Monday, 21 November 2011

Watching the state - aka our 'democratised dictatorship'

Courtesy of Statewatch (H/T), from which a selection:

1.    EU: CATS-SCIFA REPRIEVED: Council of the European Union
2.    EU: Council of the European Union: Accession of the EU to ECHR
3.    DEMOCRACY SIDELINED: ITALY-GREECE: Monti names unelected government of technocrats and bankers
4.    EU: European Parliament: Draft Report on the proposal for a directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings
5.    EU-USA-PNR AGREEMENT: Draft declarations regarding the draft Agreement
6.    European Parliament: Working Document: on amending the Rules of Procedure
7.    EU: Migreurop Press Release: Our ideas are much better than your destructive policies
8.    EU: European Commission: Green Paper on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals
9.    UK BORDER AGENCY: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The work of the UK Border Agency
10.  EU-ACTA: Council of the European Union: Declassified Resticted "negotiating" documents
11.  EU-USA: CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY
12.  EU: Council of the European Union: Crime Statistics proposal
13.  EU: Council of the European Union: Single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work
14.  UPDATED: HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: EU: Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements
15.  EU: Council of the European Union: Guidelines on downgrading and declassifying Council documents
16.  EP-COMMISSION: Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission
17.  CoE: Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on “the right to access to a lawyer and on the right to communicate upon arrest
18.  EU-TFTS (Terrorist Finance Tracking System) : USE OF USA TECHNOLOGY & COOPERATION WITH USA TFTP
19.  EU: FUNCTION CREEP: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO)
20.  EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): "Certain investigative measures"
21.  EU: NGO Letter to Commissioner Malmstrom: Ongoing human rights concerns.. Western Balkans to stop the influx of asylum seekers
22.  EU: European Commission Communication: Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges
23.  EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: REJECTS NEW PROTOCOL: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
24.  European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Notes on 7th November 2011 meeting
25.  EU: Meijers Committee: Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals
26.  EU: Council of the European Union: Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children
27.  EU: Council of the European Union: Joint Investigation Teams Manual
28.  FRANCE: Security of personal data: a guide for action

1.  EU: CATS-SCIFA REPRIEVED: Council of the European Union:

The future of CATS: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-cats-17187-11.pdf
The future of SCIFA: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-scifa-17182-11.pdf

The Maastricht Treaty created the K4 Committee (Interior Ministry and law enforcement officials) which was replaced by the Article 36 Committee (CATS) under the Amsterdam Treaty. But the Lisbon Treaty provides no legal basis for CATS so COREPER decided on 24 November 2009 to continue its existence until 1 January 2012. (The SCIFA Committee dealing with borders, immigration and asylum also created under the Maastricht Treaty). By these two decisions CATS and SCIFA will continue until 2014. CATS and SCIFA sit between the Council Working Parties and COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives from each Member State based in Brussels) Background: EU doc no: 13206-11: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/aug/eu-council-cats-future-13206-11.pdf

2.  EU: Council of the European Union: Accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR): - State of play: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-echr-accession-16385-11.pdf

FREMP, the Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens' rights and free movement of persons, considered a series of proposed amendments by the UK and France - most of which were rejected. See also: EU accession to ECHR: Report to the Committee of Ministers on the elaboration of legal instruments for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (dated 14.10.11):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/oct/coe-eu-accession-echr-14-10.11.pdf

3.  DEMOCRACY SIDELINED: ITALY-GREECE: Monti names unelected government of technocrats and bankers (euobserver, link):
http://euobserver.com/19/114299

"Incoming Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has named a government entirely composed of unelected figures, just days after a technocratic government was installed in Greece, where the presence of far-right figures linked to the military junta are raising hackles." Prime Minister intends to rule until elections in 2013. In Italy: "All ministerial posts will be held by technocrats, soldiers and diplomats." and in Greece: "Four individuals from the Popular Orthodox Rally, a religious and and anti-immigrant grouping whose leadership is normally more commonly seen in the company of France’s National Front or the UK’s British National Party, have been named ministers. Two in particular who have links to the military junta are raising hackles amongst critics of the new government."

