clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Stockholm Programme’

The Stockholm Programme: 1984 is here

Posted by clandestina on 8 February 2010

source: http://bristolnoborders.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/the-stockholm-programme-1984-is-here/

“1984 is here, no really, this time we’re not lying , honest”.

A personal slant on the disturbing confluence of the a ever more sophiscated and extensive controlling and surveilling techonolgy on the one hand, and increaslingly repressive legislation on the other.

For those of you who have the time  to read Statewatch reports: you needn’t bother reading this .

Yep, I know that using Orwell is a bit of a cliche but its too appropriate not to.

Download it here: thestockholmprogramme1984ishere

Produced by one of Bristol No Borders

Comments and feedback appreciated

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stop another 5 year program of death and detention!30 Nov – 1 Dec 2009, Brussels – Transnational Protests against Justice and Home Affairs Meeting

Posted by clandestina on 2 November 2009

SOURCE: NO RACISM NET

Stop another 5 year program of death and detention!

30th of November and 1st of December 2009 in Brussels – Transnational Protests in front of the EU – Justice and Home Affairs – Meeting

Refugee Protection and Migrants Rights instead of a brutal EU-Border-regime! No to the repressive Stockholm program! After Tampere and The Hague, the Stockholm program will constitute the next 5-year-framework for Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) within the EU and its memberstates. The new program claims to build up the ‘area of freedom, justice and security’. But in fact it will continue to implement an even tighter regime of surveillance and control and will promote a securitisation of social life, undermining all civil rights and privacy despite contrary claims.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rift Between the North and the South

Posted by clandestina on 18 July 2009

SOURCE: NOBORDERS BRIGHTON

Rift Between the North and the South

The rift between the northern and southern EU states is set to grow larger as yesterday’s meeting of EU Interior Ministers in Stockholm postponedany re-examination of the Dublin II Regulation till 2014. The Dublin II Regulation, which stipulates that migrants must apply for asylum in the first EU member state they enter, has resulted in what southern EU states claim is disproportionate pressure on the immigrant reception services in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta.

Roberto Maroni, Italy’s interior minister and member of the right wing Lega Nord, demanded that the issue of ‘burden-sharing’ should be one of the top priorities in the EU’s new five-year plan on justice issues. As a result, the EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot agreed to make the European Refugee Fund applicable to all incoming migrants, not just those successfully claiming asylum and that several million euros in aid will be given to the Mediterranean states to spend on additional reception centres, food and social support for migrants.

This comes against the backdrop of a number of other recent developments. On Wednesday, the Greek and Italian Prime Ministers met and agreed on a common front to push for EU policy to curbing the numbers of illegal migrants, negotiating repatriation pacts between Brussels and the migrants’ states of origin and transit countries and increasing the role of the EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex.

Wednesday also saw the deportation of 90 migrants by air to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the latest in a growing number of flights from Athens as Greece seeks to remove the 99% plus of migrants whose asylum claims the Greek state routinely turns down.

Earlier in the week the UNHCR criticised both countries for their immigration policies. Greece was criticised for the decision to destroy the Patras migrant camp and deport some of the migrants before their asylum claims had been examined. It also appealed to Greece to avoid so-called “push-backs” of migrants originating from war zones (Greece regularly buses migrants back to Turkey without any due process).

Athens has recently accused Ankara of failing to stop clandestine immigration through Turkish territory, which the Greeks, and now even the EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot, say has pushed their resources to the limit and is destabilising “Greek democracy” (a reference to the recent election of extreme right wing LAOS MEPs). Interestingly, new figures from the Greek coastguard show a pronounced drop in migrant interceptions over the past few months.

Greece officials have also been examining disused army barracks to open as temporary reception centres for the thousands of migrants awaiting the processing of their asylum applications. One likely choice is a disused military site on the island of Evia.

Italy has also been the recipient of forceful criticism from the UNHCR about its use of force when intercepting 82 mainly Eritrean migrants on July 1st 30 miles off the Lampedusa coast, who were then returned to Libya under Italy’s own ‘push-back’ immigration policy. A ”significant number” of people on board the boat, including nine women and six children, were returned illegally as they had legitimate claims to asylum status, the agency claimed.

In an astonishing fit of pique, Italy’s EU Affairs Minister, Andrea Ronchi, rebuffed the criticism, saying the UNHCR ”should be ashamed of itself” and should ”apologise to Italy” over the allegations. ”These are hasty, false, demagogic, offensive and repugnant accusations that offend our armed forces, who every day demonstrate their morality, their dedication, humanity, competence and sacrifice”.

