FECL is published with the assistance of grants from:

 

European Civic Forum/C.E.D.R.I.

Postfach, CH-4004 Basel
Tel: +41/61 2620111, Fax: +41/61 2620246
email: suisse@forumcivique.org

 

Geneva Group - Violence and Asylum in Europe
(Groupe de Genčve - Violence et Droit d'Asile en Europe)

c/o Marie-Claire Caloz-Tschopp
Université de Genčve
CMU - ppAH
9, Av. de Champel, CH-1211 Genčve 4
Tel: +41/22 7025599
marie-claire.caloz-tschopp@pse.unige.ch

 

FARR (Swedish Network for Asylum and Refugee Support Groups)

Box 137, S-776 23 Hedemora
Tel/Fax: +46/225 14777
j-m.williams@pi.se

 

 

Readers about FECL:

 

John Benyon (Professor of Political Studies, Director of Research, Scarman Centre, University of Leicester): "I have made great use of the information [FECL] contains over the last few years, in my own research into the developing system of law enforcement co-operation in the European Union, and the effects of various developments on personal liberty, the rights of refugees, etc."

 

Alain Bovard (Responsable de programme lobbying, réfugiés, Amnesty International Suisse), Berne: "'Fortress Europe?' est bien vite devenu un outil indispensable; il devrait l'ętre pour quiconque s'intéresse de maničre un peu conséquente aux questions relatives aux réfugiés et l'asile en Europe. C'est bien souvent grâce ā cette publication que les défenseurs du droit d'asile ont pu réagir ā temps pour essayer de prévenir diverses dérives sécuritaires".

 

Iain Cameron (Lecturer, Law Faculty, Uppsala University), Sweden: "I have found [FECL] extremely useful in keeping up to date with the work of the EU in the third pillar (Justice and Home Affairs) and first pillar (Schengen). It is very difficult to follow this work, and to grasp the possible implications at national law of the different framework decisions, conventions etc. Fortress Europe provides an invaluable quick overview of these developments and preliminary (journalistic, but often penetrating) analysis of the national implications. It also provides clear references, allowing the reader to locate further information. I recommend it highly to any lawyer or political scientist with an interest in criminal law and policy, human rights/civil liberties or constitutional law generally".

 

Madeleine Colvin (Legal Policy Consultant, JUSTICE (British Section of the International Commission of Jurists), London: "JUSTICE is a UK human rights organisation whose work includes a project on monitoring European Union proposals for human rights implications. Since we commenced this work some four years ago, we have subscribed to [FECL] as an essential publication on the workings in particular of the Justice and Home Affairs Pillar. The secrecy surrounding this intergovernmental Pillar and general lack of transparency throughout the EU means that monitoring what is happening in Brussels is an extremely difficult task. We have therefore relied heavily on [FECL] not only for basic information but also on its excellent analysis and contextual references. In fact, it is an invaluable source for our kind of work and we hope that it will continue to be produced".

 

Helmut Dietrich (Historiker, Politikwissenchaftler, Berliner Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration (FFM), Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (HIS)), Hamburg: "Seit dem Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs formiert sich Westeuropa durch die Aufrüstung der Aussengrenzen und durch eine massive Abschiebepolitik. Die Sans-Papiers wurden zu Rechtlosen und Unerwünschten gemacht. Europaweit gibt es beschämend wenige publizistische Stimmen gegen diese Abschottungspolitik."'Fortress Europe? - Circular Letter" (FECL)ist hier ohne Zweifel das wichtigste Periodikum, verbindet es doch eine vorbildliche Dokumentation mit engagierter Analyse".

 

Nicolas Dupeyron (Sociologue/éditeur, Rédacteur en chef-adjoint des Cahiers de la sécurité intérieure, Institut des hautes études de la sécurité intérieure (IHESI)/Ministčre de l’intérieur), Paris: "Concernant le champ de la sécurité ā l’échelle européenne, thčme qui préoccupe actuellement au plus haut point notre lectorat composé essentiellement de hauts-fonctionaires franįais, je ne crois pas me tromper en affirmant que 'Fortress Europe?' est l’un de mes trois principaux relais. Par la diversité de son réseau, la rigueur de ses analyses et sa profondeur de champ, cette publication synthétique contribue réguličrement, soit ā orienter notre réflexion, soit ā nous mettre directement en contact avec des auteurs qui n’hésitent pas ā nourrir nos colonnes, et dont la production a été ā plusieurs fois déterminante aux yeux du lectorat.

