IN THE SPOTLIGHT : October 10, 2011
THE EU COUNCIL APPROVES NEW PROVISIONS DIRECTED TO FRONTEX AGENCY
The EU Council conclusively has approved new rules, as regards FRONTEX, the European Union Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. The decision followed the approval of the compromise text among the European institutions by the European Parliament on the 13th September 2011.
The new norms deal with: the possibility to acquire or rent autonomously or collectively with a Member State one’s equipment ( vehicles, ships and helicopters); a new mechanism which allows a Member States to deploy temporarily its own border officials according to an annual plan, at the request of FRONTEX; a joint leadership with FRONTEX, as regards combined operations and master plans; the appellation European Border Guard Teams with reference to all the deployed teams in FRONTEX operations; more detailed information about the operational plans, with regard to command chains and control systems, the assignment of responsibilities, the monitoring system about activities and inquiries on possible accidents, the applicable jurisdiction; the increase of risk analysis activities; the procedure for the processing and the exchange of personal data with EUROPOL or other security European agencies; more responsibilities for training and research activities; finally, the possibility to deploy liaison officers in third countries and to launch technical assistance projects.
The Agency, which has been created in 2004, is based in Warsaw (Poland) and its staff is formed by 300 individuals.
October 10, 2011
THE EU COUNCIL STRENGHTENS SANCTIONS AGAINST BELARUS AND IRAN
The EU Council has strengthened the restrictive measures against Belarus, because of the domestic repression against the civil society, the opposition and the freedom of mass medias. The existing measures have been extended until 31st October 2012 and widened to further sixteen persons the asset freeze and the visa ban. The latter measures added up to 3 entities and 192 individuals, already subjected to these restrictions.
Furthermore the Council has strengthened the restrictive measures against Iranian government as well, adding 29 individuals to those already affected by the assets freeze and the visa ban: the Council pointed out the serious condition of human rights in Iran.
October 17, 2011
THE EU COUNCIL EXTENDS THE TERM OF OFFICE OF THE EU SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE IN KOSOVO
The Council of the European Union extends the term of office of the EU Special Representative in Kosovo until 31st January 2012. The office has been holding by the Italian, Fernando Gentilini, since 1st May 2011.
October 31, 2011
NATO ENDS UNIFIED PROTECTOR MISSION IN LIBYA
On the 31st October overnight, a NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) carried out the last operation of the NATO UNIFIED PROTECTOR MISSION in Libya, officially launched by the ONU Resolution 1973/2011. UNIFIED PROTECTOR MISSION has been ended after seven months, having carried out 26.500 aircraft missions and 9.600 attacks, beyond the maritime embargo against Muhammar Gheddafi’s supporter troops – who has been killed on the 20th October. The NATO General Secretary, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced the end of the operations.
On 31st October the NATO General Secretary himself went to Libya to meet the President of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, and announced that NATO will welcome Libya in its partnership programs in the near future. Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the first NATO General Secretary to visit Libya.