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Call for Summer of Resistance‭ ‬2009‭ – Collapse the security architectures‭!‬

Posted by clandestina on 2 June 2009

source: a – infos article

Against NATO, G20, G8, Frontex and the “Stockholm Programme”!

Since the end of the last millennium a modification of the‭ “‬security architecture‭” ‬within the EU takes
place,‭ ‬which have been accelerated by the attacks of‭ ‬11 ‬September‭ ‬2001‭ ‬in the
United States.‭ ‬Visible phenomena are for example the entanglement of internal and
external security,‭ ‬a‭ “‬pooling‭” ‬of prosecution authorities and intelligence sevices
and a simplified data exchange. —- ‬At the technical level we are confronted with new
digital surveillance cameras, ‬satellite surveillance,‭ ‬biometrics,‭ ‬drones,‭ ‬software
for intelligent search in databases and new broadband networks to manage this huge flood
of digital data. —- ‬New institutions and authorities have been created,‭ ‬including
the‭ “‬European Police Office Europol,‭ ‬the police academy CEPOL,‭ ‬the border agency
Frontex and the‭” ‬Committee for the Management of Operational Cooperation‭ ” ‬of all
police agencies of the EU within its intelligence operation assessment center.
‎ ‏
At the initiative of former French Defense Minister‎ (‏and current Interior
Minister‭) ‬Michèle Alliot-Marie the‭ “‬European Gendarmerie Force‭ (‬EGF‭) ‬was
founded and has been established in‭ ‬2004.‭ ‬The EGF shall ensure the‭ “‬public
order‭”‬,‭ ‬combat insurgency,‭ ‬obtain intelligence information and protect property
in conflict areas.

The security industry is likely one of the few branches that profits massive from the
current crisis of capitalism and the resulting battles.‭

‬Europe’s police forces are preparing themselve for protest and resistance against
the impact of the crisis.‭ ‬Even the chairman of the International Monetary Fund IMF
admits that in future more riots are expected.‭
‬The institutions of the‭ “‬leading economic nations‭” ‬are forced to re-organize
themselves.‭ ‬The‭ “‬summits‭” ‬of NATO,‭ ‬G8‭ ‬and G20‭ ‬are of central importance
for this reorganization.‭ ‬Topics such as climate,‭ ‬migration and agriculture are
considered as threat to the security of a‭ “‬western lifestyle‭”‬.‭
‬Within the European Union,‭ ‬domestic political changements are taking place,‭
‬whose effects are currently difficult predict.

Every five years,‭ ‬the interior and justice ministers of the new EU adopt new
directives for a common domestic policy.‭ ‬The‭ “‬Tampere Program‭”‬,‭ ‬terminated
in‭ ‬1999‭ ‬under the Finnish Presidency,‭ ‬was primarily a‭ “‬management of
migration flows‭”‬:‭ ‬In addition to the appreciation of the police authority Europol
was the establishment of a‭ “‬Task Force of EU Police Chiefs‭’” ‬which‭ ‬deals with‭
“‬international terrorism‭” ‬and‭ “‬violent political activism‭”‬.

With the‭ “‬Hague Program‭” ‬in‭ ‬2004,‭ ‬it has been agreed upon the creation of an‭
“‬area of freedom,‭ ‬security and justice‭”‬.‭ ‬Again it was decided on
intensifications of migration policy,‭ ‬including the construction of Border Agency‭
“‬Frontex‭” ‬and the interception of refugees already in their home countries.‭ “‬The
Hague Program‭” ‬puts the‭ “‬defense of terrorism‭” ‬in the center.‭ ‬At the level of
information exchange and cooperation was now count on the‭ “‬principle of
availability‭”‬.‭
‬The guidelines of‭ ‬2004‭ ‬are already implemented by many EU member states:‭

Standardization of the‭ “‬terrorism‭” ‬legislation,‭ ‬data retention,‭ ‬expansion of
existing databases and shared access,‭ ‬cross-border police cooperation for example
at sporting events or political mass protests,‭ “‬Border Management‭”‬,‭
‬fingerprints when application for EU visa,‭ ‬from‭ ‬2009‭ ‬new biometric identifiers
in identity documents,‭ ‬the development of security research,‭ ‬cooperation in
criminal matters,‭ ‬police abroad etc.

