FREE Newsletter: 30, 31 May 2013

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

Working paper n° 5 – Refonder l’ELSJ à la lumière de la jurisprudence Van Gend en Loos ?
Gdr-Elsj: “par Henri Labayle, CDRE. “Le 50° anniversaire de l’arrêt fondateur de l’ordre juridique rendu le 5 février 1963, Van Gend en Loos (aff. 26-62), a donné lieu à une Journée de réflexion remarquable dans les locaux de la Cour de justice de l’Union, le 13 mai dernier. Outre la qualité des interventions et des débats, l’éclairage à la fois historique et scientifique donné à ce pas décisif pour la construction du droit de l’Union mérite que l’on se penche sur la publication des actes qui aura lieu dans les mois à venir. D’où cette contribution à la réflexion commune…”

DATA PROTECTION

New EU data law could end up weaker than old one
Euobserver: “Backroom discussions among pro-industry MEPs and lobbying efforts by large companies risks undermining fundamental rights in one of the largest EU legislative proposals to ever hit the European Parliament floor.
The victim of the opaque debates surrounding the draft EU data protection regulation is the citizen and the democratic credibility of the European Union as a whole, German Green Jan Philip Albrecht told this website in an interview on Wednesday (29 May).

“We promised the people that we will help give a proper legislation that will better enforce their rights, better protect their interest … and in the end, the only thing that we are doing – and this is not excluded – is to water down existing law. That is not what people would like to see,” he said.

Albrecht is the lead negotiator on the file at the European Parliament.
The draft bill proposed by the European Commission in January last year is going through the rounds among MEPs before they settle on an orientation vote in the civil liberties committee, possibly in early July.
The bill aims to harmonise existing data protection rules, which are currently based on a 1995 directive.
Among the issues are the right to be forgotten, data portability, profiling, consent and access to one’s own personal data.

But deputies are struggling to agree on around 4,000 amendments, some directly copy-pasted from corporate entities into the draft, possibly stalling the orientation vote in the civil liberties committee again.
Worse, says Albrecht, a number of the most salient amendments discussed and voted on would make the regulation weaker than the existing 1995 directive it is supposed to replace.
The 18-year-old EU law is seen as the baseline of the draft regulation and its lowest common dominator.
MEPs in 2011 voted on and adopted a resolution to ensure the regulation would be as strong, if not stronger, than the 1995 directive. MEPs backed the resolution in a near unanimous vote.

But the data protection declarations made in the resolution are being weakened in the draft bill, notes Albrecht.
“Some groups in Brussels are now acting against what the European Commission has proposed on the basis of what the parliament has demanded for,” he said…”

EUROPEAN AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE

– BORDER SURVEILLANCE

Statewatch: Frontex: “optionally-piloted” aircraft tests, but no drones…yet
“Statewatch reported last month that the EU’s border agency Frontex is looking to buy a piloted plane to use for surveillance of the Greek-Turkish border during the summer. It has now emerged that the agency is also looking to enhance its border surveillance capabilities through the use of an “optionally-piloted vehicle” – a plane that can be flown with or without a pilot on board…”

Schengen reform: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal
European Parliament News: “The citizen’s right to move freely within the Schengen area has been strengthened by a deal struck by MEPs, Council and Commission negotiators on Wednesday evening. For the first time, inspection teams will be able to make unannounced visits to internal borders to halt any attempt to impose illegal border checks. Free movement is the most positive outcome of 50 years of EU integration, said 62% of respondents to a recent Eurobarometer survey.

The “Schengen governance package” comprises two regulations: one establishing a new EU-based Schengen evaluation mechanism to deal with critical situations and the other amending the Schengen Borders Code to lay down common rules on temporarily reintroducing checks at internal borders in exceptional cases.

“The European Parliament has again reaffirmed the priority of free movement within the Schengen area whilst reinforcing citizens’ safety. We now have a genuine evaluation system that can detect security risks accurately, effectively, impartially and transparently, and hence also help to resolve them. It will rely on the vigilance of the European Commission, the right of inspectors to make unannounced visits to internal borders, the help of specialised agencies such as FRONTEX, and proper information for, and democratic control by, the European Parliament”, said the rapporteur on the new Schengen evaluation mechanism, Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT).

“I am satisfied that we have secured clear rules, together with checks and balances, for last resort cases in which controls have to be reimposed at Schengen internal borders. My key aim was to ensure that the European Commission and the European Parliament are involved and informed, whenever such critical situations arise. I strongly believe that free movement within Schengen area borders must be safeguarded, as a core EU value”, said the rapporteur on the temporary reintroduction of border controls, Renate Weber (ALDE, RO)…”

Eurosur: Parliament and Council agree on new border surveillance system
European Parliament News: “The EU’s external borders and migrants’ lives will be better protected thanks to the new “Eurosur” border surveillance system, details of which were agreed by Parliament and Council on Wednesday evening.
“To reassure free movement in the EU, we need to strengthen our outside borders. Eurosur can help to improve trust between member states by sharing information and reinforcing cooperation”, said Parliament’s rapporteur Jan Mulder (ALDE, NL).

Protecting lives, not just borders
Eurosur is a communication system designed to protect the EU’s external borders by detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime. On the insistence of MEPs, it must also be used to help save migrants’ lives when they are in danger.

Human rights and personal data
When using Eurosur, EU countries must respect human rights, including the “non-refoulement” principle, which prohibits returning people to a place where their life or freedoms could be threatened, the EP-Council deal says.
Full compliance with EU fundamental rights standards, including personal data protection, is also vital. Under the agreed text, any exchange of personal data between member states and with third countries via Eurosur should remain an exception and respect data protection laws…”

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This entry was posted in Borders control policies (Schengen), Data Protection, European Agencies and Bodies, European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, Fundamental rights – Charter and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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