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.

15 July 2021

EU: Communications data retention: Commission seeks member state views on the way forward

The European Commission is seeking the views of EU member states on how to frame a possible new EU law on the retention of telecommunications metadata, in a way that is compatible with the various court rulings that have severely restricted the ability of the authorities to undertake data retention measures.

15 July 2021

Frontex has failed on fundamental rights, says European Parliament scrutiny group

EU border agency Frontex failed both to prevent human rights violations and to reduce the risk of future violations, says the report of the European Parliament's Scrutiny Group looking into allegations of Frontex's involvement in breaches of fundamental rights.

15 July 2021

EU: New Statewatch series examines the strained relationship between Frontex and fundamental rights

The first of a four-part series looking into the activities and operations of EU border agency Frontex is published today, examining the evolution of the agency’s search and rescue obligations since it was founded in 2004.

13 July 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency proposals on determining state responsible for an asylum claim

The Council of the EU is continuing discussions on the proposed Asylum and Migration Management Regulation. A paper circulated amongst member state delegations by the Slovenian Presidency on 6 July makes proposals on the sections of the text dealing with the criteria and mechanisms for determining the state responsible for an asylum application.

13 July 2021

Ireland: New report highlights devastating effects of delays in the asylum process

A new report from the Irish Refugee Council examines the human cost of delays in Ireland's asylum procedure, where thousands of individuals have been waiting for longer than a year - and in many cases longer than two years - for an outcome to their request for international protection.

13 July 2021

European Parliament: unlawful internal border controls must be halted and rights upheld at external borders

The European Parliament's resolution on the functioning of the Schengen Area calls for an end to illegal internal border controls imposed by EU member states, the upholding of individual rights at the external borders of the Schengen area, and calls for more stringent evaluation of the operational activities of Frontex and close oversight of the implementation of the security and law enforcement provisions in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

13 July 2021

Over 2,000 people die on migration routes to Spain so far this year

2,087 people died on migration routes towards Spain in the first half of 2021, says a new briefing from the organisation Caminando Fronteras, an increase of 526% when compared to the first half of 2020.

12 July 2021

Polish and Hungarian pushbacks violated human rights, court rules

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Polish and Hungarian authorities violated the prohibitions on torture and collective expulsion and breached the right to an effective remedy in two separate pushback cases.

08 July 2021

UK: Parliamentarians say there is "no case" for amending the Human Rights Act

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, made up of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, says that there is "no case" for amending the Human Rights Act, something that has long-been part of government plans as part of the effort to limit accountability measures and undermine protections for individuals.

08 July 2021

EU: Outgoing Portuguese Presidency report on "e-evidence" state of play

Just prior to handing over the Council Presidency to Slovenia, the Portuguese authorities circulated a note setting out the state of play with negotiations on the controversial "e-evidence" proposal. The proposal would make it simplier for law enforcement and judicial authorities to obtain electronic data held in another member state, but without sufficient safeguards it poses grave risks to fundamental rights.

08 July 2021

EU: New Slovenian Presidency discussion paper on a "sustainable return policy"

In a discussion paper focusing on Frontex's deportation activities, the new Slovenian Council Presidency proposes more strategic cooperation with “crucial third countries of origin and transit”, as well as stronger internal structures and improved procedures at EU and member state level, to overcome “fragmentation” between national approaches.

07 July 2021

UK: Cruelty and illegality in "anti-refugee" asylum proposals

The government has announced a new Nationality and Borders Bill that it claims will "fix the broken asylum system" - a system that the Conservative Party has now been in charge of for more than a decade. It includes a variety of proposals that have been branded as illegal, cruel and "anti-refugee", which will only serve to increase the hardship faced by people in need attempting to reach the UK, and by refugees who make it to UK territory.

05 July 2021

EU: "Specific EU action against violent left-wing and anarchist extremism and terrorism" on the agenda

On 7 July, the Council of the EU's Working Party on Terrorism will discuss whether the EU should launch a specific initiative to counter "violent left-wing and anarchist extremism and terrorism," with a background paper from the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator providing a menu of possible activities that the member states and EU institutions could undertake.

29 June 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Member state comments on the proposed Screening Regulation

Comments from 14 member states show significant divergences on the proposed Screening Regulation, which would entrench hotspot-like infrastructure at the EU's external borders "in the interest of the Member States and to the detriment of the exiled persons".

29 June 2021

EU: New powers for Europol: Proposed Council mandate for negotiations

The Portuguese Presidency of the Council is approaching agreement on its position on granting new powers to EU policing agency Europol. A compromise text, published here, was sent by the Presidency to the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) yesterday. If approved, it will form the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament.

29 June 2021

Brexit: EU "non-paper" on foreign and security policy cooperation with the UK

"The UK is an important global player with which the EU has an interest in cooperating in many fields in the international arena... At the same time, the UK can become a competitor on several fronts vis-à-vis the EU, for instance by trying to bolster its position as a global norm-setter and decision-shaper, or by promoting trade deals with third countries that put it in direct competition with the EU."

25 June 2021

EU: Austrian proposals on upping Frontex's role in "voluntary return and reintegration"

"To effectively incentivise voluntary return and promote sustainable reintegration, well-established reintegration programmes are needed. Against this background, the ERRIN take-over by Frontex constitutes big potential but at the same time a major challenge," says a document produced by the Austrian authorities on increasing Frontex's role in "voluntary return and reintegration."

25 June 2021

Law enforcement, military and intelligence agencies brought together in hunt for "battlefield information"

"It is important that Member States’ law enforcement and judicial authorities which have not yet done so establish a regular dialogue with their military forces and relevant intelligence and security services," as part of the attempt to gather and use "battlefield information" to prosecute terrorists, says a note from the EU's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.

23 June 2021

UK: New anti-protest powers breach human rights, says parliamentary committee

The UK parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has condemned the public order powers in the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, saying that they would further increase restrictions on non-violent protests "in a way that we believe is inconsistent with our rights."

23 June 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Member states get to grips with "solidarity" proposals

After 13 meetings, the Council has made a number of changes to the proposed Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, mainly to the provisions on "solidarity". The document, published here, gives an indication of what exactly the member states think solidarity means in the context of migration and asylum.


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