‎”‏The Hague Program‭” ‬is running out and a new program should be decided on in
autumn of‭ ‬2009,‭ ‬in Stockholm under the Swedish EU Presidency.‭
‬During the German EU Presidency‭ ‬2007,‭ ‬the German Interior Minister Wolfgang
Schäuble created with the,‭ ‬then European Commissioner for Internal Affairs‭ (
“‬Justice and Home Affairs‭”)‬,‭ ‬Franco Frattini,‭ ‬the‭ “‬Future Group‭”‬.‭ ‬This‭
“‬Future Group‭” ‬describes itself as‭ “‬informal body‭” ‬of European interior
ministers,‭ ‬which drafted guidelines for European home affairs.‭
To adopt the new‭ “‬Stockholm program‭”‬,‭ ‬the‭ “‬Future Group‭” ‬submitted a
wish-list for‭ “‬police cooperation,‭ ‬fight against terrorism,‭ ‬management of
missions in third countries,‭ ‬migration,‭ ‬asylum and border management,‭ ‬civil
protection,‭ ‬new technologies and information networks‭ “‬.‭ ‬Priorities are the
maintenance of the‭ “‬European model‭”‬,‭ “‬coping with the growing interdependence
between internal and external security‭” ‬and ensuring of‭ “‬Europe-wide the best
possible data networks‭”‬.

The measures which shall be decided in Stockholm will only be noticeable by the
member states within its ratification in a few years.‭ ‬There are profound changes in
the game:‭
development and standardization of police databases,‭ ‬a central population
register,‭ ‬”cross-border online search‭”‬, more control of the Internet,‭ ‬better
satellite tracking,‭ ‬risk analysis‭ “‬software, ‭”‬e-borders‭” ‬and‭ “‬e-justice‭”‬,‭
Common deportation planes and flights,‭ ‬new refugee camp in‭ “‬third countries‭”‬,‭
‬the use of the military defense of migration,‭ ‬more police interventions outside
the EU,‭ ‬the expansion of paramilitary‭ “‬European Gendarmerie Force‭”‬,‭ ‬more
cooperation between domestic and foreign secret services,‭ ‬etc.‭

The aim is a kind of domestical NATO,‎ ‏with the creation of a‭ “‬Euro-Atlantic
cooperation in the area of freedom,‭ ‬security and justice‭” ‬from‭ ‬2014.

Also the NATO attaches value to the central role of the European domestic politics.
On one hand,‭ ‬more and more police missions in‭ “‬third countries‭” ‬were launched,‭
‬which perform there tasks of the military,‭ ‬strike down local uprisings and train
local police units.‭
On the other hand,‭ ‬NATO-strategists play the ball back to the European interior
ministers and refer to the importance of European‭ “‬Homeland Security‭” ‬without a‭
“‬strong defense‭” ‬to the outside wouldn’t be possible.‭ ‬The NATO sees itself
within member countries as the guarantor of security of‭ “‬critical infrastructure‭”
(‬like energy,‭ ‬transportation,‭ ‬communication‭)‬.‭
‬The strategy document‭ “‬Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World‭” ‬by five
ex-generals,‭ ‬which areanchored in the defense industry,‭ ‬calls for the expansion
of‭ “‬civil-military cooperation‭”‬.‭ ‬Considered as a‭ “‬civilian elements‭” ‬are
for example Police,‭ ‬intelligence,‭ ‬research,‭ ‬academies,‭ ‬civil protection but
also the private security industry.‭ ‬NATO wants to intensify the fall back on the‭
“‬European Gendarmerie Force‭”‬.‭
‬With the‭ “‬civil-military cooperation‭” ‬the militarization of social conflicts is
increasing,‭ ‬underpinned by domestic political rearmament and new‭” ‬anti-terror‭
“‬laws.

The former EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs,‭ ‬Franco Frattini,‭ ‬has
changed in Berlusconi’s Cabinet after the elections in Italy‭ ‬2008.‭ ‬As the new
foreign minister,‭ ‬he is now responsible for the G8‭ ‬on the Sardinian island of La
Maddalena.‭ ‬Frattini sees‭ “‬security‭” ‬as the central profile of the new G8‭
‬structures:‭ “‬Europe can,‭ ‬rather than just a consumer,‭ ‬be a producer of
safety.‭ ‬But EU and NATO need to integrate,‭ ‬rather to interfere with each others.‭
‬We back up these thoughts in the context of the G8‭”‬.‭
‬Italy has adopted a‭ “‬security package‭” ‬in May‭ ‬2008‭ ‬with far-reaching
tightenings for Migrants.‭ ‬After the EU already equipped Libya with financial help
for refugee defense,‭ ‬also Italy signed a new cooperation agreement.‭
The Italian arms corporate group‭ “‬Finmeccanica‭” ‬delivers speedboats and the
Interior Ministry is pleased that migration would now be diminished on‭ “‬zero‭”‬.

