Border control

26 February 2021

"Artificial intelligence" could be used to screen and profile travellers to the EU

The screening and profiling of tourists and travellers to the EU could be stepped up even further with the use of "artificial intelligence" tools developed by EU agencies as part of the new 'Innnovation Hub for Internal Security'.

15 January 2021

EU: Frontex, EASO and Europol: Presentations on migration and asylum trends in 2020/21

Statewatch is publishing three slideshows presented at a meeting of the Council of the EU's JHA Counsellors working party on 11 January. Produced by the EU agencies Frontex, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Europol, they give the agencies' impression of migration, asylum and migrant smuggling trends in 2020, and what may come in the year ahead.

26 October 2020

EU: Greece draws up requirements for member state militaries' role in border control

The Greek military's 'Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center' has prepared an analysis of training requirements for the military's role in integrated border management operations. Although the report acknowledges that border control is primarily a civilian task, it says that more training should be given to armed forces in the EU, and that the EU should adopt a 'Common Core Curriculum' on the issue.

15 October 2020

EU: Tracking the Pact: Reinforced cooperation against migrant smuggling with Balkan and African "partners"

The EU’s Pact on Migration and Asylum reiterated the long-standing priority for the EU and its member states to work more closely with “third countries” to control migration. In practice, this has led to serious abuses and even deaths, as smugglers engage in increasingly-complex and dangerous circumvention of border controls and police operations. Nevertheless, the EU is pushing ahead with new initiatives seeking to formalise cooperation with Balkan and African states on anti-migrant smuggling operations.

26 May 2020

Guns, guards and guidelines: reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems

An internal report circulated by Frontex to EU government delegations highlights a series of issues in implementing the agency’s new legislation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency is urging swift action to implement the mandate and is pressing ahead with the recruitment of its new ‘standing corps’. However, there are legal problems with the acquisition, registration, storage and transport of weapons. The agency is also calling for derogations from EU rules on staff disciplinary measures in relation to the use of force; and wants an extended set of privileges and immunities. Furthermore, it is assisting with “voluntary return” despite this activity appearing to fall outside of its legal mandate.

19 March 2020

Anti-migration cooperation between the EU, Italy and Libya: some truths

Apart from a regression in human rights standards that immigration policy is producing within the EU’s borders by promoting racism in politics and institutional discrimination in pursuit of its strategic objectives, the effects of EU migration policy’s externalisation to third countries are also harmful.

04 December 2019

Ministers call for renewed migrant smuggling crackdown on "Eastern Mediterranean" route

The EU should put a "stronger focus" on "the fight against human smuggling" along the Eastern Mediterranean route, according to the interior ministers of almost two dozen central and eastern European states, who have called for joint investigations and enhanced cooperation with Turkey and Western Balkan countries.

03 September 2019

Spain-Morocco: “Migration control, not rescue”: squeezing search and rescue in the Mediterranean

As the EU’s member states continue to discuss half-hearted plans for search and rescue and the disembarkation of migrants, they are also putting in place measures to prevent their own maritime safety authorities from carrying out rescues. At the same time, they are pressuring under-resourced and unwilling non-EU states to take on rescue tasks. As reports from Spain show, the results are deadly.

16 February 2017

Press release: EU border agency targeted "isolated or mistreated" individuals for questioning

Guidelines produced for border guards participating in an EU joint operation instruct the targeting of "migrants from minority ethnic groups, and individuals who may have been isolated or mistreated during their journey, as such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences."

14 November 2016

Salzburg Forum: "unprecedented and uncontrolled migratory flow" must not happen again

A recent statement by the Salzburg Forum, a central European security initiative, emphasises that the "unprecedented and uncontrolled migratory flow along the Eastern Mediterranean-Western Balkans route, which Europe has faced over the last two years, must not be repeated in the future." The "priority goals" for achieving this are findings ways to "strengthen the migration management and the control of the EU external border," and ensuring "the full implementation of the EU-Turkey statement."

12 July 2016

Police chiefs: nine-point programme on keeping the 'Balkan Route' closed

The declaration was adopted following a meeting on 30 June in Vienna of police chiefs from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. It was circulated on 5 July by the Austrian delegation to the Council of the EU to other Member States' representatives.

02 December 2015

EU: BORDERS: Sealing off Europe: Council Presidency proposals for protecting the "integrity of the Schengen area"

A Frontex operation should be set up in northern Greece, identity controls within the Schengen area should be increased and the Council should call for the reintroduction of border controls in "one or more" unnamned Schengen states, according to proposals from the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU.

25 October 2015

EU: Final Statement: Leaders' Meeting on refugee flows along the Western Balkans Route: Leaders’ Statement

Greece to build camps to hold 30,000 refugees plus 20,000 in rented homes and UNHCR a further 50,000 further north

15 September 2015

Justice and Home Affairs Council: agreement on strengthening Fortress Europe

News coverage of yesterday's Justice and Home Affairs Council has focused on the Council's agreement to relocate 40,000 refugees, and its failure to agree the relocation of a further 120,000 refugees. While the issue of relocation may have proved problematic for the EU's Member States, conclusions issued by the Luxembourg Presidency show that they are broadly in agreement on a whole host of other migration policies.

23 March 2015

EU borders chief says saving migrants' lives 'shouldn't be priority' for patrols

"Triton cannot be a search-and-rescue operation. I mean, in our operational plan, we cannot have provisions for proactive search-and-rescue action. This is not in Frontexs mandate, and this is in my understanding not in the mandate of the European Union, Leggeri told the Guardian."

09 April 2014

EU: Claiming asylum after interception is "abuse" of procedure, claims joint police operation report

A formal report produced by the Lithuanian Council Presidency argues that migrants who submit applications for international protection after they have been "intercepted" (apprehended) by national authorities are abusing the asylum procedure.

01 February 2014

EU joint police operations target irregular migrants

The EU is aiming to increase and formalise operational cooperation amongst law enforcement authorities, with significant effort going into organising and carrying out joint police operations targeting irregular migrants.


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