News

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.

08 April 2021

EU: Europol holding on to UK data post-Brexit

Europol is holding on to tens of thousands of pieces of data entered in its systems by the UK prior to 31 December 2020, an answer to a European parliamentary question has revealed.

08 April 2021

ECHR: Court’s first judgment on compulsory childhood vaccination: no violation of the Convention

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Czech Republic's general legal requirement for the vaccination of children against certain diseases does not violate the right to respect for private life, in a case brought by parents who had been fined, or whose children had been refused access to nursery, for refusing to have them vaccinated. The case is particularly relevant given the ongoing rollout of coronavirus vaccination programmes across Europe and the world.

08 April 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Council Legal Service identifies problems with asylum and migration proposals

The Council Legal Service has been busy assessing measures proposed as part of the EU's Pact on Migration and Asylum and has identified a number of issues that need to be resolved if EU law is to be respected, according to a document obtained by Statewatch

07 April 2021

EU: New "ad-hoc working group" on vaccine passports starts work - in secret

Discussions amongst EU member states on how to approach plans for digital vaccination certificates are taking place in a new "ad-hoc working group", a format that is not likely to foster transparency - particularly given that the group has said it will not be keeping "minutes as such".

07 April 2021

EU: Joint EEAS–Commission Services Reflection Paper on the use of military assets and capabilities in support of civilian authorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

A paper produced by the European External Action Service and the European Commission, circulated to military officials in the Council of the EU and member states, examines how military forces have been used to support civilian authorities during the pandemic and sets out a number of options for increased coordination in the future.

06 April 2021

EU-UK: Brexit means... the UK staying in the G6

"Brexit means Brexit" was a remarkably meaningless slogan coined by former UK prime minister Theresa May. In practice, it appears that one thing Brexit does mean is the UK staying part of the G6, an informal annual meeting that was originally set up to facilitate discussion and coordination between the interior ministers of the six largest EU member states, alongside representatives of the European Commission and the USA.

06 April 2021

EU: New report highlights impact of pandemic on reception facilities for asylum seekers

COVID-19 lockdown measures across Europe increased homelessness and destitution among asylum seekers due to evictions and the temporary closure of relevant administrations, says a new report by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).

06 April 2021

New platform provides transparency on EU security spending

A new platform that tracks spending by the EU on security-related projects and policies aims to serve as “a tool for journalists, researchers, civil society organizations and others to better understand the growing investments of the European Union in security.”

06 April 2021

EU: Despite acquiring training on how to recruit informants, Frontex insists that it does not recruit informants

As previously reported by Statewatch, EU border agency Frontex acquired training from a private security company on the topic of “human intelligence”. Despite seeking lessons on “how to recruit an informant”, the agency has insisted that it does not recruit informants – rather, it “conducts interviews with migrants on a voluntary basis where the interviewed person's identity remains anonymous.”

01 April 2021

Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements of the European Social Forum on Migration

The Declaration, which is the outcome of a process involving "300 social movements, civil society organisations, migrants' associations, unions, migrant and refugee people activists and academics," calls for renewed action to protect the rights of migrants, refugees and people on the move across the globe.

01 April 2021

UK: Protect human rights and judicial review

Statewatch has signed an open statement, alongside more than 150 other organisations, calling for the UK government to halt its attacks on human rights and judicial review.

01 April 2021

EU: To protect fundamental rights, a ban on biometric mass surveillance is needed

Along with 51 other organisations, Statewatch has signed an open letter calling on the European Commission to introduce measures to ban biometric mass surveillance as part of the upcoming legislative proposal on artificial intelligence (AI).

31 March 2021

UK: Housing asylum seekers in disused barracks: "The Home Secretary must provide an explanation" for contradictory evidence

Home Secretary Priti Patel "must provide an explanation" for the contradiction between evidence she gave to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee and the findings of an independent inspection on disused military barracks being used to house asylum-seekers, says the chair of parliament's Home Affairs Committee.

30 March 2021

Germany: Protest against European asylum and migration policies at Christian Democratic Union headquarters

Press release from a demonstration organised at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin. The CDU currently heads Germany's federal government. European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, is also a member of the party. According to the press release, the demonstration was against the "catastrophic and inhumane situation in camps at the European external borders," and the EU's asylum and migration policies more generally.

30 March 2021

Transparency and accountability of Frontex: re-launch of Statewatch Observatory and new policy briefing

Statewatch is today launching an updated and improved Observatory on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, providing a focal point for documentation and analysis on the role and activities of the agency. The re-launch of the Observatory is accompanied by a policy brief that provides an overview of all the ongoing investigations and inquiries into the activities of Frontex.

26 March 2021

Denmark: Reject discriminatory "Security for all Danes” Act and respect freedom of assembly

Open letter signed by 36 organisations including Statewatch, coordinated by the European Civic Forum.

25 March 2021

Spain: More than 1,700 people lost their lives trying to reach Spain in 2020, the highest figure ever recorded

The Andalusian Association for Human Rights criticises the “vast resources” given to preventing migration, in contrast with the “absolute lack of investment in reception.” There was a 756% increase in arrivals in the Canary Islands in 2020.

25 March 2021

EU: Parliament urged to reject online content rules that pose "serious threats to freedom of expression and opinion"

More than 60 human rights and journalism organisations (including Statewatch) have signed an open letter to MEPs calling on them to vote against the proposed Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online, which includes measures that would seriously undermine freedom of expression and opinion, freedom to access information, right to privacy and the rule of law.

25 March 2021

EU: Pushbacks scandal: Internal letters shed light on Frontex’s fundamental rights recruitment failures

As the work of the European Parliament’s working group scrutinising Frontex continues, we are publishing correspondence shared with the group by Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson. The documents shed new light on the dispute between the Commission and Frontex over the agency’s controversial attempts to recruit new staff for its Fundamental Rights Office.

24 March 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Tunisia and other North African states targeted for new action on migration, asylum and more

Two papers circulated by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU give an insight into ongoing discussions and activities geared towards implementing the Pact on Migration and Asylum in North Africa, covering issues such as cooperation on asylum, border control and law enforcement.

 

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