Frattini traveled early‭ ‬2009‭ ‬to Angola,‭ ‬Sierra Leone,‭ ‬Senegal and Nigeria to
negotiate over‭ “‬readmission agreements‭” ‬for migrants,‭ ‬to equip the countries
with refugee camps,‭ ‬and to introduce tamper-proof passports.‭ ‬It’s again all about
the securisation of raw material and police enforcement:‭ ‬In return Frattini
acknowledges an audience with the G8‭ ‬summit for the countries,‭ ‬to‭ “‬promote the
dialogue between oil producing and‭ ‬-‭ ‬consuming countries‭”‬.‭
In the delegation travelling Frattini,‭ ‬the Italian police chief who immediately
implement new contracts for police training and cooperation procedure.‭

‬As the consequence of the collapse of global capitalism around the world,‭ ‬more
uprisings are expected.‭ ‬With the recent riots in Greece,‭ ‬Iceland,‭ ‬Sweden,‭
‬Lithuania,‭ ‬Latvia,‭ ‬Bulgaria,‭ ‬France,‭ ‬Guadeloupe and Lampedusa,‭ ‬the EU
became the venue of intense contradictions and militant struggles which.‭
In the numerous directives,‭ ‬bilateral agreements and treaties,‭ ‬of the past few
years concerted measures for‭ “‬Europe as an area of freedom,‭ ‬security and
justice‭”‬,‭ ‬are long ago brought into position against anti-communist resistance
and radical projects and movements are covered with investigations and prosecutions
for‭ “‬terrorism‭”‬.‭ “‬Joint investigation teams‭” ‬research‭ ‬-‭ ‬supported by
Europol‭ ‬-‭ ‬international networks.‭ ‬Manuals and databases on‭ “‬Troublemakers‭”
‬will be bring protests at major international events under control.

Resistance against the increase in surveillance and control,‭ ‬against repression and
anti-riot is still stuck too much often on a national level.‭
‬Therefore we call to push the development of a transnational struggle against the‭
“‬security architecture‭”‬,‭ ‬in‭ ‬2009‭ ‬at several cross-border mobilizations,‭
‬whether they are timbered by the NATO,‭ ‬G8‭ ‬or EU.‭

‬We see the action day at the NATO summit as the kick off of the campaign for a‭
“‬Summer of Resistance‭ ‬2009‭” ‬against the global‭ “‬security regime‭”‬:‭

‬¡No Pasarán! France | Gipfelsoli | Dissent! France | NoLager Bremen | Resistance des
deux rives / Widerstand der zwei Ufer | transact | six hills Berlin | kein mensch ist
illegal Hanau

Collapse the security architectures‭!

* http://stockholm.noblogs.org
* http://euro-police.noblogs.org

http://.gipfelsoli.org | http://euro-police.noblogs.org

xml: http://gipfelsoli.org/service/feed_list

pgp | gpg: http://gipfelsoli.org/static/gipfelsoli@nadir.org.asc
DCD2 A7FB F8C0 3324 1AF2 E2F0 A1FB E8A3 8CA4 D90C

* deutsch: http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Home/6394.html
* francais: http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Home/6395.html
* italiano http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Home/6404.html
* svenska: http://www.motkraft.net/nyheter/3483
* suomeksi http://takku.net/article.php/20090404103349126
=============
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative

Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Every object… every transaction… and almost everywhere they go…”

Posted by clandestina on 1 June 2009

grenze2grenzephotos’s source: http://grenzposten.blogsport.de/mach-ein-foto/

“Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts.” 

EU COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

 

This is the Fortress Europe – Dungeon Europe of the future – this is what the bosses want our societies to become.  Much more about the “Stockholme Programme” here (we already posted something about it in this post).  Immigrants and refugees are indeed the guinea pigs for the suveillance mega-state  they visualise. What follows are the informative coclusions of the text “The Shape of Things to Come” – the EU Future Group by Tony Bunyan at Statewatch – without the footnotes. 

clandestinenglish

 

“The Shape of Things to Come” – the EU Future Group”

by Tony Byan

 

 

 

