "burden" of individuals arriving in the EU - and parts of Article 6, concerning "recurring disembarkations following search and rescue operations."
Member states see the use of detention as "a key measure" for the purpose of carrying out the "screening" of people arriving irregularly at the EU's external borders, according to the Slovenian Presidency, which hopes to rush the measures through to "strengthen the protection of the external borders and prevent illegal migration."
Press release published by the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, along with the Mission's full report and statements from a press conference on 4 October.
"It is therefore important to have a broad policy discussion at the highest political level on the challenges and way forward in relation to the underlying question: what is required, in concrete terms, in order to ensure an operationally sufficient level of access to data for authorities that are responsible for public/internal security, including to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our societies."
The EU’s foreign policy chief has recommended funding the development of a “next generation” drone that could be deployed over land and sea in military operations, as well as for “civilian, law enforcement use.”
Kate Wilson, who was spied on by six undercover police officers between 2003 and 2009 - and deceived into an intimate relationship with one of them, Mark Kennedy - has won her legal battle against the Metropolitan Police, with a court finding the force responsible for "a formidable list" of human rights violations during an "unlawful and sexist" operation.
Statement circulated by the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux on 1 October 2021.
An open letter signed by 50 organisations and individuals, including Statewatch, calls on the Belgian government to halt its plan to introduce legislation that would introduce backdoors into encrypted communications, undermining the privacy, confidentiality and security of all users.
Two presentations produced by the European Commission explain different aspects of the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act - namely, how the new measures would affect the use of biometric technologies, and what the rules would mean for the use of "artificial intelligence" for law enforcement, migration and asylum. Amongst other things, one presentation notes that the Artificial Intelligence Act aims "to decrease administrative burden on home affairs authorities in order not to hamper innovation"
On 21 September, Heiner Busch, one of the founding members of Statewatch, passed away at the age of 64. Here we publish a translation of a tribute from a number of German organisations with which Heiner worked, and a tribute from Statewatch Director Emeritus, Tony Bunyan.
The EU is looking for ways to step up the number of deportations, and the Slovenian Presidency is seeking other member states' views on "missings links" and "synergy" in the coordination between different actors, whether there should be further emphasis on return and readmission in the EU's relations with third countries, and how negotiations on readmission agreements could be improved.
The EU and UK are to extend the application of rules that allow the cross-border searching and exchange of DNA and fingerprint data by law enforcement authorities, pending an evaluation of the UK’s data protection rules, which must take place by the end of June next year.
The European Commission intends "to step up border management support at Libya’s Southern border," according to a draft action plan on cooperation on migration with Niger. New working arrangements will be signed between Frontex and EU missions EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUBAM Libya, that "could help the Governments of Niger and Libya shore up border management at their mutual land border," says the document.
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