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Statewatch News Online, 12 September, 2007
 

Home page: www.statewatch.org

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  1. EU: German Institute for Human Rights: Report on Human Rights and External Borders
  2. EU-SISON: International Campaign to free Jose Maria Sison launched
  3. EU-SECURITY RESEARCH AGENDA: European Commission Memos
  4. EU-US-PNR: Eleven MEPs request all PNR dcouments
  5. EU-USA: SPECIAL: US demands 10 year ban on access to PNR documents
  6. EU-US PNR agreement: US changes the privacy rules to exemption access to personal data
  7. Spain: Protocol for the deportation of migrants to allow straightjackets and helmets
  8. UK: BID: Women’s experiences of asylum process at Yarl’s Wood
  9. EU: DATA PROTECTION: Latest text
  10. EU: REFORM TREATY: EDPS letter
  11. EU: EUROPOL: The Strategy for Europol from Management Board
  12. EU: European Parliament resolution on liquids ban on planes
  13. Italy: Law reforms intelligence services
  14. EU: Proposal for pre-trial procedures
  15. UK: Safety fears over new register of all children
  16. EU-EP: Liberal group (ALDE) transparency campaign on access to documents:
  17. UK: Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – House of Commons Research Paper
  18. EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT: Background document
  19. EUROPEAN COMMISSION-ECJ-API Case: Access to documents
  20. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 18 September 2007
  21. EU-OLAF: Court of Justice press release
  22. UK-EU: PRUM TREATY: Explanatory memorandum

1. EU: Report from the German Institute for Human Rights: The Demands of Human and EU Fundamental Rights for the Protection of the European Union’s External Borders, by Ruth Weinzier. www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-borders-gihr.pdf

“It presents the requirements from fundamental and human rights and EU secondary law for the protection of the EU’s external borders. The main focus of the examination is on the special human rights problems arising from the protection of the southern maritime borders. Primarily this involves the question of access to refugee protection… A special area of focus of this study consists of an analysis of EU secondary law and the requirements stemming from EU fundamental rights.”

2. EU-SISON: International Campaign to free Jose Maria Sison launched:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/sison-campaign.pdf

3. EU-SECURITY RESEARCH AGENDA: Today the European Commission put out three “Memos” (Press releases):

– Security research to better combat terrorism:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-com-security-research-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

– The European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF) – Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-com-esrif-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

– Commission promotes public-private dialogue to improve security of EU citizens
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-com-sec-res-privat-public-memo-11-sept-07.pdf

For full context and background, See: Arming Big Brother: The EU’s Security Research Programme by Ben Hayes (Statewatch/Transnational Institute, Amsterdam):
www.statewatch.org/news/2006/apr/bigbrother.pdf

4. EU-US-PNR: Eleven MEPs from the ALDE (Liberal group) in the European Parliament have lodged requests with the Council of the European Union and the European Commission for access to:

“to all the documents related to:

– the negotiation of the 2007 Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name record (PNR) by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as to the documents related to the confidentiality of negotiations documents;

– the works of the EU-US High Level Contact Group on Data Protection”

Full-text of the requests for access to PNR documents:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-pnr-alde-info-request.pdf

See: Story below.

5. EU-USA: SPECIAL: US demands 10 year ban on access to PNR documents:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/02eu-usa-pnr-secret.htm

The US government has written to the Council of the European Union – seven days after it was signed – asking it to agree that all the documents regarding the negotiations leading to the controversial new EU-US PNR (passenger name record, signed on 23 July 2007) agreement be kept secret (under a “confidentiality” clause):

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“Yet again we see the USA telling the EU what to do. In this case how it should operate the EU Regulation on access to documents. How can any request for PNR documents be fairly considered under EU law when it has already agreed to exercise a US veto? Are we going to see documents for all future EU-US agreements kept secret too?

US access to PNR data and its further processing is an issue of substantial public interest which directly effects the rights and privacy of EU citizens and therefore all the documentation should be in the public domain for parliaments and people to see and discuss.

It is a quite outrageous request and it is even more outrageous that the EU is going to agree to it.”

6. EU-US PNR agreement: US changes the privacy rules to exemption access to personal data:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/04eu-usa-pnr-exemptions.htm

  • USA to give exemptions for the Department of Home Security from its Privacy Act
  • USA to give exemptions for the “Arrival and Departure System” (ADIS) from its Privacy Act
  • Did the EU know that the US was planning to introduce these exemptions?

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“The adoption of these two exemptions will seriously diminsh any rights EU citizens have to find out what data is held on them and who it is held by.

Did the Council and the Commission, who negotiated the agreement, know the US was planning to introduce them, and if not why not?”

7. Spain: Protocol for the deportation of migrants to allow straightjackets and helmets
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/06spain-deportation.htm

8. UK: BID Bail for immigration detainees: Women’s experiences of the Detained Fast Track asylum process at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre “Refusal Factory”
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/bid-refusal-factory-07.pdf

9. EU: DATA PROTECTION: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters – Agreement on certain questions (EU doc no: 12154/07):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-dp-12154-07.pdf

Actually this document is about disagreements over the scope of the measure – with a substantial number” of governments opposed to bringing national data protection processing within its scope. Thus it would only apply to cross-border exchanges of personal data.