The new programme, scheduled to be called the “Stockholm” programme, will be adopted
by the European Council – a meeting of all the Prime Ministers from the 27 member states
– and will “set in stone” the priorities for home affairs for the following five years.
The “convergence principle” and “state-building”97
The introduction of the “convergence principle” is another step in the building of the EU
state. This is described in the background papers for the Future group as: “the pooling of
sovereignty”. It builds on the “principle of availability” (Hague programme) of all data,
information and intelligence held all agencies across the EU to all other agencies and
outside and the “interoperability” of EU information systems must be compatible so that
all agencies can access each others data
“Convergence” means too shifting from harmonising laws at national level to standardising
training, equipment and information technology across all the law enforcement agencies
in the EU. This ensures “interoperability” and efficiency, and is much cheaper if EU-wide
standards are set and then licences are negotiated with the multinationals. Agencies will
still work at the national level but their environment will be determined (harmonised) by
EU standards and more and more roles will be undertaken at the EU level.
“Convergence” also requires further legal harmonisation so that “obstacles” (eg: judicial
authorisation) to gathering, accessing and transferring data and intelligence are removed.
In the Lisbon Treaty “state-building” is evident in both the creation of bodies and agencies
to act on an EU-wide basis and the creation of administrative and operational cooperation
centrally organised by the EU. “Cooperation” will cover all “criminal offences” and
embrace all agencies. This will include the establishment of measures for the: “collection,
storage, processing, analysis and exchange of relevant information” and for “investigative
techniques” (which means telephone-tapping, bugging, informants, agent provocateurs
etc). 98
Overseeing operational activities will be the new Standing Committee on Internal Security
(COSI) which is planned to oversee and direct all operational matters – with national and
European parliaments only to be “informed” about its activities.99

The new programme, scheduled to be called the “Stockholm” programme, will be adopted by the European Council – a meeting of all the Prime Ministers from the 27 member states – and will “set in stone” the priorities for home affairs for the following five years.

The “convergence principle” and “state-building”

The introduction of the “convergence principle” is another step in the building of the EU state. This is described in the background papers for the Future group as: “the pooling of sovereignty”. It builds on the “principle of availability” (Hague programme) of all data, information and intelligence held all agencies across the EU to all other agencies and outside and the “interoperability” of EU information systems must be compatible so that all agencies can access each others data

“Convergence” means too shifting from harmonising laws at national level to standardising training, equipment and information technology across all the law enforcement agencies in the EU. This ensures “interoperability” and efficiency, and is much cheaper if EU-wide standards are set and then licences are negotiated with the multinationals. Agencies will still work at the national level but their environment will be determined (harmonised) by EU standards and more and more roles will be undertaken at the EU level. “Convergence” also requires further legal harmonisation so that “obstacles” (eg: judicial authorisation) to gathering, accessing and transferring data and intelligence are removed.

In the Lisbon Treaty “state-building” is evident in both the creation of bodies and agencies to act on an EU-wide basis and the creation of administrative and operational cooperation centrally organised by the EU. “Cooperation” will cover all “criminal offences” and embrace all agencies. This will include the establishment of measures for the: “collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of relevant information” and for “investigative techniques” (which means telephone-tapping, bugging, informants, agent provocateurs etc). 

Overseeing operational activities will be the new Standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI) which is planned to oversee and direct all operational matters – with national and European parliaments only to be “informed” about its activities.

This analysis only deals with certain aspects of EU state-building, those concerning justice and home affairs and internal security. Another aspect is the proposed European External Action Service envisaged under the Lisbon Treaty which would turn the current European Commission  plus missions around the world into EU embassies with powers of intelligence-gathering.

Yet another example is the EU Security Research Agenda. This is described, in what should be viewed as a complementary study to this one, in Arming Big Brother as: “the development of the security-industrial complex in Europe and in particular the development of the EU Security Research Programme (ESRP). Spawned by the military-industrial complex, the security-industrial complex has developed as the traditional boundaries between external security (military) and internal security (security services) and law enforcement (policing) have eroded.” 

The “digital tsunami and the EU surveillance state” 

The coded language in the main Future group report hides the broader intent which is revealed in other documents, especially the one from the Portuguese Council Presidency. The assumption behind the “digital tsunami” is:

“Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts.” 

The implications of this statement are breath-taking. Across the EU – following the 2004 EU Directive – governments have, or are, adopting national laws for the mandatory retention of everyone’s communications data – all forms of communication (phone-calls, faxes, mobile calls including locations) which will be extended to keeping a record of all internet usage from 2009 – even though few are aware this is happening. This allows law enforcement and security agencies to get access to all traffic data – in the UK access is already automated. Access to the content should, under national law, be authorised by judicial authorities – though state agencies have had the technological capability to access content for years.

