European Commission
Legislative process for EU Digital COVID Certificates concludes, with adoption in 16 EU countries already
On 14 June, the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, David Sassoli, the Portuguese PM António Costa and Ursula von der Leyen officially signed the Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, thereby ending the legislative process. The three institutions signed both the Regulation facilitating free movement for EU nationals as well as the Regulation applying to the recognition of vaccination certificates of third country nationals residing in the EU. The Regulation will apply for 12 months as of 1 July. To date, 16 EU countries are already using the Digital COVID Certificate: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain – have connected to the gateway and started issuing the first certificates. (link)

EU loses legal battle against AstraZeneca at Belgian court
The Commission has lost a legal battle in Brussels to force Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca to supply 120 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June. AstraZeneca must deliver 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses to the EU by September 27 or else pay a fine, a Belgian court ruled Friday. Both sides have celebrated the announcement as a win publicly, but the number is considerably lower than the 120 million number the Commission wanted the court to push the company to deliver by the end of June. In response to the verdict, the Commission said the ruling confirmed the company had breached its contract, and in so doing the Belgian court had confirmed “that AstraZeneca committed a serious breach (‘faute lourde’) of its contractual obligations with the EU.” Conversely, AstraZeneca responded by emphasising that the ruling indicated that the “Court found that the European Commission has no exclusivity or right of priority over all other contracting parties.” (link)

·        Belgium: Belgian police found an ammunition stash in the hunt for Cpl Jürgen Conings, a far-right Belgian soldier who had absconded. The fugitive tried to kill one of the country’s top scientists earlier in May. (link)

·        Cyprus: In a coordinated operation with Europol that took place between 31 May and 6 June, Cypriot police arrested one person and rescued eight possible victims. (link)

·        Denmark: A 57-year-old woman was arrested after sending a package to the castle square in Copenhagen where the royal court operates. Explosive experts were called, but the contents turned out to be harmless. (link)

·        Germany: A Greenpeace protester parachuted into the stadium before Germany’s Euro 2020 match against France. Two people were injured. Bavaria’s Interior Minister declared that the Police did not shot him down because of the Greenpeace banner. (link)

·        Hungary: The police arrested two Canadian nationals wanted on suspicion of murdering a 39-year-old man in Hamilton (Canada). The suspects are also wanted for firing several shots at the victim’s 26-year-old girlfriend. (link)

·        Ireland: Irish Police will be empowered to compel people to provide passwords for electronic devices when carrying out a search warrant. (link)

·        Italy: Police arrested a truck owner wanted by Britain in connection with a people-smuggling plot that led to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in 2019. (link)

·        Luxembourg: Five people were arrested following months of investigation on the largest sale of drugs in the border area between Luxembourg and France. 4.5 kg of drugs were confiscated. (link)

·        Slovenia: In two operations conducted on Friday, Slovenian and North Macedonian police forces found a total of 82 migrants hidden in various vehicles. Another 20 people were found on Saturday. (link)

·        UK: A £36 million contract has been awarded to Marine Specialised Technology to deliver 18 new police patrol craft for the MOD and Gibraltar Defence Police Forces. (link)

Other news
German police officers dismissed over allegedly pro-Nazi content
German prosecutors have dismissed 19 national police officers from a commando unit, after they allegedly made pro-Nazi claims in online chatrooms. Investigators in the western German state of Hesse detected the criminal content within an online chatroom in the course of a separate investigation of an officer in the same commando unit, known as SEK, who was suspected of sharing child sexual abuse images. (link)

Police in Norway to no longer be armed as terror threat lowers
From June 21st Norwegian police will no longer be armed, after Norwegian Intelligence Service PST have said that the risk of imminent terror attacks has lowered. Police in the country have been armed since November 2020, but according to Police Director Benedicte Bjørland the legal basis for armed police is no longer present given the reduced threat assessment. In a statement, he said “In the latest threat assessment we have received from PST, it appears that the intensified terrorist threat has decreased. With a reduced terrorist threat, the police’s legal basis for maintaining a temporary armament of our force also lapses.” (link)

Look Ahead :

–       22 June: The European Parliament LIBE Committee is meeting to discuss, among other things, the EU Strategy to tackle organised crime, the EU approach on Migration in the Mediterranean, Europol’s annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) and the Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The full agenda of the meeting can be consulted here.

–       22 June: CEPOL is organising an event entitled “Access to the asylum procedure and identification of vulnerable applicants for asylum”. Registration is mandatory. The programme of the event is available here.

–       22 June: EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting. Event organised by the Portuguese Presidency and chaired by the Portuguese Ministers for Home Affairs and of Justice. Representatives of the European Commission, EU agencies and the future Presidency, as well as, on the US side, representatives of Homeland Security and Justice will be present. More information here.

–       24-25 June: European Leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss, among other things, the migration situation in Europe. Background information on the topic can be found here. The provisional agenda of the meeting is available here.

–        28 June: CEPOL Webinar entitled “Hate Crime: Anti-Muslim hatred”. Registration is mandatory. The full programme can be consulted here.




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