Statewatch News Online, 6 October 2010 (18/10): France-Roma controversy

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  1. EU: Council: France-Roma controversy – proposing the targeting of “mobile (itinerant) criminal groups”: “itinerant”=travellers=Roma
  2. EU-LIBYA: EU signs up to ‘unclear’ migration pact with Libya
  3. EU-PNR: Mandates: Council of the European Union
  4. EU: Council of the European Union: “State of play”: exploitation of children
  5. EU-USA: SWIFT-TFTP agreement: Question to European Commission
  6. EU: Frontex launches first expulsion charter
  7. European Federation of Journalists warn on data retention Directive
  8. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 October, 2010, Luxembourg
  9. Netherlands: Analysis of a draft coalition agreement: Proposals for revision of EU migration law and international law
  10. EU-ACTA: European Parliament: MEPs call on the Commission to present final ACTA text
  11. European Ombudsman: Alleged refusal to grant access to terrorism related document
  12. BELGIUM: Policing of ‘noborder camp’ in Brussels violates basic civil rights
  13. IRELAND: Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL): Know your rights
  14. EU-FRANCE-ROMA: Amnesty slams Commission’s Roma response
  15. EU: Cyber attacks: European Commission
  16. UK: Police surveillance of Muslims set up with ‘no regard for law’
  17. NETHERLANDS: Dutch coalition to target burqas, Muslim immigration


1. EU: Council of the European Union intervenes in the France-Roma controversy – proposing the targeting of “mobile (itinerant) criminal groups”: “itinerant”travellersRoma

The Council of the European Union (27 national governments) is discussing a set of Council Conclusions to target “mobile (itinerant) criminal groups”: EU doc no: 14277/10 (pdf). The term “itinerant” means, in plain English, “traveller(s)” which, in the context of the ongoing row over France’s policies, is a thinly disguised reference to Roma people.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“Instead of condemning the racism of the French government’s policy of systematically expelling Roma people the Council is implicitly condoning them.The fundamental values in Article 2 (TEU) are central to the future of democracy in the EU but if there is no willingness to enforce them then they fatally undermined.

2. EU-LIBYA: EU signs up to ‘unclear’ migration pact with Libya (euobserver, link): “The European Union has cautiously agreed to allocate 8050 million for projects aimed at improving Libyan treatment of refugees, mostly coming from African conflict zones and heading to Europe. The deal was branded as “worryingly vague” by human rights groups, as Libya does not even recognise the term “asylum seeker.””

3. EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: EU external strategy on Passenger Name Record (PNR) data – Handling of draft negotiation mandates for PNR Agreements with Canada, the United States of America and Australia (pdf). The Council is proposing to open negotiations with the USA, Canada and Australia at the same time. The Council says that the Commission Communication Communication on the global approach to transfers of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to third countries (COM 492, pdf) meets the European Parliament’s concerns as expressed in its Resolution on the launch of negotiations for Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreements with the United States, Australia and Canada (pdf)

4.  EU: Council of the European Union: “State of play”, 27.9.10: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child-pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA – State of play and: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting victims, repealing Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA (pdf) See also: State of play, May 2009: EU doc no: 9892/09 (pdf) and Commission proposal (pdf)

5.  EU-USA: SWIFT-TFTP agreement: Question to European Commission on: TFTP interim and permanent overseer (pdf): “Can the Commission indicate the legal basis for keeping confidential the identity of the EU public official – interim and/or permanent – overseeing the implementation of the TFTP agreement? Is there any precedent for such a decision or arrangement?

6.  EU: Frontex launches first expulsion charter (link)

7. EU: European Journalists Warn EU Home Affairs Chief that European Data Law Threatens Freedom (EFJ, link). See Statewatch Observatory: The surveillance of telecommunications in the EU

8.EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 7-8 October, 2010, Luxembourg: Draft agenda (pdf) Background Note (pdf)

9. Netherlands: Analysis of a draft coalition agreement (Note: the new government has not yet been formed): Proposals for revision of EU migration law and international law in the September 2010 Dutch coalition agreement (pdf) by Kees Groenendijk, a Professor of Migration Law at Radboud University Nijmegen. See also: New Dutch government to rest on support of far-right (euobserver, link); EU’s centre-right criticises new Dutch government (link): Dutch coalition to target burqas, Muslim immigration (link)

10.  EU-ACTA: European Parliament Press release: MEPs call on the Commission to present final ACTA text as soon as possible (pdf) from MEPs Stavros Lambrinidis (Parliament VP, S&D, Greece), Francoise Castex (S&D, France), Zuzana Roithova (EPP, Czech Republic) and Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, Germany). See also: Joint Statement from all the negotiating parties to ACTA (Commission Trade spokesperson, link) and Negotiators Get Close On ACTA, And Continue To Mislead About It (Techdirt, link)

11. European Ombudsman: Summary (pdf) Decision: Alleged refusal to grant access to terrorism related document (pdf): The Council of the European Union argued. and won, this case on the basis that:

“disclosure would be detrimental to the good functioning of EU-US relations, and it would hinder diplomatic efforts to find constructive solutions in sensitive political areas.”

12. BELGIUM: Policing of ‘noborder camp’ in Brussels violates basic civil rights

13. IRELAND: Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL): Know your rights (link) including: Criminal Justice & Garda Powers (pdf, link), Privacy (pdf, link) and European Convention of Human Rights (pdf, link)

14. EU-FRANCE-ROMA: Amnesty slams Commission’s Roma response (European Voice, link)

15. EU: Cyber attacks: European Commission: Proposal for a Directive on attacks against information systems and repealing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA (pdf). See also: EU to up its defence against cyber attacks (euractiv, link)

16. UK: Police surveillance of Muslims set up with ‘no regard for law’ – Police covered up counter-terrorism unit’s =A33m camera operation which spied on Muslims in Birmingham (Guardian, link) and see: Thames Vally Police: Project Champion Review: An independent review of the commissioning, direction, control and oversight of Project Champion; including the information given to, and the involvement of, the community in this project from the initiation of the scheme up to 4 July 2010 (pdf)

See also: Project Champion Report misses the target when discussing CCTV surveillance, privacy and data protection (Amberhawk, link)

17. NETHERLANDS: Dutch coalition to target burqas, Muslim immigration (euobserver, link): “Anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders has emerged triumphant in Dutch coalition talks, with the new government to introduce a bill on banning the Muslim face veil and to try to halve the number of non-Western” immigrants in the country.”

Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727 http://www.statewatch.org

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