See also Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom's Blog: "Both Monti and Papademos have clear mandates and expectations are high that they will get their countries back on track without delay. Of course it is not ideal that democratic countries are run by technocrats and not elected politicians. But at the same time the situation is serious, and elections are also planned for." - SW comment: but not until 2013 in Italy. And: Statement by President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, after a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (Press release): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-pres-monti.pdf

4. EU: European Parliament: Draft Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right to information in criminal proceedings
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-vote-rigt-to-info.pdf

the Vote will take place in the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on 23 November 2011. Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings: - Approval of the final compromise text with a view to a first reading agreement with the European Parliament:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-right-to-info-16342-11.pdf

and Commission Press Release: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-com-right-to-info-prel.pdf

5. EU-USA-PNR AGREEMENT: Draft declarations regarding the draft Agreement on the use and transfer of Passenger Name Records by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (EU doc no: 16981-11):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-usa-pnr-declarations-16981-11.pdf

See also Draft Article 17 - May 2011: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-usa-pnr-draft-art-17.pdf

and Draft Article 23 - May 2011: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-usa-pnr-draft-art-23.pdf

6.  European Parliament: Working Document: on amending the Rules of Procedure to take into account the changing relationships between the European Parliament and the institutions representing the national governments following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty Committee on Constitutional Affairs Rapporteur: Alain Lamassoure
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-institutional-relations-lisbon-wp.pdf

A very interesting document which takes on the problems posed by new post-Lisbon bodies created at the level of the Council of the European Union on which the European Parliament has little information nor control - the new Permanent President, the High Representative (defence and foreign policy) and the Eurogroup (financial) - to which could be added the plethora of new agencies and bodies. The document says that: "these new ‘intergovernmental’ bodies are now fulfilling the role of a collective executive." And that the parliament is only involved "at the stage of legal implementation" but not at the level of the primary decision-making in the Council summits.

The only mechanism for reporting European Council Summits (comprised of Prime Ministers) to the parliament is when the President of the Council (van Rompuy) briefs "the Enlarged Bureau of the European Parliament instead of to a plenary sitting of the European Parliament" - and he has made clear that this will continue to be the practice as "he was responsible only to the European Council, his only ‘master’" (Speech by Herman Van Rompuy, 7 January 2010). In effect the European Council "outrageously... debates and decides behind closed doors."

7.  EU: Migreurop Press Release: Our ideas are much better than your destructive policies (link):
http://www.migreurop.org/article2045.html?lang=fr

- French: http://www.migreurop.org/article2044.html
- Italian: http://www.migreurop.org/article2046.html
- Spanish: http://www.migreurop.org/article2047.html

"The two latest reports by Frontex show that joint surveillance operations with countries neighbouring the European Union (EU) are still a priority for its member states. The externalisation of migration controls at the borders of the EU continues, and it has resulted in many migrants being deported."

8.  EU: European Commission: Green Paper on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the European Union (Directive 2003/86/EC) (COM 735):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-com-family-reunification-tcn-com-735.pdf

10.  EU-ACTA: Council of the European Union: Declassified Resticted "negotiating" documents:

- 15004/08 RESTREINT: dated: 4 November 2008: New status: Public: Subject: Plurilateral Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Chapter 2: Draft Criminal provisions: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-acta-declass-15004-rev1-10.pdf

- 13637/08 RESTREINT UE: dated: 29 September 2008: New status: Public: Subject: Plurilateral Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
3rd negotiating session 8-10 October 2008, Tokyo, Japan Chapter 2 :Draft Criminal provisions Japan-USA Joint proposal, dated 12 September 2008:
  http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-acta-declass-11203-rev1-10.pdf

- 11203/10 RESTREINT UE/EU RESTRICTED: dated: 17 June 2010: New status: Public: Subject: Pluri-lateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) - Chapter 2 "Criminal Enforcement": http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-acta-declass-10837-rev1-10.pdf

- 10837/10 RESTREINT UE: dated: 8 June 2010: New status: Public: Subject: Pluri-lateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
- Statement by Germany Consolidated Text of 16 April 2010: 
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-acta-declass-10837-rev1-10.pdf

11.  EU-USA: CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY: Council of the European Union: Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety - Agreed minutes and rules of procedure of the Bilateral Oversight Board:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-usa-civil-aviation-safety-oversight-board-16574-11.pdf

12.  EU: Council of the European Union: Crime Statistics proposal: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European statistics on safety from crime - Summary table:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-crime-stats-16721-11.pdf

13. EU: Council of the European Union:
- Draft Statement of the Council's reasons - single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work. Revised.
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-single-permit-reasons-revised-13036-add1-11.pdf

- Directive on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast) (pdf) Ready for adoption:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-qualifications-ep50-11.pdf

14. UPDATED: HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: EU: Council of the European Union: Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements: France (164 pages)::
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-france-2003-10373-ext1-04.pdf

Reports de-classified from the period 2003-2005 (downgraded from "Restricted"). 21 Member States responses below. Some are short reports but others contain interesting detail. Cyprus, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy and the UK have not consented to the release of their national reports.