When traffic data including internet usage is combined with other data held by the state or gathered from non-state sources (tax, employment, bank details, credit card usage, biometrics, criminal record, health record, use of e-government services, travel history etc) a frightening detailed picture of each individual’s everyday life and habits can be accessed at the click of a button.

The harnessing of the “digital tsunami” by public security organisations, as set out in the Portuguese Council Presidency’s paper, means that behaviour will be predicted and assessed by “machines” on the basis of which directions are given to state officials on the spot.

To this must be added the fact that state agencies can access any home or work computer and look at its contents – and, if they can look at its content they could add or alter it too. It was a proposal by the German government in June 2008 which confirmed the ability of the agencies to do this, by seeking the power to authorise online computer searches in private homes through: “remote searches of computer hard drives”.

Taking all these extensive powers of surveillance together it is not too hard to see, for example, why lawyers, journalists and civil society groups might be concerned. The monitoring of a lawyer’s communications and correspondence could reveal the defence’s case and counter-evidence gathered – especially in cases which are politically sensitive. A journalist’s contacts and communications could be watched in order to pre-empt a story or to prepare a plausible denial in advance. While a group organising a protest could find its preparatory work undermined and disrupted and its organisers targeted for detention or arrest – with their demonstrations surveilled by spying “drones”.

“Ordinary” people who “have nothing to hide” are under the illusion that this sweeping surveillance system has nothing to do with them – which is why they will never realise they did not get a job interview because the employer had accessed to a criminal record based on a “spent” conviction or why their application for an insurance policy failed because the company had access to their health record. The European Data Protection Supervisor put it politely when he said of the police and, by implication, all state agencies:

“It is not sufficient to start from the assumption that the police under all circumstances and in all cases operate within the legal limits of their legal obligations”.

There is an assumption, on this and wider issues in the EU, is that “if it is technologically possible why should it not be introduced?” This brings to mind the discussion in the EU over the age at which children should be subjected to finger-printed for passports, visas or ID cards. The discussion in the working parties of the Council of the European Union (the governments) have been based not on moral questions but rather at what age is it technologically possible to collect accurate fingerprints – most want this to be from six years old and upwards, some even want to collect them at birth

At the heart of this issue is the “ownership” of personal data. Is it our personal data, which we “own” and which we may consent to be used for a specific, stated purpose? Or is it “owned” by the collector and holder of the data (internet service provider, airline, bank or credit card companies or state agencies)? For example, the European Parliament is currently discussing a proposal from the Commission on users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks. The European Data Protection Supervisor has raised the question of whether Internet Protocol addresses (“IP”) are personal data, as the Data Protection Directive and the Privacy Directive apply whenever personal data are processed, but:

“If IP addresses are not deemed personal data, they can be collected and further processed without the need to fulfil any legal obligation arising from the two above mentioned Directives. For example, such an outcome would enable a search engine to store for an indefinite period, IP addresses assigned to accounts from which, for example, materials related to specific health conditions (eg: AIDS) have been searched.”

It will be remembered that under the EU Directive on mandatory data retention all ISPs are obliged, from 2009, to store records of all internet usage by everyone in Europe. What if searches for “specific health conditions” are captured and stored by ISPs then accessed by state agencies and further processed by them – who “owns” this data, the individual or the state?

The security-industrial nexus

In the immediate aftermath of 11 September 2001 the EU, and national governments, adopted measures said to be necessary as “exceptional” because of the “war on terrorism” and that they were not permanent but time limited. Seven years on the “exceptional” has become the norm.

What is much clearer now is that 11 September 2001 was used to accelerate a process already underway. Globalisation and its “technological revolution” – nurtured by Western states and developed by multinationals – was ready to break out of the constraints imposed by liberal democratic values. Notions of privacy and data protection espoused as basic values stood in the way of progress. The welfare state, where a benevolent state protected and cared for the people, has been replaced by the market state requiring the social control of market forces, unhindered by rights and regulations. In place of theoretically serving the people, the state now serves the interests of international capital.

Moreover, the “war on terrorism” presented a massive opportunity not just to use its monopoly of information technology but to apply it to new, highly lucrative, areas: The surveillance of travel and communications, new systems for data-sharing, data-mining, interpreting behaviour, the collection of biometrics and readers to check them. The construction of EU-US standards to record, check and hold people’s travel records is intended to set standards which will be laundered to set global standards too – and new markets for the West’s multinationals to pursue and profit from.

EU-USA

Internationally, the prospects are little better. It is often forgotten that 21 of the 27 member states of the EU are also in NATO, which is why the majority are supplying “peace-making” or “peace-keeping” troops in Afghanistan.

