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Friday, October 25, 2013

BUILDING A PAN-EUROPEAN DEFENSE SYSTEM (PART E - EUROPEAN BORDERS HAVE A LONG HISTORY AND PROSPEROUS MELLON )

(CLICKING ON THE TITLE'S LINK AN INTERESTING WEBSITE IS keepin` an eye on the Kerberos of the EU border regime )


DEAR FELLOWS  and  FOLLOWERS ,CHAIRESTHAI,
IT WAS A PLEASURE READING ABOUT THE FIRST STEPS FOR A CREATION OF A COMMON EUROPEAN DEFENCE SYSTEM,WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY OUR POLICIES TOO ( BUILDING A PAN-EUROPEAN DEFENSE SYSTEM (PART D HOMOSPONDICAL INTERNAL SAFETY POLICY), ALWAYS UNDER THE HOMOSPONDICAL AND  NOT  FEDERATION PRINCIPLES.
THE EUROSUR SYSTEM AND THE FRONTEX IMPLEMENTATION ARE WORKING ON THESE DIRECTIONS.
THE BALANCES WHICH MUST BE FOLLOWED ON THE EXTERNAL BORDERS DEFENCE POLICIES SHOULD KEEP THE METERS OF GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD,COMMON ANCIENT CULTURES AND DEVELOPMENT OF LIVING STANDARDS .
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR POLICIES.
HYGEAINETE

A.C.




EUROSUR


In the amendment to Frontex Regulation (EU) 1168/2011 the European Parliament and the Council tasked Frontex “to provide the necessary assistance to the development and operation of a European border surveillance system, and (…) to the development of a common information sharing environment, including interoperability of systems.”
EUROSUR is thought as a pan-European border surveillance system having three main objectives: - to reduce the number of irregular migrants entering the EU undetected, - to reduce the number of deaths of irregular migrants by saving more lives at sea, and - to increase the internal security of the EU as a whole by contributing to the prevention of cross-border crime.
EUROSUR could form a “system of systems” giving all the Member States’ border-control authorities access to a secure and decentralised information-sharing network resulting in a full picture of events at the EU external borders.
In its Communication (COM (2008) 68) the Commission outlines a three-phase common technical framework for setting up a "European border surveillance system" (EUROSUR) designed to support the Member States in their efforts to reduce the number of irregular migrants entering the European Union by improving their situational awareness at their external borders and increasing the reaction capability of their information and border control authorities.
(i.) Phase one involves connecting and rationalising existing surveillance systems at national level. For this to work, each Member State is required to create a National Coordination Centre (NCC) that collates information from its various border-control and law-enforcement bodies to create a coherent national picture.
NCCs, which form the system’s ‘backbone,’ need to be interconnected via a mechanism that enables them to share information while also retaining control over what data is shared with whom and when.
The first tangible result of this venture is the EUROSUR Network, which acts as a testing ground for the system between selected Member States and Frontex. During its developmental phases, EUROSUR will be limited to surveillance of the southern maritime border and the eastern land border.
(ii.) The second phase is to improve surveillance at the EU level by introducing more advanced technologies and combining all the resultant data to form a coherent whole, available to its users 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As the system is further refined, it is intended to create a series of “situational pictures” for the Member States. The first level will be a National Situational Picture consisting of information collected from local situational pictures and from different national authorities and managed by the NCCs.
Next will be a European Situational Picture to include information selected from the national situational pictures and managed presumably by Frontex. The final level will be a Common Pre-Frontier Intelligence Picture, also presumably managed by Frontex, which will contain information and intelligence on the pre-frontier area, which is relevant for the prevention of irregular migration and cross-border crime.
(iii.) The third phase focuses on creating a common information-sharing environment for all national and EU authorities involved in the maritime domain, including elements as diverse as environmental protection, fisheries control and maritime safety as part of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy.
As the Commission states in its communication, the first two phases should be limited to external land and sea borders, while third phase should focus exclusively on the maritime domain. The aspects dealing with surveillance of external maritime borders form part of the overall framework set by the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union.
Once implemented, EUROSUR would constitute a decisive step in the gradual establishment of a common European integrated border management system. When implementing the different measures described by the Commission, the External Borders Fund should be the main solidarity mechanism for the Member States in sharing the financial burden in the European Union.
SOURCE  http://www.frontex.europa.eu/