- Germany (16 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-germany-2004-13946-ext1-04.pdf
 - Poland: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-poland-2004-9046-ext1-05.pdf
 - Hungary: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-hungary-2004-6103-ext1-05.pdf
 - Estonia: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-estonia-2005-9103-ext1-05.pdf
 - Sweden: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-sweden-2004-13510-ext1-04.pdf
 - Latvia: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-latvia-2005-11207-ext1-05.pdf
 - Belgium (45 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-belgium-2004-9216-04.pdf
 - Malta: (21 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-malta-2005-11343-ext1-05.pdf
 - Portugal (18 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-councul-ct-portugal-2003-11357-ext1-04.pdf
 - Spain (19 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-spain-11348-ext1-04.pdf
 - Luxembourg: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-luxembourg-12597-ext1-04.pdf
 - Greece (25 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-greece-2003-12633-ext1-04.pdf
 - Ireland (32 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-ireland-2003-9770-ext1-04.pdf
 - Denmark: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-denmark-2003-11078-rev1-04.pdf
 - Finland: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-finland-2004-13927-rev1-04.pdf
 - Bulgaria: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-bulgaria-2005-6883-ext1-06.pdf
 - Romania (43 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-romania-2005-6246-ext1-06.pdf
 - Slovenia (19 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-slovenia-2005-7413-ext1-05.pdf
 - Netherlands (55 pages): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-2004-netherlands-12247-rev1-04.pdf
 - Lithuania: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-2005-lithuania-10997-rev1-05.pdf
 - Austria: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-2004-rep-austria-13944-rev1-04.pdf

See also: Interim Report on the Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-rep-nov-2004-14306-rev3-04.pdf

and Final report on the Evaluation of National Anti-Terrorist Arrangements: Improving national machinery and capability for the fight against terrorism:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-ct-final-rep-2005-12168-rev2-05.pdf

15. EU: Council of the European Union: Meeting Document from the Security Committee: Guidelines on downgrading and declassifying Council documents (MD 36-11, 2.9.11): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-sec-cttee-declassifying-docs-md-36-11.pdf

16.  EP-COMMISSION: FOR THE RECORD: 2010: Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (47 pages):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-com-interinstitutional-agreement-2010.pdf

Letter from the Commission to the European Parliament with Annex (45 pages):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-com-interinstitutional-agreement-letter-to-ep-2010.pdf

and see OEIL on procedure (link): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5864472

17. Council of Europe: Opinion of the Secretariat on the Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on “the right to access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest”: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/coe-opinion-right-to-info.pdf

18. EU-TFTS (Terrorist Finance Tracking System) : USE OF USA TECHNOLOGY & COOPERATION WITH USA TFTP: France has intervened in the discussions over the creation of an EU TFTS: France's position with respect to a European TFTP (Council of the European Union: Doc no: 13716-11, pdf) which says:

"Overall, the programme should be designed to be compatible with the system implemented with the US. On the one hand, the United States has agreed, in the aforementioned Agreement, to a technology transfer, which will help reduce design costs of the system. On the other hand – again under the terms of the Agreement – the United States and the European Union have agreed, once the European system is operational, to cooperate via their respective TFTPs." (emphasis added)

France acknowledges that the TFTS "would involve large-scale transfers" from financial institutions in the EU from which, using "terrorist threat identification skills" targets will be selected at national level. Each Member State would apply its own perception of a potential terrorist "threat" - which on past practice can vary from state to state. No central database would be create but national hub could give data access to third countries and "allow data searches requested by the United States".

See: Commission Communication: A European terrorist finance tracking system: available options (COM 429):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/jul/eu-com-eu-tfts-com-429-11.pdf

EU-USA Agreement: Full-text of EU-USA Agreement on Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (Agreed in July 2010):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jun/eu-usa-draft-swift-agreement-com-final-3.pdf

19. EU: FUNCTION CREEP: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Council of the European Union: Initiative of Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Freezing of evidence (EU doc no: 16410-11, 8.11.11):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-eio-freezing-evidence-16410-11.pdf

The Council is discussing extending the scope of the draft Directive to cover not just the "freezing of assets" but their confiscation - covering property (ie: bank accounts, computers) or evidence. As currently drafted the Directive concerns only the "gathering" of evidence. At the Article 36 Committee (CATS)in June: "the Commission and the Council Legal Service appealed to Member States to carefully weight pros and cons of such inclusion". This Council Presidency Note offers three Options which include (Option C) the "both freezing of evidence and freezing of assets" (ie: confiscation). It should be noted that by the nature of the EIO the suspect may not have been either been charged or convicted.