A côté d’autres relais plus "institutionnels", 'Fortress Europe ?' présente en outre cet avantage d’une information indépendante et d’une tonalité critique de plus en plus prisées ā un moment oų l’importance des enjeux sécuritaires dans le processus de construction européenne contribue sans doute ā un brouillage des repčres."

 

Helle Hagenau (Acting Deputy Secretary General, EDD group, European Parliament), Brussels: "Jeg har sat meget stor pris på CEFL igennem årene. Det har givet mig et overblik over hvad der sker på JHA-området i EU og i andre lande. Specielt det sidste har været meget nyttigt for mig."

 

Birgitta Hambraeus (Centerpartiet, former Member of the Swedish Parliament), Orsa, Sweden: "Fortress Europe är ett mycket värdefullt nyhetsbrev. Som riksdagsledamot i Konstitutionsutskottet (KU) har jag flera gånger låtit kopiera upp delar av det och delat ut till ledamöterna. Vid ett tillfälle, när det gällde Europol, ledde detta till att KU att kallade justitieministern för att informera utskottet".

 

Edward S. Herman (Professor Emeritus of Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Political Economy of Human Rights (with Noam Chomsky, 1979), The Real Terror Network (1982), The Terrorism Industry (with Gerry O'Sullivan, 1990), Triumph of the Market (1995)): "As an analyst and writer on human rights issues and terrorism I have found Nicholas Busch's 'Fortress Europe?' an indispensable resource that I read avidly and cite frequently in my own work".

 

Dr Bozidar Jaksic (Director, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade): "For us in the Balkans, [FECL] is simply invaluable. I was sometimes surprised by the precision and comprehensiveness with which you have been covering events in the Balkans. The level you displayed in your coverage often surpassed that of the big world media and news agencies. We have been, understandably, so much obsessed with the tragedy befalling us that we have not had enough information on or even interest in human suffering and similar events in other parts of Europe and the world. For all of us who have been following 'Fortress Europe?', you have helped us to understand our own tragedy relationally, in a world context".

 

Jolyon Jenkins (Freelance journalist and broadcaster, making radio and television documentaries mostly for BBC radio and television), Brighton, UK: "I have found the Circular Letter invaluable in providing timely information about developments in civil liberties and similar issues on a Europe-wide basis; as far as I know, there is no other publication doing the same thing. It has been of material help in the making of a number of documentaries".

 

Thomas Kanger (Reporter, TV4, Stockholm, Sweden): "I samband med ett reportage i Kalla fakta om Schengenavtalet och polissamarbetet i Europa, använde jag Fortress Europa som en effektiv sökmetod för att finna dokument, kritiska analyser och annars svåråtkomliga faktauppgifter. För den som vill se Europafrågorna sakligt belysta från ett uttalat kritiskt håll, är nyhetsbrevet oumbärligt".

 

Lawrence Lustgarten (Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Southhampton: "I have been reading [FECL] for the past two years. I have found it extremely informative and thorough, and of great use in equipping myself with the necessary factual data to teach and write on subjects such as asylum, policing, and the external relations of the EU".

 

Thomas Mathiesen (Professor of sociology of law, Oslo University), Oslo: "In my opinion, "Fortress Europe?" is one of the few comprehensive, updated and detailed sources of information about the development of police cooperation in Europe. As such, it is extremely valuable. Also, the analytical articles on the subject are of extremely high quality. I would like particularly to mention the stream of careful and continual information and analyses which it presents about all of the new information systems which are in the making in Europe -- the Schengen information system, the various Europol information systems, Eurodac and so on. For anyone doing research or writing in this important area, "Fortress Europe?" is an indispensable tool.

For the past five years, I have personally been doing research in the field and have written a book and a number of articles on the topic. All along, "Fortress Europe?" has been an invaluable source of information for me, without which I would not have been able to do the writing I have done".