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION AND THE OPPOSITIONAL VOICES,WHICH SURELY HAVE A RIGHT IN THE PROPER  EUROPEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN  METER.
Borderline 
EU Border Surveillance Initiatives 


An Assessment of the Costs and Its Impact on Fundamental Rights

The  upheavals  in  North  Africa  have  lead  to  a  short‐term  rise  of  refugees  to  Europe,  yet, demonstrably, there has been no wave of refugees heading for Europe. By far most refugees have  found shelter in neighbouring Arab countries. Nevertheless, in June 2011, the EU’s heads of state  precipitately passed a resolution with far‐reaching consequences, one that will result in new border  policies “protecting” the Union against migration. In addition to new rules and the re‐introduction of  border controls within the Schengen Area, the heads of state also insisted on upgrading the EU’s  external borders using state‐of‐art surveillance technology, thus turning the EU into an electronic  fortress. 
The resolution passed by the representatives of EU governments aims to quickly put into place the  European surveillance system EUROSUR. This is meant to enhance co‐operation between Europe’s  border control agencies and promote the surveillance of the EU’s external borders by FRONTEX, the  Union’s  agency  for  the  protection  of  its  external  borders,  using  state‐of‐the‐art  surveillance  technologies. To achieve this, there are even plans to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over  the Mediterranean and the coasts of North Africa. Such high‐tech missions have the aim to spot and  stop refugee vessels even before they reach Europe’s borders. A EUROSUR bill has been drafted and  is presently being discussed in the European Council and in the European Parliament. 
Member states also want to introduce so‐called “smart borders” to achieve total control over all  cross‐border movements. Following the US model, the plan is to introduce a massive database that  will store information, including fingerprints, of all non‐EU citizens leaving or entering the Union. The  aim is to identify so‐called “over‐stayers,” that is, third‐country nationals who have overstayed their  limited resident permits. In the United States, a similar system has been a failure and nationwide  exit checks were never introduced. Still, the EU’s heads of state and its government representatives  persist – whatever the cost (the EU Commission estimates it will be up to 1.1 billion dollars). Under  pressure from member states, it is trying to introduce the smart borders bill during the summer of  2012.  
EUROSUR and “smart borders” represent the EU’s cynical response to the Arab Spring. Both are new  forms of European border controls – new external border protection policies to shut down the influx  of refugees and migrants (supplemented by internal controls within the Schengen Area); to achieve  this,  the  home  secretaries  of  some  countries  are  even  willing  to  accept  an  infringement  of  fundamental rights. 
The present study by Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen demonstrates that EUROSUR fosters EU  policies that undermine the rights to asylum and protection. For some time, FRONTEX has been  criticised for  its  “push back” operations during which refugee  vessels  are being  intercepted  and  escorted  back to their  ports  of  origin.  In  February  2012, the  European  Court  of Human  Rights  condemned Italy for carrying out such operations, arguing that Italian border guards had returned all  refugees found on an intercepted vessel back to Libya – including those with a right to asylum and  international protection. As envisioned by EUROSUR, the surveillance of the Mediterranean using  UAVs, satellites, and shipboard monitoring systems will make it much easier to spot such vessels. It is to be feared, that co‐operation with third countries, especially in North Africa, as envisioned as part  of EUROSUR, will lead to an increase of “push back” operations. 
Nevertheless, the EU’s announcement of EUROSUR sounds upbeat: The planned surveillance of the  Mediterranean, we are being told, using UAVs, satellites, and shipboard monitoring systems, will aid  in the rescue of refugees shipwrecked on the open seas. The present study reveals to what extent  such statements cover up a lack of substance. Maritime rescue services are not part of EUROSUR  and  border  guards  do  not share  information  with them,  however  vital this  may  be.  Only  just  recently, the  Council  of  Europe  issued  a report  on the  death  of  63 migrants that starved  and  perished on an unseaworthy vessel, concluding that the key problem had not been to locate the  vessel but ill‐defined responsibilities within Europe. No one came to the aid of the refugees – and  that in spite of the fact that the vessel’s position had been known. 
In reaction to the Arab Spring, EU member countries are not only promoting a total surveillance of  the Mediterranean, they are also pushing for an electronic upgrading of border controls. This means  that ordinary travellers, too, will come into the focus of border guards in what one may well call a  data juggernaut. Through its “smart borders” programme the EU would create one of the world’s  largest databases for finger prints – not with the aim to fight terrorism or stem cross‐border crime  (even that would be a questionable endeavour), but solely in order to identify individuals that have  overstayed their limited residency permits. 
One of the fundamental findings of the study is that the EU’s new border regime would not only  infringe fundamental rights, it would also, in spite of its questionable benefits, cost billions – and  that against the background of pervasive budget cuts and austerity measures. Above all, this would  profit Europe’s defence contractors, as they would receive EU funding for “smart gates,” UAVs, and  other surveillance  technologies.  The  technological  upgrading  of  the  EU’s  external  borders  will  obviously open up new markets to European security and armament companies. What we witness is  a convergence of business interests and the aims of political hardliners who view migration as a  threat to the EU’s homeland security. 