Secondly, the transfer of personal data received from another member state to third states (eg: the USA). All existing national bilateral agreements with third states are to stay in place (at the insistence of the USA). “Some delegations” want prior consent to be obtain for any such transfer outside the EU. A draft Article 14 seems to set out principles, like “adequate standards of protection” in the third state but this can be ignored at member state level where the transfer concerns “legitimate prevailing interests, especially important public interest etc” and “safeguards” (undefined) are agreed.

For full background documentation see Statewatch’s Observatory on data protection in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/eu-dp.htm

10. EU: REFORM TREATY: Letter from the European Data Protection Supervisor, dated 23 July 2007 (CIG 9, pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-reform-treaty-edps-cig-9.pdf

11. EU: EUROPOL: The Strategy for Europol from Management Board:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/europol-strategy-12530-07.pdf

12. EU: European Parliament resolution on liquids ban on planes (5 September 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/ep-resolution-liquids.pdf

Ten Recommendations including:

“Calls upon the Commission to review urgently and ? if no further conclusive facts are brought forward ? to repeal Regulation (EC) No 1546/2006 (introduction of liquids onto aircraft)”

13. Italy: Law reforms intelligence services:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/03italy-intell.htm

The new intelligence services law received its unanimous final approval in the senate’s constitutional affairs committee on 1 August 2007. This follows a long catalogue of scandals including involvement in CIA renditions, unlawful monitoring of the activities of politicians, authorities, businessmen and, most recently, lawyers, members of the judiciary and NGOs, and the planting of scares and false information in the media while having journalists as paid informants.

14. EU: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the European supervision order in pre-trial procedures between Member States of the European Union – Policy debate: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-pre-trial-detention.pdf

15. UK: Safety fears over new register of all children (Times, link):
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2332307.ece

“Senior social workers have given warning of the dangers posed by a new government register that will store the details of every child in England from next year.

They fear that the database, containing the address, medical and school details of all under-18s, could be used to harm the children whom it is intended to protect.”

16. EU-EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Liberal group (ALDE) re-launches transparency campaign on access to documents:

Marco Cappato MEP said:

“Many documents are not on the official registers, information is often not fully available or difficult to find whilst internal procedures in some institutions are hard to follow.”

“The Regulation should be revised to ensure the principle of full access to all documents. It is untenable that the Council, which is the EU co-legislating body, still denies full access to documents discussed in its working groups, such as amendments proposed by Member States representatives, positions and voting records or legal opinions which makes it impossible to follow its decision-making process.”

“The Commission too should keep its register up to date and complete, while the EP should further improve the publication of its activities, such as video-streaming on the internet of its committees’ debates and enhanced transparency of first-reading agreements”.

He has drafted a response to the Commission’s Green Paper to be discussed in the Committee on Covil Liberties (LIBE): Working document:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/aug/ep-access-cappato-wd.pdf

17. UK: Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – House of Commons Research Paper:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/aug/uk-crim-just-imm-bill-research-paper.pdf

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (245 pages!! pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jun/uk-cj-imm-bill.pdf

The 55th Bill on “law and order” and immigration since 1997. It is said to introduce 19 new criminal offences.

18. EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT: Commission finally makes available background document: Annex to the Report from the Commission on the implementation since 2005 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member Statese (SEC 979):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/aug/eu-com-eaw-sec-979.pdf

See also: European Arrest Warrant partial figures for 2006 – eight member states, inlcuding Germany, Italy and UK had not submitted statistics by 27 July 2007: EAW figures for 2006: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jul/eu-eaw-stats-2006.pdf

19. EUROPEAN COMMISSION-ECJ-API Case: Access to documents: Judgment – full-text:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-api-ecj-judgment.pdf

Court press release: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-api-ecj-prel.pdf
Brussels journalists unhappy with ‘routine secrecy’ (euobserver, link): euobserver.com/9/24750

Statement from API: www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-api-ecj-statement.pdf

“The CFI found that the Commission does not have to give access to pleadings before the oral hearing, but must disclose pleadings after the hearing unless it cites a specific reason as to why such a disclosure would prejudice its position before the Court.”

20. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 18 September 2007, Brussels: Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/jha-18-sept-prel.pdf

21. EU-OLAF: Court of Justice press release concerning a new judgment finding that OLAF has violated data protection rights and must pay some token damages to the complainant. The judgment itself has had all the reasoning removed from it, presumably to protect the complainant’s reputation and personal data: Press release (French):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/eu-olaf-ecj.pdf

22. UK-EU: PRUM TREATY: Explanatory memorandum from the Home Office on the implementation of the Prum Treaty (16 July 2007):
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/sep/uk-eu-prum-treaty-em.pdf

UK government Explanatory Memorandum: Council Decision on stepping up cross-border cooperation, especially in combating terrorism and cross border crime- (transposing the Prum Treaty provisions, 5 March 2007): www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jun/uk-eu-em-prum.pdf

Text incorporating the Prum Treaty: 10232/ rev 1 2007
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/jun/eu-prum-10232-rev1-07.pdf

NOTE:
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