Through NATO and other fora the influence of the USA on the EU has grown enormously since 2001. The most significant, largely unseen, influence has been through the numerous high-level meetings between the EU and the USA on justice and home affairs issues. All the evidence shows that this is an unequal relationship with nearly all the demands coming from the US side.

Top EU officials are fond of saving the EU and the USA share “common values”, but do we? What they mean is that the political elites (governments and officials) share the same values.

Now the Future group is proposing that the EU finally “make up its mind” (ie: it has already been discussed) by 2014 on the creation of a: “Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation with the USA in the field of Freedom, Security and Justice”.

This goes way beyond the existing mechanisms for cooperation. Since 2001 six agreements have been reached with the USA – all of them controversial. High-level officials have been meeting regularly though these meetings concern specific issues not every aspect of justice and home affairs.

The Future group’s “area of cooperation” would cover all aspects of justice and home affairs: policing and terrorism, immigration, asylum and border controls, laws and rights of suspects, databases and data-sharing, privacy and data protection. The USA would be sitting at the table with a very powerful voice with its demands and influence hidden from public view.

The politics of EU values

One of the myths that the EU seeks to perpetuate is the idea that it is based on “common values”. Amongst these are “freedom”, “justice”, “fundamental rights” and in this context “privacy” (and data protection). In practice these values have changing meanings according to the general political climate. For example, the “values” of the EU are not the same as they were in 2000 when Austria’s membership of the EU was suspended under the

Treaty because of the inclusion in its government of a fascist and racist party. If the EU still had the same “values” then the membership of the Italian government could have been suspended this summer over its policies of targeting, detaining and deporting on Roma with overt racist statements.

In reality we have an EU in which national governments predominantly come from the centre-right and far-right, 21 out of 27 governments. This, in turn, means that the 106 Official EU documents recording EU-US meetings are censored so that all the views expressed by the US are deleted:  discussions in the Council of the European Union and all its working parties are dominated by representatives (officers and officials) from the very same centre-right and far-right perspectives.

The European Summit (dominated by the centre and far-right) will lay down the new justice and home affairs programme and the Council of the European Union through the Justice and Home Affairs Council (dominated by the centre and far-right) will, as it always does, have the final say on the content of each and every measure.

In the European Parliament the centre-right and its far-right allies can put together the largest parliamentary block which can only be defeated if all the other groups (PSE, socialist, ALDE, Liberal, Green and GUE, united left) vote together – which happens occasionally. With the European Parliament elections in June 2009 there is a possibility that the centre-right and far-right will have a permanent majority.

EU “values” are not “shared” or “common” but those of the ruling elite who assume they can define and propagate as a “consensus” where there is none.

 

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When they say policies don’t work they just want to give more money to the police…

Posted by clandestina on 1 June 2009

…The policy of degrading immigrants works just fine, the point is how money is shared between states, police agencies etc.  This is an article we found here…Bold fonts are ours.

clandestinenglish


RIGHTS: Greece Cannot Take Very Much More

 Analysis by Apostolis Fotiadis

ATHENS, Jun 1 (IPS) – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has asked the European Commission to call a meeting between the agency and countries around the Mediterranean to work out a joint strategy to deal with irregular migration.

Guterres has proposed a meeting between Italy, Malta, Libya, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other partners following Italy’s recent ‘push-back’ of migrants to Libya. 

But while Italy is being internationally chastised for the refoulement of refugees that effectively annuls the country’s responsibilities arising from international treaties, most notably the Geneva convention, neighbouring Greece is building up state-sponsored persecution of irregular migration that has gone largely unnoticed. 

Since 2005 when traffickers shifted from the worn-out Spanish and Italian routes to less guarded ones, and the influx from devastated states like Iraq and Afghanistan multiplied, the number of migrants crossing into Europe through Greece has skyrocketed. 

Rising social closures and anti-immigrant institutional arrangements in Europe, most notably the Dublin II regulation, have led to an increased concentration of migrants in Greece. 

Under the Dublin II regulation asylum applicants must register their data in the first country where they come in contact with authorities. It becomes that country’s responsibility to assess their status thereafter, and anyone moving to another country would have to be sent back to the country where he or she was initially registered. 

Dublin II has been widely criticised by human rights activists as a device to raise the walls of ‘Fortress Europe’, and for developed states to reduce their responsibilities at the expense of border states. 

In less than five years hundreds of thousands of migrants have gathered in an overburdened country that has no experience in dealing with a migration influx. Greek politicians have no idea how to adapt policies to a newborn multicultural environment – and no will to do so. 

