European Commission
Commission sets out recommendations on use of rapid antigen tests

The European Commission has set out its recommendations for the use of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19. This includes guidance on how to select tests, when they are appropriate and who should administer them. The recommendation also calls for validation and mutual recognition of tests and results. (link) Following this, the European Council also discussed the matter of testing, vaccines and lifting restrictive measures in a video conference on Thursday. Leaders noted the issue of mutual recognition as well as discussing national testing strategies and best practices. (link)

European Parliament
LIBE Committee holds exchange with Commissioner Johansson

The LIBE Committee in the European Parliament held a debate last week with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson on police information exchange and in particular the future developments regarding the Prüm framework and the API Council Directive. The debate also discussed recent terrorist attacks and the ways to combat terrorism. (link)

Council
EU Home Affairs Ministers release joint statement on recent terrorist attacks in Europe

EU Home Affairs Ministers released a joint statement last Friday, affirming unity and solidarity in the fight against terrorism. The statement highlighted the importance of European level measures and noted the progress that has been made in further developing the role of Europol as well as improving information-sharing. Ministers said they would present comprehensive Council conclusions on internal security and on a European police partnership in early December. They highlighted that it was crucial for police officers in Europe to have access to the information they need to do their jobs. (link)

·        Croatia: Interior ministry rejects unfounded accusations against the Croatian border police (link)

·        Germany: Police officers disperse protests in Berlin over COVID restrictions (link)

·        UK: National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council warn of impact of no deal Brexit

on police and judicial cooperation (link)

·        France: Proposed new law could see images of police officers restricted from circulation (link)

·        Sweden: Parliament Justice Committee calls on the government to present proposals on safer working environment for police officers (link)

·        Greece: Police detain more than 100 people during rallies in Athens (link), while a new police unit is formed to manage low and medium risk protest rallies (link)

·        The Netherlands: Lower House to look at reports into quality of internal investigations (link)

Other news
Interpol issues new guidelines for law enforcement

Interpol has issued new guidelines for law enforcement, drawing on the lessons learned, and best practices developed around the world to help police identify and address crimes impacted by COVID- 19, including domestic violence, child abuse and cybercrime. (link) The 9th Regional IP Crime Conference for the Middle East and North Africa also took place this week, bringing together the law enforcement community and private sector to discuss the impact of the pandemic on transnational organised intellectual property crime. (link)

Europol 8th Victim Identification Taskforce takes place between 2 and 13 November

Between 2 and 13 November 2020, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) successfully supported efforts to identify victims of child sexual abuse through its 8th Victim Identification Taskforce. The Taskforce saw the participation of 23 law enforcement experts. (link) 18 November also marked the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation, with the European Commission reconfirming its determination to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation. (link) Elsewhere, Europol has also published its recommendations from the 4th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies. (link)

Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee calls on Portugal to take action on police ill treatment

In a report published last Friday, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has called on Portuguese authorities to take action to prevent police ill-treatment and ensure that cases of alleged ill-treatment are investigated effectively. The Committee also recommended additional resources to be provided to the General Prosecutor’s Office to enable investigations to be carried out promptly and thoroughly. (link)

Look ahead
  • 23 November: European Parliament plenary debate on the Schengen system and measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis
  • 26 November: European Parliament plenary debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 144)
  • 27 November: Commissioner Ylva Johansson participates via videoconference in the virtual Police Chiefs Convention

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