Steve Peers Profile picture
Sep 12, 2018 19 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Some background on Juncker's #SOTEU speech - focussing on the immigration law aspects

Here's the list of proposals, etc due to be made in the speech
2/ There's a plan for soft law on legal migration and migration relations with Africa, but the binding legislation to be proposed concerns the EU asylum agency, the border control agency Frontex, and the law on control of irregular migrants (the Return Directive).
3/ Lazy hot take alert: please don't buy into (or write!) that "this is when the EU finally listened to populist objections to migration". There have been a string of EU measures agreed or proposed since autumn 2015 on migration control, esp asylum, Frontex, and use of databases.
4/ Accurate to say that this is the EU giving *more* attention to such concerns. The context is that non-populist MEPs/govts may be concerned to head off populist gains in EP elections. Whether that's principled - or a good tactic on its own terms - is another question.
5/ On the three proposals: a) a new law on the EU asylum agency has already been agreed in principle, so this is the Commission proposing to give the agency additional powers - possibly to do with redistributing asylum seekers or limiting their entry.
6/ b) the law on Frontex was already amended in 2016, post 'crisis' - details here -…
So the idea is presumably to give it more powers, adding in the law on forged documents and Schengen evaluation of Member States.
7/ c) the returns directive was agreed in 2008 after three years of difficult negotiation. NGOs thought it was the devil but CJEU case law more liberal than expected. My paper on the case law as of 2015 (more cases since):…
8/ Commission and MS have been muttering since the 'crisis' that this law had to be more restrictive. This is their chance. I expect proposals like more discretion to detain irregular migrants, deadlines to expel, less room for higher standards by MS, etc.
9/ Juncker is droning on, but here's the text of the speech and the various proposals:…
10/ The anti-terrorist proposals include power for the European Public prosecutor to have jurisdiction. This must be agreed unanimously by all Member States, although only some participate, and the prosecutor isn't up and running yet:…
11/ The security proposals also deal with possible meddling in the European Parliament elections, mentioning in particular Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. There's a proposal to amend the law on EU political parties re data protection.
12/ Also guidance on how the GDPR applies to elections (not just the European Parliament elections).
13/ EU foreign policy: the Commission suggests a shift to qualified majority voting in three areas: human rights, economic sanctions, and civilian missions. The existing safeguards (no QMV for defence, an "emergency brake" if Member States have a vital interest) would stay.
14/ Changes to the Return Directive: a) a new list of cases defining a risk of absconding. This leads to forced removal and justifies detention. The criteria must be applied case by case, although there's a rebuttable presumption in some cases.
15/ b) the proposal cuts back on voluntary departure. This means a late night knock on the door, detention and forced removal for more irregular migrants. Shorter time limits to leave; mandatory grounds not to allow voluntary departure.
16/ Changes to remedies: appeal must be heard by a court; fast track for failed asylum seekers; suspensive effect of the appeal if there's a danger for the irregular migrant.
17/ Detention: more grounds to detain irregular migrants; maximum detention period must be at least three months. (This wouldn't mean every irregular migrant must be detained for at least three months).
18/ A long list of new exceptions to the rules, in the case of failed asylum seekers at the border. Fast track appeals, detention and more (this is only part of the text). Presumably intended for Greek islands and perhaps elsewhere too.
19/ Overall: this (& the Frontex proposal) adds to the package of "migration crackdown" laws which could be adopted before the EP elections. Whether this impacts support for parties critical of migration - which sometimes don't base their arguments on facts - remains to be seen./

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More from @StevePeers

Oct 4, 2018
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New judgment: parental leave doesn't count towards accruing annual holiday rights

(Nb *maternity* leave and sick leave do count)
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Sep 28, 2018
As I have mentioned before, recently the EU Council approved the UK negotiating on Brexit issues with EFTA States. The details of this negotiation have now been released to the public. Here they are. A few comments. 1/x
2/ The UK/EFTA negotiations are taking place on the assumption that the withdrawal agreement is agreed and comes into force, and seek to match up the UK's relations with EFTA States with UK/EU relations during the transition period set out in the withdrawal agreement.
3/ The scope of the UK/EFTA State talks is limited to a) one aspect of citizens' rights - issuing residence documents during the transition period; and b) "other separation issues", which are not specified. There's no issue at this point of negotiating to join EFTA, etc.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
"I've also been clear"
Drink! #DowningStreet
The "Tusk didn't explain his position" line ignores the detailed explanation of the position which Barnier recently gave to the Commons. #DowningStreet
"Your rights will be protected in case of no deal" pledge to @The3Million - rather ambiguous #DowningStreet
Read 4 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
CJEU, Brexit and criminal law
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CJEU judgment on Brexit and European Arrest Warrants now online. Note importance of the ECHR and (implicitly) the Human Rights Act. Blog post soon:…
Read 5 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
1/ So, I have had a look at the new government notice on travel to the EU after no deal Brexit. With great respect, it's shoddy work.…
2/ There's lots of talk about passport validity dates, which is an important technical detail. But the central point that UK citizens can't just stay in the EU indefinitely any more is only briefly mentioned.
3/ Also the advice gets the law wrong. It says that it applies to Schengen states, ie *not* Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Then it says national law applies to travel to those States.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
1/ CJEU today - sanctions
EU General Court upholds EU sanctions against Russian banks and oil companies re Crimea:…
This includes Sberbank, which Jacob Rees-Mogg's outfit has invested in:…
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New judgment: SIM card pre-loaded with fee-paying links without sufficient info to consumers breaches EU consumer law:…
Judgment also addresses overlaps between general consumer law & telecoms lex specialis
3/ CJEU, criminal law and human rights
New judgment on the balance between disclosure obligations to the defence and commercial confidentiality in banking cases - one case allegedly linked to Madoff:…
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