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5/12/05
Statewatch News Online, 5 December 2005 (41/05)
  

Full contents see: www.statewatch.org/news

1. EU: Commission proposes compulsory registration of NGOs
2. EU: Two reports on Human Rights Proofing EU Legislation and Scrutiny of Subsidiarity
3. EU: More openness or just a drop in the ocean? The need for Freedom of Information in the EU
4. EU: Mandatory data retention – latest text
5. Commission proposals on: responding to the challenges of migration, follow-up to Hampton Court
6. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council 1-2 December 2005
7. EU biometric ID Card: European Association for Human Rights (AEDH)
8. EU: European Arrest Warrant (EAW)
9. Germany: State spying on journalists
10. EU: Visa Information System (VIS)
11. EU-UK: Report from the Home Affairs Select Committee on the European Evidence Warrant

1. European Commission: “Recommendation” and “Code of Conduct” for non-profit organisations. In another response to the “war on terrorism” the proposal calls for the compulsory registration of all non-profit groups in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/com-eu-compulsory-registration-of-NGOs.pdf

The proposal is being considered by the Council’s (25 EU governments) “Joint meeting of Financial Attaches and Counter-Terrorism Focal Points”. Its first thoughts are in: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/NGOs%20-14694-05.pdf

2. EU: Two reports from the UK House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union:

Human Rights Proofing EU Legislation:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-hol-human-rights-rep.pdf

Scrutiny of Subsidiarity: Follow up Report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-hol-subsidiarity-rep.pdf

3, EU: Viewpoint by Tony Bunyan: More openness or just a drop in the ocean? The need for Freedom of Information in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/03foi-in-eu.htm

See also: Brussels, 6 December: Press Seminar The European Ombudsman: 10 years, 20,000 complaints ˜ too many? “A more open and accountable EU administration – the next steps for the Commission, the Parliament and the Ombudsman”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-ombudsman-10-years.pdf

4. EU: Mandatory data retention: Council agreed position on mandatory retention of communications data (dated 2.12.05, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-dat-ret-council-02-12-05.pdf

The European Commission has accepted these changes to its draft Directive. The European Parliament has to adopt exactly the same amendments at its plenary session 12-15 December – the deadline for amendments is 7 December.

Earlier texts:
Draft Council text of the Directive (doc 15101/05, 1.12.05):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-coun-dat-ret-29-11-05-15101.pdf

Extensive list of Member State Reservations on the draft text in 15101/05 (doc 15101 ADD 1, 1.12.05):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-coun-dat-ret-29-11-05-15101-ADD1.pdf

Note from Presidency setting out four areas for decision of Council on its position (doc: 15220/05, 1.12.05)
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-dat-ret-council-1-dec-05.pdf

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: “This is turning into a democratic fiasco. The Council has a long list of reservations by member states and four substantive issues where it disagrees with the European Parliament. The European Parliament rapporteurs have had three secret trialoges with the Council and the Commission – now the PPE (conservative group) and the PSE (socialist group) appear to be carrying out their own negotiations with the Council with the aim of rushing through the measure before Xmas under the “fast-track” procedure (intended for non-controverisal measures).

It is quite impossible for anyone, outside of a handful of people, to follow what is going on. If national parliaments and civil society cannot track the decision-making procedure they are unable to make their views known. This is compounded by a virtual media silence leaving the people of Europe in ignorance about the decision to place under surveillance everyone’s communications. A decision taken in this fashion will utterly lack legitimacy.”

For full background, see Statewatch’s Observatory on the surveillance of telecommunications in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/eu-data-retention.htm

5. EU: European Commission proposals on:

a) Priority actions for responding to the challenges of migration: First follow-up to Hampton Court:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/com-621-05-migration.pdf

b) Green Paper: On the future of the European Migration Network
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/com-606-05-mig-network.pdf

6. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council 1-2 December 2005:

JHA Press release for 1 December 2005:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/jha-press-rel-1-Dec.pdf

“A” Point agenda (adopted without debate):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/jha-1-2-dec-A-pts.pdf

“B” Point Agenda:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/jha-1-2-dec-B-Points.pdf

Background Note:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/jha-1-2-dec-back-note.pdf

Documents on the main agenda include:

a) The European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-radicalisation-nov-05.pdf

b) The European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-counter-terr-strategy-nov-05.pdf

c) A Strategy for the External Dimension of JHA : Global Freedom, Security and Justice global strategy:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-global-strategy.pdf

Also adopted as “A” Points the controversial Directive on asylum procedures:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-asylum-procedures-directive.pdf

plus additional document: 14579/05 This includes the proposal to designate countries as “safe” to send people back to
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/eu-asylum-procedures-directive-add.pdf

see also: EU divided over list of “safe countries of origin‰ – Statewatch calls for the list to be scrapped:
www.statewatch.org/news/2004/sep/safe-countries.pdf

7. EU biometric ID Card: European Association for Human Rights (AEDH) statement: Biometry and electronic ID card : Big Brother is watching you:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/aedh-biometric-ID-card.pdf
Biométrie et carte d‚identité électronique: Big Brother is watching you (French, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/aedh-biometric-ID-card-fr.pdf
Biométrie et carte d‚identité électronique : Big Brother is watching you (Spanish, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/aedh-biometric-ID-card-sp.pdf

8. EU: European Arrest Warrant (EAW): Interesting note in the Outcome of Proceedings of the Article 36 Committee on 15-16 November 2005: “Cyprus: The Committee took note of the information provided by Cyprus on the decision by the Supreme Court of Cyprus to prohibit surrender by its nationals pending the amendment to its Constitution. The Council Legal Service informed the Committee that the Council had decided to intervene in a case pending before the Court of Justice concerning the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant. It also noted that only Hungary and the Czech Republic (of the 10 new Member States; of the other 15, 12 had done so) had decided to permit requests for preliminary rulings under Article 35 TEU and asked these delegations to inform the Council of the reasons why they had not used this opportunity. Were there any impediments?”

9. Germany: State spying on journalists:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/07germany-journalists.htm

10. EU: Visa Information System (VIS):

a. “Roll-out” plan for priority countries:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-VIS-roll-out.pdf

b. European Commission Communication on access to VIS (pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/com-VIS-access.pdf

It should be noted that the “collison” of chips (ie: the EU visa chip with national passport chips) has yet to be resolved, see: EU: Biometric visa policy unworkable:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/jan/02update-visas-biometrics.htm

and EU Data protection working party criticise proposals on VIS:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/sep/09eu-vis-art-29-rep.htm

and Statewatch analysis on linkage between SIS II and VIS:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/may/sisII-analysis-may05.pdf

11. EU-UK: Report from the Home Affairs Select Committee on the European Evidence Warrant:
www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eew-hasc-rep.pdf

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