Europshere agenda: Surveillance reports on several European countries… Russia backs Ukraine separatists…

France’s surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

François Hollande sharply criticised US surveillance last year, but the fact remains that France also engages in mass data collection and intelligence sharing.

This is an excerpt from the annex of this October 2013 EU study. Read the introduction to the study here.

The available evidence indicates the use of electronic surveillance practices that go beyond traditional, targeted surveillance for intelligence purposes in five EU countries: the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Each member state is examined with the following criteria in mind: the basic technical features of large-scale surveillance programmes; stated purpose of programmes, targets and types of data collected; actors involved in collection and use, including evidence of cooperation with the private sector; cooperation or exchange of data with foreign intelligence services, including the NSA; and the legal framework and oversight governing the execution of the programme(s).


The UK government is engaged in the most extensive surveillance activities out of all EU countries – by far.

This is an excerpt from the annex of this October 2013 EU study. Read the introduction to the study here.

Sweden’s surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

Over the years, Sweden has become the biggest collaborating partner of GCHQ outside the English-speaking countries, and a key member of the Five Eyes network.

This is an excerpt from the annex of this October 2013 EU study. Read the introduction to the study here.

Pro-European sentiment on the rise in Europe

Pro-European sentiment is on the rise in the seven main European nations, but frustrations with Brussels remain intense on the eve of the European elections

EU states struggle to find common ground for sanctions on Russia

Open Europe blog

As we laid out in our Divided We Stand briefing, agreement among the EU 28 on how to respond to Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis is not easy to come by. And if the doorstep remarks of EU Foreign Ministers arriving in Brussels this morning is anything to go by — that trend won’t be changing any time soon.


Azerbaijan challenges Europe’s human-rights mettle

As Azerbaijan takes up the six-month chair of the Council of Europe, the deteriorating human-rights situation in the Caucasus state exposes its disregard for its rights obligations and risks further complication by the crisis in Ukraine

MAIN FOCUS: Separatists celebrate referendums as success | 12/05/2014


According to the organisers, more than 90 percent of voters in the two referendums held on Sunday in eastern Ukraine cast their ballots in favour of secession from Kiev. Observers reported numerous irregularities. Russia continues to hold the reins in the conflict, some commentators write. Others point out that Kiev and the West gave the separatists a boost with their ignorant policies


Why these European elections matter for Portugal

As Portugal celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese must decide what role they want to play in Europe. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Following Sunday’s independence referendums the separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine have requested annexation by Russia. Moscow recognised the results of the votes on Monday. Ukraine is breaking up while the EU looks on helplessly, some commentators warn. Others believe that the stiffer sanctions passed by the EU on Monday will ultimately be effective.

40 reasons to support Scottish independence: reason 17: if you spend but don’t collect taxes, you can’t invest

open Democracy News Analysis – by Adam Ramsay

Reason 17 out of 40 to support independence – seperating tax collection and spending means that Holyrood can’t invest in growing the tax base.

Separatists claim landslide vote for independence in east Ukraine


A total 89 percent of voters cast ballots in favour of self-rule in the Donetsk province, one of two regions holding ‘referendums’


‘Neither criminals, nor animals!’ Britain’s immigration detainees speak out

open Democracy News Analysis – by Jasmine Sallis

An activist in contact with people locked up in migrant jails reports on a week of unrest.


In Pictures, Eastern Ukraine Votes in ‘Self-Rule’ ReferendumMashable! by Anita Li

DONETSK, Ukraine ? Ignoring warnings from government officials in Kiev, pro-Russia separatists held a referendum on Sunday in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, allowing voters to choose ?self-rule.?


Second EU presidential debate ends with ?no winner?

Hosted by the European University Institute in Florence, candidates for the European Commission president left many of the observers in the audience wondering what the real political message of the four contenders actually was.

Two People Are Driving Around Europe to Find What It Means to be European

Global Voices Online by Rakotomalala  /  28min  //  keep unread  //  hide

[All links lead to French-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Twenty European countries. Thirty-two cities. One 1970s VW Bulli.

That’s Claire Audhuy and Baptiste Cogitore’s plan for the next six months, as they embark on their Europa Bulli Tour on May 10 in the hopes of creating a concrete portrait of the European identity.


Crowd Boos Ukrainian Governor During Victory Day SpeechGlobal Voices Online by Kevin Rothrock

A woman carrying a child charges the stage in disgust, after the Governor speaks ill of the Red Army and ambiguously about Hitler. Kherson, Ukraine. May 9, 2014. YouTube.


British Spies Face Legal Action Over Secret Hacking Programs

The Intercept by Ryan Gallagher

British spy agency GCHQ (pictured above) stands accused of adopting illegal hacking tactics. Barry Batchelor/PA Wire.

EU Survey Indicates Correlation Between Anti-Minorities Views and Ideological Right

The French blog Rue89 analyzes the results [fr] of the Pew Center Survey on attitudes toward immigrants and minority groups in the European Union. Rue89 highlights that Roma population are the most ostracized minority group, especially in Italy and France

Anti-Roma, Anti-Muslim Sentiments Common in Several Nations

A guide to Belarusian prisons

Minsk hosts the Ice Hockey World Championship this month. A Belarusian dissident who served time in twelve prisons shows a side of his country that sports fans might not get to see.


French development aid decreased by almost 10% in 2013, according to the OECD

Le Pen attacks Farage over racism claim

The Swiss debate on mass surveillance: what debate?

open Democracy News Analysis – by Richard Hill

How did Switzerland, a country attached to the importance of personal privacy, respond after the story about the Snowden leaks broke? How did the government – and the public – react?

Death and Twitter: Reports from Ukraine

State surveillance in the Czech Republic

open Democracy News Analysis – by Tomá? Rezek

The Czech state doesn’t have the capacities to develop a mass scale internet surveillance programme ? but resorts to more ‘old school’ surveillance methods. From our Joining the dots on state surveillance in Europeseries.

The European Parliament – a failed experiment in pan-European democracy?

Open Europe blog

In a new report published this morning we assess the track record of the European parliament and conclude that it has failed as an institution on a number of fronts. Although many individual MEPs work hard and conscientiously for their constituents, the European Parliament as a whole has failed to gain popular democratic legitimacy. Still, given that the EP now has a lot of power to decide law that impacts on people’s every day life – from working hours to browsing the web – there’s a lot of reason to vote in the European elections.

Surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

open Democracy News Analysis – by Amandine Scherrer, Francesco Ragazzi, Joanna Parkin, Julien Jeandesboz, Nicholas Hernanz, Sergio Carrera and Didier Bigo

A discussion of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to the question of a balance between data protection versus national security. It has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy.

This EU study of national programmes for mass surveillance of personal data in EU member states – the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands – and their compatiblity with EU law, was published in October 2013. This is the executive summary and introduction.

Netherlands’ surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

open Democracy News Analysis – by Amandine Scherrer, Francesco Ragazzi, Joanna Parkin, Julien Jeandesboz, Nicholas Hernanz, Sergio Carrera and Didier Bigo

The Dutch state is developing a considerable surveillance and intelligence sharing apparatus. For what purpose?

This is an excerpt from the annex of this October 2013 EU study. Read the introduction to the study here.

Germany’s surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

Germany has been engaging in large-scale surveillance and exchange of communications data with international partners, despite the existence of a strong constitutional and legal framework for the protection of privacy.

This is an excerpt from the annex of this October 2013 EU study. Read the introduction to the study here.



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