|Commission establishes a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate pathway to Europe’s safe reopening
In a Communication adopted Thursday, the Commission calls on Member States to coordinate their approach to a gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions once the epidemiological situation improves across the bloc. The Commission’s legislative proposal sets up a common framework for a Digital Green Certificate, which will encompass three types: vaccination certificates, test certificates (NAAT/RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test), and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19 (unclear how this will be measured). The certificates will be issued in a digital form or paper (both will have a QR code that contains necessary key information as well as a digital signature). Member States will be responsible for technical implementation, and adoption by Parliament and Council is expected to be finalised before the summer.
Commission opens public consultation on CEPOL – the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training
EU ministers approve new rules on combatting online terrorist content
Commission launches new import control system – ICS2 – to combat illicit goods trade
|· Ireland: Ireland has joined the Schengen Information System (SIS), a database which allows police and border enforcement to check criminal records, or missing person files, in 26 EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. (link)
· Italy: Italian police have dismantled an international migrant smuggling ring operating between Kurdish areas and Europe. Among those arrested include an Iraqi national linked to a terrorist attack in Parsons Green, London in September 2017.
· Germany: A coordinated effort between the German Federal Police and Europol has dismantled an organised crime group smuggling migrants from Turkey to Germany along the so-called Balkan route. (link)
· Sweden: An annual report by the Swedish Security Police (Säpo) found threats from abroad and domestic extremist factions against Sweden have increased since the pandemic began. (link)
· Spain: Spanish police have seized the first narco-submarine made in Europe, supported by Colombian, Dutch, Portuguese, British and American police forces as part of Operation FERRO, a high-level operation to tackle organised crime and drug trafficking networks. (link)
|Report by Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner condemns EU migration policy
Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has this week released a report entitled “A distress call for human rights. The widening gap in migrant protection in the Mediterranean.” The report assesses Member States’ implementation of the Commissioner’s 2019 recommendation on rescuing migrants at sea, and finds that despite some progress in select areas of focus, the human rights situation in the Mediterranean remains disastrous, with more than 2,400 registered deaths from July 2019 until December 2020. To alleviate the situation, the Commissioner calls on Member States to ensure adequate search and rescue infrastructures are put in place; to prevent “pushbacks” and other decisions that put refugees and migrants in grave danger; and to expand safe and legal routes for migration. (link)
Belgian police in Brussels to start using body cameras
– 19 March: Council of the EU Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters (COPEN) meets.
– 21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
– 22 March: EU Foreign Affairs ministers discuss current security affairs developments with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and hold an informal exchange with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
– 23 March: Presentation of the Eurojust Annual Report to the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee
– 23 March: European Commission delivers a presentation to the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee on the Europol decryption platform for law enforcement.
– 23 March: European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee discuss European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters, and harmonised rules on the appointment of legal representatives for the purpose of gathering evidence in criminal proceedings.
– 25-26 March: European Council summit.