Since 2000 all Greek administrations have avoided implementation of European directives on reception, asylum procedures, family reunification and long-term residence status, despite their incorporation in national law. 

According to the Greek Ombudsman on migration, viable economic activity for economic migrants has been denied, pushing them into the vast and ruthless informal market as cheap labour. 

Second-generation migrants have been socially isolated. On their 18th birthday they fall into a limbo of semi-legality that threatens them with expulsion to their parents’ country of origin – where they may never have been. 

Not least, Greek authorities have denied access to asylum and refugee status by politically directing approvals to below 1 percent, and refusing claims for refugee status made on humanitarian grounds. 

Responsibility for controlling the irregular flow of migrants and regulating asylum and refugee issues has been placed with the police, notorious for their abysmal human rights record. 

“Asylum has been completely abandoned,” Spyros Kouloxeris, coordinator of the legal assistance programme of The Greek Council for Refugees told IPS. 

“There is no efficient infrastructure, or plans to create one,” he said. “Instead we have the announcement of new legislation that will only worsen the situation. We are facing an imminent collapse of existing asylum procedures.” 

Between 36,000 and 40,000 applications are pending, he said. “The responsible personnel are inefficient, exhausted, and stigmatised. They literally do not want to go on with this. It is more than a priority that asylum is transferred from police jurisdiction to a specialised authority.” 

But the government is headed the opposite way. With encouragement from mainstream media producing hysterical reports on migration, the government is considering a response that advances policing at the expense of integration. 

This will be assisted by an additional budget of 200 million euros for the police up to 2013, 148 million euros of which will come from the European Union for policing equipment and new technologies. 

It is in this climate of fear that many migrants gather in the central districts of Athens or in slums around the ports of Patra and Igoumenitsa that provide sea links to Italy. Desperation at these places has led to increased criminality, and created lawless zones. 

Rioting by Muslim migrants after reports of the desecration of a copy of the Quran by a policeman show that the situation is explosive, and requires quick and deep political response. 

“Perhaps these incidents are a taste of the future,” Thanos P. Dokos, director-general of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) wrote in Kathimerini, a major political daily. 

“It would be good to hasten some measures like establishment of official religious sites and cemeteries for religious minorities, as well as recruitment of migrants into police. Still, it is obvious that our country lacks a national strategy for controlling the phenomenon of irregular migration, and that so far efforts have been scrappy.” 

Many are now looking to the “Stockholm Programme” on freedom and justice, now that Sweden has taken over EU presidency for the second half of this year. The programme will address migration and asylum issues. (END/2009) .

 

And what is this “Stockholm Programme” then? We found the following article at no racism net…

 

Turn off the Stockholm Programme – No Future for the ‘Future Group’!

 

Following Tampere 1999 and Hague 2004, the EU plans to decide the next five-year plan on “Justice and Home Affairs” (JHA) this year.

After the implementation of data retention and new databases, the creation of “Frontex” and the “European Security Research Programme” , the “harmonization” of terrorism laws and more surveillance of the internet, next severe changes are foreseen to bet set in the new guideline.

Under swedish EU presidency in the second half of 2009, probably in November or December, the ministers of interior and justice will meet to agree the new “Stockholm Programme”.

A self-announced “Future Group” of some of the ministers, initiated under german EU presidency 2007, already published the wishlist “European Home Affairs in an open world”:

An EU population register, ‘remote’ forensic searches of computer hard drives, internet surveillance systems, more implementation of satellites and ‘drone’ planes for surveillance, automated exit-entry systems operated by machines, autonomous targeting systems, risk assessment and profiling systems, e-borders, passenger profiling systems, an EU ‘entry-exit’ system, joint EU expulsion flights, dedicated EU expulsion planes, EU-funded detention centres and refugee camps in third countries (even “overseas”), expansion of the para-military European Gendarmerie Force, deployment of EU Battle Groups, crisis management operations in Africa, permanent EU military patrols in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, more power for EU agencies, interlinking of national police systems, an EU criminal record, a permanent EU Standing Committee on internal security (COSI) dealing with operational matters, more partnerships with the security industry.

By 2014, the ministers wish to establish a “transatlantic security partnership” between the EU and USA, that can be seen as a kind of domestically NATO. NATO strategists on the other hand approach to internal politics by claiming in the paper “Towards a grand strategy in an uncertain world” that military could only supply “strong defence” if there is a “strong homeland security”.

The blog http://stockholm.noblogs.org tries to collect calls, background texts, links, dates and material in different languages for campaigning against the meeting in Stockholm.

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