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Statewatch News Online,  9 February 2009 (02/09)

Home page: www.statewatch.org

1.    EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: Statewatch press release
2.    EU: Regulation on public access to EU documents: Civil Liberties Committee: Amendments
3.    EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Detention centres for asylum seekers are “intolerable”
4.    UK: SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: House of Lords Constitution Committee report
5.    ITALY: “Illegals” to be reported by doctors – the criticised norm approved by the Senate
6.    Italy: Senate ratifies treaty with Libya
7.    Lampedusa: AEDH press release
8.    GERMANY: Blogging against surveillance, or: who’s the terrorist?
9.    UK: 4th report of the Indepent Reviewer: control orders system
10.  GREECE: Report by Commissioner for Human Rights of the CoE
11.  EU: Proposal for listing the third countries whose nationals need visas
12.  EU: Questionnaire on the illegal employment of third-country nationals
13.  EU security agency draws ‘privacy baseline’ for ID cards
14.  USA: Obama’s Torture Loopholes
15.  EU: No to the veil of silence on detention centres for migrants
16.  Italy: Mobilisation against the “racist” security package
18.  EU: Study: Towards a European PNR system?
19.  UK: Evidence: Information sharing in the Coroners and Justice Bill
20.  GREECE: Policeman ‘aimed in direction of’ Greek schoolboy
21.  EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, Prague
22.  USA-ESTA: U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

1. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: Statewatch press release: Proposal to extend the EU Regulation on public access to documents to include “freedom of information” requests. Press release: full-text:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-
access-reg-foi-amendment-sw-prel.pdf

Statewatch has submitted a proposal to the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament to make explicit the right to make “Freedom of information” requests for EU documents. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

“There is sometimes a debate about whether a system of freedom of information requests on a specific subject is better or worse than the EU system of public registers of documents and the right of access to them. This is a unnecessary debate because both are clearly needed to ensure the greatest possible public access to EU information/documents.

Think of going into a public library. Under FOI you go to the front desk and ask for books on the topic you are interested in and the librarian goes away to find them for you. Under the public register of documents system you go into the library yourself and wander around the shelves to find what you are looking for – often making unexpected discoveries and connections.

Both systems have their strengths, that is why they are complementary. If our amendment is accepted, and as long as the current definition of a “document” together with the obligation on EU institutions to provide public registers listing the documents held are maintained, then we could at last be on the road to the new era of openness that the EU has long promised.”

2. EU: REGULATION ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO EU DOCUMENTS: The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is to discuss amendment to the Commission’s proposals for changes to the Regulation on Monday, 9 February. See: Statewatch analysis: Proposed amendments to Michael Cashman’s report on the Regulation on public access to EU documents by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-acces
-reg-comments-amendments-to-cashman.pdf

Full background information in on: Statewatch Observatory: the Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-2009:
www.statewatch.org/foi/observatory-access-reg-2008-2009.htm

3. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Detention centres for asylum seekers are “intolerable” (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep-prel-detention-centres.pdf

and Full-text of the Resolution:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/ep-asylum
-seekers-detention-centres-resolution.pdf

4. UK: SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: Report from the House of Lords Constitution Committee: Surveillance: Citizens and the State (130 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-hol-
rep-surveillance-citizens-and-the-state.pdf

and Vol II – Evidence (447 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-hol-rep-
surveillance-citizens-and-the-state-vol-II.pdf

See also: Lords: rise of CCTV is threat to freedom: World’s most pervasive surveillance undermines basic liberties, say peers (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/06/surveillance-freedom-peers/print

5. ITALY: “Illegals” to be reported by doctors – the criticised norm approved by the Senate
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/02italy-illegals-doctors.htm

6. Update: Italy: Senate ratifies treaty with Libya: On 3 February 2009, the Italian Senate ratified draft law 1333 for the ratification and execution of the Italian-Libyan treaty on friendship, partnership and co-operation signed in Bengasi (Libya) on 30 August 2008. The treaty had been opposed by some civil society groups on human rights grounds. Foreign Affairs ministry press release (link):
www.esteri.it/MAE/IT/Approfondimenti/2009/02/
20090204_DalParlamento_ViaLibera.htm

Urgent appeal for the Senate to reject treaty:
The appeal (in Italian): www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/italy-libya-agreement-appeal.pdf
The appeal (in English): www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/italy-libya-petizione.en.pdf

Previous Statewatch coverage: Italy/Libya: “Special and privileged” bilateral relationship treaty:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/nov/01italy-libya-treaty.htm

7. Lampedusa: AEDH press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/italy-lampedusa-aedh-prel.pdf

and Dossier: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/lampedusa-dossier.pdf

8. GERMANY: Blogging against surveillance, or: who’s the terrorist? (link)
annalist.noblogs.org/post/2008/11/20/blogging-against-surveillance

9. UK: Fourth report of the Indepent Reviewer pursuant to ACtion 14.3 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 – Lord Carlile. This report reviews the operation in 2008 of the control orders system: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/uk-lord-carlile-fourth-report.pdf

10. GREECE: Report by Thomas Hammarberg Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Following his visit to Greece on 8-10 December 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/coe-chr-greece-report.pdf

11. EU: Proposal for a Council Regulation listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (codified version) – deals with revising the “blacklist” of countries requiring visas to enter the EU and the “whitelist” who do not:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-visa-black-white-lists.pdf

12. EU: Analysis of replies to the questionnaire on the illegal employment of third-country nationals:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-council-
employer-sanctions-16680-rev1-08.pdf

This document is dated 30 January 2009 and is a “Declassified” version of a “Restricted” Council document produced on 5 December 2008. The legislative measure on sanctions against employers was the subject of co-decision with the European Parliament. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: “This is a misuse of the classification category “Restricted” by the Council. It would appear that is was so classified in order to hide it from public and parliamentary view.”

13. EU security agency draws ‘privacy baseline’ for ID cards (Register, link):
www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/03/enisa_id_cards_analysis/

See ENISA report – full-text: Privacy Features of European eID Card Specifications:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-enisa-id-privacy.pdf

14. USA: Obama’s Torture Loopholes (link):
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12041

15. EU: No to the veil of silence on detention centres for migrants – Campaign for right of access in detention centres (migreurop, link):
www.migreurop.org/article1374.html?lang=en

16. Italy: Mobilisation against the “racist” security package:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/08italy-security-package.htm

18. EU: Study for the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament: Towards a European PNR system? Questions on the added value and protection of fundamental rights:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-pnr-ep-study.pdf

19.  UK: Evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Information sharing in the Coroners and Justice Bill from Dr C. N. M. Pounder:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/uk-data-sharing-evidence-cp-jchr.pdf

20. GREECE: Policeman ‘aimed in direction of’ Greek schoolboy (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/18/greece-riots-korkoneas/print

21.  EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, Prague, 15-16 January 2009: Home Affairs press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-lst-day-prel.pdf

Justice issues press release: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-2nd-day-prel.pdf
Programme: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-programme.pdf
Modern Technologies and Security:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-tech-security.pdf

Use of Modern Technologies in Border Control, Migration Management, and Asylum Policy:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-tech-borders.pdf

SIS II: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-sis-II.pdf

Rational Anti-Drug Policy:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-drugs.pdf

International Protection of Children:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-jha-informal-children.pdf

Programme of Czech Presidency in the Council of the European Union in the Area of Justice and Home Affairs (Detailed programme, 28 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-
jha-informal-czech-pres-programme.pdf

22. USA-ESTA: Commission Staff Working Document: The U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) (SEC 2991, 2008):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jan/eu-com-usa-esta-sec-2991.pdf

  
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