The legal cement for the integration of border – biometric – electronic controls in Fortress Europe
Posted by clandestina on 16 March 2009
Drawing from various sources we report below on some recent developments in the high-tech side of the Fortress Europe killing and exploitation machine. The supposedly democratic side of the EU, its parliament which will be asking for eu-citizens votes some months from now, voted for further steps to be taken in the integration of biometric – electronic surveillance apparatuses. This will allow for the rationalisation of cheap labour provision in Europe – the trivialisation, that is, of deportation of “seasonal workers”, which immediately affects 8 million people. The banality of the EU-bureaucratic discourses does not render them less dangerous – only smellier with totalitarianism. We should also mention that the state in the territory of which these lines are written, Greece, asks to host on its ground many of the now forming EU agencies which will serve the above oppression functions.
We do not bother here mentioning those who only raise “concerns” or “complaints” about this full-blown attack on humanity. Uncompromised solidarity and struggle will be our response.
About the EU-Parliament endorsement…
The EU-Parliament endorsed the EU-Commission’s proposal for the creation of databases of electronic profiles of about 140 million third-country nationals who travel each year to the member-states of the European Union.
The electronic filing system will provide information to the Commission about the length of stay of third countries nationals in the EU as well as violations of the relevant laws. In this way, the Commission intends to create a record of seasonal workers from third countries.
The suggestion by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, a Liberal Finland MP, was endorsed with 600 votes in favour, 46 against and 30 abstentions. The Parliament voted in favour arguing that the electronic files will prevent the excess of the permitted time of stay and will facilitate the arrest of those breaking the law. Many EU member states already have their own registration systems for third countries nationals.
…of this EU-Commission Proposal…
The European Commission on Wednesday, 13 February kicked off a lengthy legislative process aimed at tightening up controls on who enters and leaves the 27-nation bloc.
“This package designs a completely new way of controlling our borders”, EU home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini said unveiling the three new proposals. They include an entry/exit register of non-European visitors, a European Border Surveillance System designed to detect those who enter the bloc between border crossing points as well as better use of the EU’s border control agency, Frontex. According to Frattini, “the most advanced technology” will be used to make sure bona fide travellers continue to have access to the Schengen passport-free area but under tougher security conditions. “We don’t have an alternative. It’s because of terrorist threats, criminality, paedophile networks. We cannot have them using better technology than police”, the Italian commissioner said.
The “most ambitious” of Brussels’ plans is the proposal to establish an electronic register, designed to monitor all non-EU nationals admitted to the Schengen zone, starting from 2015. The system would record information on the time and place of a traveller’s entry as well as the length of stay authorised. It would also automatically alert competent authorities, should a person be identified as over staying their time. According to commission data, approximately 300 million people enter or leave the European Union each year – making the bloc the world’s most popular tourist destination. Some 140 million of these crossings are made by non-EU citizens. Brussels argues that thousands of foreigners currently overstay their visa, but the union has no tools for identifying them.
In 2006, there were up to eight million illegal immigrants within EU territory. Generally, over half of them tends to enter Europe legally, but become illegal by overstaying their right to stay. Under Mr Frattini’s proposal, all third-country visitors requiring a visa to enter the EU will have to provide their biometric data as part of their visa application, while those who don’t need a visa will be checked on arrival. Border-crossing points should be equipped with new biometric technology such as eye scanners to allow automated and more accurate identity verification. The commission has also mooted the possibility of setting up a system that requires non-EU travellers to obtain an electronic authorisation to travel before they leave for Europe – a system already in place in Australia. “Requiring an electronic authorisation to travel could be considered as an alternative to requiring a visa from the nationals of a third country, or be required from nationals from a third country currently not under the visa requirement”, the commission proposal says, adding a study will be launched on this issue later this year.