See Statewatch Observatory: European Investigation Order: http://www.statewatch.org/Targeted-issues/EIO/eio-observatory.htm

20. EU: EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER (EIO): Council of the European Union: Initiative Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden for a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters - Follow-up document of the meeting of the "Friends of the Presidency" meeting on 26 October 2011 (EU doc no: 16408/11): http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-eio-fop-version-16408-11.pdf

Concerns Chapter IV on "Certain investigative measures" and contains detailed comments by Member States.

See Statewatch Observatory: European Investigation Order: http://www.statewatch.org/Targeted-issues/EIO/eio-observatory.htm

22.  EU: European Commission Communication: Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2011-2012 (SEC 1203-11):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-com-enlargement-rep-sec-1203-11.pdf

23. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: REJECTS NEW PROTOCOL: Draft Report on the draft protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-charter-protocol-rep.pdf

24. European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): Notes on 7th November 2011 meeting:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/ep-libe-committee-notes-7-nov-11.pdf

25.  EU: Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Meijers Committee): Proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment (COM(2010)0379):
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-meijers-cttee-seasonal-employment.pdf

26. EU: Council of the European Union: Ready for adopted: Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-dir-sexual-exploit-pe51-11.pdf

27.  EU: Council of the European Union: Joint Investigation Teams Manual:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/nov/eu-council-jit-manual-15790-rev1-11.pdf

"The main goal of this Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) Manual, which supplements the existing Eurojust/Europol document “Guide to EU Member States’ legislation on Joint Investigation Teams”, is to inform practitioners about the legal basis and requirements for setting up a JIT and to provide advice on when a JIT can be usefully employed."


It may be that some of the above could well be considered beneficial; may well be good for mankind, however a few questions:
  • When were we consulted about the above?
  • When were we given a vote on these subjects?
  • When did our government advise us that they were participating in some, or all, of these proposals?
  • When did the MSM report on these proposals?
  • When did your MP write to you, as one of his/her constituents to advise you of just one of the above?
  • When did your MEP write to you, as one of his/her constituents to advise you of just one of the above?
  • When did any Coalition minister advise Parliament that the UK government was in dialogue on any  of the above? (Alright, I may have missed one - or two)
OK, stop complaining - you don't have to read all the links - just one or two will provide all the information you need to know about our 'puppet government'.
    The foregoing show why we are not a self-governing nation - and never will be whilst we remain a member of the European Union. The foregoing show why the EU is not our problem - that our politicians in Westminster are, by failure to repeal the ECA1972, condoning their acceptance of rule from abroad; coupled with our membership of international bodies to whose 'decrees' we shackle ourselves and of which we were yet again never asked for our agreement.

    Just why the hell are we paying for this Judas Class; their salaries and lifestyles; and in one particular case, their 'empirical' staffing?

    Yet again, just asking.................

    5 comments:

    BJ said...

    A lot to digest there WfW - I'll try and get to grips with some of it.

    On the subject of Chuka Ummuna - he who is proud of his "African and European heritage" - not British or English.

    Anonymous said...

    Hmm! Why is there still such a beast as the " British government" How in the name of all that is holy can british Government Ministers claim to be in charge of anything.

    We all know the scale of it all but when you list itall like this it really brings it home.

    I can still remember when Black jacks and fruit salads were 8 for an old penny and when you voted at a general election a British government got in. Happy days!!

    WitteringsfromWitney said...

    BJ: It was intended to be a tad daunting and as Anon after you said, when it is seen in a long list like this it brings home the intrustion that we suffer.

    It is worth mentioning too that my 'list' is but a selection......

    Anon: See above........

    Raimo said...

    I am from Finland. I have read many things from internet sites only, of which TV and newspapers don’t tell. Actually censorship in the mainstream media makes my country a dictatorship, ruled by the political and economic elite.

    Finland is a corrupt country. Nobody can have a public post without being a member of a political party. In Finland all high-ranking officials, who earn 5000 euros a month or more, are members of political parties.

    No one can criticize the elite in the mainstream media. Any one who criticizes leading politicians, will lose his or her job.

    Finland as well as neighboring Sweden and Norway are dictatorship countries.

    WitteringsfromWitney said...

    R: Interesting comment, one that I think I will reproduce.