 

Giuseppe Mosconi (Professor, docente associato di sociologia del diritto, Universitā di Padova), Italy: "In qualitā di studioso di problemi della devianza e del controllo sociale, considero il bollettino di Fortress Europe uno strumento insostituibile di aggiornamento, di documentazione e di comunicazione tra i diversi paesi europei sui temi in oggetto, che, oltre ad eseere di grande attualitā, sono soggetti a continua evoluzione. Auspico perciō che questo strumento possa continuare ad esistere, con gli adeguati e meritati supporti".

 

Dr George P. Nikolopoulos (Attorney at law, Ph.D in Criminology, Lecturer at the Dept of Sociology/Section of Criminology, Pantheion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens: "FECL is one of the few respectable reviews which focus - in a responsible and critical way - on the defence of the social and the political rights of the Europeans and - especially - the foreigner citizens living and moving in the European space.

Particularly for me, with my scientific interest concentrating notably on the politics of social control now developing in the process of European integration, FECL constitutes an important source of information and reflexion, since these topics remain, unfortunately, on the "dark side" of the European reality".

 

Dr. Jan Øberg (Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team to the Balkans and Georgia, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund, Sweden: "FECL is an excellent, well-researched and critical tool for everybody with a humanitarian concern and an interest in European politics and social issues. Its role as a monitor of important developments in these fields must be applauded; I have learnt a lot from its articles and background documents over the years - of importance of my own research and public opinion work and for that of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF in its work with the conflicts of former Yugoslavia".

 

Lode Van Outrive (Professor emeritus of sociology and administration of law, University of Leuven, former MEP (Socialist group), Vice-president of the Flemish League of Human Rights, President of the Centre for Police Studies in Belgium, member of the Advisory Board of the European Law Enforcement Cooperation (ELEC)): "[FECL] est devenu pour mon travail un outil indispensable. Il y a plusieures raisons. Tout d'abord la 'letter' m'aide beaucoup ā suivre les projets et les actes des institutions européennes en ce qui concerne "l'espace de liberté, de sécurité et de justice". Deuxičmement, la 'letter' donne réguličrement des commentaires politiques se référant ā une conception démocratique de l'Union Européenne. En plus, trčs souvent il y a référence ā d'autres textes et sources concernant les activités dans le domaine du s.d. 'espace'. Finalement, la 'lettre' donne une tribune ouverte ā tous ceux qui veulent s'exprimer politiquement en insistant sur la nécessité d'arriver ā une Union Européenne plus ouverte et plus proche des citoyens. Surtout pour les chercheurs univesitaires, mais aussi pour les ONG's qui travaillent sur le terrain cette tribune est trčs importante".

 

Zarko Puhovski (Professor of political philosophy, University of Zagreb, Scientific co-director, European University Center for Peace Studies, Stadtschlaining, Austria: "For socially and intellectually engaged person from post-communist countries the newsletter you publish was more then a warning against ideologisation of geography (in terms of void belief in Europe as such). It was also information about the costs of progress (and globalization), as well as an instruction about dangers of community building - in the case of EU, of course - without real democratic legitimization".

 

Jyrki Räikkä (Chief editor, Lena Björklund, Editor Vihreä Lanka (the weekly of the Finnish Greens)), Helsinki: "[FECL] har varit ett oersättligt källmaterial att ta sig till. Dess vikt har framträtt allt tydligare på grund av att det allmänna dagliga nyhetsflödet inte förmår ta till sig djupare och mera enskilda problematiseringar och analyser utan endast cirkulerar kring det alldeles nyss hända utan att fördjupa sig i uppkomsten av eller grunderna till det som man i nyheterna tar fram.

Det tar lång tid att skapa en fungerande publikation och därtill hörande researchverksamhet i så här specifika ärenden. Och det är av absolut vikt för oss att kunna ta del av sådan information som inte endast informerar om beslut som gjorts på eu-nivå utan också åskådliggör och varnar för de risker och inte alltid endast positiva följder besluten fört och för med sig".

 

Franįois Rigaux (Professeur émérite de l'Université catholique de Louvain, Membre de l'Institut de droit international, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: "Il s'agit d'un travail de dépouillement des sources, fait avec rigueur et intelligence, d'une lecture commode et qui tient au courant, tous ceux qui s'intéressent au problčme des réfugiés et n'ont pas le temps de lire tout ce qui passe par vos mains diligentes".

