European Commission
Commission adopts new legal clauses to safeguard personal data
On Friday 4 June, the Commission adopted and published finalized version of new standard contractual clauses – to provide companies with an easy-to-implement template to ensure they comply with data protection laws, both for intra-EU and international data transfers from outside the EU. The newly adopted standard contractual clauses reflect new rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and include one for use between controllers and processors and one for the transfer of personal data to third countries. The new clauses introduce a practical toolbox to help companies that share data to comply with the GDPR, and also the Schrems II judgment (a July 2020 European Court of Justice ruling, which stated that Privacy Shield, the EU-US personal data transfer mechanism, was no longer lawful.) In the context of the new clauses, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourová said: “In Europe, we want to remain open and allow data to flow, provided that the protection flows with it. The modernised Standard Contractual Clauses will help to achieve this objective.” (link)

Commission refers Luxembourg to European Court of Justice
The Commission has this week referred Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice, for failing to nationally implement EU legislation on freezing and confiscating criminal assets (Directive 2014/42/EU). The Commission’s deadline for Member States to transpose the rules had been 4 October 2016. The Commission said in its press release that the legislation Luxembourg failed to implement were a “crucial tool to break criminals’ business models and combat organised crime.” Luxembourg conceded it had been slow to implement, with a representative from Luxembourg’s Justice Ministry telling reporters that “because of the health crisis and particular complexity this work required some time.” The Commission had launched infringement proceedings against Luxembourg as a result in November 2016. Adalbert Jahnz, the Commission’s spokesperson for its Directorate for Migration, Home Affairs and Security Union stated that “if the court confirms our findings, there will be a daily penalty imposed on Luxembourg.” (link)

·        Austria: Austrian police arrested 81 people as part of global sting against organised crime. In total, 800 people were arrested worldwide. (link)

·        Bulgaria: The Bulgarian police seized half a ton of heroin hidden in a warehouse in the industrial zone of Sliven. The drug was set to go to Western Europe. (link)

·        Denmark: The Danish Police used tear gas on protesters supporting Palestine near the Israeli Embassy. The intervention was made after a loud explosion, with projectiles having been thrown at police several times. (link)

·        Estonia: Estonian police donated unused uniforms and helped to increase the response capacity of the Gambian authorities. (link)

·        Ireland: Irish gangsters were arrested in global police sting. Major Irish crime organisations, such as the Kinahan cartel were among the main targets of the operation. (link)

·        Italy: Italian Interior Minister, Luciana Lamorgese, and her Slovenian counterpart Ales Hojs decided to resume joint police patrols within the next months along the two countries’ borders. (link)

·        Luxembourg: The Luxembourgish Police has been looking for witnesses of violent mugging in Place de Paris, Luxembourg City. The victim was seriously injured. (link)

·        Malta: A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 23-year-old man. The police apprehended the suspect as he attempted to evade police via rooftops. (link)

Other news
Deepening concerns regarding Frontex human rights violations
Gil Arias Fernández, the former head of Frontex – the EU’s Border and Coastguard Agency – has said it is increasingly vulnerable to the far-right populist element in Europe infiltrating its ranks and is “turning a blind eye” to human rights violations. Frontex is experiencing its worst reputational crisis in its sixteen-year history thus far, after it emerged in May that Frontex had – in tandem with EU Member States – utilised brutal methods to repel at least 40,000 asylum seekers from EU borders. These pushback methods, which have been linked to the death of more than 2,000 people ranged from assault to brutality during detention or transportation. Additionally, Frontex is being investigated by the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog Olaf over allegations of harassment, misconduct and unlawful operations, while the agency’s leader, Fabrice Leggeri is under investigation for allegedly misleading the European Commission. In his first interview since leaving the agency, Mr Fernández stated that “Frontex pains me” and added that the recent decision to arm Frontex operatives with weapons was, from his perspective, a mistake. (link)

G7 leaders pledge one billion COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries
At the G7 Summit, which has been taking place over three days from Friday to Sunday in Cornwall, UK, leaders of the G7 economies pledged to provide 1 billion vaccine doses to less economically developed economies around the world. The move forms part of a plan to vaccinate the globe by the end of 2022. After a face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and his host UK PM Boris Johnson, Biden announced a commitment to purchase 500 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and donate them to poorer countries. The EU has also pledged to donate 100 million doses for African nations and other developing nations by the end of 2021. While the Cornwall summit has been termed a “vaccine summit” by British diplomats, with the collective fight against COVID-19 at the centre, other focal issues high on the G7 agenda included climate change, gender equality and the post-pandemic economic recovery. (link)

 

Look Ahead :

–       15 June: The LIBE and FEME Committees are holding a joint session to debate  gender-based violence as a new area of crime listed in Article 83(1) TFEU. The programme can be consulted here.

–       16 June: The LIBE Committee is meeting to discuss, among other things, third country access to the Visa Information System, Europol’s action plan to address the admonishment by EDPS, Europol’s annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report and the activities of the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group. The agenda of the meeting can be found here.

–       16 June: CEPOL, along with the Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Internal and the Autunomous Univerity of Lisbon is organising a conference entitled “International Conference – The External Dimensions of the Internal Security”. The detailed programme of the conference can be found here.

–       16-17 June: The Council Working Party on Asylum is meeting to discuss the asylum and migration management Regulation. The agenda of the meeting can be consulted here.

–       17 June: CEPOL is organising a Webinar entitled “The administrative approach and organised property crime – theory and practice”. The full programme of the event can be found here. Registration is mandatory.

–       18 June: CEPOL is organising a Webinar entitled “Crime victimisation – and EU-wide perspective”. The full programme can be consulted here.

 

 

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