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.


14 October 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Limited enthusiasm for plan to speed up Eurodac negotiations

The Slovenian Presidency recently proposed accelerating negotiations on plans to expand the Eurodac database that would transform it into a "multi-purpose" system for capturing the data of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. However, a document setting out the views of a number of member states suggests there is not much enthusiasm for the idea.

14 October 2021

EU: Expansion of biometric policing and migration databases runs into delays

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.

14 October 2021

Council of Europe: Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe

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.

14 October 2021

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: Border Management and Human Rights

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.

12 October 2021

Italy: The Black Book on the Pre-Removal Detention Centre (CPR) of migrants in Turin

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.

12 October 2021

EU: Artificial intelligence expert group in breach of rules of procedure

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.

11 October 2021

Brexit: Negotiations on Gibraltar start this week with talks on "mobility of persons"

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".

08 October 2021

Brexit: EU to push for Spanish border and asylum rules in Gibraltar; EU-UK counter-terrorism "dialogue" under consideration

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.

06 October 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Latest draft of the "solidarity" text in the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation

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."

05 October 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency seeks to rush through new rules with border detention as "a key measure"

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."

05 October 2021

Libya: Evidence crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since 2016, UN report finds

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.

04 October 2021

EU: Interior ministers to debate ways to increase police access to digital data

"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."

04 October 2021

“Next generation” armed drone with police potential tipped for EU financial backing

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.”

01 October 2021

UK: Court finds "disturbing and lamentable failings" in "unlawful and sexist" spycops operation

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.

01 October 2021

EU border externalization policies further deepens the migrants’ crisis in Tunisia

Statement circulated by the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux on 1 October 2021.

29 September 2021

Belgium: 50 organisations and cybersecurity experts call on the government to halt attack on encryption

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.

28 September 2021

European Commission: Artificial Intelligence Act aims "to decrease administrative burden on home affairs authorities in order not to hamper innovation"

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"

28 September 2021

'I didn’t really learn much except to nag the police. However, I have done that thoroughly' - R.I.P. Heiner Busch

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.

27 September 2021

Council of the EU: Discussion paper on "gaps and opportunities" in EU return policy

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.

27 September 2021

Policing: EU and UK to extend post-Brexit biometric data exchange agreement

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.

 

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