 

Jonas Sjöstedt (MEP, Vänsterpartiet), Sweden: "Nyhetsbrevet Fortress Europe har varit av mycket stort värde för mig i mitt arbete i EU-parlamentet. Ingen annanstans ges samma heltäckande bevakning av vad som sker inom det rättsliga området i EU. Schengenavtalet och Europol granskas och utvärderas med stor sakkunskap. Utvecklingen av flykting och asylpolitiken bevakas och diskuteras utifrån humanistiska utgångspunkter.

För den som är intresserad av rättsliga frågors effekter på personlig integritet, demokrati och rättsäkerhet så är Fortress Europe en viktig källa till kunskap som jag gärna rekommenderar."

 

Michael Spencer (Bsc PhD, Consultant in data protection and civil liberties, author of, among others 'States of Injustice' (Pluto 1995)), Sevenoaks, Kent, UK: "I believe that publications like the Circular letter fill a very important gap in the spectrum of information on EU affairs. At one end are the official or commercial publications which appear on a daily basis; these contain far too much information and cost far too much for anyone interested in a specific area such as human rights. At the other end are academic journals and studies whose publication schedule is much too slow for anyone who needs to monitor current decision-making in the Union. The Circular Letter, although written primarily for individuals and non-governmental organisations, is likely to be read by policy-makers and journalists as well because of its immediacy and editorial expertise.

The Circular Letter is in fact one of only three newsletters which specialise in its chosen field, and it is quite unique in several important respects. One of the other two concentrates mainly on matters of asylum, immigration and racism, while the second is at least partly focused on internal UK issues. The Circular Letter is truly internationalist in its approach; it is able to offer in-house English translations of EU or Member State policy papers which are not officially available until much later, when decisions may already have been taken; it has access to a wide range of expert contributors who can offer in-depth analysis; and because of its base in Sweden, it includes items on relevant Scandinavian issues which I have not found anywhere else".

 

Dennis Töllborg (Professor of Law, Gothenburg University), Sweden: "Betydelsen av att få snabba och korrekta informationer om vad som händer i andra länder, med referenser i de fall man själv vill gräva djupare är ovärderligt. Betydelsen av ett kritiskt internationellt spektra, med såpass kvalificerade skribenter, blir så mycket större när vi parallellt får en informationsmängd som är för stor att hantera ensam samtidigt som bakom detta allmänna flöde av information växer en allt starkare internationell kräna av beslutshavare vars verksamhet - den nya ölppenheten till trots - i allt väsentligt bedrivs under sekretess.

Nyhetsbrev av den sort, och framförallt den kvalité, som 'Fortress Europe?' representerar har ett värde som knappast kan överskattas. Detta gäller såväl för den allmänna demokratiska diskursen som för fördjupat forskningsarbete".

 

Dr Thilo Weichert (Stellvertretender Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein, Vorsitzender der Deutschen Vereinigung für Datenschutz e.V.), Kiel, Germany: "Seit 1991 beziehe ich den FECL und habe mit ihm eine wichtige Informationsquelle über innenpolitische Entwicklungen in Europa. Insbesondere die aktuelle und gut informierte Berichterstattung über europäische Datenverarbeitungspläne wie z.B. Europol, Schengen Information System oder Eurodac ist für mich in meiner ehrenamtlichen Verbandsarbeit wie auch im Rahmen meiner beruflichen Tätigkeit im Bereich des Datenschutzes unersetzlich. Bisher war der Informationsaustausch über Datenschutzfragen auf den jeweiligen Mitlgliedstaat de EU beschränkt. Mit dem FECL ist erstmalig und bisher einzigartig diese Nachrichtenblockade überwunden worden".

 

Michael Williams (Chairman of The Swedish Network of Asylum and Refugee Support Groups (FARR), Swedish correspondent of Migration News Sheet): "For many years [FECL] has appeared regularly as a timely, well-researched source of commented summaries of important developments and strategies in the fields of immigration and policing. The combination of exact references to existing (working) documents and penetrating analysis firmly grounded on human rights principles and the integrity of the individual in a democratic state has been an essential contribution to the general debate on the direction Western European society is taking. Though not sufficiently widely quoted it is widely used by academics, journalists, politicians, lawyers, practitioners in the human rights field, students and others throughout Europe as a seminal source material for articles, debates and discussions. I can thoroughly recommend it".