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.

13 December 2021

EU: Draft border proposals: "drones and motion sensors, as well as mobile units to prevent unauthorised border crossings"

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the response to threats to the area without controls at internal borders: "SENSITIVE UNTIL ADOPTION"

10 December 2021

UK: "Quasi-detention" of asylum seekers must be replaced with "decent, safe acommodation," say MPs

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention has released a report condeming the government's use of an abandoned barracks in Kent to house asylum seekers, and demanding that plans to extend the use of such sites of "quasi-detention" be halted. The report says people seeking asylum should be "housed in decent, safe accommodation in the community that supports their well-being and recovery from trauma, facilitates their engagement with the asylum process, and allows them to build links with their community."

09 December 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency wants JHA Council to find "sustainable solutions" on legal proposals

A working paper circulated on 7 December by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council looks at the state of play of discussions on the legal proposals that are part of the EU's Pact on Migration and Asylum. It calls on national ministers in the Justice and Home Affairs Council - meeting tomorrow - to find ways to move forward with negotiations.

09 December 2021

Book review: ‘EU Migration Agencies: The Operation and Cooperation of Frontex, EASO and Europol’

David Fernández-Rojo’s comparative analysis, published by Edward Elgar Publishing, explores the way in which the three agencies have grown together, and what this means for the future of migration management.

07 December 2021

UK: Home Office publishes latest report on financial allowances for asylum-seekers

The Home Office has released its 2020 report into the pitiful living allowance paid to asylum-seekers and failed asylum-seekers, who are barred from working legally. The amounts paid, which are around half that paid to individuals on Jobseekers' Allowance (unemployment benefit), have long been condemned by charities and human rights organisations for leaving people in poverty.

07 December 2021

UK strengthens policing cooperation with Malta

Press release published by the UK Home Office, 6 December 2021.

07 December 2021

UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime: EU competences

More than a decade after the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, the European Commission has decided to notify the United Nations of the competences of the EU under the Convention on Transnational and Organised Crime, and its protocols on migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

06 December 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Council restricts rights in latest Screening Regulation text

The Council is aiming to water down rights protections in the proposed Screening Regulation, which will see most individuals who enter the EU in an irregular fashion detained at the borders with a view to their swift expulsion.

01 December 2021

EU: Data retention strikes back? Options for mass telecoms surveillance under discussion again

In June 2021 the European Commission sought the views of member states on ways to reintroduce the bulk retention of telecoms traffic, location and internet connection data on everyone in the EU. Responses from seven member states, published here, show a divergence of views on what data to retain and when, but a majority in favour of new EU legislation.

01 December 2021

EU: Spin it to win it: Frontex seeks public relations support

Earlier this year we analysed the time and money Frontex invests in its public image. Media expertise has remained a high priority for Frontex, with a total of €315,000 set aside for three various media contracts this year.

30 November 2021

EU: Artificial Intelligence Act must put human rights first

115 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, have today published a collective statement calling for EU institutions to prioritise fundamental rights in the Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA), which is currently under negotiation.

30 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency compromise proposals on revamped Eurodac database

The controversial expansion and extension of the Eurodac database is moving ahead, with compromise proposals circulated by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council last week. The legislation would extend Eurodac from a system concerned with supporting the implementation of the EU's asylum rules, to a more general "migration management" database, with a big emphasis on providing data for deportations.

29 November 2021

EU: Frontex seeks expertise on "camp management and administration" and "intelligence gathering education"

Frontex is creating an external experts database and has published a list of the roles it is seeking, ranging from a "civil engineer for camp management and administration," to experts in social media surveillance and an "expert in intelligence gathering officers education".

29 November 2021

JOINT STATEMENT of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French Republic on migration issues and police and judicial cooperation in the Channel and the North Sea

The statement published following the meeting on Channel crossings, to which the UK was "disinvited", is entirely concerned with law enforcement and migration control measures, with no mention of humanitarian issues despite the drastic situation in Calais and other sites along the French and Belgian coasts. It is noteworthy that the statement announces the first major deployment of EU resources that aims to prevent departures from - rather than arrivals into - the EU.

29 November 2021

EU: Artificial Intelligence Act: Council aims to simplify use of mass biometric surveillance by law enforcement

The Council of the EU wants to make it possible for private actors to operate mass biometric surveillance systems on behalf of police forces, and intends to extend the purposes for which such systems can be used under the EU's proposed Artificial Intelligence Act.

26 November 2021

EU: Deportations at record levels as Frontex foresees an “unprecedented number" of post-pandemic removals

Frontex supported EU member states in removing over 8,300 non-EU nationals to their countries of origin in the first half of 2021, the largest ever number for a six-month period. However, the number of operations with at least one human rights monitor on board decreased by 7%, according to a report recently circulated to EU member states by the border agency.

26 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Consolidated text of revised Asylum Procedure Regulation proposal

The Council has circulated an unofficial consolidated text of the revised proposal for an Asylum Procedure Regulation, which would replace a previous Directive on common procedures for international protection in the EU. Available here, it will aid understanding of the proposal for individuals and organisations working to protect individual rights.

25 November 2021

Press release: Turkey: Algorithmic persecution based on massive privacy violations used to justify human rights abuses, says new report

More than 13,000 Turkish military personnel have been dismissed since July 2016 on the basis of an algorithm used by the authorities to assess the alleged “terrorist” credentials or connections of military officers and their relatives in violation of multiple human rights, says a new report published today by Statewatch. [1]

24 November 2021

EU: Greek-led military exercise examined intervention in fictional country of "Seglia"

An EU military exercise led by Greece in June this year tested the procedures and activities for launching an intervention in the fictional country of "Seglia", where incursions by the "Newborn Extremist State" and political interference from the country "Kronen" were leading to a deteriorating security situation with an impact on the EU's political and strategic interests.


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