The EU’s new border control programmes not only represent a novel technological upgrade, they 
also show that the EU is unable to deal with migration and refugees. Of the 500,000 refugees fleeing 
the turmoil in North Africa, less than 5% ended up in Europe. Rather, the problem is that most 
refugees  are  concentrated  in  only  a  very few  places.  It  is  not that the  EU  is  overtaxed  by the 
problem; it is local structures on Lampedusa, in Greece’s Evros region, and on Malta that have to 
bear the brunt of the burden. This can hardly be resolved by labelling migration as a novel threat and 
using military surveillance technology to seal borders. For years, instead of receiving refugees, the 
German government along with other EU countries has blocked a review of the Dublin Regulation in 
the  European  Council.  For the  foreseeable  future, refugees  and migrants  are to remain  in the 
countries that are their first point of entry into the Union. 
Within the EU, the hostile stance against migrants has reached levels that threaten the rescue of 
shipwrecked refugees. During FRONTEX operations, shipwrecked refugees will not be brought to the 
nearest port – although this is what international law stipulates – instead they will be landed in a 
port of the member country that is in charge of the operation. This reflects a “nimby” attitude – not 
in my backyard. This is precisely the reason for the lack of responsibility in European maritime rescue 
operations pointed out by the Council of Europe. As long as member states are unwilling to show 
more solidarity and greater humanity, EUROSUR will do nothing to change the status quo. 
The  way  forward  would  be to  introduce  improved,  Europe‐wide standards  for the  granting  of 
asylum. The relevant EU guidelines are presently under review, albeit with the proviso that the cost 
of new regulations may not exceed the  cost of those in place – and that they may not  cause a 
relative  rise  in  the  number  of  asylum  requests.  In  a  rather  cynical  move,  the  EU’s  heads  of 
government  introduced  this  proviso  in  exactly  the  same  resolution  that  calls  for  the  rapid 
introduction  of  new surveillance  measures  costing  billions.  Correspondingly,  the  budget  of  the 
European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is small – only a ninth what goes towards FRONTEX.  
Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external 
borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s 
fundamental values – under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach 
borders on the inhumane. 
Berlin/Brussels, May 2012 
Barbara Unmüßig       Ska Keller 
Executive Board Heinrich‐Böll‐Stiftung     Member of the European Parliament 



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